2014 National Rugby League Premiership
By W D Nicolson - November 29, 2013
That's nice to know sure, but what if www.wdnicolson.com had a chance to put together the draw for the opening round of 2014?
In short we are looking for games that will draw fans through the gates in their respective timeslots, while also considering the TV value of the prime time games. Something that just makes too much sense to us is why wouldn't you work out your Round 1 matchups and then build the rest of your 26 round draw around that?
Ask yourself this - is it really that hard to build and tinker with your draw based around a blockbuster Round 1 in mind, considering the powers that be have already been tinkering with the initial computer draw to satisfy club and TV requests for the last couple of months?
We'd love your feedback either as a comment below or shoot us a tweet via @NRLTweet
Note: All times are Sydney based - with the theory being it brings the biggest audience for Channel Nine and Fox Sports and thus lines up somewhat with the timeslots they'll likely use in 2014.
Here. We. Go.
Thursday Night Football 7:30pm at SFS
Sydney turned out in force to see the Roosters host the Rabbitohs in Round 1 last year (36,000) and because A. It has all but been confirmed as happening anyway and B. Is a taaaasty matchup for the very first game of the year - it gets the call to open the season. However don't play this at ANZ, instead play it at the SFS again because the Premiers should ALWAYS open their title defence at home - no exceptions. Plus these two fan bases are actually close enough to get to the SFS on a Thursday night - a factor that simply has to be considered to maximise the opening night crowd.
Friday Night Football - 8:00pm at Newcastle
Happy Birthday to well, everyone. Two teams who made at least the final four in 2013, have a good historical rivalry and will once again be bearing high expectations entering 2014 = a Friday Night WINNER. Hunter Stadium would almost certainly sell-out as the first Friday Night game of the year - it makes more sense than playing Brisbane in this timeslot this opening week because these two teams earned prime time based on their finish to 2013 and have genuine appeal because of this. Brisbane were terrible last year and don't deserve a Friday Night Opener ahead of the four teams who will play Thursday/Friday (though they will obviously feature heavily in the overall schedule). But for this game - Manly v Newcastle please.