Is Ricky Stuart out if he cannot navigate sticky 2018 for Canberra?

There are still over three months before the 2018 NRL season kicks off, but the quesion must be asked: Are the Canberra Raiders already shot? MORE: Mitchell Pearce reportedly offered 'five or six' year deal | 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final: When is it, who’s involved, and how to watch? A season-ending knee injury to star hooker Josh Hodgson, continuing speculation over the futures of Aidan Sezer and Joey Leilua, cap problems and scale-busting weight gains for returning Samoan internationals

Mitchell Pearce to Melbourne is so crazy it might work

With Cooper Cronk confirmed to be at the Sydney Roosters next season, NRL fans wait with bated breath for the supposed domino effect or “halves carousel” that has been triggered. First cab off the rank: Easts’ favourite son, Mitchell Pearce. Pearce is reported to be displeased with his club’s signing of Cronk, and their willingness to potentially cast their long-term halfback aside for two seasons of a man six years his senior. The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and Newcastle Knights are reported

Rugby League World Cup preview: Australia

Australia are the hot favourites for the Rugby League World Cup; let's have a look at the tale of the tape. The Australian captain and Dally M Medalist is the most important player in every team he plays in and is, by far, the best hooker at the World Cup. His measured offensive game and tireless work rate in defence underpins the success of his club, state, and country. Without Johnathan Thurston, the North Queensland Cowboys half found another level for his team in the finals, giving his cl

Are the international eligibility laws a farce?

The RLIF's international eligibility laws have opened up a dangerous can of worms, writes Myles Stedman. When Jason Taumalolo announced he would spurn New Zealand to play for Tonga in the World Cup, it marked the first time an international superstar had rejected the big nation for the little. We’d seen the reverse plenty of times but never a defection this egregious. There was plenty of ill will towards Taumalolo for his actions, for “cheapening the World Cup”. He was soon followed by Andre

Billy Slater’s “Jordan-esque” effect on the NRL

Few men have had an effect on their sports like Billy Slater and Michael Jordan have As another NRL season approaches its end, the annual query surrounding the retirement of champion fullback Billy Slater re-emerges. 2015 was when the Australian, Queensland and Melbourne Storm number one last put pen to paper, for a two-year contract worth $1.8 million many assumed would be his last. After battling injury for most of ’15 and ’16, and watching young playmaking star Cameron Munster emerge, many

Brisbane Broncos: End of season review

Another decent year for the Broncos, but a Premiership remains elusive. Just what went right and what went wrong in 2017? Putting away the seventh-seeded Penrith Panthers in a home semi final may not rank as a traditional season highlight, but it took exceptional guts for a wounded Brisbane Broncos unit to fight their way to the preliminary final. Going into halftime with just a 6-0 lead and without State of Origin winger Corey Oates, Brisbane found a quick try after the break to James Roberts

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks: End of season review

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks' inaugural title defence ended in disappointment, but is that all there was to the story in 2017? In a season succeeding a 49-year drought-breaking premiership, the volume was turned down on most of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks’ achievements, especially given their ignominious finals exit. So superfluous was the clubs’ first ever premiership defence, Paul Gallen’s 300th game in Round 23 qualifies as the highlight of a season ended earlier than it should have; e

The NRL can't have its cake and eat it too

Hands up everybody who thinks Wests Tigers would’ve come back and beaten the Manly Sea Eagles if the game was at ANZ Stadium instead of Leichhardt Oval. The soulless behemoth of Stadium Australia is listed as one of three of Wests’ home grounds, in addition to lovable local locations such as Campbelltown Stadium and the aforementioned Leichhardt. This season, they all host four Tigers home games, despite the irony of the sentiment when they play those fixtures at Olympic Stadium. This is a pr

How "disgraceful" Newcastle Knights let their favourite son walk

On June 10, the South Sydney Rabbitohs ended months of speculation; they announced they had signed future Wally Lewis Medalist and Newcastle Knights superstar, Dane Gagai. Gagai will head south to New South Wales, the scene of his crime of theft of a State of Origin series in Game 2 this year; either way, I think South Sydney locals will be pretty quick to forgive him. Originally thought to be three years, Gagai landed a four-year deal with the Rabbitohs, expected to be in excess of $2.1 milli

An investigation of the Wests Tigers “big” signings

It all started with a quote from new Wests head coach Ivan Cleary, in the midst of the “big four” scandal, about his players having to be “on the bus” – wanting them to put their belief in himself and the club, as hard as they’ve made that lately. However, the throwaway metaphor that Cleary used has inspired a movement at Concord Oval. Over the past months, the “on the bus” slogan has been trumpeted by the fans, brought on by the club, and embraced by all Tigers. Have Wests Tigers attempted to

Daly Cherry-Evans: A look at how the potential Queensland half attacks

Myles Stedman breaks down how Daly Cherry-Evans has gone to work this year. With Queensland legend Johnathan Thurston set to tragically miss his State of Origin farewell in Game III on July 12, speculation reigns about who, if anyone, is fit to fill the North Queensland Cowboys’ captain’s boots. Names put forward thus far include Game I five eighth Anthony Milford, Game II hero and Thurston’s teammate Michael Morgan, Eels half Corey Norman and teammate of the other three spine members, Cameron

Queensland are panicking, and they’ve got Billy Slater to prove it

Queensland have gone back to Billy Slater to save them in Game 2. But is it foolish? Myles Stedman investigates. Queensland’s 28-4 loss at home in State of Origin 1 was a monumental eye opener for rugby league fans everywhere. New South Wales had finally gotten it right, and the Maroons had paid the price in full. Even with Johnathan Thurston returning for Game 2 in Sydney, not only may it be too late, but we’ve already had a grizzly glimpse of Queensland’s future, and it’s not pretty. Age wa

Three ways to improve State of Origin

Right now, typically 18 or 19, sometimes 20 players are named in an Origin squad, with teams finalised usually the night before or on the night. This always generates plenty of debate and conjecture about who should and shouldn’t have been named, and let’s be honest, naming a SOO squad requires a fair amount of guesswork about who will and won’t adapt to the conditions. So what if we extend the squads? Instead of your stock standard 17-man team and a few emergencies, how about we open the squa

How to save City vs Country Origin

RealSport's Myles Stedman lays out a plan to save City vs Country, but does it have legs? So, the last City vs Country Origin match has been played, and people are pretty upset. Mainly country folk, but rightly so. They don’t get much of a chance to witness NRL action, and have worn this match has a feather in their cap since the concept became an annual one in 1928. Unfortunately, the game has caught up with the idea. We all know the clubs don’t want their players playing, and we all know why

Only now are the mistakes becoming apparent to the Wests Tigers

There comes a time in every sporting clubs’ existence where it has to part ways with one of its’ favourite sons. The handling of such a potentially traumatising situation such as this can make or break a club. Sadly, it seems to have done the latter to the Wests Tigers. In 2012, the club made the hard decision to part ways with legendary head coach Tim Sheens at the end of the season, offering him the opportunity to stay on in a different role, overseeing development programs.

Daly Cherry-Evans will never live up to his contract, and here’s why

The grand opening of Lottoland (no, they weren’t kidding) didn’t go to plan in Round 1, 2017 for the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, beaten by their archrivals the Parramatta Eels 20-12. In his first match as captain, Daly Cherry-Evans didn’t exactly stand out either. Apart from a nice break through the middle of the pitch, Cherry-Evans work was mainly restricted to the defensive side of the footy, with his Sea Eagles enjoying very little in the way of territory or possession. When they did have

Au revoir Ben, don’t come back

Just last week, Ben Barba chatted to the media with a big smile across his mug, right before he hopped in his car, presumably to make a beeline for the airport. Barba thought he was pulling the meanest fast one on the NRL that had ever been pulled – if they weren’t going to let him serve his 12 round ban playing part time rugby in the Top 14, he was going to relocate there permanently. The expression on his face as he jumped in his car, baby in hand, said it all – equal parts “well, the NRL ha

The growing NRL epidemic that must be stopped

In 1956, Phillip K. Dick wrote one of his many acclaimed novels, ‘The Minority Report’; another idea conceived and birthed by the visionary American author well before its’ time. The novel was made into a critically acclaimed film in 2002, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. Dicks’ story centres around a future in which psychics help police predict crime before it happens, which has seen the murder rate drop to zero. However, in doing so, the PreCrime division opens up numer

Rabbitohs and Roosters scuffle again, and rugby league is the big loser

The Book of Feuds chapter detailing local rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters is now beginning to resemble the Bible stacked atop a dictionary, with another paragraph writing itself as we speak. Over the past month, the two clubs have become embroiled in a bitter standoff over a gentlemen’s agreement, that as long as the South Sydney District Junior Rugby Football League agreed to host Eastern Suburbs juniors also, player poaching at the junior level would not take place. Acc
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