Matt Cleary

Author's details

Name: Matt Cleary
Date registered: October 20, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/super-rugby

Latest posts

  1. Choking still a hazard for NSW Blues as do-or-die State of Origin decider arrives | Matt Cleary — July 11, 2017
  2. Never write off a champion: cool, smart Maroons prove old adage true | Matt Cleary — June 21, 2017
  3. Super Rugby cull: Western Force not dead yet with Rebels feeling heat — May 19, 2017
  4. Souths cry injustice but introduction of ‘captain’s call’ is no solution | Matt Cleary — April 24, 2017
  5. Away Days: Team Cadby takes on The Power as big-time darts hit Sydney | Matt Cleary — August 19, 2016

Author's posts listings

Jul 11

Choking still a hazard for NSW Blues as do-or-die State of Origin decider arrives | Matt Cleary

Queensland are depleted and NSW have a great chance to end a Maroon dynasty but questions remain over the Blues’ ability to handle pressure

This is it. If New South Wales don’t beat Queensland on Wednesday evening at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium it will be time for the team, coach, NSWRL, and entire state of 7.544 million people to admit that it cannot be done. That they cannot beat Queensland.

Not these Queenslanders, anyway. Not these skilful hard-boned super-bots who’ve sported half a dozen of the greatest players there has ever been. These Queenslanders have just up and won and won, and beaten everything the Blue hordes have thrown at them. Ten series in 11 years – for a series that was once spookily close, it’s been nothing short of domination.

Related: Coaches head into zero sum State of Origin decider with all on the line | Nick Tedeschi

Related: Daly Cherry-Evans State of Origin snub raises questions in Queensland camp | Nick Tedeschi

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/12/choking-still-a-hazard-for-nsw-blues-as-do-or-die-state-of-origin-decider-arrives

Jun 21

Never write off a champion: cool, smart Maroons prove old adage true | Matt Cleary

With a quartet of champion veterans on the field against New South Wales in Game II it was perhaps foolish to doubt Queensland’s State of Origin dynasty

After 50 minutes of Game II of State of Origin XXXVI this journalist – and I would suggest several other chroniclers of recent history – was cranking up the keyboard with variations of “It’s over – Queensland dynasty busted by marauding blue hordes”. Thirty minutes later I wondered how I could be so naïve, so foolish. How could I forget the old but true edict, “Never write off a champion”.

Related: Queensland keep State of Origin hopes alive with thrilling late win over NSW

Related: State of Origin 2017 Game 2: Queensland Maroons beat NSW Blues 18-16 – as it happened

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/22/never-write-off-a-champion-cool-smart-brilliant-maroons-prove-old-adage-true

May 19

Super Rugby cull: Western Force not dead yet with Rebels feeling heat

The Perth-based club were the obvious choice to be axed a few months ago but a well-orchestrated campaign to save the club might just be paying dividends

In late March of this year it was reported that there had been in-principle agreement among the stakeholders of Sanzaar that South Africa would dump two Super Rugby teams and Australia one.

It was further reported that the Australian team would be the Western Force. And from this edge of the island continent of Australia it seemed a logical choice. If you had to dump one – and it appeared at the time that was the case – the loss-making, under-achieving outpost pioneer owned by the ARU and whose best finish in Super Rugby is seventh in 2007 seemed the logical choice.

Related: Australian rugby currently languishing about 10 years behind New Zealand | Bret Harris

Related: Australian rugby crisis: backing for idea to send players to develop in New Zealand

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/19/super-rugby-cull-western-force-not-dead-yet-with-rebels-feeling-heat

Apr 24

Souths cry injustice but introduction of ‘captain’s call’ is no solution | Matt Cleary

The game’s commentariat was outraged by a call on Friday but officials got it right and alternative avenues for review would only further confuse matters

It is said of South Sydney fans that even after a win they’ll race home to watch the replay and still be nervous about the result. From dear sweet Russell Crowe down, Souths supporters bleed the green blood of Ming the Merciless.

After Brisbane Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford landed a drop-goal to beat the Bunnies by a point on Friday night, Souths fans, and with them the greater fanbase and punditry of this great game, dug out the pitchforks and demanded retribution. Demanded justice. Demanded that someone make the pain go away.

Related: Manly stun Raiders in golden-point NRL win as Broncos pip Souths

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/24/souths-cry-injustice-but-introduction-of-captains-call-is-no-solution

Aug 19

Away Days: Team Cadby takes on The Power as big-time darts hit Sydney | Matt Cleary

The stars of darts reached Australian shores as local hope Corey Chadby took on Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor among Power Rangers, Nuns and many billowy shirts

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled,” says Kevin Spacey’s Roger “Verbal” Kint in the 1995 sleeper hit The Usual Suspects, “was convincing the world he did not exist.” Similarly, sort of, the greatest trick the world of televised professional darts has ever pulled is actually existing at all.

That people will tune in and turn up in big numbers to watch middle-aged men in very bad shirts throwing sharp little spears at a big wheel of cheese – and really, really enjoy it – is a piece of chutzpah Keyser Soze would appreciate. How the hell did they pull that off?

Related: Away Days: boxer Joseph Parker’s Rumble in Paradise thrills Samoa

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/19/away-days-team-cad-takes-on-the-power-as-big-time-darts-hit-sydney