NRL expert Steve Green has put together his mammoth season preview for 2021. We’re running through every club… today it’s the Souths season preview.

2020 recap

Souths were building towards something special in 2020, with Coach Bennett peaking his team’s performance as per usual. The master coach had Walker, Mitchell, Cook all playing the best footy of their careers. Although Reynolds had a few injuries, he was also hitting top form until tragedy struck and Mitchell suffered a serious injury.

While Allan filled in terrifically, the brilliance of Mitchell was too much of a loss and Souths went down in a thriller to the Panthers (who were unbeaten in their past 17 games at the time).

Souths season preview: Losses

While Souths have let go of some guys (James Roberts, Bayley Sironen and Corey Allan), they have recruited very smartly.

Souths season preview: Gains

Jai Arrow and Jacob Host are both great pick ups. Arrow has proven himself on the Origin arena, and will help Murray out with his immense workload. Host is well suited to the speed of the game in 2021 and will provide some real spark off the bench. Moga, Marshall and Mansour are all very experienced. They provide the Bunnies with some amazing depth to draw upon when injuries and suspensions hit.

Souths season preview: Rookie radar

Brock Gardner is the rookie most pundits are watching. But although he’s already played seven games and is 24 years old, Jed Cartwright is the one that most excites me in 2021. The former Panthers young-gun can play back row of centre, with his versatility making him a perfect modern day bench player. He played his most minutes in a match ever in the final semi against Panthers last year, so he will be eager to build on this in 2021.

Souths season preview: Players to watch

Cody Walker was unstoppable at times last year and with so much talent around him in 2021, I think he will again prove to be the best attacking half in the competition. His running game is amazing and if Reynolds can stay fit, then they are the best halves combination in the game on my player ratings.

Jaydn Su’A showed why Bennett fought to bring him to Redfern, having his best season to date in 2020 and then backing it up with a great Origin series. Alongside the brilliant Cam Murray and new signing Jai Arrow, they will form the best backrow in the competition.

Latrell Mitchell silenced a lot of the haters in 2020 with terrific form. With him negotiating a new contract at present, I expect him to pick up where he left off last year. His speed and size have never been in doubt. But last year he showed he has the fitness and skills to be an elite number 1.

Souths season preview: Weaknesses

They have no obvious weakness in my opinion, which is why they are my tip to win the competition. Teams like the Roosters and Storm have lost their leaders for the start of the 2021 season. Whereas Souths, who have been a heavyweight club for close to a decade now, have a brilliant squad and a champion coach. Anything less than a Grand Final appearance will be a disappointment in 2021.

Souths season preview: Strengths

Their spine is amazing and could easily be the NSW spine if there are some injuries in 2021. Their forward pack is mobile, strong and they have a ton of depth. They could lose four or five players and still put a great team on the park. With Crowe and Bennett as owner and coach, they will leave no stone unturned. Considering this is an even competition, I think they are significantly better than any other team in 2021.

Souths season preview: Ladder prediction


NRL season previews



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