Sadly, I was not selected for the New South Wales squad for Origin I.
Freddie still hasn’t forgiven me for giving him the wrong hotel room in Townsville.
AFL Match Review- Gary Ablett Suspended for a week
Here is Michael Christian’s press conference.
NRL Round 11- Indigenous Round
Highlights thanks to /u/TTetron and his work on /r/NRL.
Penrith 16 defeated Parramatta 10 @ Bankwest Stadium
In many years from now, in the year 2037, the school children of Australia open up their electronic text books to read about the sporting history of Australia, they’ll learn that the first away team to defeat Parramatta at Western Sydney Stadium was the last-placed Penrith Panthers, who had lost six consecutive games and had a points differential of -113.
And it was a last-placed Panthers team that won after trailing 8-nil inside 20 minutes.
Nathan Cleary reached the 500-point milestone in his 69th game, apparently significant because it tied James Maloney, and thanks to his Man of the Match performance, he’s somehow managed to keep his spot in the Blues halves, by leaving everything to the last minute, just like me writing a uni assignment.
After the game, Ivan admitted that the pre-season sex tape affair had taken a toll on the team, but if it’s any inspiration, Kim Kardashian had a sex tape scandal, and now look where she is.
Married to a clinically insane rapper trying to run for President.
And of course, here’s the big highlight of the night- the touch judge blindsiding the trainer!
Gold Coast 36 defeated Manly 18 @ Brookvale Oval
So that’s two years running that the Coasters have come to Brooky, let Manly race away to an early lead, and then run them over like a Mack Truck against a cane toad.
What I’m saying is… I think the Titans may have found themselves what the folks in the business call, a ‘bitch’.
12-nil down after Reuben Garrick converted his own try in the 24th minute, the Titans ran in 5 converted tries in 30 minutes, led by Dale Copley with his first career hat-trick, after a previous best of a double on eight occasions.
And this performance was the night after the Titans players found out that Mal Meninga was leading a review into the club… thanks to an email the club sent to the members.
That review might last a touch longer than Mal’s time in politics.
The 2019 Sea Eagles- Defeat Souths and Canberra, and then get crap-slapped by the Wooden Spoon contending Titans.
Newcastle 38 defeated Sydney 12 @ McDonald Jones Stadium
Now some may call the Roosters arrogant for ‘resting’ Cooper Cronk against the lowly Knights, but if you ask me, Cooper saw how absolutely ruthless that crowd was, knew the writing was on the wall, and decided to get settled into retirement.
It was a game absolutely dominated by Roosters players, and by Roosters players, I mean ex-Roosters players.
Mitchell Pearce and Connor Watson were very front and centre, and Shaun Kenny-Dowall… well he was just happy to be there.
Pearce laid down the pain just before the half thanks to being fed through by Kalyn Ponga, kissing the Knights badge in the moment of the night, before he hurt his groin and put his chances of playing for NSW on ice.
As it turned out, the only fight the Roosters showed at all was in a brawl started when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves landed a ‘dog shot’ on Kalyn Ponga after a kick in the 60th minute.
Oddly enough, JWH didn’t even give away a penalty or end up in the bin, and only ended up with a two-game ban after adding his carry-over points.
Ponga’s form has reached such a standard, that scoring 18 points is met with a “Meh”- I’m beginning to think Nathan Brown played him at 5/8 at the beginning of the year, just to give everyone else a head start.
As if the night wasn’t bad enough for the Chooks, Luke Keary suffered his second concussion in a month, and will miss Origin I.
North Queensland 22 defeated Canberra 16 @ GIO Stadium
The only thing funnier when you’re wrong, is being even more wrong than wrong.
Watching the Cowboys prove me wrong was like when Sir Joh was interviewed by Jana Wendt on Fast Forward in 1990.
Wrong wrong wrong!
Brisbane 8 defeated New Zealand 2 @ Mt Smart Stadium
8 to 2.
No, it’s not the time of the morning that I wrote this line, it’s how much the Broncos won the game by, as their season finally gathers momentum after spotting the rest of the league a 10 week head start.
It was a slightly error-filled defensive battle, in which the Warriors had the bulk of the possession- But it boiled down to one thing- Efficiency.
The Warriors had 6 more sets, 12 more runs and were +158 in run metres, and the Broncos were hit 10-5 in the penalty count- And yet, the Warriors missed 33 tackles to 15, and trailed in the error count 15 to 12.
Ultimately, it took Anthony Milford scoring on the hour to put the Broncos ahead, and that was that, the game ended there and then.
But technically speaking, the Broncos haven’t won on the road… IN AUSTRALIA.
Souths 32 defeated Wests Tigers 16 @ ANZ Stadium
The Wests Consistently Inconsistent Pattern is dead. Run over by the leg speed of the Bennett Bunny Bus on the evening of the 25th of May, on the streets of Olympic Park.
We knew ye for 6 weeks.
Souths may have gone to 10-1 on the year, their best start since the Minor Premiership win in 1989, but the main story was the leg injury to Adam Reynolds, which wrecked his chances of making the NSW Origin team.
Well, it was that or Freddie’s stubborn faith in Cleary.
It’s tough enough for Souths with all their injuries- They only managed to name 20 players on Tuesday instead of 21.
On the flip side, Cody Walker’s ripping form was finally answered with a call-up to the Blues side, which should have been coming the second he drove his wife over the Queensland-NSW border to Lismore Hospital, just so his son could be eligible for Blues selection in the future.
I’m not kidding- He’s that dedicated.
Melbourne 28 defeated Canterbury 6 @ Belmore
As if we didn’t need any more proof, but the Storm’s Flying Fox, Josh Addo-Carr, really is as fast as a… flying fox.
That was his 49th try for the Storm, and he would bring up the half-century in the 46th minute on the left hand touchline, and despite a brief period of a Doggies fightback, the Storm just did what they do 70% of the time, and that’s win a game.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Storm- Jahrome Hughes and Dale Finucane gave each other the Liverpool Kiss in a tackle attempt.
Bronson Xerri 12 defeated St George Illawarra 9 @ WIN Stadium
Also known as Cronulla 22 defeated St George 9.
Unfortunately it wasn’t a good week for head clashes- Keegan Hipgrave was felled against Manly, Jahrome Hughes and Dale Finucane hit each other during the Storm-Dogs game, and then Tyson Frizell and Josh Dugan made contact in some pretty horrific vision, and causing another massive scare for the Blues.
The Doctors could tell it was a severe concussion because Frizell told them that the Dragons are still a chance of playing finals this season.
As if that wasn’t enough of a pain for the Dragons, they also lost James Graham and Tim Lafai in the 1st Half, which ultimately killed them as they ran out of legs with only one fit player on the bench and had to use 5 interchanges.
Without much resistance, Bronson Xerri built on his try in the 1st Half and completed his hat-trick by the hour, and for the second time in three weeks, the Sharks scored a try right at the death (Blayke Brailey), allowing Paul Gallen to pop through the conversion through, in front of another group of people who hate his guts.
Once again, Gal didn’t moon them afterwards, to my disappointment.
STATE OF ORIGIN I TEAM LISTS
Major notes- 11 players retained from 2018, while 5 players are named for their Origin debuts, and Josh Morris returns to the NSW fold for the first time in 3 years.
Souths pair Cody Walker & Cameron Murray, Raiders pair Nick Cotric & Jack Wighton, and Bronco and Federal Member for Brisbane, Payne Haas.
In the end, like Stevie Bradbury in Salt Lake City, Nathan Cleary has maintained his place in the NSW Origin Side, by virtue of everyone managing to injure themselves.
It’s Andrew’s cousin David, who is not the same as Andrew’s twin brother David.
This time last year, David was playing Queensland Cup for South Logan.
What a rise.
I saw the team announcement on Fox Sports, and fair dinkum, Kevvy Walters looked like he’d loaded up on the sherbets – he was that excited, to the point that he DECLARED WAR on the Blues.
If that statement is anything to go by, the Blues will be crapping their dacks like a bloke at the Engadine McDonald’s in September 1997.
Besides Fifita, the other debutants are Wests captain Moses Mbye and Bronco Joe Ofahengaue
DCE will return from his injury and take over as the 15th captain of Queensland, replacing the retired Greg Inglis and also Billy Slater.
Super Rugby: Round 15
Chiefs 19 defeated Reds 13 @ FMG Stadium
Brad Thorn would make a future political candidate- Before the season, he said he wouldn’t play the age card as an excuse for losing, and then what does he do after the 13th placed Reds lost to the 14th placed Chiefs?
In fairness to Brad, he didn’t have his captain in Samu Kerevi, and that lack of leadership and experience absolutely showed on-field.
The Reds had 71% of possession, including 85% in the 2nd half.
The tackle count was a whopping 257-104 the way of the Chiefs.
The Penalty Count was 13-3 against the Chiefs.
And yet, the Chiefs scored 3 tries to 1.
Despite touching the ball for all of 12 minutes.
Brumbies 22 defeated Bulls 10 @ GIO Stadium
I should retitle this Tevita Kuridrani 15 defeats the Bulls 10, after he managed to score a hat-trick in a fairly low scoring game, and keep the Brumbies at the head of the Australian Conference, beating the South African leaders in the process and nabbing a crucial bonus-point.
In addition, he’s probably played himself into the Australian No.13.
All in all, despite being penalised 11 times, the Brumbies continually played aggressive rugby in Bulls territory, repeatedly turning down shots at goal in favour of going for five, and it paid off, scoring 4 tries to 1, and nabbing the bonus point in the war against the Rebels.
On a downside for the Brumbies, David Pocock’s playing days appear numbered, thanks a nagging calf injury.
Rebels 52 defeated Sunwolves 7 @ Tokyo
It’ll be a shame that the Australian Conference is losing the Sunwolves after this season.
They’re like the Bangladeshi cricket team of Super Rugby, there to play you nicely back into form with a double century.
As Will Genia was knocked out cold, the Rebels recorded their highest score in their 9-season history, Marika Koroibete picked up another double and set up another, and Quade Cooper set up two tries, as they negated the Brumbies’ bonus point win from 16 hours before.
While the Rebels now have to overcome their Waratahs bogey, it seems the brutal reality of what awaits the Japanese has finally dawned on them.
And I’d know- I saw the Force get beheaded by the ARU.
Jaguares 23 defeated Waratahs 15 @ Bankwest Stadium
The ‘Tahs embraced the mood of the weekend and pulled on their own Indigenous jerseys, but it didn’t make a lick of difference, because the supposed equivalent of an Argentinian test team knocked them out of the finals.
I can tell it must have been a good win for the Jaguares, because it pissed off Phil Kearns to the point that he wants them kicked out of Super Rugby.
This is his reasoning.
“They’re the national team… They shouldn’t even be in the comp.”
“If you want national teams, put them in a comp. But they are a national team.”
If you took this out of context, you’d think he was describing the Waratahs.
Cricket: World Cup Warm-Ups
Australia (9-297) defeated England (285) @ Southampton
Amazing, the Aussies notch up a warm-up win that will never show up in the history books, and the Telegraph have wet themselves and are passing the smell of the accident on to the British public.
Sure, I could show you Steve Smith blasting 116 off 102 balls, but instead, here’s Marcus Stoinis getting Falcon’ed by the ball.
Anyway, the Aussies are back on tonight, playing Sri Lanka in Southampton, before the first game against Afghanistan on Saturday.
Super Netball: Round 5
West Coast Fever 63 defeated Collingwood 61 @ Bendigo
Glory be, the Fever have won a game!
Sent this to the Vatican as scientific proof of a miracle!
In the duel for the Nat Medhurst Cup, the Fever regained captain Courtney Bruce from an elbow injury as they came back to full strength, and the real highlight ended up being the international battle between England’s goalkeeper Geva Mentor and the Giant of Jamaica, West Coast’s Jhaniele Fowler.
Mentor racked up three intercepts, while the comp’s leading goalscorer Fowler was near-perfect, shooting 51/52 and proved the difference, earning Player of the Match honours.
I guess you could say, it was the Mentor who got taught a lesson.
Bizzarely enough, the second half was a perfect stalemate- the 3rd Quarter was 16 goals apiece, and the 4th Quarter was 14 goals apiece- As a result, the final points went 5-1 to the Fever.
Sunshine Coast Lightning 72 defeated GWS 61
In footy, the 3rd Quarter is called the Premiership Quarter.
As it turned out, it was the 3rd Quarter from Super Netball’s premier team that blew GWS away, after the Giants led 33-30 at the half.
Karlia Pretorius sparked the comeback from GD with a turnover at the start of the 2nd Half, and the Lightning struck with 7 of the first 9 goals to overturn the deficit, and from there they were off and gone, winning the 3rd Quarter 25-14 to lead 55-47, and then winning the final quarter 17-14 to grab 6 points.
NSW Swifts 60 defeated Melbourne Vixens 50 @ Margaret Court Arena
It was a defensive stomping from the Sydneysiders on the competition leaders, with the Swifts winning every quarter to post a brutal 8-point sweep on the Vixens to shoot to the head of the table after Round 5.
Sarah Klau and Paige Hadley led the way for the Swifts, while the defensive squeeze was evident in the 1st Quarter, as the Swifts’ shot a perfect 16/16 in the 1st Quarter, and then stretching into the 2nd Quarter, the Vixens scored just one goal in the opening 3 minutes as the lead grew to 7 goals.
Vixens coach Simone McKinnis switched Caitlin Thwaites to goal attack and Tegan Philip to goal shooter, and it did have an effect, but they ultimately couldn’t come back, primarily due to being nailed on two consecutive footwork calls.
Adelaide Thunderbirds 54 defeated Queensland Firebirds 51 @ Priceline Stadium
It was best described by the three ‘Bees’.
Brutal Battle of the ‘Birds, but ultimately, it the ‘Birds who beat the ‘Birds, as both teams strived to climb out of the basement.
As if things weren’t tough enough for the Firebirds, centre Mahalia Cassidy brought things to a stop when she went down with a serious knee injury in the first quarter.
It was ultimately Sasha Glasgow (28/32) and Maria Folau (26/34) who got the Firebirds home, as Folau landed multiple long-range shots, and Glasgow stretched the Firebirds’ defensive duo of Tara Hinchliffe and Laura Clemesha.
The Thunderbirds won by 3 points, and they took 3/4 bonus points, with the Firebirds furious 4th Quarter comeback denying them a clean sweep.
As a result, here’s the ladder after 5 Rounds!
French Open: Round One
Nick Kyrgios was conveniently struck down by an illness on Friday, not even a day after saying that the French Open “Sucks” compared to Wimbledon.
Next week, Nick will be telling us that bears drop number twos in the woods.
Ultimately, the only Aussie that appeared in the singles draw on Day One was the 2017 French Open Boy’s Singles CHAMPION Alexei Popyrin, who earned a wildcard from the French Tennis Federation to make his debut at Roland Garros, and they were probably regretting it, because he came from a set down to knock out Frenchman Ugo Humbert, 3-6 6-3 7-6 (12-10) 6-4.
Ash Barty is on tonight, against American Jess Pegula, as is Sam Stosur against Barbora Strycova, Astra Sharma against Shelby Rogers, and Alex De Minaur returns from injury to play Bradley Klahn.
Wait a minute, is every match in the damn tournament an Australian playing a Seppo?