Rugby

The National Rugby League (NRL) is the premier rugby league competition in the Australasian region. It has clubs from Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, and New Zealand. Clubs play 24 matches per season. The 17 clubs competing in the 2023 NRL season have played between six to eight games already. 

The statistics are filling in, and the club placement is starting to form. As of April 20, these are the seven best rugby clubs in the 2023 NRL Season. 

Brisbane Broncos

The current front-runner in the 2023 NRL Season is the Brisbane Broncos. The club is currently based in Brisbane, Queensland. It used to be the glamour club of the NRL, as it was the most dominant team in the league. In this 36th season, they will try to regain their former glory and get the club’s 7th premiership.

Brisbane Broncos was a consistent Top 8 club last season but had a disastrous tumble towards the end of the season. During the off-season, management released underperforming players and signed new ones to improve the club’s standing. 

The move seems to have paid off. The club is currently in 1st place with 14 points, even though pundits predicted they just would barely crack the Top 8. To keep track of this season’s front-runner, continue reading Topsport rugby league news and stay updated.

Penrith Panthers

The Penrith Panthers entered the 2023 NRL Season as the two-time defending premier. The western Sydney-based club has won four premierships in its 57 years history. It’s only during recent years that the club has been dominating the league, as it continuously struggled during the first 20 years of its existence. 

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This season, the Penrith Panthers are planning to have a three-peat premiership. However, pundits have discussed that due to the departure or injury of the club’s star players, it might have a more difficult road ahead. Still, Penrith Panthers is a very solid club with very reliable young players and outstanding coach staff and management. They’re always at the top or near the top of experts’ pre-season rankings.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are one of the most consistent clubs in the league. They were only one win away from a Grand Final appearance last season. The management made no drastic changes this season, keeping the core intact. Pundits have pointed out that the club’s consistent non-changing of players could be the reason why they haven’t overcome these hurdles.

New Zealand Warriors

In the club’s 29th season, the New Zealand Warriors are proving to the league that they’re here to play. This Auckland-based club has reached two Grand Finals but has never won the premiership. The club is headed by its new head coach, former Penrith Panthers Assistant Coach Andrew Webster.

The club has struggled in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Zealand Warriors made a huge change during the off-season – hiring a new head coach. They also added several experienced players to the club. Even with these changes, pundits still ranked the club near-bottom of the league rankings. The club proved them wrong, as it is currently in 4th place with 10 points.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles club is competing in its 74th season. The club is currently based in Sydney Northern Beaches. It has been to 19 Grand Finals and has won seven premierships. Pundits have ranked them in the middle of the Top 8, and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles are flying at the same altitude in the league rankings. 

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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

This club is one of the underperforming clubs this 2023 NRL Season. The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks had the second-best points last season but are currently struggling. After eight rounds, it has only earned 8 season points. 

Pundits did not forecast the underperformance of the club. Pundits placed them in the top 3 and one of the serious threats for the premiership this season, citing their excellent performance last season. The club’s maiden premiership in 2016 will remain maiden if the current rankings remain.

Melbourne Storm

The Melbourne Storm has entered the postseason 22 times in the last 25 years. The club has won 6 premierships, 5 of which were won under the leadership of its longtime head coach Craig Bellamy.

This 2023 NRL Season, the club is looking to redeem their disappointing finish last season outside the top 4. This won’t be an easy task. The team’s star player, Ryan Papenhuyzen, is still injured, which may hamper the Storm’s championship aspirations this season.

Final Thoughts

The 2023 NRL Season has just begun, but it has already produced many storylines. The Broncos, Warriors, and Dolphins are overachieving their pre-season predictions. Sharks and Storm’s underperformance is another story to look out for. Of course, there’s the Panthers’ pursuit of a three-peat. Continue to stay tuned to the season and find out if the current top 8 hold their spots.

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