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Beware The NRL Curse Which Has Already Struck Four Teams

Coincidence? We strongly suspect not.

In fact, we're pretty sure there's a reason why four NRL teams -- at least three of which were tipped to do big things -- are yet to win a match between them so far this year.

In short, it's to do with pre-season drama.

Yes, it seems very much like the teams which were in the pre-season spotlight for the wrong reasons are now at the wrong end of the NRL ladder. Sure, it's only early, but this is still a trend worth highlighting.

The evidence:

The Penrith Panthers were in the spotlight after NSW Police charged Panthers player Tyrone May with allegedly filming and disseminating sexual acts with two women without their knowledge and consent. They lost their first game to the unfancied Eels 20-12.

READ MORE: NRL Player Tyrone May Charged With Sharing Sex Videos, Stood Down From NRL

Yeah, nah. Mostly nah. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Not for the first time, there was all sorts of bad Cronulla Sharks news in the off-season -- including salary cap drama, the coach being de-registered and more. There's the distinct possibility it all prevented the players from getting their heads in the right space, as they lost their first match 14-8 to the Newcastle Knights.

Aaron Woods has an intimate conversation with the voice in his head. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

READ MORE: Cronulla Coach Shane Flanagan Deregistered, Club Fined $800k

The St George Illawarra Dragons were in the news all summer because of allegations against Dragons forward Jack de Belin. The constant media attention can't have helped the club's preparations, and early losses to the Cowboys and Rabbitohs have followed.

James Graham of the Dragons really wants to know why his team can't win, and why the back of his head is so itchy. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Meanwhile the Canterbury Bulldogs couldn't stay out of the headlines either with new recruit Dylan Napa in the news for sex tapes which circulated without his permission. Were the Doggies distracted in their heavy loss to the Warriors last weekend? Probably just outclassed, but it couldn't have helped.

We'll know more about the robustness of this theory this weekend, after the Sharks play the Titans, the Bulldogs take on the Eels and the Knights host the Panthers. But if history is any guide, a distracted team is not a successful one.

Contact the author asharwood@networkten.com.au