Mal says shortened NRL ruins chances

A 17-round competition would theoretically allow the grand final still to be played on October 4, with the State of Origin series to potentially follow.

It would also have each team play each other once, before two rivalry weekends.

Mal Meninga’s Titans are one of six teams yet to record a win in the suspended NRL competition.Credit:Getty

But Meninga, who is culture chief at the Titans, claimed the season had to go longer than 17 rounds or else all hope could be lost quickly for some teams who had lost their two opening matches.

“My personal opinion is we need to go longer,” Meninga told Fox League Live.

They’re talking about the integrity of the competition, that’s great.

“But you need to have a longer competition because the competition has to be aspirational as well.

“I put my Titans cap on, if it’s a shortened competition we’ve virtually got no real chance to make the finals.

“Even if we started winning in round three. It’s an integrity (thing), but for the aspirational matter of it all we need to have a longer competition.”

A 17-round season would be the shortest since 74 years ago in 1946, while competitions regularly went for 22 rounds between 1967 and 1996.


The Titans are one of six teams to have lost their opening two games this year, including two-time defending premiers the Sydney Roosters.

Cronulla, St George Illawarra, Canterbury and the Warriors are the other teams stuck on zero points.

It is generally regarded that teams must win at least half of their games to make the finals, meaning sides could afford no more than eight or nine losses in a 17-round year.

Meanwhile, there are six teams undefeated, with the NRL this week confirming all sides would keep their points from the opening two rounds.

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