Nick Tedeschi

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In pursuit of perfection: Cameron Smith a champion in every sense | Nick Tedeschi

The former Queensland and Australia captain’s representative career was all about a sustained level of excellenceCameron Smith’s time representing Queensland and Australia is over. The captain of the Maroons and Kangaroos shocked the rugby league world…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/15/in-pursuit-of-perfection-cameron-smith-a-champion-in-every-sense

A new dawn: how a new coach can impact an NRL club | Nick Tedeschi

Based on statistics over the past 18 seasons, immediate defensive improvements at least are likely Nothing in rugby league brings hope like a new coach. Fresh beginnings. The start of a different path. Optimism is at a premium, even if there is a degre…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/datablog/2018/mar/07/a-new-dawn-how-a-new-coach-can-impact-an-nrl-club

The case of Matthew Lodge: when a line in the sand must be drawn | Nick Tedeschi

Given its stance on violence against women, the NRL stands accused of hypocrisy after signing off the player’s returnThere is no sporting competition in Australia – perhaps the world – that acts against its own self-interest more often than the NRL. Fo…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/06/the-case-of-matthew-lodge-when-a-line-in-the-sand-must-be-drawn

Premiership is Roosters to lose after flourish of Cooper Cronk’s pen

With the addition of the NRL great, the Bondi club has the final piece of the puzzle – the leader and organiser they have longed forThe Sydney Roosters rarely miss their man. And despite having the NSW halfback and not being mentioned as even an outsid…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/31/premiership-is-roosters-to-lose-after-flourish-of-cooper-cronks-pen

Premiership is Roosters to lose after flourish of Cooper Cronk’s pen

With the addition of the NRL great, the Bondi club has the final piece of the puzzle – the leader and organiser they have longed forThe Sydney Roosters rarely miss their man. And despite having the NSW halfback and not being mentioned as even an outsid…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/31/premiership-is-roosters-to-lose-after-flourish-of-cooper-cronks-pen

Storm v Broncos: a one-sided rivalry forged in fire of 2006 NRL grand final | Nick Tedeschi

It is easy to understand why Brisbane cannot stand the sight of Melbourne, who have used their blueprint for success to whip them at nearly every corner

Amazingly, it has been 11 years since the Brisbane Broncos have tasted premiership success. For a powerhouse club that tasted triumph so early and so often, it has been a lifetime.

The famous 15-8 win over the Melbourne Storm in the 2006 grand final won’t top any lists of greatest title deciders but it does mark the point where the great Broncos wave that swept over rugby league in the 1990s and early 2000s began to recede.

Related: Corey Oates fitness in balance as Broncos star recovers from head knock

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/22/storm-v-broncos-a-one-sided-rivalry-forged-in-fire-of-2006-nrl-grand-final

Not even Des Hasler’s successes with Bulldogs insulated him from his failings | Nick Tedeschi

For all his shortcomings, in the end it was the coach’s inability to recognise Canterbury’s history or value the importance of culture that undid him

He arrived in 2011 hot off a premiership win at Manly and hailed as a white knight but six years later Des Hasler leaves Belmore as one of the most unpopular figures in club history.

After dillying and dallying for a year – even extending his contract for two seasons just five months back – the Bulldogs finally moved on Hasler, axing him on Tuesday night.

Related: Corey Oates fitness in balance as Broncos star recovers from head knock

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/20/not-even-des-haslers-successes-at-bulldogs-insulated-him-from-his-failings

From NRL premiership to Souths exit door: the downfall of Michael Maguire | Nick Tedeschi

It is hard to grasp where it all went wrong for the Rabbitohs coach just three years after orchestrating one of the club’s defining moments

On a chilly October evening less than three years ago, Michael Maguire led South Sydney to their drought-breaking 21st premiership after an agonising wait of 43 years that saw the club mired in mediocrity, devastated financially and thrown out of the league.

To all at Redfern, Maguire was a hero, the architect behind the title win most thought would never happen. He galvanised a fanbase behind a team that played hard-nosed aggressive football, the kind of rugby league Souths diehards not only love but breathe.

Related: Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters the only NRL teams still standing

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/07/from-nrl-premiership-to-souths-exit-door-the-downfall-of-michael-maguire

Clash of the Titans: Jarryd Hayne and Neil Henry on collision course from outset | Nick Tedeschi

The acrimony on the Gold Coast is about team culture and the roles of stars in it. It is a battle neither the coach nor the player will winIf a single word was to define the 2017 rugby league season, it is the term culture. It permeated the State of Or…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/15/clash-of-the-titans-jarryd-hayne-and-neil-henry-on-collision-course-from-outset

Losing control: outrage at non-send off highlights core problem with NRL referees | Nick Tedeschi

As long as there have been referees, there have been complaints about them but it is apparent the head official no longer controls on-field action

To label the standard of current NRL refereeing a crisis would be to undersell through cliché just how damaging poor officiating has been to rugby league – the standard at which officials are operating is having a more negative impact than nearly anything else in the sport.

Getting universal agreement on any matter in rugby league is about as likely as spotting the Loch Ness monster in Sydney Harbour but almost to a man there was agreement that Sia Soliola should have been sent off for his tackle that was both late and high, and left Billy Slater splayed motionless on the Canberra Stadium turf.

Related: ‘It’s the feeling of Origin’: clamour for women’s State of Origin intensifies | Joe Gorman

Referees today are crippled by a combination of fear of creating imbalance and a misguided sense of superiority

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/25/losing-control-outrage-at-non-send-off-highlights-core-problem-with-nrl-referees

NSW have nobody to blame but themselves for State of Origin pain | Nick Tedeschi

Having dominated the first three halves of football in the series, Laurie Daley’s Blues showed that NSW still doesn’t quite ‘get’ State of Origin

Once again, New South Wales have nobody to blame for a State of Origin series defeat but themselves. This loss is on Laurie Daley. It is on Mitchell Pearce. It is on the powerbrokers who continually make excuses and refuse to enact cultural change, continually accept conservative decision-making, and who are clearly more scared of losing than they are desperate for victory.

If the 2017 Origin series was played on paper, New South Wales would have lifted the State of Origin shield. But the game is played along the lines of other intangibles: psychology, aptitude, camaraderie, leadership. In that sense, a Queensland team that seemed inferior when you looked at the team sheets bore the Blues down in game two before blitzing them in the decider.

Related: State of Origin 2017 Game 3: Maroons clinch series after Valentine Holmes hat-trick

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/13/nsw-have-nobody-to-blame-but-themselves-for-state-of-origin-pain

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

In the long history of the game, it is hard to think of a single match in which both coaches’ positions have been so precarious

It is being called the biggest game in rugby league history, such is the hyperbole that surrounds all things State of Origin. Those claims lack historical perspective, but there is absolutely no doubt that Wednesday’s decider at Suncorp Stadium is an affair of immense proportion.

The stakes are breathtakingly high. And the two with the most chips in the middle are opposing coaches Laurie Daley and Kevin Walters. Fair or not, the losing mentor is almost certain to lose their job for the 2018 series. This is all-in, heads-up, no limit hold ‘em. The players are standing. The cards have been flipped. The flop is down. The turn has been shown. It all swings on the river.

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/11/coaches-head-into-zero-sum-state-of-origin-decider-with-all-on-the-line

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

The Maroons have always thrived on an ‘us against the world’ mentality but it is rare that they have so pointedly ignored one of their own

By snubbing Daly Cherry-Evans in favour of Ben Hunt as Johnathan Thurston’s replacement for the Origin decider, Queensland selectors have ignored both form and class.

Cherry-Evans leads the NRL in try assists this season and has been the form half of the premiership over the last month but was ignored in favour of Brisbane half Hunt, who was dropped to Ipswich and only returned to the Broncos’ starting side in the 42-12 loss to the Storm last Friday. The Broncos are 3-6 this season with Hunt as a starter and 7-0 without him in the No7.

Related: A generational talent, Johnathan Thurston leaves representative arena having achieved it all | Nick Tedeschi

Related: Andrew Fifita criticises Brisbane pub over ‘racist’ social media post

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/03/daly-cherry-evans-state-of-origin-snub-raises-questions-in-queensland-camp

A generational talent, Johnathan Thurston leaves representative arena having achieved it all | Nick Tedeschi

He won’t get the fairytale Origin farewell but it will matter little because his entire career has been one never-ending story of success, joy and triumph

The Origin career of one of Queensland’s true greats has come to a sad and unfulfilling end, Johnathan Thurston ruled out for the remainder of the 2017 season at a run-of-the-mill press conference in Townsville.

It is a cruel and bitter blow for the most durable player in State of Origin history, a player who defied size and the years to play an incredible 36 consecutive matches in the Maroon. A rotator cuff injury sustained in State of Origin II requires immediate surgery and a six-month recovery.

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

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/24/a-generational-talent-johnathan-thurston-leaves-representative-arena-having-achieved-it-all

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

  • New South Wales Blues 16-18 Queensland Maroons
  • Johnathan Thurston boots Maroons to Game II win at ANZ Stadium

Never count out a champion. Like an ageing heavyweight fighting on spit and experience, Queensland willed themselves to an unlikely 18-16 win over New South Wales in Game II of the State of Origin series.

In a match New South Wales dominated – and then murdered – a 78th minute try to winger Dane Gagai followed by a piercing sideline conversion to Johnathan Thurston proved the difference.

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/21/queensland-keep-state-of-origin-hopes-alive-with-thrilling-late-win-over-nsw

A new generation of Blues come of age in fast and furious win over Maroons | Nick Tedeschi

In a defining match in State of Origin history, NSW ripped out Queensland’s heart and showed it to them at Suncorp Stadium. But the series is not over yet

You can never write off a champion but for all intents and purposes, the long and brilliant Queensland dynasty is dead after New South Wales slayed the Maroons at Suncorp, a 28-4 defeat that is Queensland’s worst in over a decade. In nearly every facet of the game, the Blues dominated.

The match was a defining one in State of Origin history, the game the Blues blasted the Maroons with some almighty roundhouses and took the ascendancy back. It will be a few years at the very least before Queensland gets it back.

Related: State of Origin Game I: blistering NSW performance puts Queensland to sword

Related: State of Origin 2017 Game I: NSW Blues beat Queensland Maroons – as it happened

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/01/a-new-generation-of-blues-come-of-age-in-fast-and-furious-win-over-maroons