Cricket World Cup
Australia (9-243) defeated New Zealand (157) @ Lord’s
MOTM: Alex Carey (71 off 72), 3 catches
Six years on, we’re all counting our lucky stars that Alex Carey was a spud at GWS.
Martin Guptill is short of few toes, and it turns out he’s short of a few fingers.
He dropped Aaron Finch on naught (Who was dismissed shortly after), and then he dropped Usman Khawaja second ball in the slips, which never came back to haunt the Kiwis.
And then on the third attempt, Kane Williamson stuck him at short fine leg with Steve Smith on strike, and then in a hilarious coincidence, Smudge flicked one straight at Guptill, and ‘Two Toes’ stuck out his left hand with about half a second to react, and it stuck, leaving Australia at 3-46.
But as the tournament has gone on, Alex Carey has proved to be more crucial than Glenn Maxwell or Marcus Stoinis, mainly because he’s able to come in and provide more effective power hitting… for far longer.
71 off 72 for Carey, with Khawaja digging in for 88 off 129 as they pushed the Aussies from 5-92 to a semi-respectable 6-199, and turning the match around.
And then to finish off proceedings and deny the Aussies 250, Trent ‘Thunder’ Boult became the latest hat-trick hero for the Kiwis against Australia, emulating Shane Bond’s last over hat-trick back from Hobart in 2007.
And then when New Zelaand chugged along to 2-97, Starc got Williamson for 40 when he nicked one through to Carey off the bowling of the ‘Fire Extinguisher’ Mitchell Starc, sparking a collapse of 8-60, and turning a 50/50 game into yet another vintage ‘Australia at the World Cup’ performance.
As I showed you above, Smithy took a one-handed blinder, which is of course, not the first time he’s taken a classic catch against the Kiwis.
The 2015 Group Stage epic was a battle between Boult and Mitchell Starc, and in the 2019 Group Stage, it was a battle between Trent Boult and Mitchell Starc.
Starc’s Pfeiffer got the votes.
And now, just highlighting how dumb the scheduling is from the Pommy organisers, the Aussies get to sit on their arses until Saturday before playing the Proteas… who haven’t played since Friday.
NRL: Round 15
While players committed brainless acts on the field all weekend, St George’s favourite Pommy Prop James Graham has confirmed he too will be brainless, by donating his brain to science after he passes on, to further the studies of concussion.
Following Jimmy’s lead, Peter Sterling has announced he’ll also donate his brain to science, Spudd Carroll is doing the same, and unfortunately, nobody has donated their brain to the people working in the Bunker.
Wests Tigers 14 defeated Souths 9 @ Bankwest Stadium
I don’t think anyone’s seen a 14-9 scoreline since the days of the three point try.
Despite the rain clearing out, conditions were so awful out in the west, that you’d be forgiven for thinking the surface was ice painted as grass.
George Burgess became the latest Burgess brother to get himself a date with the judiciary, ending up on report for eye gouging Robbie Farah in the 7th minute, and he then missed the final hour with what was described as a hip problem.
Good to see someone step up and fill Josh McGuire’s shoes.
Georgie Boy is all set to cop a 10 game ban, thanks to the fact that he was also suspended for eye gouging playing for England at the end of last year.
As an indicator of how utterly awful the 2nd Half was, by the time 60th minute rolled around, ‘Brandy’ Alexander’s idea of kicking a drop goal wasn’t a half bad idea.
In the meantime, the Tigers knocked on, then Souths knocked on, which somehow wasn’t called advantage despite being 15m upfield, and then a knock on inside the scrum base gave Souths a cheap set inside the 20m with 5 minutes to go, and Reynolds answered Brandy’s prayer and scored the first point of the 2nd Half.
And then Michael Chee-Kam replicated the match winner he scored against the Broncos back in April, carving through the Souths defence with 2 minutes to go, and putting the Tigers ahead, and peacefully putting this game to sleep.
4 straight losses for the Bunnies, and thanks to the ineptitude of the rest of the league, they’re still 2nd.
St George Illawarra 22 defeated North Queensland 14 @ WIN Stadium
The horror crash on the M1 almost delayed the start of the game, because of players and commentators being caught in the traffic.
It appears it also delayed the Dragons arrival until the 2nd Half, after which they took over and delivered the result that we all expected.
In a bad blow for the Blues, Tariq Sims has played himself out of Origin III, after copping a two-match ban for a late hit that concussed Michael Morgan.
I don’t know who Paul McGreoger is, but I do know Paul McGregor came to the defence of Tariq.
Melbourne 14 defeated Sydney 12 @ The Adelaide Oval
Another brutal defensive battle between Monseigneurs Bellamy and Robbo, which just happened to be a Grand Final rematch, and the 2nd Half tension was so great on Craig, that after a dumb pass from Ryan Papenhuyzen, following what should’ve been the intercept to seal the game, ‘Bellyache’ unloaded a massive F Bomb out the back of the box, just so Jason Ryles wasn’t covered in spit and bile.
That looks like me after I get killed playing a shooter game on the PS4.
The Storm are 3 games clear on top, and based on the form the rest of league is in, they’re a lock to win yet another JJ Giltnan Shield.
Manly 30 defeated Gold Coast 12 @ Cbus Super Stadium
With all the pieces back on the chess board for Des, the Sea Eagles finally look like a genuine finals team, and assuming Tommy Turbo stays functional, a possible Top 4 team.
And for about 20 minutes of the 2nd Half, they looked like Trent Barrett was still coaching them.
After the Tits took the two points to open the scoring, the Sea Eagles went on a 40 minute tear, with Curtis ‘Paul’ Sironen scoring a double for the first time in 2 years, and DCE reminding the Titans why he welched on them back in 2015, and the Turbo boys backing up from that Perth masterclass.
It was 20-2 at the half, as the Tits made seven errors, conceded five penalties and missed 24 tackles.
That was pretty much it, because that 2nd Half was nothing to write home about.
Newcastle 26 defeated Brisbane 12 @ McDonald Jones Stadium
Anthony Seibold had one last trick up his sleeve to revive the Broncos’ 2019 season, plugging Darius Boyd at 5/8, in a positional swap with Anthony Milford.
Based on this season, it’s better than playing Darius Boyd at fullback.
Kalyn Ponga may have been lost to injury, but the Knights in the 1st Half looked like he never existed, as they belted the Broncos 18-0 in the opening half, as the Broncos Penalty Count also thumped the Broncos 9-3.
But in a rude shock for the hosts, the first penalty in the 2nd Half was apparently one too many for referee Klein, who sent James Gavet to the bin as punishment, which led to the Broncos finally scoring.
Probably should’ve done that in the 1st Half if you wanted to send a message Ash, but righty-o then.
Gavet came back on and managed to wrestle Tevita Pangai Junior back into the in-goal for a dropout, the most impressive feat of strength since Hulk Hogan body-slammed Andre The Giant at Wrestlemania III.
Just highlighting how important that turned out to be, Milford violated the shock clock on the dropout, and Mason Lino took the easy two points.
The Broncos managed to cut the gap to 20-12, and then further highlighting how dumb this game was, Boyd marked the kick-off, which was heading out on the full, and fell backwards out of bounds.
The man truly is an entertainer.
The Knights scored the sealer a few sets later.
In a bittersweet result for the Knights, and completing the horror evening for Queenslanders, Kalyn Ponga is out of Origin III with a calf injury, and now Anthony Milford has hurt his knee, and could be out for the season.
If that’s the case, Milford is one lucky bugger… because he doesn’t have to play in this Broncos team.
Parramatta 22 Canberra 16 @ TIO Stadium, Darwin
It’s always nice to see the Canberra Faders return every now and then.
HENCEFORTH, this shall be known as Jack Wighton’s Wild Ride.
The Raiders were out to a 16-nil lead after 30 minutes, with Wighton scoring a try from dummy-half, and setting up Seb Kris’ try, and then in the 2nd Half, he made half-a-dozen errors as the Eels stormed back.
Their performance was summed up when Wighton managed to set-up a drop-out with 7 minutes to go, only to knock-on trying to field the kick.
The Raiders didn’t see the Eels try line for the rest of the night.
I liked how Fox League kept crossing to Eels coach Brad Arthur up in the stands, which would’ve made an ace drinking game, as participants descended into a drunken stupor, taking a swig every time Brad had gone through a bottle of water in the rough conditions.
Andrew Voss counted that Brad went through 17 bottles, without ducking out for a piss until after the siren had gone.
A bladder of steel, to match the toughness of his team on Saturday.
Fox also showed Ricky Stuart sitting the sidelines in his shorts on a plastic chair, downing a bottle of bourbon… delicious bourbon… the brownest of the brown liquors.
For the second time this season, the Raiders have had the chance to jump into 2nd spot, and for the second time this season, they’ve foolishly thrown it away.
Penrith 19 defeated New Zealand 18 in GOLDEN POINT @ Mount Smart Stadium
When James Maloney retires, the Panthers should fork out for a statue of the great man lining up for a drop goal at the 30 metre line of Panthers Stadium, because based on his performances since the end of May, that’s how his time at the Panthers will be remembered by the Mountain folk.
It really was a weird afternoon, because on one hand, it was a case of “How in Jebus’ name did Penrith win that?”, and conversely, it was a case of “How in Jebus’ name did the Warriors lose that?”.
Gerard Sutton really did have a nightmare with the whistle, hitting the Panthers with a double sin-binning in the 2nd Half (Jahrome Luai was incorrectly dismissed), and then the classic Bunker howler returned when Warriors were the beneficiaries of the very definition of a Bunker howler, when David Fusitu’a was awarded a 43rd minute try, despite his hand cleary touching out of bounds.
These errors were almost cancelled out by allowing Liam Martin back from the bin, after a mere 8 minutes and 20 seconds.
NRL footy boss Graham Annesley had to make the unfortunate admission that all of them (Except Martin’s original binning) were the wrong decisions.
So after the Warriors led 16-8 and dominated pretty much every major area of the game, the Panthers came back and struck the lead with 2 minutes to go, only to give away their 11th penalty when Maloney was offside, to allow Herbert to tie the scores and send the game into Golden Point.
With 30 seconds remaining in the 1st Period, Maloney stepped up and redeemed himself, making it 5 wins on the bounce for the Mountain Men.
Canterbury 14 defeated Cronulla 12 @ ANZ Stadium
For the second game in a row, Shaun Johnson’s goalkicking has cost the Sharks 2 points.
In the two games since his comeback from hamstring problems, the Kiwi has landed a mere 2/7 conversions.
Going down to the Raiders in Canberra after that comeback was ‘honourable’, but the Bulldogs?
The stone motherless last Bulldogs?
That’s not honourable, that’s just laughably sad.
Queensland’s Origin III Team
The mind games have begun from Kev Walters, with the Maroons naming the team in alphabetical order instead of 1-17 on the back of Kalyn Ponga’s calf injury, keeping Freddie guessing at what the backline will look like.
Obviously Ponga was one forced change, but the axe was dropped on Dylan Napa and Jarrod Wallace, which has resulted in Joe Ofahengaue coming straight back in from injury, while Corey Norman has taken advantage of Anthony Milford’s injury to Bradbury his way into the team for his debut, and Melbourne Stormer Christian Welch will also debut, completing his wild ride of a season, in which he thought he’d torn his ACL against Wests in May after hearing a pop, only to be re-diagnosed as not having torn his ACL, and missing a month.
I like how Kevvy has completely embraced being this crazy Sir Joh type leader, uniting Queenslanders with his patriotic fervor, shedding tears at his musings about the Maroons, about how he wants Banana Benders to be proud of their team, and that they’re going into Game III with the classic ‘Backs to the Wall’ mentality.
A real Queenslanders’ Queenslander.
Walters went one better, and said next Wednesday will be the biggest game in Origin history next Wednesday.
I’m not sure about the biggest, but it will be the most recent.
THE NEW SOUTH WALES TEAM
Freddie’s fired back with his own mind games, naming Nathan Cleary despite his right ankle dangling from his leg.
That’s probably a leaf out of Trent Robinson’s book, playing an injured halve to just stand there and direct traffic.
Aside from that, it’s the same 17 that took part in the rout in Perth, with Clint Gutherson named as 18th man, and David Klemmer unable to crack a mention despite coming back from injury.
Praying for Tariq Sims to fail to overturn his suspension at the judiciary could be Kelmmer’s only way back.
Super Rugby: Semi-Finals
Jaguares 39 dump on the Brumbies 7 @ Estadio Jose Amalfitani
It appears the Argentine Test lineup (14 Internationals in the starting 15) has backed one out on the soon-to-be Australian Test lineup.
4 minutes in, the Brumbies had a miscommunication in failing to claim a chip kick, which led to the opening try, and from there on, they were chasing tails all night.
20-nil inside 20 minutes, and the game was pretty much done.
The Brumbies lost multiple line-outs, basically never having the chance to deploy the rolling maul, and Christian Lealiifano’s final game for the Brumbies wasn’t a fond one, as the Argentinians picked on his kicking game in the 2nd Half, and ended up scoring multiple tries going the other way.
As a result of this game, Michael Cheika and the Wobblies selectors will now promptly disregard everything the Brumbies achieved, and go back to loading up on Waratahs players.
WIMBLEDON STARTS TONIGHT
So of the Australian contingent, we’ve 5 women in the Ladies’ Singles (Ash Barty the only seeded Australian), and 6 men in the Gents’ Singles (Alex De Minaur the only seeded Australian).
Of course, the last time an Australian was seeded #1 at Wimbledon was little Lleyton back in 2003… and I won’t tell you how that ended.
Aside from the stories of Rafa being a victim of Wimbledon’s weird seeding formula, the other focus is fretting about how Ash’s section of the draw is absolutely brutal, potentially having to play Kuznetsova, Muguruza, Sharapova and Serena Williams, IF both of them reach the Final 8.
But I look at it differently.
Ash isn’t in the same draw as multiple Wimbledon & Major Champions.
They’re in the same draw as Ash.
BUT for us, the number one match on Monday night has to be Jordan Thompson vs Nick Kyrgios, playing each other at a tour-level match for the first time, with the winner almost certainly due to play Rafa in the 2nd Round.
I see Nick as being the men’s tennis equivalent of the Pakistan Cricket Team.
He can beat anyone, and he can inexplicably lose to anyone.
And Dylan Alcott won a Logie
A good warm-up before he goes for The Grand Slam next week, as Dylan managed to win the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Popular New Talent!