A Statistical History of Rugby League: Volume 1

Stephen Kane

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 921 Price: (paperback) $49.99 AUD ISBN: 9781479757558 Reviewed: November, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

Stephen Kane played more than 100 games in Australia’s Rugby League. He has completed a Herculean task in producing this hefty book that chronicles minutiae about Australia’s Rugby League. This is one for devoted fans who, no doubt, will say, “I remember that guy!” as they pore through the 921 pages.

In A Statistical History of Rugby League, Kane offers an impressive array of stats, including:

  • An alphabetical list of every league
    player, even those who competed in
    just one game – something they can
    show their grandchildren one day.
  • An “All-Time First-Grade Register,”
    which lists players, again
    alphabetically, by the number of
    games played in the league, and
    number of games played with which
  • An “All-Time Games at 1 Club” list
    (Darren Lockyer holds the record, 355
    games with Brisbane).
  • An index of players that weighs in at
    a staggering 72 pages.

Kane’s 1½-page narrative about himself and his own playing career is written with the zeal of a player and a fan – and also offers some insight into Australian life and the sport. (That’s on pages 847-848, in case you want to go right to it.) Kane could have used editing help to tighten those narratives and to catch punctuation errors, such as ending one paragraph with no period and the next paragraph with a comma in the introduction on page 13. Outside of that biography, the book has just a few narratives: foreword, dedication, acknowledgements, bibliography and an introduction to the book.

U.S. sports fanatics and scholars would pore over any similar book about the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association or National Hockey League. But rugby isn’t as well known in the United States; thus, the book may not have much appeal here.

Still, rugby freaks in Australia and elsewhere will love this offering.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
NSW, Australia
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