The Dogs are Barking

The Dogs came out barking in this highly anticipated match. Talk earlier in the week focussed on whether Frank Pritchard was going to cop a suspension for his high shot on Penrith winger David Simmons. He got a week. Most of the betting agencies – if not all, had the Dragons as favourites to win [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – A Year of Lowered Expectations

October 3, 2010 is a night that will stay with me for the duration. When Nathan Fien dived over the line with ten minutes to play in the NRL Grand Final, giving the St George Illawarra Dragons an unassailable 24 point lead, I was able to sit back in my seat for the remainder of [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – The fairytale continues

For someone who appears not to particularly enjoy the attention of the public spotlight , Darren Lockyer gets plenty of it. Don’t get me wrong, Lockyer is entirely accommodating with the media, public and corporate demands. He is pure sporting hero. But I can’t help think sometimes the demands of attention must be tiring and [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – The fairytale continues

For a lot of people the main focus of this game involves Wayne Bennett and Darren Lockyer. The pair established a strong relationship when Bennett coached at the Broncos, slotting him in at fullback early in his career before moving him to five-eighth – and moulding him into an international in both positions. But more [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – Dragons/Tigers: The link between footy and the dishes

There has been precious little written about the link between the NRL finals and washing dishes. Perhaps because I’m the only evidence of this link. At half-time in last year’s grand final, with the Roosters leading 8-6 in a tight game I was a ball of nervous energy. With more than three decades of waiting [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – Shaken but not stirred

It was 9.20pm on Saturday 24 September 2005 and I was shaken to the core as the siren at the Sydney Football Stadium rang out. Not that I could actually hear it above the din of thousands of West Tigers fanatics writhing with ecstasy across the concourse and grandstand of the Sydney home of rugby [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – Irrepressible Tigers too good for dour Dragon

I arrived home in time for the dressing room shots. Hate missing them. ‘The Tigers have definitely got the best uniform.’ The legendary big red V cuts no ice with Sweetheart. Coach Tim Sheens, more statesmanlike every week as his beard thickens, and the Saints’ mentor, Wayne Bennett, are rock solid and calm. ‘Who’s the [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – Hope is a glorious thing

Strangely a game with no sense of ‘The Grudge’. This on the most hate-fuelled, bloodthirsty, full-mooned weekends in recent memory, some say in a decade, strangely with this match post ‘Battle of Brookie’ the only game without a ‘Let’s get it on’. As usual, New Zealand were referred to as the ‘Dark Horse’ of the [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – Bumper Farrell and a deep Dragons dislike

On a day better suited to surfing than Rugby League, St George Illawarra faced the foreign invasion from New Zealand, in a Warriors side keen to improve their chances of hosting a home semi-final. The Dragons had a mission of their own: to snap a five game losing streak which had seen them fall from [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – Dragons find some fire at last

I’m sure there are worse way to start a footy game. But after seeing the first few seconds of the Dragons clash against the Warriors at WIN Stadium, I’m hard pressed to come up with any. Dragons captain Ben Hornby placed the ball on the kicking tee to start the game, walked back, ran up [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – A costly call

I write this feeling like a bitter and twisted man. Hopefully by the end I have come round. The Warriors have had their season ripped apart by the most abhorrent refereeing decision of the year. Sorry if that sounds a bit over emotive but that’s what it feels like for a Warriors fan that will [Read more]