A-League

JT’s Sporting Review: 28th-31st March

The Crows win their second AFLW Premiership! (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

Between the success of the AFLW Grand Final and the raging Barty Party in Miami, it’s been a superb weekend for Women’s sport.

Tennis- All Night Barty Party in Miami

If Scarface has taught me anything, it’s that Miami has a wild, and often violent nightlife scene, but even the South Floridians weren’t anticipating the raging Barty Party that came flying in from Queensland to dominate the Miami Open.

Thanks to her victory against Petra Kvitova (Avenging the Australian Open loss), Ash was already secured of a Top 10 spot when she took on Anett Kontaveit in the semi-final, and as the joke goes, you can’t play tennis without Anett.

Barty went down 0-2 in the 1st set, before a rain delay during Kontaveit’s first service game helped Ash refocus, and she broke back immediately, and weathered several hours worth of rain delays to win the set 6-3.

Kontaveit then had a 3-1 lead in the 2nd set, but Ash charged back again, won the next 5 games to secure a straight sets win, and charge into the final.

In all, there was only 77 minutes of play, and about 4 days worth of rain delays.

And thus it was- Ash Barty was playing off for her first WTA Premier Mandatory title against the ‘Pliskobot’, Karolina Pliskova, who wasn’t helped by the fact that her semi final against Simona Halep didn’t finish until 1am local.

Much like the Kontaveit match, Barty was down in the 1st set, this time 1-3 to the Czech, but Ash hit back and forced a tiebreak, which she dominated to win easily 7-1 and take the ascendancy.

From there, Barty heaped the pressure on the Czech in the 2nd set at 2-1, having 4 break points on Pliskova’s serve, before finally cracking through on the fifth to take a match-winning 3-1 lead, and from there she was never troubled, serving it out to win 7-6, 6-3.

And the Rockhampton Rocket must love seeing a fellow Queenslander do well!

Ash moves to World No.9, and she’s the first new Australian in the WTA Top 10 since Sam Stosur in March 2010.


AFLW Grand Final- The Legend of Erin

As per usual, all the action is in the AFL Review, so this space is dedicated to the AFLW Grand Final!

The forecast crowd was apparently 30,000, being an early Sunday afternoon.

But blowing that estimate out of the water, the official attendance was 53,034– The largest crowd for a women’s game of Australian rules, and the 5th largest for any football game at the Adelaide Oval.

Adelaide (10.3-63) defeated Carlton (2.6-18) @ The Adelaide Oval

As Amy Shark belted out her famous tune of Baby Shark (Doo doo doo doo doo doo) to get the record crowd riled up, The Crows deservedly went into the game as raging favourites, and it turned out as the game went on, whatever short odds they started at, weren’t short enough.

It must have been reassuring for the Carlton women, knowing their already gargantuan task, that former Club President and Rubbey Figures stalwart John Elliott would be enthusiastically supporting them on Sunday.

Excerpt from the Herald Sun, 30th March, 2019

Well, all I can say Big Jack, is Pig’s Arse!

The Blues actually kicked the first goal thanks to a 50 metre penalty to Maddy Prespakis, but from there it was all Crows- They kicked the next 8 goals to streak clear, and Brianna Davey’s goal for the Blues to stop the run was countered by Eloise Jones. By half time, the Crows led by 40 points (9.2-56 to 2.4-16), and the game was a good as won.

But if something could dampen the mood, it was the ACL injury to the biggest start of the women’s game, Erin Phillips, who was the best player on the ground (For the 2nd time) with 18 disposals and 2 goals.

I probably won’t show the injury itself (Awkward landing attempting to tackle) but the ovation she received coming off the field was outstanding.

It also does make me feel a bit saddened for another Crow in Chloe Scheer, who also damaged her ACL after missing all of 2018 with an ACL tear, yet was unfortunately overshadowed by Phillips’ injury.

Anyway, that was pretty much the only action of the 2nd half, with just the one goal to Phillips 10 minutes into the 3rd quarter being the only goal from either team- The Crows winning by an emphatic 45 points.

Crows coach Matty Clarke also finally got something he couldn’t achieve during his playing days at Brisbane, Adelaide and St Kilda- A premiership win.

If that was the last we see of Erin Phillips in women’s football, then what a short, yet incredibly profound impact she’s made, and she probably will take out the AFLW Best & Fairest Trophy for the 2nd time to boot.

2 Premierships for the Crows, Best Afield in both Grand Final(s)- Andrew McLeod was just the male Erin Phillips.

And as my parting thought, it’s somewhat funny to look back and think that the Crows were denied an unbeaten season way back in Round 1… by one measly point to the Western Bulldogs.

NRL

St George Illawarra 25 defeated Brisbane 24 @ Suncorp Stadium

I did say this game would be rated R18+ by Channel Nine if the Broncos turned up, and as per usual, I was a ‘tad’ off the mark.

However, I’ve been informed that replays of this game will be rated R18+ in Queensland, as it features graphic content approximately 80 minutes in, involving a man in a red & white uniform bending over a group of wild horses with a swing of his boot.

Didn’t that happen in The Horse Whisperer?

Just wait for about 20 seconds into the highlights video… You’ll see Cameron McInnes sell Darius Boyd a dummy so ruthlessly and efficiently, that Boyd will probably announce that he’s declared bankruptcy by the time this post goes live.

Canberra 17 defeated Newcastle 10 @ GIO Stadium

Typical. Like a dodgy politician, I promise promise promise, and then can’t even deliver. Good thing I was at a wedding and didn’t see any of the game.

It looks like the ‘Ponga In The Halves’ gag has run its last legs, after the Knights once again looked lethargic when they were in attack, much like my many gags about Queenslanders falling flat after a few weeks.

The star turned out to be Canberra’s ‘Cook Islands Hyphen’ Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, who scored a double, which led to Vossy noting this obscure stat from his time across the ditch:

Hoodoo ended.

Sydney 32 defeated Parramatta 18 @ ANZ Stadium

Cronk and Morris were out injured, now Jake Friend and Jared Waerea Hargreaves have gone down, yet the Roosters still had enough class to pull away late and defeat the Eels.

At the rate the Tricolours are picking up injuries, their entire NSW Cup team (Is it North Sydney?) will be playing First Grade by Round 25.

You’ll have to forgive me, my memory of Friday night is a bit dim.

Daly Cherry-Evans 22 defeated New Zealand 12 @ Christchurch Stadium

After staying in the Northern Beaches between Wednesday & Sunday, I’m pretty sure this was a very popular result.

A big effort by DCE to get his first win of the season, scoring a hat-trick and taking on the goal-kicking duties yet again, as he smashed the Warriors, who seem to have been left brutally hurt by a hit from the reality bus.

Oh, and apparently Manly won their first game of the season as well- Good job Des, even after I wrote you off!

Cronulla 42 defeated North Queensland 16 @ 1300SMILES Stadium

Paul Gallen passed ET to play his 329th game for the Sharkies, but his night lasted all of 23 minutes after injuring his rib cartilage, and Matt Moylan hurt his hamstring in the 70th minute while he was running with the ball.

I checked the scores at the half and saw the Cowboys led 10-6, then the extended family came around and I didn’t even think about the game for the rest of the night.

Then I turned around about an hour later and found out the Sharks had cleaved the Cows in half, similar to what Bruce the Shark did in Jaws to all those swimmers at Amity Island.

It seems to be a reoccurring theme in the first month of the season- Games being put away in 20 minute bursts.

Melbourne 32 defeated Penrith 2 @ Carrington Park

The referees should’ve stopped the game when the Panthers kicked that penalty goal in the 6th minute to lead 2-nil, because that was their last hope of winning against the rampaging Storm.

I’m sure the good folk of Bathurst loved seeing a team come to town and play some great rugby league… and the Panthers.

It was another milestone night for Cameron Smith on his quest to 400 games- Smith became the 2nd player to reach the mythical 2,400 point marker, joining the great Hazem El ‘Magic’ Masri.

Don’t think Smithy can bend his kicks like Hazem though.

Canterbury 22 defeated Wests Tigers 8 @ Campbelltown Stadium

Wests’ brief fun at the summit of the NRL ladder came to a shuddering halt thanks to a Canterbury team I’ve been bagging for various reasons since last September.

Dean Pay signed a one-year extension this week, and the Doggies board had that move vindicated on-field, as the team for once gave ‘Dylan Napa trying to prove his innocence’ levels of commitment.

I think I saw a 40-year-old man get mauled by a Bulldog, and thousands of people just stood there and watched.

South Sydney 28 defeated Gold Coast 20 @ ANZ Stadium

Greg Inglis may have been resting his shoulder, but the Bennett Bunny Bus remained unbeaten after holding off the Titans, who to my surprise, didn’t send a handwritten note to the referee declaring their forfeiture, and were only 20-24 down with 12 minutes to go- A pair of penalties to Adam Reynolds finished things.

Despite the narrow win, the Rabbits’ feel-good story Braidon Burns suffered a nasty ankle injury (Aparently with a hamstring injury as well) after being twisted in a tackle by Brian Kelly. Ow.


Cricket- The Vics win the Shield and the Aussies thump Pakistan

The Sheffield Shield Final- Victoria (289 & 219) defeated New South Wales (121 & 210) @ The Junction Oval

MOTM: Marcus Harris (Vic) – 141 runs in 1st innings

So for the 4th time in 5 years, the Vics have won the Sheffield Shield, and for the 3rd time, Marcus Harris scored a century in a Shield final, with his 141 being good enough to outscore the Blues in their 1st innings.

Unfortunately, the sight of Harris pummeling the Blues wasn’t enough to keep the focus of one particular member of the crowd.

Wakey wakey, don’t play with snakey.

Any hopes the Blues had of an upset win were smoked on Day 2 by ‘Banana Boy’ Peter Siddle with 5/28, and James Pattinson with 3-30, bowling the visitors out for just 120, the Vics leading by 168 runs, and only needing a draw to win the title, they could crack open the VBs and Crownies early.

The rain came on Day 3 as the tradition “4 Seasons in One Day” came into play, and Victoria added 219 before stumps, setting the Blues 388 runs to win in just a day’s play.

Despite 76 from Kurtis Patterson to remind Greg Chappell of his existence, Pattinson doubled up with the Dukes ball, nabbing 4-41 to bowl the Blues out for 210, sealing an outright win by 177 runs.

The Vics are the first state to win the One Day Cup & Sheffield Shield since, ironically, New South Wales in 2002/03, and throw in the Renegades winning the Big Bash, they’ve effectively won ‘The Treble’

Australia defeats Pakistan 5-nil

Friday: Australia (7-277) defeated Pakistan (8-271) by 6 runs

Sunday: Australia (7-327) defeated Pakistan (7-307) by 20 runs

The Aussies have officially activated ‘World Cup’ Mode, Steve Smith and David Warner’s bans are up, and the ODI winning streak has rocketed along to 8, thanks to the performance of Glenn Maxwell, who was given a rev-up by Justin Langer after his superb performance on Friday night, with Alfie saying Maxwell has the talent to be Australia’s answer to Virat Kohli, who is India’s answer to Virat Kohli.

On Friday, with series wrapped up, the Aussies were in trouble at 5-140 after Khawaja was trapped LBW for 62 by Yasir Shah, but Maxi came along and clubbed 98, and could easily have scored a century, only to be run out chasing another single in the last over, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that Alex Carey was the supporting actor in this revival, with 55 off 67.

Pakistan coasted along to 2-218 with 8.5 overs to go needing just 60 to win, as Abid Ali (112) and Mohammad Rizwan (104) both scored centuries, Ali being notable in that he was on debut!

But once Ali was dismissed by Adam Zampa, the Pakistanis lost all their momentum and composure, continually losing wickets until the last over, leaving them a still achievable 17 to win.

Marcus ‘Big Rig’ Stoinis bowled the last over, and did manage to dismiss Rizwan (Which seemingly won the game for Australia) and Shinwari, who belted a six to leave Pakistan needing 7 to win with 2 balls to go, only to join Rizwan by picking out Peter Handscomb in the deep.

Yasir Shah could only mis-time the final ball, and Pakistan, despite having 2 centurions, still managed to lose by 6 runs, as Maxwell picked up the Man of the Match award for his 98.

To finish off the series, Pakistan sent the Aussies in to bat, but it backfired as Finch and Khawaja built another century partnership with 134, before Finch was clean bowled by Shinwari for 53, while Khawaja carried on and fell just short of another ODI century, popping one up on 98, which was misfortune disguised as good fortune, as it brought Maxwell to the crease, and he did his thing… to the tune of 70 off 33 balls to help blast Australia past 300, with a supporting half-century from Shaun Marsh of 61.

Pakistan’s charge was led by half century from Shan Masood, and a magnificent 130 from Haris Sohail.

Hail Richie, Hail the great man! Hail!

But once again, the Pakistani chase fell down during the last 10 overs, and having 6 wickets in hand and still needing 88 to win, Sohail mistimed a delivery from Kane Richardson straight to Nathan Lyon in the gully, in what was a soft way to end his innings.

Imad Wasim carved out a nice half-century from just 34 balls, but it was all entertainment, as Australia wrapped up the 5-nil sweep with a 20-run win, as Maxwell yet again won Man of the Match for his 33-ball 70 and 1/45 with the ball, probably just edging out Khawaja’s 98.

How, I don’t know.

Then again, this beatdown does look fantastic when you consider Pakistan rested 6 main players for the series, but then again, Australia didn’t have Smith, Warner, Hazelwood, Starc or Cummins, and lost Jhye Richardson to injury.

David Warner in the IPL

Between all this talk of bans ending, Mankading and mutinites, Dave Warner is flaying bowling attacks to all four corners of the subcontinent, continuing his somewhat remarkable form in India:

The latest edition was Davey posting an unbeaten 100* off 55 balls for Sunrisers Hyderabad, as he and Jonny Bairstow smashed 185 for the opening wicket- the highest opening stand in IPL history, with Bairstow leading the charge with 114 off 56 balls.

This kids, is the power of the Indian Premier League- A ginger Pom and an Aussie with a severe case of Napoleon complex hugging each other and smashing records together.

Still: Star Sports/BCCI

I wonder if they talk about the ways that they’ve caused pain to Cameron Bancroft.


MotoGP: ‘Jackass’ 4th in Argentina, and some Remy Gardner action

Townsville’s own Jack Miller put in another strong qualifying performance for the Argentine GP, qualifying on the second row in 5th to match his performance in Qatar.

And in a welcome change, there was no dodgy seat padding to deny Jack this time around, despite falling to 7th, he saved enough of his tyres to put in a superb final lap as he picked off 3 riders to finish in 4th, just 1.5 seconds off Andrea Dovizioso’s factory Ducati in 3rd, while out in front, Marc Marquez started from pole and was never threatened, winning by 9 seconds from Valentino Rossi.

FULL RESULTS (From Motogp.com)

To finish off this week’s post, I can’t neglect to mention (Amongst the many things I’m not mentioning), that in the Moto2, Remy Gardner, son of 1989 500cc World Champion Wayne ‘Captain Chaos’ Gardner, scored his maiden career podium, in for 2nd behind Lorenzo Baldassarri.

Remy very nearly won the race despite starting from 7th, only for Baldassarri to force him into a mistake on Lap 20, as the Italian made it back-to-back victories to start 2019.

Remy celebrates with the team (Source: motogp.com)

Super Rugby- Good lord.

Sunwolves 31 defeated Waratahs 29 @ McDonald Jones Stadium

The ‘Tahs plan of resting players bit them firmly on the arse, as they were humiliated by the soon-to-be extinct Sunwolves.

Yes, the SUNWOLVES.

Beat the Crusaders one week, lose to the Sunwolves the next- Are the ‘Tahs coached by Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

Rebels 32 defeated Reds 13 @ Suncorp Stadium

The Rebels completed the sweep of the Queenslanders, in Quade Cooper’s first game back at Lang Park since he got the arse from the Reds in 2018, and he celebrated by setting up 2 tries and scoring 12 points, as Melbourne went to the top of the very mediocre Australian conference.

Scott Johnson has only just taken over as national director of rugby, but can the ARU simply cut the crap, write to World Rugby and tell them that the Wallabies can’t bothered going to to Japan in a few months?

Super W Playoff: Reds 39 defeated Brumbies 10 @ Ballymore

Queensland are the only team able to stop the Waratahs from making it 2/2 titles in the Super W competition, after winning their way through for a rematch of last year’s epic final, which the ‘Tahs won 15-12 thanks to a penalty from Ash Hewson in golden point extra time.

Playing away is hard enough, but the Brumbies lost two of their top players during the game, with forward Tayla Stanford stretchered off midway through the first half, and captain Shellie Milward was taken from the ground following a shot from Ana Fotu,which earned Fotu a yellow card in the second half.

Despite the margin being just 12-7 at the half, the Reds raced away in the 2nd half with 4 tries to a penalty goal, but also had 2 players shown yellow cards in the same period (One being Fotu), but the Brumbies couldn’t capitalise, and the margin really blew out in the last 15 minutes as the visitors were cut down.


A-League: Round 23

Sydney FC 3 defeated Brisbane Roar 1 @ Suncorp Stadium

Keeping up the theme of Brisbane teams getting rolled at Lang Park, Sydney moved to within 6 points of top spot, thanks to a pair of late goals from Le Fondre and sealed by Siem de Jong in his return from injury, who pulled out this classic from a tight angle.

I think Ruud Van Nistelrooy did that for Manchester United in a Champions League game against Basel circa 2002. Must be a Dutch thing.

Wellington Phoenix 4 defeated Newcastle 1 @ Westpac Stadium

David Williams scored a hat-trick as the ‘Nix continued their superb run of form, thumping the Jets, moving 3 points clear in 4th spot, although they’ll be hard pressed to mow down Melbourne Victory in 3rd, as they’re still 7 points off.

Western Sydney 3 defeated Melbourne City 0 @ ANZ Stadium

The Wanderers’ season may be down to the flickering embers, but they still have the power to cause damage to finals aspirants in the last month of the home & away season.

Amazingly, it ended a seven-game losing streak at ANZ Stadium for the Wanderers, one their supposed 33 home grounds until Bankwest Stadium opens in a few weeks (Hang on, I called it Westbank)

City now have just one win from their past eight games… which was somehow against Sydney FC.

Melbourne Victory 2 defeated Perth Glory 0 @ HBF Park

The Glory boys returned to the confines of Perth Oval for the first time in 6 weeks, but it made a lick of difference, as they had their bubble burst by the Victory, handing the Perthlings their first loss in the year 2019, and reduced the gap at the top to six points with just 4 games to go.

Ola Toivonen made history with his free kick in the 1st half- It was the 5000th goal in the A-League era!

Ironically, Liam Reddy conceded the 1st goal back in 2005, and the 5000th just under 14 years later.

Adelaide United 1, Central Coast 0 @ Bluetongue Stadium

United hadn’t scored in some 6 hours of open play, and they hadn’t won in 6 games, but it all ended thanks to captain Isaias, who scored the only goal with a volley in the 35th minute to send the Reds into 5th ahead of Melbourne City.



AND THAT’S ALL FOR NOW- DUNCRAIG DAN REPORT SOON AND TUESDAY TITHBITS TOMORROW

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