As you know the 2021 Draw has been released - https://www.parraeels.com.au/draw/

I wanted to give my thoughts on the draw and why 2021 is going to be a massive test for our side to determine if we are true Premiership contendors or not. By looking at our draw, I think the NRL has now acnkowledged that we are not a regular top 4 side. You'd notice that over the years, the regular top 4 sides, such as the Roosters, Storm, Canberra, etc are usually handed the most difficult draws because they are expected to be able to handle the difficulty well enough as they are considered strong teams. When I look at our draw now, I am starting to see the same thing.

For example, since as long as I can remember, Parramatta were only playing against the Storm and the Roosters only ONCE per season(in the regular season). In 2021, we will be versing both of them TWICE. That's 2 more games where we will be versing quality opposition, whereas in previous seasons, we would have instead versed bottom 8 sides which would've really helped us obtain our top 4 positions. What this means is we are really going to need to step up against the big boys if we want to make the top 4 this year round.

In 2021 we will be:

  • Versing the Storm TWICE (Rounds 2 and 24)
  • Versing the Roosters TWICE (Rounds 9 and 20)
  • Versing the Raiders TWICE (Rounds 6 and 19)
  • Versing the Rabbitohs TWICE (Rounds 12 and 21)
  • Rivals game vs Manly TWICE - which are never easy (Rounds 11 and 22)
  • Rivals game vs Panthers TWICE (Rounds 16 and 25)
  • Rivals game vs Bulldogs TWICE - which are annoyingly never easy and are always close encounters ( Rounds 8 and 15)

All of those games are going to be very difficult. That's 14 games out of 25. So what's left?

  • Broncos TWICE (Rounds 1 and 7)
  • Sharks ONCE (Round 3)
  • Tigers TWICE (Rounds 4 and 14)
  • Dragons ONCE (Round 5)
  • Warriors ONCE (Round 10 in Brisbane)
  • Knights ONCE (Round 13)
  • Titans ONCE (Round 18)
  • Cowboys ONCE (Round 23)
  • One BYE

Already, looking at the teams we are only versing ONCE, we have Cowboys, Titans, Knights, Warriors, Dragons and Sharks. All games we are expected to win. In season 2020 we had Roosters, Storm, Raiders, Warriors, Titans and Cowboys. In 2019, it was Roosters, Storm, Warriors, Titans, Cowboys and Rabbitohs.

To me, it's clear the NRL are starting to take us more seriously. In the past, those games against the Roosters, Storm, Raiders and Rabbitohs used to be 40 point blow outs, so the NRL deliberatley would not schedule us against them as much as it's not good viewership for ratings. Now, we are expected to compete, so the boys really need to step up this year and deliver.




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      • They can't be the same? 😊

    • Avenger, Parraborn1 didn't even use "versing" as a preposition. I checked P's usage and versing is followed by adverbs, not nouns or pronouns. 
      I think this makes "versing" a complete neologism of Parraborn1's? Congratulations, a new word is born!

  • I wouldn't worry about the draw. Every year is a battle for all teams. Let's wait and see. 

  • Dream on boys dream on with BA at the helm and with our pathetic recruitment it's a dream that would never happen enjoy another epic failed season in 2021 

  • The negative guys on here(there's a few) all sound like the same bloke different name"Well with Bushy in charge and oiur pathetic recruitment it's bottom 4",.."my thoughts exactly with the Bush bum and our crap recruitment it's bottom 4"...."spot on,with Bea as coach and shit recruitment blah blah blah......the Deathriders, get on board ,12 inch dildos on every seat so you can enjoy every bump on the way down to rock bottom,ride that fucking bus straight to Hell boys .

    • But Eggy, they're the real diehard supporters, just ask them!! Anyone who holds out hope and is in anyway positive has no idea whatsoever. They cannot see the hypocrisy and contradictions in what they post, and the old Bushy thing is just ridiculous, he's proven himself to be a pretty decent NRL coach, he's invested in and brought through juniors and some of our recruitment in the last few years has been better than it has for a decade or more, but yeah, he's shit and they deathride away. I really love the ones that you never hear from after a win but lose a close one and they're straight on here bagging BA and the players. Wish I had Super's powers, there'd be a few banned like that numb nuts Big eel to start with.

      • What positivity do you bring to the site Brissy, all you do is harrass and bully those that don't share the same point of view as you.

  • Parraborn1, I'm probably less confident than you that the NRL plans the schedule with individual team difficulty in mind. But I agree that the schedule removes from the equation "oh the Eels had an easy draw". 
    We play 6 of the Top 8 from 2020 twice in 2021, and I think most would think the Eels and Sharks are the two most likely to drop out of that 8. Not that I am saying we will, just that we stuttered into 3rd, went out in straight sets, and have lost players from the starting 17 we have not replaced (MJ, Evans) and our depth is in question (ie. No backup halves, no ready to go outside back or prop). Overall, any objective betting market would have Sharks then Eels as most likely to drop out. The other 6 appear stronger. 

    Overall, I interpret the draw as such. If we make the Top 4 we will have earned it by taking no less than half those games against the Big 6 (the 12 games). And if we do that, we should enter the finals better equipped than we did in 2020. But if we can't compete against that Top 6, we will probably drop out of the 8

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