Almanac Rugby League – NRL Round 2, 2012: Manly v Tigers

There is a saying of the Buddha that “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”. It’s true. Ever since the Round 21, 2011 clash between Manly and Wests Tigers I have been unable to use my [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – Revelling in the glory

I’ve been lucky enough to watch Manly play in six grand finals, and even luckier to experience them winning three. I love them all for different reasons, and the Sea Eagles’ 24-10 victory over the New Zealand Warriors is no different. It had all the qualities that we celebrate the game of rugby league for, [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – The first of many

Nearly 82,000 people ventured to Homebush from every point on the compass to witness the 2011 NRL showdown between the Sea Eagles and the Warriors. Around the country, BBQs were in full swing, with some fans just about to watch their third League Grand Final for the day having witnessed exciting finales to the undercard [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – A heartbreaking loss

I was one mouse click away from being in Sydney for Grand Final day but ultimately had enough stuff in my head telling me not to go. I didn’t and right at the bottom of my heart I now think it was the correct decision. I would have been dead set filthy on myself however [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – You may not like the teams but you had to like the game they played

    Many-Warringah Sea Eagles 24 d. New Zealand Warriors 10     JJ Leahy   If you support a team in any sporting competition, over time you will inevitably develop a pecking order of the other participants from your next favoured to your most disliked. For most supporters of teams other than this years grand [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – What happened to Gus Gould’s hair?

I’m in Brisbane for the weekend visiting family. It’s the first chance I’ve had in many a year to watch a Friday night game live on television. It’s also the first chance I’ve had to watch Channel Nine’s pregame ‘entertainment” too. Mercy me. So let’s start with the (actual) white elephant on the commentary panel: [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – A deserved win

As a Broncos fan who has always had a strong dislike of Manly, I’ll get the difficult part over with straight away: I have to admit Manly deserved to win. In all honesty I wasn’t expecting the Broncos to win. With Darren Lockyer missing, I sensed the Broncos wouldn’t quite have what it took to [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – On the road

We are under immense pressure to perfect what shapes as a great game. We are in the trusted Commodore heading north. The only friend of the driver is the ABC radio and the pressure is from my obsessive goal to hit Miriam Vale at half-time to have the finest road food in Queensland –possibly Australia [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – All goes to script

So here I am, sitting in my house in Melbourne, straight off the plane from a business trip to India, with a mate from England, ready to watch a game of footy between a team from Queensland that everyone in NSW hates playing a team from NSW that everyone in Australia (outside of Manly) hates. [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – A Day for Darren

Tickets for this match sold out weeks beforehand, in fact well before I was asked to review it for the Almanac. So I watched on the big screen in the lounge after an earlier sumptuous lunch. With pen and paper poised and radio on hand to get comments from ABC Grandstand, I was up for [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – A Manly boy in the City of Churches

Residing in a ‘non-league’ state means you have to go the extra mile to get your fix of the Greatest Game of All. It’s not in the papers, it’s not on the news and it’s certainly not talked about in the pub or around the watercooler on a Monday morning. Living in Adelaide for the [Read more]

Almanac Rugby league – A long way from home

The finals are just two weeks away.  Brookie Oval is packed out for a Friday night cracker, first versus second on the ladder, one team undefeated after 12 games, the other undefeated at home for the season. The teams with the best for-and-against in the comp, sharing a rivalry built up over recent seasons (one [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – An afternoon of hope

This assignment started out full of hope – what better thing to do than write about a Canterbury victory over Manly, especially at Brookvale.  Being almost out of finals contention five weeks ago, the Bulldogs had won three of the last four matches and were back in with a chance of finals glory. To add [Read more]

Presumptuous Titilations

Friday. Even with a contact schedule of seven hours a week that word induces a smile. For today as the English and Indians redraw their bows, Cadel celebrates his fifth day in heaven and Australia rub their eyes reading “Magnussen wins in Shanghai”, I enjoy presumptuous titillations of a win in Gosford. Far short of [Read more]