AFL vs. NRL? Australia’s two premier sporting codes have caused countless debates nationwide as to which is the better sport, and with game 2 of the 2015 State of Origin Series being played in the AFL heartland Melbourne, the argument has once again been sparked.
The sheer skill, speed, and physicality that is displayed in rugby league has placed the NRL as the number one sport in the country, however the game is also expanding tremendously throughout New Zealand, England, Papa New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Scotland, France, and even the United States.
The NRL already has one international team in the New Zealand Warriors, however the Australian Football League restricts its code to only include Australian based clubs, which reduces the AFL’s likelihood of expanding internationally.
Although AFL fans may argue that their sport attracts significantly larger crowds than NRL games do, there is no arguing that the NRL produces the pinnacle of Australian sport, the State of Origin series.
The NRL’s annual trifecta of Queensland vs. New South Wales clashes are consistently amongst the most watched television programs in Australia. The first game of the 2015 series broke TV ratings, as it attracted 4.209 million viewers at its peak. The intense spectacle that was game one is sure to attract even more viewers for the second game of the series.
However, the major selling point of the NRL is the close, competitive nature of rugby league’s top division. On any given day, even the lowest placed team can defeat the premiership leaders, such is the competitiveness of the NRL.
In 2014, 70 NRL games were decided by 6 points or less. These closely contested matches leave fans on the edge of their seat until the final siren, and many games are decided in the dying seconds, or even in extra time.
In terms of viewing quality, the NRL cannot be beaten. Whether you’re a fan of brutal big hits, silky skills, or scintillating speed, the NRL is the sport for you.