TOP PICK: Will Sydney Rooster Boyd Cordner be celebrating again at the end of the year? Shane Jones thinks so.
TOP PICK: Will Sydney Rooster Boyd Cordner be celebrating again at the end of the year? Shane Jones thinks so. DEAN LEWINS

So who will flop and who will be on top this season?

OPINION: It's that time of the year where everyone puts it all on the line to pick who will finish where on the NRL ladder.

NewsMail sports reporter Shane Jones has given a crack at it for 2019, so let the arguments begin.

1st - Sydney Roosters

They've retained most of their talent for 2019 and the side's defence was extraordinary last year. Could be on track to win back-to-back NRL titles for the first time since 1993.

2nd - South Sydney

I just have this feeling Wayne Bennett can guide Souths somewhere near the top this season.

He has a better squad than he had at Brisbane last year. Souths might surprise.

3rd - Brisbane Broncos

Anthony Seibold will get them around the mark this year after taking over from Bennett. My only concern is the halves combination of Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima but the rest of the team is one of the best for the Broncos in years.

4th - St George Illawarra

The Dragons hardly lost anyone to their team and added Korbin Sims and Corey Norman. The side is a genuine chance to take the title.

5th - Melbourne Storm

The loss of Billy Slater will hurt the team but the Storm will still make the finals. Good luck beating them in Melbourne.

6th - Cronulla Sharks

The off season hasn't boded well for the Sharks but the side is still formidable, especially with Shaun Johnson there.

7th - Penrith Panthers

The side has the New South Wales Origin halves and has enough talent to worry teams.

8th - New Zealand Warriors

The Warriors win almost six matches out of 10 at home each season. Their home form is good enough for them to make the finals.

9th - North Queensland Cowboys

For all Cowboys fans just take one of the bottom four out and replace them with your Cowboys. The side has a major chance to return to the finals but I couldn't fit them in. .

10th - Canterbury Bulldogs

I liked the look of the Bulldogs in the second half of last year and sense the squad is one more year away from finals.

11th - Wests Tigers

The Tigers can surprise this year and make the finals under new coach Michael Maguire but the draw is hard.

12th - Newcastle Knights

The Knights had one of the worst attacks and worst defences in the competition last year. You wonder where all the tries will come from, especially if Kalyn Ponga goes into the halves.

13th - Canberra Raiders

If the Raiders won their close losses the previous few years the side would have played finals. You just wonder if that will be solved in 2019. Not sure it will.

14th - Manly Sea Eagles

Des Hasler returns but not sure the fun times will return to Manly. The Trbojevic boys, Jake and Tom, will be the key to success.

15th - Gold Coast Titans

Tyrone Peachey is a fine recruit but just wonder how the Titans are going to get the wins to make finals.

16th - Parramatta Eels

The only positive for Eels fans is the team will play in a shiny new stadium. The side will be relying on their youth to bring them forward, which I'm not sure will happen.



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