Basketball

JT’s Sporting Review: 8th-12th August

The Wobblies turn into the Wallabies in Perth and thrill us all!
(Twitter: Qantas Wallabies)

NRL: Round 21

Pretty disappointing to see yet another case of online racial abuse, this time aimed at Latrell Mitchell, which the NRL is now investigating.

And there was Josh McGuire getting death threats after his latest eye gouging incident, capping off a solid week for sporting social media.

Unlike many of Josh’s victims, we can’t turn a blind eye to this.

Brisbane 18 defeated North Queensland 14 @ 1300SMILES Stadium

Apparently there were 7 minutes of highlights… I’m calling bullcrap.

Like a three legged dog chasing a one legged postman.” – /u/Hugh_Jorgan

There was very low expectations for the game, and the game duly lived up to those low expectations.

Andrew Voss said this game could be the worst Broncos win in history.

The key word in that phrase being win.

The final Queensland derby at the Willows, and it was bloody awful to watch… so fittingly, it ended with Jake Turpin executing a one-handed scoop, dodging tackles and cries for a forward pass to score the try that’s probably saved the Broncos season.

I saw the fierce reaction to some of the bad calls in the game, such as the Broncos getting 6 more tackles that led to Turpin’s try despite GGM not touching the ball, but fair dinkum, when the players dish up a game that crap, complaining about officiating is just massive clutching at straws.

The referees certainly weren’t the ugliest part about the game- If it wasn’t the overall standard of the game, it was Josh McGuire once again trying to prove he’s the best optometrist in rugby league… for the 47th time this season, with David Fifita getting his eyes checked out in a tackle.

The Match Review are more than happy to allow Josh to prepare for life after footy and pursue his passion, by rubbing him out until the next decade for contrary conduct- 4 games down to 3 is the sentence.

New Zealand 24 defeated Manly 16 @ Mt Smart Stadium

I’ll have to double check this actually happened….

And yes, it did.

Despite the best efforts of Adam Blair (Although Blake Green will tell you that was the referees), a bunch of out of form Kiwis managed to do what no team has done this year, and that’s defeat a team that has Tommy Turbo playing.

Manly’s problems began when Brad Parker managed to tear his meniscus taking the tap from a penalty when the Sea Eagles were pressing inside the Warriors 20, and from there, they seemed to lose momentum, and the Warriors hit straight back with some legal brute force, like Chanel Harris-Tevita landing a beauty of a blindside on Tummy Turbo.

Ken Maumalo also scored his 5th double of 2019, allowing him into a share of the lead of the tryscorers table with Maika Sivo.

The Sea Eagles may very well have been shut out, until Blair was sin-binned with 10 minutes to go, which led to Des’ Disciples running in 3 tries in a matter of minutes, and looking like winning a game they had no right to win… until they threw an utterly useless forward pass at their own end, allowing the Warriors to seal the game a few plays later, when Blair returned to the field.

This means that we can shift the goalposts, and start saying that “No Australian team has defeated a team with Tommy Turbo in it.”

Penrith 26 defeated Cronulla 20 @ Panthers Stadium

I should have realised when I wrote that Preview on Wednesday, but it’s clear now.

No Scott Morrison, No Sharks.

With no Jimmy Maloney to cover him, Nathan Cleary did what no-one expected, and that was step up and be the best player on the park.

And he was… by quite a margin, as the Panthers’ rookies also stepped up big time, returning to them to the Top 8 at the expense of the Sharkies, whose return to form lasted as long as Frank Forde’s time as Prime Minister.

Actually, that’s quite unfair on Frank- He lasted 7 days before he lost a leadership ballot to Ben Chifley… the Sharks only lasted 6 days as a finals contender.

St George Illawarra 40 defeated Gold Coast 28 @ Kogarah

There’s something about crap teams playing each other that brings out the best in them.

Sure, the defences were a bit suspect, but at least they were scoring tries instead of slogging each other into a boredom-related death, which some games between Bottom Four teams have been known to do.

Apparently this was James Graham’s official 400th game of First Grade footy, although I lost count after the first 374 games, so for all I know, he played his actual 400th game back in 2016… or 2018… or last week.

As a present, his parents flew in from Old Blighty just for Saturday, and as a present, Mother Mary decided to allow James to be the placeholder for Gareth Widdop’s last conversion once the win was secured.

It is St George, so the kick was a mile to the left.

Parramatta 20 defeated Newcastle 14 @ Bankwest Stadium

After the Eels dominated to the point that they could’ve put the game away in the opening 40 minutes, the Knights stormed back after the half, and I can only feel that the Parramatta team from earlier in the season would’ve wet the bed and lost.

This isn’t the same Parramatta team, and this isn’t the same Knights team.

The Eels hit back superbly and took the lead, and even when it was 18-14, the Knights were basically pinned in their own half for the final 10 minutes, such was the Eels’ ascendancy.

With some better goalkicking, the game could’ve been finished with 10 minutes to go, instead of forcing Eels fans to sweat like Richard Nixon answering questions about a hotel break-in.

Really old attempt at humour there.

After this latest defeat, Knights fans turned on Kalyn Ponga for the crime of cracking jokes with Eels players after the loss, coupled with his massive contract demands, although the bigger problem with KP seemed to be that apparent shoulder charge he put on Clint Gutherson, but the NRL ticked it off, under the classic Slater Clause.

I won’t formulate my opinion on KP’s antics until Paul Kent says something, then I can copy him and act like it’s my own opinion.

Canterbury 18 defeated Wests Tigers 16 @ ANZ Stadium

There comes a tipping point where injuries will finish off teams, and Wests seemed to hit that point in the 1st Half, after not only Moses Mbye went down with a hip flexor problem, but then Robbie Farah went down after being twisted in a tackle, which it turns out has fractured his tibia, which could very well finish career off a tad earlier than expected.

Straight out of the half, the Dogs put 3 tries on them in a 10 minute burst not seen all season, turning an 8-nil deficit into an 18-8 lead, which ended up winning the Puppies of War the game, in spite of the refs going overboard again with Chris Smith being sin binned to finish the game for a fairly soft late hit.

That being said, while injuries to two of their three most important players are a reasonable excuse, Wests’ goalkicking came back to bite them on the arse yet again, as third-choice kicker Paul Momirovski went at 2/5 on the night, including horribly shanking the kick that could’ve sent the game into Golden Point, which I directly attribute to the fact that first-choice kicker Esan Marsters inspired so little confidence that he’s given up his kicking tee, and Mbye was off injured.

No wonder the poor bastard struggled.

Is that the first time the Dogs have scored back to back wins this season?

Yes it is.

Easts 22 defeated Canberra 18 @ GIO Stadium

Trent Robinson fired a fair old shot across the bow before the game, calling the Raiders “Conservative” and somewhat predictable.

Turns out, he was spot on- One on one strip attempts galore from The Green Machine, and it looks good when you’re winning, but when it only works 3 times out of 400 for the game and your opponents eat up easy metres every time, then you really do look like a pack of one trick ponies.

They were even trying it in the scrum for goodness sake- It ended in a penalty to the Roosters.

Speaking of which, what the hell is going on with the strip attempts this year? An unsuccessful attempt is basically free license to slow down the play the ball, and after the game, Robbo made the argument that it’s basically resulted in the refs having to do yet another mental coin flip to decide on blowing the whistle.

Robbo’s probably just annoyed he didn’t realise how absurd the rule was in the first place and teach his players to exploit it.

Regardless, the 2nd vs 3rd clash to kick-off Super Sunday delivered as expected, and resulted in the Raiders’ biggest regular season crowd in 9 years, as the Eastern Stand chockers with Cockers, and there were so many subplots on-field, including the battle between an aspiring up and comer in Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, and James Tedesco… well it’s fair to say the best fullback in the galaxy creamed the young Kiwi, and it wasn’t even a fair fight, with some of the wizardry Teddy was providing.

The Chooks are now right in the box seat for a Top 2 spot and that crucial home final, with a game in hand a fair chunk of Points Differential, plus Cordner still waiting in the wings, and as for the Raiders… their record against the other Top 6 teams is 1-6, and they have to play the Storm in Melbourne this weekend.

Yep Sticky, with a record like that, you’re reeeeaaly threatening in September.

Melbourne 26 defeated Souths 16 @ Central Coast Stadium

Conceding 8 consecutive penalties, Felise Kaufusi being sin-binned for a professional foul, and Campbell Graham racking up what will turn out to be the most forgotten hat-trick of the season, the Storm meandered their way to yet another win.

They are the killing machine that weren’t built with an off button… even if someone stole Craig Bellamy’s phone, thinking the team was be controlled by some kind of app.

They were wrong, and now the Gosford cops will find the dumbarse that did it and probably laugh at him, before beating him senseless, and then release him without charge.

NRL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES FOR 2019

Fat Albert Young, Danny Buderus, ‘Wikipedia’, and a bloody tongue twister- Sta.. Stace… Stacey Jones!


Rugby Championship/Bledisloe Cup: The Wobblies 47 defeated The All Blacks 26 @ Optus Stadium

It truly was a historic night.

The 100th Bledisloe Test in Australia, the first in Perth, a record crowd at Perth Stadium (61,241, the first time we’ve cracked 60,000) giving the middle finger to the RA for cutting the Force, and it was book ended by the Wallabies laying a historic can of whooparse on the Men in Black- Not only did the Aussies equal their biggest win over our eternal conquerors, 47 points are the most any team has scored in a victory against the All-Blacks.

Of course, it did help that Scott Barrett was sent off on half-time for plunging his shoulder through Michael Hooper’s head, but with the way the Wallabies played even before the sending off, they were right on track to at least be in the finish, and possibly win, but it is the ABs, so that’s probably a stretch.

Nick White was the pick of the bunch, Reece Hodge scored a double, and the other great moment was Samu Kerevi ironically delivering a Jonah Lomu-Mike Katt moment on the ABs, with the roadkill on the receiving end being none other than Beauden Barrett, which really capped off a great night for the Barrett Family.

It makes me think, if the All-Blacks played every game with 14 men, then the Wallabies might go from a 0.00001% chance to a 14.25% chance of winning the Bledisloe for once… and International Rugby would be superb to watch, as teams would still get smacked by the Kiwis.

This means we now have a decider, and I figure if I keep saying the Wallabies are going to get smashed, then they’ll win.

But it’s at Eden Park, so they’ll almost certainly get smashed anyway.

The Black Ferns 47 defeated Wallaroos 10 @ Optus Stadium

The Wallaroos and Black Ferns contested the Laurie O’Reilly Trophy as the warm-up event for the crowd, and just looking at the scoreline, you shouldn’t be shocked to learn that the Kiwi ladies now hold a perfect 15-0 record against the Aussies.

That’s a streak that could last longer than the New York Yacht Club holding the America’s Cup.

HOW HILARIOUS IS THAT- BOTH WINNERS AT OPTUS ON SATURDAY SCORED 47 POINTS!


Super Netball: Round 12

I knew there was something I forgot last week- It was Round 11 of the Super Netball!

Thank goodness this week’s games got a mention, because it was the top of the ladder battle between the Vixens and Swifts!

Sunny Coast Lightning 60 defeated GIANTS 56 @ Quaycentre (Double-Header)

GOOD GOALSHOOTING WINS GAMES.

This game should be used as proof- The Giants had 72 shots… they shot 56/72 goals (78%).

The Lightning had 67 shots- 5 fewer!- And they shot 60/67 (90%) and won the game on the road.

That game right there is the difference between the Top 3, and the rest of the battlers from 4th (Like the Giants) in the depths below.

NSW Swifts 57 defeated Melbourne Vixens 51 @ Quaycentre (Double-Header)

The Swifts and Vixens butted heads for the annual Sargent-McKinnis Cup, named after Vixens coach Simone McKinnis and genuine Australian netball legend Anne Sargeant, and it was the Swifts who got the job done, reclaiming the Cup from the Mexicans for the first time since 2017 with a pretty straightforward display, restoring their lead at the top of the Super Netball table.

A 6 goal margin may not look like much, but after a hot start from the Vixens, once the Swifts took the lead halfway through the quarter, they never looked back, and the lead always seemed to hover between a 6 to 8 goal margin.

Whatever that means.

Thunderbirds 71 defeated Firebirds 59 @ QSNC

The Battle of the Birds also doubled as the Battle of the Cellar Dwellars… and it really is true, the Firebirds are just… terrible.

After 12 games, they’re still winless, and only a few games away from history.

Collingwood 63 defeated West Coast 57 @ Perth Arena (IN PROGRESS)

A MONDAY GAME?

IN THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST?

What an amazing twist, and against all odds, it appears they still got a fairly respectable crowd at Perth Arena for a school night, although the final result was a big letdown.

It was a weird game- The Fever actually recorded 2 Bonus Points to 1, and yet the Pies won easily, because that 3rd Quarter was an absolute rout, 19-11, on the back a seven goal run.

Funnily enough, that was the only quarter decided by more than a goal, and the Magpies made it count big time.


The Brisbane Darts Masters– Australian success!

Every single moment of the final between Rob Cross and Damon Heta

This year’s field had cult heroes like Peter ‘The Mohawk’ Wright, Mighty Mike Van Gerwen, GARY GARY GARY ANDERSON, Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock with his mighty beard, and Raymond ‘Barney’ van Barneveld.

And in the end, they were all left kissing arse by some regional chump qualifier from…

PERTH?

Wait a minute, Damon Heta comes from Perth?

There’s another Sandgroper for me to claim!


Golf: Gabriela Ruffels wins the US Women’s Amateur Final @ Old Waverly

Amazing- The USGA can give us 29 minute highlights of an amateur tournament, and yet the AFL and NRL can’t be arsed giving more than 5 minutes of highlights per game for supposed professional sporting matches.

Anyway, it was historic, because USC Trojan Ruffels, the daughter of Billie Jean King’s former mixed doubles partner (And a 3-time Australian Open semi-finalist) Ray Ruffels, is the first Australian to win the Women’s Amateur Championship title in it’s 124-year history!

There were some bizzare scenes during that final round, as Ruffels’ regularly caddy, her USC coach Justin Silverstein, had to leave after the 14th hole… because he had a funeral to attend!

Normally losing their caddie that late in a tournament would screw any golfer, but it appeared to be, because after Albane Valenzuela led by a shot through 32 holes, Ruffels responded by firing 2 birdies in the next 3 holes to take the lead, before draining a 10-footer on the final hole to seal the win.

As a result, Ruffels has earned exemption for all five WPGA Majors next year- The U.S. Women’s Open, ANA Inspiration, Women’s British Open and Evian Championship, as well as the 2020 Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Bravo.


Premier League Aussie Watch

Aaron Mooy did move to Brighton and join Socceroos #1 Mat Ryan on the South Coast, and the Seagulls had a very good start, knocking off Watford 3-nil at Vicarage Road, and I can only guess that Sir Elton was playing up forward for the Hornets.

I noticed that Matty went and paid a visit to our cricketers yesterday, and I can only think that if he was English, they’d probably ask him if he could replace Johnny Bairstow and wear the gloves for the Lord’s Test.


The Ben Simmons Circus

It was supposed to be a nice return home to promote Australia for our own $240 million dollar man, but instead, Benny Simmons has been the butt of self-deprecating jokes by Campbell Brown, and he’s been kicked to death for days by the News Corp cabal, obviously unhappy they can’t milk the advertising revenue that his name would bring for the Boomers-Team USA game.

I see Alan Jones was also unhappy, and yet he didn’t tell Simmons to go back to where he came from…. Which in his case, is Fitzroy.

This sort of mind numbingly stupid Tall Poppy Syndrone that people like me proudly exhibit is akin to the abuse that Greg Norman received in the 1980s, which caused him to flee from Queensland into a life of exile in Florida, playing golf with C-Grade celebrities like Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

I get the feeling Ben ain’t playing in Tokyo next year.


AND IN DEVASTATING NEWS- FEV HAS RETIRED.

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