Evening out the draw

Came across this article today regarding the strength of the draw.

As it states, unless we can play a full home & away schedule, there will always be winners & losers in the draw lottery.

I’ve always thought that the best way in a 16 team competition would be to divide the competition into 4 pools, based on the previous years ladder.

Going on last years ladder:

Pool A: Storm, Roosters, Sharks, Tigers
Pool B: Panthers, Eels, Raiders, Broncos
Pool C: Souths, Knights, Dragons, Cowboys
Pool D: Manly, Titans, Warriors, Bulldogs

Pools A & C, and pools B & D play full home & away against each other, then 1 game against all other teams for 22 rounds.

This would leave the top teams playing 10 games against top teams & 12 against lower teams, and vice versa.

To correct this imbalance, play the team at the same level as you in the opposite pools a second time each. In our case, this would mean playing Storm & Souths twice.

While this is all moot with a 17th team being added next year, working around this model could still create a more even competition. Possibly work it that you play the Dolphins instead of 1 of the opposite Pool teams a second time, and/or play a team from your side only once.


It’s hard to judge. I’m sure not many predicted the resurgence of the Cowboys this year, or the Broncos for that matter.

I don’t read too much into draws being ‘favourable’ to one side or another. What to say the Bulldogs or even the Warriors surge next year under new leadership? It’s hard to gauge who is a good team and who isn’t every year until mid season, teams who had a traditionally poor start improve greatly towards the back end of the season.

I think teams need to learn the hard way. Take the Tigers for example. The place is a basket case, they need to take a broom to the whole organisation from the board down to the coach. They are not going to learn this lesson if the NRL coddle them into an easier draw cause… well… frankly… they suck.

I guess the point I am getting at is there is alway going to be imbalance in the draw no matter what you do… the media love to drum up these articles at the back end of the season. Teams just need to take on the challenge and prove they have the metal to beat the odds, as the Panthers hav done these past few years.


Saw this article today. While it makes some good points, the proposed draw is a bit weird:

Was having a discussion with a couple of mates earlier, and we came up with an interesting idea.

Have the regular season playing each team once, then finals.

Before this have an FA Cup style knockout competition, including all NRL teams, along with NSW Cup, QLD Cup, Ron Massey Cup, etc teams included. Not sure how we would work out clubs with teams in multiple grades, probably just give them 1 spot per club.

After teams are knocked out, they continue to play trials amongst themselves.


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I have thought of similar, what I call a “summer League”. A 30plus team 11 aside competition, playing out at the end of the season. Pool matches, followed by round robins, then finally a knockout semi finals of the best 8 teams.

My thought would be the 3 best non-nrl teams each year would get a wildcard entry into the next seasons NRL competition - 20 teams play each other once for a 19 NRL round competition. Play stand alone state of origin weekends (no byes or split rounds).

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Not quite the same discussion, but had an idea about a “rivalry round” based mainly on location.

Penrith v Parramatta
Cronulla v St George
Easts v Souths
Brisbane v Redcliffe
Canterbury v Wests Tigers
Manly v Newcastle
Melbourne v Canberra
North Queensland v Warriors or Gold Coast (1995 teams or Queensland derby) with the other having the bye.


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