Rugby is Back Baby!
Can you feel the buzz around the freshly cut grass of rugby fields all over Victoria? Well, I've spent the last 3 months snooping around the various changerooms and training fields to help us predict the 2022 Dewar ladder.
The Doggies were lucky not to be put down last year, but with a new coaching group led by former Brimbank mentor Roger Tu'amoheloa, some success at the Ballarat 7s and some old faces returning, things are looking up at the Kennel.
Look for Footscray to push teams deep into games and snatch a couple of tight victories this season.
Prediction - The puppy is now toilet trained, but still too soon to let it off the leash. 8th
With a new head coach in former firsts player Elijah Makoni returning to the Stables after several successful seasons with Eltham, look for Box Hill to play some adventurous rugby.
A quiet preseason and some notable roster changes, the Broncos might take a little while to get going and find their feet. Once they do they could cause some upsets and the stables could be a tough place for visiting teams.
Prediction - If early results don't go their way, the ponies could be heading to the glue factory pretty quickly. 7th
Power House have promoted assistant coach Eric Tom into the hot seat with the departure to New Zealand of long term coach Cole Mooney.
Tom will bring some flare to the Albert park club whilst trying to maintain the set piece stability of his predecessor.
The big question is whether House will have the depth in their playing group to really compete week in and week out to keep their finals ambitions alive.
Prediction - No cole in the stocking this year, so hard to see the House climbing into the 4. 6th
A more match hardened playing group and a stable coaching unit, Moorabbin will again be a team to watch. A big preseason in the Rams gym will see them fitter and stronger than ever.
Whether they have the firepower to really finish off teams, only time will tell but the Rams will never give up and will fight to the end and the top four will be a big goal.
Prediction - Perennial finals contenders, but maybe this year the Rams slip. 5th
After a rebuild last year and promoting many young players into their senior ranks, the students will look to finish games off more strongly now they have more experience and game awareness in their group.
A big preseason and some bolstering of their playing and coaching stocks could see Uni playing finals footy this year.
Prediction - A new home will inspire the students to greater heights. Our big movers for the year. 4th
A new coaching group will be working hard to see our last premiership winners remain up the top with assistant coach Dave Usu stepping into the big shoes left by Tumai Edwards.
A big turnover of players will see the Unicorns having to rebuild quickly but their class should see them still challenging when finals come around.
Prediction - He may have moved into a coaching director role, but the loss of Tumai will hamstring the Unicorns. 3rd
Perennial finalists Harlequins would have been disappointed with their start to last season so look to them to come out of the blocks early this year.
Some new additions to their coaching staff and some bolstering of their pack should see the Quins right in the race at the pointy end of season
Prediction - Just can't see Quins going ANOTHER year without an appearance at the Big Dance. 2nd
Last years surprise packet are a secret no more.
How the eagles fare being hunted instead of the hunter will play out throughout the season but having a settled coaching group and playing squad should see last years minor premiers continue their winning style of play. The Nest was a hard place for visitors to pick up premiership points last year and this looks certain to continue.
Prediction - Perenise will have his Eagles soaring again and the Nest will be the most feared home ground in Victoria. 1st
Let the arguments begin.