A-League

JT’s Sporting Review: 16th-19th May

In a stunning turn of events since Saturday night, please congratulate the new Federal Member for Brisbane, Payne Haas!

Bringing Payne to all Australians.


The 2019 Political Premiership- A Threepeat to the Coalition

Despite starting some 8/1 underdogs, and losing Tony Abbott to a brutal behind the play elbow from GetUp and Zali Steggall, which will be looked at by the MRO, the Coalition pulled off the biggest Election upset win since Paul Keating won in 1993, ironically against the Coalition.

It was the physical play of the Queenslanders in George Christensen and Peter Dutton that got the Coalition off to a hot start in the 1st Quarter of voting, building an early 3 seat lead, and it was a lead they never gave up.

Also throw in Josh Frydenberg, who bobbed up from Kooyong and layed a heavy bump on Julian Burnside to win the seat.

It wasn’t until the Coalition built up a 20 seat lead early into the 2nd Quarter that panic stations started to kick in at the ALP, and even a big performance from Albo just couldn’t reel in the gap, and they had pulled off the political footy equivalent of Headingley 1981.

Penny Wong copped a heavy tag from Leigh Sales in the ABC Studios, Bob Hawke died before the game and wasn’t replaced, Rudd and Gillard went missing up forward, and everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the ALP.

As a result, Bill Shorten resigned as Captain/Coach, remembered in ALP team history as a slightly less than insane Mark Latham.

The Political Wooden Spoon went to Clive Palmer, who spent $70 million on advertising, and ended up with fewer seats than Carlton has wins since 2018.


NRL: Round 10

Geez, Cooper Cronk hasn’t taken the loss to the Broncos well at all.

Melbourne 24 defeated Wests Tigers 22 @ AAMI Park

Chalk up this performance as classic case of the Storm being the 2nd best team for most of the game, and still finding a way to win.

They’re harder to kill in a cockroach in a Nuclear winter.

The Tigers swept the Storm last year, and for most of the night, they were right on track to make it three wins in a row, as every time the Storm attempted a comeback with a try they would always somehow knock it on during the set after the kick-off.

There was plenty of highlights, like Ryan ‘The Pap’ Papenhuyzen flying 80 metres to score and give the Storm the lead in the 1st half, but the Tigers just couldn’t be denied, leading 22-14 with only 11 minutes to go.

Seve managed to cross over and give the storm a sniff, and as the minutes counted down, Esan Marsters almost crossed over and sealed it for the Tigers, but was held up, which led to a dropout, but the grubber was claimed by Vunivalu, and the Storm had their chance.

On the fourth tackle, Mahe Fonua came up to tackle Kenny Bromwich and couldn’t stick it, leaving a huge hole in the defence that Will Chambers flew straight through, and on grounding, he bobbled the ball, fortuitously onto his left forearm, just inches from being called a knock on, allowing him to maintain a modicum of pressure and stay with the on-field call of a try.

Still: Channel Nine

Ultimately, after that final try, Wests didn’t even get to touch the ball, and kept up the Win-Loss pattern for another week.

There was drama for a genuinely likable Storm figure in Christian Welch, who was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a Torn ACL, the same injury that saw him miss out on the 2017 premiership.

Welch was transferred to a better hospital, where his condition was upgraded to ‘Not a Torn ACL’.

New Zealand 30 defeated Penrith 10 @ Panthers Stadium

By gee by jingo by crikey, calling the Panthers crap would be an insult to the sewers of Australia.

The repeated missed tackles, bombing simple passes when they got inside the Warriors’ 20, players colliding just trying to mark a kick-It was just awful, awful play, and the Warriors were smart enough to show up and beat them sideways as punishment.

Kodi Nikorima particularly enjoyed it, especially with an effort like this, making everyone in black look invisible.

Sick. (Thanks to /u/Ttetron)

Making things better or worse, depending on your POV for the Panthers, James Maloney has proved unable to dodge the wrath of the Match Review Committee for once, copping a one-game ban for Dangerous Contact.

He should’ve appealed and used the same joke as last time:

“Mr Maloney, what is your defence?”

“Surely having to captain this Panthers team is punishment enough?”

“Agreed.”

Ultimately, it didn’t work- His prior loading ensured a one-game ban.

Brisbane 15 defeated Sydney 10 @ Suncorp Stadium

I reckon Broncos fans are all masochists.

Because they love the PAYNE.

The man with the best name in league was a deadset wrecking ball, scoring a try and running for 223 metres on 20 runs, including 83m after contact.

As well as playing himself into a Blues jersey, Haas also scored another win on Saturday afternoon, when he was a shock inclusion onto the ballot for the seat of Brisbane, and ended up displacing Trevor Evans in a landslide victory.

The Libs really should’ve seen the result coming when Mr T predicted the result this morning.

It was a genius move by Anthony Seibold to also sign the entire NRL Integrity Unit hours before the game, the Roosters were running scared all night!

And throw in James Segeyaro, who was signed by the Broncs two days ago, rocked up to the game, put on a Broncos jumper, scored the sealer on a dummy half sneak, and then spent the remainder of the night pissing off Latrell Mitchell.

I’ll be miffed if The Seg doesn’t have a statue next to the Emperor’s.

On the flip side to the Broncs playing above themselves, it should be noted that the Roosters were a tad undermanned- Both captains in Friend & Cordner were out injured, Tupou wasn’t there, and then there was an event only slightly more common than Haley’s Comet- Cooper Cronk getting sin-binned for a professional foul on Darius Boyd after a mere two minutes.

It was somewhat ironic that the Chooks’ only try came when he was off the field.

The Broncs beat up the Chooks to the point that Latrell opted to take a shot at goal from a scrum penalty in the final minutes, and then on the last set for the Roosters, it was somewhat ironic that Darius Boyd not making a tackle ended up sealing the win, when he earned a penalty for obstruction.

All in all, a highly entertaining game, and Anthony Seibold’s reputation at Redfern has never been higher!

Canterbury 22 defeated Gold Coast 16 @ Cbus Super Stadium

Congratulations Berries, you’re off the bottom!

And that was a good turnaround- The Titans led 16-nil after 17 minutes thanks to a slew of Dogs errors- Napa knocked on and also gave away a penalty, Jayden Okunbor knocked on, Chris Smith gave away a penalty, and they topped it off with a scrum clock violation.

But once the Doggies finally got through a few sets without a screw-up, they were back in business, and attacked Tyrone Peachey with great success- Kieran Foran grubbered one through for Marcelo ‘Inigo’ Montoya, and Okunbor cut the gap back to 16-12 at the half.

After 20 minutes of errors & penalties, the Dogs tied the scores, as Foran set up Okunbor’s second try, which Meaney converted and gave the Dogs an 18-16 lead, and then with 10 minutes to play a Titans error was punished by Jack Cogger, who finished off the scoring by dodging several tackle attempts.

Pleasing signs for Dean Pay!

North Queensland 17 defeated Parramatta 10 @ 1300SMILES Stadium

During the 1st Half, it did look like Brad Arthur and/or Clint Gutherson had used that new contract money to hire that hypnotist, and it worked- the Eels were ahead 10-6 just after the half, thanks to Josh Hoffman picking off Michael Morgan and racing 90m up the field.

Unfortunately, it appears the guy the Eels hired only had a one hour limit, and they stopped playing aggressive footy and just tried working through their sets, which was a death wish that the Cowboys made a reality.

Kyle Feldt tied the scores at 10-all in the 64th minute, and then the Eels shot themselves in the foot when Blake Ferguson couldn’t handle a pass from a kick return, leading to Tom Opacic’s try to put the ‘Boys ahead, and Jordan Kahu sealed things with a field goal in the final minutes.

Souths 16 defeated Canberra 12 @ GIO Stadium

It was a game tinged with sadness for the Green Machine- Obviously losing a former No.1 ticket holder in Bob Hawke on Thursday, but also receiving the news on Saturday morning of the passing of 1994 premiership prop and club stalwart Quentin Pongia, after what was described as a long battle with cancer.

The whole team wore black armbands for Pongia to honour him.

Funnily enough, in the opening 35 minutes, Souths conceded eight penalties- The Burgess brothers conceded seven of them.

The Rabbits had to get desperate in defence, recruiting the Left Upright Padding to bring down Josh Papalii and stop him from scoring.

(Fox Sports)

Beautiful technique, hopefully Wayne gave him a mention to the NSW selectors.

All in all, the repeated infringements led to the teams trading shots at goal, and the Raiders led 6-4 at the half.

Cody Walker crashed over for try #11 to give the Rabbits a 10-6 lead, but a few minutes later, Elliott Whitehead fed Sam Williams and the Raiders retook the lead, and then Mawene Hiroti crashed over on the right touchline to put the Rabbits ahead with 10 minutes to go, and Adam Reynolds nailed the conversion to take the penalty goal out of the equation

The Raiders spent the last few minutes applying the blow torch on the Rabbits’ line, but as Jarrod Croker was about to crash over and tie the scores with 3 minutes to play, he had the ball stripped out by Corey Allan, and that was the best chance the Raiders had.

Ricky Stuart said to Fox League at the half that the best defensive team would win the game- In the end, he was probably vindicated, but not in the way he’d prefer.

Newcastle 45 defeated St George Illawarra 12 @ Mudgee

Jack De Belin getting his arse handed to him in the Federal Court was a pretty good omen of what Kailyn Ponga and the Knights were going to inflict on the Dragons on Sunday.

Actually, to say the Knights handed the Dragons their arse would be an understatement. They handed them their arse on a platter, added some cracked pepper and forced them to chew with a knife and fork- It was that damn dominant.

Case in point-The only time the Dragons scored was when Kurt Mann was in the bin during the 2nd Half.

Kalyn Ponga’s trail of destruction arrived in Mudgee, and in that 1st Half he was spectacular- In the opening 30 minutes, the Knighted led 22-nil, and Ponga had 18 of those points (Tim Glasby scored the opening try)- 5/5 shots at goal and two tries, one of which saw him get knocked down to a crawl, but still build up enough momentum to score.

Thanks to /u/Ttetron (Footage:Fox Sports)

And if Ponga was good, Mitchell Pearce was… also good, setting up four tries, scoring a try for himself, and ending the game with a lazy 35m goal that never looked like missing, just because he could, and there was nothing the Dragons could do about it.

Manly 24 defeated Cronulla 14 @ Shark Park

I have a feeling this game was vengeance from beyond the grave for Tony Abbott towards ScoMo.

A big win for the Sea Eagles, and I’d like to start by first congratulating Scotty Prince, on the fact that he no longer has a share of the ‘Most First Grade losses’ record.

That honour now belongs to unbeaten heavyweight championship contender Paul Gallen, who has now racked up career loss number #167!

Congratulations, Scotty!

It was a superb win for Manly, as Des got Dylan Walker back, and gave a debut to C-Squared, Cade Cust, and he was solid in the halves with Kane Elgey, pinning the Sharks down repeatedly in their own half with a good kicking performance.

The game was practically done after Walker crashed over in the 43rd minute, putting the Sea Eagles up 24-4, although the true highlight was Elgey somehow scoring a try off his own bomb.

/u/Ttetron & Channel Nine.

I find it funny that Collingwood won and Shorten lost, while Cronulla lost and ScoMo won.

I’m sure they’d happily agree to a swap.


A-League Grand Final: SYDNEY FC ARE THE CHAMPIONS

Sydney FC 0 defeated Perth Glory 0, 4-1 on penalties @ Optus Stadium

Of all the Grand Finals that have been played in A-League history, that was one of them.

In front of the biggest A-League Grand Final crowd in recorded history, it was uneventful 90 minutes, and then an uneventful extra time period, with Sydney not managing a single shot on target, even when you include the fact that they scored an own goal, that was ruled offside by the linesman and upheld by the VAR, despite appearing on-side on the Fox replay- Apparently the line was somewhat skewered.

And with his last kick of a football, down 3-1 in the shootout, Brendon Santalab…

Made what could be best described as the ‘shittest’ Panenka seen to the human eye.

And with that, the Glory were finished, up stepped Reza, Reddy once again guessed the right way but got beaten, and Sydney had reclaimed the A-League title.

It was a horror we Perthians hadn’t experienced since the Wollongong disaster of 2000, when I was almost too young to remember… that day the Glory blew a 3-nil lead, and lost 7-6 in a shootout.

But this just felt worse, because after the best home & away season the Glory have had in the A-League era, being the best team in the league all season, losing 3 games all season, it all went down the tubes the space of 15 minutes, it comes back the brutal realisation that deep down, we’re back to being the most irrelevant team in the A-League this side of the Tasman.

And throw in the Glory women getting well beaten by the Sky Blues women in the W-League Grand Final… It really has been just another year for the Glory.

And now begins the long, painful slide back to the comforting confines of midtable.

Kevin Muscat resigns as Victory coach

Ah yes, and Kevin Muscat has stood down as Victory coach, effective as of the Victory’s last Champions League game on Wednesday night.

Sure, he was an unlikable, bald headed thug, but he was a damn fine leader, and his record in 14 years with the Big V proves that- 2 titles as a player, and 2 as a coach of the ‘Vuc’.

He will be missed.


Super Rugby: Round 14

Bulls 32 defeated Rebels 17 @ AAMI Park

Just when the Australian Conference hasn’t stopped pumping out crap, the Rebels pump out crap, and lost their chance to go back ahead of the Brumbies (Who had a bye) on the table.

The South African conference leaders were on the back foot most of the game, as the Rebels had the bulk of possession and territory, but when it came down to the scoreboard, the Bulls slapped the Rebels silly.

On the bright side, Marika Koroibete did score a double.

Waratahs 40 defeated Reds 32 @ Suncorp Stadium

On the subject of Red vs Blue battles on Saturday evening, of the three that I could count, this was by far the highest quality, and I’d declare it’s the best Australian derby this season, and by lordy, did New South Wales need this distraction after the Folau saga.

Ultimately, in a game where they scored 32 points, it was bad goalkicking that killed the Reds- They scored 6 tries compared to the ‘Tahs 4, but Bryce Hegarty (Who scored a double) only converted one of them- His second try in the 41st minute.

On the flip side, Bernard Foley had 9 kicks at goal for the game- He nailed all 4 conversions, and was 4/5 on his penalty shots, with all 4 of those coming inside the final 20 minutes- Good kicking quite literally won the ‘Tahs the game.

I’d add more, but i’m about to hit 3500 words and kill everyone’s bandwith.


Tennis: The Rome Masters, aka the Nick Files + Ash Barty wins the doubles!

Without a doubt, the highlight of the Australian tennis week was Nick Kyrgios being let off the chain by well-known tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg , in particular going after Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in some extraordinary audio that seemingly only Nick is capable of.

Djokovic copped a bigger roasting than a King’s Landing resident, with Kyrgios saying that “He has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked. He just wants to be like Roger”, and added that Rafa is a “Super salty loser”.

Nick said of Nole, “No matter how many grand slams he wins, he will never be the greatest for me… Simply because, I’ve played him twice and like, I’m sorry, but if you can’t beat me, you’re not the greatest of all time.”

Well then, Dennis Shapovalov is right on track for GOAT status.

And then not even 24 hours later, he was back on court playing Norwegian Casper Ruud, the Unfriendly Ghost, and back to his very entertaining best.

It all started when Nick copped a warning from the chair umpire for racquet abuse after Ruud broke back for 1-all in the 3rd set, and copped a game penalty from the umpire due to an earlier code violation, and then decided to flip a chair in anger, packed up his gear, shook hands with Ruud and the umpire, and was finally defaulted.

It’s quite ironic that this all happened against a man named Ruud.

All in all, Nick got fined all of his prize money, copped an additional 20,000 Euro fine, lost his ranking points for the tournament, and had to pay for his own hospitality, and was damn lucky not to cop a nice old suspension (Ruud wanted him gone for at least 6 months), but surprisingly enough, Federer came to his defence.

On the flip side, in the women’s draw, Ash Barty’s singles tournament was over by the Round of 16 after losing to Kiki Mladenovic, but she tag-teamed with Victoria Azarenka yet again, and they reached the doubles final without dropping a set, once again beating the World No.1 pair of Krejcikova and Siniakova in a rematch of Miami.

In the final, Ash and Vika took on the No.8 seeds of German Anna-Lena Gronefeld and Dutch woman Demi Schuurs, fresh off the high of the Netherlands winning Eurovision, and it was the Dutch-German duo who struck first, winning the opening set 6-4 after having trailed 3-2 early on the first pairing to snag a set off , but their joy was short lived, as Ash & Vika hit right back with a hot steaming bagel, sending the decider into a 10 point tiebreak.

Which turned out to be just as dominant as the bagel set- Ash & Vika won the first point, and then got two mini-breaks on the Gronefeld-Schuurs serve, and from there they absolutely teed off, winning the tiebreak, and the tournament, 10-3.

Photo: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

As a result of her very good week in the Italian capital, heading into the French Open this weekend, Ash has the rare achievement of being ranked #8 in singles and #8 in doubles!

One for the coincidences thread.


The PGA Championship

A very tough week in the raging winds of Bethpage Black for the Aussies, with Adam Scott ending up the best placed of the Green & Gold brigade, finishing in a tie for 8th at one over, while 2015 winner Jason Day finished in a tie for 23rd at four over.

Then again, they weren’t the main story, which was defending champion Brooks Koepka, who recorded his 4th major title before the age of 30.

After Thursday, Koepka led thanks a bogey-free seven under, and then after Friday, his lead had blown out to a massive 7 strokes, as he shot 12 under through 36 holes, the best ever performance at a major championship.

Through 54 holes, Koepka maintained that 7 stroke lead, having shot 198 through 54-holes, just two short of David Toms’ tournament record from 2001 at Highlands.

Ultimately, it would’ve taken an impersonation of Greg Norman at Augusta for Brooks to lose, and credit to him, he did best- Shooting a four over 74, including five bogeys on the back nine as the nerves kicked in, but as Dustin Johnson came along, Koepka kept his composure to win by two strokes at -8, with Johnson at six under.

An unfortunate record for Dusty- He’s completed the career Grand Slam of runner-ups.

Apparently, Brooks is the first player since Jack Nicklaus at the 1972 Masters to lead through all four rounds of a major, and shoot at least a 74 in the final round.


The Horses: The Goodwood and the Doomben Cup

A local win in to finish the Adelaide Carnival, as Tony McEvoy’s Despatch gave the locals a nice win in the Group One Goodwood, and also handed local hoop Todd Pannell his maiden Group One win!

The race was due to start in 2010, but was delayed until now, due to Spright having cast a shoe behind the barrier.

Despatch is a fitting name, considering Tony is leaving his base out of the old Lindsay Park and moving to Ballarat.

And up in Queensland, Kenedna continued her Group One winning Autumn for Maher & Eustace by winning the Doomben Cup, as John Allen stuck to the inside and guided the mare to a big finish.

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