Our event of the day is the Round 1 NRL match between the St. George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos at the Jubilee Oval in Sydney. This duel is the opener of the 111th season of professional rugby league in Australia, and the 21st edition of the National Rugby League. 15 teams from Australia and one from New Zealand (New Zealand Warriors) make up the same lineup for the 12th year in a row, and will contest 25 rounds from March to October. Reigning champions are the Melbourne Storm who defeated the North Queensland Cowboys 34-6 in last October’s Grand Final, for their third NRL title. As champions, the Storm faced the Super League winners, Leeds Rhinos, in the 2018 World Club Challenge in February, and clinched another title in a convincing way, winning 38-4.
Along with the Melbourne Storm, the Brisbane Broncos are the most successful team with three NRL trophies (1998, 2000 and 2006). Last year, the Broncos reached the semi-final, only to be stopped by the Storm in a heavy 30-0 defeat. The Dragons were victorious in 2010, whilst last season they missed out on the Finals Series, finishing the regular season in ninth position. The hosts have four straight loses against the Brisbane side and 12 in their last 13 meetings, having won 12-10 in April 2015. The most attended and viewed rugby league competition in the world should start in style at the Jubilee Oval today.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Europa League clash between AC Milan and Arsenal at the San Siro in Milan. Milan head to the first-leg of the last 16 tie unbeaten in 13 games in all competitions, while the Gunners are in a bad spell of four consecutive defeats. Elsewhere in the Europa League, RB Leipzig host Zenit St. Petersburg at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig; while Marseille take on Athletic Bilbao at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. It’s the first day of the ATP Tour and second day of the WTA Tour BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells. It’s the opening day of the Valspar Championships at the Innisbrook Golf Club in Palm Harbor. In the Super League, Leeds Rhinos play Hull FC at the Headingly Stadium in Leeds. The NBA, brings a duel of the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs at the Oracle Arena in Oakland; while the Minnesota Timberwolves welcome the Boston Celtics to the Target Center in Minneapolis. In the NHL, the Nashville Predators face off with the Anaheim Ducks at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville; and the Boston Bruins matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers at the TD Garden in Boston.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NRL
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