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The NRL Match-Up: Who is your side’s bogey team?


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The definitive list of who struggles to beat who in the NRL.

With the NRL back bigger and better than ever, we thought we'd do what we do best at Finder and start comparing everything NRL. Each week we take a look at one aspect of the game, from the spectacular to the silly, to see who comes out on top.

Before Round 12 kicks off tonight at Panthers Stadium, we see which teams have had each other's number over the last 15 years.

Finder's Thursday Night Football – Penrith Panthers vs Manly Sea Eagles, 7:50pm AEST, Panthers Stadium

It's fair to say every side has one: the team you can never seem to beat, no matter how much the odds are stacked in your favour. As a fan, there's nothing worse than the sense of dread when you come up against the team in question.

We've studied the stats to find the bogey team of every side in the NRL, their head-to-head record and the other teams they've struggled against over the last 15 years*.

Storm celebrating

Brisbane Broncos

Bogey team: Melbourne Storm

Win/loss ratio: 0.32

Runners-up: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, New Zealand Warriors

The 3-time NRL premiers have been one of the best-performing sides over the last 15 years, but even they've struggled against the Storm. The Broncos have only beaten Melbourne 9 times in 37 attempts and have even lost to the Storm on 13 occasions at home.

Overall, the Broncos have a positive record against 12 of the other teams, with the Sea Eagles and Warriors the only sides to have had the better of the Broncos since 2003.

Canberra Raiders

Bogey team: Melbourne Storm

Win/loss ratio: 0.23

Runners-up: Brisbane Broncos, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Like the Broncos, the Raiders have struggled against the Storm, with Canberra winning only 20% of their match-ups since 2003. They've only managed to beat them once since 2014 and went a staggering 14 matches without a win against the Storm between 2003 and 2009.

Bulldogs celebrating

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Bogey team: Penrith Panthers

Win/loss ratio: 0.67

Runners-up: Sydney Roosters, Brisbane Broncos

One of the more consistent teams in the NRL, the Bulldogs' record is decent against most sides, but they've struggled against the Panthers. They've only beaten Penrith in 1 of their last 5 encounters and have lost 7 of their 12 home games against them since 2003.

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Bogey team: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Win/loss ratio: 0.42

Runners-up: Brisbane Broncos, St. George Illawarra Dragons

It'll likely come as no surprise to Sharks fans, but Manly have dominated in their recent head-to-head clashes. The side from the Shire have only won 2 of their last 17 attempts against the Sea Eagles and have only beaten them twice at Brookvale since 2003.

Their records against Brisbane and arch-rivals the Dragons are almost as bad, with the Sharks currently on a five-match losing streak against the Broncos.

Gold Coast Titans

Bogey team: Brisbane Broncos

Win/loss ratio: 0.32

Runners-up: St. George-Illawarra Dragons, New Zealand Warriors

The NRL's newest team has only been in the league since 2008, but Brisbane have quickly established a superiority over their local rivals.

In the battle for South East Queensland supremacy, the Titans have managed only 6 wins in 25 matches and have left Suncorp with the win on only 1 occasion, in 2018. That match was also the only time they've beaten the Broncos in the last nine match-ups.

Manly passing

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Bogey team: St. George Illawarra Dragons

Win/loss ratio: 0.50

Runners-up: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Melbourne Storm

The Sea Eagles boast a good record against most sides in the league, but have consistently struggled against the Dragons. They're currently winless in four matches against St. George Illawarra, following a two-point loss earlier this season.

Melbourne Storm

Bogey team: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Win/loss ratio: 1.00

Runners-up: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Sydney Roosters

Arguably the most dominant side of the NRL era, the Storm have a positive record against every other team in the league since 2003, with 1 exception. The Bulldogs are the only team to regularly get the better of the Victorian side, but even they can only settle for a share of the spoils.

Both sides have 15 wins apiece in head-to-head matches since 2003, though the Storm are currently on a 3-match winning run, reversing a 6-game losing streak against the Bulldogs between 2013 and 2016.

New Zealand Warriors

Bogey team: St. George Illawarra Dragons

Win/loss ratio: 0.29

Runners-up: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Melbourne Storm

The Warriors' record against the other sides in the NRL is something of a mixed bag, but that's not the case when it comes to their games against St. George Illawarra.

Between 2003 and 2016, the Warriors managed just 2 wins in 17 games against the Dragons, a run that included 11 losses in a row between 2008 and 2015. The Sea Eagles have also fared well against the side from across the ditch, with the Warriors recording a miserly 2 wins in 16 since 2010.

Newcastle Knights

Bogey team: Melbourne Storm

Win/loss ratio: 0.33

Runners-up: Sydney Roosters, Brisbane Broncos

They're not the only side to come up short against Melbourne, but the Knights are currently on a six-match losing streak against Craig Bellamy's side. They've also conceded 40 or more points in 3 of their last 4 encounters with the Storm.

North Queensland Cowboys

Bogey team: Melbourne Storm

Win/loss ratio: 0.41

Runners-up: Wests Tigers, Sydney Roosters

Like their rivals the Broncos, North Queensland have often come unstuck against the side from two states over. The Storm have outclassed them both home and away since 2003, and are currently on a 9-match winning streak against the Cowboys.

Eels dejected NRL

Parramatta Eels

Bogey team: Canberra Raiders, Melbourne Storm

Win/loss ratio: 0.41

Runner-up: Gold Coast Titans

Unlike most sides, The Eels actually have two bogey teams, and have already gone down to them twice this year, despite their promising start to the season. Against the Raiders, they're currently on 2 wins in 13 (and none in the last 5), scoring a grand total of 2 points in their last 2 encounters combined.

It's a similar story against the Storm, with just 2 wins in 9, including a 64–10 humbling last weekend. Overall, their record against each reads 7 wins in 24 attempts.

Penrith Panthers

Bogey team: Melbourne Storm

Win/loss ratio: 0.24

Runners-up: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, St. George Illawarra Dragons

The fact they're the bogey team for so many sides perhaps says more about Melbourne's consistency over the last 15 years than it does the quality of the opposition, but the Panthers are another team to have fallen victim to the Storm juggernaut in recent years.

Penrith have only beaten the Storm on 5 occasions and have lost 75% of their home games against them, since 2003. The Panthers also seem to have an issue about the south of Sydney, with poor records against both the Sharks and Dragons since 2003.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Bogey team: Melbourne Storm

Win/loss ratio: 0.23

Runners-up: Brisbane Broncos, Sydney Roosters

They may share the same bogey team as half the NRL, but Melbourne have got South Sydney's number like no other team. The Storm's record against the Rabbitohs is the single best head-to-head record in the NRL since 2003, giving new meaning to the term "bunny".

South Sydney have 3 wins in 23 attempts against the Storm since 2005 and both the Broncos and bitter rivals Sydney Roosters boast great records against the Rabbitohs, perhaps unsurprising given their recent dominance.

St. George Illawarra Dragons

Bogey team: Melbourne Storm

Win/loss ratio: 0.35

Runners-up: Canberra Raiders, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Like the Rabbitohs, the Dragons haven't beaten the Storm in Melbourne since 2003, despite winning their first 2 encounters south of the border in 1999.

Canberra are the other side with a big edge over the Dragons, but the Saints have actually won 4 of the last 5 against the team from the capital. This came off the back of 1 win in 17 attempts, so it's fair to say their fortunes may have changed in recent years.

Sydney Roosters

Bogey teams: Brisbane Broncos, New Zealand Warriors

Win/loss ratio: 0.69

Runner-up: Melbourne Storm

Like the Eels, the Roosters have the distinction of two equal bogey teams, with their record against the Broncos and Warriors identical in terms of wins and losses.

Against each, they've only managed 11 wins in 27 matches, despite racking up minor premierships like they're going out of fashion in recent years.

Wests Tigers

Bogey team: Sydney Roosters

Win/loss ratio: 0.38

Runners-up: Brisbane Broncos, Penrith Panthers

The Tigers have had a sorry go of it against the Roosters this decade, with only 2 wins in 18 attempts since they went down in a 76-point thriller in 2010.

Against the Tigers, the Panthers also have the best away head-to-head record of any side in the NRL, with Wests only managing 1 win in 10 home matches since 2003.

*Head-to head records are based on all matches from 2003 until Round 4 this season.

Pictures: NRL

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