JT’s Sporting Review: 25th-28th July

Caleb Ewan rounds off Le Tour with his third stage win!

NRL: Round 19

$3.1 million was raised during the Beanie for Brain Cancer Round, and if that wasn’t superb, there was an average margin of 6.63 points across the 8 games this weekend- Of course, the refereeing couldn’t quite match the standards.

Cronulla 16 defeated North Queensland 14 @ Shark Park

The definition of irony- Losing to the Sharks BECAUSE of your goalkicking.

Billy ‘The Greek’ Magoulias made his First Grade debut for the Sharkies, and I’m sure his parents like the good Greeks they are, stared at the surface of Shark Park, and rued the missed concreting opportunity it presented.

On the flip side, Murray Taulagi has had the roughest of starts to a First Grade career- Two games, and two knock-ons that turned the game away from the Cows in the dying minutes.

After Dugan crossed not even a play after Muzza’s knock-on, it was like the Sharks saw tourists swimming at Amity Beach, and they suddenly found a new lease on life after realising that tries were the way to win games.

Xerri crossed not even a set later, the Sharks took the lead from the kick, and it was like the air had been smacked out of the Crows, which was moreso the result of the weight of possession going against them, as Paul Green’s boys just completely ran out of gas.

As a sign of that, their last decent chance at scoring with 2 minutes to go resulted in Scott Drinkwater slipping on the last play and a 6th tackle changeover.

It was only fitting that in a game riddled by errors, the night was completed by Scott Morrison hurting his hand banging the esky lid during the performance of “Up Up Cronulla”… and Matt Moylan jokingly telling Freddie to “F**k off” on Live TV.

Wests Tigers 28 defeated Newcastle 26 @ Beanies For Brain Cancer Stadium

A game with plenty of emotion attached, for obvious reasons- The Knights with Mark Hughes on hand to cheer them on, and Wests with Robbie Farah’s 300th game, and the tributes flowed, especially from Rocket Reddy, who called him “the most selfish player” he’d ever been involved with.

Early on, it looked like the Knights were going to absolutely slaughter the Tigers like a bunch of South African poachers in the wild, especially after Kalyn Ponga broke 13 sets of ankles and scored, but then the game magically turned when David Nofoaluma somehow dislodged the ball from Tim Glasby before he scored, which would’ve made the scores 16-6.

Instead, the Tigers completed a hat-trick of tries (Corey Thompson with a double), and they led 18-12 at the half, after Benji did a Benji thing.

Of course, the game ended with one of the many weird refereeing calls of the weekend- Kalyn Ponga being sin-binned for an inadvertent shoulder to the head of Michael Chee-Kam, which was thrown out by the Match Review Committee- Not that KP cared, because his only concern was for Michael, who was confirmed to be okay.

And Kalyn needn’t worry, because if Matt Dufty wasn’t sin binned (Or even punished) for a blatant shoulder charge to stop a try, nor Billy Slater in last year’s Prelim, then he was never in trouble.

That’s the fourth time this year the Knights have lost at home from a half-time lead, and Browny appropriately shamed his players by trying to say his players’ defence wasn’t as good as the work Mark Hughes is doing.

The mark of a person is someone that does something for others for nothing. That’s what Mark Hughes does.

There’s certainly some blokes that should hold their head in shame with what they dished up tonight.

I’m not the sure what the comparison is, but apparently it wasn’t a positive one.

Souths 20 defeated St George Illawarra 16 @ ANZ Stadium

Just think, a team that performed THIS dropout came within four seconds of winning.

Footage: Fox League

Saints were 14-2 down and looking utterly useless (As per usual) for an hour, and then thanks to some individually superb moments like Cam McInnes charging down what would’ve been the game sealing field goal for Adam Reynolds, then running a good 40 metres and recovering the ball, which a mere tackle later led to debutant Jason Saab scoring the try to put the Dragons right in the game- Gareth Widdop added the extras to tie the scores.

Play of the season says Gus!

Funnily enough, Saab is a lifelong Bunnies fan, and he sat with his dad (Who was there on Friday) in The Burrow for years!

And then the Dragons marched down the field again, received a penalty 30m out, and Widdop elected to take the shot at goal that would seemingly win the Dragons the game, from 30 out on the sideline with a minute to go.

It never looked like missing, and I seriously thought “Good lord, the Bunnies are somehow going to lose this”.

And then Saab mishandled the kick-off, and the Dragons were eventually beaten by a suspect pass to Campbell Graham on the sideline as time expired.

In all, I’d say that’s the most memorable performance from a Saab since the final season of Seinfeld.

Parramatta 24 defeated New Zealand 22 @ Bankwest Stadium

The Warriors seem to love flirting with death, but this time around, death came to them in the form of a referee’s whistle.

Quite understandably, the Kiwis were ropeable at being awarded a mere two penalties for the game- In the 10th minute.. and the second-last play of the game in the 80th minute.

Throw in the 3 incorrect strip calls from the refs, and they were poisoned by rage.

But that wasn’t the major reason they were so pissed off- It was at the decision that would ultimately decide the game- RTS being called for a forward pass with 3 minutes to go (Which wasn’t forward) that would’ve resulted in Gerard Beale waltzing in and winning the game.

It was a disappointing black mark on a fantastic contest- The teams scored 30 points in the opening 24 minutes, the margin was never beyond a converted try… and Isaac Luke dropped Dylan Brown on his lid as part of this dangerous tackle fad, earning himself another suspension.

But the fallout from the game has been utterly amazing- Steve Kearney was probably ready to kill Graham Annersley if he showed up at his presser and offered a worthless apology, the TAB refunded $44,000 worth of Warriors win bets, Warriors CEO Cameron George wants fans to turn up dressed as referees and to bring whistles to Friday’s game, and now the NRL has flicked 4 referees from the game ahead of Round 20.

I’m disappointed that the Kiwis didn’t react this violently after the underarm incident- Trevor Chappell would probably be living in a Witness Relocation house in Tibet if this were the case.

Brisbane 34 defeated Gold Coast 12 @ Cbus Super Stadium

In a sea of close results, this was the easiest result of the weekend, as Corey Oates going 90 metres the other way + the early binning of Michael Gordon did the job for the Broncs, and like plenty of Gai Waterhouse’s horses back in the day, they didn’t look back once they claimed that cheap lead- 28 to 6 at the half, and the Broncs were back into the Top 8.

The one downside was the latest suspension for Tevita Pangai Jnr, who is one of the many meatheads that thrives when they play right on the edge, but unfortunately, he’s crossed the line again, absolutely flattening a defenseless Phil Sami with a monster of a hit, landing himself in the bin, and in the gunsights of the MRC.

Anthony Seibold’s response to the hit?

“I thought it should’ve been a scrum and a feed to us.”

Once you take out the fact that Sami got hit before he had the chance to knock-on, I completely agree.

Manly 11 defeated Melbourne 10 in Golden Point @ AAMI Park

An utterly superb contest- The Sea Eagles pulling the rug out with a 10-nil lead at the half, the Storm predictably coming back, and then yet another game being the two arch-rivals being decided by a point.

As I watched both Golden Point periods instead of either AFL game on Saturday night with The Rocket on the couch, I can only come to one conclusion.

It wasn’t the wind, or a wonky connection off the boot that caused Cam Munster to slam his kick into the post from straight in front, or Brodie Croft’s kick to sail left- It was the magical powers of Tommy Turbo’s unbeaten streak.

As for Dylan Walker’s kick that slammed into the post, science is still yet to determine the answer.

In hindsight, I bet Smithy would’ve preferred to take the risk on that 46 metre shot at a penalty goal, after Jake Trbojevic nearly killed Jahrome Hughes with a dangerous tackle (Somehow he dodged a suspension), which for some reason caused Ricky Stuart to fantasise about Nick Cotric’s dismissal a fortnight ago the very next day.

And then in the keeping with the theme of the round, the refs randomly plucked out a forward pass, and this time, with 40 seconds to go, DCE had the 8th crack at nailing the game winner- The bloke with more Golden Point winners than any other didn’t miss this one.

Twitter: NRL

As long as Des keeps burning the midnight oil with this underdog business, the Sea Eagles are for real- After being 100-1 to win the title pre-season, they’re now fourth favourite, and possibly the first likeable Manly team ever.

Easts 20 defeated Canterbury 12 @ ANZ Stadium

I’m not sure if anyone in Leagueland keeps stats on blown tries, but I’m absolutely certain the Chooks would be No.1 by an absolute street.

In the opening 6 minutes, they could easily have scored 3 times- Tedesco’s pass to Cronk was called forward, Tupou’s pass went behind a streaking Tedesco which killed his momentum, and then Manu put his foot on the sideline.

In the opening 15 minutes, the Dogs were 6/7 on their sets, while the Roosters were 3/8- And yet the score was 6-0 the way of the old Eastern Suburbs.

Amazing how a team with that much talent and a half-decent coach in Robbo can make so many simple errors- Case in point, they’re 15th in completion percentage this year… and yet they’re in the Top 4.

On the plus side, Latrell’s kicking continues to be a strong point- 81% on the season, he was 4/4 again (After going 8/8 last week), and leads the points scoring by 31 to Jarrod Croker

Still, despite doing plenty of things wrong, the Chooks were always at least 2 scores clear, and the other thing they had in their favour was the Doggies always managing to do something stupid.

After plugging the score back to 14-6, the Dogs fumbled the kick-off, allowing a former Dog in Brett Morris to score the quick reply and make it 20-6, and then in the last 2 minutes when they were only 20-12 down, the Dogs received a couple of piggy back penalties in the Chooks territory… and every bloody time, the halves had a Cabinet meeting, wasting seconds to the point that by the time they actually kicked the ball, the game was over.

Have some urgency, for goodness sake.

2 points in the bank as we all expected, but they’ve been hammered with injuries again- Boyd Cordner and Taukeiaho both suffered old man’s injuries, Hall gone with a sore patella, and JWH is off for another holiday after laying out a Cobber off the ball.

The Chooks are seriously sitting on a pivot, especially with the Raiders and Sea Eagles sniffing their jock straps for a Top 4 spot.

The only saving grace is that they’re playing the Tits next week.

Canberra 30 defeated Penrith 18 @ Panthers Stadium

I can’t tell who took a bigger beating.

The Panthers, or Ivan Cleary’s bank account once the NRL fine him for his little chat with Ash Klein at Half Time.

Cleary won’t say anything, but I imagine he gave Ash some friendly advice, like “Keep your eyes on the road tonight”.

Apparently, part of the blow up entailed the line “They’re f**king lying all over us”, which in a different context, would sound a tad….. gay.

If Ivan’s actions were wild, despite the Raiders winning easily, Sticky Ricky was back to his best in his press conference, loading up his verbal shotgun and emptying shells at the referees and the lawmakers of the game, in regards to the interpretation of dangerous tackles- Mainly Nick Cotric’s send-off several weeks ago compared to a similar one on Saturday night.

This game is moving into a very dangerous period in regards to consistent interpretation that are getting continually changed.

We have a very high speed game, with such huge collisions. And there are going to be accidents. James Maloney had a crusher on John Bateman tonight, but for the game, we don’t need the penalty there, because it was a complete and pure accident.

We’re getting too many people put out of the game because of accidents on the field. We have to have common sense in regards to our interpretation towards a number of incidents.

The send-off of young Ponga the other night was a disgrace, it was an accident. When there’s intent to hurt somebody, when there is intent to put a person on his head, intent to hit someone high, they’re the things that have got to be dealt with.

I personally believe the MRC got that one right with Jake (Trbojevic) and they got Nick Cotric’s dreadfully wrong, and they were both the same tackles.

We can’t keep changing the interpretations of the game to keep pleasing everybody- I had one bloke talk to me two weeks ago about mums and dads watching this game- well big deal, It’s a tough, elite sport.

Now, there are going to be accidents, there’s going to be high shots, tough collisions at certain times, because of the speed and nature of the game- But we can’t keep changing the interpretations of the game to be pleasing everybody.

Ricky Stuart’s Press Conference – Starts at 3:35.

Welcome back Ricky.

Cycling- Le Tour Wraps Up

So the Tour is done, and I couldn’t not remind myself that Stage 19 was bloody crazy, as proceedings were ultimately declared early due to ice and hail blocking the roads, but on top of that, I thought the French spectators starting a landslide was just downright rude.

They still could’ve ridden through that (Twitter: Robbie McKewen)

Just looking at those shots, they should’ve sent in the Icebreakers instead of excavators.

Twitter: Team INEOS

But I should get to the important business- 3 Stage wins on debut for the pocket rocket Caleb Ewan, including the ride around the Champs Elysse!

Looking at the overhead shot- Not only did Caleb come from utterly nowhere, he had to cut to the outside and cover more metres than Dylan Groenewegen… AND HE STILL WON!

Footage: Eurovision/ France TV Sport

As a result of his 3 wins, Ewan comfortably finished in 2nd Overall in the Points Classification, behind the usual runaway winner Peter Sagan, while Michael Matthews finished in 5th.

It’s worth nothing that Dylan actually racked up 3 Stage wins to Sagan’s 1- Ultimately, Sagan’s consistency netted him the latest of his billion Points titles on Le Tour.

Rugby Championship: The Wobblies 16 defeat the Puma Pants 10 @ Suncorp Stadium

Understandably, this game wasn’t quite going to reach the spectacular heights the Boks-All Blacks game a few hours earlier reached, but still, at least the Wallabies won, and that’s the only thing that matters, before we get smashed back to reality when the ABs come to Perth and kill the Aussies in a 4th different city in Australia.

It was Will Genia’s final Wallabies appearance in Brisbane (Obviously with him heading to Japan), farewelling the ground where he’d powered the Reds to a Super Rugby title and at the same time, I saw a name return to Green & Gold that I hadn’t seen in a gold jersey in a million years- James O’Connor.

James O’Connor….

Cricket: Women’s Ashes

2nd T20- Australia (122-3) defeated England (121-8) by 7 wickets @ Hove

POTM- Ellyse Perry (1/17 & 47*)

I feel sorry for Amy Jones.

She must sleep with the light on at night, because the Boogeywoman keeps appearing to her in the form of Ellyse Perry.

Her dismissal for 1 was the fourth time this Ashes series that Perry has claimed the English wicketkeeper, and it also destroyed the hosts’ innings before it had the chance to get going, as they were bogged down on 3-40 by the 8th over, before ultimately lagging on to 8-122 after their 20.

As it turned out, the Aussies would actually end up in a worse position- Healy, Mooney and Gardner were all dismissed in a 3 over span to leave our ladies at 3-35 by the 7th over.

The ultimate difference is, ‘we’ have Meg Lanning & Ellyse Perry… and England don’t.

An 87-run stand meant any threat of defeat would never eventuate, as both women came close to half-centuries- Lanning following up her mega unbeaten 133 with 43 not out, with Perry carving out an unbeaten 47, as the Aussies eased to a 7 wicket win, leaving them on the verge of the first ever whitewash of this multi-format Women’s Ashes.

In her record breaking series, Perry broke another record, becoming the first player in Women’s T20 cricket to record both 100 wickets and 1000 runs!

Swimming World Championships- Apparently we’re bigger cheats than the Chinese

I’m surprised the Daily Telegraph’s headline when it came to the Shayna Jack saga wasn’t “DRUG CHEATING QUEENSLANDER DISGRACES AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING.”

Funny how our self-righteous arseholes of swimmers are on their high horses for one minute calling out the likes of Sun Yang, and then when the shoe gets shoved on the other foot, they crawl into their mouse holes and don’t utter a damn word.

It’s why we all seem to thoroughly enjoy laughing at them every leap year.

As Shayna Jack bunkers down and prepares for an absolute arse-kicking from WADA and ASADA, her manager had these words.

“My Shayna is not a drug cheat! She may be a liar, a pig, an idiot and a drug cheat, but she is NOT a porn star!”

Super Netball: Round 10 (We’re back…. baby.)

I do apologise, but I’ve got to keep these short just to save bandwidth.

Lightning 66 defeated Firebirds 64 @ QSNC

A Queensland Derby to kick off the resumption of the season, and a near massive 4th Quarter comeback from the winless Firebirds nearly knocked off their younger sister- They won the Quarter by 5 goals… but fell a mere 2 goals short.

Swifts 53 defeated Fever 49 @ Perth Arena

The Swifts have recorded their first ever win in Perth in the Super Nebtall era, which makes me think that they haven’t really come here too often.

It’s sad watching the Fever revert back to the norm after a superb 2018… then again, I remember the Orioles getting smacked every week, so this Fever team is still an improvement.

GWS 63 defeated Collingwood 56 @ Melbourne Arena

All the talk about this game isn’t about the Giants winning, it’s about Pies coach Rob Wright going to town on Kelsey Browne during a Time Out.

In my experience of seeing coaches talk to players, anything short of a boss calling a player a “Dick brain” is considered positive feedback.

Although that’s probably not the case in women’s sport, and considering Kelsey was only asking

I come away thinking Wrighty is an absolute wizard at turning questions into hurtful personal zingers.

Let me think of a crap example…

“What’s something positive about Australia, Rob?”

“Instead of me saying something positive, how about Australia does something positive, because to me, it’s not.”

Vixens 63 defeated Firebirds 57 @ Melbourne Arena (Double header)


Tennis: Alex De Minaur wins the Atlanta Open!

After his troubles with the dreaded Osteitis pubis that put him out of action for 2 months during the American spring, and throw ins his standard run-ins with an intrepid Robert Langdon across Europe, The Demon has claimed his first overseas title, knocking off 2nd seeded American Taylor Fritz 6-3 7-6 (7-2) in the final!

As a result, he’s now up to 25th in the ATP Rankings, just one spot off his career best of 24th.

ADM now goes to play the ATP 500 Tournament in DC this weekend, and fortunately he will have a 1st-Round bye, with his confidence restored ahead of the Canadian Open in Toronto.

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