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The 2019 National Rugby Championship is the sixth season of the top flight of Australian domestic rugby union. The competition began on 31 August and concludes on 26 October. The match of the round is broadcast live each week on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports,[1] with all matches streamed on rugby.com.au live.[2] The championship features eight professional teams, seven from Australia and one from Fiji.[2]

2019 National Rugby Championship
CountriesAustralia
Fiji
Date31 August – 26 October
Matches played30
Attendance51,300
(average 1,710 per match)
Highest attendance3,500 (Western Force 42-38 Brisbane City)
Official website
www.rugby.com.au/competitions/nrc
← 2018

TeamsEdit

Television coverage and streamingEdit

One NRC match per round is broadcast live via Fox Sports.[1] All matches are also shown live on the Kayo Sports and Rugby.com.au streaming platforms.[2]

Experimental Law VariationsEdit

Two new trial variations were included for the 2019 NRC.[13]

  • A 50:22 kick, whereby a team kicking the ball indirectly into touch (i.e. not on the full) is awarded the resulting lineout throw if the ball is kicked: (a) from within the team's own half and finds touch in the opposition's 22; or (b) from within the team's own 22 and finds touch in the opposition's half.
  • A goal line drop-out, awarded to the defending team if an attacking player brings the ball into the in-goal and is held up.
NRC Law Variations 2019
Existing Law of the Game Variation
Television Match Official / Global law trial: Law 5
  1. A match organiser may appoint a television match official (TMO), who uses technological devices to clarify situations relating to:
  1. The grounding of the ball in in-goal.
  2. Touch or touch-in-goal in the act of grounding the ball or the ball being made dead.
  3. Where there is doubt as to whether a kick at goal has been successful.
  4. Where match officials believe an infringement may have occurred in the playing area leading to a try or preventing a try.
  5. Foul play, including sanctions.
  1. Any of the match officials, including the TMO, may recommend a review by the TMO. The reviews will take place in accordance with the TMO protocol.[14]
Television match official to only be consulted about tries and in-goal plays.
Conversion: Law 8
  1. (d) [The kicker] takes the kick within 90 seconds (playing time) from the time the try was awarded, even if the ball rolls over and has to be placed again.

Sanction: Kick is disallowed.

Time limit reduced to 60 seconds for conversion kicks.
Penalty goal: Law 8
  1. The kick must be taken within 60 seconds (playing time) from the time the team indicated their intention to do so, even if the ball rolls over and has to be placed again.

Sanction: Kick is disallowed and a scrum is awarded.

Time limit reduced to 45 seconds for penalty kicks.
During a maul: Law 16
  1. The ball-carrier in a maul may go to ground provided that player makes the ball available immediately. Sanction: Scrum.
  2. All other players in a maul must endeavour to stay on their feet.
  3. All players in a maul must be caught in or bound to it and not just alongside it.
  4. Players must not:
  1. Intentionally collapse a maul or jump on top of it.
  2. Attempt to drag an opponent out of a maul.

Sanction: Penalty.

Greater policing of this law, in order to discourage "hold up tackles", by ensuring that the tackler, who holds up a ball carrier in an effort to form a maul, does not collapse the maul as soon as it has formed.
Quick throw: Law 18
  1. A quick throw is disallowed and a lineout is awarded to the same team if:
  1. A lineout had already been formed; or
  2. The ball had been touched after it went into touch by anyone other than the player throwing in or the player who carried the ball into touch; or
  3. A different ball is used from the one that originally went into touch.
Players will be allowed to take quick throw-ins regardless of whether someone else has touched the ball
Lineout: Law 18
  1. Where the game is restarted with a lineout and which team throws in …
For a 50:22 kick, where the team in possession kicks the ball indirectly into touch from either: (a) within their own half to find touch in the opposition's 22; or (b) from within their own 22 to find touch in the opposition's half; then the throw in to the resulting lineout is awarded to the kicking team at the location where the ball reached the touchline.
Location of a penalty or free kick: Law 20
  1. A penalty or free-kick is taken from where it is awarded or anywhere behind it on a line through the mark and parallel to the touchlines. When a penalty or free-kick is taken at the wrong place, it must be re-taken.
Increased latitude will be given to where penalty and free kicks are to be taken
Ball held up in-goal: Law 21
  1. When a player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal so that the player cannot ground or play the ball, the ball is dead. Play restarts with a five-metre scrum, in line with the place where the player was held up. The attacking team throws in.
Play restarts with a goal-line drop out awarded to the defending team. Rationale: To reward good defence and promote a faster rate of play.
Competition rule - Bonus point awarded for scoring 4 tries Bonus point awarded if a winning team scores at least 3 more tries than its opponent.

This particular system was first used in the French professional leagues during the 2007–08 northern hemisphere season.[15][16]

Regular seasonEdit

The eight teams competed in a round-robin tournament for the regular season.[2] During this section of the competition, teams also played for the Horan-Little Shield, a challenge trophy put on the line when a challenge is accepted by the holders or mandated by the terms of the competition.

The regular season standings were determined via a slightly modified version of the standard competition points system— the same system as was used for The Rugby Championship and Super Rugby[17]—with a bonus point awarded to a winning team scoring at least 3 more tries than their opponent; and a bonus point awarded to a losing team defeated by a margin of 7 points or under. Four points were awarded for a win and none for a loss; two points were awarded to each team for a draw.

Each team's placement was based on its cumulative points total, including any bonus points earned. For teams level on table points, tiebreakers apply in the following order:[18][19]

  1. Difference between points for and against during the season.
  2. Head-to-head match result(s) between the tied teams.
  3. Total number tries scored during the season.

The top four teams at the end of the regular season qualified for the title play-offs in the form of semi-finals followed by a final to determine the champion team.[2]

StandingsEdit

National Rugby Championship
# Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TB LB Pts
1 Western Force 7 6 0 1 285 213 +72 45 31 4 0 28
2 Canberra Vikings 7 5 0 2 238 211 +27 36 33 2 0 22
3 Fijian Drua 7 3 2 2 231 214 +17 33 34 1 0 17
4 Brisbane City 7 3 1 3 214 199 +15 34 29 1 2 17
5 NSW Country HL 7 3 1 3 181 172 +9 28 26 0 2 16
6 Queensland Country 7 3 0 4 205 235 –30 30 35 1 2 15
7 Melbourne Rising 7 2 0 5 206 211 –5 30 33 1 2 11
8 Sydney 7 1 0 6 220 325 −105 34 50 1 1 6
Updated: 12 October 2019

Source: rugbyarchive.net
 • Teams 1 to 4 (Green background) at the end of the regular season qualify for the title playoffs.
HL denotes the holder of the Horan-Little Shield.

Team progressionEdit

NRC team progression
Team Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
Brisbane City 2
(4th)
7
(3rd)
8
(4th)
12
(2nd)
12
(4th)
13
(6th)
17
(4th)
Canberra Vikings 5
(1st)
5
(5th)
9
(3rd)
9
(4th)
14
(3rd)
18
(2nd)
22
(2nd)
Fijian Drua 2
(5th)
2
(6th)
4
(7th)
9
(5th)
9
(7th)
13
(5th)
17
(3rd)
Melbourne Rising 0
(8th)
0
(8th)
0
(8th)
5
(8th)
9
(6th)
10
(7th)
11
(7th)
NSW Country 4
(2nd)
8
(2nd)
10
(2nd)
11
(3rd)
15
(2nd)
16
(3rd)
16
(5th)
Queensland Country 1
(6th)
6
(4th)
6
(5th)
6
(6th)
10
(5th)
14
(4th)
15
(6th)
Sydney 1
(7th)
1
(7th)
6
(6th)
6
(7th)
6
(8th)
6
(8th)
6
(8th)
Western Force 4
(3rd)
9
(1st)
14
(1st)
19
(1st)
19
(1st)
23
(1st)
28
(1st)

The table above shows a team's progression throughout the season.
For each round, their cumulative points total is shown with the overall log position in brackets.
Key: win draw loss bye

Competition roundsEdit

Round 1Edit

Round 2Edit

Round 3Edit

Round 4Edit

Round 5Edit

Round 6Edit

Round 7Edit

Title playoffsEdit

Semi-finals Final
      
 Western Force 42
 Brisbane City 38
 Western Force
 Canberra Vikings
 Canberra Vikings 28
 Fijian Drua 27

Semi-finalsEdit

FinalEdit

Season attendancesEdit

Team Matches
hosted
Total Average Highest Lowest
Brisbane City 4 9,450 2,363 3,000 1,500
Canberra Vikings 5 8,100 1,620 3,000 1,000
Fijian Drua 3 6,750 2,250 2,750 1,500
Melbourne Rising 4 5,250 1,313 2,000 500
NSW Country Eagles 3 3,750 1,250 1,500 1,000
Queensland Country 3 5,000 1,667 2,000 1,500
Sydney 3 2,000 667 750 500
Western Force 5 12,500 2,500 3,500 1,500
Totals (8 teams) 30 51,300 1,710 3,500 500

NRC Division 2Edit

The NRC II tournament was hosted by Rugby Union South Australia on 26–29 September in Adelaide as a competition for member unions and regions in Rugby Australia without a pathway to professional rugby via the main National Rugby Championship.[50] The tournament was a reprisal of sorts of the Australian Rugby Shield which had been disbanded ten years earlier, and most of the representative teams which had featured in the Shield were invited to participate in NRC Division 2 in 2019. The eight teams scheduled to play in the tournament were:[50]

Third placeEdit

FinalEdit

NotesEdit

^FS Fox Sports broadcast match.

^W/D The Northern Territory Mosquitoes team was a late withdrawal from the NRC II for 2019 and did not compete in the tournament.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "New laws to shake up National Rugby Championship". Fox Sports. 31 July 2019. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "NRC teams spread their wings in 2019". Rugby Australia. 31 July 2019. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  3. ^ "'We've got a point to prove': Darcy Swain and Vikings ready for NRC". Canberra Times. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  4. ^ Nasokia, Waisea (22 August 2019). "Eremasi Radrodro leads Fijian Drua to the National Rugby Championship". The Fiji Sun. Archived from the original on 26 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b Payten, Iain (16 July 2019). "Sydney, NSW Country name coaches; Tahs may recruit Foley replacement". Rugby.com.au. Archived from the original on 16 July 2019.
  6. ^ a b "NRC captains welcome rule changes in 2019 tournament". rugby.com.au. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Brisbane City team staff announced for 2019 National Rugby Championship". Reds Rugby. 2 August 2019. Archived from the original on 2 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Brisbane City announce squad for 2019 National Rugby Championship". Queensland Rugby Union. 26 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Bond University Queensland Country squad announced for 2019 National Rugby Championship". Queensland Rugby Union. 26 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Pom Simona Revealed as Rising Head Coach". Melbourne Rebels. Archived from the original on 17 July 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Tupou to lead Rising for 2019". Melbourne Rebels. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Strong squad named for NRC". Western Force. 26 August 2019. Archived from the original on 26 August 2019.
  13. ^ Greenwood, Emma. "Coaches' tactical response to NRC law variations to be interesting: Scrivener". Rugby.com.au. Archived from the original on 31 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Television Match Official (TMO) Global Trial Protocol" (PDF). World Rugby. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  15. ^ "French try out new bonus point system". Planet-Rugby.com. 27 June 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2007.
  16. ^ "Règlements de la Ligue Nationale de Rugby 2008/2009" (PDF). LNR (in French). Chapitre 2 : Règlement sportif du Championnat de France Professionnel, Article 330, Section 3.2. Points "terrain". Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
  17. ^ "Rugby Championship to adopt bonus-point system used by Super Rugby". Sky Sports. Reuters. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  18. ^ McKay, Brett (11 October 2019). "McKay column: The last-round NRC finals equations". rugby.com.au. Archived from the original on 11 October 2019.
  19. ^ McKay, Brett. "NRC tie breaker method". Green and Gold Rugby. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016.
  20. ^ "NSW Country Eagles vs Sydney". rugby.com.au. 31 August 2019.
  21. ^ "Melbourne Rising vs Canberra Vikings". rugby.com.au. 31 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Brisbane City vs Fijian Drua". rugby.com.au. 31 August 2019.
  23. ^ "Western Force vs Queensland Country". rugby.com.au. 31 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Fijian Drua vs Western Force". rugby.com.au. 7 September 2019.
  25. ^ "Melbourne Rising vs NSW Country". rugby.com.au. 7 September 2019.
  26. ^ "Brisbane City vs Sydney". rugby.com.au. 8 September 2019.
  27. ^ "Queensland Country vs Canberra Vikings". rugby.com.au. 8 September 2019.
  28. ^ "Sydney vs Queensland Country". rugby.com.au. 14 September 2019.
  29. ^ "Canberra Vikings vs Brisbane City". rugby.com.au. 14 September 2019.
  30. ^ "NSW Country vs Fijian Drua". rugby.com.au. 14 September 2019.
  31. ^ "Western Force vs Melbourne Rising". rugby.com.au. 15 September 2019.
  32. ^ "Fijian Drua vs Sydney". rugby.com.au. 21 September 2019.
  33. ^ "Western Force vs Canberra Vikings". rugby.com.au. 21 September 2019.
  34. ^ "Melbourne Rising vs Queensland Country". rugby.com.au. 22 September 2019.
  35. ^ "Brisbane City vs NSW Country". rugby.com.au. 22 September 2019.
  36. ^ "Canberra Vikings vs Fijian Drua". rugby.com.au. 28 September 2019.
  37. ^ "Queensland Country vs Brisbane City". rugby.com.au. 28 September 2019.
  38. ^ "Sydney vs Melbourne Rising". rugby.com.au. 29 September 2019.
  39. ^ "NSW Country vs Western Force". rugby.com.au. 29 September 2019.
  40. ^ "Canberra Vikings vs Sydney". rugby.com.au. 5 October 2019.
  41. ^ "Melbourne Rising vs Fijian Drua". rugby.com.au. 5 October 2019.
  42. ^ "Queensland Country vs NSW Country". rugby.com.au. 6 October 2019.
  43. ^ "Western Force vs Brisbane City". rugby.com.au. 6 October 2019.
  44. ^ "Canberra Vikings vs NSW Country". rugby.com.au. 11 October 2019.
  45. ^ "Sydney vs Western Force". rugby.com.au. 12 October 2019.
  46. ^ "Fijian Drua vs Queensland Country". rugby.com.au. 12 October 2019.
  47. ^ "Brisbane City vs Melbourne Rising". rugby.com.au. 12 October 2019.
  48. ^ "Western Force vs Brisbane City". rugby.com.au. 19 October 2019.
  49. ^ "Canberra Vikings vs Fijian Drua". rugby.com.au. 20 October 2019.
  50. ^ a b "NRCII Tournament Comes to Adelaide". Rugby Union SA. 5 September 2019. Archived from the original on 24 September 2019.

External linksEdit