Immortal rugby league Andrew Johns has ruled on the Gold Coast Titans’ top eight prospects for the 2021 season, while declaring that the Roosters will not be a Provan-Summons Trophy contender.
The Roosters, who missed out on the grand finale last year following back-to-back premieres, start their season today against the Sea Eagles.
This time around, the Tricolors will be without their inspiring skipper Boyd Cordner, who should miss at least half of the season as the club seek to deal with the recent streak of bad luck from the three-time prime minister winner with blows to the head.
Johns said Cordner’s absence, as well as the uncertainty surrounding the club’s half-back position, which young players Lachlan Lam and Sam Walker appear ready to fight for this year, leaves too many question marks in his mind.
“I have four teams that I think are going to fight – Storm, Souths, Parramatta and Penrith. I only see one team among them that can win the competition and I think it’s the Raiders,” a- he told Wide World of Sports. ‘ Freddy and the eighth.
“I’m afraid Boyd Cordner will be away most of the year.
“The discussion about who’s going to play the half-back? Some of their forwards, just this one more year.”
However, big club Brad Fittler believes the Roosters have done a good job developing their rear rowers, which will give coach Trent Robinson plenty of options with Cordner unavailable.
NRL 2021 team previews: Sydney Roosters
“I like the way they have progressed the other players. Their full back is now Sitili Tupouniua and Angus Crichton, and Victor Radley will be back soon. Lindsay Collins, who played against Origin last year,” replied Fittler.
“They have Jared Waerea-Hargreaves coming off the bench and how they play Jared this year will be crucial.
“Especially in these positions you need it [younger] players go through and put the pressure on and get over these older guys. I think the roosters did it pretty well. “
Meanwhile, Johns also said he expects the Titans to miss the football final again. The club haven’t made it to the NRL playoffs since 2016.
The club will take to the pitch with an upgraded Advanced Pack, which includes rookies David Fifita and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui.
But with the new faces of the team, the teams “will not take the Titans lightly” according to the great Newcastle Knights.
“There are expectations and pressures on them which is different from years past,” Johns said.
“The teams won’t take them easy this year.
“Obviously, they’ve trained really well, but like I said, teams won’t take the Titans lightly.”
Andrew Johns top eight: