Analysing the 2021 premiership contenders

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A look at the key contenders for next season's NRL competition.

Penrith Panthers

The Panthers will be heavily backed to go one step further in 2021 after stringing together 17 straight wins until the season-decider against the Storm.

The Grand Final heartbreak will be a valuable lesson for a young Penrith outfit, who will only be stronger and quicker next season.

Ivan Cleary proved to light a fire under the belly of this side and with a taste of the big stage, his side are destined to write their name in history in due time.

The Panthers are loaded across the field, with Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai positioned for greatness as the players plans to mirror the recent success of the Roosters and Storm.

2020 was a lesson learnt for this young side as they sit as premiership favourites for next year's premiership.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Souths showed plenty of grunt in their bid for a Grand Final placing, falling short to the Panthers in the preliminary final after a dominant run home to end their season.

With supercoach Wayne Bennett in command, a premiership is never out of the question.

To think this side is set to add a fit and healthy Latrell Mitchell as well as Jai Arrow from the Titans and Jacob Host from the dragons, there's no chance the club stutters in going one step further in 2021.

With the growth of Cameron Murray and the wealth of experience surrounding him, the Rabbitohs are set for another top four finish, it's just a matter of how much higher they can go. Get your City beach discount here.

Sydney Roosters

 You can never rule out the Roosters from a bid for the title.

Trent Robinson's side failed to reap the rewards of a third-straight premiership in 2020 after a difficult finish to their season.

The Chooks are unlikely to lose any key names for next season as they host a fields-worth of premiership experience and talent.

James Tedesco will enter next year as the league's best player and will be out to set the tone early for the Tricolours as they plan to make their mark on the flag race once again.

Melbourne Storm

 The likely departures of Cameron Smith and Josh Addo-Carr on top of Suliasi Vunivalu's code switch and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui's move to the Titans makes a premiership defence for Craig Bellamy a tough one.

Given Bellamy is set for a farewell season in 2021, the Storm might just offer an appropriate swansong for their legendary coach and push deep into the year yet again.

Despite Smith's predicted retirement incoming, the arrival of Harry Grant will be a smooth transition as far as skill and excitement can go.

NRL fans know you can never rule out the mob in purple when it comes to premiership contention.

Honourable mentions

The Raiders and Eels both showed plenty of promise in 2020, with the latter looking as the champions elect early into the season.

The Eels were stunted with injuries in the post-season and found themselves with an uphill task against Melbourne and South Sydney.

The Raiders were once again a formidable side in the NRL without any major success. After a Grand Final finish in 2019 and another promising campaign this year, they'll be back in the hunt for 2021.

Throw in the Titans as the dark horse of the completion. With the bog names they have moving to the Sunshine State for 2021, who knows where this team finishes up.