The Gurgler Fixes…NRL Draw for the Future

The NRL Draw causes much debate amongst Rugby League fans each year. The questions is what we would do to fix it? Find out below.

2018 nrl draw

Each year the NRL Draw causes debate, usually for the Sunday afternoon Sydney bias, or saturation of Broncos on a Thursday/Friday. But there’s also the persistent argument of an Origin standalone, the imbalance of not playing each team twice, terrible 4 and 5 game rounds, and the players views on the season being too long.

Now that the Footy seasons are over, we have some time on our hands, and what better way to waste it than solving some of sport’s big problems.

This week we set our sights to revamping the NRL Draw.

As stated above, there are many things that piss people off with the NRL draw, and that includes us and regular readers here will know what they are. (Loving Sunday Football). So we have come up a revamp of the draw with a few interesting additions. Most of the ideas are stolen from other competition’s, but at least they try something. The NRL’s ideas start at commercial jersey theme round tie ins and stops at ruining their own competition around Origin time.

Could we do better? Sure, why not. That’s why we’re here aren’t we?

Strap yourself in and fast forward to the year 2019, as if any change is going to happen before then.

Get rid of that Sydney UBD and see what we have come up with.




We have included two new teams to make it 18 in total. The game is ready to expand, and given the performances of the rookies in 2016, and the very few opportunities for Holden Cup players to break through it is time to shelve the idea about shrinking talent pool.

We Say two new teams come from Perth and Central Coast. Arguments can be made for anywhere else, especially second SEQ side.


To remove unfair bias, each team plays each other once during the season, either Home or Away. It then alternates the next year.


There’s always commercial interests to consider, so a way to ensure rivalries stay in place, three Marquee Rounds are added so teams keep their local derbies or rivalries. This can be debated and changed each season, and ours is a guide only.

In each Marquee Round there will be one team of the three that don’t have a game, so they will play the other unattached team in the next pool over. This will form the 17th regular game for each side.

GROUP A Cowboys Broncos Titans
GROUP B Perth Storm Warriors
GROUP C Rabbitohs Roosters Tigers
GROUP D Dragons Sharks Raiders
GROUP E Bulldogs Eels Panthers
GROUP F Manly Cent Coast Knights


Idea stolen from UK Super League where all teams play at one ground over one weekend. You only have to look to the UK to see the success of it. Even the sell out Double Header at Lang Park earlier in the year is a sign the game and their fans are ready for it.

It is drawn separately, possibly in a some big media stage show.


The best ideas are stolen, and why not steal another. This time form the Intrust Super Cup. The QRL’s Get In The Game Country Week sees all of their games in one round being taken to the bush. Not just the next big regional city, but far flung places like Barcaldine, Mount Isa, Atherton, Stanthorpe o name just a few of the locations of the past few seasons.

With the extraordinary amount of money coming from TV deals, it’s about time the NRL gave back to its fans.

Once again it is a random draw.


Simply a must, and played on a Sunday night.

If the argument about Sunday night not being good enough for Origin, well then move the NRL Grand Final back to Sunday afternoon 3pm.

No split rounds, no rubbish rounds of 4 – 5 games, or Origin player free rounds. Players are paid very handsomely for playing Origin, and currently some of them back up within 3 days. With some fair planning most should get at least 5 days rest.

On the Friday and Saturday nights will be the continuing of the Pacific Nations Tests between Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and PNG. Instead of a one off double header, this will continue into a round robin series and a final and third place play off.


So ultimately the players will end up playing three fewer rounds, but with 2 extra teams and the expansion of the Pacific Nations tests there is ultimately three more games up for grabs for broadcasters. Four Nations and World Cup have not been included as they wouldn’t change under our proposal.


Rounds Rounds Games Total Games
Final Series 1 9 9
Regular Rounds 24 8 192
Origins 3 1 3
Internationals 1 3 3


Rounds Rounds Games Total Games
Final Series 1 9 9
Regular Rounds 16 9 144
Marquee Rounds 3 9 27
Super/Country Weekend 2 9 18
Origin/Internationals 4 3 12



Week Ending Round
Sunday, 24 March 2019 MARQUEE ROUND 1
Sunday, 31 March 2019 REGULAR ROUND 1
Sunday, 7 April 2019 REGULAR ROUND 2
Sunday, 14 April 2019 REGULAR ROUND 3
Sunday, 21 April 2019 SUPER WEEKEND
Sunday, 28 April 2019 REGULAR ROUND 4
Sunday, 12 May 2019 REGULAR ROUND 5
Sunday, 19 May 2019 REGULAR ROUND 6
Sunday, 26 May 2019 REGULAR ROUND 7
Sunday, 2 June 2019 STATE OF ORIGIN 1
Sunday, 9 June 2019 REGULAR ROUND 8
Sunday, 16 June 2019 REGULAR ROUND 9
Sunday, 23 June 2019 STATE OF ORIGIN 2
Sunday, 30 June 2019 REGULAR ROUND 10
Sunday, 7 July 2019 REGULAR ROUND 11
Sunday, 14 July 2019 STATE OF ORIGIN 3
Sunday, 21 July 2019 MARQUEE ROUND 2
Sunday, 28 July 2019 REGULAR ROUND 12
Sunday, 4 August 2019 REGULAR ROUND 13
Sunday, 11 August 2019 COUNTRY WEEK
Sunday, 18 August 2019 REGULAR ROUND 14
Sunday, 25 August 2019 REGULAR ROUND 15
Sunday, 1 September 2019 REGULAR ROUND 16
Sunday, 8 September 2019 MARQUEE ROUND 3
Sunday, 15 September 2019 FINALS WEEK 1
Sunday, 22 September 2019 FINALS WEEK 2
Sunday, 29 September 2019 FINALS WEEK 3
Sunday, 6 October 2019 GRAND FINAL


Visit Flash Score for NRL.

About Max Layne 274 Articles
Max has no time for long bios, he has only time for sport and then more sport. Each week he tries to sum up what sport has tickled the collective fancy of The Gurgler.

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