Revealed: Your team’s first five NRL games of season 2024

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Canterbury Bulldogs

Bulldogs star Matt Burton.Credit: Getty

They only play two teams from last year’s top eight but have also been scheduled against two teams that should have played finals football: Parramatta and South Sydney. Round two against Cronulla will be played at Belmore.

Difficulty rating: 8/10

Canterbury Bulldogs first five rounds

Wests Tigers

David Nofoaluma (left) celebrates a try with Jahream Bula (centre) and Brandon Wakeham.Credit: Getty

The Tigers arguably have one of the softest draws over the first five rounds of the NRL of any team. They play against one top eight team: Canberra, who only just scraped in last year. They also have a bye to start the year.

Difficulty rating: 6/10

Wests Tigers first five rounds

Cronulla Sharks

The Sharks start the year against the Warriors.Credit: Getty

The Sharks have a tough away trip to start the season, taking on Shaun Johnson and the Warriors in New Zealand. They play two top eight teams from last season in the opening five rounds.

Difficulty rating: 6/10

Cronulla Sharks first five rounds

Parramatta Eels

Clint Gutherson celebrates one of his three tries with Eels teammates.Credit: Getty

The Eels play the reigning premiers but only have one other top eight team in the first five rounds. They’re also at home for three of those games.

Difficulty rating: 6.5/10

Parramatta Eels first five rounds

Penrith Panthers

Penrith star Nathan Cleary.Credit: Getty

The Panthers play against three competition heavyweights as well as Manly and the Eels, who should improve on disappointing seasons in 2023.

Difficulty rating: 8.5/10

Penrith Panthers first five rounds

South Sydney Rabbitohs

South Sydney will be looking for a strong start to the year.Credit: Getty

On the road to Las Vegas and don’t play a home game until round four with Accor Stadium out of action. The Bunnies play against three 2023 finalists to open their season.

Difficulty rating: 8/10

South Sydney Rabbitohs first five rounds

Sydney Roosters

The Roosters had an up-and-down season in 2023.Credit: Getty

They meet the two grand finalists and arch rivals South Sydney in an opening month that also includes a trip to Las Vegas for the season-opener.

Difficulty rating: 8.5

Sydney Roosters first five rounds

St George Illawarra Dragons

The Dragons need a big year under new coach Shane Flanagan.Credit: Getty

The Dragons don’t play a top four team in the opening five weeks. They do, however, have to play their first two games of the season in Queensland.

Difficulty rating: 6.5/10

St George Illawarra Dragons first five rounds

Manly Sea Eagles

Manly missed the eight last season.Credit: NRL Photos

Manly don’t have an easy start to the year, but they won’t have to leave Sydney for a month after returning home from Las Vegas in round one.

Difficulty rating: 8.5/10

Manly Sea Eagles first five rounds

Newcastle Knights

The Knights celebrate another Kalyn Ponga try.Credit: Getty

Trips to Townsville and Auckland in the first four weeks make things difficult. The Knights play two top four teams in the opening month of the season.

Difficulty rating: 7.5/10

Newcastle Knights’ first five rounds

Canberra Raiders

There will be a few familiar faces missing from the Raiders team in 2024.Credit: Getty

The Raiders don’t play a single top four team in the opening five weeks. They’re on the road for three of those games, though.

Difficulty rating: 7/10

Canberra Raiders first five games

Brisbane Broncos

The Broncos will always wonder how they let such a dominant lead slip away in the grand final.Credit: Getty

The Broncos have one of the most difficult starts to the season of any team in the competition. They play three top eight teams, as well as arch-rivals North Queensland and South Sydney.

Difficulty rating: 9/10

Brisbane Broncos first five rounds

Gold Coast Titans

Des Hasler at the Gold Coast Titans’ pre-season launch.Credit: Titans Media

It’s a dream start for new coach Des Hasler. He doesn’t play a single top eight team in the first five weeks, and also has the luxury of the bye. They’re in Queensland for four of the first five weeks.

Difficulty rating: 5.5/10

Gold Coast Titans first five rounds

North Queensland Cowboys

The Cowboys underperformed in 2023.Credit: Getty

The Cowboys leave their home state just once in the first five weeks. They play three of their Queensland rivals in that time.

Difficulty rating: 6.5/10

North Queensland Cowboys first five rounds


The Dolphins start the season at home against the Cowboys.Credit: Getty

The Dolphins don’t have to leave home until round five against the Tigers. They also don’t play a single team from last year’s top eight. Softest start in the competition.

Difficulty rating: 5/10

Dolphins first five rounds


The Warriors were the most improved team of 2023.Credit: Nathan Perri

The Warriors play against four top-eight teams from last season in the first four rounds, then take on competition heavyweights South Sydney. They do have the added bonus of playing at home for three of the first five games, however.

Difficulty rating: 8/10

Warriors first five rounds

Melbourne Storm

The Melbourne Storm start the season against the reigning premiers.Credit: Getty Images

They play the top four teams from last year (apart from themselves) in the first five weeks next year. Only away trip is a trek to Newcastle in round four.

Difficulty rating: 8.5/10.

Melbourne Storm first five rounds

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