So the ARL Commission and the NRL want to bring in a conference system which will shun teams outside of Sydney?
Rivalries are much more than what you think they are when it comes to the NRL.
They ebb and flow as teams go up and down the competition ladder and as the seasons roll by.
Somebody better tell the NRL that some of the game’s best feuds in recent times haven’t come from the old NSWRL rivalries and they usually boast one or the other.
MANLY SEA EAGLES VS MELBOURNE STORM
Ever since Michael Crocker knocked Brett Stewart out of the 2007 grand final – these teams hated each other. The following season, the Sea Eagles flogged the Storm in the decider 40-0. Then there was the Storm’s salary cap breaches and the gang fight at Brookvale which went mad after Glenn Stewart and Adam Blair decided to start a brawl over the sideline.
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS VS BRISBANE BRONCOS
Okay so both clubs have had a few quiet seasons but these two have played some incredible games over the last decade or more and it all goes back to the 1992 and 1993 grand finals. They don’t like each and there’s something about seeing that Broncos jersey up against the ‘Big Red V’.
CANBERRA RAIDERS VS EVERYONE
While everyone doesn’t like Ricky Stuart, it’s hard not to love his pugnacious Raiders. They’ll take on anyone. In recent times they’ve opened a can of worms with the Roosters and now the Panthers. Too bad we won’t see it again if the split conference goes ahead.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS VS MELBOURNE STORM
They have shared between them the last four premierships. They have also played some incredible regular season matches too.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS VS MANLY SEA EAGLES
A legitimate derby match these days with the North Sydney Bears no more. According to reports, however, the Knights would be banished to the second conference and this rivalry would be no more. And who will ever forget the mighty showdowns between ‘The Chief’ and ‘Spud’?
CRONULLA SHARKS VS MELBOURNE STORM
Not many like the niggle these two teams could throw up at the peak of their powers but you couldn’t look away. Both fan bases hate each other and we saw some ugly things over the journey between these clubs which culminated with the Sharks pipping Melbourne in the 2016 grand final. Oh, and heaps of Gallen versus Chambers. And Cameron Smith getting binned at Shark Park. And Billy Slater knocking Sosaia Feki into the fifth row with a shoulder charge at AAMI Park in a preliminary final.