The North Queensland Cowboys only have to wait until round three next year to try to gain a measure of revenge against Melbourne Storm.
Melbourne were crowned 2017 premiers earlier this month after a 34-6 win over the Cowboys in the NRL Grand Final.
The teams will meet in round three in 2018, with Storm hosting the clash at AAMI Park on March 22.
The NRL released the full draw for next season on Thursday.
The St George Illawarra Dragons host the Brisbane Broncos in the season opener on March 8, while Melbourne take on the Canterbury Bulldogs two days later.
The Sydney Roosters, who may have former Storm star Cooper Cronk in their ranks, take on the Wests Tigers in their opener.
There will be a standalone weekend for a Sunday State of Origin II, meaning only two rounds are directly impacted by the Queensland-New South Wales series.
"We have more control of the schedule for 2018 and we believe we have been able to deliver some wins for the everyone, but particularly the fans," NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said.
"There are more blockbusters in family-friendly timeslots. We have introduced a Thursday night match before Good Friday because that's what our supporters told us they want.
"And there will be at least one Sydney match for fans to attend nearly every Sunday during the season."