Almanac Rugby League: State of Origin – Game 1: the aftermath

State of Origin Game 1 is done and dusted. Did we see the beginning of a new stage in the evolution of the great interstate rivalry?

Almanac Rugby League: 2018 State of Origin – Game 1: what on earth should we expect?

It’s Game 1 of the 2018 State of Origin series tonight. Almanac rugby league editor Ian Hauser ponders what’s possible but can’t quite read the tea leaves.

Almanac Rugby League: One hell of a nice bloke

Fifty years after a phrase in a newspaper photo caption stuck in a boy’s mind, he meets the man in the photo – and he’s a hell of a nice bloke. And that original photo is here, too.

Almanac Rugby League: A character from another era

On a day celebrating characters from a bygone era, FNQ Almanacker Peter Hulthen came across this obituary in ‘The Townsville Bulletin’ recently. The wharf, the hustle and the footy – what a combination!

Almanac Rugby League: Vale Fonda Metassa, ‘The Golden Greek’

Fonda Metassa, ‘The Golden Greek’, BRL Norths Devils legend, cult hero and personality extraordinaire has passed away. The Almanac pays tribute to a player who thrilled, inspired and entertained as few have. Read Phil Lutton’s story of Fonda’s greatest performance.

Almanac Rugby League: State of Origin – Game 1 selections

Game 1 of 2018’s Rugby League State of Origin series looms next Wednesday night at the MCG. Both sides have made significant changes from last season heralding a possible new era in this most competitive of contests. Ian Hauser checks out his earlier selections against the final line-ups. Have the selectors chosen well? Have your say.

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]


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]


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]