How will Canterbury go in 2021?

Simple answer, better than most might expect.

They were gallant this year the Bulldogs, it would have been one of the great injustices had they got the wooden spoon.

The Broncos deserved that thing!

Obviously there's two big signings, actually let's make it three, for the Doggies in 2021.

Coach Trent Barrett takes over, that's a big one! And of course Nick Cotric joins from the Raiders.

The other one is of course Kyle Flanagan who joins from the Roosters. What happened there? He was on the outer big time, I think he'll find a nice home at Belmore and the ability to steer this side around the park.

The opportunity to work under Trent Barrett to my eye looks a big tick in his development.

The Dogs have also elevated some local talent to the Top 30 contracts, Tui Katoa, James Roumanos and Tyrone Harding.

Righto, so how will they go? The million dollar question.

The Dog's are $4 to make the Top 8. I think they'll be in the finals conversation in 2021.

Round 1 they're off to Newcastle, then they've got the Panthers @ home before a trip to Brisbane and Souths in Round 4. Tough old start!

If they can go 2 & 2 from the first four, I think they'd be happy. The 4 weeks following that, it gets a bit easier, outside of a trip to Perth to take on the defending Premiers, the Melbourne Storm.

The thing I like about the Doggies is, they never gave up in 2020.

I know, I know. 42-0 against Penrith in Round 20 doesn't look good but in horse racing terms, the Dogs needed a spell by that stage and Penrith were gearing up for a tilt at the premiership.

The week prior, the Doggies upset the Bunnies, outplayed them.

The Bulldogs are capable, a good young pack, led by Josh Jackson. The old stalwart Aiden Tolman has moved on, but Trent Barrett will be wanting the best out of Dylan Napa next year as well, 2020 wasn't kind to Napa, some off-field controversy might have cramped the head space a little for the Big Papa.

If Napa is at his best, he's violent, he's destructive.

I like Jeremy Marshall-King, he's only 24 and established himself in 2020, he'll be better again in 2021, just like a number of prospects in their talented young backline.

So there's a lot of stability and some great additions to the group and they showed plenty of ticker, plenty of spirit in 2020. The new coach will bring new enthusiasm, presumably a freshen up in the culture and a hard work ethic. So in that regard, there's plenty to like.

Are they missing some star power? Potentially, yes.

But I am predicting the Doggies of 2021 to be the fairytale story, they'll be right there in finals calculation. I had originally marked out the Dogs just missing the finals and coming in @ 9th, but we all know that's where Wests will land so I've got the Dogs playing finals.

So the Bulldogs, they'll finish 8th.

Let me know in the comments below if you agree!

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