From the experts

The low down from those in the know
The five non-superstars I want to see come finals time

These are the five players – outside of the obvious choices among the game’s biggest stars – that I’m most looking forward to seeing in action during the NRL finals series.

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Newly appointed St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor is under no illusions about the size of the task ahead of him but has vowed to make the Dragons a NRL premiership force once again.

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Cronulla captain Paul Gallen says people can draw their own conclusions on whether he is a drug cheat after he and nine of his current and former Sharks teammates accepted backdated 12-month ASADA doping bans on Friday.

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Parramatta have produced one of their best second-half performances in years to come from behind and beat NRL table-toppers Manly 22-12 in a thrilling clash at Pirtek Stadium.

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Sharks sanctions could be overruled

The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has been urged to overrule the “light” punishments dished out to past and present Cronulla Sharks players, it’s been reported.

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Cronulla Sharks accept doping ban deal

The majority of past and present Cronulla Sharks NRL players implicated in the ASADA scandal have elected to accept bans proposed by the anti-doping authority.

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Preview of NRL Round 24 matches (all times AEST):

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Former ASADA boss Richard Ings says NRL players who have been offered reduced bans by the doping body should vehemently oppose the charges like AFL club Essendon have if they are innocent.

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Defending teams will be given every opportunity by referees to regroup following a 40/20 kick in the NRL’s latest tweaking of its rules on Thursday.

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Manly coach Geoff Toovey says Steve Matai will return from a shoulder injury for Friday’s round-24 NRL clash with Parramatta, as the Sea Eagles seek to deliver a telling blow to the Eels’ finals hopes.

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Bulldogs see off wounded Tigers in NRL

Canterbury chalked up a second successive win to all but secure their place in the NRL finals but missed a big chance to crank up their for and against with a laboured 30-10 win over the injury-ravaged Wests Tigers.

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Referees to signal restart after 40/20 kick

Referees will blow their whistles to signal when a tap restart can be taken after a 40/20 kick from tonight.

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Why your side won’t win in 2014, statistically

We are now at the business end of proceedings for season 2014 and with three rounds remaining we have a pretty good idea who is going to make the eight and who will miss out.

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Who the hell is going to win the 2014 NRL premiership?

With three rounds left in the regular season, I’m struggling to nominate who the 2014 NRL premiers will be.

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The latest ASADA move will end in a stalemate… again

This week’s development in ASADA’s probe into Cronulla for alleged drug-taking looks to be headed straight for the courts.

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Paul Gallen believes if he or any other Cronulla player accept reduced bans offered by ASADA, they’ll automatically be labelled drug cheats.

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The New South Wales State of Origin rugby league captain Paul Gallen. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

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Paul Gallen with trainer C Caterick after injuring his knee in the 2nd minute during the round 8 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle, Sunday, May 5, 2013. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Colin Whelan

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Issac Luke and the Rabbitohs celebrate

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Ricky Stuart fronts the media

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The Roar of the crowd

Your sports opinion. Write your own article
[VIDEO] Parramatta Eels vs Manly Sea Eagles: NRL highlights, scores, blog

MATCH RESULT: A game of two halves at Pirtek Stadium on Friday night has seen the Parramatta Eels knock off the league leading Manly Sea Eagles 22-12.

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Everybody hates Ricky, but why?

By Lachlan Bickley, 22 Aug 2014
Everybody hates Ricky, but why?

After his Canberra Raiders succumbed to yet another fairly embarrassing loss last Saturday, Ricky Stuart delivered what has been described by many as a rant about the need to build his squad and bring in State of Origin level players.

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What’s getting me down? Thursday night footy and Sticky Ricky

As a fan of the greatest game of all, I initially liked the fact we now only have two days a week without a game being played. Thanks for nothing Tuesday and Wednesday…

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Can Leeds shake their Challenge Cup gorilla?

By John Davidson, 22 Aug 2014

The Leeds Rhinos go into Saturday’s Challenge Cup final with a very much unwanted record on their backs.

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This article is partly in response to Mary Kaye’s article ‘Ratings, or bums on seats’.

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[VIDEO] Canterbury Bulldogs vs Wests Tigers: NRL highlights, scores, blog

MATCH RESULT: The Canterbury Bulldogs have kept their late season revival on track with a convincing 30-10 victory against the Wests Tigers in difficult conditions on Thursday night.

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NRL’s academic team of the year is a gold star for the code

On Tuesday the rugby league community celebrated the 2014 NRL-RLPA Academic Team of the Year.

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What’s so bad about a scrum?

By Louis McIntyre, 21 Aug 2014
What’s so bad about a scrum?

I rather like the rugby league scrum, and I would hate to see it go.

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Bye-bye Fuifui, thanks for all the memories

To say Fuifui Moimoi is a cult figure at the Eels is an understatement.

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Erin Molan: Haters gonna hate

By Mary Kaye, 20 Aug 2014 Popular article!
Erin Molan: Haters gonna hate

To Erin Molan, a piece of advice – haters gonna hate. But that doesn’t make this situation any easier.

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The most logical step to improve international rugby league

A countless number of suggestions have been thrown around by a number of media personalities about the best way to improve rugby league’s standing on the international scene.

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I love Michael Potter, but he has to go

By James Preston, 20 Aug 2014
I love Michael Potter, but he has to go

In recent weeks, the media has ravaged the Wests Tigers and in particular their coach. While the scandal has now receded back into some form of serendipity, it is not without leaving sands of catastrophic damage.

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Simple 40/20 Solution for the NRL

By Dominic Feenan, 20 Aug 2014 Video

I’m in a unique position. I’m a huge Parramatta Eels fan and a former rugby league referee.

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Ratings? Or bums on seats?

By Mary Kaye, 20 Aug 2014

In a week where the biggest issue being discussed is the ’40/20 rule’ and ‘ballboy-gate’, I enjoyed an article by one of my favourite NRL journalists, Brad Walters, earlier today.

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Where have all the rivals gone?

By Jack Schiller, 20 Aug 2014

The year was 1997 and as a seven-year-old kid I was starting to understand rugby league. I was unaware of things like the Super League war and Kerry Packer buying up big, but I watched and enjoyed the games.

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In a season of misery for Raiders fans one bright spot has been the form of left centre Jarrod Croker.

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Raiders coach Ricky Stuart

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Aaron Cannings kisses Nathan Friend during the Parramatta Eels vs Gold Coast Titans match. AAP Image/Action Photographics/Grant Trouville

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Panthers' Jamie Soward in action. Day Two of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday 16th February 2014. Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

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Anthony Minichiello - captain of the Roosters in 2013

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Billy Slater for the Melbourne Storm in the NRL

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Lewis Brown of the Panthers is tackled by Ray Thompson of the Cowboys in the quarter finals on day two of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines rugby league tournament at Eden Park in Auckland on 16 February 2014. Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

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Jason Nightingale scores. AAP Image/Action Photographics, Robb Cox

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Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith

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Queensland's Darius Boyd celebrates scoring a try during 2013 State of Origin Game 2

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