HOW GAMBLING RUINED SPORT

December 2, 2012

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With the sports betting industry on an ever upward trend, it’s abundantly clear that placing our hard-earned cash on the predicted performances of fellow humans worries few of us – despite the past decade of sport producing a plethora of match-fixing allegations and scandals, and an ever diminishing distance between sports bodies and betting organisations. […]

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DODGING SHOULDER CHARGE DEBATE

August 26, 2012

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Does an achieved feat have any value if it has been won too easily? William Webb Ellis first ran with the rugby ball, but he had to traverse a perilous field full of lurking dangers to do it. While Ellis was free in 1823 to hold the game’s traditions in contempt and run with the […]

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FOOTBALLERS BEHAVING BADLY

August 25, 2012

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You don’t have to go far to find someone that reckons Australia’s footballers are overpaid slackers. It’s a common enough cry; heard every time yet another footballer is brought into the public glare for his alleged distasteful behaviour. Written by Sean Fagan [originally published in Inside Sport] A decade after the dawn of truly full-time […]

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GREETINGS OF DEFIANCE

August 25, 2012

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The first New Zealand rugby side came to Australia in 1884. The team’s enduring legacy is the tradition that they gave birth to – the haka. The Maori war cry made an instant and lasting impression. A Sydney newspaperman described it as “the sound given in good time and union by 18 pairs of powerful […]

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HUNTING TASMANIA’S EXTINCT RUGBY SCHOOL

August 25, 2012

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Story written & researched by Sean Fagan for SaintsAndHeathens The first games of Rugby football in Australia were played in Tasmania in the 1840s. Thomas Hughes’ classic novel, Tom Brown’s Schooldays, is generally considered to be a semi-biographical account of life at Rugby School in the early 1830s. One of the chief characters in the football […]

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30 YEARS OF ORIGIN WAR

August 25, 2012

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30 years of State of Origin war and rivalry – a story told in thirty parts. New South Wales ‘Blues’ & Queensland ‘Maroons’ battling on ‘Origin’ lines since 1980. Written by Sean Fagan [originally published by ARL in State of Origin match program] DOWN TO THE WIRE. Few Game III ‘Origin-deciders’ have been won in […]

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FOOTBALL REVOLUTION RISES FROM CRICKET’S ASHES

August 25, 2012

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A century ago Australian cricket was in the midst of a battle – not with England, but with itself. But no one foresaw that the fight between the fledgling Australian Board of Control and the country’s top cricketers would lead to the establishment of a new football code in this country. Written by Sean Fagan […]

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AFL’S LINKS TO WEST SYDNEY TAD TENUOUS

August 25, 2012

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In an attempt to gain “cultural connection” for its GWS team, Australian rules has turned to the code’s historical ties to Sydney’s west. However, the stories being brought forth are at best tenuous, at worst creative myth-making. The AFL’s 2008 “The Game That Made Australia” marketing campaign faltered badly north of the Murray as everyone […]

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BE EXPEDIENT OR PERISH

August 25, 2012

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You would think that of all the football codes, the one that would put the interests of its professional players at the top of the game would be rugby league – after all, unlike every other sport, it only came into existence at all as a means to provide fairer treatment for the men who […]

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WHEN SCHOOLBOY RUGGER GETS SERIOUS

August 25, 2012

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It’s no secret that the bedrock of rugby in Australia is the private schools. It may not quite be a rugby-axiom, but it is still largely true that if you want to have a serious shot at Wallaby stardom, the optimum pathway is through the GPS (Great Public Schools) system, proving your credentials in the […]

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‘AUSTRALEAGUE’: ONE FOOTBALL CODE FOR AUSTRALIA

August 25, 2012

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If “Australeague” talks were successful 100 years ago, you wouldn’t have an excuse to hate those other footy codes … We’d all be watching the same game. Written by Sean Fagan [originally published in Inside Sport] It seemingly wasn’t a big enough laugh for the sporting gods to have “blessed” Australia with four rival football […]

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NO PLACE FOR FOLAU IN MUM-FRIENDLY FOOTBALL CODE

August 25, 2012

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So, with the signing of Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt complete, the AFL now has its Ringling Brothers – two NRL stars to act as wandering AFL troubadours through western Sydney and the Gold Coast. Written by Sean Fagan [originally published in The Sun-Herald] Although Folau is still a NRL player, his role has already […]

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IN LEAGUE WE LEAVE THE DEAD WHERE THEY FALL

August 25, 2012

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In the cavalcade of great grand finals to remember, the 1969 Balmain v Souths encounter invariably gets a mention. It’s the story of the upstart Tigers outfit that managed to bring down the mighty Rabbitohs 11 points to 2, and thwart what ultimately would have been five premierships in a row (1967-71) for the Redfern […]

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KANGAROO LOCKYER REACHES TOP

August 25, 2012

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In rugby league greatness is not measured by what a man says, but by what he does. That Darren Lockyer now stands on the brink of surpassing the milestones of not one, but three, members of the ‘Team of the Century’ provides irrefutable evidence of his ranking amongst the code’s finest ever players. Written by […]

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RUGBY RULED AUSSIE RULES

August 25, 2012

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It’s an intriguing question: Through the last quarter of the 19th century, how did rugby in New Zealand, New South Wales and Queensland manage to repel the advance of Australasian (later Australian) rules football – a code that was deliberately made safer to play and more spectacular to watch than rugby, and unashamedly wrapped itself […]

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AFL’S FIRST GAME WAS RUGBY

August 25, 2012

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Australian rules lore tells us the code was born of a single match played in 1858. What the “Australian rulers” don’t choose to mention is that it was played between two schools using rugby rules on a rectangular field, and that the first uniquely Australian rule (the need to bounce the ball before running) didn’t […]

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HEROES OF THE PAST

August 25, 2012

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We know they were great – their names and deeds have left an indelible imprint in the annals of the game. From Messenger “The Master” in 1908, to Churchill “The Little Master” in 1958, and the procession of stars in between. Written by Sean Fagan [originally published in Rugby League Week] Whether in hectic battles, […]

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