NRL milestones to watch out for in 2019

The 2019 Telstra Premiership season is set to deliver another record-breaking year for teams, individual players, coaches and clubs in terms of milestones and achievements.

The possibility of Cameron Smith becoming the first player to break the 400-game barrier headlines a list of possible milestones to take place this season.

NRL.com takes a look at the top 10 milestones to watch in 2019.

Smith on track for history-making year

Now that Cameron Smith has officially put pen to paper on a new deal in Melbourne, the magical 400 number is in sight for the premiership-winning star, just 16 games away.

If the 35-year-old manages to play in every game leading into round 17, a home clash against arch rivals Cronulla will be when he achieves the milestone.

Should the veteran miss one or two games prior to round 17, he could break the 400-game barrier against the likes of Brisbane, Manly or the Rabbitohs.

There's another significant record the Storm hooker is on track to break: Smith requiring just 33 points to overtake Hazem El Masri as the highest scorer in Telstra Premiership history.

El Masri's record stands at 2418 after he passed Andrew Johns's tally in 2009.

Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith.
Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Cronk to reach 350, Gallen not far behind

Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk is set to become just the fourth player to reach 350 NRL games in the opening round of the 2019 season against the Rabbitohs.

Cronk is tied with Manly great Steve Menzies on 349 games and will join Terry Lamb, Darren Lockyer and Smith in the top four.

The 35-year-old could finish the year, and possibly his career, ranked second behind Smith overall with Lockyer's 355-game record also within reach.

Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen requires 24 games to reach the 350-game milestone. Gallen managed 22 games in 2018 but will need a healthy clean sheet in a bid to pass Menzies as the longest-serving running forward.

Five closing in on 300 games

Five players are on track to break into the 300 club in 2019.

Brisbane skipper Darius Boyd is eight games away from the milestone, while Kiwi internationals Adam Blair and Benji Marshall (both 289 games) could achieve the feat by June.

North Queensland back-rower Gavin Cooper (284) and Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah (282) are on track to reach the milestone in the second half of the season.

Loyal servants

In a code where player swapping and recruitment continues to be a topic of discussion, four players are in line to reach special milestones at their respective clubs.

Wests Tigers back-rower Chris Lawrence requires 23 games to reach 250 games for the joint venture club.

Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves requires seven games to reach a double century for the Tricolours. He could reach the milestone on Anzac Day at the SCG.

Canterbury forward Aiden Tolman is 18 games away from 200 appearances for the Belmore club after joining from Melbourne in 2011.

Cronulla second-rower Wade Graham requires 23 games to reach the milestone of 200 games for the Sharks.

Wests Tigers second-rower Chris Lawrence.
Wests Tigers second-rower Chris Lawrence. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

Croker chasing rare record

Canberra Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker is 232 points away from becoming the first player under 30 to score 2000 points at the Telstra Premiership level.

He'll go close to getting there this year. The 28-year-old has managed more than 232 points in a season twice (in 2015 and 2016), leaving the race wide open should the Raiders return to their winning ways in 2019.

Croker has until September 2020 to break the overall record of youngest player to reach 2000 points, set by Jason Taylor at Parramatta in 2001.

He's also seven tries away from becoming Canberra's all-time leading try-scorer.

Maloney to join top 10 list

Penrith five-eighth James Maloney requires just five points to move into the top 10 leading point-scorers at premiership level.

Maloney is set to overtake Luke Burt (1793 points) in the early rounds with the opportunity for 2000 points overall not out of the question if he takes over the goal-kicking duties full-time in 2019.

Panthers playmaker James Maloney.
Panthers playmaker James Maloney. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Trio's race to 150

South Sydney captain Greg Inglis is one try away from becoming the 12th player to score 150 tries in rugby league.

Inglis is one of three players who could achieve the milestone in 2019 with Brett Morris (146) and Michael Jennings (137) also closing in on the record.

Clubs to celebrate personal milestones

Four clubs are set to celebrate major milestones in 2019 since their foundation.

North Queensland will play their 600th premiership game against the Raiders in round four in Townsville.

Gold Coast will play their 300th premiership game away in round seven at Tamworth's Scully Park against the Wests Tigers.

The Warriors will play their 600th premiership game in round 14 (against Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium), while Brisbane will play Canterbury in their 800th premiership game in Round 18 at Suncorp Stadium.

Clubs chasing scoring records

Four clubs are likely to achieve tries and points records in 2019.

A converted try in round one will result in Canberra achieving the milestone of 20,000 points scored since entering the premiership in 1982.

The Gold Coast Titans need 35 tries to tally 1000 in the NRL since joining the competition in 2007.

Parramatta, who even at their lowest point in 2018 managed 66 tries, will be on track to score their 5000th try in 2019. The Eels are 67 tries away from the milestone.

Wests Tigers require 365 points to reach 10,000 points score since entering the competition in 2000.

Raiders centre Jarrod Croker.
Raiders centre Jarrod Croker. ©Keegan Carroll/NRL Photos

Coaches with room to celebrate

It may be one of the toughest jobs in world sport so any possible milestone for a coach should be met with some pride.

Penrith's Ivan Cleary will coach his 300th premiership game against the Titans in round five.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy requires a further 13 wins for 300 at the premiership level, the second highest behind Wayne Bennett on 504. Knights coach Nathan Brown is five wins away from notching up his 100th victory as an NRL coach.

Suspended Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan was also eyeing a club record in 2019. Flanagan was in line to overtake John Lang as the most games coached for the Sharks which currently stands at 198.

He could have overtaken Lang by round 15, and reached the 200-game milestone a fortnight later. With Flanagan's immediate future up in the air, Lang's record remains safe for now.

Cowboys coach Paul Green is also in line to overtake the late Graham Murray with most coached and most wins at club level by round 20.