Why National Rugby League Is The Sport Of Australia
National Rugby League – the sport of Australia
Australians have a remarkable affection for their sport. It’s an affection that has been carried with pride through decades and decades of jersey-clad fans piling into grandstands for 80 minutes of pure bliss. Each teams’ colours are sprawled through the crowd, which pulsates with ripples of passion as each second ticks by. The passion erupts as thousands of hands are thrown in the air for another cheeky Mexican wave. “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi,” is shouted from the stands by beer drinking, fun having, Australians. You’re at a National Rugby League game and you’re having the time of your life.
There is a special bond between an Australian NRL fan and their team. So, what is it that ties them so closely? Why do these sporting institutions remain so popular – idolised, even? Well, it’s fun to watch and Aussies love any excuse to get together in matching jerseys and celebrate over plastic cups of beer. The deeper reason for it, though, is that the sport offers Australians a shared sense of identity.
When we identify with a footy club, we are offered a strong feeling of belonging outside of our families and our normal daily routines.
Not only that, but it also gives us something to do every Friday and Saturday night when all you want to do is couch potato the week away. “Oh, you’re just staying in? On a Saturday night?” your friends will ask in judgement. “Yeah, the footy’s on.” No more questions asked!
Invite your mates rounds, stock the fridge with plenty of ‘cold ones’, light up the BBQ and you have yourself a rather joyous occasion. There’s nothing like the inclusive culture that National Rugby League brings to so many Australian households. Sure, there is always going to be a divisive factor when 2 people from different teams go head to head. But that’s all in the name of good banter, right?
The beauty of an Australian National Rugby League team is that there are so many options of who to barrack for. The same goes for AFL, we suppose (if you’re into that kind of thing). However, in other nationally appreciated sports like cricket, once you reach the big leagues, the only team you really have to go for is, well, the Australian one. Cheating scandals aside, we do get the national unity that cheering for one team brings us as individuals. However, nothing beats having options.
Australian National Rugby League team list
- Brisbane Broncos
- George Illawarra Dragons
- South Sydney Rabbitohs
- Sydney Roosters
- Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
- Parramatta Eels
- Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
- Melbourne Storm
- North Queensland Cowboys
- West Tigers
- Penrith Panthers
- Cronulla Sharks
- Canberra Raiders
- Newcastle Knights
- Gold Coast Titans
- Western Suburbs Magpies
- Northern Eagles
- New Zealand Warriors
That’s 18 different Australian National Rugby League teams that you can choose from. Typically, your loyalties will lie with the team from your hometown. However, if you’re all about the win, you may just follow whichever team is on top of the NRL ladder.
National Rugby League in the community
As National Rugby League is such a huge sport in Australia, the different clubs and players naturally have a huge impact on the community. Sometimes this impact is more bitter than sweet when our favourite players’ faces are plastered through the media for drug abuse, violence and sexist, racist or religious prejudice.
NRL players are seen as role models within the football community and they are looked up to by millions of people, of young children aspiring to be just like them. Perhaps sometimes they don’t realise the gravity of the impact that their actions or words can have on others. Anyway, that topic is best left for another day.
On a brighter note, there are many clubs that do a lot to give back to the community. National Rugby League can be seen as a powerful vehicle for change. There are a lot more good eggs in NRL than bad ones, that we can see anyway. Good eggs like Kevin Naiqama who spends time every week working in a soup kitchen.
Or Dragon’s winger Kalifa Faifai Loa volunteering at St Vincent de Paul. Jenni-sue Hoepper from the Jillaroos has implemented an after-school league tag program in the Wurrumiyanga community on Bathurst Island. And Rabbitohs stars runs his own program teaching health. Lifestyle and persistence in North Coast schools alongside Greg Inglis and Adam Reynolds.
These are just a few of the National Rugby League players who are putting in the groundwork to act as positive, admirable and dedicated role models to the wider Australian community.
National Rugby League community outreach programs
The Brisbane Broncos
The Brisbane Broncos is just one team that is making an effort to support the people who support them. Beyond the Broncos is an initiative that aims to improve attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in high schools throughout Brisbane. Students get one-on-one mentoring from Broncos players to help them achieve maximum school attendance, effort, and behaviour and to complete year 12.
The Broncos also have the Brisbane Broncos Charities Fund which aims to provide encouragement, assistance, and financial support for the underprivileged and disadvantaged youth of Queensland. Find financial help in Brisbane now.
Manly Sea Eagles
The Sea Eagles, while dropping the ball slightly on the field, are really picking up their game with their community outreach. They have implemented various local support initiatives to give back to the community. Read with an Eagle allows young school children to take reading and literacy classes lead by the players. The National Rugby League players act as captains, mentors, and tutors for an hour each week over a 3 week period in public, Catholic and independent schools. This program is great for teaching reluctant and disconnected students about how important reading and literacy is to be successful in life.
The Sea Eagles Breakfast Club is another National Rugby League program run by Manly. It provides a healthy breakfast and nutrition skills to school children to help them start the day well. It teaches young kids about the importance of fuelling their minds for learning and providing the energy they need t get through the day.
Sea Eagles Tackle Bullying is another powerful program that focusing on anti-bullying and empowering students to stand up for themselves and others who are being bullied. Finally, Manly also runs the Sea Eagles of Tomorrow program which consists of various clinics and gala days. As a result, it gets young aspiring footballers more involved in the game.
So, while the Sea Eagles might be a little unsure as to what they’re doing on the field, they are an Australian rugby league team that knows how to give back to their local community.
North Queensland Cowboys
The Cowboys have been running their cornerstone community program, Adopt-a-School, as a way to reinvest in the Townsville school community. Basically, the program gives participating schools the opportunity to utilise their ‘adopted’ Cowboy as a role model for their students – kind of like a big brother program.
The team makes over 650 visits to North Queensland schools each year and have been involved in a variety of school community activities. The theme of the Adopt-a-School program is ‘eat well, play well, stay well’. It is in support of the National Rugby League community health initiative that aims to maintain a healthy school initiative.
Recently, Roosters player Bernard Lewis and the Roosters Community team spent a day on the central coast in what they called, Bernie Goes Coastal. The initiative was put in place in line with the Tackle Bullying and Respect programs. Bernie spoke to the students about the various forms of bullying in modern society, including verbal, physical and physiological abuse. The Roosters also held a Tackle Bullying assembly got over 340 students to further discuss how severely bullying can impact a child’s life.
Furthermore, the Roosters also run the Feather Dance School, which offers affordable dance classes for the local community. The school allows for boys and girls to be a part of the Sydney Roosters Club in more ways than one. They conduct cheerleading and hip-hop classes for kids who love to dance and with the experience the thrill of performing in from of thousands of Roosters fans at Allianz Stadium. Now, we’re all for anti-bullying and education campaigns in schools, but any program that encourages the youth of today to fight problems with dance is something we will support wholeheartedly.
The Sydney club also runs a Mini League Competition that gets boys and girls ages 4-8 more involved in National Rugby League. Furthermore, the team also holds school summer camps for kids ages 5-14 years. Like the mini-league competition, these camps are to encourage kids to get more involved in the game as well as have fun with different activities and dance camps.
The West Tigers Careers Assembly is where executives from the team speak to year 10,11 and 12 years about goal setting and career development while linking it back to their stories and mindset at that age. It’s an awesome program for kids that age as the lead up to finishing school can be quite daunting and transitional. To hear alike stories from their role models is an awesome way for the students to relate to people who they see as successful.
Furthermore, the West Tigers Teach Program is another school initiative that teaches students about a range of topics like mental health, bullying, healthy living and goal setting. The program is offered both in the classroom by the players as well as National Rugby League clinics.
The West Tigers Mentor Program and the Hope Program both go hand-in-hand in offering support to kids who would benefit from having a mentor. The mentor program includes players and staff mentor groups and individual sessions. Whereas, the Hope Program looks at offering support to youth who have been identified by policies as being at risk.
These are just a few of the several community support programs that the West Tigers offer to their local community.
Every team on the NRL ladder has some kind of program in place to support the communities that are always supporting them in their games. We could go on for pages about how awesome we think it is that National Rugby League is such a supportive, inclusive, exciting and encouraging community to be a part of. And just like everything, there is always going to be a few bad eggs in the mix but we can just leave those eggs in the carton and continue to appreciate the good ones!
Now, let’s look at the latest NRL results!
As of round 13 of the Telstra Premiership, the Penrith Panthers are sitting on top of the NRL scores ladders with the St. George Illawarra sitting alongside them. Ina close second is the Rabbitohs proving how slow and steady really does win the race… sort of. The rest of the NRL lives scores are looking a little like this:
- Panthers – 9 wins
- Dragons – 9 wins
- Rabbitohs – 8 wins
- Sharks – 8 wins
- Warriors – 8 wins
- Storm – 7 wins
- Roosters – 7 wins
- West Tigers – 7 wins
- Broncos – 7 wins
- Raiders – 5 wins
- Knights – 5 wins
- Sea Eagles – 4 wins
- Titans – 4 wins
- Bulldogs – 3 wins
- Cowboys – 3 wins
- Eels – 2 wins
Those are the current NRL scores after last weekend. We’re sorry if your National Rugby League team Australia is sitting a little low on the NRL results ladder. However, perhaps if you jump onto their website and check out their community outreach programs, you’ll feel a little better about hot mess’ they are on the field.
Finally, if you’re an avid National Rugby League fan and you’re sick of watching the action from the boring comfort of your lounge room, we think it’s time to get to the front line and witness it for real! Apply for a personal loan with Jacaranda Finance and buy yourself season tickets to watch your favourite team play! One of our short-term loans could help you kit yourself out with all your team’s gear and get into the true spirit that National Rugby League brings out in so many Australians!
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