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Analysis and Comment (8)

The Bulldogs beat the Pathers in the preliminary final - but can the underdogs do it again in this weekend’s NRL Grand Final against the Rabbitohs? The Bulldogs beat the Pathers in the preliminary final - but can the underdogs do it again in this weekend’s NRL Grand Final against the Rabbitohs? AAP Image/Action Photographics, Grant Trouville

Number crunching the odds on the NRL Grand Final

When the final siren sounds at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday night either the South Sydney Rabbitohs or Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will be crowned as 2014 National Rugby League (NRL) Premiers…
Was McKinnon’s spinal injury a freak accident? Was McKinnon’s spinal injury a freak accident? AAP Image/Action Photographics, Brett Crockford

Is rugby league too dangerous?

After Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon’s neck was broken in a lifting tackle in March, some commentators and parents have questioned whether rugby is just too dangerous for children, amateurs – and even…
The belief that rugby league is a ‘hard sport’ played by ‘hard men’ made by insiders does little to advance the image of the game. The belief that rugby league is a ‘hard sport’ played by ‘hard men’ made by insiders does little to advance the image of the game. AAP/Action Photographics

Masculinity and violence: the men who play rugby league

When his grandson was tragically killed while playing rugby league in April this year, former New South Wales and Australian halfback Tommy Raudonikis said: Everyone needs to understand that this was just…
Can on-field adulation translate to off-field trustworthiness? Can on-field adulation translate to off-field trustworthiness? AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Big league stakes: gambling on a sport legend to sell coal seam gas

Darren Lockyer knows a thing or two about conversions, having banged hundreds between the posts and over the crossbar during his rugby league career. He retired on a high in 2011, having captained the…
A couple of contentious decisions on Friday night have thrust NRL referees into the spotlight. A couple of contentious decisions on Friday night have thrust NRL referees into the spotlight. AAP Image/Action Photographics/Grant Trouville

Balls and emotional intelligence: NRL and AFL officials walk the line

Referees in need of coaching for “emotional intelligence”? Controversy over crucial line decisions in major matches? Criticism raining from the heavens? That’s right: it’s finals time in Australian sport…
Interim Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive Shane Mattiske (left) shakes the hand of Nine CEO David Gyngell after a five-year broadcasting deal was struck between the NRL, Fox Sports and Nine. Interim Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive Shane Mattiske (left) shakes the hand of Nine CEO David Gyngell after a five-year broadcasting deal was struck between the NRL, Fox Sports and Nine. AAP

The winners and losers in the NRL’s broadcasting rights deal

The new broadcasting deal struck this week by the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) represents an outstanding result as well as a lost opportunity. The $1.025 billion that the Nine Network and…
Where should the NRL focus its attention this year? Where should the NRL focus its attention this year? AAP Image/Action Photographics, Charles Knight

Competition from all sides: the year ahead for the NRL

Being a leap year, 2012 will see the staging of the Olympic Games, this time in London. For Australia’s domestic sporting competitions, this means vying for media coverage with other sports. But the National…
Former rugby league player and convicted match-fixer, Ryan Tandy will likely not play the game again, but who’s really to blame? Former rugby league player and convicted match-fixer, Ryan Tandy will likely not play the game again, but who’s really to blame? AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Business or pleasure? Ryan Tandy and the NRL take the fun out of rugby league

I’m a relatively well-disciplined guy. In my brief time in this world, I’ve managed to complete a degree, quit smoking, and exercise thirty-odd kilos of self-indulgence away. But if there’s a TV on in…