Australian NRL Season Kicks Off For 2022
Early tips for the start of the NRL premiership season
– Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) is a major sport in both Australia and New Zealand. While Australian Rules football is the main sport in Australia, especially in the southern states, NRL has enjoyed immense popularity in the northern areas such as New South Wales and Queensland. From March to October every year the sport is played in both countries and riles up millions of people who support the game.
History of the game
NRL, in its current form, was created in 1998 but it has origins in Australia going back to 1907. Rugby began in Australia in Sydney and has since expanded out to other cities, states, and countries. Originally the New South Wales Rugby League created a top-tier level of the game with nine local teams contesting in 1908. There were 15 teams in the NSWRL, some of whom have been around since 1908 including teams like the North Sydney Bears, the Sydney Roosters, and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Clubs have come and gone in the game, and some have amalgamated together to form new teams such as the Wests Tigers who are a product of defunct clubs the Western Suburbs Magpies, and the Balmain Tigers.
There are currently 16 clubs in the NRL, with another team, The Dolphins, on the way in 2023. The South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters are the only teams in the NRL that have been with the code since 1908 and have not dissolved.
Melbourne Storm made a major impact on the league in the late 90s as they were the first Melbourne-based team to join and proceeded to win their first of four Premierships in 1999. Although they got the wooden spoon in 2010, they bounced back and proved to once again be formidable opponents, coming out on top in 2012 and 2017, with their last Premiership occurring in 2020 so the NRL betting odds are in their favor going forward. They sit at number one with the Sydney Roosters as they are the only teams who have won four Premierships apiece since the inception of the NRL in 1998. The current Premiers are the Penrith Panthers, who beat the South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2021 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. This was an important victory for them as they lost to Melbourne Storm in the 2020 Grand Final.
How the 2022 season could play out
The Panthers are up against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles for the first match of the season, and the Sea Eagles certainly have something to prove. Their 2021 season started abysmally, losing their first four games, but they managed to make it into the finals, only falling short due to a loss to South Sydney in the Preliminary Finals. Penrith will certainly want to hold onto their Premiership though, so it won’t be an easy run for the Sea Eagles.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs, who were runners up in the 2021 Grand Final, will be looking to start the season with a win. They will be up against the Brisbane Broncos, who will be keen to get back to being a major contender in the league, as their performance recently has been not up to scratch, ending 2021 in 14th place.
Each game is a battle of wits as much as it is brute strength and some teams such as Melbourne Storm and the Penrith Panthers have that in droves which will make for a great season.