In the exhilarating world of rugby league, the NRL ladder is a barometer of success throughout the regular season. As the NRL 2023 regular season has recently concluded, these standings are the start of the finals series 2023.
In this guide, we will unravel the NRL ladder, explaining the points system, tie-breakers, and the evolution of the finals system.
NRL Ladder 2023
|4th||New Zealand Warriors||16||0||8||124||38|
|9th||South Sydney Rabbitohs||12||0||12||59||30|
|11th||North Queensland Cowboys||12||0||12||4||30|
|12th||Manly Sea Eagles||11||1||12||6||29|
|14th||Gold Coast Titans||9||0||15||-126||24|
|16th||St George Illawarra Dragons||5||0||19||-199||16|
NRL Ladder Points System
In the NRL, the points system is simple. Here’s a breakdown:
- The winning team earned two points for their triumph on the field.
- Unfortunately, the losing side earned zero points for their efforts.
- Teams earned two points for a bye.
If a game is tied after 80 minutes, then the “golden point” concept comes into play. Two five-minute halves of golden point decide the outcome; anyone can score in the match, whether a penalty, try, or field goal.
And if the score remains the same after these halves, the game goes as a draw, where both teams receive one point. Since the introduction of Golden Point in 2003, there have been 12 draws, averaging to one per year.
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For and Against: The Tie-Breaker
In the event of teams finishing with an equal number of points after completing 26 rounds, their destiny will be determined by the “for and against” criterion. This involves subtracting the total points scored against the team from the total points they have accrued throughout the season.
Evolution of the NRL Finals System
The current finals system, reminiscent of the AFL finals series, has existed for some time. Here’s how it works:
- The first week of the finals features the top four teams squaring off against each other.
- Meanwhile, the second four teams in the top eight hierarchy clash.
- Victorious teams in the top four clashes earn a ticket to the third week of the finals.
- While the defeated sides face off against the winners from the second four.
- The losers in the second four matchups are eliminated from the finals race.
- While the winners earn a shot at saving against the losers from the top four.
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A Glimpse into History
The previous final system was known as the McIntyre system. This featured the team that finished first playing against the eighth-placed squad, the second against the seventh, and so on.
In this format, the two highest-ranked losers had the chance of a second chance. But, this system was replaced in 2011, giving birth to the current structure.