A mere month or so after the AFL managed to do it, the NRL 2017 draw has been sent out to the masses.
That’s after the Round 1 draw was leaked to a collective Meh by a large chunk of fans.
The NRL 2017 doesn’t have much new about it they we didn’t already know. Monday night is now Friday night. Broncos are the only team that exist in Queensland and Sunday afternoon belongs to Sydney.
But the NRL have given themselves a big pat on the back for the NRL 2017 draw. Less 5 day turnarounds, games on all mainland capitals, but is it anything new or anything to get exciting about? Nope. Despite the fancy unveiling and social media blitz.
We say less fanfare, more fair for fans we say.
But the NRL have loads of factors to consider. Just very few of them are fans.
Anyways, here’s our thoughts and highlights of the NRL 2017 Draw.
SUNDAY FTA FOOTBALL IS FOR SYDNEY
People love their Sunday Footy, so says Gus. But as usual Gus is only speaking for Channel Nein and Sydney.
Those fans wanting to see a live game in Queensland during the day, have few options and can kiss the NRL’s arse.
Those in the northern capital have nothing for the second consecutive season. Those willing to travel to the Gold Coast for one of their two Saturday afternoon matches can spy a little arvo footy. Or catch up with a myriad of options in the Intrust Super Cup aka Queensland Cup. As big fans of the second division in most football codes we heartily recommend a day at Langlands, Dolphin or Davies anyway. Better value for money, and given some of the dross offered up on Sunday afternoons, arguably almost equal standard.
16 of the first 20 rounds will be played in Sydney. 14 of them are solely the property of Sydney clubs. A healthy 70% of the first 20 games. Four other games are from Canberra (2) and Melbourne and Cairns. All of those four feature a Sydney team.
Interesting will be if the ratings continue to be the worst performer for the Sunday afternoon game. They may get more interest if they include more teams from outside Sydney.
But we know Rabs doesn’t like travelling. And the NRL seem willing to comply.
Not that we care, we have Foxtel, but for those with FTA it sucks arse.
But what else were you expecting from a Sunday afternoon.
THERE IS MORE TO QUEENSLAND THAN THE BRISBANE BRONCOS
The NRL 2017 Draw highlights another thing, it’s probably time for another SEQ side.
Thursdays and Fridays features a lot of Broncos, as if to correct the Sunday bias. Although we can be lucky that the games are now spread amongst Thursday and Friday. Unlike back in the day of the two games at once and Broncos ruled the Friday night box.
At least the Cowboys get a Sunday afternoon FTA game.
But for a side that has achieved more than their capital brothers in the past two seasons, and is arguably the better side to watch, to get half the amount of FTA games isn’t quite right.
Time for expansion, and at least one new SEQ side representing Ipswich, Redcliffe, Logan.
FRIDAY 6pm > MONDAY 7PM
For once the NRL has thought of NZ fans and produced a timeslot that is prime time for them. As a reward they given them plenty of matches in that timeslot 25% of the games. Makes sense too given they are two hours ahead. Not that it was the intention.
But that’s not great for other fans. Especially those in Sydney suburbs, which is all of them. Given the Queensland Friday work day usually finishes around 4pm and the stadium is conveniently placed in town, Brisbane would have made more sense at a 6pm Friday game than Sydney teams.
Personally since we probably wouldn’t go to a Friday 6pm or a Monday 7pm game anyway, we are one of the rare ones in favour. By Monday Footy-gue has set in, and one just wants to reset for the weekend ahead. A Friday 6pm game at home is a far more interesting prospect than a Monday night.
GET FOXTEL FOR THE SEASONS AHEAD
All of the above bitches are academic if you get Fox Sports. In fact, if you are league fan there is no choice now.
A new All NRL all the time channel is on offer next year.
The positives are better commentary, no ad breaks, recording games to watch whenever you want. The negatives are you pay for the privilege. But at less than a dollar a game it is worth it.
MISSED OPPORTUNITIES – SAME OLD SAME OLD
The 2017 has very few new and exciting things to talk about. Whilst a game at the Adelaide Oval is interesting, it is hardly ground breaking. And we’ve been there before with the Rams – who featured a few of our A to Z of forgotten rugby league players.
Where’s the UK Super League style Magic weekend? Where’s the NRL’s equivalent of the Get Into The Game Country Week? Where’s a game in the Pacific Islands (looking at you PNG) or somewhere that is truly ground breaking like the AFL’s trip to China in 2017?
THE FULL DRAW
You can find the full NRL 2017 Draw here and make your own mind up.
Not have the NRL make your mind up for you.