Almanac Rugby League: Season 2019 – 7 days and counting

Imagine for a moment that you are Peter Beattie or Todd Greenberg.  Not that you’d want to be at this particular point in time. I’m sure they just can’t wait for next Thursday night when the new season kicks off with the Melbourne Storm hosting the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park.

 

It has been an off season from hell. The heroics of Cooper Cronk in the 2018 Grand Final, the inaugural NRLW competition, the Sydney Roosters’ win in the World Club Challenge and the success of the Australian Indigenous All Stars v New Zealand Maori All Stars concept have been relegated to either distant memory or mere fleeting twinkles in the dark even though all four were important, good news stories.

 

Instead, we’ve been fed continuous storylines of coaching dramas (think Broncos and South Sydney), salary cap issues (are you there, Cronulla?), questionable club culture (anyone for the Panthers?) and a parade of alleged sexual misdemeanours (too many to name).

 

No wonder no-one wants to be Beattie or Greenberg! Who can blame them for trying to deflect from some of these matters by floating ideas about a second Brisbane-based team within 3 or 4 years, or perhaps expanding the Finals series to ten teams?

 

And yet I’m feeling positive about the code and the prospects for the new season. Here’s why:

 

  • at least 10 clubs, maybe as many as 12, look like potential finalists;
  • stacks of individually brilliant players who thrill just by playing, whether they’re winning or not – think Tedesco, Munster, Addo-Carr, Roberts, Pangai Jnr. and so on;
  • a chance to farewell some stalwarts, regardless of what you may think of them – Gallen, Cronk, maybe Cameron Smith;
  • a new wave of stars look like establishing themselves this year – Ponga, Brimson, Mitchell, the Broncos’ young forwards, etc;
  • an exciting Origin series in prospect as NSW tries to establish a new dominance while the Maroons look to get back their winning groove.

 

So for these and many other reasons, I’m ready for kick-off next Thursday night and ready to ride the season through to Grand Final day on Sunday 6th October. I’m particularly looking forward to watching Origin I at Belushi’s pub on Borough Road, London. Been there, done that before with my ex-pat mate Peeter, along with a couple dozen other tragics of the local and tourist varieties.

 

So here’s a call to all rugby league lovers out there in Almanac-land to get on board and sashay your way through the season with me. Become a member (see below) and contribute a post or three, submit match reports, comment on other pieces, provide local perspectives, write rants, tell historical tales. There are thousands of good stories out there.

 

Next week, a season preview along with a few fearless predictions…

 

 

To find out more about Almanac memberships CLICK HERE

About Ian Hauser

A happy, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV - although I do share the never-to-be-beaten record for the tenth wicket for the long-defunct Unley Lutheran Cricket Club - a partnership of 62 with Craig Hartmann in 1973! A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I'm a firm believer in the notion that there is a fine line between winning and losing in sport. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. As well as being one of footyalmanac.com.au's online editors, I offer a comprehensive editing service for both new and experienced writers. Check me out at www.writerightediting.com.au Queenslander!

Comments

  1. JASON ANDREW TOPPIN says

    TO THOSE IN MELBOURNE WHO ARE RUGBY LEAGUE FANS, YOU CAN TUNE INTO MACQUARIE SPORTS RADIO 1278 NOW READY FOR NEXT FRIDAY To HEAR IN 2GB CONTINUOUS CALL TEAM FEATURiNG MARK LEVY, MARK RIDDELL, DAVE MORROW, ANTONY GRIFFEN, BUZ ROTHFEILD, DAVID RICCO, MAT THOMPSON, BOB FULTON. HOSTED BY RAY HADLEY THE MOST RESPECTED SRTS COMMENATATOR ON AUSTRAlIAN RADIO.

  2. Thanks for these details, Jason. A bit hard to know the local Melbourne radio pick-up when I’m here in Noosaville.

  3. G’day Iana.

    It will be intriguing if Jack De Belin is eligible to play in the opening week.

    The NRL’ s no fault stand down rule sounds good , but it seems a hastily cobbled put together procedure, leaving it open to failing.

    Let’s watch this space.

    Glen!

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