From the experts

The low down from those in the know
Battle of the big forwards key to grand final

The best two teams have made the grand final for 2014, but if Luke Hodge hadn’t made that smother inside the last minute, Port Adelaide would be in and would have deserved it.

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And the winner is… Sydney!

The Sydney Swans are on the verge of winning their third premiership in 10 years. It has been a remarkable effort from a team which has refused to bottom out and slide down the ladder to rebuild.

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Six scenarios for the men’s elite road race

Some have branded the 254.8-kilometre course around Ponferrada in north west Spain as too demanding for the sprinters. Others have claimed it’s not hilly enough for the climbers.

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Should Michael Hooper be the Wallabies openside flanker?

A couple of weeks ago comments on one of my articles moved to the topic of how to balance selections in a team based on the core roles of players in particular positions.

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The most influential player left in the finals is a prop

It’s hard to go past Johnathan Thurston and Sam Burgess as the finest brains and brawn respectively in the NRL this year, but neither player is the one other teams are trying to emulate.

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Prowling Panthers to defy the odds yet again

I’m siding with Bulldogs coach Des Hasler – it’s hard to believe the Penrith Panthers are not favourites in the lead-up to Saturday’s preliminary final at ANZ Stadium.

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Contador aiming for the Giro-Tour double

The Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double. History says it’s extremely difficult to win both in the same year, with only seven riders able to claim that honour

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Mitch Marsh can end Watson’s Test career

Shane Watson’s latest injury could well result in either a Test debut for Mitch Marsh or the revival of Ben Hilfenhaus’ international career.

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One night in Edensor: Sydney United vs Sydney FC

You’re snaking up Allambie Road and off in the distance you can see the floodlights hanging in the sky, like constellations guiding you forward.

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Cheap Seats 54: Conspiracies and age-old rules

Sportswriters Brett McKay and Ryan O’Connell are gearing up for a massive weekend of grand and preliminary finals in episode 54 of the Cheap Seats podcast.

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Breakdown warrior Scott Fardy’s menacing scar on his forehead shows what the Wallabies are braced for at Newlands on Sunday morning (AEST).

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Newcastle coach Phil Stubbins admits his overhauled squad lacks chemistry, but is confident they’ll find their spark in time for the A-League’s opening round next month.

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Penrith skipper Jamie Soward has laughed off claims his side’s lack of big-games experience will be an issue in Saturday’s NRL preliminary final against Canterbury.

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No O’Keefe gives Swans the edge

Sydney goes into the AFL grand final coming off a preliminary final belting of North Melbourne, and a fit and firing line-up that can’t find room for the likes of young gun Tom Mitchell and 2012 Norm Smith Medalist Ryan O’Keefe.

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Some unwanted advice from an outsider on how to fix Manly

With their season done and Mad Monday passed out in the corner without drama, it’s time to go against all of my instincts and try to help Manly to help themselves.

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TURNER: Roosters and Doggies to pair off in NRL’s big dance

At the top of today’s column, I will stick my neck out and predict we are heading for a Roosters-Bulldogs grand final.

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A Bloodied NSW Country Eagles Lock Ben Matwijow hits the defence

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Marianne Vos

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Tyler Hamilton is interviewed in New York (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

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Australia's midfielder Massimo Luongo

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Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy leads the British Open

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Matt Priddis of the West Coast Eagles takes a mark during the 2013 AFL Round 23 match between West Coast Eagles and the Adelaide Crows at Patersons Stadium, Perth on August 31, 2013. (Photo: Daniel Carson/AFL Media)

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Chad Wingard of Port Adelaide Power

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Isaac Smith of the Hawks competes with Matt White of the Power

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The Roar of the crowd

Your sports opinion. Write your own article
The four-year cycle that undermines the Rugby World Cup

I love the Rugby World Cup, it is a celebration of rugby – the opportunity to see 20 teams compete in a tournament where every game has relevance.

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Time to give golden point the flick

May 18th, 2003 was a historic day in rugby league. On that day at Brookvale Oval, the Manly Sea Eagles won the first ever game under golden point rules, beating Parramatta 36-34.

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Penrith’s fairytale run just a little bit of history repeating

The Panthers’ march into the major semi-final this weekend has echoes of their triumphant 2003 campaign.

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Rabbitohs and Roosters: league’s greatest rivalry

Although the Manly/Dogs, Sharks/Dragons, Broncos/Titans rivalries, and there are plenty of others, have plenty of history and venom behind them, make absolutely no mistake about it, league’s biggest rivalry is between the Rabbitohs and the Roosters.

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Worries rise as City target Barkley

By Evan Morgan Grahame, Today Video

It’s been reported that Manchester City are looking Everton’s Ross Barkley as a potential target to fill the homegrown player requirements under which all English clubs have to operate.

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Lankan Rupee or Terravista? Australia’s sprint rivalry heats up

In a month the Manikato Stakes will take place at Moonee Valley racecourse. So who will you back in the battle between Lankan Rupee and Terravista?

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The question this week for the Hawks fans is will Alastair Clarkson and his men be the last ones standing at the end of September?

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So, who’s through to the 2014 NRL grand final?

This year’s finals series has been full of controversy and thrilling finishes, and I don’t expect that to end this weekend.

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Stats and momentum say Sydney won’t beat Hawthorn, they’ll destroy them

Now that we’re down to the final two teams contesting the grand final, predicting who will win has become a lot easier – and not just because there are now only two teams left.

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The grand final can be decided by a single moment of brilliance or madness by the players and coaches. What are the most important plays in grand final history?

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Could Kevin Durant make like LeBron and head ‘home’?

This July, an open letter published in Sports Illustrated confirmed the hopes and fears of many; LeBron James was returning to his spiritual home of Cleveland, Ohio to play for his home-state Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Who can topple the All Blacks in rugby’s Game of Thrones?

Rugby union would make a good fiction novel – we have all the essentials.

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Speed, skill and size: Skelton’s benefits outweigh costs

When the benefits outweigh the costs, it is deemed a sound investment. For Australian rugby, this means pick Will Skelton.

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Do Queensland Country represent country Queensland?

Brisbane City and Queensland Country face off in the first Queensland derby of the NRC on Sunday at Ballymore.

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Port Adelaide exceeded expectations in 2014

Many thought the Power would struggle to stay in the September race in 2014.

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Token time on the Springbok totem pole

By Andrew Jardine, Today
Token time on the Springbok totem pole

Coach Heyneke Meyer’s habit of giving younger players token time on the totem pole is unlikely to see the Springbok tribe riding off with the Webb Ellis Cup next year.

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2014 Brownlow Medallist Matt Priddis of the West Coast Eagles

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Jonathan Brown of the Lions and Luke Hodge of the Hawks compete for the ball during the 2014 AFL round 01 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Brisbane Lions.

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Matt Priddis of the Eagles wins the Charles Brownlow medal

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Sacred Falls

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.

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Lance Franklin of the Hawks celebrates during the 2013 Toyota Grand Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Fremantle Dockers at the MCG, Melbourne on September 28, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

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