I love September!

This article was written by Mel Muscat. 

I love September. Not for the reason many love September though, the weather. Spring just means allergies for me. I love it for the footy finals. Rugby league is known for its toughness, but it is also an exciting game to watch. If you have been following the finals series for the last two weeks you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, it’s time to watch a game. If you’re someone who doesn’t watch the footy generally, you have the next two weeks to witness a match and see for yourself what all the hype is about with your partner, mates, amongst your work colleagues and your friend whose team is still in the finals race.

Even as a Parramatta Eels fan, I love finals footy. In nine years, my beloved Eels have only made the semifinals once, and we lost both games. It is tough, very tough being a Parra supporter which is why I have made the unofficial rule that if you are an Eels fan, you can have a second team. Even a third. I’m pleased that my second team the Cronulla Sharks are still in the finals race as are my third team the Sydney Roosters. And even if they weren’t, I’d get behind another Sydney team to barrack for during these four weeks of the month.

The 2018 Penrith Panthers: Success or failure?

This article was first written for the Roar. 

And then there were four.

Following the results in the NRL on the weekend, only four teams remain in the hunt for the 2018 premiership – the Melbourne Storm, Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Cronulla Sharks.

For the Sharks and the Bunnies, it was as close as can be, with both teams only making it through by the skin of their teeth. The Bunnies beat the Dragons by one point on Saturday night thanks to three field goals by Adam Reynolds, while the Sharks beat the Penrith Panthers by the same margin on Friday night thanks to a Chad Townsend field goal in the 73rd minute.

NRLW silences critics to become overnight sensation

This article was first written for NRL.com

If there were any doubts about whether the Holden Women’s Premiership would be a success, surely the opening round silenced all that.

The NRLW arrived with a bang last weekend.

More than 14,000 people headed out to ANZ Stadium and Suncorp Stadium to watch the two opening games and the combined television audience cracked the 500,000 barrier.

The two games were played at a high level and if the quality remains the focus, then the fans will follow.

So what did we learn from round one?

What we learnt from Round 1 of the NRLW

This article was first written and published for The Roar

Last weekend as my dad and I drove to ANZ Stadium for the first match in the inaugural NRL Women’s Premiership between the New Zealand Warriors and the Sydney Roosters, there was plenty of emotion.

For so many people last weekend represented a moment in time for our game. It was also the result of many years of trailblazing and hard work from people across the game who are passionate about women’s rugby league.

People that immediately come to mind are former Australian Jillaroos like Katrina Fanning, Tarsha Gale and Karyn Murphy – women who played in an era where it was not uncommon for women to have to sell their cars so they could tour to represent their country.

Audio Forget Mad Monday: How good was the weekend footy?

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

In the past week alone, there have been two incidents which have clearly demonstrated there are some parts of the Sydney media that are looking to hurt rugby league.

Instead of being part of a movement that supports the game and the work our players are doing on and off the field, some parts of the media go searching for footage that instead chooses to portray our game in a negative light.

NRL Women’s Premiership a testament to those who paved the way

This article was first written and published for The Guardian.

hen Katrina Fanning pulled on her first Australian Jillaroos jersey in 1995 never in her wildest dreams did she think that one day women would be able to represent the NRL teams they grew up supporting, in a competition of their own.

A world where women didn’t have to sell their cars to afford going on tour to represent their country, and a world where the media were interested in covering women’s rugby league just seemed beyond the realms of possibility.

History does happen: NRLW kick-off a true game-changer

This article was first written for NRL.com.

I first met Talesha Quinn in June 2017 when she appeared on the Ladies who League podcast. We made contact via Twitter where I had followed her after seeing her represent the NSW Blues in the women’s interstate challenge. At that point she had fewer than 150 followers on Twitter.

When Talesha came into the studio she mentioned she was a bit worried about appearing on the show because when she got nervous she had a minor stutter. Unsurprisingly, once we began recording she nailed it and passionately shared her rugby league journey – one which involved her moving from Queensland to the Sutherland Shire to pursue her dream with the Cronulla Sharks nines team.

Let the NRLW begin

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

Tomorrow the NRL makes history, when the inaugural season of the new women’s competition begins.

The competition is made up of four teams – the Sydney Roosters, the St George Illawarra Dragons, the Brisbane Broncos and the New Zealand Warriors.

Where did it all go wrong for Parramatta in 2018?

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

On Saturday night I breathed a sigh of relief at the end of the game between the Parramatta Eels and the Sydney Roosters.

The Eels lost this game 44-10 and to be honest it seemed a fitting end to what has been a dismal season and a season that I would rather forget.

When I think back to how I felt as a fan this time last year, the comparison could not be starker.

Players’ Champion an awards night with a difference

This story was first written and published by NRL.com

As a woman, there is no part of my body that I apologise to more than my feet. This apology happens more frequently than I would like to admit.

I apologise to my feet for cramming my toes into very pointy shoes. I apologise to my feet for wearing uncomfortable shoes because they looked pretty in the store. I apologise to my feet for wearing shoes a size too small because the shoes were on sale but only available in a size smaller than I actually am.