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Why Super League sides need to be wary of the Las Vegas curse

Wigan Warriors and St Helens head coaches in front of Super League hoarding, next to an image of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign

Many have suggested that NRL sides that played in Las Vegas at the start of this season are suffering from a ‘curse’, – and the same could happen to Super League sides.

The first professional rugby league matches in the States were played in Round One of the 2024 NRL season, as over 40,000 fans turned up for the historic double-header.

Sydney Roosters, Brisbane Broncos, Manly Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs took part, four of the biggest sides in the competition.

The Rabbitohs were even tipped by many to be contenders for the Premiership, but currently sit second-last, only above Wests Tigers, while the other three sides are also below their pre-season expectations.

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Josh Charnley

Dejected Manly Sea Eagles players

Credit: Imago Images

Manly’s CEO Tony Mestrov told Yahoo Sport Australia: “It probably has had an impact in that we’ve had three games in Queensland and one in New Zealand in the rounds after Vegas.

“All that travel can impact performance and I think we’ve seen signs of that. There’s no doubt we’d like to be higher on the table, but we’ve competed in every single game and there is still a long way to go in this competition.”

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Super League sides may need to watch out

Super League players

Credit: Imago Images

There have been many suggestions that Super League sides may join their NRL counterparts in Las Vegas next year.

Wide World of Sports reported that the NRL are also working on two Super League sides competing in a club game in Vegas.

The Sydney Morning Herald also reported: “Plans for a Super League game, to be played for competition points before the NRL double-header, have been discussed by officials in Australia and England.

“The NRL has delayed finalising the four clubs to play in Vegas next year because of the delicate negotiations involving the Super League.”

They continued: “Sources with knowledge of the situation not authorised to speak publicly confirmed the Super League game would kick off about lunchtime in Vegas, which would mean it is beamed into England at 9 pm on a Saturday night.

“The NRL noted that more than 1000 fans made their way to the US from England to watch the inaugural round-zero action featuring South Sydney, Manly, the Sydney Roosters and Brisbane.”

Therefore, Super League sides may have to be careful, to make sure they don’t suffer in the weeks and months after that game.

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