At the time of writing the NRL Grand Final is just around the corner in Australia.

Eagerly anticipated by fans of the sport both in-country and outside, bragging rights for the next few months can be assured by victory in this game. Along with the possibility of winning some cash if you fancy a wager and choose the right outcome at an online betting site like Energy Casino.

In England, playoffs in the Super League have just commenced with teams vying to compete in their own version of the Grand Final. Both of these games will be watched by big crowds, both in person and on the tv. People may argue other sports are more popular but numbers remain high for rugby league.

Besides being massively popular in England and Australia, other countries such as France, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Lebanon, and New Zealand embrace the game with great gusto.

What are its Rivals?
In a world where sports are seemingly everywhere these days, it’s no surprise that rugby league has been coming under increasing pressure from different angles. Rugby union, of course, is a constant thorn in rugby league's side.

Football, or soccer, is, of course, a threat to both, still retaining its position as the most popular sport in the world. Cricket, being popular in both England and Australia, and a variety of other countries, threatens to steal some of the limelight from rugby league.

Volleyball, basketball, tennis, hockey, and even baseball are all sports that outdo rugby on the global stage. Yet, rugby league keeps going, despite rumors of its demise, it still has quite a large following.

The big one
Apart from the Grand Final, there is another spectacle held every year held in Australia that draws dramatic interest from the public. This is known as the State of Origin and is a battle between the two states of New South Wales and Queensland.

With the first State of Origin only taking place in 1980, the state of Queensland has emerged victorious the most, currently leading the series with 22 wins as opposed to New South Wales’ 15 wins. 2 series actually finished a draw until the rules were changed to continue extra time to determine a winner.

How long is the rugby league season?
The NRL season in Australia stretches from March until October. Fans who like to watch or like to have a bet on the games have plenty of time to enjoy their favorite sport. It’s a long grueling slog by 16 teams, followed by the playoffs and then final, to see who comes out on top.

The Super League in England consists of 12 teams who compete against each other from February until September. The formation of the Super League in 1996 led to a change as normally the games would be hosted through the winter.

Can you gamble on rugby league?
Along with every other sport, it’s possible to bet on rugby league. Bookmakers on the high street provide odds on a vast range of options to do with the games. There are also now a large number of websites offering sports betting online that do battle for gamblers’ business.

It’s possible if you are quite knowledgeable about the sport to make some extra money from something you love. Chances are you won’t be able to turn down the opportunity to combine the two. Most people who like sport end up having a bet at some point.

While some may find this dangerous, it’s easy and fun if you bet in moderation. Having a bet certainly makes the games more exciting, be it online or even just among friends in a quest to find out who knows more!

What is the most popular type of bet?
The bet most commonly found in rugby league is the straight win bet which can also be known as the Moneyline. Who do you think will win? Don’t be afraid to put your money where your mouth is. You may find your bank balance soaring if you choose wisely.

Another bet punters are quite fond of is the handicap bet. Fancy a team to win and win easily? Chances are they probably will, however, the odds of this happening will more than likely be pretty poor. Better odds can be found by utilizing a handicap, which is a type of bet available at most reputable online betting sites.

For example, if you feel your chosen team will romp to victory by a large number of points like 30, you could place a bet on that team to win minus 25 points. That way if they do stroll to victory, you will receive a payout, only at far better odds than a standard win.

Have there been any betting scandals in rugby league?
Unfortunately, the temptation to make some money from the sport can get in the way even affecting the players. There have been some incidents over the years involving the top leagues such as England and Australia.

2004 saw two Great British international players both fined and suspended for betting on the outcome of a game involving their own team, St. Helens. Having inside knowledge that the club was fielding a weakened side, they placed money on their team to lose against the Bradford Bulls, which they duly did.

And in the Australian NRL, there have been a few occasions when there have been rumours of players conspiring to fix the results of games and make some money on the side. A 2015 game between Manly and Parramatta raised a few eyebrows that officials are still trying to prove to this day.

There’s a long list of suspicious activity in the NRL and sadly it has done nothing but tarnish the reputation of the league and harm players that steer clear of any wrongdoing. Some players themselves have actually admitted to having gambling problems.

Are there any other options for fans to get involved?
Besides actually going to the games and cheering your favourite team on, if you are a fan who likes to get involved and maybe are not too keen on betting, why not try NRL fantasy football? The games of NRL Fantasy or Supercoach are free to play and guaranteed fun with your mates.

If you have ever boasted about your knowledge of NRL or felt you had potential managerial skills, now is the time to get involved. It can immerse you more fully in the NRL experience when you are trying to pick your own team to do well.

It will certainly boost your interest in the games, as you aim to show your friends who is the best. Whether you are at the matches or not, rugby league can take on a whole new meaning with this personal attachment to the game.

Whoever manages to win the grand finals of their respective leagues must be well fancied for another title challenge next year. Yet, it doesn’t always work out that way in rugby league. It’s a long season and whoever wins are worthy champions.

Despite many more popular sports out there, a large number of fans have taken rugby league to their hearts. Games like the Grand Final and the State of Origin only tend to underline the magnitude of love and respect for these sporting occasions.

Fans can bet on these games as a one-off or maybe they have been betting all season. Perhaps fantasy football games are what interests them more as these can be very hands-on and involve them personally with team decisions. For sure, whichever route they choose to take, they cannot help but be entertained by rugby league.