I’ve only just noticed this is my 200th post for JT’s Sporting Reviews. Go me.
The usual Motorsport Monday post would’ve brought up the double ton.. the only problem was, there was no Motorsport this past weekend!
Off the top: RIP Peter McNamara
Obviously the word ‘champion’ gets thrown around like condoms in a youth hostel, but Peter McNamara was a deadset champion of Australian tennis, thanks to his highly successful partnership with Paul McNamee which produced an Australian Open doubles title in 1979 and more notably, a pair of Wimbledon titles in 1980 and 1982- In a way, they were the Woodies before the Woodies.
Top 10 player in singles, a Top 3 player and major winner in Doubles- Farewell, Macca.
World Swimming Championships- Merry Titmus Everyone!
While the entire world tries to focus on Mack Horton joining the AFL and Clive Palmer in destroying Australian-Chinese relations, we really should focus on the true hero of Australian sport this weekend.
Ariarne ‘The Terminator’ Titmus.
What she did to bulldoze Katie Ledecky, the best female middle distance swimmer in modern times, was nothing short of incredible, and dare I say it- It was just about on par with the Thorpedo mowing down Gary Hall Jnr in the 4×100 Final at Sydney 2000.
Just proving how amazing that swim was, Ledecky hadn’t lost a major international final since the 2012 Olympics, and to pour more caviar on it, the American had never lost a 400m, 800m or 1500m freestyle.
That final 50 metres was like a sense of inevitability that Titmus would win- LeDecky’s time was the slowest of any swimmer, while Titmus finished with a Commonwealth record of 3:58:76.
In a way, I do feel sorry for Ariarne, simply because Channel 7 are going to lump 24 million people’s worth of expectations on her by Tokyo in 12 months, and then bag her if Ledecky does end up winning gold and she takes silver- Which for all I know, could happen.
On the bright side, it’ll take the weight off the Campbell sisters, who once again led the 4×100 Freestyle team to a gold medal, and reaffirmed their dominance in the relay.
Women’s Ashes: Australia retains the Ashes!
Australia (8-420 & 7-230) drew with England (275-9) @ Taunton
POTM: Ellyse Perry (116 & 76)
The Southern Stars only needed a draw to seal another Ashes series win, and thanks to Ellyse Perry demolishing England with bat and ball, that’s exactly what happened- The game peetered out into a lifeless draw, meaning England cannot pass the Aussies on points in this multi-format tournament.
That’s another Women’s Ashes Test to waste away into a draw, following the 2017 Test… I’d imagine the ICC will be taking a look, and trying to make people forget that they butchered the outcome of the biggest quadrennial match.
The NRL: Round 18
Just proving how much of an uneducated genius I am, I’ve recorded a perfect 8/8, and now have more NRL tips correct than AFL tips this year.
Brisbane 28 defeated Canterbury 6 @ Suncorp Stadium
I hardly even noticed Belinda Sharpe on the field, and to be honest, that fact alone gives her a big tick of approval.
I also hardly noticed the Dogs out on Lang Park in the 2nd Half, which turned into something resembling the cake walk for the Broncos in Andrew McCullough’s 250th, which he marked with a 40-20 to set up the opening points of the game, and also knocked through the Broncs’ only successful conversion of the game in the final minute, which is
Aside from Josh Jackson’s blinder of a tackle on Corey Oates (Scott Sattler on Todd Byrne-esque), the Doggies had very few highlights, and it did once again highlight that they’re still a tad inept in attack.
Still, at a mere point behind the Knights in 8th, the Baby Broncos aren’t totally gone in 2019.
New Zealand 19 defeated Cronulla 18 @ Westpac Stadium
Here’s an idea for a show: Australia’s Brainiest Fifita Brother.
Andrew’s sin binning for a shoulder charge in the 68th minute was one of the dumbest moments of the season, and right up there for the costliest- it set up Harris-Tavita’s penalty goal to level the scores at 18, and then the Kiwis used the man advantage to set up Blake Green’s 75th minute drop goal that ultimately won them the game, having trailed ever since the 8th minute, and 18-10 halfway through the 2nd Half.
Amazingly, Blake had never kicked a drop goal in his career prior to Friday… They probably could have used him last week.
Fifita has copped a week, although having that rush of blood replayed over and over is probably punishment enough.
Still, the Warriors went one better than last Saturday, and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is starting to make me remember that he’s the reigining Dally M winner, with 293 metres from 25 runs, falling just short of consecutive 300 metre games.
As for the Sharks… I think enough’s been said.
Penrith 40 defeated St George Illawarra 18 @ Panthers Stadium
Remember that point in the 1st Half where the Dragons led 12-10?
For some reason, the TVs at the Maleny Hotel cut out for the next hour (Dramatisation- May not have occurred), and by the time they came back on, the Mountain Men had run in 5 tries and sealed their 7th win in a row!
The only explanation Channel Nine could offer me when I made an imaginary phone call was, “James Maloney”, because apparently “Brian To’o” wouldn’t have been a believable answer.
Just as we knew before the game and know even more now, the Panthers are flying, and the Dragons are now a completely inept rabble searching for a scape goat, which they’ve apparently got in Jailbird Jack De Belin,
Just showcasing how much they were set on turning their season around and winning the game, Mary rested Ben Hunt.
Resting your best player when the season is on the line… Hey Paul, how about you look in the frikkin’ mirror before you go blaming a man happy to commit a crime and then waste his fortune on lawyers.
That review is going to achieve absolutely nothing.
Sydney 48 defeated Newcastle 10 @ The SCG
“They’re great to see in action, these boys who show the way, Put the Roosters on the field, they’ll show you how to play.”
Good lord Easts, those Knights players had families.
12-10 up until the 50th minute, and then the Chooks produced their most destructive burst of razzle dazzle rugby league in three months, unsurprisingly coinciding with Tedesco and Cordner back in the line-up.
Amazingly enough, their highlight of the afternoon didn’t even come in that 25 minutes of brutality- It was James Tedesco finishing off an 80m relay to open the scoring.
Combine that with the last tackle try they scored against the Broncs in Round 4, and you could make the argument that the Chooks own the two best team tries this year.
On the downside though, we can’t go a week without mentioning Jake Friend suffering some form of serious injury, the latest being a broken forearm, which has put him out for another two months, and quite possibly could be his last game for the year, if the Chooks don’t reach the Preliminary Finals.
Still- Here come the Red White and Bluesters, quite possibly to make 2019 very interesting once again.
Canberra 20 defeated Wests Tigers 12 @ Canberra Stadium
The Raiders hosted the 30 year reunion of the ‘89 Premiership, but while the 1st Half was of the same quality as that famous decider- Heck, Dunamis Lui scored for the first time in 80 games- It slowly fizzled out from there, as the Tigers turned the 2nd Half into a game of “Piss Away As Many Chances As You Can”, which they’re apparently very good at.
Those lost chances meant that Michael McGuire had cleary spent the 2nd Half ripping out what remains of his hairline, like Homer Simpson every time he found out Marge was pregnant.
Still, the Raiders did what they had to do, and as a result, were rewarded with a drop to 4th.
Souths 30 defeated North Queensland 18 @ 1300Smiles Stadium
Ethan Lowe returned to Townsville on a quest for revenge, while WAYNE also had some unfinished business with the Cows, after the pair of losses in the 2015 & ‘16 Finals series.
After a tough battle all night, the pivotal moment came in the 63rd minute, when The Cowboys led 18-12 and had a 3 on 1 inside the Souths 10, only for Murray Taulagi to knock on what would’ve been a certain try and a 22-12 lead, putting the Rabbits on the ropes.
You can probably guess what happened next- Souths flicked through three gears and scored three tries in the final 10 minutes.
I believe we call those “coach killers”.
Melbourne 38 defeated Gold Coast 18 @ Cbus Super Stadium
When the Titans led 12-0 after 9 minutes, I figured that this new coach black magic was going to work in the NRL as well.
Then I remembered they were playing the Storm.
My final thought- Cameron Smith is well on his way to 500 games.
Manly 36 defeated Parramatta 24 @ Brookvale Oval
15,245 fans crammed into Brooky on a Sunday afternoon, confirming to Dean Ritchie and the Daily Telegraph that the Sea Eagles do have fans willing to attend games, only after getting a cattle prod to the arse.
And they would’ve loved what they saw, as Tommy Turbo and Reuben Garrick just about confirmed that Fortress Brookvale is back in force, pretty much killing off their arch-rivals by the hour thanks to Garrick’s hat-trick, and cementing them in 5th spot.
Unsurprisingly, the lack of Blake Ferguson killed the Eels- The Flyin’ Parra Metre Eater and his easy 10 metres a run was sorely missed, and it wasn’t much of a shock that the Sea Eagles went wild on the edges.
Rugby Championship: Springboks 35 defeat Wobblies 17 @ Ellis Park
They say Rugby is the game they play in heaven.
Well, the Wallabies are currently playing it in the 15th layer of hell.
Imagine spending a million dollars to fly to South Africa a fortnight in advance, just to figure out a new way to get your arses kicked In Jo’burg by a Boks team that was smart enough to rest 1/3 of their starters.
That money could’ve been better spent trying to destroy Israel Folau’s sanity.
Taniela Tupou had a memorable trip to the Highveldt- Having his phone stolen, and then getting robbed again by referee Williams, who gave him a yellow card in the 54th minute for what was deemed a shoulder charge instead of legitimate clean-out.
It gave Michael Cheika something to blame, because the Boks scored twice and sealed the win.
12 defeats in their last 16 Tests- Putting this simply, not even a forward pack composed of Jesus, Moses, Buddah, Shiva and John Eales could save the Wallabies.
Wallaroos 46 defeated Japan 3 @ North Sydney Oval
Reminding us that at least one Australian rugby team can win these days, the Wallaroos absolutely bullied the Brave Blossoms in Sydney to complete a sweep of their two-test series, with captain Grace Hamilton leading by example with a hat-trick and some 200 metres on the ground.
Next-up for the Wallaroos, two tests against New Zealand, and the 16th and 17th chances to finally record a win against the Black Ferns.
So based on that, they’re no chance.
The Open Championship @ Royal Portrush – The Australians fart out an egg
So an Irishman did end up winning the first Open in the Emerald Isle in 68 Years… it just wasn’t Rory, it was the man from the Republic, Shane Lowry, who had his day in the sun in some of the most difficult playing conditions seen at an Open Championship in many a year.
Just highlighting how bad the conditions were (Cutting wind and heavy rain at times), the R&A had to bring the start on the final day forward to 7:32am, and in the wash, Lowry shot one over for the final round… and he still ended up winning by 6 shots.
As for the Aussies, well, it was basically Cameron Smith, due to the big three of Jason Day, Adam Scott and Marc Leishmann joined Rory and Tiger in missing the cut after 36 holes.
Even still, Smithy was right in contention at halfway, sitting just 2 shots behind Lowry… and then Saturday happened, and he finished the day 10 shots behind.
And then he ended up as one of the victims of Sunday’s brutal conditions, shooting a 5 over 76 to finish at 1 under, still good enough for a share of 20th and his best result at an Open Championship.
Netball World Cup Final: Silver Ferns 52 defeated Diamonds 51 @ Liverpool
Geez, aren’t the Kiwis flying of late, which is always an ironic statement to make given their skeletal structure.
Technically they didn’t lose the Cricket WC final (Although they didn’t win it either) the All Blacks are going to absolutely sleepwalk their way to the Rugby World Cup, and now the Silver Ferns have reversed 4 years of bad form in a single evening to win their first World Cup in 16 years.
I do feel for the Diamonds- They lost the Commonwealth Games Gold to the Poms by a final second goal last year, and then they just couldn’t overhaul the Silver Ferns, and once again, lost by a goal.
Still, it’s another chapter in the epic rivalry between the Silver Ferns and the Diamonds in the history books, with both their encounters in Liverpool ending in one goal margins, but on the downside for our girls, theirs just wasn’t the one they wanted.
Racing- Australian success in the Singapore Derby
Bit of a Sandgroper watch for this one, but I was delighted to see Smokin’ Joe Azzopardi rack up his first career Group One win aboard Sun Marshall in the Derby, for none other than the Hall of Fame former head of the FBI, Lee Freedman!
If I remember correctly, Smokin’ Joe’s previous best in a G1 was 3rd aboard Kia Ora Koutou in the 2015 VRC Derby, who was well beaten by Tarzino.
There was a big Aussie flavour to the race- Freedman had 5 runners, and William Pike, Tommy Berry and Ben Melham all flew in to join Singapore-based Aussies in Azzopardi, Ben Thompson, Vlad Duric, Michael Rodd and Daniel Moor- Pikey finished in 3rd aboard King Louis.