There are eight rounds remaining in the shortened 2020 NRL season and the race for finals places will continue in earnest this weekend.
While the NRL is a bigger and more popular competition, for those who love their footy but don’t watch any Super League, you’re missing out.
The NRL is the pinnacle of rugby league, obviously besides State of Origin. Only the best of the best get to compete week in and week out, and because of that, it’s clearly the more popular rugby league comp.
Even though we have it good here, there’s still plenty of good reasons to check out the Super League next season. Here are my top five.
The Aussie expats
The Super League has no doubt been a retirement ground for some of our beloved NRL players, and what better reason to tune in than to check out how they’re going? In this weekend’s grand final we had a total of seven former NRL players, including the likes of Kurt Gidley, Chris Sandow, Ashton Sims and Frank-Paul Nu’uausala.
There are plenty of former NRL players that are killing it at the moment over in England, and I think it’s a major selling point to watch the games.
In the Challenge Cup FInal I wasn’t sure if I wanted to barrack for Gidley, Sandow and Sims for Warrington or Gareth Ellis, Fetuli Talanoa and Mark Minichiello for Hull. It’s awesome seeing the players you loved to see still in action, especially if they’re doing well.
Identifying the next Pommy superstars
Only a handful of English players make their name in the NRL, with plenty going back home with their tails between their legs, but there is some serious young talent abroad. The likes of George Williams (Wigan), Jamie Shaul (Hull FC) and Ben Currie (Warrington) are just some of the up and comers in the game that could possibly make their way over to Oz in the next few years.
The competition may not be as competitive as the NRL, but there are still a few diamonds lurking around here and there, and the more Pommies over here, the better for the game.
Again, we all know the quality of competition of the Super League isn’t as high as the NRL, but the style of game in my eyes is more entertaining, at least for the casual spectator.
The Super League lacks the wrestling style tackling that the NRL has adopted over the last decade or so, and because of that games flow more freely and there are many more entertaining tries scored. Sure, the defence may not be as good, but the attacking game surely brings the goods.
Check out some of the tries top try-scorer Denny Solomona bagged this year, they’re bound to make you take notice.
Tradition and atmosphere
If there’s one thing the Poms do well is bring atmosphere to sport. The chants and roars of the crowd that you get in the EPL is similar to that in the Super League.
During the grand final this weekend, 70,000 Wigan and Warrington supporters packed out Old Trafford (capacity 75,000) and throughout the whole game there were chants, screams, and all sorts of noise, which made me feel like I was at the game through my terribly slow streaming computer.
While this is usually reserved for big games, there are some great derbies over in the old dart that get the same kind of atmosphere in 20,000 or 30,000 capacity stadiums, which really adds some substance to the contest that we just don’t get over here in the NRL.
My final reason is the most basic, you get more footy. For someone who is absolutely obsessed with rugby league, there’s nothing better than getting to see more teams duke it out for 80 minutes each week.
While the times aren’t the best for us on the east coast, and the fact that I don’t have Foxtel or Sky Sports, it can be quite bothersome trying to get a game into my schedule, but because of my love of the game, I try to watch as much as I can.
Not to mention that the Super League teams play almost double the amount that the NRL teams do, which means there are plenty of opportunities to watch games whether they’re Super League, Super 8, Finals or Challenge Cup games.
No matter your interest in rugby league, I can’t emphasise how entertaining and awesome the Super League is, and I highly recommend it to those who love the game and want just a bit more footy in their life.