Three legends of Australian tennis, all in the one photo.
Poppy, Rocket Rod, and Cashy.
NRL Judiciary Fight Night
The biggest night at the NRL Judiciary since the Slater Shoulder Charge, and my goodness, it’s so good, you could have two title fights in one.
Tariq Sims puts his Origin spot and a three-match ban on the line, contesting the ban that he received for concussion Michael Morgan with a late hit, and the fight for the Heavyweight Grub of the League sees ‘Gorgeous George’ Burgess facing a minimum 10 game ban for yet another eye gouge, which has left Robbie Farah with an eye patch and talking like a pirate.
If I were the Dragons, I’d be hiring a Biomechanics expert to go on about how Tariq’s actions were completely natural, similar to what Carlton pulled to get Aaron Hamill to play in the 1999 Grand Final, despite him being guilty as sin of striking.
He’s probably going to lose.
Chris Scott SLAMS the AFL/MCG Deal
Geelong haven’t been afraid to declare how much they hate playing home finals at the MCG (Which coincidentally increased once they began wetting the bed in September), and last night on AFL 360, coach Chris Scott was asked about the Vic Government-AFL deal signed last year, keeping the Grand Final at the MCG until 2057.
I will say it once more, because it’s locked in for 40 years – I don’t think that’s right.
Maybe that’s influenced by my playing days up in Brisbane, but we’re a truly national competition now.
To have the grand final locked in to the MCG is a travesty.Scotty, 1st July, 2019
Being your typical ‘Mexican Hater’, I completely agree with Scotty- It’s a national game, and we just about have the stadium capacity to share it around- But if you ask me, the MCG deal is advantageous for all of us, because it now makes every year a Victorian team loses the Grand Final all the more hilarious.
Like last year.
SCG Drop-In Pitches
This is an issue that has been going on for many years, given that the SCG and The Gabba are the only Australian Test venues still using traditional wickets, but it’s flared up like a painful hemorrhoid yet again.
With the AFL’s backing, the Swans have lobbied to the SCG Trust about examining the possibility of removing the pitch area from the ground (For player safety reasons), which the Trust will examine, in the form of a committee.
As if their spidey sense was tingling, Cricket NSW released a very angry letter, banging on about how a drop-in wicket came with “lifeless uniformity”, creating the risk of “boring cricket” that would become “unattractive to members and attendees”.
And then of course, there was the usual history lesson about the ground being the most “Spin-friendly venue in our country.”
The SCG being “spin-friendly”.
That would be correct… if this was 1999.
Overnight Wimbledon Action
So to no real surprise, Daria Gavrilova- Who has never enjoyed grass and has been out of form for 18 months- was knocked out in 70 minutes by 8th seed Elina Svitolina, and Astra Sharma on her Wimbledon debut was beaten by 27th seed Sofia Kenin.
ON the bright side, Alexei Popyrin made his main draw debut at SW19, and rose to the occasion, knocking out Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets.
No surprise to see The Pop bag a win on the grass, given he’s got a certain Australian chequered headband wearing former champion in his corner.
Aside from the Aussies, Day One was utterly chaotic, mainly for the NextGen players.
Alex Zverev’s horrible run at Majors continued, ousted by Jiri Vesley in four sets.
World No.2 Naomi Osaka lost to Yulia Putinseva for the second time in three weeks, the first Women’s Top 2 seed to lose in the 1st Round since Martina Hingis in 2001.
The Greek God of Tennis, Stefanos Tsitsipas, gone in five sets with a loss to Thomas Fabbiano.
And then the granddaddy of all shocks was Venus Williams, dispatched by a player young enough to be her daughter- 15 year old Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff, in straight sets.
Of course, The SW19 Barty Party begins first up on No.1 Court at 8pm Western/10pm Eastern, and there’s the game that I was early on by a full 24 hours- NICK KYRGIOS vs JORDAN THOMPSON.
With a shot against Rafa most likely on the line, I fully expect Kyrgios to lose.
Racing NSW Continue Their Burning Crusade
It’s like I’m talking about this every week.
RNSW are putting $48 million into pretty much every major country race around the Waratah state, with pretty much every country cup under the sun now worth $200,000, as well as feature races at the Grafton & Scone Carnivals.
There’s only around 6 races in Perth worth $200,000… Although that figure may be exaggerated.
If that wasn’t CRAAAAZY enough, RNSW now has a new bet type through the TAB- Odds & Evens, aka ‘Equine Two-Up’, targeting the young folks getting into The Great Game.
Apparently it’s simple enough- Players simply go to a virtual spinning wheel and bet on the saddlecloths of the quinella either being both odd numbers, even numbers, or half & half.
Now I’m no expert, but is that not the Thoroughbred version of Two-Up?
A very good move 14 years in the making, the FFA have agreed in principle to cede control of both men’s & women’s leagues to an independent body, assuming they can get negotiations done by the start of August 1.
Unsurprisingly, it’s led to a huge surge in optimism about the future of Australian football, obviously with the changes meant to improve pretty much everything (Mainly investment), and bring our local leagues in-line with other global giants like the Premier League.
One comparison I’ve seen was when the German FA (The DFB) handed over control of the Bundesliga to an independent body (The DFL) at the turn of the century, which eventually led to success in Europe and the 2014 World Cup.
Obviously though, we’re not as good as the Germans.
The biggest development in the governance of the Australian game since the NSL was abolished, and the A-League itself was formed in 2005.
Socceroos captain Mark Milligan signs for Southend United
After spending last season in the Sunshine on Leith at Hibs, Mils now finds himself at The Shrimpers, who barely managed to stay in League One last season.
In another quirky move for Australains in Scotland, Tom Rogic could leave Celtic… for Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg.
After falling out of favour in DC, the Luc Longley of Ice Hockey, Nathan Walker, is moving from last season’s defending Stanley Cup champions, the Washington Capitals, to this season’s defending Stanley Cup champions, the St Louis Blues.
Assuming he can get on the 23-man roster, he’ll earn 700k a season, which shouldn’t be too hard, considering the Blues only won the Stanley Cup for the first time.
And Rounding Things Off
To my dear colleague and die-hard Bluebagger Nunz, here’s Marc Murphy’s goal on a loop for you.