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.