Saturday 19 August 2017 / 04:10 AM

How your club fared in the 2015 NRL draw

Upon the release of every season’s NRL premiership draw, there are winners and losers. We’ve broken down the good and bad points of every club’s 2015 draw, along with each side’s most anticipated clash, and the number of games each team plays against the top four (Rabbitohs, Roosters, Broncos, Bulldogs) and bottom four (Raiders, Titans, Dragons, Eels) clubs according the odds-makers.

[ARTICLE: 2015 NRL Premiership draw revealed]

BRISBANE BRONCOS

 

Positives: Eleven Friday night games in the first 18 rounds – including seven at home – plus the Thursday night season opener at Suncorp; two pre-Origin byes, meaning just one game without their rep stars (away to Newcastle).

 

Negatives: Statistically the toughest draw based on 2014 standings; backing up after Origin matches against Raiders, Storm and Bulldogs – all on the road; play the top three bookies’ favourites twice, plus two games against Sea Eagles, Cowboys and Storm; arduous run home that includes Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Roosters, Rabbitohs and Storm in last six rounds.

 

Biggest match: Season opener at home versus South Sydney – Round 1.

 

Matches against top four (inc. Penrith): 7

 

Matches against bottom four: 6

 

CANBERRA RAIDERS

 

Positives: The only club to play the top four bookies’ favourites just once each; only four games against 2014 finalists in the last 14 rounds; play Bulldogs without their NSW stars, and take on Origin-weary Broncos and Cowboys days after gruelling rep showdowns.

 

Negatives: Just three Nine-televised games – two on Sunday, one on Friday; horror run from Round 4-8 – just one home game (against Storm) and four away (Roosters, Sea Eagles, Tigers, Rabbitohs).

 

Biggest match: Sunday game on Nine against premiers South Sydney – Round 8.

 

Matches against top four: 4

 

Matches against bottom four (inc. Newcastle): 7

 

CANTERBURY BULLDOGS

 

Positives: Historic return to Belmore for the first time since 1998 against Cronulla in Round 20 – huge win for the club’s diehard supporters and rugby league traditionalists; play three of the bottom four sides twice; no games away from Sydney until Round 9.

 

Negatives: Play each of the other top-four ranked sides twice, plus Panthers and Sea Eagles home and away; only one pre-Origin bye, meaning games against Raiders and Titans with likely high NSW contingent unavailable; five-day turnarounds for key games against Sea Eagles and Broncos.

 

Biggest match: Grand final rematch and traditional Good Friday showdown with Souths – Round 5.

 

Matches against top four (inc. Penrith): 8

 

Matches against bottom four: 7

 

[ARTICLE: 2015 NRL Premiership draw revealed]

 

CRONULLA SHARKS

 

Positives: Play three of the bottom four sides at home and away; face off with just one of the bookies’ top four teams twice; five of first seven and four of last five games at Remondis Stadium; eight games live on Nine in the first 20 rounds – not bad for the reigning wooden spooners.

 

Negatives: Just one home game from Round 15-21, a gruelling period that includes road trips to Newcastle, Townsville, Canberra and Auckland; equal-fourth most difficult draw based on 2014 standings.

 

Biggest match: Local derby with St George Illawarra, Sunday afternoon live on Nine – Round 18.

 

Matches against top four: 5

 

Matches against bottom four: 7

 

GOLD COAST TITANS

 

Positives: Third-easiest draw based on 2014 standings; stable turnarounds with 14 of their first 18 games on Saturday or Sunday; only one Monday night game in first 20 rounds after playing six in total in 2014; two pre-Origin byes.

 

Negatives: Only four games on Channel Nine in opening 20 rounds; play Souths three days after Origin I and Warriors three days after Origin II; play Bulldogs without rep stars prior to Origin II.

 

Biggest match: Good Friday derby at home versus Broncos – Round 5.

 

Matches against top four: 6

 

Matches against bottom four (inc. Newcastle): 7

 

MANLY SEA EAGLES

 

Positives: Eleventh most difficult draw based on 2014 standings; gentle run home includes Raiders, Eels and Sharks in last four rounds, and four of their last six games are at home; two pre-Origin byes.

 

Negatives: Third most difficult draw based on 2015 premiership odds; play only one of bottom four teams twice; a stack of long road trips, trekking to Queensland three times along with away games in Auckland, Melbourne and Canberra; just one home game from Round 4-8, plus away games to contenders Panthers, Bulldogs and Storm; road trip to Townsville three days after Origin I.

 

Biggest match: Glenn Stewart returns to Brookvale with premiers South Sydney for late-season blockbuster – Round 22.

 

Matches against top four: 6

 

Matches against bottom four: 5

 

[ARTICLE: 2015 NRL Premiership draw revealed]

 

MELBOURNE STORM

 

Positives: ‘Festival of football’ in Melbourne, featuring home games against Eels and Broncos either side of Origin II at MCG; two pre-Origin byes; handy late-season run from Round 20 against Dragons, Tigers, Titans and Sharks; play similarly affected Roosters and Broncos days after Origins I and II respectively.

 

Negatives: Just two home games in opening six rounds, when Cameron Smith is expected to still be sidelined due to ankle surgery; host Parramatta without Origin players in Round 14; Auckland road trip following Origin III; just three Channel Nine games and only one in first 14 rounds; six Monday games in first 20 rounds, equal most with Cowboys.

 

Biggest match: Anzac Day clash with archrivals Manly at AAMI Park – Round 8.

 

Matches against top four: 6

 

Matches against bottom four: 6

 

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS

 

Positives: Easiest draw of any team in the NRL based on 2014 standings and 2015 premiership odds; play six of the seven teams that finished below them in 2014 twice; play all 12 home games at Mt Smart base – a move that will appease the majority of Warriors supporters after three games were taken to Eden Park last year; play just one of the top four sides (Roosters) twice; sole games against Broncos and Sea Eagles are at home; host depleted Roosters without Origin players, and play rep-weary Titans and Storm after Origin II and III respectively; three straight home games (Sea Eagles, Sharks, Dragons) from Round 20.

 

Negatives: Two pre-Origin byes – of little advantage for club with minimal reps; first two games away and three of last four games on the road – not ideal for a club that has started and finished poorly in recent seasons; just one Channel Nine game in opening 20 rounds; performed identically with the hardest draw in 2013 and the easiest draw in 2014, so the Warriors’ ability to take advantage of a kind schedule is dubious.

 

Biggest match: 20th anniversary match against Brisbane at Mt Smart, Sunday afternoon live on Nine – Round 4.

 

Matches against top four: 5

 

Matches against bottom four: 7

 

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

 

Positives: Equal easiest draw based on 2014 standings and second easiest draw based on 2015 premiership odds; play just one of the top four sides twice, and play three of the bottom four twice; eight of their first 13 games at home represents a good chance to get off to a flyer; take on Broncos without their large Origin contingent prior to series opener.

 

Negatives: Just four games at Hunter Stadium in their last 11 could trigger a late-season collapse – the Knights’ tremendous run at the end of 2014 was due to a string of home fixtures; tough run home includes Roosters, Storm, Bulldogs and Panthers in the final five rounds; road trip to Canberra two days after Origin III – although Knights’ representation should be minimal; just five Channel Nine games in opening 20 rounds.

 

Biggest match: Anzac Day 2pm kick-off at home against the Cowboys – Round 8.

 

Matches against top four: 5

 

Matches against bottom four: 7

 

[ARTICLE: 2015 NRL Premiership draw revealed]

 

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

 

Positives: Of the 2014 finalists, Cowboys have least difficult draw (equal-13th) based on 2015 premiership odds; play three of the bottom four teams twice; two post-Origin byes will give rep stars a chance to recuperate; three of first four games at home gives the Cowboys an opportunity to get off to a flyer after a slow start this year.

 

Negatives: Arduous start that includes Roosters, Broncos, Storm, Panthers and Rabbitohs in first six rounds; back-to-back late-season road trips to Auckland and Melbourne (Rounds 24-25); play Tigers and Dragons away without Origin players; six Monday games (including three straight from Round 4) in first 20 rounds – equal most in the NRL with Storm; four-day turnaround between away games against Souths and Warriors; derbies with Broncos are Cowboys’ only two Channel Nine games in first 20 rounds.

 

Biggest match: A chance to atone for heartbreaking finals exit with season-opening home clash with Roosters – Round 1.

 

Matches against top four: 6

 

Matches against bottom four: 7

 

PARRAMATTA EELS

 

Positives: The satisfaction that if they make the finals, they’ve done it the hard way after being handed the toughest draw in the NRL; home games against unfancied Sharks and Raiders in final two rounds; no pre-Origin byes, but the Eels can use that to their advantage, taking on the depleted Rabbitohs, Storm and Tigers.

 

Negatives: Statistically the toughest draw based on 2014 standings and 2015 premiership odds; play seven of the nine teams that finished above them this year twice, while the two exceptions, Broncos and Roosters, are away games; gruelling opening to the season includes March fixtures against Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Warriors and Rabbitohs; run of seven games away from Pirtek Stadium from Round 17, including road trips to Townsville, Gold Coast and Darwin.

 

Biggest match: New recruit Anthony Watmough on show for first time against former club Manly at Pirtek Stadium – Round 1.

 

Matches against top four: 6

 

Matches against bottom four (inc. Newcastle): 5

 

PENRITH PANTHERS

 

Positives: Ranked 10th for most difficult draw based on 2015 premiership odds; play three of the bottom four teams twice; avoid the two longest road trips in the NRL – Townsville and Auckland; soft run home with Dragons, Raiders and Knights in last three rounds; two pre-Origin byes, and take on Souths without Inglis and co. prior to Origin III.

 

Negatives: Play three of the top four teams twice; just one game at Sportingbet Stadium in opening month of the competition; only one away game in Sydney; three five-day turnarounds in the opening nine rounds.

 

Biggest match: Preliminary final rematch with Bulldogs at home to kick off 2015 in historic Sunday game live on Nine – Round 1.

 

Matches against top four: 7

 

Matches against bottom four: 7

 

[ARTICLE: 2015 NRL Premiership draw revealed]

 

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

 

Positives: Handy run home – in the last six rounds they play Knights, Panthers and Tigers at home, and Warriors (where they have a great record), Broncos and Titans away; palatable start to the year, with fixtures against three non-2014 finalists in first five rounds; six of Saints’ first eight away games are in Sydney.

 

Negatives: Second most difficult draw in the NRL based on 2015 odds; just one Friday night game in opening 20 rounds; three five-day turnarounds in the first 16 rounds; Rounds 4-9 entail five games against 2014 finalists – including both grand finalists and top-four outfits Manly and the Roosters.

 

Biggest match: Traditional Anzac Day showdown with Roosters – Round 8.

 

Matches against top four: 7

 

Matches against bottom four (inc. Newcastle): 6

 

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS

 

Positives: Four of their first six games are at their ANZ Stadium base, while they leave Sydney just once from Round 14-26; ‘burnt out’ Greg Inglis will enjoy the luxury of two post-Origin byes; eight of last 11 games will be at either ANZ, Allianz or SCG; 10 of their first 18 games will be on Channel Nine.

 

Negatives: Third most difficult draw based on 2014 standings and equal-fifth based on 2015 odds; no pre-Origin byes, taking on Eels, Tigers and Panthers without their rep contingent; play six of the other seven 2014 finalists twice, with Melbourne (away) the only exception; super-tough run home features matches with Panthers, Sea Eagles, Cowboys, Bulldogs, Broncos and Roosters in the last six rounds.

 

Biggest match: Grand final rematch and Good Friday blockbuster versus Canterbury – Round 5.

 

Matches against top four (inc. Penrith): 8

 

Matches against bottom four: 6

 

SYDNEY ROOSTERS

 

Positives: The Roosters’ draw is ranked 12th for most difficult based on 2014 standings; seven of first 11 games will be on Channel Nine; two pre-Origin byes for rep-heavy Tricolours; two post-Origin games are on Monday night, handing the Roosters’ rep players a five-day recovery period; just five away matches outside Sydney.

 

Negatives: Play only one of the bottom four teams twice; just one game on Nine from Round 12-19; torrid start with road trip to Townsville then matches against Souths and Penrith; equally arduous finish, taking on Brisbane, Manly and Souths in the final three rounds; Origin contingent missing for Round 14 Auckland road trip.

 

Biggest match: The big rivalry has been bumped back a week, but it’s set to be a huge Sunday clash against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium – Round 2.

 

Matches against top four (inc. Penrith): 7

 

Matches against bottom four: 5

 

WESTS TIGERS

 

Positives: Unfancied Titans and Dragons to kick the year off in the first two rounds; four games at each of Leichhardt Oval and Campbelltown Stadium; gentle run home that includes four of the bottom six clubs in the last five rounds, with the mid-range Warriors at home the only exception; 11 Channel Nine games in the opening 20 rounds; four ‘away’ games at ANZ Stadium – the Tigers’ other home ground; play all four bottom teams twice – the only club to do so.

 

Negatives: Play three of the top four teams twice; no pre-Origin byes – they will be without their NSW contingent for matches against the Cowboys, Rabbitohs and Eels, although those opponents will be similarly depleted; arduous middle period that includes Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Broncos, Roosters and Storm from rounds 14-21.

 

Biggest match: Easter Monday showdown with Parramatta at ANZ Stadium – Round 5.

 

Matches against top four: 7

 

Matches against bottom four: 8

 

[NRL.com]

 

[ARTICLE: 2015 NRL Premiership draw revealed]

Add Comment

About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

More nrl News

Special Features

PARTNERS