NRL Finals Betting - September 12th - October 5th 2014
NRL Finals Betting
The 2014 NRL Telstra Premiership Final Series is the catalyst for the league’s ultimate trophy, the premiership. The four week NRL Finals hit-out runs from September 13th – 29th 2014, culminating in the NRL Grand Final on 65h Octpber 2014. After 26 gruelling rounds, the top of the table eight sides will battle it out for supremacy and a date at ANZ Stadium in the first weekend in October.
A Bet on NRL Finals is a favourite pastime for fans, as is watching NRL Finals games in Sydney. The Harbour City will host the majority of matches; played at Allianz Stadium, or NRL Central, ANZ Stadium. Depending on team positioning at the end of the home and away season, games will also be played at: Canberra Stadium, Energy Australia Stadium in Newcastle, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Skilled Park on the Gold Coast, Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville, Eithad Stadium or the MCG in Melbourne and Mt. Smart Stadium, in Auckland.
Facts about the NRL Finals
- The NRL’s McIntyre finals system was dropped in preference of the AFL Play-Offs format for the 2012 season.
For the first time since 1999, the NRL Finals system will benefit ladder leaders. The NRL has reverted to the Play-Off system that was utilised during the mid-1990s, moving away from the McIntyre System that has operated for over a decade. Eight NRL Finals Matches are contested during the Finals campaign and securing a top four position gives a team better NRL Finals odds.
Sides that finish one and two after 26 rounds are guaranteed a home ground advantage throughout their entire finals campaign (subject to NRL approval). The top four sides share the luxury of a second chance if unsuccessful in finals week one and the opportunity to host subsequent finals appearances (subject to NRL approval). The finals format essentially eliminates two teams per week over three weeks, leaving two sides come NRL Grand Final day.
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NRL Finals Format
The NRL Finals games are contested over three weeks. Week one sees the top four clubs playing what are called Qualifying Finals (QF) – first versus fourth in the first QF and second versus third in the second QF. Team five through eight face off in the equivalent Elimination Finals (EF) – five versus eight and sixth versus seventh.
Finals week one: Qualifying Finals (QF) and Elimination Finals (EF)
Played across the weekend starting Friday 5 September 2014, the top four sides will contest two QF, while teams five through eight will battle it out in two EF. The minor premiers will host fourth placed in the first QF and second place will host third in the second QF. The winners will get the bye and qualify for a home Preliminary Finals berth two weeks later. The losing teams get a second chance in a home Semi-Final the following week.
The two EF operate under the same format; fifth versus eight and sixth versus seventh. Winners advance to the SF on their opponent’s home turf. For the loser, it is season over.
Week two: Semi Finals (SF)
Week two is SF action; two matches, held over Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September. The first SF match sees the loser of the first QF host the winner of the first EF. While SF match two sees the loser of the second QF host the winner of the second EF.
Week three: Preliminary Finals (PF)
Week three is PF time and the end of the line with only four teams remaining. The first PF match is held on Saturday 21st September and sees the winner of the first QF host the winner of the second SF. The second PF match is held on Sunday 21 September and sees the winner of the second QF host the winner of the first SF.
Preliminary finals victors line up at ANZ Stadium the following weekend, Sunday 29th September, to battle it out for the NRL’s pinnacle, the 2014 Telstra Premiership.
NRL Finals Venues
The bulk of NRL Finals matches will be played in Sydney at Allianz Stadium, or ANZ Stadium. Depending on team positioning at the end of the home and away season, league fans will experience finals action at several venues outside of Sydney: Canberra Stadium, Energy Australia Stadium, Newcastle, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Skilled Park, Gold Coast, Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville, Eithad Stadium or MCG, Melbourne and across the Tasman at Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland.
The 2014 NRL Grand Final will be held at the home of league in Australia, ANZ Stadium. Originally known as Stadium Australia, and also Telstra Stadium, it was built for the Sydney Olympics and situated within the Sydney Olympic Park compound in Homebush. Opened in 1999, ANZ Stadium has been NRL central since day one, with State of Origin matches a regular fixture. A world record rugby league crowd attended the 1999 NRL Grand Final: 107,558. The site underwent an $80million reconfiguration following the Olympics and since 2003 ANZ Stadium has a crowd capacity of 83,500 – 72,500 for an oval field when used for cricket or AFL matches – and 90% of seating is under cover.
Formerly Sydney Football Stadium, now taking on its sponsor’s name, Allianz Stadium is located beside Sydney’s majestic SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground). Unveiled in 1988 and applauded for its futuristic wave-like design, the venue, which measures 140m x 79m, was the original home of NRL. With a 45,500 capacity, of which, 44,000 is seated and two large video screens positioned at either end of the stadium, spectators can relive all the action up-close.
NRL Finals Biggest Upset
The New Zealand Warriors’ unexpected win over minor premiers Melbourne Storm in 2008 is regarded as the biggest upset in NRL finals history. NRL Finals betting for this match was one-sided; the eighth-placed Warriors were given no chance of over-powering the top of the table Storm at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park as it was still referred. The sides left the field at half-time level; 8-8 and the Warriors scored first after the break, with a penalty 14 minutes in. At the 68th minute mark the result seemed inevitable, the Storm up 15-14 after a Greg Inglis field goal. As the clock ticked down in the last minute of the match Manu Vatuvei off-loaded to Michael Witt who crossed the line to secure the shock win. The 18-15 victory made the Warriors the first eight-placed side to topple a minor premier.
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Most Appearances in the NRL Finals
Since 1954, the Manly Seas Eagles have made the most Finals appearances of any Rugby League Club currently involved in the NRL. The Sea Eagles’ 38 Finals appearances is well above that of closest rivals the Eels’ and Bulldogs both with 25. While the Sea Eagles did not have the best start in the NRL – missing Finals between 1999 and 2004 – the club has been a permanent fixture in the top eight and Finals action since 2005. The reigning 2011 Premiers will make it eight straight finals campaigns come September 2014.
Since the NRL-proper in 1998, the Brisbane Broncos have the best Finals appearance record. Out of a possible 14 NRL finals campaigns the Broncos have missed just one that was in 2010. The clubs’ absence from footy finals in 2010 was just the second time since its conception in 1998 that it has missed the cut, the first was in 1991. Non-NRL club St George Dragons made 33 finals between 1954 and 1998, an astonishing 20 straight between 1954 and 1973.