Cricket- The Shield returns, and other stuff
After being in recess thanks to the 24 month long Big Bash season, the Sheffield Shield returned, and so too did Cameron Bancroft to red ball cricket- With a giant bang.
Australia Women (247-7) d. New Zealand Women (152 all out) by 95 runs at Karen Rolton Oval– There’s no better way to bring up your maiden ODI century than through someone else’s inexplicable failure. That was the joy Elyse Perry experienced as she skied a shot on 97* with just two balls go to, only for Anna Peterson to bungle it and watch as it trickled to the rope. Perry then belted the last ball for 6, Jess Jonassen took 5-27, and the Aussies extended their Rose Bowl Series dominance to 19 years.
1st T20- India vs Australia at Visakhapatnam- This game is still 3 hours away from starting, and Alex Carey says that playing in the Big Bash has the Aussies primed to play the Indians. Yes Alex, if I were playing against club cricketers for two months, I too, would be ready to play India in the subcontinent.
NSW vs WA at Bankstown (Still ongoing)- If you looked at this scoreboard, you’d think the Warriors had been bowled out for 90.
But no, Sam Whiteman and Cam Bancroft pretty much dragged WA to a respectable 279, Whiteman scored 66 and Bancroft made a huge statement, carrying his bat on the way to 138*. Copeland and O’Keefe each took four wickets as The Blues in response are at 3-188 ahead of Day Three.
Victoria vs Queensland at Junction Oval (Still ongoing)- 4 Bulls players scored half-centuries, but none of them converted as they set up a first innings score of 441, in response the Vics are 3-184 at stumps on Day Two, as Marcus Harris fell short of a century on 95. Load up on the draw!
South Australia vs Tasmania at Adelaide Oval- The traditional battle of the inbreds is looking pretty good right now for Tassie, after the Redbacks were bowled out for 257, with Cameron Valente suffering the great shame of losing his wicket to an absolute pie from Matty Wade. More proof that Shit Gets Wickets.
Wadey then had the Tigers on track with an attacking 77, and mature-aged Charlie was Wakim the Redbacks around the ground on the way to an unbeaten 78.
AFLX 2019- Now with Xtra Gimmix
It was another below average night of AFLX football, and then suddenly, just 5 minutes into the first game….
DISAPPEARING PLAYERS ENTERED THE SCENE!
When the AFL told us about the inclusion of Gatorade Game Changers ™, they probably didn’t have this in mind. But to be honest, it enhanced the coverage, as the Bolts simply couldn’t contend with footy’s answer to the Predator.
And to the surprise of no-one, the Rampage used the invisibility cheat to win this year’s AFLX Title, giving their long suffering fans something to smile about.
AFLW- Halfway to the end
Geelong (2.7-19) d. Carlton (1.8-14) -To paraphrase ‘Rampaging’ Roy Slaven, this game was a cup of hot fat with a hair in it.
In a boost to the recent comments about equality in pay between female and male athletes, Tayla Harris, with 4 behinds, proved that AFLW players are the equal of kicking for goal of AFL players…. by missing from the goal square.
Where have I seen that before….
I should rephrase that, no better at kicking for goal than a St Kilda player.
Brisbane (7.7-49) d. Western Bulldogs (2.5-17) – For once, Conference B has got one back on the As, as the Lions got some measure of revenge for last year’s Grand Final loss by thumping the defending premiers on their own dungheap.
That’s now 2 bad losses in a row for the Doggies, who now sit last in Conference A, while the Lions are now leading the cripple fight- I mean, Conference B.
Adelaide (9.11-65) d. Fremantle (3.5-23)- In a recurring theme in Fremantle’s history, whenever they get something good going, they end up falling back to Earth and crashing through a tin shed.
The Crows only led by 3 points at 1/2 time and 12 points at 3/4 time as the Dockers did well to keep pace, but eventually, a combination of the brutal Darwin conditions and the presence of Erin Phillips ultimately broke down Freo, as the ‘hosts’ banged on 5 goals to none to turn it into a percentage booster, as Freo went goalless in the second half.
GWS (5.6-36) d. Collingwood (4.3-27)- In a fight to decide who is the AFLW’s worst team, the Magpies passed with flying colours, as the Giants kicked a grand total of 1.4 after quarter time and still held on to win.
A truly bizzare game thanks to a strong breeze at Morwell, the team kicking into the wind in each quarter scored a grand total of one point for the game. I am not kidding. Hang on, was this game at Williamstown or in Gippsland?
North Melbourne (6.2-38) d. Melbourne (5.4-34)- These two teams on paper are probably the best in the women’s game, and after a tense final quarter, it was the only unbeaten team in the league who stayed unbeaten, thanks to the contribution of tall West Aussie Emma King (Highlighting needlessly where she comes from), who kicked 3 goals including the winner from a free kick.
I found out in writing this that Emma is one of two sets of twins in her family. That’s an impressive strike rate from her parents.
Melbourne have missed on the Grand Final two years running due to close losses, and they’re on track to make it a hat-trick.
We’re halfway to the summit of the AFLW season, which also means we’re halfway to the bottom. After this week, we’re probably tracking back towards the bottom.
NRL- Trial Files
No, this segment isn’t about Jack de Belin’s upcoming court appearance, the NRL trials are on, with just 3 weeks to go until Round 1.
New Zealand 12 d. Melbourne 6- Scott Drinkwater, but he also take over Slater’s hole at fullback. A wild Sandor Earl appeared, finally playing after 5 years thanks to a drug ban and an ACL tear.
St George Illawarra 18 d. Newcastle 10- Ponga look okay.
Canberra 28 d. Canterbury 22- The Raiders were just happy to get the 2 points after overturning the 18-point deficit at half-time, only to realise it was a pre-season game.
North Queensland 22 d. Gold Coast 16- Jake Clifford will be having a Maroons jumper fitted after his hat-trick for the Cows.
Penrith 28 d. Souths 8- Penrith’s resident bulldozer Viliame Kikau went down with a knee injury and will probably miss Round One. Rabbits stalwart Johnny Sutton also had his testimonial game, but Wayne Bennett still didn’t smile.
Cronulla 28 d. Manly 22- Des is back, and his hair looks nice. It always does.
Brisbane 28 d. Manly-Wynnum 12- Bird struggles against Seagulls, but Staggs is a nice young buck.
Super Rugby Week 2- The Brumbies run wild
The weekend started with yet another heartbreaking loss, this time the Reds came back from 29-17 down to take the lead 31-29 against the Highlanders in Dunedin, only to give up a late try and lose 36-31.
It did get better from there, as Israel Folau broke the all-time try scoring record by an Australian in Super Rugby, with his double against the Sunwolves in Tokyo moving him to 58, passing Joe Roff on 57. He’s now just one behind former All Black champ Doug Howlett for the most all-time.
Thanks to divine intervention and a missed drop goal, the ‘Tahs held on to win 31-30, their second one point result to begin the season.
Then on Saturday night, the Brumbies (Without David Pocock) hosted the Chiefs and gave then an absolute arse tearing, scoring 8 tries to 2 in a 54-17 stampede, the most points scored by an Australian team against a Kiwi team since Round 7, 2003, when the Brumbies scored 55 against…. the Chiefs.
After two agonising losses, the Aussie teams have finally got one on the mutton munchers.
A League Week 20- Trading Places
Brisbane Roar 5, Central Coast 3- Friday night saw the battle of the league’s cave dwellers, and funnily enough, they ended up scoring more goals than the other 4 games combined. The action didn’t kick off until the half-hour mark, with 5 goals scored in a 15 minute period as the Roar went in 3-2 at the break. Lopez made it 4-2 in the 54th minute, and the Mariners’ hopes ended when O’Neill was sent for a second booking on the hour. These Mariners are plunging to the sea floor, to collect a wooden spoon.
Sydney FC 1, Wellington 0- The Sky Blues jumped into 2nd over the Victory with a dour 1-nil win, and it once again took a penalty from Adam Le Fondre to avoid more dropped points. Moving on now…
Melbourne Victory 1, Melbourne City 1– The Victory played 75 minutes with a man down thanks to Georg Niedermeier being booked twice inside 15 minutes for reckless fouls on Jamie Maclaren. He couldn’t even look at the German as he trudged off, and deep down, Kevin Muscat was disappointed it took him two attempts to get sent off.
Fortunately for the Vics, City are as threatening as a one armed man holding a cup and saucer, and they managed to scrape a point from the 29th Melbourne Derby.
Newcastle Jets 0, Adelaide United 0- Enthralling.
Perth Glory 1, Western Sydney 1 – And just as I was getting ready to make a smug Glory go 10 points on top post, that happens.
Racing- Here comes The (Autumn) Sun, and I say, it’s alright
Racing this weekend was headlined by the juvenile features- The Blue Diamond at Caulfield, taken out by Anthony Freedman’s Lyre for Godolphin and ridden by Luke Currie, and The Silver Slipper at Rosehill was won impressively by Time To Reign for Jason Collett and Gary Portelli, beating Golden Slipper favourite Tassort.
Two other G1 features at Caulfield saw Godolphin favourite Alizee warm up for the All-Star mile with a lovely win in the Futurity Stakes, and Nature Strip died in the arse in the Oakleigh Plate, allowing Booker to squeeze trough and give jockey Dean Yendall a raging horn (Look that story up, it’s a pisser).
The upset of the day was in the Group 2 Millie Fox, where Jason Coyle’s $61 grey mare White Fox went to the front under Kathy O’Hara, and defied logic by managing to lead all the way to beat favourite I Am Serious.
She was also carrying saddlecloth #8, so Gabby from the Waterford TAB backed her, as we could tell when he swore with delight.
But the one race watched with keen eyes was the G2 Hobartville at Rosehill, which featured the return of Chris Waller’s 3-year-old star The Autumn Sun.
On a Soft 7 where not many made up ground, TAS settled last in the 6-horse field while Vegadaze and Bondi set a slow speed, but under Kerrin McEvoy, he gradually cut down Vegadaze to return in style.
Meanwhile, All-Star Mile starter Urban Ruler went around in a Class 6 at Eagle Farm, finishing a pitiful 2nd last by 9 lengths. Unfortunately, a bucket of paint and the corpse of Fine Cotton won’t stop him from losing to the course ambulance.
And here’s Thon Maker’s game winner, because why the heck not