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.

Why we can’t continue with ref’s fault

This article was written by Lyn Gannon, Platinum Cronulla Sharks Member and Secretary of the Cronulla Sharks Member’s Council.

This controversial issue is dominating everyone’s news feed this past weekend.

In simple terms #refsfaulting is a cop out.  It is a blight on the game and can’t continue if the game is to continue to be professional, and grow and progress.  We need the referees – without them we don’t have a sport.  Teams ultimately win or lose by virtue of their own performance, good or not so good. 

Women’s sport weekly wrap: Kasey Badger and Belinda Sleeman make history

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

In Week 1 of the NRL finals, two very special women will make history.

On Friday night, in the game between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos, Kasey Badger will become the first female to officiate an NRL finals game.

Not far behind her is Belinda Sleeman, who will run the touchline in the game between the Penrith Panthers and the Manly Sea Eagles.

Don’t take finals footy for granted

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

To date, my experience as a sports fan has never been captured as accurately as it was by Nick Hornby in Fever Pitch.

From the moment I opened the cover and read the first paragraph, I knew the words were written by an author who understood me. This was a man who ‘got’ what it meant to be a sports fan:

“I fell in love with [rugby league] as I was later to fall in love with [men]: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring with it.”

This year marks my 19th year as a Parramatta Eels supporter. I first began supporting the club in 1998 after falling in love with Clinton Schifcofske. Once the Eels had my heart, there was no turning back.