2012 NRL Season – How is your club shaping up?

Published 17 February 2012  |  
The 2012 NRL season is one of the most evenly matched and anticipated seasons in the history of the NRL! It features big name signings, big name departures and lots of home comings. The season kicks off on Thursday March 1 and here is my best attempt at summing up your clubs chances this year.

Brisbane Broncos
2011 Finish:
3rd
Predicted 2012 Finish: 4th – great batch of young stars but the uncertainty over replacing Lockyer means they may just lack the class needed to finish the big games
Additions: Luke Capewell (Titans), Petero Civoniceva (Panthers), Nick Slyney (Cowboys)
Losses: Darren Lockyer (retirement), Denan Kemp (Dragons), Shea Moylan (Storm), Shane Tronc (retirement), Justin Hunt (Rabbitohs), Nick Kenny (retired)

Canberra Raiders
2011 Finish:
15th
Predicted 2012 Finish: 11th – if Campese stays fit they may defy the odds and snag a top 8 finish but if they lose him again they will be in trouble
Additions: Shaun Berrigan (Warriors), Michael Bani (Cowboys)
Losses: Alan Tongue (retirement), Josh Miller (Dragons), Daniel Vidot (Dragons), Danny Galea (Panthers), Matt Orford (released)

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
2011 Finish:
9th
Predicted 2012 Finish: 7th – should improve this year with handy additions both on the field (James Graham) and off the field (Des Hasler).
Additions: James Graham (St Helens), Luke MacDougall (Saracens), James Gavett (Warriors)
Losses: Jamal Idris (Titans), Michael Hodgson (retiring), Ben Roberts (Eels), Andrew Ryan (retirement), Chris Armit (Panthers), Mickey Paea (English Super League), Aidan Sezer (Titans), Gary Warburton (Celtic Crusaders, ESL), Junior Tia-Kilifi (Panthers), Brad Morrin (retired), Michael Lett (released), Grant Millington (Castleford)

Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
2011 Finish:
13th
Predicted 2012 Finish: 15th – to many toilers and too much reliance on Gallen and Carney means another poor season beckons
Additions: Mark Taufua (Knights), Jeff Robson (Eels), Sam Tagataese (Titans), Bryce Gibbs (Tigers), Andrew Fifita (Tigers), Jon Green (Dragons), Isaac De Gois (Knights), Ben Ross (Rabbitohs), Todd Carney (Roosters)
Losses: Luke Douglas (Titans), Kade Snowden (Knights), Taulima Tautai (Eels), Ryan Tongia (Wakefield), Dean Collis (Wakefield), Tim Smith (Wakefield), Jon Mannah (Eels)

Gold Coast Titans
2011 Finish:
Last
Predicted 2012 Finish: 12th – should be big improvers with a huge changeover of personnel and some impressive additions.
Additions: Jamal Idris (Bulldogs), Luke Douglas (Sharks), Nate Myles (Roosters), Beau Henry (Knights), Beau Falloon (Rabbitohs), Beau Champion (Storm), Phil Graham (Roosters), Aidan Sezer (Bulldogs)
Losses: Preston Campbell (retirement), Nathan Friend (Warriors), Anthony Laffranchi (St Helens), Brad Meyers (retirement), Esi Tonga (Eels), Sam Tagataese (Sharks), Joseph Tomane (ACT Brumbies), Will Matthews (Dragons), Mat Rogers (retirement), Luke Capewell (Broncos), Clinton Toopi (retirement), Shannon Walker (rugby union)

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
2011 Finish:
2nd (Premiers)
Predicted 2012 Finish: 3rd – despite Hasler's departure the core of the playing squad remains together and they should give the competition another shake in 2012
Additions: Ben Farrar (Catalan Dragons)
Losses: Will Hopoate (Mormon mission), Shane Rodney (Harlequins, Super League), Michael Robertson (London Harlequins)

Melbourne Storm
2011 Finish:
1st (Preliminary Finalists)
Predicted 2012 Finish: 5th – classy team with some handy additions but the shadows surrounding Cooper Cronk's future could potentially derail the slick Storm machine this year
Additions: Ryan Hoffman (Wigan), Jack Afamasaga (Racing Club Lescure Arthes XIII), Shea Moylan (Broncos), Jason Ryles (Roosters), Michael Greenfield (Dragons), Will Chambers (Super Rugby)
Losses: Adam Blair (Tigers), Chase Stanley (Dragons), Beau Champion (Titans), Atelea Vea (Dragons), Robbie Rochow (Knights), Troy Thompson (retirement), Adam Woolnough (retirement), Dane Chisholm (Tigers)

Newcastle Knights
2011 Finish:
8th (semi-finalists)
Predicted 2012 Finish: 8th – big clear out of playing personnel and some huge additions including the master coach himself means the Knights will be a formidable opponent but probably still a season or two away from ascending to the top
Additions: Wayne Bennett (Dragons), Kade Snowden (Sharks), Timana Tahu (Panthers), Darius Boyd (Dragons), Robbie Rochow (Storm), Alex McKinnon (Dragons), Danny Buderus (Leeds), Adam Cuthbertson (Dragons), Daine Laurie (Panthers)
Losses: Cory Paterson (Cowboys), Beau Henry (Titans), Keith Lulia (Bradford Bulls), Isaac De Gois (Sharks), Cameron Ciraldo (Panthers), Antonio Kaufusi (Harlequins), Adam MacDougall (retirement), Ben Rogers (retirement), Mark Taufua (Sharks), Steve Southern (Wakefield), Josh Ailaomai (Roosters), Dan Tolar (retirement), Shannon McDonnell (Hull KR), Con Mika (Hull KR)

New Zealand Warriors
2011 Finish:
6th (Grand Finalists)
Predicted 2012 Finish: 2nd – impressive roster chock full of seasoned internationals and booming youngsters means the Warriors will go very close in 2012
Additions: Nathan Friend (Titans)
Losses: Ivan Cleary (Panthers), Lance Hohaia (St Helens), Brett Seymour (Hull FC), Jeremy Latimore (Dragons), Aaron Heremaia (Hull FC), Joel Moon (Salford), Adam Henry (Roosters), Shaun Berrigan (Raiders), Isaac John (Wakefield)

North Queensland Cowboys
2011 Finish:
7th
Predicted 2012 Finish: 6th – real wildcards of the comp. Lacking in firepower out wide but the addition of Lui means the Cowboys have a potentially explosive halves pairing.
Additions: Cory Paterson (Knights), Kane Linnett (Roosters), Luke Harlen (QLD Residents), Robert Lui (Wests Tigers)
Losses: Willie Tonga (Eels), Leeson Ah Mau (Dragons), Will Tupou (Western Force, rugby union), Michael Bani (Raiders)

Parramatta Eels
2011 Finish:
14th
Predicted 2012 Finish: 9th – cleared out an ageing roster with some impressive talent. Should be big improvers in 2012.
Additions: Chris Sandow (Rabbitohs), Ben Roberts (Bulldogs), Esi Tonga (Titans), Joseph Paulo (Panthers), Willie Tonga (Cowboys), Taulima Tautai (Sharks), Jake Mullany (Tigers), Daniel Penese (Dragons), Jon Mannah (Sharks)
Losses: Jeff Robson (Sharks), Anthony Mitchell (Roosters), Paul Whatuira (retirement), Joel Reddy (Tigers), Carl Webb (retirement), Chris Hicks (retirement), Chris Walker (retirement), Tom Humble (Tigers), Daniel Mortimer (Roosters), Etu Uaisele (Panthers)

Penrith Panthers
2011 Finish:
12th
Predicted 2012 Finish: 16th – someone has to finish last and sadly not even Phil Gould will be able to rescue the Panthers this season.
Additions: Ivan Cleary (Warriors), Junior Vaivai - mid-season (Rabbitohs), Cameron Ciraldo (Knights), Chris Armit (Bulldogs), Clint Newton (Hull KR), Danny Galea (Raiders), Ryan Simpkins (Titans), Geoff Daniela (Wests Tigers), Junior Tia-Kilifi (Bulldogs), Etu Uaisele (Eels)
Losses: Matthew Elliott (released), Timana Tahu (Knights), Trent Waterhouse (Warrington), Joseph Paulo (Eels - mid-season), Matthew Bell (Tigers), Petero Civoniceva (Broncos), Daine Laurie (released), Adrian Purtell (Bradford), Shane Elford (retirement)

South Sydney Rabbitohs
2011 Finish:
10th
Predicted 2012 Finish: 13th – new coach, new hopes but sadly it should be the same old inconsistent Rabbitohs.
Additions: Michael Maguire (Wigan), Matt King (Warrington Wolves), Luke Burgess (Leeds), Justin Hunt (Redcliffe), Ryan Carr (Redcliffe)
Losses: Chris Sandow (Eels), John Lang (retirement), Junior Vaivai (Panthers), Shannan McPherson (Super League), Beau Falloon (Titans), Luke Stuart (retirement), Rhys Wesser (retirement), Ben Ross (Sharks)

St George Illawarra Dragons
2011 Finish:
5th (semi-finalists)
Predicted 2012 Finish: 10th – the departure of experience and class should see the decline of the Dragons continue this year and see them miss the 8.
Additions: Chase Stanley (Storm), Will Matthews (Titans), Jeremy Latimore (Warriors), Leeson Ah Mau (Cowboys), Atelea Vea (Storm), Josh Miller (Raiders), Daniel Vidot (Raiders), Denan Kemp (Broncos)
Losses: Wayne Bennett (Knights), Darius Boyd (Knights), Jack Bosden (Roosters), Jon Green (Sharks), Mark Gasnier (retirement), Peni Tagive (Roosters), Alex McKinnon (Knights), Daniel Penese (Eels), Adam Cuthbertson (Knights), Michael Greenfield (Storm)

Sydney Roosters
2011 Finish:
11th
Predicted 2012 Finish: 14th – This won't be the year for Brian Smith to break his 30 year premiership drought.
Additions: Anthony Mitchell (Eels), Jack Bosden (Dragons), Peni Tagive (Dragons), Adam Henry (Warriors), Josh Ailaomai (Knights), Daniel Mortimer (Eels), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (NZ union)
Losses: Nate Myles (Titans), Mark Riddell (retirement), Daniel Conn (retirement), Kane Linnett (Cowboys), Phil Graham (Titans), Todd Carney (Sharks), Anthony Watts (Widnes, UK), Jason Ryles (Storm)

Wests Tigers
2011 Finish: 4th (semi-finalists)
Predicted 2012 Finish: 1st – Benji Marshall is nearing the peak of his powers and if he stays fit he could lead the Tigers all the way in 2012.
Additions: Adam Blair (Storm), Joel Reddy (Eels), Matthew Bell (Panthers), John Grant (Eastwood), Tom Humble (Eels), Dane Chisholm (Tigers)
Losses: Bryce Gibbs (Sharks), Andrew Fifita (Sharks), Mark Flanagan (St Helens), Jake Mullaney (Eels), Todd Payten (retirement), Wade McKinnon (Hull FC), Geoff Daniela (Panthers), Robert Lui (Cowboys)

Adam Schoenmaker is a high school chaplain in the northern suburbs of Brisbane for three days each week and serves two days a week in his local church. Adam loves a good book, a classic album and all Queensland sporting teams.

Adam Schoenmaker archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/adam-schoenmaker.html

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