Analysis – “Lions and Broncos and Bears! Oh my!” – Brisbane’s footy attendances

There’s nothing quite like a Wizard of Oz reference to title a post on a rugby league blog but here we are to discuss Australia’s third and best city, Brisbane.

I guess I, like most Australians outside the SCAM triangle, have a chip on my shoulder about the relative importance afforded to Sydney and Melbourne at the expense of the rest of us. I mean, there’s only 3.5 million people living in south-east Queensland but sure, tell me more about the battlers in Western Sydney who have to commute 400 hours a day to get their menial paycheck to service their grossly inflated mortgage.


I digress. The long history of the VFL is tightly bound to Melbourne and the nation’s premier rugby league competition to Sydney. In the late 1980s, guess who came crawling for expansion opportunities? Oh you want us to help you expand because now you want a national footprint? How interesting.

Continue reading “Analysis – “Lions and Broncos and Bears! Oh my!” – Brisbane’s footy attendances”

Club Report – Brisbane Broncos


The Brisbane Broncos have been one of the consistently strongest teams in rugby league since their inception in 1987. Having the relatively massive rugby league-loving Brisbane market to themselves, the Broncos have taken a slew of premierships in 1992, 1993, 1997 (albeit a Super League title), 1998, 2000 and 2006. Besides a grand final appearance in 2015, it has been a dry spell for Brisbane despite making all but two finals series since the NRL began in 1998.

The Broncos have been the incubator of a slew of rugby league’s stars, including Wally Lewis, Allan Langer, Darren Lockyer and former senator Glenn Lazarus (who thought they’d ever have to say that?), not to mention long-serving coach, Wayne Bennett. The 2017 Broncos vintage looks as promising as ever. They can never be written off but are they premiers in the making? We will have to wait and see.

Continue reading “Club Report – Brisbane Broncos”

NRL Tips – Round 10, 2017

Round 9 was pretty typical, garnering roughly five from eight correct tips. I suggested that there might be some trouble getting it right, and I was right about that, but the trouble came from surprising areas, e.g. the Warriors sneaking home against the Roosters in the dying minutes of the game.


I’d like to thank the rep round for cratering my traffic stats last week. All people want is more tipping advice, despite this site’s experts collectively tipping at a level best described as “awful”. The jury’s hanging in there well. My rate is slowly improving but nothing beats relying on class it seems with Eratosthenes leading the way, just a smidge under 60%. If this continues, it would be Eratos’ most successful season since 2011. Euclid, on the other hand, needs to add 8% to its rate to even hope to challenge its worst season.

After round 9:

Continue reading “NRL Tips – Round 10, 2017”

Analysis – An historical comparison of rugby league and AFL attendances using Cap

Last time, I introduced the concept of Cap. Cap is the ratio of the number of people in the area of a game compared to the number of people who actually turn up over the season. In this case, the lower the Cap (i.e. the more people who attend compared to the size of the local population), the more popular the sport, accounting for the local population and number of games. Cap is mostly for comparative analysis in fairly like-for-like situations but can also be used for very loose estimating, as we will see.

Average attendances can be a bit deceiving: AFL teams play 11 home games, NRL 12, A-League 13 or 14 and Super Rugby only 7 or 8. If, for argument’s sake, the Roar and the Reds have average attendances of 12,000 in a given year, a lot more people actually turned out for Roar games because they played nearly twice as many. If ticket prices are the same, that would also mean Roar fans spent a lot more money. Cap accounts for this by using the total gate receipts for a given year.

Continue reading “Analysis – An historical comparison of rugby league and AFL attendances using Cap”

Club Report – Newcastle Knights


Feared in the 2000s and now at the league’s nadir in the 2010s, the Newcastle story is definitely one of ups and downs. Founded in 1987 as an expansion to the NSWRL, Newcastle were early successes, taking their first premiership in 1997 during the ARL/Super League split. Andrew Johns led the team to a second premiership in the united competition in 2001.

The wheels of the club came off not long after his retirement. A string of scandals followed. In 2011, the Knights were bought by Nathan Tinkler whose subsequent bankruptcy pushed the team into NRL ownership. Since then, the team has consistently underperformed. Their 2016 season, where Newcastle finished with just one win, one draw and the wooden spoon, was the only time in the NRL’s history that a team has finished with fewer than three wins. This season is not going much better for them. While I don’t claim to be a Knights fan, it is difficult not to feel for the loyal fans who haven’t got much to look forward to.

Continue reading “Club Report – Newcastle Knights”

NRL Projections Update – Round 9, 2017

As I suggested in the Tips post, there were a few upsets this round but they weren’t the ones I was expecting. I said it was “hard to imagine” the Eels and Warriors getting up but they did, even if the Warriors were pretty lucky to get a last minute, and winning, penalty at the time and place they did. The Cowboys didn’t really look like they were in the same contest as the Eels, although I think any praise for Parramatta above “competent” was excessive (words like “clinical” and “on fire” against a team that is barely holding it together suggests a lack of perspective).

I did say I was nervous about the Bulldogs-Raiders game and I was right to be wary but the Sea Eagles had the biggest win in the second highest scoring round of the year (329 points, after 390 scored in round 2). It looked like going the same way at WIN Stadium on Sunday and at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday but the underdogs managed to claw back some respect on both occassions as the Storm and Broncos got out to big, early leads.

Round 9 Results

brisbane-sm Brisbane 32 (6-3) d penrith-sm Penrith 18 (2-7)

manly-sm Manly 46 (5-4) d souths-sm South Sydney 8 (3-6)

parramatta-sm Parramatta 26 (5-4) d north qld-sm North Queensland 6 (5-4)

gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast 38 (3-6) d newcastle-sm Newcastle 8 (1-8)

canterbury-sm Canterbury 16 (5-4) d canberra-sm Canberra 10 (4-5)

cronulla-sm Cronulla 22 (6-3) d wests tigers-sm Wests Tigers 16 (3-6)

warriors-sm New Zealand 14 (4-5) d sydney city-sm Sydney 13 (6-3)

melbourne-sm Melbourne 34 (8-1) d st george illawarra-sm St George Illawarra 22 (6-3)

[Home team in italics]

Collated Ladder

Continue reading “NRL Projections Update – Round 9, 2017”

NRL Tips – Round 9, 2017

Round 8 seemed to be a return to normal with a few upsets bringing us back to earth after a very successful Round 7. Round 9 will be more of the same with some even match-ups, including a top of the table clash between the Dragons and Storm on Sunday arvo and a questionable game as to whether Manly will turn it on or off against Souths.


The Greeks and I all hit about 50% last round, although Eratosthenes was the only one to correctly call the Roosters-Dragons game…just. I’ve made a few tweaks to the table this week to include a record of the consensus pick of each game which comes from which way our jury of four – Eratosthenes, Euclid, Archimedes and myself – vote.

The jury consensus is only measured for games where there was no “split” in voting. That’s happened nine times so far this season, so those results are not counted. I’m planning on having five jurors next season, so this shouldn’t be a problem in 2018.

After round 8:

Continue reading “NRL Tips – Round 9, 2017”