Ladies Who League: Season highlights

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

On Sunday night another remarkable NRL Telstra Premiership season ended with the Melbourne Storm defeating the North Queensland Cowboys 34-6 to be crowned 2017 Premiers.

It was one of the oddest grand finals I have ever had to tip. The only outcome I could not see happening was the Cowboys winning by plenty.

The Cowboys were the fairytale, but there did seem to be a sense of injustice if the Storm did not prevail – after all, they had been the best team all year.

Grand Final Day more than a game

This story was first written for and published by NRL.com

Rugby league family – this is it. We made it. On Sunday a spectacular season will conclude when the Melbourne Storm take on the North Queensland Cowboys in this year’s NRL Grand Final.

I have some fond (and some not so fond) memories of grand finals. What about 2015? I watched the stadium erupt when Johnathan Thurston kicked a golden-point field goal for to steal victory for his Cowboys from the Brisbane Broncos. Or last year when I heard Paul Gallen finally tell residents of the Shire to “turn your porch lights off, because we’re coming home with a trophy” as the Cronulla Sharks broke a 50-year premiership drought. What about 2001? Actually as a Parramatta Eels fan, let’s not talk about that. 

Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do

This story was written by Melissa Muscat – Parramatta Eels member and Members Councillor 2017.

So here we are, season over…almost. It’s taken me this long to pen my thoughts after Parra’s finals exit to the Cowboys. I was shattered, like most loyal supporters. It took me till around the Thursday to feel half happy again, constantly asked by the teenage boys I work with ‘What happened to Parra?’ Ah, the youth of today.

It must be said that the Eels exceeded expectations of most this season. To finish in the top four with injuries to a couple of our best and missing from the finals for eight years, it was a pretty solid effort. However, to agree with Cameron King, it was also ‘a lost opportunity.’ So close, yet so far, as is the case for most footy teams in September though. At the end of the day, only two teams can be there on Grand Final Day. Hopefully it’s a motivating factor for the Parra boys next season.

Women’s sport weekly wrap: Meet the Jillaroos

This article was first written and published for The Roar.

I’ll always remember this week as the week where I really felt like for the first time, the Australian public really embraced the Matildas.

It has truly been an incredible week for this team – it started last Saturday when Sam Kerr was on the front of the Sydney Morning Herald back-flipping. Despite increased attention for women in sport, we are still not at a point where women’s sport is covered frequently in our mainstream newspapers.

Jillaroos to make history in PNG

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

There really is no off-season when it comes to footy and never has this been clearer to me than this year with a Rugby League World Cup approaching.

The good news is that although my Parramatta Eels might be out of the finals race, I don’t have to wait any longer to see my other favourite team in action with the Australian Jillaroos taking on the Papua New Guinea Orchids on Saturday in Papua New Guinea.

When footy is the focus, rugby league is the winner

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

Last weekend was what finals football is all about – two entertaining contests with plenty of thrilling match-ups, some outstanding defence, and a little bit of controversy to make things interesting.

On Friday night, Brisbane defeated Penrith 13-6.

Ben Hunt made sure his last game at Suncorp Stadium in Broncos colours was one to remember, in arguably his best performance of the year. He made 44 tackles (the most he has ever made in one game) and made sure the Broncos started off well with a beautiful pass to put Corey Oates into space.

Women’s sport weekly wrap: Jillaroos make history in PNG

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

Football fever has hit Sydney and it all kicks off tomorrow when the Westfield Matildas will play Brazil in the first of a two-game international series at a sold out Pepper Stadium.

Over 17,000 people are expected to attend the game and this will be one the biggest crowds for women’s football this country has ever seen.

Cowboys everything a fan could hope for

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

As a rugby league fan I have certain expectations of my team. Some of you might find these expectations surprising.

I always tell people that I do not expect my team to win. Sure, I want my team to win, but part of life and professional sport is learning to win with grace and more importantly, to lose with dignity.  

It’s ok to have a second team in the finals!

This article was written by Melissa Muscat – Parramatta Eels member and 2017 Parramatta Eels Members Councillor.

My article this week almost came with an element of controversy. Thankfully the Eels face the Cowboys in this weekend’s elimination semifinal.

There is a lot of stipulation and rules about who people should support. Is it the team you supported as a child? The local team where you live? The team your partner or children go for? I have only one rule. Pick a team and stay loyal.