What’s the matter, Parramatta?

This article was first written for and published by The Roar

The Parramatta Eels will not win the Premiership in 2018.

Well… at least according to the statistics.

History tells us that in 109 years of rugby league in Australia, no team has won a first-grade grand final after conceding 50 points in a match during the season, and after the Eels’ 54-0 loss to the Manly Sea Eagles yesterday, I’m not sure that Parramatta have the ability to be the first team to do so.

Yesterday, I drove for over an hour to sit in 40-plus degree heat and watch my team lose by over 50 points. It doesn’t get much tougher as a fan than that.

Crunch time comes early for Roosters, Broncos and Raiders

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

They say that premierships aren’t won in March and for many clubs (after their performances in round one), they will be counting their lucky stars there is still a long season ahead.

To use another one of my favourite rugby league clichés, “a week is a long time in footy” and there are a couple of teams which will have taken “a long hard look at themselves” and will put in dramatically improved performances this weekend.

A fairytale start for Mitchell Pearce

This article was first written for and published by The Roar

It was the stuff that fairytales are made of at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night when the Newcastle Knights won their opening game of the season against the Manly Sea Eagles 19-18 in a golden point thriller.

We know that premierships are not won and finals berths are not earnt in Round 1, but that win was a fitting reward for the 23,516 fans in attendance – a crowd so good that it was Newcastle’s third-biggest first-round attendance since the club was welcomed into the NRL competition in 1998.

Why women in league should be proud

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

The world celebrated International Women’s Day on Thursday and when it comes to rugby league, it always reminds me just how much we have to celebrate in our game.

It’s a day which gives men and women the opportunity to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, share key social messages about diversity and inclusion and recognise the importance of continuing to press for a more gender-equal world.

Mary’s Wonder Women: Sport presses for progress

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

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, which is always an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come on our journey towards gender equality, but also a reminder of how much work we still have to do.

When it comes to sport, we have had plenty of moments to celebrate in the last 12 months.

The wait is finally over, footy fans

This story was written by Melissa Muscat.

It’s been a long off season, very long for those who don’t follow another sport in the alternate months. 157 days, 22 weeks or five months to be precise, but the wait is over. NRL Season 2018 is finally here…and aren’t fans buzzing?

My NRL top eight for the 2018 season

This article was first written for and published by The Roar

It’s just three more sleeps until the 2018 NRL season begins.

This is my favourite part of the season because at this particular point my team (and every other one) can win the premiership. The mistakes and disappointments of last year have (almost) been forgotten and it really is a fresh start for each of the 16 sides.

Expert predictions for NRL top eight in 2018

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

St George Illawarra Dragons fans take note – your team will be featuring in the Telstra Premiership finals. At least that’s the opinion of the experts at NRL.com.

The Dragons, boosted by the addition of Ben Hunt and James Graham to a side that finished just out of the eight in 2017, have attracted plenty of love from the 24-strong panel.

Big League editor Pamela Whaley joined Ladies Who League’s Mary Konstantopoulos and a host of NRL.com staff including chief reporter Michael Chammas, senior writers Brad Walter and Margie McDonald and video journalists Katie Brown and Zac Bailey in supplying their predictions for the upcoming season. 

Bold NRL predictions for 2018

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

We are six sleeps away from the start of the 2018 NRL season and I couldn’t be more excited to watch the opening game between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos on Thursday night at Jubilee Oval. At 8.05pm when that whistle blows, the season will officially begin and the march towards September begins.

Because there’s still almost a week until the season kicks off, it means I have time to make some bold predictions about the year ahead.

The Roar’s top 50 NRL players for 2018: 20-11

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

Today The Roar continues its countdown of the top 50 NRL players with 20 through to 11.

Compiling my top 50 was exceptionally difficult so it has been fascinating to see how my list, combined with the list of the other experts, has turned out. Suffice to say after seeing the results, it’s clear that I missed a couple of players – and that other rugby league experts think much higher of Blake Ferguson and Darius Boyd than I do.

So here’s the next instalment of The Roar’s top 50 players. How many of them make your list?