NRL Grand Final
The NRL Grand Final has been held at Stadium Australia in Sydney every year since 1999 and is held on a generally balmy Sunday evening, usually in the first Sunday in October. In that first Stadium Australia encounter, the Melbourne Storm defeated St. George-Illawarra in front of an impressive crowd of 107,999.
What we now know as the NRL was formerly known as the ARL, Super League, NSWRFL and NSWRL.
The night Johnathan broke hearts, and wallets (including ours…)
NRL Grand Final History
10 interesting facts about the greatest day on the NRL calendar!
- The last seven NRL Grand Finals have been won by different teams.
- In 2008, Manly recorded the greatest ever Grand Final win, defeating the Melbourne Storm 40-0.
- That Melbourne Storm team (in fact #2) was one of just seven teams to finish the Grand Final scoreless, and the first since St. George in 1975.
- Ben Cummins has refereed in four of the last five Grand Finals, missing only the 2013 Final.
- The Melbourne Storm won the Grand Final in 2007 and 2009, however had both Premierships stripped after being found guilty of salary cap breaches.
- The last two NRL Grand Finals have been nail-biters, with Cronulla defeating Melbourne by just 2 points in 2016, and North Queensland winning a one-point thriller against the Brisbane Broncos the year before. (Ben Hunt with the dropped catch….gulp!)
- The Melbourne Storm made the Grand Final again in 2012 but got to keep that pennant this time around, defeating Canterbury 14-4.
- The NRL moved to a more scenic night Grand Final in 2001, with Newcastle defeating Parramatta 30-24 under lights.
- In 2014, the South Sydney Rabbitohs ended a 43-year premiership drought beating Canterbury 30-6, while being cheered on by part-owner, and part-gladiator, Russell Crowe.
- 2016 was the Cronulla Shark’s 50th season in the league, and they celebrated by winning their first ever premiership.
Popular NRL Grand Final Betting Types
Punters can bet on the NRL Premiership throughout the season, but the best value options can be found on the week of the big game, unless you know a good thing earlier in the season.
Margin betting is available, with punters being able to select the winning margin of under 12 points, or 12 or more points. Four of the last five NRL Grand Final’s have been decided by 10 points or less, making a close match the likely result and a good bet for those that like a trend.
The First Try Scorer is another popular bet, with double-figure odds available on most players.
Past 5 NRL Grand Final Winners
2016 – Cronulla Sharks 14 defeated Melbourne Storm 12 – a tight, low scoring game in front of 83,625 saw Cronulla win their first ever pennant, in only their fourth Grand Final showing in 50 years. The game saw tries traded throughout the first 70 minutes, before James Maloney converted an Andrew Fifita try in the 71st minute which proved to be the difference. Luke Lewis took home the Clive Churchill medal for the best player in the Grand Final.
2015 – North Queensland defeated Brisbane Broncos 17-16 – the first ever decider between two Queensland teams finished in extra time, with Cowboys leader Johnathan Thurston capping off a best-on-ground performance with a field goal decider. After an entertaining first half in which both sides scored two tries, the teams locked in defensively in the final minutes in an enthralling encounter worthy of the big stage. Thurston had missed a chance to win the game as time expired in the second half, but didn’t need to wait long to make amends, slotting through the winner not long after..
2014 – South Sydney defeated Canterbury 30-6 – the Rabbitohs were fan favourites, having not made the Final since 1971. They came into the finals as strong favourites, and delivered despite a slow start. The scores were tied at 6-6 after Tony Williams scored a converted try for Canterbury, but South Sydney ran off four unanswered tries to run out the game in convincing style. Clive Churchill medal winner Sam Burgess fractured his cheekbone on the opening set of the game, making his effort even more impressive.
2013 – The Sydney City Roosters defeated Manly 26-18 – the Roosters were the minor premiers and carried that form into the Grand Final, coming from behind in gutsy fashion to defeat Manly. After the Sea Eagles built an 18-8 lead after 50 minutes, the Roosters came home with three converted tries as Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans led a brave effort, winning the Churchill medal in a losing effort.
2012 – Melbourne Storm defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 14-4 – Melbourne played their fifth Grand Final in seven years and won a low scoring affair on the back of an impressive defensive show. The Final never reached any great heights. Melbourne broke out to lead by 10 points with a try on the siren of half-time after which time a scoreless second half played out. Melbourne Storm superstar Cooper Cronk won his first Churchill medal for his efforts.
Past 5 Clive Churchill Medallists
2016 – Luke Lewis (Cronulla Sharks)
2015 – Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys )
2014 – Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
2013 – Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Sea Eagles)
2012 – Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm)
Who won the most premierships
The Brisbane Broncos are the only team to have won three NRL Grand Finals, taking home the silverware in 1998, 2000 and 2006. The Storm have won two (legitimate…) NRL Premierships, as have the Sea Eagles and Roosters. The evenness of the competition is borne out in the fact that 12 different teams have shared the trophy in 19 years of the competition. Of those that haven’t won the title in that time, the Parramatta Eels and New Zealand Warriors have made the Grand Final.