Season 2010: The Predictions

With the 2010 season just a few sleeps away, we figured it was time to pick up the clipboard and ask around the office for some 2010 Predictions.<br><br>Can the Storm make their fifth consecutive grand final? Will the Rabbitohs' monster forward pack live up to the hype? Can the Eels reproduce their 2009 finals form? Which player will turn out to be the most effective off-season signing?<br><br>They're the questions on everybodies lips, so we've put them to our 'expert' panel...<br><br><b>MARIO FENECH<br>South Sydney Rabbitohs Legend / Tragic / Member</b><br><br><b>Premiers: </b>Bunnies - they have built a good side and it's TIME to deliver!<br><br><b>Wooden Spoon:</b> Warriors lost qulity players and the Steve Price captaincy drama will be an issue.<br><br><b>Dark Horse:</b> Penrith - they have flown under the radar and have slowly built a good football team.<br><br><b>Biggest movers: </b>Rabbbitohs.<br><br><b>Players to watch out for:</b> Chris Sandow, Michael Jennings and Scott Prince.<br><br><b>Best signing: </b>Sam Burgess<br><br><b>Dally M: </b>Chris Sandow - now has the pack that will provide the space and room to show his skills.<br><br><b>Rookie of the Year:</b> Sam Burgess <br><b><br>State of Origin Result:</b> NSW 2 - 1 <br><b><br>Headline of the Year: </b>BUNNIES WIN THE COMP!<br><br><br><b>DAVID PEACHEY<br> League Legend / </b><b>One Community Ambassador</b><br> <br> <b>Premiers: </b>South Sydney Rabbitohs<br> <br> <b>Wooden Spoon:</b> Raiders<br> <br> <b>Dark Horse:</b> Titans<br> <br> <b>Biggest movers:</b> Sharks<br> <br> <b>Players to watch out for:</b> Blake Fergurson<br> <br> <b>Best signing:</b> Sam Burgess<br> <br> <b>Dally M:</b> Johnathon Thurston<br> <br> <b>Rookie of the Year: </b>Sam Burgess<br> <br> <b>State of Origin Result:</b> NSW 2-1<br> <br> <b>Headline of the Year:</b> Bird back to his best in the green and gold <br><br><br><b>NIGEL WALL<br>BigLeague Editor</b><br><br><b>Premiers: </b>Melbourne Storm. The other main contenders are still in building phases.<br><br><b>Wooden Spoon:</b> Cronulla Sharks – Pretty much the same cattle as last year and will need to rely on youth too often. Passion will win them a few but there are too many other talented squads.<br><br><b>Dark Horse:</b> Warriors. In horse-racing parlance: “Forget they went around last time.”<br><br><b>Biggest movers:</b> South Sydney Rabbitohs. New coach John Lang brings authority and stability and if he can get the most from their awesome player roster they will make the eight. And be a force in the finals. <br><br><b>Players to watch out for:</b> Lote Tuqiri – can he become a force again? Willie Mason – he’ll either excel or end up playing park footy by mid-year. Jamie Soward – he needs to dominate as a playmaker again if the Dragons are to be a contender. <br><br><b>Best signing:</b> Greg Bird. A no-nonsense playmaker who brings mongrel and creativity to the Titans’ backline. They should push for top four again. <br><br><b>Dally M:</b> Cooper Cronk. If Melbourne do well, and they will, he’ll be in the thick of things all year. Will thrive during Origin period.<br><br><b>Rookie of the Year:</b> Ben Hunt (Brisbane) or William Hopoate (Manly)<br><b><br>State of Origin Result: </b>NSW 2-1.<br><br><b>Headline of the Year: </b>‘Trim Barba cuts loose’<br><br><br><b>MICHAEL BUETTNER<br>North Sydney &amp; Parramatta Legend</b><br><br><b>Premiers: </b>Bulldogs – massive year in '09 will only get better.<br><br><b>Wooden Spoon: </b>Newcastle – tough start to year and we haven’t even kicked off the season.<br><br><b>Dark Horse:</b> Wests Tigers – Benji and Farah to lead this exciting team around the park.<br><br><b>Biggest movers:</b> Roosters – should make top 8.<br><br><b>Players to watch out for:</b> Todd Carney and Sam Burgess.<br><br><b>Best signing: </b>Todd Carney – under Brian Smith should reach his potential.<br><br><b>Dally M:</b> Robbie Farah – been close the past two seasons -2010 is his year.<br><b><br>State of Origin Result:</b> NSW – 2-1 – pride will get the better of the Blues.<br><b><br>Headline of the Year: </b>Central Coast Bears bid accepted for 2013.<br><br><br><b>JOHN GIBBS<br>Sea Eagles Legend / BigPond Sports Weekend Host</b><br><br><b>Premiers:</b> Parramatta<br><br><b>Wooden Spoon:</b> Newcastle<br><br><b>Dark Horse: </b>South Sydney<br><br><b>Biggest movers:</b> Roosters<br><br><b>Players to watch out for:</b> Kieran Foran, Sam Burgess, Michael Jennings, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves&nbsp;&nbsp; <br><br><b>Best signing: </b>Sam Burgess<br><br><b>Dally M:</b> Scott Prince <br><br><b>Rookie of the Year: </b>Robert Lui<br><br><b>State of Origin Result: </b>NSW&nbsp; 3-0<br><br><b>Headline of the Year:</b> Independence Day finally arrives<br><br><br><b>RUSSELL BARWICK<br>BigPond Sports Weekend Host</b><br><br><b>Premiers:</b>&nbsp; Parramatta <br><br><b>Wooden Spoon:</b>&nbsp; Roosters<br><br><b>Dark Horse:</b>&nbsp; Penrith/Tigers<br><br><b>Biggest movers:</b> Penrith<br><br><b>Players to watch out for:</b>&nbsp; Chris Lawrence, Lote Tuqiri <br><br><b>Best signing:</b> Lote Tuqiri<br><br><b>Dally M: </b>Cameron Smith<br><br><b>State of Origin Result:</b> NSW 2-1<br><br><b>Headline of the Year:</b> Wendell... I'm making a comeback!!!<br><br><br><b>NRL LONE SCOUT<br>Resident Dream Team Guru</b><br><br><b>Premiers:</b> Storm - some great young talent and the experience to go all the way.<br> <br> <b>Wooden Spoon:</b> Knights - forwards dropping like flies and not enough strike power to threaten the heavyweights.<br> <br> <b>Dark Horse:</b> Penrith - trial form has been sensational and their young talent now has another year of experience. Possible top five.<br> <br> <b>Biggest movers:</b> Rabbitohs - for once the Bunnies have size, depth and strikepower. It's a top eight combination.<br> <br> <b>Players to watch out for:</b> Corey Norman, Matt Gillett, Kevin Locke, Timana Tahu, Blake Ferguson, Eddy Pettybourne, Kieran Foran, Josh Dugan, Aidan Tolman, Todd Carney.<br> <br> <b>Best signing:</b> Sam Burgess - this guy is the real deal.<br> <br> <b>Dally M: </b>Jamie Soward - this guy runs the show at the Dragons. Eventually he's got to be recognised.<br><br><b>Rookie of the Year: </b>Trent Hodkinson (Manly). He may not start the season but I think he'll be Manly's long term halfback.<br> <br> <b>State of Origin Result:</b> NSW 2-1<br> <br> <b>Headline of the Year:</b> Soward smashes 100 point barrier in Dream Team<br>