In 2005 Sydney clubs Parramatta and St George were top of the league. However, neither made the final which saw the first joint venture side win the grand final. They were the Wests Tigers (Sydney) defeat North Queensland. The two Queensland clubs had the highest attendances at matches.
For 2006, New Zealand had four points deducted for a salary cap breach that cost them a finals spot. Melbourne won the league by a country mile from the Sydney Bulldogs but later had the title stripped due to a retrospective punishment for a major salary cap issue. Brisbane prevailed over Melbourne in the grand final.
Newcastle passed North Queensland as the second strongest attended club, while the points deduction saw fans stay away in droves as the NZ side crashed to the bottom of the list.
2007 was the 100th season of RL competition in Australasia. The Gold Coast joined the party to make up the sixteenth side. Melbourne won the league from Sydney club Manly and did the double over them in the final. However the salary cap breach meant both titles were stripped from them, with no replacement winner. The three Queensland sides had the largest crowds.
For 2008, Melbourne won the league from Manly while Manly squared the ledger in the Grand final. However, this prolonged salary cap breach by Melbourne saw them have the league title taken away yet again retrospectively. The top four clubs for attendances were outside of Sydney.
With the 2009 season, a second on field referee was introduced. St George-Illawarra won the league from the Sydney Bulldogs but it was Melbourne defeating Parramatta in the final. Yes, you guessed it, another title was stripped from the winners.
I got the impression that NRL CEO David Gallop took it too personally and was far too heavy handed over the whole affair. Maybe it's time it was revisited and the titles restored or handed to another club. Yet more inertia from the NRL.
Brisbane averaged neary 35,000 fans each game with the Sydney Bulldogs enjoying a fine increase to 22,000. The 16,000 barrier was breached but was that as good as it was likely to get?
The first in the series of 1990-94 can be seen by clicking here.
The years 2010-14 in the series can be seen by clicking here.
|NRL Attendances 2005-09|
|Rk||Club / Year||Tot||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005|