On 29 August 1895 twenty-one clubs met at The George Hotel in Huddersfield and formed the Northern Rugby Union (later to become known as Rugby League).
The inaugural competition which the 22 founding clubs played for was called the Northern Rugby Football League (NRL).
In Victorian times, it was considered unseemly and unsafe for gentlemen to be seen scrapping about in an unsightly mess of humanity, laying about on the ground in a heap.
How times have changed.
Today, the arguement still arises; which rugby code is better? The inference they are trying to make is that rugby union is the pure form of rugby (derived from Rugby School), while rugby league is some sort of a half-bred inferior off-spring.
Rugby League fans snicker.
When changes were made in the decade that followed, league became the far more popular code in England amongst spectators and players alike.
Today’s sportsmen, Rugby League Players in particular, are known for their brutality, strength, somewhat insanity at the physical punishment they endure each match, without nothing more than literally the clothes on their back. Whilst the primary objective in rugby league is to carry the ball across the opponent’s goal line to score a try (the equivalent of a “touchdown”), it’s the journey to cross that line that embodies all that is rugby.
The scrums, the tackles, the boldness, at times even anger.
The players take their game seriously, as do the millions of hard core fans and nothing in the world beats the rivalry that is known as Rugby League.
The most famous battle between states has to be the State of Origin. An annual three ‘test’ series between Queensland and New South Wales, the series is regarded as the toughest rugby league tournament in the world, and is one of Australia’s most keenly anticipated sports events.
It would have to be the only game where normal team rivalries are forgotten as players are united together for geographical reasons.
They done their coloured jersey’s with pride and the battle that emerges is one of strength, skill, endurance, toughness and that good ole competitive attitude, determination to take that trophy home.
Rugby league today has much in common with the rawness and spontaneity of “old school” American football – the footballers play both offence and defense, wear minimal protection, have six “downs” to advance the ball, and re-start play with a “play-the-ball” – a stream-lined version of the line of scrimmage. While American football reduced its teams from rugby’s 15 players a-side to 11, rugby league went with 13. Both games soon removed the rugby union rule which called for a scrum, maul or ruck after every tackle, replacing them with the “scrimmage” and “play-the-ball”. Both codes evolved into becoming games based on maintaining possession and advancing territory.
Besides being a popular spectator sport, Rugby League is also a popular betting sport, receiving extensive market coverage with Bookmakers both in Australia and the United Kingdom.
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The winter months in Australia means big business for the rugby league. As a dominant sport in the northern states and a well-known game both locally and internationally, you will find a number of attractive betting options to augment your usual income.
Here you’ll get hold of NRL match previews, live odds, news ladders and much, much more. Be sure to check back regularly over the course of the season to help you with your betting needs.
Overview of Australian rugby
As already mentioned, rugby is popular both in Australia and in other countries. The domestic competition is called the NRL which runs from March to September. There are also a number of smaller games that attract huge crowds and massive publicity, like the State of Origin series between Queensland and New South Wales, the annual City versus Country Origin match and the World Club Challenge. Although the last one is a local game by name, it’s actually a match between the champions of the NRL and the European Super League.
Rugby is also hot abroad, with the Australian team (usually referred to as The Kangaroos) as the country’s standard-bearer in international matches. They compete in numerous international competitions like the World Cup, Tri Nations, The Ashes, Challenge Cup, and others. The Kangaroos recently participated in the Rugby League World Cup, losing as short favorites. With games all year round, you’ll surely find a game worth betting your money on.
Hints and tips
Because of rugby’s immense popularity, bookmakers will typically offer several betting markets that you can participate in. The sheer number of competitions makes for a rather difficult playing field from the punter’s point of view, as he has to determine which teams he can back up safely and make good profits on.
To bet successfully on the rugby league, you have to know the past results and form trends, especially in the NRL and the European Super League. Head to head results and home and away forms are some of the other key stats that you have to look into. For example, a team may have a bunny side, which allows them to win against a specific opponent despite ladder positions. At the same time, it has a bogey side or a rival that they have never been able to knock down in past games.
Be sure to look for teams that have an excellent halfback (number 7), because that person will be responsible for creating and controlling play. Choose a team that has either a solid defense or attack. Rugby isn’t as complicated as AFL, so you can easily catch up on past trends and results.
Head to head betting is the most famous betting method for punters, but other markets can provide you with just as much or even more value for your money. For example, line betting can help you lower the odds between unevenly-matched teams, giving you $1.91 on any game.
Other popular markets are things like the first and last try scorers, first scoring play, half time / full time bets and half time result. Many punters enjoy laying down their cash on futures markets such as the NRL Premiership, World Cup Winner, State Of Origin Series Winner, Dally M Medal, plus more. A more popular futures market in recent years has been the NRL/AFL Premiership double, where punters get decent odds betting on who’ll win both the NRL and AFL Premiership.
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