2013 NRL Premiership
By W D Nicolson - February 28, 2013
Last Year: 16th with a 6-18 (-243) record for 16 points.
Parramatta have restocked the front office and the arrival of Ricky Stuart has been a boon for their membership numbers... but the squad that 'won' the Wooden Spoon last year is pretty much the same unit that will take the field in 2013... so just how much magic can Stuart conjure with one pre-season and the same talent level that delivered just six wins a year ago?
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Darcy Lussick is likely to move up front at Parramatta permanently and forms a solid prop rotation with Tim Mannah, FuiFui MoiMoi and the under-rated Mitchell Allgood.
The club will also be hoping Willie Tonga plays like the highly paid centre he appears as on their salary cap and of course they need more - much more - from Chris Sandow and Jarryd Hayne than they got in 2012.
BEST LINE-UP | If every player is available, this is the top squad listed 1-17.
Remainder of Top 25 Squad/NSW Cup:
Cheyse BLAIR, Ken EDWARDS, Matt EISENHUTH, Daniel HARRISON, Taniela LASALO, Ryan MORGAN, Patrick O'HANLON, Semi RADRADRA, Nathan SMITH, Taulima TAUTAI, Vai TOUTAI,
Notables from U20s:
John FOLAU, Frazer MASINAMUA, Pauli PAULI, Kaysa PRITCHARD, Kelepi TANGINOA, Joseph UALESI.
PREDICTED ROUND 1 TEAM
Expect Blair and Morgan to be in the starting three-quarter line ahead of Loko and Mullaney, the backrow could also be any combination of four or five forwards.
PAR: Hayne, Blair, Tonga, Morgan, Sio, Kelly, Sandow, Lussick, Keating, Mannah, Paulo, Smith, Maitua.
Bench: Ryan, Roberts, Allgood, MoiMoi.
Make sure you take a look at our dedicated NRL Injured List
Semi Radradra and Vai Toutai look a few rungs behind on the three-quarter depth chart but their chance will only come if Jacob Loko isn't fit enough to get first crack. All three have plenty of ability.Then there is a massive amount of young talent in the forwards... you'll know who they are if they get a chance - but Parra's greatest area of depth is up front, so don't expect too many newbies in the pack this year.
HOME GAME YOU CAN'T MISS
The Eels are taking their Round 11 clash with the Titans to Mudgee in NSW's central west. If you want to really experience what footy means to the bush - get out to Mudgee at the start of the weekend and experience the build-up to Sunday's clash. And for those fans complaining about the game not being in Sydney - are you honestly saying you'd prefer to go watch the Eels v Titans at Parra Stadium on a Saturday night at 5:30pm? Didn't think so...
Dim... and that's being generous.
Defensively they must get better when the game goes against them, but if the Eels can't create scoring opportunities (they did show some signs late in 2012 under Brad Arthur and that was without Hayne fit) teams will simply beat them 18-6 every week. If they want to keep their fans interested in their playoff chances - they have to win half of their first 8 games... vWAR vCBY @WTG @SYD vCRO @GLD @PEN vNQL - is a 4-4 split realistic Parra fans?
@NRLTweet's PREDICTED REGULAR SEASON FINISH
16th | The Wooden Spoon is theirs to lose unless there's a drastic improvement... and quickly.
Remember if you want game-specific Late Mail every week, then check out our Round Previews Every Wednesday and they are updated with all the very latest Late Mail on Friday.
If we are missing any players on this list - please comment below, reply on Twitter or email this address.
The Prestigious Award returns for a 4th season in 2013.
Review all of the voting results from 2012 right here
Remember you can track all the votes each week after each match in 2013 via the Twitter hashtag #nrltweetpoty