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The good, bad and ugly of the 2019 NRL Draw

The 2019 NRL draw was released last week, and as expected the various goods, bads and uglies were discussed in general and for each club.

Joining that discussion is this attempt to work out which NRL team got the silver spoon and plastic spork or grapes for the 2019 NRL draw.

There were few surprises in the new draw – Sundays at 4pm remain the domain of Sydney teams and easy access for Ray Warren to broadcast. The Broncos remain a Channel Nine favourite, and the same channel will only have to remember who plays for the Warriors just once.

Five-day turnarounds increased on last year sadly, and the polarising Thursday Night Football remains.

On a happy note, there are more games in the bush than ever. Perhaps an entire round or forcing every team to take a game to the country isn’t far away.

But this was written to determine the biggest loser and winner from the 2019 NRL draw. Several fields of the 2019 NRL draw were used, and each one ranked 16th to 1st. All fields are tallied and the most points has the worst of it for 2019. According to this anyway.

Spoiler alert – the answers are reasonably obvious.

 

NRL DRAW 2019 STATS AND THINGS

TEAM TRAVEL

Pretty obvious that New Zealand and North Queensland are going to top the overall travel for 2019. The Warriors and the Cowboys will clock up to 50,000km in their travels this season, 20,000 or so more than the Storm, Raiders and Broncos. They will also travel ten times more than the Roosters.

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But it wouldn’t be fair to have just the overall travel. So thrown in is the travel in the first six and last six regular season games. The Broncos do the most travelling early in the season, Parramatta get life much easier with a modest 315km of travel. The last six games’ most travelled will be the Cowboys and Warriors with 13,000km. The Wests Tigers bus won’t require much fuel at all, covering less than 100km to end the season.

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Highlights

Most Travelled 2019 Season: Warriors 51,800km, Cowboys 49,300km, Storm 30,400km
Least Traveled 2019 Season: Roosters 5,000km, Tigers 9,700km
Most Traveled First Six Games: Broncos 3,700km, Storm 3,400km
Least Traveled First Six Games: Eels 300km, Roosters 900km
Most Traveled Last Six Games: Warriors 13,200km, Cowboys 13,200km,
Least Traveled Last Six Games: Tigers 100km, Sharks 200km

 

LADDER POSITION FROM 2018

The ladder position of 2018 is a less trustworthy statistic when used to determine how bad the 2019 NRL draw is, due to the competition’s openness from season-to-season.

Overall it is pretty tight across the season, with not much between the teams who has the hardest fixtures (2018 season average finishing position of 7.9) to the Dragons with the “easiest” fixtures with 9.1.

It does change a little if you split it into the first six and last six games again. The Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Titans and Eels all face an opposition average finishing position of under 7.0. At the other end the Warriors, Raiders, Tigers, Dragons and Sharks have an average opposition in double figures.

The run home see the Knights with the golden run, their opposition figures is 12.0 on average, at the other end the Rabbitohs are more than half of that with 5.5.

Highlights

Lowest 2018 Avg – all season: Cowboys 7.9, Bulldogs 8.0, Titan 8.0
Highest 2018 Avg – all season: Storm 9.0, Dragons 9.0
Lowest 2018 Avg –  first 6 games: Cowboys 6.2, Sea Eagles 6.5
Highest 2018 Avg – first 6 games: Warriors 11.0, Tigers 10.3, Raiders 10.3
Lowest 2018 Avg – last 6 games: Rabbitohs 5.5, Raiders 6.3
Highest 2018 Avg – last 6 games: Knights 12.0, Eels 10.8

 

BAD NIGHT OUT

Thursday night and the Friday 6pm kick offs are often regarded as the worst home games for clubs, only ready-made for TV.

So to work out the worst 2019 NRL draw, we highlight which teams have the most home games on these days.

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The Storm and Broncos top the Thursday night home game count with three each, at least giving the game a chance to get 15,000 to 20,000. The Warriors unsurprisingly don’t get a Thursday night game given the kick off time in Auckland. The Raiders and Knights miss out on the Thursday home game too.

Kings of the Foxtel-friendly timeslot of Friday 6pm are the Warriors with a solid five games, but this makes sense given the time zone. The Titans lead the Australian teams with three games. Four teams don’t have to play a home game at 6pm on a Friday.

Highlights

Most Thursday Night Games: Storm 3, Broncos 3
Least Thursday Night Games: Warriors 0, Raiders 0, Knights 0
Most Friday 6pm Games: Warriors 5, Titans 3
Least Friday 6pm Games: Broncos 0, Sharks 0, Roosters 0, Storm 0

 

FREE TO AIR

Free-to-Air football is a big thing for clubs, to get sponsorship and be featured for all rugby league fans, not just the smart Fox League snobs on 502.

So the more FTA games, the more value your club is seen as by the people who run the game – Channel Nine.

Once again there are no surprises with the Broncos dominating the early half of the Channel Nine weekly schedule, and Sydney teams with their own little Sunday afternoon club.

No surprises that two of the competition’s most entertaining/unpredictable teams get the fewest FTA games – the Warriors and Raiders. Some of the recent underperformed sides like the Knights and Titans get just a handful of FTA games, where as 2018 underperformed teams Bulldogs and Eels still get as many games as the Rabbitohs and Storm respectively. The Panthers continue a good run of TV games, although having Gus helps, at least they are entertaining. Mostly in the second half.

Highlights

Most FTA Games: Broncos 16, Roosters 14, Dragons 14, Panthers 13
Least FTA Games: Warriors 1, Titans 3, Knights 4, Raiders 6

 

FIVE-DAY TURNAROUND

The five-day turnaround sucks, and is the best indicator of a bad 2019 NRL draw. Sadly there are more five-day turnarounds than last season. Getting rid of Thursday Night Football would help, but that won’t be happening in this broadcast deal.

Two Sydney clubs have the season-high five-day turnaround with three: Dragons and Tigers, whereas two teams miss out completely – the Rabbitohs and Panthers.

The full list is below.

Dragons 3
Tigers 3
Broncos 2
Bulldogs 2
Eels 2
Raiders 2
Roosters 2
Sharks 2
Storm 2
Titans 2
Cowboys 1
Knights 1
Sea Eagles 1
Warriors 1
Panthers 0
Rabbitohs 0

 

SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOOTBALL

Sunday afternoon is the best time for football fans and clubs alike, but the 4pm kick off remain the property of Sydney mostly. So for other teams there are the scraps of Sunday 2pm kick offs as well.

So one would expect teams like the Roosters and Dragons to be leading the way with five Sunday games, the Sharks, Bulldogs and Panthers one game behind.

The highest non-Sydney team for Sunday games was the Titans with three. The Broncos do get one again this year. The Cowboys get none, but not a surprise given their love for a Saturday night game for travel reasons.

Note: only the daytime kick offs of 2pm and 4pm are included, as we’re talking Sunday daytime football.

Highlights

Most Sunday Afternoon Games: Roosters 5, Dragons 5
Least Sunday Afternoon Games: Cowboys 0, Broncos 1, Knights 1, Eels 1

 

SO WHO HAS THE WORST 2019 NRL DRAW OVERALL?

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

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Factoring in all of the above, and ranking the teams from 16th to 1st in each category, the North Queensland Cowboys have the most points across all of the various measurements. Not a surprise giving their distance away from the rest of the NRL.

Teams outside of Sydney also fared badly, with the Titans and Storm the next worst.

The Sydney team with the worst 2019 NRL draw, according to this, are the Eels in fourth.

At the other end, eight of the best nine 2019 NRL draw results are from Sydney, the Roosters with the “easiest” according to this, followed by the Dragons and Tigers.

For what it’s worth, here is the overall order. Worst to best.

Team
Cowboys
Titans
Storm
Eels
Raiders
Warriors
Broncos
Sea Eagles
Rabbitohs
Bulldogs
Knights
Sharks
Panthers
Tigers
Dragons
Roosters

2019 NRL DRAW IN FULL

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayVenue
Melbourne Storm — Brisbane Broncos
Newcastle Knights — Cronulla Sharks
Sydney Roosters — South Sydney Rabbitohs
New Zealand Warriors — Canterbury Bulldogs
Wests Tigers — Manly Sea Eagles
North Queensland Cowboys — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Penrith Panthers — Parramatta Eels
Gold Coast Titans — Canberra Raiders
St George-Illawarra Dragons — South Sydney Rabbitohs
Canberra Raiders — Melbourne Storm
Brisbane Broncos — North Queensland Cowboys
Cronulla Sharks — Gold Coast Titans
Newcastle Knights — Penrith Panthers
Manly Sea Eagles — Sydney Roosters
Canterbury Bulldogs — Parramatta Eels
Wests Tigers — New Zealand Warriors
Brisbane Broncos — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Canberra Raiders — Newcastle Knights
Parramatta Eels — Sydney Roosters
Manly Sea Eagles — New Zealand Warriors
North Queensland Cowboys — Cronulla Sharks
Penrith Panthers — Melbourne Storm
Wests Tigers — Canterbury Bulldogs
South Sydney Rabbitohs — Gold Coast Titans
Sydney Roosters — Brisbane Broncos
Penrith Panthers — Wests Tigers
New Zealand Warriors — Gold Coast Titans
Manly Sea Eagles — South Sydney Rabbitohs
North Queensland Cowboys — Canberra Raiders
Parramatta Eels — Cronulla Sharks
Melbourne Storm — Canterbury Bulldogs
Newcastle Knights — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Brisbane Broncos — Wests Tigers
Gold Coast Titans — Penrith Panthers
North Queensland Cowboys — Melbourne Storm
South Sydney Rabbitohs — New Zealand Warriors
Newcastle Knights — Manly Sea Eagles
Cronulla Sharks — Sydney Roosters
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Canterbury Bulldogs
Canberra Raiders — Parramatta Eels
Cronulla Sharks — Penrith Panthers
Canterbury Bulldogs — South Sydney Rabbitohs
Melbourne Storm — Sydney Roosters
New Zealand Warriors — North Queensland Cowboys
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Manly Sea Eagles
Gold Coast Titans — Newcastle Knights
Canberra Raiders — Brisbane Broncos
Parramatta Eels — Wests Tigers
Sydney Roosters — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Melbourne Storm — New Zealand Warriors
Canterbury Bulldogs — North Queensland Cowboys
Penrith Panthers — South Sydney Rabbitohs
Wests Tigers — Gold Coast Titans
Brisbane Broncos — Cronulla Sharks
Manly Sea Eagles — Canberra Raiders
Newcastle Knights — Parramatta Eels
South Sydney Rabbitohs — Brisbane Broncos
North Queensland Cowboys — Gold Coast Titans
Cronulla Sharks — Melbourne Storm
Canberra Raiders — Penrith Panthers
Manly Sea Eagles — Canterbury Bulldogs
Sydney Roosters — Wests Tigers
New Zealand Warriors — Newcastle Knights
Parramatta Eels — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Gold Coast Titans — Cronulla Sharks
Wests Tigers — Penrith Panthers
Manly Sea Eagles — Brisbane Broncos
Canterbury Bulldogs — Newcastle Knights
New Zealand Warriors — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Melbourne Storm — Parramatta Eels
Sydney Roosters — Canberra Raiders
South Sydney Rabbitohs — North Queensland Cowboys
Melbourne Storm — Wests Tigers
Penrith Panthers — New Zealand Warriors
Brisbane Broncos — Sydney Roosters
Gold Coast Titans — Canterbury Bulldogs
North Queensland Cowboys — Parramatta Eels
Canberra Raiders — South Sydney Rabbitohs
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Newcastle Knights
Cronulla Sharks — Manly Sea Eagles
Parramatta Eels — Penrith Panthers
Manly Sea Eagles — Gold Coast Titans
Newcastle Knights — Sydney Roosters
Canberra Raiders — North Queensland Cowboys
New Zealand Warriors — Brisbane Broncos
South Sydney Rabbitohs — Wests Tigers
Canterbury Bulldogs — Melbourne Storm
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Cronulla Sharks
Penrith Panthers — Manly Sea Eagles
Parramatta Eels — South Sydney Rabbitohs
Canterbury Bulldogs — Canberra Raiders
Gold Coast Titans — North Queensland Cowboys
South Sydney Rabbitohs — Newcastle Knights
Wests Tigers — Canberra Raiders
New Zealand Warriors — Melbourne Storm
Cronulla Sharks — Parramatta Eels
North Queensland Cowboys — Manly Sea Eagles
Brisbane Broncos — Gold Coast Titans
Penrith Panthers — Sydney Roosters
Canterbury Bulldogs — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Canberra Raiders — Cronulla Sharks
Gold Coast Titans — New Zealand Warriors
North Queensland Cowboys — Wests Tigers
Melbourne Storm — Newcastle Knights
South Sydney Rabbitohs — Penrith Panthers
Parramatta Eels — Brisbane Broncos
Manly Sea Eagles — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Sydney Roosters — Canterbury Bulldogs
Wests Tigers — South Sydney Rabbitohs
St George-Illawarra Dragons — North Queensland Cowboys
Sydney Roosters — Melbourne Storm
Gold Coast Titans — Manly Sea Eagles
Newcastle Knights — Brisbane Broncos
Parramatta Eels — Canberra Raiders
New Zealand Warriors — Penrith Panthers
Canterbury Bulldogs — Cronulla Sharks
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Melbourne Storm
Wests Tigers — Sydney Roosters
Newcastle Knights — New Zealand Warriors
Cronulla Sharks — Brisbane Broncos
Penrith Panthers — Gold Coast Titans
Newcastle Knights — Canterbury Bulldogs
South Sydney Rabbitohs — Manly Sea Eagles
Brisbane Broncos — New Zealand Warriors
Melbourne Storm — Cronulla Sharks
Sydney Roosters — North Queensland Cowboys
Wests Tigers — Parramatta Eels
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Canberra Raiders
Brisbane Broncos — Canterbury Bulldogs
Penrith Panthers — St George-Illawarra Dragons
New Zealand Warriors — Cronulla Sharks
Sydney Roosters — Newcastle Knights
Canberra Raiders — Wests Tigers
North Queensland Cowboys — South Sydney Rabbitohs
Gold Coast Titans — Melbourne Storm
Manly Sea Eagles — Parramatta Eels
Cronulla Sharks — North Queensland Cowboys
Newcastle Knights — Wests Tigers
South Sydney Rabbitohs — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Parramatta Eels — New Zealand Warriors
Gold Coast Titans — Brisbane Broncos
Melbourne Storm — Manly Sea Eagles
Canterbury Bulldogs — Sydney Roosters
Penrith Panthers — Canberra Raiders
Wests Tigers — North Queensland Cowboys
Brisbane Broncos — Melbourne Storm
New Zealand Warriors — Canberra Raiders
Manly Sea Eagles — Newcastle Knights
Canterbury Bulldogs — Penrith Panthers
Cronulla Sharks — South Sydney Rabbitohs
Sydney Roosters — Gold Coast Titans
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Parramatta Eels
North Queensland Cowboys — Brisbane Broncos
Penrith Panthers — Cronulla Sharks
New Zealand Warriors — Manly Sea Eagles
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Gold Coast Titans
Parramatta Eels — Newcastle Knights
Canterbury Bulldogs — Wests Tigers
Canberra Raiders — Sydney Roosters
South Sydney Rabbitohs — Melbourne Storm
Manly Sea Eagles — Wests Tigers
Gold Coast Titans — Parramatta Eels
Brisbane Broncos — Penrith Panthers
Newcastle Knights — North Queensland Cowboys
Melbourne Storm — Canberra Raiders
South Sydney Rabbitohs — Canterbury Bulldogs
Sydney Roosters — New Zealand Warriors
Cronulla Sharks — St George-Illawarra Dragons
Parramatta Eels — Canterbury Bulldogs
North Queensland Cowboys — Penrith Panthers
Brisbane Broncos — South Sydney Rabbitohs
Cronulla Sharks — New Zealand Warriors
Wests Tigers — Newcastle Knights
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Sydney Roosters
Melbourne Storm — Gold Coast Titans
Canberra Raiders — Manly Sea Eagles
North Queensland Cowboys — Canterbury Bulldogs
Brisbane Broncos — Parramatta Eels
New Zealand Warriors — South Sydney Rabbitohs
Newcastle Knights — Gold Coast Titans
Manly Sea Eagles — Melbourne Storm
Sydney Roosters — Penrith Panthers
Cronulla Sharks — Canberra Raiders
St George-Illawarra Dragons — Wests Tigers
South Sydney Rabbitohs — Sydney Roosters
Parramatta Eels — Manly Sea Eagles
Melbourne Storm — North Queensland Cowboys
Canberra Raiders — New Zealand Warriors
Canterbury Bulldogs — Brisbane Broncos
Gold Coast Titans — St George-Illawarra Dragons



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