So you’re an NFL fan and want to follow Rugby League? Here’s your handy guide to which NRL team you need to support!
The world of sport has shutdown. Well almost. Over in Australia local football goes on behind closed doors. The NRL is now in week 2 of its 26 round season. It’s the premier rugby league competition in the world, and a tough, physical league that goes back nearly 115 years. So with the league up and running, and NFL still months away,you’ll need a team to follow, right? Here’s the handy ESPN guide to which NRL team best suits you!
Now, this may seem simplistic, but it’s the Denver Broncos. Both teams have a significant home-field advantage, strong fan-base and long established expectation of success, but haven’t been at their expected heights the last couple years. You’re welcome.
A grand old name in the sport, the Doggies best years were in the 80s, and despite a brief renaissance in the early 2000’s, they’ve been beset by coaching dramas, off-field and fan issues and calls to return matches to their traditional home of Belmore. The Dogs are the Las Vegas Raiders.
From the nations capital, the Raiders were the benchmark in the 80s, before collapsing in a heap throughout much of the next 2 decades, reliving the good times. But a stunning return to form saw them narrowly lose the Premiership last season. Just like……the San Francisco 49ers.
Coastal city? Check. Took forever to finally win a title? Check. Birthplace of current NFL star Michael Dickson? Checkity-check. The Seattle Seahawks 12th man will now root for Cronulla.
Gold Coast Titans
An expansion side in a glorious beachside location, the Titans have underwhelmed year after year and they have struggled to gain traction from local fans, with the Brisbane Broncos up the road and the beach looking pretty good. They are the NRL version of the LA Chargers.
Manly Sea Eagles
So we’re going down the Broncos route here. Manly have a very passionate, parochial following. They have plenty of successful years studded with the odd failure. There are some locker room questions and also a bit of a question mark over their star man Daly Cherry-Evans. Welcome to Manly, Philadelphia Eagles fans.
The competition’s benchmark for over a decade with six Grand Final appearances in 15 years, blessed with one of the greatest players in the history of the game, Cameron Smith and a master coach in Craig Bellamy. But controversy has followed them from salary cap scandals to unorthodox methods on the field, and has made them less than popular outside of their own fans. Congratulations New England Patriots fans. This is your team!
A good working class town needs a good working class team. Sadly Newcastle haven’t been consistently good for a while. For over 20 years in fact. They’ve struggled to regain their relevance since the turn of the century. Very much like their NFL doppelganger, the Buffalo Bills.
New Zealand Warriors
Every year you look at the roster on paper and think this could be the year for the Warriors. Big names. Big spender. Big expectations. Every year they fall in a heap. Welcome to Auckland, Cleveland Browns fans.
North Queensland Cowboys
This one is easy. Star signing for 2020 is Valentine Holmes. You remember? Running back? Jets international player? The one who wasn’t Jarryd Hayne or a punter? No? Ok, not the NY Jets then. How about the Carolina Panthers? No Thurston for the Cowboys and no Cam for the Panthers, and both sides trying to recover from an awful 2019.
Another side who experienced their best days in the 80s, and have veered between promise and desolation ever since. Questionable front office talent identification has seen some horror signings over the years. But you never know……this could be their year. Just like the Chicago Bears.
Blue collar club who have experienced ups and downs through the years. The last premiership was a while ago, but they are back amongst the contenders once again, led by an exciting playmaker Nathan Cleary. Baltimore Ravens fans may recognise this tale…..
South Sydney Rabbitohs
One of the originals of the competition back in 1908, the Bunnies are written into the fabric of rugby league, and after a stunning revival under the stewardship of Russell Crowe the team of the people are a perennial challenger. Very much like the Green Bay Packers.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Another storied and historic team from the big city. A premiership ten years ago seemed to suggest the Dragons were on track for a dynasty but they have slipped back into the pack and seem set for another tough year as they rebuild. Welcome to the team New York Giants fans.
The glamour team. The boys form Bondi. Powerful ownership with strong links to the league. Pots of cash. A star studded roster and storied history. The Sydney Roosters are the Dallas Cowboys. But they actually win things.
You are a super talented team in the 80’s, you finally reach the big one, and it slips through your grasp, but a generation of fans live off those memories as each subsequent year offers disappointments. You are the Miami Dolphins.