NRL Women’s: Lack of bids doesn’t mean lack of interest

This story was first written and published for The Roar

Over the last couple of days I have seen some exceptionally lazy commentary about the upcoming NRL Women’s competition, particularly following Friday, when bids to have a team in the inaugural competition officially closed.

According to reports, the teams that have expressed interest and put in bids were the St George Illawarra Dragons, the Cronulla Sharks, the Sydney Roosters, the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

What’s missing from that geographical spread is a team in traditional rugby league heartland, Western Sydney.

Why Lynne Anderson’s gender is irrelevant for her Bulldogs role

This article was first written for NRL.com. 

It’s one of my favourite times of year when all fans can’t wait for the season to kick off because everyone’s got a fresh start and hope springs eternal.

With a new season comes the chance for each team to do better than last year, and no team has a better opportunity for a fresh start more than the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs after their off-season overhaul.

Mary’s Wonder Women: Update on the NRL Women’s Comp

This article was first written for and published by The Roar

This Sunday, the tenth edition of the W-League will come to a close when the Grand Final is contested between Sydney FC and Melbourne City.

Sydney booked their place in the decider after defeating the Newcastle Jets 3-2 in the semis, while Melbourne upset the reigning premiers, the Brisbane Roar, 2-0.

From highs to heartbreak

This article was written by Melissa Muscat.

I couldn’t follow two more contrasting sporting teams. Sydney FC and Parramatta Eels. One arguably the most successful A League team the competition has ever seen, the other holding the current record for longest NRL premiership drought.

This article is by no means bringing down my beloved Eels. I am such a passionate supporter, most people know me first and foremost for my love of Parra, but if I’m being real, and I am a realist, the Eels have certainly caused their fans a fair share of heartbreak in recent times. The Blue and Gold Army have been patiently waiting for a Premiership win since 1986…that is a long time in football years. The most painful part is they have come so close, winning two Minor Premierships since then, losing the unloseable Grand Final in 2001 and reaching the 2009 Grand Final, defeated by a Melbourne Storm outfit exceeding the salary cap. Unfortunately they just haven’t quite managed to deliver that trophy to the score of members and fans who are eagerly waiting.

Ladies who Lob: The end of the summer of tennis

Usually when I drive down the Federal Highway to what the sign says is Capital Country I’m headed to some interminable work related meeting but this time my visit to Canberra was for a much more exciting reason. Australia would play Ukraine in the first round of the 2018 Federation Cup this weekend.

Now for those not in the know the Fed Cup is a women’s team global tennis event in much the same format as the Davis Cup is for the men. Two singles matches – or rubbers – then reverse singles playing your opposite opponent, and a deciding doubles match if you need it.

Being the best of three sets though and not five, means it’s condensed into just two days play. That’s a lot of tennis and in hot conditions. As the home side, we opted to play in Canberra on grass. It’s hot and blustery as you’d expect in Canberra at the back end of summer. On the upside, escaping the humidity of Sydney is a blessing.

The NRL player transfers it’ll take time to get used to

This article was first written for NRL.com

Cricket season officially ended for me last Sunday when the Sydney Sixers won the WBBL final and the Adelaide Strikers took out the BBL, but the end of summer isn’t a bummer because it means the NRL is nearly here.

While most people lament the loss of long summer days, warm weather and going to the beach, I can deal with the loss of all those things because I know that the return of rugby league is just around the corner.

It’s now at that beautiful point in the year where my social media feeds are filled with NRL clubs showcasing pre-season training and their new recruits.

Players changing clubs is nothing new, but as we inch closer to kick-off there are plenty of players pulling on new jerseys that look a bit odd.

Mary’s Wonder Women: Leaked memos and the cost of a competition

This article was first written for and published by The Roar.

At 7pm tonight, AFLW returns to Sydney when the Giants take on Carlton at Drummoyne Oval.

After last year’s scheduling debacle, which saw Greater Western Sydney play a game played at Blacktown International Sports Park at 5pm on a Friday night (who can get to Blacktown at 5pm on a Friday?), I welcome this time slot and hope to see plenty of people at the game.

There has been some criticism of the standard of play for AFLW this week, particularly following the allegedly ‘leaked’ memo which went to all the AFLW coaches earlier, asking them to rethink strategy to produce higher-scoring games.

Two areas were particularly highlighted: congestion around stoppages and defensive flooding.

My gut feel is that this memo was crafted following the opening game of the season between Carlton and Collingwood – a low-scoring affair that ended with Carlton victorious 3.4.22 to 2.2.14.

Ladies who Lob: Roger, the greatest?

This article was written by Melissa Muscat.

As I mentioned in my last article, I can’t really name a favourite sport as I get enjoyment from many, but the Australian Open is my favourite time of year. The hype and intrigue of some of the best sportsmen and women in the world coming to play a major tournament in our country is exciting. All eyes are on Melbourne, Australia for two weeks in January and I do love a good game of tennis.

Whilst I can’t name my favourite sport, I can without hesitation name my favourite sports people. Roger Federer, Serena Williams, David Beckham and formerly Jarryd Hayne. I can see all the male readers rolling their eyes at Beckham, but the man did bring a lot to the world game, not just his infamous hairstyles and very good looks. I do think he is the most handsome man to grace this earth though but moving right along, Roger and Serena, their talents and achievements speak for themselves and they are wonderful ambassadors for their sport. Hayne, well to keep it polite, I’ve moved on from that saga.

Trusting Hayne a question of faith for Eels fans

This article was first written and published for NRL.com.

If youre a Parramatta Eels fan, theres plenty to be excited about in 2018.

On the back of their most successful year since 2009, for the first time in several years I know many Eels fans are heading into this season genuinely looking forward to what the team can achieve.