Almanac Rugby League: State of Origin selection time (give us your thoughts)

The pinnacle of this year’s rugby league calendar, State of Origin 2018, looms on the horizon. Almanac rugby league editor Ian Hauser tries to second guess the selectors in the lead-up to the first clash early in June. Will he be even close to the mark?

Almanac Rugby League: Sorting out the Cronks

A phrase that stuck in a schoolboy’s mind for fifty years; a post on the Almanac site five years ago; an email pops up on a screen earlier this month. The dots connect for Almanac rugby league editor Ian Hauser and he’s off for coffee tomorrow.

Almanac Rugby League: Cameron Smith calls it quits

Rugby league’s 2018 State of Origin series has been blown wide open by Cameron Smith’s retirement from rep footy. What does it mean for this year’s series? Where does Smith fit into the pantheon of rugby league greats? Have a say.

Showdown 44: Fans: are they fierce or fickle?

Showdown is to South Australian footy as State of Origin is to rugby league. Inter-Stater Ian Hauser goes along to Showdown 44 and comes away bemused by the fickle nature of the supposedly loyal fans of the Power.

Almanac Book Review: Kieran Modra: the way I see it

We all know the qualities we most admire in our best sportspeople – skill, determination, resilience, commitment, courage, sportsmanship, humility and so on. That’s what you get and a lot more with Kieran Modra, blind Paraplympic cyclist. Now his story had been told for us to appreciate and value. Almanac editor Ian Hauser reviews this grounded and inspirational addition to our national sporting library and comes with a chaser recommendation by the great Anna Meares!

Cricket: You’ve just got to go local

Ian Hauser wanders north into the foothills of the Great Divide, to watch the local cricket finals in “Dog on the Tuckerbox” country around Gundagai and Tumut.

NRL Round 4 – Brisbane v Melbourne: Honk, Honk, Here Comes Cronk

Ian Hauser goes downstairs for one last time, and watches his Broncos get beaten by the clinical Storm.

The fine line – Origin at its best

After Game I of this year’s State of Origin series, I made the point that Liam’s theory that there’s a fine line between winning and losing in SOO was alive and well. Two games later, it’s reinforced in spades. The margins were 8, 4 and 1 with an overall differential of +5 to Queensland. I [Read more]

Back to basics: Local sport in 3 parts

BACK TO BASICS Local sport in 3 parts There’s nothing like local sport to help you connect with the community. Corporate demands, overly structured game plans and totally rip-off prices go by the way to be replaced with a cheery welcome, lots of space, family friendly prices and much good humour. It’s good just to [Read more]

Footy date today

It’s a date! Australian Rules aficionados, trivia tragics and numeric numbskulls look forward with great anticipation to the first official day of winter on Friday written as a date, Australian style, namely 1/6/12. Enjoy it while you can because this is the last year until 2107 that the calendar provides us with just the one [Read more]

The Fine Line

Two years ago, Liam Hauser’s history of Origin matches carried the subtitle The fine line between winning and losing.(State of Origin: 30 years, Rockpool Publishing, 2010) He demonstrated that rarely has there been any deviation from this observation of the ebb and flow of matches throughout the history of the concept. I think it’s fair [Read more]

The Shield Final

  by Ian Hauser Late last year on 9th October, son Liam and I went to the Gabba to watch the Queensland Bulls take on the Victorian Bushrangers in a Ryobi Cup one-dayer. We were treated to a decidedly underwhelming match which the Bulls won without being in the least convincing. We agreed that the [Read more]

Artie

It’s a sad, sad day for lovers of rugby league the world over with the death of Artie Beetson at the all too young age of 66. The achievements, awards, acclamations,  will be fully documented in the coming days. Among all the things that will be said and read, perhaps a telling indicator of Artie’s [Read more]

FOUR NATIONS FINAL

When the final whistle blew for Australia to defeat England 30 – 8 in the Four Nations final this morning, two thoughts occurred to me. Firstly, Will Evans is a prophet – a week ago he said that the Poms would stay with the Australians for an hour before the Australians got away. Score one [Read more]

That’s More Like It

International rugby league got a shot in the arm when Australia played its way into the Four Nations final with a hard-fought 36 – 20 win over England at Wembley Stadium last night. The very competitive Poms pushed the Australians for all but the last 10 minutes, and so next weekend’s New Zealand v England [Read more]

Could the NZ halves please stand up?

After watching the opening game of the Four Nations tournament between Australia and New Zealand, I’m left with a puzzle: is Benji Marshall badly out of form, injured or just foxing? I mean, how can someone who is supposed to be one of the two or three best players in the world put in two [Read more]

ANOTHER LOCKY FAREWELL

If you needed any convincing of the truth of Mallory’s theory that international rugby league is, at best, a third tier competition in the league hierarchy, then Sunday’s Trans Tasman Test between Australia and New Zealand clinched the debate. The lead-up, the match itself and the aftermath received token media coverage. The absence of an [Read more]

Another Locky farewell

If you needed any convincing of the truth of Mallory’s theory that international rugby league is, at best, a third tier competition in the league hierarchy, then Sunday’s Trans Tasman Test between Australia and New Zealand clinched the debate. The lead-up, the match itself and the aftermath received token media coverage. The absence of an [Read more]

STAND UP AND FIGHT LIKE HELL!

Primarily a rugby league follower from Queensland, a stint in Adelaide in the 70s and 80s educated me in the attractions of footy, southern style. I became a Bombers supporter. Today, I watch the GF in my Scarborough lounge, 1600kms from the G. The final scoreboard shows that Geelong defeated Collingwood by 38 points in [Read more]

The Old Boys Can Bar corner and the 50 cent doubles

The preliminary finals of the Queensland Cup were both played at Redcliffe’s Dolphin Oval this weekend with two clear-cut results setting up an intriguing Grand Final next Sunday at Lang Park. Full credit to ABC-TV for telecasting both games live throughout the State. Memo to ABC-TV bean counters: In your drive to cut costs in [Read more]