Phil Gould backs shock contender for 2023 NRL premiership

Phil Gould has endorsed a surprise NRL title contender, claiming the Cowboys could reverse their troubles earlier in the season and topple the competition heavyweights.

After struggling for consistency in the first three months of its season, North Queensland hit rock bottom a few weeks ago with a horrific 18-66 loss to the Wests Tigers.

Since that defeat, they’ve bounced back on form and put in a masterful attacking performance against Melbourne in Round 14, with the likes of Valentine Holmes and Murray Taulagi putting their Origin experience to good use.

The side are 12th with 16 points going into Round 15, but with all three byes available there could be a real chance of progressing to the finals in the second half of the year.

MORE: Nathan Cleary banned from Origin | Who will be the Dragons coach in 2024?

“Phil Gould Backs Cowboys in NRL Premiership Contest”

I’m talking about the latest episode of 100% Footy, Gould admitted the Cowboys are the best hope of stopping Penrith from winning their third straight title, despite the form of Brisbane and South Sydney this year.

“Cowboys can win the competition,” he said.

“A lot has to go well by the end of the year for them to advance to the upper league of the competition … but I don’t see another team that could beat the Panthers at the end of the year.”

“They have some good players who can come back to this team – [Jason] Taumalolo didn’t play [Jeremiah] Nanai just got back.

Read  Africa's age testing saga must be a 'watershed moment' for global sport

“Whatever it was, maybe it’s a sequel to last year, or they didn’t have a good off-season, or the World Cup – but you can’t do what they did the other night without having tremendous ability.”

“Putting 45 points on the Storm tells me they’re still there if you find them on a consistent basis. If you look at the competitive table, it’s so condensed – you just have to win four or five games in a row.”

“If the Cowboys can string four or five wins together, you’ll have a very different picture of them.

“I expect they’ll be there by the end of the year.”

According to Phil Gould, the Broncos are “12 months away.”

Despite sitting second in the rankings with 10 wins from 14 games and all free spins, Brisbane is still not quite ready for a real title fight, according to Gould.

But with the likes of Adam Reynolds, Payne Haas and Reece Walsh all with another year at the club, their debut window is still wide open.

“Maybe not this year, but certainly next year the Broncos,” Gould said.

“I see them only 12 months away from a real prime ministerial position and I’m not saying they can’t win it.” [this year]. It will all depend on the players available at the end of the year.

“The Panthers deserve to be favorites – their defense is by far the best.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button