The season starts tonight with Parramatta playing the Broncos. The Warriors play the Tigers on Saturday night.
Looking at the various season previews, there seems to be a consensus that most teams are - at least theoretically - are better thna they were last year. Still there is room for just eight teams in the top eight and only one team will win the comp. Sometimes you might think from these previewers that that wasn't the case.
Usually people tip the Warriors to have a good season. This year the additions of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Isaac Luke should improve the team considerably. But people seem to feel they have been a bit burned in the past and are sceptical at least for now. Paul Kent on NRL 360 last night said the buys hadn't improved the defence, and as I write this Paul Gallen on The Rush Hour is playing down their chances against the Tigers this week.
If the Warriors can't beat the Tigers, without doubt one of the two or three weakest teams in the comp, then Warriors fans are in for a long season.
A Johnson-Luke-RTS combo is mouth watering, and Luke is a also a tough guy in defence. One hopes they can gell quickly.
One thing - at one point in the middle of last season the Warriors were fourth placed. They then lost Johnson to injury and didn't win again. Johnson is the key and I think if he stays iujury-free and at or near his best form, there is every reason to be confident.
I feel the same about the Cowboys. They can win the comp again - but they do need to have JT at his best. If he gets injured, they're toast.