Now that the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership draw has been released and we’ve all had some time to look at it, there are some certain fixtures you will definitely want to sync to your phone calendars.
In the busiest NRL off-season the sport has seen for quite a while, it amounts to some mouth-watering clashes between rival coaches and players as well as milestone games.
Below are the eight fixtures Zero Tackle has declared the ‘can’t miss’ matches of 2019:
Round 1 – Storm v Broncos
AAMI Park, 7:50 (AEDT), Thursday 14th March
Lets start at the beginning shall we.
The season opener!
2019 will kick off with a bang as two successful clubs go head-to-head when the Storm host the Broncos in Melbourne.
Minus one Billy Slater, the clash will see two of the games greatest coaches go up against each other again (at this stage anyways), and will surely be a great start to the 2019 season.
Round 4 – Panthers v Wests Tigers
Panthers Stadium, 7:55pm (AEDT), Friday 5th April
This is the first time former and now current Panthers coach Ivan Cleary will come against his former employers in the Wests Tigers.
The Tigers will be out to cause havoc for Cleary as they have a point to prove against their 2018 coach who opted to head back to the Panthers in order to create that ‘father-son’ combination.
Round 6 – Storm v Roosters
AAMI Park, 7:55pm (AEST), Friday 19th April
It’s the Grand Final rematch, and it’s also Cooper Cronk versus the Storm once again.
This time Cronk will be looking to play his former club without a fractured shoulder, but hoping for the same result – a win!
With the match being played in Melbourne, it’ll be the first time Cronk has played against the Storm in their home state, so expect a hostile environment.
Melbourne will be looking to overturn the outcome of their last meeting, although, no premiership rings are up for grabs.
Round 6 – Eels v Wests Tigers
Western Sydney Stadium, 4:00pm (AEST), Monday 22nd April
This Easter Monday clash will help cure your chocolate hangover.
It’ll be the first NRL match played at the Western Sydney Stadium (formerly known as Parramatta Stadium) for 2019, and it’ll be contested between two arch-rivals.
You’ll have to tune in to see which team will win the chocolates on the day.
Round 8 – Rabbitohs v Broncos
ANZ Stadium, 7:50pm (AEST), Thursday 2nd May
Seibold v Bennett.
Bennett v Seibold.
Well… at this stage, we aren’t too confident who will be coaching which team, but nonetheless, the two coaches will face off against each other.
Two of the best teams in 2018 will fight it out for bragging rights, and to see which coach (whoever they are actually coaching) will come out on top.
Round 9 – Bulldogs v Knights
Suncorp Stadium, 3:00pm (AEST), Saturday 11th May
Magic Round – a whole NRL round which will be played at Suncorp Stadium, will see a big enforcer come up against his old side.
David Klemmer v the Bulldogs.
After making the switch to Newcastle, Klemmer will be out to give the Dogs nightmares when he charges up the middle in Red and Blue.
This match, and this round, is one not to miss.
Round 11 – Dragons v Sharks
WIN Stadium, 4:05pm (AEST), Sunday 26th May
A local derby between two proud clubs will always cause some fireworks, with this game expected to be no different.
In 2018, the Dragons got the better of Cronulla the two times the teams met, with the Sharks out for revenge in 2019 to level the scores.
Round 17 – Storm v Sharks
AAMI Park, 7:35pm (AEST), Saturday 13th July
Our final match not to miss is the growing rivalry between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks.
It all started in 2016 when the Sharks snatched their maiden premiership title, and since then, there has been some bad blood between the two teams.
The Storm ended Cronulla’s 2018 season in the preliminary final which saw the team in purple progress to the Grand Final, and given they meet later in the season, with the expectation both teams will be contesting for a finals position, winning the points in this clash could prove crucial.