NRL Betting - March 7th - 25th August 2013
The National Rugby League (NRL) is the elite competition for professional Rugby League Football Clubs in Australasia. Sixteen sides battle it out in the Telstra Premiership each year from Autumn until Spring. This Trans-Tasman League includes 16 teams from across Australia’s eastern seaboard and one New Zealand club. The ultimate prize, is the NRL Grand Final at the end of the home and away season, plus the NRL Finals.
A fast-paced, contact team sport, Rugby League involves two opposing teams of up to 17 players (13 on the ground at any one time) and the objective is to score the most tries or kick the most score goals. The team with the greatest points scored after two 40 minute halves is declared the winner. The 26-round NRL Season, across 31 weeks includes 192 NRL Matches. NRL betting will be hot, with key rivalries and local derbies providing the best opportunity for punters to have a bet on NRL clashes. Get the best NRL odds here at Sportbet.com.au.
Facts about the NRL
- The NRL is the most watched and attended Rugby Football competition in the world.
- The 1967 NSWRFL Grand Final was the first football Grand Final of any code to be broadcast live in Australia.
The NRL has its origins in Sydney’s club competition – the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRFL) – of which, dates back to August 8, 1907. From its first season in 1908, the NSWRFL – dropping the ‘Football’ in 1984 to become the NSWRL – presided over Rugby League Football in Australia until 1994. The Australian Rugby League (ARL) took over the reins for the 1995 season when the league became a truly national competition, following major changes in the 1980s. The decade from 1980 witnessed the establishment of the interstate hit-out between NSW and Queensland known as State of Origin; a cornerstone for the expansion of non-Sydney-based sides in to the NSWRL. In addition, this era brought the onset of commercial sponsorship (Winfield Cup).
Like the AFL, the NRL is a relatively new body. Established in late 1997, the NRL was a joint partnership between the existing governing body, the Australian Rugby League (ARL) and new kid on the block, media entity News Corporation, which managed the Super League. Essentially a means to consolidate the two competing competitions following the well documented Super League wars (1995-1997), the first NRL season was 1998.
Twenty teams competed in the inaugural NRL season: 19 Super League/ARL teams plus a Victorian addition, the Melbourne Storm. In 2012, the NRL partnership was replaced by the independent Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC), while retaining the NRL brand. The ARLC controls Rugby Football at all levels in Australia.
Twenty-three clubs have been involved in the NRL since its inception in 1998. There are currently 16 teams taking part in the 2013 Telstra Premiership Season, a combination of existing Super League/ARL Teams and New Clubs. Eleven foundation clubs remain in the current competition, these include: Brisbane Broncos, Canberra Raiders, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Cronulla Sutherland Sharks, Melbourne Storm, New Zealand Warriors, Newcastle Knights, North Queensland Cowboys, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers and the Sydney Roosters.
South Sydney Rabbitohs were one of the unlucky ones in the aftermath of the NRLs creation. Cut from the fold following the 1999 season, Souths fought back and were back in the NRL line up for the 2002 season. The Rabbitohs joined St George Illawarra (1999) and Wests Tigers (2000) and were followed by Manly-Warrinagh Sea Eagles (2003) formerly the Northern Eagles from 2000-2002, and most recently Gold Coast Titans (2007).
NSW-based teams dominate the competition, with 10 in total – eight located within greater Sydney alone. Queensland has three sides and the Australian Capital Territory has one. Victoria is represented by Melbourne Storm in a state that is traditionally an AFL strong-hold. The remaining 16th spot belongs to the Auckland-based Vodafone Warriors.
|Brisbane Broncos||Brisbane, Queensland||Suncorp Stadium||52,500||1988||6|
|Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs||Belmore, Sydney, New South Wales||ANZ Stadium||82,500||1935||8|
|Canberra Raiders||Canberra, ACT||Canberra Stadium||25,011||1982||3|
|Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks||Cronulla, Sydney, NSW||Toyota Stadium||22,000||1967||0|
|Gold Coast Titans||Gold Coast, QLD||Skilled Park||27,400||2007||0|
|Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles||Manly, Sydney, NSW||Brookvale Oval||23,000||1947||8|
|Melbourne Storm||Melbourne, Victoria||AAMI Park||30,050||1998||2|
|Newcastle Knights||Newcastle, NSW||Hunter Stadium||33,000||1988||2|
|New Zealand Warriors||Auckland, NZ||Mt Smart Stadium||30,000||1995||0|
|North Queensland Cowboys||Townsville, QLD||Dairy Farmers Stadium||26,500||1995||0|
|Parramatta Eels||Parramatta, Sydney, NSW||Parramatta Stadium||21,500||1947||4|
|Penrith Panthers||Penrith, Sydney, NSW||Centrebet Stadium||22,500||1967||2|
|St. George Illawarra Dragons||Kogarah, Sydney, NSW||WIN Stadium||51,515||1999||1|
|South Sydney Rabbitohs||Redfern, Sydney, NSW||ANZ Stadium||84,000||1908||20|
|Sydney Roosters||Bondi, Sydney, NSW||Sydney Football Stadium||45,500||1908||12|
|Wests Tigers||Balmain, Sydney, NSW||Campbelltown Stadium||20,000||2000||1|
NRL matches are played at 26 venues throughout the season, but the ANZ Stadium hosts the Rugby League’s Holy Grail. Originally known as Stadium Australia, ANZ Stadium was built for the Sydney Olympics and is now NRL central. Opened in 1999, ANZ Stadium hosts the NRL Grand Final annually, in additional to State of Origin matches. With a crowd capacity of 83,500 – 73,000 for an oval field when used for cricket or AFL matches – the venue boasts 90% under cover seating.
Suncorp Stadium is the sanctum of Rugby in Queensland. Simply referred to as Lang Park to league fans, Suncorp Stadium has been the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) headquarters since 1957. The stadium features three grandstands: the Frank Burke Stand, the Ron McAuliffe Stand and the Western Grandstand.
Sydney’s Leichhardt Oval is one of the game’s original parks. Considered out-dated by some, – it has a capacity of just 22,000 – the home of Wests Tigers and long-time stomping ground of the former Balmain Tigers (1934-1994 and 1997-1999), Leichhardt has a special place in the hearts of league fans. As of July 2012, Leichhardt Oval is the most played-on professional Rugby League venue, hosting 794 games.
Mt. Smart Stadium
The New Zealand Warriors’ home turf is Mt. Smart Stadium. The only New Zealand side in the NRL, the Vodafone Warriors play at least 12 home games here each season, providing seating for 23,708 fans. The Warriors took advantage of New Zealand’s largest sports arena, Eden Park, in 2011. Located in Auckland, Eden Park underwent a $256million facelift in 2010, increasing its permanent capacity to 50,000 and has since been used as an alternate NRL site. The Warrior’s played their first home match of the 2012 season here.
Melbourne Storm’s new home is AAMI Park. Built in 2010, this Melbourne venue can accommodate up to 30,050 spectators for NRL Telstra Premiership fixtures.
Other NRL Venues
Other premier NRL venues include: Hunter Stadium, Parramatta Stadium, Canberra Stadium, Centrebet Stadium, Dairy Farmers Stadium, Bluetongue Stadium, Skilled Park, Toyota Stadium, Allianz Stadium, WIN Jubilee Oval, NIB Stadium, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Canberra Stadium, Brookvale Oval, WIN Stadium, and Virgin Australia Stadium.
For the first time in the game’s history, the 2012 Telstra Premiership features NRL games in every mainland capital city. Promotional games at Patersons Stadium, in Perth, TIO Stadium, in Darwin (the first NRL game in Darwin for 17 years) and Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, as well as a trial match at North Hobart Oval, in southern Tasmania.
NRL Players of the Modern Era
Rugby league is littered with champions of the game; Mal Meninga, Wally Lewis, Laurie Daley, Allan Langer. The list is exhaustive, but here are the top five greatest players of the modern era.
The former Brisbane Broncos and Australian captain retired at the conclusion of the 2011 Premiership Season. A stellar 17-year career at the elite level, Lockyer left the game as the nation’s most capped player. The 34-year-old debuted in 1995, and played 336 NRL matches for his beloved Broncos and won four Premierships (1997-98, 2000 and 2006). His impressive resume includes 54 Tests for Australia and 33 representative matches for the Maroons in State of Origin.
NRL great Andrew John will make any list of the league’s best. Forced to retire at 32, due to neck injury in 2007, the former NSW and Australian Test captain was a true star. Upon retirement, Johns was the greatest NRL point scorer in history amassing 2176 points from 249 appearances with the Knights. John’s played 23 State of Origins for the Blues and 21 Tests for Australia.
After 16 seasons and 444 first-class games, there is no denying ‘Freddy’s’ tag as one of the greatest. Brad Fittler, one of the most feared and revered attacking players, retired at the end of the 2004 NRL season amid a wave of honour. The Sydney Roosters, NSW and Australian skipper was one of the world’s highest played rugby league player’s during the mid-1990s and was the youngest Kangaroo player (18 years and 247 days) until Israel Folau made his debut in 2007. A true Origin legend, the Brad Fittler Medal was named in his honour.
Cowboys halfback, five-eighth Johnathan Thurstan is a current NRL star. The two-time Dally M Medal winner, Australian international, Maroons State of Origin player and premiership winner received the greatest accolade of all in 2011, the Golden Boot Award for the world’s best player. Thurstan also holds the impressive title as only player to have lined up in all 21 matches of Queensland’s seven year State of Origin dominance (2006-2012).
One of Australian sports most bankable players; Billy Slater joins Thurstan as a current NRL player worthy of the label of modern era Rugby League great. The Melbourne Storm star, Queensland representative and Australian international earns a reportedly $1million annually from his NRL contract. At 29, ‘Billy the kid’ has more to add to his already stellar career that includes: NRL record for most tries kicked by a fullback, two premierships, a Dally M Medal and the 2008 Golden Boot Award winner.
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