The 2024 season, any team can beat any team ( almost )

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Mark from Brisbane

“ Boomer still Booming”
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Well the Titans aside ( so far ) it seems almost any team can beat any team AND in my opinion this has little to do with the talent on the field rather how the games are being “ manipulated “ for the broadcaster / gambling agencies.

Every single round we’ve seen an upset , & often 2 or 3.

I watched most games for the first couple of rounds , but I must admit to being disillusioned with the game currently , 6 agains , obstructions, disrupters , inconsistencies galore so now I’m mainly watching our game & depending on what’s doing maybe one other to fill in the time.

Anyway it seems to me like the NRL have realised that the salary cap has to some extent failed and so now they have “ game management “ at play.

Of course they’ll never admit this , and you’ll never ever see the broadcasters discussing it BUT just more & more I see the officials sticking their sticky fingers into a contest and maybe not determining the actual outcome but certainly making it a more even contest.

Last nights Phins / Squeals game throws that theory into the “ Mark speaks with forked tongue “ area but let’s face it , the Eels in the second half ( I did actually watch only the second half of this game) were just terrible , they virtually “ gave up”.

So even with the help of the ref they wouldn’t have come back.

Anyway it makes footy tipping a nightmare , may as well get a coin out and toss to decide.


I know what you mean by the NRL "game managing" games. I don't watch alot of footy but mainly just the Manly games. The 2 perfect examples that come to mind are both the Eels and Warriors games with Manly leading then all of sudden the other team gets plenty of penalties while the flow of possession turns and the other team gets momentum which is hard to wrestle back in today's game. If you don't stop that possession, and keep on defending you obviously exert alot of energy and when you finally do get the ball you start to make errors since your tired.

Once Was Brissie Kid

Reserve Grader
Smart teams have worked it out.

The refs in 2024 are not binning for repeated 'six agains'. On your own try line, just keep doing what you need to do and sooner or later the other team will drop the ball or kick the ball dead. Then coming out of your own end, you almost always will be given a full penalty to kick your way into the opposition half of the field. Warriors at 6-0 up were all over Dragoons who gave up 4 or 5 'six agains' and this happened.

The refs are also no longer binning tacklers holding down after a long break up field. Any team that breaks out from inside their own 20m line and gets tackled in the opposition half and held down, won't get a full penalty or a bin. At most you will get a 'six again'. The refs won't flip holding down from being 'six again' into a full penalty.


It’s harder to predict games this year. The game I think has become so fast that teams barely get up for two weeks in a row. Plus, players are strong and fitter than ever it just takes so little to fall off the pace.

Welcome to rollercoater NRL 2024.

And yes I agree Mark there is a bit of game engineering going on to keep games close.

Enjoy the ride


Will on the hill

Tipping Member
I definitely agree that the refs often have too much say in how games play out but IMO it's more likely due to systemic incompetence rather than an orchestrated agenda driven conspiracy to manipulate results. The simplest explanation is often the correct one.

Under the Sticks

The spirit of Mooney 🦅
Premium Member
The inconsistnecy with the application of rules across the 8-10 refs is abysmal.

This is where the lottery starts. I reckon of nthe 8-10 refs only 3 are officiating consistently well.


Sea Eagle forever
Tipping Member
Yep nrl/wwe game managing is alive and well. Just look at how low the points differentials are across the top 10 teams. No doubt when teams get well behind they are getting legup decisions going their way to keep scores close.


First Grader
It is true that it is a competitive leagues this season, most teams on their day are capable of winning.

Like you I am so disillusioned with how the game is played, officiated and run.

Each week we see most games marred by simulation, blatant cheating, referees who are no longer allowed to rule games and most decisions are outsourced to a bunker which just adds to the confusion of how the games are adjudicated.

The NRL keep tinkering with the rules, to speed the game up and make it higher scoring. The fabric of the game is under threat, scrums are cosmetic now, if they ban kick off returns as they are discussing, well it might as well be touch footy. The obstruction rule continues to confuse and bewilder everyone and we see so much inconsistency in how it policed.

You see some teams get no reward for an effort that is decided by a bunker and this obsession with evening games up if a team gets a lead, we see that all the time.

The salary cap is supposed to make it more even, yet year after year after year its the same clubs in the 8.

I like seeing attacking footy, a team that is able to defend and counter attack and let the players decide games rather than petty officials. Still filthy about being denied last week when Shaun Johnson won an academy award for his fake injury winning an equalizing penalty!

I want to see teams win on merit and cheats punished for diving and crap they do. You see teams now celebrate like they won a grand final over a dropped ball from an opponent. Its a different game to what I grew up with!


Reserve Grader
well, you know what. last week, i was thinking about what Mark from Brisbane is posting today. I felt it odd how parramatta are so invincible at commbank stadium. I looked at the possession and penalty stats and the eels have dominated possession and penalties at bankwest, for, wait for it, the last 2 years at least. ie: every home game, they get a glut of possession and penalties in their favor. There was one game against manly i think last year or year before, where the eels had 62% possession and penaties of 10-2 . ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. Manly, on the other hand, have nowhere the lopsided possession and penalties in our favor at brooky. (at times we get less than 50% possession at home) Its amazing how stats dont Lie. A Parra guy I know reckons its because the eels are very disciplined side (giving less penalties) and are very good at ball control and completing their sets. what baloney.

The Wheel
Premium Member
My view is the refs react to the crowd far too often the Parra example above is a good example.

While I don’t think there is any cheating I feel there is a bit of unconscious bias with/against teams and a overacting to a few well placed boos from home crowds that lead to momentum changes etc

Stuey Davis’s Socks

Premium Member
Tipping Member
My view is the refs react to the crowd far too often the Parra example above is a good example.

While I don’t think there is any cheating I feel there is a bit of unconscious bias with/against teams and a overacting to a few well placed boos from home crowds that lead to momentum changes etc
Agreed, and the Parra seating is so close to the action and the noise generated by the steeply tiered seating helps big-time with ref intimidation.


Reserve Grader
Well the game we had against Parra this year was some of the biggest game management bs I can remember. I get the desire of the NRL to want to make cames close and prevent floggings, but "managing" a game so much that the team getting dominated ends up winning actually damages the integrity of the competition.

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