NRL Footy

The National Rugby League or NRL is the premiere rugby league in Australia. Whereas it originated in NSW, it has recently spread throughout Australia and even further afield to New Zealand. The NRL Footy League includes sixteen teams and has become one of the most watched regular sporting events in the southern hemisphere. Everyone has their favourite team, whether they are regular followers or not. Whether chosen by their geographical area, admiration of the skill or attraction to the colours of the team, favourite teams have become an intrinsic part of the identity of an individual. “Who is your favourite footy team?” is a common question when first meeting someone. NRL footy has become an icon of Australia and an important part of our national character.

History of the NRL

Originally spawning from the Sydney Rugby League club competition which started in 1908, the National Rugby League kicked off in the 1990’s after a tug of war for the glory and money of the footy. The Australian Rugby League included these traditional Sydney teams, and had been running since 1908. In the 1990’s the News Corporation decided to jump on the bandwagon and launch their own league, called “Super League”. In 1997 these two leagues were run parallel but finally the two leagues were combined into the National Rugby League to be the success that it is today.

The NRL matches are played throughout Australia and New Zealand from March through to October each year. Then once a year the winners of the NRL for the year play against the winners of the European Super League in the World Cup Challenge to add an international element to this already great game.

One hundred years of Rugby League in Australia was celebrated last year with all the fanfare and excitement that you would expect for a national icon, and so now this 2009 season marks the dawn of a new century for this magnificent game.

The Clubs

The NRL has seen many changes over the years and now there are only two of the original teams left who competed in the NSW Rugby League in 1908. They are the Sydney Roosters (once known as the Easts roosters) and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. However even the Rabbitohs have not played continuously, because in 200 they were kicked out of the league for their poor financial shape in favour of the newer clubs from interstate. The fans of the Rabbitohs took the matter to court, raised money and rallied together in an unprecedented show of support to secure the future of their team, so that they were returned to the League in 2003 to wildly jubilant celebrations. The Balmain Tigers were also one of the original teams but recently merged with the Wests Magpies to become the Wests Tigers during the process of nationalisation of the League.

The demand for teams around Australia and New Zealand to join the NRL has been so strong that in 2007 the Gold Coast Titans joined, but in doing so had to battle out other hopefuls like the Central Coast Bears and the Southern Orcas from Wellington New Zealand. The Western Australian team the WA Reds have also joined the League, as well as the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast teams.

The Game

There are two codes of rugby football, one of which is rugby union and the other rugby league. Whereas Rugby union has failed to create a popularly recognised national league, the NRL has captured the imagination of Australians and people all over the world. Part of its success has been that the game has slowly been adapted to maximise the spectator enjoyment over the years. It has become faster with fewer stops and starts which frustrate the crowd, and the complicated rules have been minimised in order to keep the flow of the game going. Because of this, Rugby League is often called the most physically tough game in the world, and watching some of the heavy tackles you can believe it.

In Rugby League an oval ball is used with the aim being to ground the ball over the goal line for a try. There are six tackles allowed by each team before the ball is handed over to the other team, so that is becomes like a game of chess with the team edging closer and closer towards the goal line whilst being actively prevented by the opposition. Kicks can also be taken at the goal, both during play and after a try is scored for a “conversion”.

Now Rugby League is becoming an international sport, with competitions in England, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the US and even Russia as well as countries throughout Europe. The World Cup competition is testament to the popularity of the sport and attracts millions of viewers each year.

If Rugby League is your game, why not place your bets online in order to get the most out of the experience? The comforts of home plus all the information you need and live broadcasts of every game mean you don’t need to miss anything in your enjoyment of the game. Online betting gives you all the convenience without the hassle of participating in this great sport.