Sport in Australia » rugby league http://iafc-au.org Is Australian Football Cool? Tue, 19 Nov 2013 05:21:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.1 The NRL /2013/06/07/the-nrl/ /2013/06/07/the-nrl/#comments Fri, 07 Jun 2013 12:56:33 +0000 /?p=217 rugby

The NRL (National Rugby League) is the highest standard of professional rugby league football played in Australia. Also known as the Telstra Premiership, the league contains 15 teams in Australia and one from New Zealand. Being generally considered to be the most competitive league in rugby league, it is the single most watched rugby league […]]]>
rugby

The NRL (National Rugby League) is the highest standard of professional rugby league football played in Australia. Also known as the Telstra Premiership, the league contains 15 teams in Australia and one from New Zealand. Being generally considered to be the most competitive league in rugby league, it is the single most watched rugby league competition in the world.

The league revolves around the sport of rugby league football. With rugby union also very popular in Australia, it is important to understand the differences between the two sports. Rugby league is played with 13 players opposed to 15 players in Rugby union and is generally regarded as producing a more demanding, fast-paced game for spectators. Another important rule in rugby league is the amount of tackles allowed during each string of possession. In Rugby union, there is no limit on the amount of tackles made whereas in Rugby league the team only gets six tackles to progress up the field before play is turned over.

Despite being the world’s top rugby league competition, it is a young organisation, with its inaugural league season taking place in 1998. The league was formed in response to the situation of Rugby league in Australia pre-1998 where 22 teams were competing in two different competitions. As a result, corporate sponsorship and crowd attendances were low. The ARL set formed a new company to control the competition and rectify these problems, this company eventually leading to the birth of the National Rugby League.

16 teams take part in the competition with the Sydney Roosters the only founding club still in the NRL today. This first league season was won by the Brisbane Broncos, beating the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 38-12 in the grand final. Today its 16 teams are spread out all over Australia, based in Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and in New Zealand also. To this day, only four of these teams (the New Zealand Warriors, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Gold Coast Titans and the North Queensland Cowboys) are yet to win at least one NRL Premiership

The competition operates a general league format. Twenty-six league matches take place, leading up to the end of September. Teams are awarded two points for a win and one for a draw. Teams on equal competition points at the end of the season are separated by points difference and percentage. The team with highest amount ofhe points at the end of the regular season is declared minor premiers.

When the regular season is completed, the eight highest placed teams compete in the finals series to determine the champions. This finals series is based on the McIntyre System which consists of a number of games between the eight teams through the months of August and September until there are only two left remaining. These two teams go onto to compete in the Grand Final at the end of September

The NRL Grand Final s considered to be the Super Bowl of Rugby League and it is amongst the most attended club championship events in sport, as well as being one Australia’s major sporting events. It is typically held in Sydney’s Stadium Australia on a Sunday evening. Like the Super Bowl, is normally preceded by an entertainment filled opening ceremony. It is tradition that an Australian Army helicopter delivers the NRL trophy shortly before kick-off.
The most recent Grand Final saw Melbourne Storm win their second NRL Premiership as they went on to defeat the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on the 30th of September 2012 in a tense game that ended 14-4 in front of a massive crowd of 82,976 people at the ANZ Stadium (it was also the only NRL Grand Final in history to have a scoreless half). The Clive Churchill medal, awarded to the man of the match of the Grand Final, was given to halfback Cooper Cronk of Melbourne Storm.

The NRL known is also known for its salary caps on players. This was introduced by the NSWRL in 1990 as an attempt to even the playing field in Rugby League. As of 2013, a club is allowed a grant of $7.3 million which covers the minimum wage of $85,000 for twenty five players at a club. Despite the cap being actively policed, there have been several breaches of the cap throughout the 16 year history of the NRL.

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2012 NRL Big Hits /2013/03/18/2012-nrl-big-hits/ /2013/03/18/2012-nrl-big-hits/#comments Mon, 18 Mar 2013 08:44:08 +0000 /?p=207 2012 NRL Big Hits

For those that love the rugby game, take a look at this video to see the big hits of the past season.]]>
2012 NRL Big Hits

For those that love the rugby game, take a look at this video to see the big hits of the past season.

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The history of the State of Origin /2013/03/01/the-history-of-the-state-of-origin/ /2013/03/01/the-history-of-the-state-of-origin/#comments Fri, 01 Mar 2013 11:27:02 +0000 /?p=197 Queensland Maroons

Any self respecting sports fan knows about one of the greatest sports rivalries in the history of any sport. Forget the cricketing rivalries between Australia and England or India and Pakistan. The soccer or football rivalries of Europe and South America are nothing compared to the rivalry between two of rugby’s greatest teams; the Blues […]]]>
Queensland Maroons

Any self respecting sports fan knows about one of the greatest sports rivalries in the history of any sport. Forget the cricketing rivalries between Australia and England or India and Pakistan. The soccer or football rivalries of Europe and South America are nothing compared to the rivalry between two of rugby’s greatest teams; the Blues and the Maroons.The two states that fight out in this epic battle are the states of New South Wales(NSW) or the Blues and the state of Queensland(QLD) or the Maroons.

A fine showcase of sportsmanship, talent and intense passion, the State of Origin series is widely considered to be one of the premiere events to take place in the world of rugby. Dividing players, organizers and fans alike, this sporting event attracts the best talent in the rugby world.The selection procedure aims at making players represent the state in which they played their first game in the senior rugby league. The name of the series comes from this procedure. The selection procedure was not always this way. It all started at the turn of the century when one reported questioned why Stephen Spragg – one of rugby’s all time greats, could not play for his home state of NSW.

Initially, during the early 1900′s, players for the league rugby were chosen from the clubs in the state and not from the states in which the players themselves originated. All that changed in 1982, when the new rule came into effect, basically compelling players to play for state in where they made their senior rugby league debut.

Many of rugby’s greatest players have made appearances in the series. Many have even played more than a few matches and have contributed to their team’s win.

A large number of records have been created and surpassed in this State of Origin series, all the while making it even more competitive and intense as the years roll by.

One of the players to have represented the Maroons is Darren Lockyer. This great player currently holds the record for most number of games played in the State of the Origin series, as well as in the national Australian team and his home club, the Brisbane Broncos. In 2008 he was included in the list of Australia’s Greatest Players. A statue of Darren was commissioned in 2011 and is installed outside Lang Park alongside fellow Maroon player Wally Lewis aka The King.

Wally Lewis is widely considered to be one of the greatest players in rugby’s history and he represented the state of Queensland in 31 State of Origin games. This is slightly under the record of 36 games held by Darren Lockyer. He played for Queensland from 1980 -1991, eleven long years. In 1999, he was inducted in the widely respected list of The Immortals and in 2008 his name appeared in the list of Greatest Players. Wally has won 8 man of the match awards and this is a record in itself.

There have been greats who have represented the Blues too. One of them is a player who is considered the greatest dummy half or acting half of the modern era, Danny Buderus. He has captained New South Wales for a record number of games, 15 to be exact. Brad Fittler, another great player of the Blues, holds the record for being its most capped player.

These past few years have seen the Maroons emerge to be the better of the two teams, having won 49 of its games compared to 43 games that NSW have won. QLD also leads in the number of series won with the numbers standing at 17 series wins for the Maroons and 12 for the Blues.

This amazing run has been intermittently punctuated with a streak of losses. The level of coaching given to the Maroons as well as the number of international players in its side has contributed immensely to its spectacular run post 2006. The year 2009 was a significant year for the QLD players as they took home the State of Origin shield for the fourth year in a row. The sheer experience of the Maroons was no match for the relatively new members in the NSW squad and they were obliterated.

The Maroons now hold the record for most number of series won consecutively with a jaw dropping tally of 7 series wins, starting in 2006 and ending in 2012. The 2013 series is yet to be played and QLD would be keen to keep the shield for the eight time.

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