Sport

Minor premiership fight between only two original teams left

STAND BY: Sonny-Bill Williams’ rivalry with the Rabbitohs’ Sam Burgess is just one potential highlight of tonight’s clash between the top two sides.
STAND BY: Sonny-Bill Williams’ rivalry with the Rabbitohs’ Sam Burgess is just one potential highlight of tonight’s clash between the top two sides. Getty Images

THE 2013 NRL minor premiership will be decided in Sydney tonight and the two contenders are the only remaining teams from the original Australian rugby league competition, which dates back to 1908.

In 206 meetings between the two clubs, the Rabbitohs have won 108, the Roosters 93 and - incredibly - just five have been drawn. So history suggests there will be a result tonight and the winner deserves to be regarded as the best club of the season, even if it fails to win the premiership. Consistency over 26 relentless weeks is the mark of a champion side.

This is a fairytale end to a season where the make-up of the finals may not be decided until Sunday afternoon. In every sense tonight's Rabbits-Roosters clash is absolutely mouth-watering and the TV audience will be huge.

Unfortunately though, such is the sideshow that accompanies rugby league these days that scant media coverage has been given to the minor premiership decider, which will draw in excess of 50,000 inner-city Sydney fans to the Olympic complex at Homebush. Sadly, more titillating events have attracted the headlines.

Rather than discuss the clash of halfbacks Mitchell Pearce and Adam Reynolds, the focus has been on the never-ending Ben Barba saga. And instead of running the rule over the rivalry between match-winning back-rowers Sam Burgess and Sonny Bill Williams, the media has been more fascinated by the underperforming Broncos.

The fact the four Burgess brothers will again suit up for the Rabbitohs has been lost in the face of headlines for dissident Raiders runaway Blake Ferguson. Even the 2014 Auckland Nines tournament has received more coverage than the troublesome knee of Greg Inglis.

What a relief it will be tonight to perch in front of the TV and watch two genuine premiership contenders and old-time rivals go at each other for the JJ Giltinan Shield, the trophy that to my way of thinking salutes the best team of the season.

The sideshow that covers the erroneous events on the periphery of the greatest game of all can take a back seat - at least for two hours.

What's the story?

SURELY there can't be an anti-Queensland scenario behind the sudden burst from the Sydney media of the most recent speculation concerning troubled Dally M medallist Ben Barba?

It seems odd that an alleged damning photo that has apparently been in existence since February was published the weekend after Barba signed with the Broncos.

If members of the Sydney media were aware of these domestic-violence allegations all along - as some are now claiming - why has it taken seven months for them to raise the issue?

Boot Ferguson out

TROUBLED Raiders centre Blake Ferguson might need to tread the same road as his apparent good mate, Todd Carney.

After being deregistered by the NRL in 2008 for repeated off-field issues, Carney spent a season playing in North Queensland and - eventually - was able to put his career back on track.

In not returning to Canberra, Ferguson is simply disrespecting authority, belittling the game, his club and his teammates, and he urgently needs a reality check. It's well and truly time the NRL shows some leadership and tells the bloke he is not wanted in our game.

Wish the big man well

IF GLENN Lazarus is elected to the Senate in tomorrow's election - and the polls are suggesting he may be - hopefully he is as successful in his new career as he was as a rugby league player.

The No.1 Senate pick for the Palmer United Party, Lazarus remains the only player to have won premierships at three different NRL clubs.

He won two grand finals with Canberra, two with the Broncos and was the inaugural captain of the Melbourne Storm when it won in 1999.

Topics:  tony durkin



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Rose City unites in festive event

SPECIAL GUESTS: Long-term performers Erin Hilton and Melissa Reid will take to the stage for the Carols in the Park on December 15.

Local performers entertain at Carols in the Park

Warwick woman's horror at dog locked in car

DANGEROUS: On a 30°C day, the temperature inside the car could be as high as 70°C.

"The dog was huffing and puffing,” she said.

Brothers cop fine for Horse and Jockey brawl

Police expect to charge a third person who was also involved in the brawl.

Police expect to charge a third person.

Local Partners

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

Ricky Gervais: There's 'no point' marrying Jane Fallon

RICKY Gervais "doesn't see the point" in marrying Jane Fallon.

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Prices jump in trio of mining towns

THE boost in coal prices in the past six months has triggered a house price jump in at least three mining towns in Central Queensland.

Boost in coal prices triggers a market turnaround

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!