Statistical anomaly Gold Coast may have lost NRL top spot but coach John Cartwright says they still ticked the box that got them there in a tight loss to Penrith.
Manly admit they are devastated to lose Glenn Stewart after South Sydney confirmed they signed the dual premiership-winning back-rower for the next two NRL seasons.
Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter says his young side’s 21-18 win over Parramatta without inspirational skipper Robbie Farah on Monday was a huge step forward in their development.
After finding out they would lose one of the biggest names in the game midway through last season, the one positive is that the Tigers had plenty of time to start planning for life without Benji Marshall.
If St George Illawarra don’t make early headway in the 2014 season, calls will come thick and fast for the Dragons to part ways with coach Steve Price.
It’s been no secret that South Sydney is having one of their best periods in recent memory, but there’s a distinct feeling around the league that they just can’t get it done on the field when it matters.
The league world hasn’t seen back-to-back-to-back wooden spoons since the Gold Coast Seagulls won just nine of a possible 66 NSWRL games from 1991-93.
One of rugby league’s most successful sides of the modern era has been built around the contributions of captain Cameron Smith, fullback Billy Slater and halfback Cooper Cronk.
Newcastle sat in the bottom half of the eight for much of last year, and had they not made the preliminary final then it definitely would have been quite the average season.
Okay, so Manly reached the grand final and they didn’t disgrace themselves either. But for so long they were considered too old and too broken to again challenge for the premiership. In parts of last season, this actually looked true.
What will come of suspended coach Shane Flanagan? The Sharks will plead their case to the NRL in a bid to have the 12 month ban overturned and hope for the best.
Canterbury started last season behind the eight-ball when front-row forward James Graham missed seven games at the start of the season after his suspension for biting Billy Slater’s ear in the 2012 grand final.
He might not be in as much immediate danger as Dragons counterpart Steve Price, but after three years in the finals wilderness John Cartwright might pay the price if Gold Coast get off to a poor start in 2014.
It was a season to forget for the Raiders due to off-field drama, with big names Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson now gone and Sam Williams and Joel Thompson on their way to the Dragons.