The 2011 NRL season was the 105th season of professional rugby league football club competition in Australia, and the fourteenth run by the National Rugby League. The NRL's main championship, called the 2011 Telstra Premiership due to sponsorship from Telstra, was contested by sixteen teams for the fifth consecutive year. Alongside was the fourth season of the Toyota Cup taking place.
The 2011 competition draw was announced on Thursday, 7 October 2010, 2011 Telstra Premiership Draw – NRL.com with the season's first match between NRL teams to be played on Friday, 11 March. The first round of the premiership season became the highest attended round in NRL history, with 201,212 fans attending.
However, the first NRL match of the year was the second annual NRL All Stars vs Indigeneous All Stars game played at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast on 12 February. The annual Test Match was also held at Skilled Park, on 6 May, with City vs Country Origin held on the same night. The Test match was to have been held at Christchurch in New Zealand, but was moved due to the destruction wrought on that city by the earthquake in February 2011. Byes began on 6 May, being the day of those representative matches, and continued throughout the State of Origin match period, covering in total rounds 9 to 18. Themed rounds included the Heritage Round (round 5), Women in League Round (round 16), and Rivalry Round (round 19).
The regular 26 round season finished with the Melbourne Storm winning the J. J. Giltinan Shield for being the minor premiers. However the grand final match-up ended up between the second placed Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and the sixth placed New Zealand Warriors in which the Sea Eagles sought victory and claimed their 8th premiership title.
The number of teams in the NRL remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive season, with sixteen participating in the regular season: ten from New South Wales, three from Queensland and one from each of Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand. Of the ten from New South Wales, eight are from Sydney's metropolitan area, with St. George-Illawarra being a Sydney and Wollongong joint venture. Just two foundation clubs from New South Wales Rugby League season 1908 played in the competition: the Sydney Roosters (formerly known as Eastern Suburbs) and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
|Brett Stewart||Fullback||Kevin Locke|
|Michael Robertson||Wing||Bill Tupou|
|Jamie Lyon (c)||Centre||Lewis Brown|
|Steve Matai||Centre||Krisnan Inu|
|Will Hopoate||Wing||Manu Vatuvei|
|Kieran Foran||Five-eighth||James Maloney|
|Daly Cherry-Evans||Halfback||Shaun Johnson|
|Joe Galuvao||Prop||Russell Packer|
|Matt Ballin||Hooker||Lance Hohaia|
|Brent Kite||Prop||Jacob Lillyman|
|Anthony Watmough||2nd Row||Elijah Taylor|
|Tony Williams||2nd Row||Simon Mannering (c)|
|Glenn Stewart||Lock||Michael Luck|
|Shane Rodney||Interchange||Sam Rapira|
|Jamie Buhrer||Interchange||Aaron Heremaia|
|Vic Mauro||Interchange||Feleti Mateo|
|George Rose||Interchange||Ben Matulino|
|Des Hasler||Coach||Ivan Cleary|
- Main article: 2011 Grand Final
The 2011 Grand Final took place at ANZ Stadium on Sunday 2 October between the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles amd the New Zealand Warriors who finished 2nd and 6th on the competition ladder respectively. It is the first time the sides had faced each other in a season decider. It was the third time in five years the Sea Eagles featured in a grand final, with their last being their record 40-0 victory over the Melbourne Storm in 2008. However, it was only the second time in the club's 16-year history the Warriors played for their maiden premiership title with their first attempt losing to the Sydney Roosters back in 2002.
The Sea Eagles defeated the Warriors to win them their 8th premiership title. Manly's second premiership in the NRL era means that they are only the second team (after the Brisbane Broncos in 1998, 2000 and 2006) to win a premiership more than once since 1998 and their eight titles puts them with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs to make them equal 5th on the overall premiership title ladder.
3 October, 5:30pm
|Tries||1 B Stewart (30')|
1 Cherry-Evans (40')
1 G Stewart (57')
1 Lyon (79')
(31', 40', 59')
1/1 Robertson (80')
New Zealand Warriors
|Tries||1 Vatuvei (63')|
1 Taylor (68')
|Goals||1/3 Maloney (28')|
Half Time: Sea Eagles 12 - 2
Clive Churchill Meallist Glenn Stewart
Referees: Tony Archer, Matt Cecchin
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
28th: Warriors 2 – 0 (Penalty goal: Maloney)
30th: Sea Eagles 6 – 2 (Try: B Stewart, Goal: Lyon)
40th: Sea Eagles 12 – 2 (Try: Cherry-Evans, Goal: Lyon)
57th: Sea Eagles 18 – 2 (Try: G Stewart, Goal: Lyon)
63th: Warriors 18 – 6 (Try: Vatuvei)
68th: Warriors 18 – 10 (Try: Taylor)
79th: Sea Eagles 24 – 10 (Try: Lyon, Goal: Robertson)
Wiki by Nicholls@Bulldogs (Ralph) 20:45, November 30, 2011 (UTC)