Enlightened by Your Knowledge: Realizing My Limited Understanding of Rugby League

When you think you have finally mastered a certain skill, something comes along to make you feel foolish once more. Life as a rugby league fan involves a lot of observing, discussing, interpreting, and analyzing, but there is always something that can leave you feeling clueless. Before the arrival of NRL Grid, a maddening and captivating rugby league trivia game, I considered myself fairly knowledgeable about the NRL. However, I now realize how little I actually know.

I must humbly apologize to anyone who has read The Roar’s rugby league columns, as there is an uncomfortable truth about my coverage. I am so lacking in rugby league knowledge that I have only completed two out of the 40 published grids. The game consists of a grid of nine squares with various categories such as “Premiership winner,” “Benji Marshall teammate,” “Debuted between 2010-2015,” and “Played for Manly.” Players are required to find the players that fit the two intersecting categories correctly. The challenge lies in completing the grid with only nine guesses and aiming for a low score.

The game uses an algorithm to rank all possible answers, rewarding obscure answers and punishing common ones. Thus, finding the best answer can be tricky. The categories often align closely, making it even more challenging. Finishing the grid is difficult, and the scoring system further complicates the game.

NRL Grid is not a new concept, having been used for other sports as well. It is a perfect pastime, especially in times without actual footy to discuss. As someone who was not in the country during the majority of the 25 years covered in the game, and with minimal exposure to NRL games on UK TV, my knowledge of niche facts is somewhat limited. However, this has been a learning experience for me, and I aspire to improve.