Cricket World Cup: South Africa (6-325) defeated Australia (315) by 10 runs @ Old Trafford
MOTM: Faf (100 off 94)
The final game of a month long group stage, and pretty much the only thing at stake for the Aussies was determining who they would face in the Semi-Finals (Win= Kiwis, Loss= Soap Dodgers), while the Proteas weren’t even able to provide us with a Semi-Final choke for the ages this year, having spudded things up in the group stage instead.
Just think about that- South Africa actually ended up being worse after the Sandpaper scandal than Australia.
But the Proteas had the last laugh on Saturday, not only denying the Aussies a Semi-Final against New Zealand, but in the process, decimated Australia’s already under-performing middle order, with Usman Khawaja gone for a month with a hamstring injury, and Marcus Stoinis just about gone with a side strain.
It was all set up when Quinton ‘Phil’ de Kock and Aiden Markram went after the Aussies in the opening 10 overs, scoring at 7 an over until Markram went in the 12th over with the score at 79, which left Faf to cart the Aussies around on his way to a century, before he pulled an Aaron Finch and holed out next ball, which allowed Rassie Van Der Dussen to come just short of a century, belting 95 off 97, and push South Africa to 325, which could so easily have been more.
There were a few positives- Dave Warner marking the birth of his daughter by top scoring with 122 off 117 and just about giving the Aussies a fighting chance, Alex Carey showing he should be pushed up the order by smacking 85 off 69 (Proving himself the Aussie breakout of the WC) and Mitchell Starc’s 2 wickets giving him 26 for the tournament, equalling the World Cup record held by elephant enthusiast Glenn McGrath from 2007.
But realistically speaking, after Finch was dismissed for 3 by Captain Celebrator aka Imran Tahir, the Aussies never got a solid groundwork for the chase, which seems to be a reoccurring theme in this World Cup- When Warner & Finch can’t get a partnership going, the flailing Aussie middle order get exposed more than the Emperor with no clothes.
Ussie pulled his hamstring, then Smith was dismissed for 7, the Aussies were effectively 3-33, and despite some promising work from Warner and King Carey, they fell 10 runs short.
Still, after this piss-up, ‘we’ now have to face England on Thursday evening at Edgbaston, and as they say, the turns, have tabled from the belting dished out at Lord’s.
Women’s Ashes 3rd ODI: Australia (269-7) defeated England (75) by 194 runs @ The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
POTM: Ellyse Perry (7-22)
Can we rush Ellyse Perry into the Australian team for the Semi-Final on Thursday?
She’s already dismantled one English cricket team, let’s she if she can make it two.
After Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning cared the English attack for 7-269 off their 50 overs, the pressure had already been heaped on the Pommy top order, and it wasn’t made any easier with Perry morphing into
By the time Perry had finished her spell of bowling, England were only 23 overs into their chase.
They were 9-57, and deadset lucky to even cross 50.
7-22 for Perry, the best figures by an Australian woman in an ODI, and she once again terrorised star English batswoman Sarah Taylor, dismissing her for a golden duck, and further continuing their lopsided contests; The 2014 Ashes Test, a pair of ducks in the 2015 Test, and caught and bowled in the 2017 Test.
She was also able to achieve something that none of our male attack can achieve- Swing.
Get her in for Marcus Stoinis I say!
After a sweep of the ODI series, the Aussies lead 6-0 on points heading into the one-off Test match, which the Poms have to win to have any hope of stopping a hat-trick of Ashes wins for their old rivals.
The NRL: Round 16
Talk about a weird coincidence…the last three winners all scored 24 points!
Melbourne 16 defeated St George Illawarra 14 @ WIN Stadum
In Storm game 399, Cameron Smith ticked off another great milestone on Wednesday night, becoming the first player to pass 2500 points in First Grade footy, thanks to the penalty goal that put the Storm ahead for good with 7 minutes to go.
In fact, if the maths is right, that was Smithy’s 500th game of rugby league, once his Storm, Queensland, Australian & World Club Challenge appearances are included.
Amazingly enough, it was also Craig Bellamy’s 300th win as coach of the Storm, reaching the milestone in 458 games, beating WAYNE‘s old record by a good 20 games.
Despite my previous belief, Kevin Walters did indeed make the mercy dash to the Gong to see his son Billy make his debut for the Storm, and capping off the moment, he presented Billy with his jersey in the sheds.
Just showing how big that moment was, it led to a tough bastard like his good mate Gordy Tallis breaking down just talking about it, given what Kev has gone through personally, losing his wife Kim in 1998 to breast cancer and raising Billy as a single parent.
A moment even better than winning 6 premierships.
But the greatest highlight of the night actually came from the other station, following a Storm penalty in the 1st Half for an escort against the Dragons.
It led to Fatty Vautin asking Andrew Johns about what exactly an escort was, given Joey may have had some experience with them in his playing days.
Easts 24 defeated Wests Tigers 16 @ Bankwest Stadium
Daniel Tupou and Latrell Mitchell both have a fetish for Tigers (Tupou had scored some 15 tries in 10 games and Latrell bagged that hat-trick in Round 8), and with Luke Keary back at last, he was more than happy to enable this strange fetish, setting up tries for the pair of them, including one to Tupou in the form of a well-placed hand grenade pass that would’ve made Bryan Fletcher proud.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves also returned and captained in place of Boyd Cordner, and fed Nat Butcher to open the scoring after 3 minutes.
Usually a butcher does the feeding, but not at Bondi.
After the Chooks led 12-8 at the half, the Tigers came out of the sheds and promptly cut the Chooks defence to shreds by taking the game on and going all out, which led to a pair of tries to Paul Momi and Ersan Marsters, and at that point they looked like they were going to pull off the foundation double after knocking off Souths last Thursday.
Unfortunately, Marsters (Who has had his kicking problems) really missed out on the chance to put the pressure on the Chooks by missing both conversions to leave the game in the balance at 16-12, and once the defending premiers weathered the storm, they hit back hard and scored a pair of tries in five minutes themselves through Victor Radley and Latrell, who taught Marsters a lesson by nailing both conversions to push the lead past 2 scores, which is where it stayed.
The Chooks are finally back into 2nd spot, and with most of the band back together for the first time since May, the push for back-to-back premiershps may be back on as well.
Meanwhile, it’s Benji’s 300th game this weekend.
New Zealand 24 defeated Newcastle 20 @ McDonald Jones Stadium
How on earth can anyone have any confidence in the Bunker when the morons in charge can’t even properly review a potential try?
It’s reached the point where even Brett Finch was actively encouraging violence against the Bunker, by suggesting that the system be blown up, following this bad error that denied Ken Maumolo a hat-trick with 14 minutes to go, and the Warriors the chance to lead 22-14.
Blow up the Bunker- One bad call against the Bulldogs might just see that happen.
It appears getting rid of human error has resulted in even worse human errors.
The shame of it all was it took away from what was a drama-filled ending, as the Knights scored with 10 minutes to go with a Warriors player concussed in back play, which was followed by a superb banana from Blake Green that hit Connor Watson’s legs, and was picked up by Sam Lisone (right place, right time) to score the game winner with 3 minutes left.
And then the Warriors looked to have sealed the game before a knock-on in the play the ball, and then onthe final play, Agnatius Paasi was sin-binned for a professional foul, but the Warriors somehow held on after surviving a monster Knights barrage.
Given the players the Knights had out, that was a game the Warriors had to win.. And by hook or by crook, they did.
Brisbane 24 defeated Cronulla 22 @ Shark Park
Highlight of the game- Matt Lodge making Mr Miyagi proud after Kyle Flanagan kneed him.
Losing a game after scoring more tries= Bad
Losing two games in a row in which you’ve scored more tires= Deplorable
YOU ARE HERE- Losing three games in a row in which you’ve scored more tries= Historic.
Yep, the Sharks have managed another historical losing achievement, alongside Paul Gallen losing the most games of any player in First Grade history.
It was such an inept kicking performance that pre-game, Shaun Johnson was hooked from kicking duties for Chad Townsend… Who after going 0/4, was hooked for Kyle Flanagan, who of course managed to finally land a kick after Josh Morris scored his hat-trick, and then landed that knee to Lodge’s head.
I have bagged the Broncs on here many times, but it was no mean feat making a comeback with a team that resembled a Queensland Cup side, and aside from the Karate Kid highlight, the no look offload from Tevita Pangai Jnr that reeled in 5 Sharks and led to Jake Turpin’s game winner was one you had to see to believe.
That’s the sort of demolition we’ve been expecting from TPJ since he almost killed Jason Taumalolo back in Round 2 against the Cowboys.
Wimbledon Week 1 Analysis
The sprinklers were knocked out of the mixed doubles.
Obviously Nick’s efforts will naturally draw the most attention (And Bernie has been thoroughly kicked to death), but it was a decent effort by Johnny Millman to be the only one of our men’s contingent through to the 3rd Round, where he took former Semi-Finalist Sam Querrey to a pair of tiebreaks, but Millman blew 2 set points in the 2nd Set Tiebreak and lost it 10-8, and from there, the lanky Yankee wrapped things up very quickly with a break in the 3rd, winning it 6-3.
In what feels like a lifetime ago, I thoroughly enjoyed the Kyrgios-Nadal clash because it had the potnetial promised to burn Centre Court to the ground, and it’s no coincidence to see two players with a personal beef drag the best out of each other.
So for no reason, here’s that beauty of an underarm serve from Nick.
Please don’t change a thing, Nick.
The Ladies- aka Ash Watch
Most of our female contingent were wiped out within an hour of Monday, (which predictably left us riding our hopes on Ash Barty, yet again.
Ash’s ‘Draw of Death’ ended up parting like the red sea, after 2017 champ Garbine Muguruza didn’t even make it past the 1st Round, and defending champ Angelique Kerber managed to lose from a set up against Lucky Loser Lauren Davis in the 2nd Round.
There was a supposed disrespect about Ash being sent to Court 2 for her 2nd Round match against the Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, on account of being World Number One and deserving either Centre or Court 1, but looking back in hindsight it worked out very well, given she came on court at 11am and was done by midday after defeating Van Uytvanck 6-1 6-3, while Kerber had to wait around until the late afternoon, and ended up crashing out with the eyes of the world watching on.
Of course, after that comfortable win, Ash finally got a shot on Centre Court against Harriet Dart in the 3rd Round, in a demoralising performance (6-1 6-1) that could best be summed up with Ash’s service game in the 2nd set at 4-1, starting after she went 3 break points down, and another at deuce.
0-40: Ash landed a second serve out wide, and then the same point, then hits a backhand slice that skimmed over the net, and then followed it up with another which had so much spin, that it dropped dead on the left tramline (Adam Peacock on Fox Sports described it as Terry Alderman in the ’89 Ashes).
15-40: Ace out wide.
30-40: Pins Dart on the baseline, and then wins the point by ripping an off forehand that hits the tramline.
Advantage Dart: Big serve that is finished off with a 1-2 forehand at the net.
Deuce #2: Ace up the Tee.
Advantage Barty: Serve and volley, a backhand slice at the net, and then seals the game by swatting a volley back behind Dart.
It was like an apex predator playing with its food, and fittingly, Ash wrapped up the match on Dart’s service, making it 15 wins in a row.
Of course, Ash will be first up on Court 2 tonight (8pm AEST) against Allison Riske… with a shot at a likely Quarter Final against Serena on the line.
In the Gents’, 8th seed John Peers is the last Aussie standing with his running mate Henri Kontinen (Who does wear the trousers in their partnership), and they take on Brit Joe Sailsbury and American Rajeev Ram in the Round of 16 (Also on Court 2) tonight.
And in the Ladies’, once again, Ash is the last Australian left standing, as she and Victoria Azarenka (10th seeds) are into the Round of 16, to take on the All-American duo of Danielle Collins and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who is playing her first Wimbledon since suffering one of the most gruesome injuries witnessed on a tennis court, when she ruptured her patella tendon at SW19 back in 2017 (When she was World No.1 in doubles), letting out a scream that could’ve been heard from the London CBD.
I don’t exactly want to show the footage, but the only comparison I can make is the knee injury that finished Mary Pierce’s career in 2006.
Cutting a long story short- After the team time trial, Richie Porte is probably screwed, now sitting at 1 minute and 18 seconds behind the Yellow Jersey leader Steven Kruijswijk.