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NRL: Who is in danger of the wooden spoon?

The 2023 NRL season is almost upon us and after taking a look at the premiership and top-eight contenders it is time to look a bit lower down and those teams in danger of picking up the wooden spoon.

With no relegation from the NRL, picking up the wooden spoon is as bad as it gets. It obviously shows you have had a shocker of a season and the pride of the coach, players and supporters takes a huge hit.

But someone has to finish bottom when the season is done and in 2022 the wooden spoon was handed to the Wests Tigers after they managed just four wins from 24 games played. They were cut adrift by four points with the Warriors, Knights and Titans just above them.

It should be a different outcome for the Tigers in 2023 following a shake-up of the coaching team and some good recruitment.

They are priced at 13/2 to suffer most losses in 2023 but are not included in our list of contenders. So with the new season just weeks away, let’s take a look at who does make the list.


The Dolphins are priced at 13/8 to suffer most losses in the new season and considering they are the new boys playing in their first ever NRL campaign this is no surprise.

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The NRL’s 17th club have managed to land some quality experienced players for the new season including the Bromwich brothers who have arrived from Melbourne Storm. However the problem could be there is not enough of them and if injuries start to bite then the Dolphins could be hit hard.

They also failed to recruit the big marquee signing they were after with the likes of Kalyn Ponga, Cameron Munster and Harry Grant slipping through the net.

The one big plus is the fact that super coach Wayne Bennett is at the helm. It means they cannot be written off and are not a sure thing for the wooden spoon.

Newcastle Knights

The 2022 NRL season started so well for the Knights after they won their opening two games but it all went a bit pear shaped from then on.

They managed to pick up just another four wins throughout the rest of the campaign to finish third from bottom on the ladder. As well as issues on the field, they also had one or two away from it and it was a season to forget.

Now it remains to be seen if they can bounce back. They do of course have one of the best players in the competition in Kalyn Ponga but he needs to stay fit and raise his game if the Knights are to improve this season.

The Knights may have lost David Klemmer but they have gained Jackson Hastings from the Wests Tigers and landing the playmaker is a huge boost. They are priced at 5/1 to suffer most losses but should improve on last year.

St George Illawarra Dragons

The Red V have had a tough pre-season and with the pressure already mounting on coach Anthony Griffin, many believe he could be the first coach to get fired.

If the pre-season is anything to go by the Dragons will be in the lower reaches of the ladder this year and wooden spoon contenders.

They were well beaten 30-18 by UK Super League side and now world champions St Helens, before suffering another 42-24 drubbing against South Sydney at the weekend. The Dragons have also lost fullback Cody Ramsey for the year while Jack De Belin and Jack Bird are also injury concerns.

Superstar playmaker Ben Hunt is in the ranks but cannot be expected to do it all on his own and it would appear that all is not well behind the scenes. They are priced at 11/2 to suffer most losses.

New Zealand Warriors

The Warriors head into the season with rookie coach Andrew Webster at the helm and it looks as though he and his team could be in for a long, hard season. Webster has seen his list bolstered with a host of new arrivals but it remains to be seen if they will be up to the job.

The new coach has still inherited a squad that is lacking strength in depth and if he can keep the Warriors away from the wooden spoon at the end of the year he will have done a great job. They are priced at 6/1 to suffer most losses this season.

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