RealSport

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
RealSport

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
RealSport

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
RealSport

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
Zero Tackle

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
Zero Tackle

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
Zero Tackle

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
RealSport

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
RealSport

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
Zero Tackle

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
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