If there is one thing that Australians love, it is the fighting spirit of the underdog. The NRL graced Australian audiences with a captivating season that climaxed with a team that was an underdog going into the final securing the premiership in the dying seconds of the game. Heroes were born and immortality was engraved in rugby league history. While many remember the North Queensland Cowboys as the victors, there were many other formidable teams that were also in strong contention for the title last year. And while they didn’t finish last season on top, they remain a threat to the reigning premiers chances who want a back-to-back premiership win this season. If you are considering NRL betting this season, these are the teams that you should look out for.
Last year’s final was so epic that there really shouldn’t have been a team that lost. But in the game of rugby, there must always be a winner and a loser. The Broncos will be adamant to get first blood against the team that robbed them of the title in the dying minutes of the game. They are led by long-time rugby league coach Wayne Bennett and host a legion of talented rugby players in their squad. If the team strives to excel in the way they played compared to last season, they will remain one of the favourites to take out the title in 2016.
The Cronulla Sharks will be eager to contest for the title in 2016 following their disappointing exit to eventual premiership winners North Queensland Cowboys. This year is the club celebrates their jubilee in the rugby league top flight. It is expected that this year will see the Sharks push for harder than ever to secure the premiership title and give their veteran players the retirement send-off that they desire. A host of young rookies have joined the club for the 2016 season, which could potentially see the Sharks end their premiership drought.
Ivan Cleary’s Penrith Panthers will be keen to change their historic fate. Their last premiership came way back in 2003. The team is keen to bounce back in 2016 and assistant coach Garth Brennan is confident that the impact of Anthony Griffin and other Panthers will impress the rugby community.
The Melbourne Storm finished their 2015 season in 4th place behind the Roosters, Broncos and Cowboys. In a team that is somewhat carried by the talented Billy Slater, it is likely that his return to the football field will not only lift the spirits of the squad, but his playmaking skills will give the team the edge to transcend the performance that they had last season. Under the leadership of Craig Bellamy (who was himself an incredible rugby player), his mixed formula using older and experienced players with fresh rookies may prove to be a winning formula this year.
The Roosters showed fine form throughout their 2015 season, finishing as minor premiers at the top of the Telstra premiership. They only had six losses in the season, however they suffered crucial losses when it mattered the most in the season. The team boasts another strong line-up, however it will be crucial that they maintain their form all the way through to the end of the season if they want to realise their premiership success.
There was only one winner in 2015, however those who ultimately lost will be hungry to change their club’s fate in 2016. It will be a rat race in 2016. This season should stew up a nice broth of healthy competition in the NRL and we should see rugby league taken to new heights this season.