Almanac Rugby League: Footballing gods smile on Ipswich

Sunday’s NRL Grand Final is already being coined the greatest in the code’s history. While the focus was on the feats of Jonathon Thurston and the success of the North Queensland Cowboys, Harold Peacock also found plenty to celebrate in the Ipswich Jets’ NRL State Championship win in the curtain raiser.

Ramblings from the Oche – Part II

Wonderful reflection on a lot more than darts and sport. [I wasn’t expecting this when I started reading – Ed]

Grand Final Preview – Will the Hawks be GOATs?

A big weekend of sport needs some handy investment advice if you’re inclined towards a wager or two. Sal Ciardulli’s comprehensive look at this weekend’s Grand Final and the Group racing action at Money Valley, The Heath, Randwick and Headquarters should give you some food for thought by the time the off rolls around.

Almanac Rugby – RWC 2015: Week 3 preview

With most teams in the 2015 Rugby World Cup having played two matches, Hamish Neal has a look at the state of play in the tournament.

The Dartslow

It was a gala night. Or maybe just a night for galahs. The Almanac Brownlow Darts competition has again been run and won. Could anyone knock off the Champ?

Vale Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

One of the all-time greats of Baseball – ‘Yogi’ Berra – passed away yesterday at the age of 90. He might not be a name that is familiar to many sports fans outside of baseball circles, but his story and the legacy he leaves to baseball is one that’s worth familiarising yourself with. Steve Baker shares a great tribute to a Hall of Famer from Bruce Weber of the New York Times.

Almanac Rugby – Rugby World Cup 2015: Run The Cutter – RWC 2015 Week 1

Not quite up there with the 1980 Winter Olympics’ ‘Miracle on Ice’, but Japan’s stunning 34-32 win over the Springboks must surely rate as one of Rugby World Cups’ greatest upsets. Later tonight (Australian Eastern time) the Brave Blossoms meet Scotland, so ahead of that clash and Australia’s opening pool match against Fiji at 1:45am Thursday morning, Hamish Neal has put together this primer for the 2015 RWC. [Sir Ritchie McCaw and ‘peasant referees’ tells you all you need to know about where The Hammer’s allegiances lie. Make of that what you will… – Ed]

NRL Finals Week 2 – Roosters v Bulldogs: Video killed the Rugby League show

The use of the video referee has Wayne Ball clucking mad as the Roosters unslip the Dogs of War. What is going on?

Almanac Rugby League – Finals Week 1: Cameron Smith leads from the front, so Melbourne win

The Storm secure the only Preliminary Final to be held in Melbourne in a couple of weeks as Wayne Ball ponders why the Roosters can’t get bums on seats

Why Spectators Should Suck it Up, and Move On

Sarah Black has some advice for ‘fans’ and players who believe it’s appropriate to offer 15 year-old umpires a pair of glasses while they’re trying to adjudicate a netball game. [And the stats may just make your head spin. – Ed]

Almanac Rugby League – “Rugby League – the greatest game of all”

Murray Bird returned to Langlands Park for some enjoyable late season Queensland Cup Rugby League action. A lot had changed since he was last there in the 1970s, but not the drinking (or smoking) preferences of the locals.

Question Seventeen

Baseball fan Rob Chanter has never seen a crowd have as much fun as he did in Japan. Isn’t that what sport is all about?

Round 20 – Western Bulldogs v Melbourne: A tale of two TV screens

It was the tale of two TV screens on Sunday afternoon for Demons fan Joseph Ryan, as he watched his Dees take on the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium and the Netball World Cup final between the Diamonds and New Zealand. There was only one contest that was tough, entertaining and meaningful, and it sure as heck wasn’t the footy…

Almanac Rugby – The Forgotten story of Steve Merrick: Rugby Union’s last amateur (first published in The Guardian)

An outstanding yarn from Patrick Skene ahead of Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup decider against the All-Blacks at Eden Park on Steve Merrick, Rugby Union’s last amateur. The story of how a coal miner from the Hunter Valley turned down SANZAR and World Rugby Corporation megabucks and went back to the pits.

My Friend Flicka

Citrus Bob Utber tries valiantly to keep across three big sporting events from the weekend just past: the Wallabies in their quest for the Bledisloe Cup, Adam Goodes’ return to footy at Geelong and the demise of the Australians at Trent Bridge.

Flogs, Wogs and Blogs

Phil Dimitriadis is miffed by some of the language used by ‘Middle Australia’ in the recent race debates. When did ‘Flog’ become part of the vernacular and why?

Almanac Wheelchair Tennis: Competition half a world away from tragedy

Henry de Cure plays Wheelchair Tennis on the world tour (with a world ranking of 69). And he’s a Crows man. This is Henry’s story of how a tournament in South Africa coincided with news of Phil Walsh, and the ongoing search for meaning.

Pigskin Almanac: The underdogs who won the Superbowl

Some of the most memorable sporting contests in history have been provided by NFL Super Bowl contests. Pigskin fan Logan R. Grayson recalls famous underdog wins in the NFL’s ‘big dance.’

Almanac Rugby: Hands Up If You Saw a Wallaby Flanker Put an Argentinian Merchant Banker on His Ass This Morning?

The sharp eyes of Archie Butterfly hail the “athletic prowess”, shall we say, of Wallaby flanker Michael Hooper during the Wallabies 34-9 rout of the Pumas [A beautiful right cross, but a SANZAR judicial hearing will have the final say on his availability for the rest of the Rugby Championship, after citing Hooper for foul play. – Ed].

Almanac Lacrosse – Under 19 World Championships: Australia 14 England 13 in quadruple overtime

Sudden victory or sudden defeat: coming to terms with a monumental struggle and its denouement.