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LeagueUnlimited's Paul Zines reflects on 2008 and looks ahead to 2009.
Season previews and teams of NRL clubs: Broncos, Bulldogs, Raiders and Cowboys.
2008 Position: Knocked out in Semi Finals by Melbourne Storm
Despite the club signing some very valuable players for 2009, this year will be the first without Coach Wayne Bennett who has joined the Dragons. Since their inception into Rugby League, Brisbane has put their success down to the masterful guidance of Bennett and how he brings out the best in his players. With plenty of new personnel on board, including the freakish Israel Folau it will be interesting to see how debut coach Ivan Henjak deals with the enormous expectations from the supporters. The other issue is whether this will be the last year for club great and Australian captain Darren Lockyer? Having achieved almost everything that a player can ask for, 2009 could be the end of an era and to make things worse there is also the whispers that 22-year old Karmichael Hunt is also ready for a new challenge!
Player to watch: Lagi Setu - The former St.George Illawarra Dragon back-rower was dynamic in the second half of last season. Every hit up made is done with exceptional force and look out for how easily he can break tackles and pop up an offload.
2009 Squad: Karmichael Hunt, Joel Clinton, Darren Lockyer, Israel Folau, Craig Frawley, Aaron Gorrell, Justin Hodges, Tom Hewitt, Peter Wallace, Stephen Michaels, PJ Marsh, Andrew McCullough, Michael Roberts, Nick Kenny, David Taylor, Ashton Sims, Corey Parker, Ben Teo, Sam Thaiday, Lagi Setu.
Like the Broncos, the Bulldogs have a new coach and plenty of new players. After finishing 2008 in last place, the club took quick action to sign some very exciting talent to the club. Kevin Moore is the new head coach replacing the out of favoured Steve Folkes. The club was never out of the headlines in 2008 with the Sonny Bill Williams saga taking centre stage. Recently lock forward Reni Maitua again made headlines was sacked by the club and has since joined the Cronulla Sharks. What lies ahead for the famous club? In order to have a successful season, they need to let their football do the talking. Kevin Moore has plenty of talent to use on show and coordinating the side well by using the wealth of experience as well as the exciting new prospects is a must. For such a proud club, finishing in last place was unacceptable and I