Mary’s Wonder Women: Same game. Our way.

This article was first written and published for The Roar.

I now have another four teams to support in rugby league, with the NRL announcing this week the clubs that have been granted inaugural licences in the 2018 Women’s Premiership.

In a historic day for footy, the Brisbane Broncos, Sydney Roosters, St George Illawarra Dragons and New Zealand Warriors have all been granted licenses and will now begin negotiating with players to assemble their squads.

Caitlin Moran is expected to be the Roosters’ first signing, with ‘Red V’ ambassadors Samantha Bremner and Kezie Apps expected to play in red and white, while Karina Brown is being touted as a potential captain for the Brisbane Broncos.

Stop complaining about the refs, Ricky, and answer these questions about the Raiders

This article was first written and published for The Roar.

“I’ll be waiting for Todd [Greenberg] to ring me and to tell me what an obstruction is.”

First question – will a ‘texer’ suffice?

That statement is from Ricky Stuart’s press conference on Saturday night after the Canberra Raiders lost to the New Zealand Warriors 20-19 to start their 2018 season 0-3.

Predictable is not a word I’ve used to describe the NRL season so far, but what is becoming increasingly so are these types of press conferences from Ricky Stuart where he makes a decision to move the focus from what his team has done on the field to the officials and the interpretation of the rules.

The perils of supporting the Parramatta Eels

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They say a week is a long time in footy and it feels like even longer when your team is coming off the back of a heavy defeat.

It has been almost five days since I found myself in a position where I had driven more than an hour to sit in 40-degree heat to watch my team get done by 54 points by the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Lottoland.

I am not sure what was the worst part.

It could have been that I was sitting on the hill at Brookie surrounded by Sea Eagles fans (who in their defence thought I was so pathetic, that I was very much left alone). It could have been that I had to watch my team lose, but lose in the most disappointing of ways.

The life of an Eels supporter in Sharks territory

This article was written by Melissa Muscat.

It’s not easy being a Parramatta Eels supporter in Cronulla Sharks territory. Even more so with their recent success of the 2016 NRL Premiership. I know first hand there are Sharks supporters aplenty in the south, having resided in the Sutherland Shire for the past 15 years. I can only imagine it would be even tougher for the younger generation, with Parras last success long before their birth.

Whilst I was born when the Eels won their last premiership, I was too young to remember it, so I am craving, like many other Parra faithful, young and old, to celebrate, experience and bask in a premiership win, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Who is this team and what have they done with the Warriors?

This article was first written for and published by The Roar

The first two rounds of this year’s NRL season have seen plenty of upsets, but there is one team that is making me look a right fool at the moment and that’s the New Zealand Warriors.

It’s way too early to declare that the predictions I made at the start of the season were incorrect, but should the Warriors continue with the form that has so far seen them defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 32-20 in Round 1 and the Gold Coast Titans 20-8 in Round 2, then placing them at the bottom of the ladder will prove to be a significant error on my part.

In commentary about the Warriors first two victories, there has been plenty of focus on a couple of players.

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

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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

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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.