Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The 2023 NRL draw was officially released yesterday and as has come to be expected it has received some backlash.
Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis has spoken out about how he feels the draw is more of a tv schedule as it is designed to generate the biggest tv ratings possible in a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Crawley.
“Please don’t call it a draw,” said Politis.
“Can we get it right?
“It is a TV schedule,
“Some clubs are lucky that they play the bottom-eight teams twice, and only the top ones once.
“And so you look at the table and say, ‘Gee, what a great competition’, because it’s so close.
“But it is manufactured by the TV schedule.”
Politis’ main gripe with the draw seems to be the fact that the Roosters generate big ratings and therefore have been pencilled in to face some of the league’s top teams twice while teams that don’t do as well in the ratings have been handed an ‘easier’ draw.
— Sydney Roosters 🐓 (@sydneyroosters) November 10, 2022
In 2023 the Roosters will be facing four of last season’s top eight twice including grand finalists the Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels along with their arch rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Melbourne Storm.
Former NRL CEO Todd Greenberg once considered the possibility of structuring the league and its schedule like an American sports-style conference system that would see the NRL broken up into divisions containing teams from a certain area.
This would mean less travel for most teams and possibly more intriguing matchups consistently.
South Sydney Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly has also spoken to The Daily Telegraph about the draw and has pointed out the fact that his club will be forced to travel for many of their games in the second half of the season due to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“We have a lot of travel, particularly in the back half of the season,” Solly said.
“But in the context of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and all of the stadiums in Sydney that are unavailable, that is expected.”
Now that the schedule is set in stone teams now have time to train and prepare for what lies ahead as the 2023 NRL season is just four months away.