The away trips your team dreads
How about that NRL? Harder to pick than a Chinese lottery. But surely there are still a few of those old rugby league truths that hold up, right? Like Parramatta unlikely to be singing their victory song in any sheds other than their own.
Errrrrrnnnnttttt, thanks for playing, but they blew that one out of the water last week with a fine 25-18 win over the Broncos at Suncorp. It may have taken them 613 days for them to register an away win, but they got there eventually.
What did take us by surprise was not so much when they got the win, but where. Suncorp Stadium has been made famous as one of the toughest trips in rugby league by the daunting records of Brisbane and Queensland teams over the years, and yet in the NRL era it has been Parramatta's most successful away venue, with the Eels getting the chocolates six times in 10 visits to 'The Cauldron'.
With this in mind, we've taken a look at the road trips your club looks forward to like a kid at Christmas, and conversely, the travel duties players welcome as much as a trip to the dentist.
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There's the obvious ones, like the Sharks' abysmal record when taking on Manly on their own turf. The Cronulla boys have tentatively ventured over to Brookvale 44 times since they joined the competition over 40 years ago, and left with their tail between their legs all but six times, recording just two wins between 1967 and 1994.
And the Dragons' well publicised woes in the nation's capital, where they've won just twice in 13 starts, despite regularly possessing a stronger line-up and better form than the Raiders.
Unsurprisingly given the Storm's combined 77 per cent win ratio at their two regular homes grounds since 1998, Olympic Park and AAMI Park, Melbourne has proven one of the toughest roadtrips in the NRL era. Only the Warriors, with six wins from 14 games, have come anywhere near close to breaking even when lobbing up in the southern capital, with none of the other 14 teams possessing a win percentage better than 30 per cent.
Other interesting facts to emerge when it comes to away venues include:
• The Storm have won three from three against the Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium, but have recorded their worst away record at the Tigers' other suburban home ground Leichhardt Oval, where they've won just 4 of 12 games.
• The Warriors have never won at GIO Stadium or in Wollongong, despite making trips to each regional venue nine and 10 times respectively since 1998. They have won once at Canberra's Manuka Oval back in 2001, in the only NRL match staged at the venue thus far.
• They're a strange lot up there in Queensland. The Broncos and Cowboys both fare better on each other's home grounds in games between the teams, with Brisbane winning 73% of their matches in Townsville while the Cowboys have knocked their southern rivals over six times in 12 clashes at Suncorp Stadium.
• The Tigers are almost a 20 per cent better team at Leichhardt than at Campbelltown. With last week's win over the Sea Eagles, they have now played 59 games at each venue, recording 38 wins at their inner west fortress for a win percentage of 64% compared to just 27 down in Campbelltown at 45%.
• Souths have never won from 11 attempts in Melbourne, and haven't won at Parramatta Stadium since 1995.
Your club's worst away venue
Broncos – AAMI Park and Olympic Park combined (Melbourne) – win percentage: 21% (3/14)
Bulldogs – AAMI Park – 0% (0/4)
Raiders – CBus Super Stadium – 20% (1/5)
Cowboys – Leichhardt Oval – 13% (1/8)
Titans – WIN Stadium, Wollongong – 0% (0/4)
Sea Eagles – AAMI Park and Olympic Park combined – 13% (1/8)
Storm – Leichhardt Oval – 25% (4/12)
Knights – AAMI Park and Olympic Park combined – 19% (3/16)
Eels – WIN Jubilee Oval – 14% (1/7)
Panthers – AAMI Park and Olympic Park combined – 14% (2/14)
Sharks – AAMI Park – 0% (0/4)
Rabbitohs – AAMI Park and Olympic Park combined – 0% (0/11); Pirtek Stadium – 0% (0/7)
Dragons – GIO Stadium, Canberra – 15% (2/13)
Roosters – Brookvale Oval – 25% (3/12)
Warriors – WIN Stadium – 0% (0/10); GIO Stadium – 0% (0/9)
Wests Tigers – AAMI Park and Olympic Park combined– 10% (1/10)