My sister’s birthday fell on the same day as Mother’s Day… I actually had to spend money!
Humping goal posts, abusing umpires- And he’s only the Swans’ vice-captain!
The NRL Round 9: MAGIC ROUND
I thought it was funny watching the state of the Suncorp turf slowly get worse over the weekend.
It’s like watching Wimbledon on the opening Monday and then comparing it to Centre Court for the Final.
One of the highlights was Bryan ‘Fletch’ Fletcher and Nathan ‘Hindy’ Hindmarsh having to live in ‘The Bubble’ for the entire round, and they were joined by Todd Greenberg, who decided to take a break from standing down Jack De Belin and knock off a few cold ones.
The overall crowd figure for the four days was 134,677, and with the superb carnival atmosphere, the NRL will tick off the Magic Round as a success!
Cronulla 26 defeated Gold Coast 18
There was no Black and White and Blue for the Sharks on Thursday night.
Just shades of Aaron Gray.
Gray scored a 2nd half double to tie the scores, adding to Josh Morris’ 1st half double, as it was probably the sheer weight of possession that got the Sharkies into the lead.
That, and a Kyle Flanagan penalty.
After copping the derision from yours truly on Wednesday and the Queensland crowd on Thursday, Paul Gallen was the one to seal the win, after running a game-high 200 metres, scoring adjacent to the posts, and then to top it off, the Sharks let him knock through the conversion as he lapped up the ringing hatred of the Lang Park crowd, one last time.
Personally, I was disappointed Gal didn’t drop his dacks, give the double finger salute to the crowd, and then kick the goal- All he did was ‘the shush’.
Surely it was the most appropriate way for a Blues stalwart to farewell Queensland.
Wests Tigers 30 defeated Penrith 4
Penrith needed a coach to stop their seasons from shuddering to an end in the Semi Finals.
So they hired Ivan Cleary.
In Wests’ opening four sets (If you count that 40/20), they scored 3 tries and led 16-nil after 8 minutes.
It was a boxing match with only one bloke in the ring and the other one sinking tinnies at the refreshment stand.
After 20 minutes, it was 24-nil to the Tigers, with only a few tough missed sideline conversions for Esan Masters keeping them from leading 30-nil.
Dean Whare managed to score from the sideline in the 28th minute, which was apparently the start of the Panthers’ mega comeback, but all it ended up doing was denying Wests a shutout.
And that was pretty much it- Marsters scored a try for himself in the 67th minute, and Wests made it 2/2 at Suncorp in 2019!
Brisbane 26 defeated Manly 10
What are you gonna do now that the Broncos have recorded a win JT?
Well, wait a week.
Anyway, after conceding the first try within 8 minutes, it looked like a bad case of deja vu for the Broncos, but with Suncorp for once being an advantage to Brisbane, they finally tipped the injury-riddled Sea Eagles over the edge thanks to tries on either side of the half to put them up for good, and they raced out to a 22-6 lead.
The Broncos released their pent up frustrations by celebrating wildly, and Anthony Milford managed to Falcon the referee after his 35th minute try, with a precise shot.
Unfortunately for the Broncs, Jack Bird’s year is done thanks to an ACL tear, which is a shame, because he was one of the few Broncos who actually showed up for every game this season.
As for Manly, Dylan Walker’s stand-down is finished, effective immediately by the NRL– He’ll be back this coming weekend.
Newcastle 22 defeated Canterbury 10
The Novocastrians are officially ON THE WARPATH– Three wins in a row, Ponga firing on all 12 cylinders, as they dispatched the might of the last-placed Doggies for the first time since the 2013 Elimination Final.
Ponga firing on all cylinders at fullback (Where he probably should’ve started the season), Mitch Pearce was everywhere, and the absolute highlight was his effort to score the Knights’ second try, where he grubbered a kick into a Dogs player, chased the rebound and kicked again, then won the race to the ball.
He was also lucky not to get called for a knock-on when he dived on a loose ball with the Dogs closing in the 2nd Half, which led to Ponga’s sealing try with 2 minutes to go.
Anyway, the victors write the history books.
New Zealand 26 defeated St George-Illawarra 18
Another weekend goes by, and the Dragons blow a half-time lead, this time 18-6.
I’m beginning to think Paul McGregor has to be the world’s worst motivator.
With the scores tied at 18-all with 12 minutes to go, Ben Hunt had another disaster moment, when he fumbled a dropout and knocked on, which led to Fox League whipping out the video of his 2015 Grand Final drop and calling it a case of “Deja vu”.
Unfortunately, it was- The Warriors scored on the next set to lead for the first time all evening, and then scored again through Peta Hiku to seal their third win of the season, and drop the Dragons to 4-5 and out of the Top 8.
This game cost me 8/8 on the tips… dammit.
Melbourne 64 defeated Parramatta 10
That copious abuse from Craig Bellamy worked an absolute treat on the Storm, and for some reason, every time I read about a team scoring 60+ points in the NRL, it always seems to be the Storm.
That’s the fourth time in the past 7 seasons that they’ve scored 60+ points in a game, surely the most of any team in the competition.
And as a weird piece of trivia, would you like to know which is the only team to defeat the Storm at Suncorp in the past decade?
The Gold Coast Titans in 2017.
Curtis Scott returned for the Storm and provided the best moment of magic on Magic Round, with his 100m try leaving Clint Gutherson coughing dust, and beating a desperate Blake Ferguson to crash over.
And then joy turned to despair as he fractures his foot, ruling him out for up to 12 weeks.
It’s a cruel game.
The scoreline wasn’t the only ugly moment for the Eels- Maika Sivo’s late high shot on Jahrome Hughes was downright nasty.
Sivo fortunately avoided a sending off, probably since a victim has to incur brain damage for someone to get sent off, instead being sent to the bin and watching on while the Storm punished him by running in 4 tries.
One week everybody blows up about the referees not sending players to the bin for repeated penalties, and now we’ve got a problem with sending them to the bin instead of sending them off.
Anyway, one last note- It was Will Chambers’ 200th game for the Storm, and to celebrate, he knocked through the final conversion attempt, following Josh Addo-Carr’s 80m run to score the 11th try.
Sydney 30 defeated Canberra 24
The longer the game went on, it wasn’t a battle between who scored the most points, it was more a case of who had the more high profile players go down with injuries.
In that case, the Roosters won on both fronts.
Boyd Cordner was concussed just before half time and didn’t return, Daniel Tupou was taken off on the cart in a neck brace, and when Latrell Mitchell scored a try, it looked like he’d hurt his groin so badly that he was going to be pissing from a 90 degree angle for several weeks.
But, a few quick jabs and some phone calls to the man upstairs, and he came back on.
Meanwhile, the Raiders lost Jordy Rapana to a suspected PCL, and Josh Papalii went off for a HIA, but came back on.
As the injuries piled up, the Roosters raced out to a 30-6 lead, but with 30 minutes still on the clock, the Raiders hit back with tries to Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jack Wighton and Michael Oldfield to close to within a converted try.
On the last set, the Raiders had one last chance to tie the scroes when Nick Cotric broke free down the left-hand side, but he delivered a ‘Julia Gillard’ of a forward pass to Jarrod Croker- It kept moving forward , and the game ended when Angus Crichton gave himself up in a very blatant voluntary tackle, which was stripped out after the referee had blown the final whistle.
Souths 32 defeated North Queensland 16
Much like their old rivals, the Rabbits lost key players in John Sutton and Kyle Turner- But they were still way too good for the Cows, in no small part thanks to Damien Cook, who scored a try and provided 3 assists.
Although, in terms of the best assist of the game, Damo wasn’t in the frame- That honour went to Michael Morgan, who put the ‘bender’ in ‘banana bender’ with his kick to Justin O’Neill.
But magic like that was enough to stop Bennett’s Bunnies, who are keeping themselves in position to capitalise on the moment where the Chooks quite literally run out of players.
A-League: Semi Finals
Perth Glory 3(5) defeated Adelaide United 3(4) on penalties @ HBF Park
In terms of drama, that was the best game in the A-League since the 2011 Grand Final.
When you combine it with the quality, it’d be right up there with the game of the decade.
Adelaide had played some 240 minutes of football in the space of 5 days, and after surviving more brushes with death than a background character in Game of Thrones, they still managed to come within one saved spot kick of making the Grand Final.
2-nil down with 10 minutes to go, to tying the scores in the 94th minute, going down 3-2 in extra time and still managing to find the equaliser, and sending the game to the dreaded penalty shootout.
The cruel hand of fate was coming to claim the Glory yet again, in the form of 10 men in red shirts… and a goalkeeper.
Speaking of goalkeepers, Paul Izzo could barely walk, and still managed to save three penalties, the Adelaide physios amputated the left leg of Nathan Konstandopoluos and he managed to play on, but the man of the hour was Liam Reddy, or as he’s now known in Perth, Liam ‘****ing’ Reddy.
He saved four penalties, including United’s final three attempts, and then scored immediately after his first save.
Fox Sports’ Adam Peacock asked Reddy about taking a kick, and his response was summed up in two words.
The great irony was, Diego Castro, who had scored twice in normal time, ended up having his penalty saved.
Reddy’s performance was so good, even 433 with their 20 million followers recognised it.
Sydney FC 6 defeated Melbourne Victory 1 @ Kogarah
The Victory Cop A Big Black Eye In The Big Blue
Hold on, let me catch my breath….
Ahahahahahhahaahhahahahahaha, oh that was utterly fantastic.
While both teams had to deal with the short backup from playing in Asia midweek, the Victory decided it was easier to take Sunday evening off.
As a result, the retiring Victory captain Carl Valeri got a nice farewell- The worst loss in Victory history.
I wonder how this guy is feeling right now, with the Sky Blues finally gaining their ‘wevenge’ for the Semi Final defeat last season.
IT’S ON- PERTH GLORY VS SYDNEY FC NEXT SUNDAY EVENING!
MAT RYAN WATCH: Man City 4, Brighton 1
City have won back to back Premier League titles, their 4th title in the PL era, and extended Liverpool’s barren run to 29 years.
Your efforts were for the greater good Mat.
THE GREATER GOOD.
Super Rugby: Round 13
Rebels 30 defeated Reds 24 @ AAMI Park
The Rebels are putting themselves in pole position to finally make the Super Rugby Finals and get smashed by a Kiwi team, after they whipped the Reds for the second time this season.
And it only took ripping out the organs of the Western Force to get it done.
Once the Reds had leaders Samu Kerevi and Scott Higginbotham to the sin bin during either half, the Vics struck, scoring a try in both periods where either player was in the bin.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing- Quade Cooper got knocked out trying to tackle Kerevi with 30 minutes to play, ending his night and forcing the Rebels onto the back foot, but they had enough in hand to score the season double over their rivals.
Lions 29 defeated Waratahs 28 @ Ellis Park
After reading some of the News Corp publications, apparently the referee from the game, Egon Seconds, was biased against the Waratahs and blew an 11-2 penalty count in favour of the Lions, and also missed a massive forward pass which led to a try in the 43rd minute.
Seconds also blew a 20-1 penalty count in favour of the Stormers against the Rebels in March, which is apparently proof that he hates Australians, with the combined 31-3 count.
It was only fitting then that the Lions won thanks to a penalty, which Shaun Reynolds converted in the 69th minute to put the hosts ahead for good.
Dirty days for the ‘Tahs.
Brumbies 33 defeated Sunwolves 0 @ GIO Stadium
Well, the Brumbies are back in positive +/- territory, and by virtue of playing an extra game, they’re on top of the Australian conference, which in 2019 is like being the smartest bloke in the (Insert Team Here) cheersquad.
I was very disappointed that in a 5 try performance from the Brumbies, Super Rugby’s top tryscorer Folau Fainga’a was virtually non-existent, playing only 50 minutes, for just 4 runs and 1 offload.
Henry Spight did score twice to fill the void.
Super Netball: Round 3
Not much to report this week for the Mothers’ Day Round, as all four winners ended up winning well- The smallest margin was the Giants’ 8 goal ‘upset’ over the Magpies.
Vixens 58 defeated Thunderbirds 42 @ Priceline Stadium
Despite Emily Mannix going down with an injury in the 2nd Quarter, the Vixens defence of Jo Weston and Mannix’ replacement Kadie-Ann Dehaney were on top of Sarah Glasgow and Mary Folau for pretty much the entire game, keeping the T-Birds to another low score.
It was only fitting that on Mother’s Day, Rennae Ingles was named player of the match for her work playing Wing Defence.
Swifts 80 defeated Fever 66 @ Quaycentre
Just a week after getting smacked for a Super Netball record 80 goals in a a game by the Lightning, West Coast were once again smashed for 80 goals, this time by the NSW Swifts, who absolutely dominated after the 1st Quarter, moved on to 3-0, and consigned last season’s Grand Finalists to a 0-3 start.
If there is any positive for West Coast, the Empress of Jamaica, Jhaniele Fowler, became the 6th player to score 1000 Super Netball goals, in only her 2nd season in the Australian league.
Lightning 71 defeated Firebirds 56 @ The Brisbane Entertainment Centre
It was the epic Mothers’ Day Battle for Queensland, and it was a third-round KO the way of the Sunshine Coasters.. or do we call them Caloundrans… I’m not sure.
Either way, it was a near total performance for the Champs, who were led by the near perfect shooting of Peace Proscovia with 53/55 (96.4%) goals and player of the match honours, although Gretel Tippett did manage to shoot 40/40 for the Firebirds in a losing cause.
If anything summed up the Lightning’s defence, it was this act of thievery from Karlia Pretorius- Quality.
GIANTS 58 defeated Magpies 50 @ Quaycentre
While one Giants team suffered a shock upset at the MCG, another recorded an upset win to get off the mark in 2019!
It was some physical defence that got the job done- Amy Parmenter had a huge game at wing defence and won player of the match honours for her efforts in stifling the Magpies ball movement, and the duo of Sam Poolman and Kristiana Manu’a won the battle against Shimona Nelson and Nat Medhurst, holding them to a combined 49/59 shooting, and creating repeated turnovers.
I hope they played that Soviet-era GWS club song after the win!
Ben Simmons Watch: Season Over
Unfortunately for Philly, their season was ended this morning 92-90 at the hands of the Toronto Raptors, thanks to a last millisecond rattled in shot by Who? What? When? Where? KAWHI!
Simmons finished with 13 points (4-5FG, 5-6FT), 8 Rebounds, 5 Assists and 3 assists, but in the end, the Sixers fell short in the Conference Semi-Finals in agonising fashion.
That was the first ever Game 7 Buzzer Beater in NBA history. Yikes.
Aussie Rules: State League Game
SANFL (16.4-100) defeated WAFL (13.15-93) @ Optus Stadium
For the first time since 2012, the Croweaters defeated the Sandgropers in the annual statue league game, which was also the last time the WAFL had lost the annual State game prior to yesterday- 6 consecutive wins over the likes of the VFL, the TSL, the NEAFL and the SANFL.
It was really the period just before half time and then halfway through the 3rd quarter that the South Australians won themselves the game, kicking 9 of 11 goals to break out to an 18 point lead at 3/4 time.
The Black Swans peppered the goals in the final quarter, but only kicked 3.7, which cost them any hope of victory.
It should also be noted that the SANFL had 2 rushed behinds, which, using simple maths, means they kicked 16 goals from 18 shots at goal.
Compare that to WA, who kicked 13.15- Good goalkicking will keep you in any game. Unless the other team is 10 goals ahead.
For the Croweaters, South Adelaide ruckman Michael Knoll took out the Foss Williams Medal for his 2nd half performance, and for WA, Subiaco’s Josh Deluca won the Simpson Medal as his state’s best player.
The WAFL actually live streamed the game, and as a result, the entire 2 1/2 hour replay is right here!