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NRL Season Preview 2024 | Draw and Squad Analysis

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Experienced pro MrG aka Gerard Condon provides expert NRL tips and content each week for our Reading The Play followers and subscribers.

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NRL Season Preview 2024 | Draw and Squad Analysis

 

This is how the table finished in 2023 – 13 wins made the semi finals

Nrl_final_table_2023

Draw and Squad List

The NRL Draw is never fair, it’s pieced together based on key team match ups, ground availability, adding in 3 byes to each club and selected teams to play more free to air tv games while then dropping in State Of Origin in the middle of the season where the best performed rep players are all on call. Add to this Thursday to Sunday games and 5, 6 and 7 day (or more) turn arounds many with interstate travel; and the fact that to make up a 27 week season each club will play some teams twice and many teams just once.

Plus which clubs looked to have made key signings and gains, strengthened their overall playing list or maybe not made much change. All club player gains and losses listed here.

Draw Analysis

 

Broncos

Bulldogs

Cowboys

Dolphins

Dragons

Eagles

Eels

Knights

Panthers

vTop4

5

5

6

7

5

6

7

7

5

vTop8

10

13

12

12

11

12

12

11

10

vBottom9

14

11

12

12

13

12

12

13

14

5dayTA

1

0

1

2

1

0

3

1

3

6dayTA

4

8

10

4

8

7

6

4

4

7dayTA

18

15

12

17

14

16

14

18

16

 

Rabbits

Raiders

Roosters

Sharks

Storm

Tigers

Titans

Warriors

vTop4

7

5

6

5

6

4

6

4

vTop8

13

11

10

9

12

11

12

11

vBottom9

11

13

14

15

12

13

12

13

5dayTA

1

1

2

2

3

3

1

1

6dayTA

3

5

4

3

4

6

5

4

7dayTA

19

17

17

18

16

14

17

18

Note: Clubs are in alphabetical order

Broncos

Draw
7 of their first 12 games at Home, plus 18 x 7 day turn around (or more) during the season. They play just three of last year’s top8 teams twice and have three consecutive home games to finish the season. Huge improvement in their Away / road record last season saw them just miss minor premiership and make Grand Final.

Gains
Fletcher Baker, Jaiyden Hunt

Losses
Kurt Capewell, Herbie Farnworth, Thomas Flegler, Keenan Palasia

Bulldogs

Draw
Only team with no 5 day turn arounds, also only play Panthers, Broncos and Storm just once each and of last seasons top 4 only play the one team Warriors twice. Have 4 distant road games through the final weeks of the season. Off only 7 wins last season and 15th spot can only be upside, 4 of the 7 wins came when Home (Belmore, Accor).

Gains
Stephen Crichton, Josh Curran, Poasa Faamausili, Drew Hutchison, Kurt Mann, Jaeman Salmon, Blake Taaffe, Connor Tracey, Jake Turpin, Mitchell Woods, Bronson Xerri

Losses
Paul Alamoti, Jake Averillo, Fa’amanu Brown, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Kyle Flanagan, Michael Gabrael, Jayden Okunbor, Tevita Pangai Junior, Franklin Pele, Josh Reynolds, Luke Thompson, Corey Waddell

Cowboys

Draw
Positive run home at end of season with 6 of last 8 games in Townsville plus byes in Rds 19 and 25. This season they have also do not have distant travel legs to Melbourne, Auckland or Newcastle and only 7 interstate / away games. Longer term Home has been a key advantage, but very much a mixed bag last season with a lot of inconsistency.

Gains
Jake Clifford, Thomas Mikaele, D’Jazirhae Pua’Avase, Viliami Vailea

Losses
Peta Hiku, Sylvester Namo, Riley Price, James Tamou

Dolphins

Draw
7 of opening 11 games in Brisbane, also have their 3 byes prior to Rd18, but over all a tough draw. Play 3 games prior to Origin without their rep players, and in addition to interstate travel schedule (Sydney, Melbourne, etc) they also have 4 distant road games in Darwin, Auckland and Perth. 6 of last seasons win came at Home (Redcliffe or Suncorp)

Gains
Jake Averillo, Herbie Farnworth, Thomas Flegler, Oryn Keeley

Losses
Herman Ese’ese, Poasa Faamausili, Oliver Gildart

Dragons

Draw
No excuse early with just one v last season top8 side in opening 6 weeks. Play Panthers and Broncos who will be without rep players through Origin period. Play 4 home games in final 5 rounds to finish the season. Their out of Sydney and Away record is horrendous (and has been for many seasons) and their 5 wins last season all came when at Home.

Gains
Corey Allan, Tom Eisenhuth, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Kyle Flanagan, Jesse Marschke, Hame Sele, Cyrus Stanley-Traill, Christian Tuipulotu

Losses
Billy Burns, Jaiyden Hunt, Josh Kerr, Alex Lobb, Moses Mbye, Tautau Moga, Zane Musgrove, Jayden Sullivan

Eagles

Draw
Looks a fair draw with no significant advantage or disadvantage, have an even split of 24 games against last seasons top8 and bottom9. Generally their best is at Home (Brookvale) won 6 of 10 last season, but were poor with distant travel losing 4.

Gains
Luke Brooks, Nathan Brown, Bailey Hodgson, Aitasi James, Jaxson Paulo, Tommy Talau, Corey Waddell, Brandon Wakeham

Losses
Latu Fainu, Samuela Fainu, Morgan Harper, Sean Keppie, Kelma Tuilagi, Christian Tuipulotu, Kaeo Weekes

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Eels

Draw
Play Panthers, Broncos and Storm twice throughout the year, and then every top 4 team from last season in their run home through the final seven rounds. Still questionable road record when away from home (Comm Bank Stadium), lost 8 of 13 last season. Play 5 games vs teams off a Bye.

Gains
Morgan Harper, Kelma Tuilagi

Losses
Waqa Blake, Andrew Davey, Josh Hodgson, Jack Murchie, Mitch Rein

Knights

Draw
Get Panthers, Storm and Warriors twice but also 13 against the bottom9 of last season. Play the most games (7) of any team vs last seasons top 5. Should have near full house and significant home advantage for all 12 home games in Newcastle. Won 9 at Home last season and did improve on the road with 5 wins.

Gains
Jed Cartwright, Jack Cogger, Tom Jenkins, Kai Pearce-Paul, Will Pryce

Losses
Fa’amanu Brown, Adam Clune, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Bailey Hodgson, Oryn Keeley, Kurt Mann, Lachlan Miller, Ryan Rivett, Simi Sasagi, Dominic Young

Panthers

Draw
Two of their byes are prior to last two State Of Origin. Tough start to season with UK trip then Storm (Melbourne) arch rivals Eels then Grand Final re match v Broncos. Outstanding home ground advantage. Have outstanding long term Home record, and again last season only dropped two losses at Penrith Park.

Gains
Paul Alamoti, Daine Laurie, Riley Price, Brad Schneider

Losses
Jack Cogger, Stephen Crichton, Zac Hosking, Tom Jenkins, Spencer Leniu, Jaeman Salmon

Rabbits

Draw
7 games vs last seasons top4, plus a few distant games in LA, Melbourne and 3 trips to Brisbane. Also get Panthers, Storm and broncos twice. Generally have a good record at Homebush and when travelling.

Gains
Sean Keppie, Jack Wighton

Losses
Jed Cartwright, Josiah Karapani, Liam Knight, Hame Sele, Blake Taaffe

Raiders

Draw
Get two of last season’s bottom3 teams twice in Tigers and Bulldogs, get 12 games v last season’s bottom9. Poor overall Home record last season winning only 6 of 11. Their draw vs teams twice looks helpful with only the Warriors out of last seasons top4.

Gains
Zac Hosking, Simi Sasagi, Morgan Smithies, Kaeo Weekes

Losses
Jarrod Croker, Matt Frawley, Brad Schneider, Harley Smith-Shields, Semi Valemei, Jack Wighton

Roosters

Draw
Tough opening 4 games to season with LA then Brookvale then Rabbits then Panthers. Play 14 games v bottom9 teams from last season. Building a very good Home record at new stadium winning 6 of 8 there last season.

Gains
Spencer Leniu, Lewis Murphy, Ethan Roberts, Blake Steep, Xavier Va’a, Alex Young, Dominic Young

Losses
Corey Allan, Fletcher Baker, Nathan Brown, Thomas Deakin, Elie El-Zakhem, Tuku Hau Tapuha, Drew Hutchison, Vuate Karawalevu, Paul Momirovski, Jaxson Paulo, Jake Turpin

Sharks

Draw
Looks a soft draw, highest of all teams in 15 games vs last seasons bottom9 plus play twice v Bulldogs and Dragons. Add on 18 x 7 day or more turn arounds for a team who finished top 4 last season it again looks a very winnable draw.

Gains
Billy Burns,  Michael Gabrael

Losses
Wade Graham, Tuku Hau Tapuha, Matt Ikuvalu, Matt Moylan, Connor Tracey

Storm

Draw
12 games v last season’s top8 and 12 v the bottom9, but do also play twice top of table contenders Panthers, Broncos, Warriors, Knights, Roosters, Rabbitohs and Eels. Quality long term winning record at Home, won 9 straight at AAMI Park last season.

Gains
Shawn Blore

Losses
Tom Eisenhuth, Jayden Nikorima, Justin Olam, Tariq Sims

Tigers

Draw
Play out of Sydney from Rd9 to Rd13. Play 13 games v bottom9 teams from last season, plus playing more (10 games) at Leichhardt and Campbelltown should be an advantage.

Gains
Solomon Alaimalo, Solomona Faataape, Latu Fainu, Samuela Fainu, Justin Olam, Aidan Sezer, Jayden Sullivan

Losses
Shawn Blore, Luke Brooks, Aitasi James, Daine Laurie, Ken Maumalo, David Nofoaluma, Joe Ofahengaue, Tommy Talau, Brandon Wakeham

Titans

Draw
Look advantaged with a soft opening to the season, bye Rd2 and only play 1 top 8 team of last season in the opening 7 weeks. Need to improve Home record significantly winning only 5 last season.

Gains
Keenan Palasia, Harley Smith-Shields

Losses
Aaron Booth, Patrick Herbert, Kruise Leeming, Sam McIntyre, Thomas Mikaele

Warriors

Draw
18 games with 7 day or more turn around will help with their travel commitments, also get 13 games v last seasons bottom9. They made their long awaited return to Mt Smart Stadium last season a huge plus winning 8 of 10.

Gains
Kurt Capewell, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

Losses
Josh Curran, Bayley Sironen, Viliami Vailea, Brayden Wiliame

Most advantaged by the draw?

The teams I thought looked most advantaged with their 2024 draw schedule look Sharks (best), Roosters and Panthers (although tough opening few weeks).

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Having coached at a senior level for 16 years including 3 years on the coaching staff of an NRL club Gerard Condon is a long term avid student of the game. He’s coached sides to win titles at a senior level, run the football arm of a successful district club, managed professional players and worked in various development roles, so it’s fair to say the game of Rugby League is certainly in his blood and supports an experienced and unique offering.

Mr G’s NRL previews and betting tips combine this knowledge and ‘read’ of the current weekly form with a statistical and betting analysis to provide his followers with a unique and successful approach. He spends hours each week watching and reviewing each and every game assessing the strengths and weakness of the form to then weigh against that of the betting markets. His previews and betting tips have been published on the internet via two sports forums for 7 years prior to his public offering through Reading The Play.

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