A quick look at the past week of sport before the next week begins tomorrow…
HOLD UP! TOMORROW! GIVE ME STRENGTH!
Tennis: Australia defeats Belarus in the Fed Cup Semi Finals!
The Aussies triumphed 3-2 over the Belorussians in Brisbane to reach their first Fed Cup Final since 1993, and will now host the final in November against France, the first time the Final will be played in Australia since 1988, when Kooyong hosted the old one-week tournament as Czechoslovakia beat the USSR, and the last time Australia played in a final they hosted was way back in 1978, when they lost to the US and A.
By far, this is the best chance for the Aussies to end their 45-year Fed Cup drought, and hopefully Ash & Sam stay upright!
AFL Round 5
For a limited time only, here’s a look back at Round 5!
NRL Round 6- That one where ScoMo showed up
Cronulla 24 defeated Penrith 20 @ Shark Park
Did you know that Penrith is an anagram for ‘In Perth?’
When you’re already that far west and your record is going south, you may as well keep drifting closer and closer to the Nullabor and take the decision out of Peter Beattie and Todd Greenberg’s hands.
The Panthers led 14-0 in the 1st half, and could’ve led by 18 points when Josh Mansour flew over just before half time, but Kikau was penalised for obstruction when he ran into Shaun Johnson.
Bronson Xerri flew 65m to open the 2nd half and make it 14-6, though Waqa Blake made it 20-6 with 20 minutes to go, and even Penrith couldn’t screw this up.
But they did, and the Sharks scored 3 converted tries to win a game they never looked like winning.
My highlight for the match was the constant focus on some random Sharks fan who came down to Shark Park with the rest of the faithful to cheer the boys home on a Thursday night- And wasn’t he happy when Joshy Dugan crashed over for the winner 5 minutes from full time.
Now that’s the look of a bloke who’s about to have a good night at the Engadine Maccas.
How’s sacking Anthony Griffin going for you, Gus?
Souths 14 defeated Canterbury 6 @ ANZ Stadium
The end of the first half was polluted by the Dogs constantly pinning down Souths players to slow the ruck down to a crawl and get numbers back to defend, given the Rabbits had 67% of possession and 6 more sets to charge at them.
Amazingly, they were only down 14-6 at the half, and that was somehow the final score.
The second half was one to forget, only marked by Reimis Smith pulling a monster try saver on Corey Allan, which was then brought back for a penalty on the halfway line for an infringement which nobody had any clue was about, Sam Burgess’ verbal battle with Lachlan Lewis, which probably required a translator, and the Dogs realising that the other half of the battle is to actually score points, only to not score any.
Then again, neither team scored a point in the 2nd half- A remarkable feat not seen since the Dogs-Storm game of Round 1, 2017.
Despite the latest attempt to steal the hubcaps on Bennett’s Bunny Bus, the Rabbits chalk up another 2 points.
Sydney 21 defeated Melbourne 20 @ AAMI Park
In last year’s Grand Final, the Roosters scored 21 points and won.
Wouldn’t you know it, they scored 21 points again, and won!
After 30 minutes, the Chooks had raced clear to lead 20-0, but that would be the end of their scoring in regulation, as the Storm made a comeback kicked off by a suspect forward pass just before the half.
Jake Friend wasn’t there (Again), Luke Keary was flattened and concussed in the 2nd half by a rampaging Dale Finucane and didn’t return, Cooper Cronk was very ginger for most of the game, but the Chooks still somehow managed to stop the Storm from going ahead, forcing Golden Point.
On the first set of sudden death, Sitili Tupouniua got into Storm terriroy on the 3rd tackle, allowing Easts to set up the great decoy of allowing Melbourne to think that Cronk was setting up to kick the drop goal, only to leave it to Latrell from 40m out, who creamed it right off the meat of the bat to finish proceedings.
I watched North Melbourne spud it up in front of goal earlier that afternoon against Essendon, and with kicking like that, Latrell could’ve walked into North’s lineup- Then again, he’s had experience playing for Kangaroos.
The Storm and Roosters now have identical records; 5-1 and +59 PD, with the Storm still topping the ladder based on what I believe to be the percentages tiebreaker; 180.82 vs 157.84.
North Queensland 17 defeated New Zealand 10 @ Mt Smart Stadium
The Cowboys have won a game? It’s an Easter Miracle!
Did you know Adam Blair got a 3 year, $2.4 million contract from the Warriors?
I’d like to meet his agent and shake his/her hand.
St George 12 defeated Manly 10 @ WIN Stadium
A brutal, tough defensive battle, with a bloody stalemate between Queensland Origin halves hopefuls Ben Hunt and Daly Cherry-Evans, was apparently decided by a slightly missed call from the refs, when Reuben Garrick was denied a fair play at an overhead kick from DCE, when he ‘made contact’ with Tim Lafai, allowing Jordan Pereira to mark the kick and end the game.
To say it cost Manly the win would be incorrect, but it did at the very least cost them the chance to go to Golden Point, and we’re all witness to what DCE can do in sudden death!
And then throw in the fact that not a few minutes earlier, Brad Parker was penalised for taking out Euan Aitken, leading to a Dragons shot at a penalty goal which was missed by Lafai.
All that considered, I’m most disappointed in Des Hasler, simply because he didn’t bring back that OPSM gag about the referees from 2010.
Gold Coast 38 defeated Newcastle 14 @ Cbus Shuper Stadium
Nathan Brown’s situation at the Knights is starting to smell like that smell that pops up when you use an old gas bottle to cook the BBQ.
You can’t see it, but it’s about to blow up at any second.
Personnel wise, it was somewhat of a disaster for the Tits- Keegan Hipgrave, despite his punny name, had a back problem on the morning of the game, Kevin Proctor didn’t even survive the warm-up with a quad problem, and then captain Ryan James went down in the 12th minute, with what looked like a certain season-ending injury to his right knee.
Injuries like that will mean Jai Whitbread will probably move into the starting lineup. By any chance, does he have a cousin called ‘Wholgrain’?
Canberra 26 defeated Brisbane 22 @ GIO Stadium
The Raiders only had to win by 7 points to claim top spot on the ladder from the Storm and Roosters, and thanks to a late try from Jack Bird, they stayed in 3rd.
Despite the Broncs actually taking the lead in the 2nd half, it was none other than John ‘Dally M’ Bateman who got the job done for the Raiders, setting up Joey Leilua’s 2nd try with a mega offload just before half time, scoring a 2nd Half try (Which proved the difference), and also had a linebreak, linebreak assist and 42 tackles.
The way John the Pom is playing, Gladys will rename Batemans Bay tomorrow.
The Broncos have now had their worst start to a season since 1999… and I’ll now look up what happened to them that year..
Alfie retired, ultimately finished in 8th, and lost to Cronulla in the finals.
Well, 2/3 of those events are still possible.
Parramatta 51 defeated Wests 6 @ Bankwest Stadium
Debuting a new stadium, a mammoth win for the Eels- My goodness, it’s 1986 all over again!
I like how Mitchell Moses kicked a field goal at the end, just because he hadn’t shat on Wests enough today, and just so he could say he’s the first player to OFFICIALLY kick a field goal at Western Sydney Stadium.
A-League: Round 26
Sydney FC 1 defeated Perth Glory 0 @ Jubliee Stadium
First, the game got moved from the SCG to Jubilee Stadium, and then all expectations disappeared last Sunday Glory wrapped up the Premiers Plate, meaning the only incentive seemed to be with the Sky Blues to maintain the gap for 2nd and the bye + home final.
Still, a goal by Le Fondre in the 1st half got the job done for the Sky Blues, and ensured the Glory missed out on a small slice of history, falling on the final hurdle in their effort to go unbeaten on the road in 2018-19.
It’s all about the small victories in life.
Adelaide United 1 defeated Melbourne Victory 0 @ Hindmarsh
After losing James Troisi half-an-hour in thanks to a bad hamstring and defending stoutly for most the game, Victory were brought undone with 9 minutes to play thanks to an unstoppable header from George Blackwood, who was then subbed off 4 minutes later to reinforce the backline.
The Top 3 are now set, with United in pole position to finish in 4th spot ahead of the final round next week.
Newcastle Jets 6 defeated Brisbane Roar 1 @ Suncorp Stadium
What’s the time up in Brisbane?
Answer: Six Past Jamie Young.
Yeah that’s a tad unfair, considering the Roar outfield has been reduced to a retiring Matt McKay, a departing Henrique and a bunch of players I just found out about thanks to Google.
Speaking of the 6 goals that the Jets scored, Champness scored an absolute bastard of a goal for the opener… which may have been helped by a deflection.
There’s something about the Jets and Lang Park…
Central Coast Mariners 3 defeated Western Sydney 1 @ Bluetongue Stadium
The Mariners under Alen Stajcic are at the very least finishing the year off well, depsite the fact that they’ve already got the wooden spoon secured in the trophy cabinet.
It probably does show how historically crap they were that they’ve now won more games under Stajcic- 2- than they had under Mike Mulvey.
Wellington Phoenix 3 defeated Melbourne City 2 @ Westpac Stadium
George Harrison wrote ‘My Sweet Lord’ way back in the year 1970, which included the refrain of ‘Hare Krishna’
Well that’s what Nux fans have been singing all season, and they sang it again, as Krishna scored a brilliant hat trick (His first for the team) to hand the Phoenix a 3-2 win in the 94th minute, giving him the lead in the Golden Boot, and also keeping their chances of a home final alive!
With City all but guaranteed to finish 6th, and the Victory welded into 3rd, this means we’re all but assured of a KNOCKOUT MELBOURNE DERBY IN WEEK ONE OF THE FINALS- GET THE HYPE GOING!
THE AUSTRALIAN NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE: BEN SIMMONS VS JARED DUDLEY
Prior to Game 3 of the 76ers-Nets on Thursday evening, Nets player Jared Dudley had this to say about Ben Simmons:
“Ben Simmons is a great player in transition… Once you slow him up in the half-court, I think he’s average.”
Wise words Jared, because Simmons ended up scoring 31 points (11-13 FG, 9-11 FT) with 9 assists as Philly won Game 3 131-115 in Brooklyn without Joel Embiid.
9-11? In New York? Hmmm….
Further adding to the hilarity, Dudley didn’t score A SINGLE POINT.
Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to talk. And I’m one of them.
Then in Game 4, the war continued, as Dudley taunted Simmons and Embiid when he finally landed a shot, and then it eventually spilled over when Embiid was called for a foul, and Dudley sent Simmons crashing into the stands in the hopes of getting him or Embiid to retaliate and ejected.
Jimmy Butler and Dudley were both ejected.
Ultimately, thanks to Embiid’s 31 points and 15 rebounds, the Sixers came back won a close game 112-108, taking a 3-1 lead in the series.
For the record, Simmons went 15/8/8.
In times like that, who gives a rats about Andrew Bogut getting the starting role for the Warriors, Aron Baynes and his apparently impressive package for the Celtics, or the fact that Joe Ingles and the Jazz are about to get swept by James Harden and the Rockets!
SUPER RUGBY ROUND 10
I’ll have to make these quick because I’m a little pressed for time, but some great success for the Aussies this week!
Reds 21 defeated Sharks 14 @ Durban
A Good Friday for Thorno as the Reds win in Durban for the first time in 15 years!
Waratahs 23 defeated Rebels 20 @ The SCG
Bernard Foley scored the final 18 points for the ‘Tahs in an epic comeback win, posing the question, Izzy who?
Brumbies 19 defeated Stormers 17 @ Newlands
Two wins in South Africa for the Aussies in the span of two days? Jebus, it’s an Easter miracle!
The Horses- Castelvecchio wins the Champagne and Pierata wins the All Aged
Richard Litt probably got Richard Litt on Saturday night after winning his maiden Group One with the Italian Stallion Castelvecchio… who is a colt.
Super ride Josh Parr.
PIERATA WINS THE ALL AGED STAKES FOR HIS MAIDEN GROUP ONE
He was damn unlucky in the Galaxy to lose to Nature Strip by an unshaved lip hair, but the son of Pierro proved too good for Obsorne Bulls (Making it four 2nd in Group Ones this prep) as he added a nice little bonus to his stud deal!
I’D ADD MORE AND I APOLOGISE, BUT THANKS FOR READING ANYWAY
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