Complete 2014 NRL Draw Analysis

The NRL 2014 Draw schedule has now been finalised with the ‘Glory Bound Rounds' fixtures released following the conclusion of Round 16. We have dived into the draw to take a look at each club's run to September and how each has fared with air time on Channel 9 and FOX Sports.

Below are breakdowns for each NRL club, along with tables highlighting appearances by time slot and day.

Note: Saturday G1, Saturday G2 and Saturday G3 refers to 3:00pm/4:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm time slots respectively.

NRL CLUB BREAKDOWN [Ranked by free-to-air (FTA) coverage]

Brisbane Broncos (1st)

The NRL Draw has favourited the team with its own city as the Broncos racked up the highest total for both Free-To-Air (FTA) fixtures and appearances on Channel 9's Friday Night Football. The club is allocated 18 fixtures on FTA with 16 of those on Friday Night to bring bumper Queensland ratings.

Finals Run Home
Brisbane feature five of six times on FTA coverage in their remaining games of the season and a single Fox Sports match in Round 24 against Newcastle. Their domination of Friday Nights in Queensland continues as they battle for a spot in the NRL's top 8.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Friday Night (18)
Number of FTA games: 18
Number of Fox games: 6

Home ground
Most appearances: Friday Night (9)
Number of FTA games: 10
Number of Fox games: 2


Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (2nd)

The Sea Eagles rank the highest of all Sydney clubs with FTA coverage with 16 fixtures (7 home games) on Channel 9 across 24 games. Manly, along with Canterbury, lead the competition with coverage on Friday Night, appearing 10 times. They also feature 6 times on Channel 9's Sunday afternoon, three from their home base at Brookvale Oval.

Finals Run Home
The Sea Eagles will rack up some frequent flyer points in the final rounds with two trips to Queensland. The club hosts just two games at Brookvale Oval in six games (Round 21 & 25). Positive for their fans with five of the six games featuring on Channel 9.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Friday Night (10)
Number of FTA games: 16
Number of Fox games: 8

Home ground
Most appearances: Friday Night (4)
Number of FTA games: 7
Number of Fox games: 5


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (3rd)

The Bulldogs were one of several clubs who entered season 2014 as Premiership favourites and Channel 9's selections have seen them pick up 10 Friday night fixtures, 4 of which are at ANZ Stadium. Canterbury rank second of the Sydney clubs with the most coverage on FTA, appearing a total of 14 times in 24 games.

Finals Run Home
The Bulldogs sit atop the NRL ladder and their performances have been rewarded with their final six games all airing on Channel 9, three of which will be Friday Night fixtures. The Bulldogs secured four home matches while the remaining fixtures see the club travel north to Queensland twice.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Friday Night (10)
Number of FTA games: 14
Number of Fox games: 10

Home ground
Most appearances: Friday Night (4)
Number of FTA games: 7
Number of Fox games: 3


South Sydney Rabbitohs (4th)

The Rabbitohs supporters were dealt the short straw as their club picked up the highest Thursday Night allocation (4) of all NRL clubs, three of which occur in the ‘Glory Bound Rounds'. Souths rank first of the Sydney clubs with the highest allocation of FTA coverage at their home grounds (ANZ Stadium and SCG). Another positive for the club is they rank in the top three teams with most FTA coverage in season 2014.

Finals Run Home
It's a rough run to the finals for the Cardinal and Myrtle with blockbusters against the Sea Eagles, Bulldogs and the Sydney Roosters, the latter both occurring on Thursday Night. The Rabbitohs appear 5 of 6 times on FTA coverage with their Round 24 clash with North Queensland featuring on Fox Sports.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Friday Night (9)
Number of FTA games: 14
Number of Fox games: 10

Home ground
Most appearances: Friday Night (4) - ANZ & SCG
Number of FTA games: 7
Number of Fox games: 5


Wests Tigers (5th)

Wests Tigers have a fairly even split between FTA and Pay-TV coverage across the season with Sunday afternoon fixtures the most. Wests Tigers fans were left up in arms in 2013 with no Sunday afternoon matches allocated at Leichhardt Oval, the NRL corrected this with 3 of 4 games played at the venue hosted on Sunday. Campbelltown was the loser in this arrangement with all Night fixtures, which in Sydney's South-West is not the ideal way to draw a crowd.

Finals Run Home
The joint venture currently sits on the fringe of the top 8 and their run to the finals is aided with three homes, two of which have been allocated to Leichhardt Oval (Roosters, Round 24 & Cronulla, Round 26). The Wests Tigers also have been unlucky enough to be dealt a Thursday Night game against Canterbury in Round 23 after a flaw in the draw originally gave the club only a 4 day turnaround heading into Round 24.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Sunday 3:00pm (6)
Number of FTA games: 11
Number of Fox games: 13

Home grounds
Most appearances: Sunday 3:00pm (ANZ - 2; Leichhardt: 3)
Number of FTA games: 6
Number of Fox games: 6


Sydney Roosters (6th)

You may have expected the 2013 Premiers to be the highest featured club on Channel 9, however they rank 6th. The Roosters hold the highest Saturday Night appearance rate of all Sydney clubs with 8 fixtures at 7:30pm, half of which are at Allianz Stadium. The tricolours aren't without coverage on FTA with 8 fixtures on Friday Night, half allocated at home.

Finals Run Home
The Roosters pick up just the single FTA game in their run to the finals against the Rabbitohs on Thursday Night in Round 26. Their final draw is one of the more favourable in the competition with four fixtures allocated to Allianz Stadium.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Friday Night (8) & Saturday 7:30pm (8)
Number of FTA games: 10
Number of Fox games: 14

Home ground
Most appearances: Friday Night (4) & Saturday 7:30pm (4)
Number of FTA games: 5
Number of Fox games: 7


St. George Illawarra Dragons (7th)

Despite finishing 14th in the 2013 season, the Dragons feature heavily in Channel 9's Sunday afternoon coverage with the most appearances (6). The Dragons are one of just two clubs spread across several home grounds and their time slot allocates favour those who pay-TV. However, their marquee games against the Roosters, Wests Tigers and Bulldogs allocated to free-to-air coverage.

Finals Run Home
The Dragons see just two home visits in their final six fixtures with one game apiece at WIN Stadium in Wollongong and Jubilee Oval in Kogarah. They will finish the season on the road with trips to Suncorp and Hunter Stadiums closing out the final rounds. They benefit from the Broncos hold on Friday Nights with the fixture being their only FTA appearance.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Sunday 3:00pm (6)
Number of FTA games: 9
Number of Fox games: 15

Home grounds
Most appearances: ANZ - Sunday 3:00pm (2) & Jubilee Oval - Saturday 5:30pm (2)
Number of FTA games: 5
Number of Fox games: 12


Parramatta Eels (8th)

It's been a tough few years for the Eels, but in 2014 under the guidance of Brad Arthur they have challenged the old view of the club. This year they have picked up just the 8 FTA games with their highest appearance rate split between Friday and Saturday nights. Pirtek Stadium has seen its share of FTA game with half of their total FTA games at the venue.

Finals Run Home
The Eels have a tough run to the finals with games against the competition leaders in the Bulldogs and Sea Eagles, both featuring on FTA. Strangely, they face the Canberra Raiders twice in five games, including a trip to Darwin.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Friday Night (5) & Saturday 5:30pm (5)
Number of FTA games: 8
Number of Fox games: 16

Home ground
Most appearances: Pirtek Stadium - Friday Night (3)
Number of FTA games: 6
Number of Fox games: 6



Gold Coast Titans (9th)

The Gold Coast join the Storm with highest number of appearances on Monday Night football with six matches. One of the biggest concerns with the Titans' draw was the allocation of Sunday afternoon games in March with high temperatures an issue for players and the crowd. The Titans also suffer from the large Broncos allocation of FTA games with the club appearing just 7 of 24 times on Channel 9.

Finals Run Home
The Titans have an uphill battle ahead of them in the final rounds of the competition as they face teams who are all ranked higher on the NRL table. The Gold Coast host just two home fixtures and that may play to their advantage with blockbusters against Canterbury and Manly lined up for Round 23 and 26.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Monday Night (6)
Number of FTA games: 7
Number of Fox games: 17

Home ground
Most appearances: Saturday 5:30pm (4) & Sunday 3:00pm (4)
Number of FTA games: 5
Number of Fox games: 7


North Queensland Cowboys (10th)

North Queensland feature heavily in Fox Sports' Super Saturday coverage with a massive 10 fixtures allocated to the 7:30pm time slot, the most of any other club. As Brisbane holds the majority of Queensland FTA coverage, the Cowboys have become regulars on FOX Sports with 18 games on the network.

Finals Run Home
The Cowboys finish the season with only a five day turn around between Round 25 and 26. Both games feature at home after two weeks on the road in NSW against Penrith and South Sydney. The Cowboys see no free-to-air coverage in their run to the finals with all games on FOX Sports.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Saturday 7:30pm (10)
Number of FTA games: 6
Number of Fox games: 18

Home ground
Most appearances: Saturday 7:30pm (7)
Number of FTA games: 1
Number of Fox games: 11


Melbourne Storm (11th)

The Melbourne Storm are one of two NRL clubs who hold the highest allocation for the unpopular Monday Night football with 6 matches in 2014. The Storm also do not favour highly with FTA coverage with only 6 fixtures, which could go against the notion to grow the game in Melbourne with Storm games only appearing on digital channel GEM.

Finals Run Home
A troublesome run home for the Storm with just two home games at AAMI Park, including their final match against Brisbane. Their ‘Glory Bound Rounds' kick off at Campbelltown against Wests Tigers, followed by a trip to Newcastle in Round 22. One of the perennial contenders only picks up a single FTA game against Channel 9 favourites, the Broncos in Round 26.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Monday Night (6)
Number of FTA games: 6
Number of Fox games: 18

Home ground
Most appearances: Saturday 5:30pm (3)
Number of FTA games: 3
Number of Fox games: 9


Newcastle Knights (12th)

The club from the Hunter have become regulars on FOX Sports' Sunday afternoon coverage, second only to the New Zealand Warriors, with 6 fixtures in the 2pm time slot. Meanwhlie, they rank towards the bottom of the competition in terms of air time on Channel 9 with six fixtures, 3 of which are at Hunter Stadium.

Finals Run Home
The Knights run towards September begins with a difficult battle against the Rabbitohs in Carins. However, the club does finish with 4 of the next 5 at home with no FTA coverage following their trip to North Queensland.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Sunday 2pm (6)
Number of FTA games: 6
Number of Fox games: 18

Home ground
Most appearances: Sunday 2pm (5)
Number of FTA games: 3
Number of Fox games: 9


Penrith Panthers (13th)

The Panthers have flourished in 2014 and Phil Gould's five year plan is proving its doubters wrong as they climb the competition ladder. Their FTA coverage has trailed behind with just 6 fixtures on Channel 9, ranking them in the bottom four. The Panthers are the only Sydney club who feature more than twice on Monday Night at their home venue and have no Sunday afternoon fixtures across the season.

Finals Run Home
The ‘Glory Bound Rounds' kick off with a big game against the Bulldogs which starts a two week road trip to ANZ and WIN Stadium. The club hosts back to back Monday night fixtures at Sportingbet Stadium before they clash with Manly at Brookvale on Sunday afternoon in Round 25. The Panthers close out the regular season with a Sunday night match against the Warriors.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Saturday 3:00pm (5) & Saturday 5:30pm (5)
Number of FTA games: 6
Number of Fox games: 18

Home ground
Most appearances: Monday Night (4)
Number of FTA games: 2
Number of Fox games: 10


Cronulla Sharks (14th)

The Sharks have been a regular on Monday Night football again in 2014 with the highest appearances of all Sydney clubs with 5 fixtures. They rank the 3rd lowest of all clubs with coverage on FTA with just 5 games appearing on Channel 9. Saturday holds the highest appearance rate for the Sharks at Remondis Stadium, three fixtures hosted at 3:00pm.

Finals Run Home
The Sharks certainly have one of the worst road trips in the ‘Glory Bound Rounds' with three out of state trips, Round 22 to Mt. Smart Stadium, Round 23 to AAMI Park and Round 25 to 1300SMILES Stadium. It's a big challenge for the Sharks to finish the season on a high with just a five day turnaround from North Queensland to Leichhardt in the final two matches.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Monday Night (5) & Saturday 3:00pm (5)
Number of FTA games: 5
Number of Fox games: 19

Home ground
Most appearances: Saturday 3:00pm
Number of FTA games: 2
Number of Fox games: 10


Canberra Raiders (15th)

The Raiders have been pushing for an increase to FTA coverage on Channel 9 and in 2014 they managed just three fixtures, two of which were played at their home ground, GIO Stadium. Canberra are in a small cluster of clubs who have become stalwarts of Fox Sports in recent seasons with Saturday Night and 2pm Sunday fixtures their highest appearances.

Finals Run Home
Canberra have fared well with travel in their final six games, as the club hosts four matches at GIO Stadium. Their toughest fixtures sees the club face the Eels twice in four games, including a trek to Darwin to play. If the Raiders are to surge into the finals it will be without FTA coverage.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Saturday 5:30pm & Sunday 2pm (6)
Number of FTA games: 3
Number of Fox games: 21

Home ground
Most appearances: Sunday 3pm (3)
Number of FTA games: 4
Number of Fox games: 9


New Zealand Warriors (16th)

The Warriors being New Zealand based makes it a hard sell for FTA coverage in Australia and they have found themselves with a single fixture on Channel 9 in 2014. The positive for the Kiwis is 7 of their 12 home games are on Sunday afternoon and their appearance on Pay-TV means live & HD coverage led by commentator Andrew Voss. The Warriors were the only NRL club in 2014 who were not allocated a Monday Night game.

Finals Run Home
The Warriors could have the ‘easiest' run to the finals as they play the 3 bottom placed teams, Newcastle, Canberra and Cronulla in their remaining fixtures. The benefit continues with six consecutive Sunday afternoon games, all covered by Sky/Fox Sports. Their toughest battle in the ‘Glory Bound Rounds' comes in Round 26 against ladder leaders the Penrith Panthers.

2014 Season
Most appearances: Sunday 2:00pm (10)
Number of FTA games: 1
Number of Fox games: 23

Home ground
Most appearances: Sunday 2:00pm (7)
Number of FTA games: 0
Number of Fox games: 12

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