HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: Brett Finch vs James Hooper over the Storm’s wrestling tactics
Reckon Finchy pulled Jimmy’s ear right at the end and won the bout.
NRL: Round 22 (Women In League Round)
Everyone got on board with Women In League round, as the refs were decked out in purple, and teams like the Titans and the Rabbits donned the pink, and made us forget some of the major indiscretions that the playing fraternity has committed against womankind.
Manly 32 defeated Wests Tigers 12 @ Brookvale
Replacing Robbie Farah will be a Rasputin-esque poison chalice for the many poor bastards that have to play hooker for the Tigers.
Jacob Liddle found out the hard way, suffering a brutal knee injury not even 5 minutes into the game, and probably finishing him off for at least 12 months.
It was the start of a long and painful night for Wests, because after a fairly slow start, the Sea Eagles belted on 2 tries in 90 seconds just before the half to go up 18-6 into the half.
One week the Tiges get belted coming out of the sheds, and the next they get belted going in.
It didn’t get much better, as the Silvertails put on two more tries in the 65th and the 68th minute, which pretty much sealed the game, and to finish off the night, they responded to a consolation try to Luke Brooks (Who also kneed Jack Gosiewski in the 1st Half) by giving the Tigers one more punch to the stomach, as Addin Fonua-Blake bullied his way over to score the 6th try of the night.
With 3 games to go, and for the first time all year, the Sea Eagles are in the Top 4!
Parramatta 36 defeated Gold Coast 12 @ Cbus Super Stadium
In some bad news for the League, for the second time this week, News Corp have discovered footage of Shaun Lane getting close to a white line (I’m probably the 13,541,867th person to make that gag).
The good news is, it was the right kind of right line!
Go get em Shauny, what a way to respond to one almighty rocket up the backside.
The Eels are now a win away from securing at least a 6th place finish, and the way this season’s tracking, they’ve still got a huge chance of finishing in 4th!
Brisbane 24 defeated Penrith 12 @ Suncorp Stadium
It was a rough opening 20 for Dylan Edwards, after Jake Turpin was sin-binned for landing a high-shot on his chin (Which he’s been rubbed out for), followed by Kotoni Staggs treating him like a traffic cone on his way to bagging the opening try.
The physicality of the Broncos forward pack reached it’s peak when Tevita Pangai put a brutal crusher tackle on James Maloney, which as a result of his many previous suspensions, was enough for the match review committee to fire the shotgun of justice on him for the 3rd time this season, rubbing him out for 5 games, and potentially ending his season, considering the Broncos are only 7th, and somewhat unlikely to move past an Elimination Final.
Still, Brisbane are off to the judiciary yet again, so we’ll find out if the boys in suits are up for confusing us all again.
While one of the Broncos’ wild front rowers made his mark, Payne Haas made his in the last 10 minutes, galloping through and trampling approximately 4 defenders to score the try of the round, killing off the Riff’s hopes of winning once and for all.
Only 19, and he’s destroying grown men like the overgrown kid in a schoolyard game.
And thus, the Broncos bumped themselves up to 7th, as they try successfully to keep their heads above water.
Knights 42 defeated Cowboys 6 @ McDonald Jones Stadium
In every sporting league in the world, there exists a team that everyone beats up on to make themselves feel better.
This week for a struggling Knights team who were winless since June, it was the Cowboys, who just happily lay down and accepted they were being slapped on the bottom.
I saw an article on the NRL on the Women in the League Round, claiming that the Cowboys were leading the way on the involvement of women in league, a claim that was probably based solely on shoving Ben Barba’s contract in the shredder back in January.
That’s the only thing the Boys are leading the comp in this year, because without JT, that forward pack got spat out the other side by a Knights team that was badly out of form prior to Saturday.
For all I know, despite winning 42-6, they probably still are.
Canberra 22 defeated Melbourne 18 @ AAMI Park
The Storm blew an 18-nil lead.
We are officially through the looking glass, people.
Within the span of 40 minutes, Sticky Ricky’s Raiders went from an apparent 2019 pretender, to forcing the Storm into a Canberra Faders performance, against the OG Canberra Faders.
18-nil down, two players sin binned at various points in the first half, the Storm giving them graphic wet willies in tackles all game (Stick that up your arse you Steven Seagal impersonators), and yet, the Raiders just kept on stabbing away at the carbon-fibre robotic exterior of the Purple killing machine, and as a result, they found out something vital in the context of this season.
They bleed red human blood.
And what did Arnie say in that biopic “Predator”?
IF IT BLEEDS, WE CAN KILL IT.
Canterbury 14 defeated Souths 6 @ ANZ Stadium
The Dogs and Rabbits finished their little season series at 1 win apiece.
The result of both games?
On to the game, and I admire the ticker that Dean Pay has loaded into his little Puppies- They know they’re lacking in the quality department, and yet they still give 112.5% every week, and cause more beer swillin’ hell than Stone Cold Steve Austin to teams fighting for the Top 8.
They did what no other team has done all season, and that’s completely shut down Damien Cook and hold Souths try-less, apparently the first time the Dogs have achieved that since 1991.
They’ve won 2 premierships and played in a bucket load of big finals in that span, and yet, the one Dogs team that achieves the feat is the one that’s been tethered to the Bottom 4 all year.
As a result of this loss, WAYNE has declared that the Rabbits’ season is nearly terminal, as the Silvertails jump them into 4th spot.
I’d refute that, and say it’s already dead, and the corpse is being dumped in an unmarked plot at The Graveyard on Saturday.
The Dogs are up to 13th on the ladder, and after a season living in Todd Greenberg’s cellar, THEY STILL HAVE A SHOT AT THE 8.
As Richie Benaud said during a 1990 broadcast, “Not an impossible task, but pretty f***ing close to it.”
Easts 42 defeated New Zealand 6 @ The SCG
Latrell scored try No.16 and kicked an uncharacteristic 5/9 for the day, and after the Chooks were challenged in the opening 10 minutes by a desperate and determined Warriors team, the game would slowly but surely resemble a Top 2 team playing a Bottom 8 team, as the Chooks turned the second half into a scene resembling aftermath of a cockfight, comfortably keeping their 2 point advantage in 2nd on the Raiders, and throwing on another 14 layers of insurance in the Points department.
It wasn’t without incident, as Cooper Cronk copped another rough late hit, this time from Jazz Tevaga, which led to the latest Warriors sin-binning, and left coach Robbo thinking he’d dislocated his shoulder again.
Although the Warriors did make up for it, by giving the retiring Cronk a farewell salute and a hug from Blake Green, which is something they’ve done for many retiring players over the years, such as Johnathan Thurston last year.
The Warriors thus join the long list of ‘SCG Debut’ slaughter victims in 2019, a pattern that the NSW Police apparently haven’t picked up on.
Brisbane in Round 4: 36-4
Newcastle in Round 18: 48-10
Gold Coast in Round 20: 58-6
New Zealand in Round 22: 42-6
And thus, these four events went unsolved through history, as the Moore Park Massacres.
Cronulla 18 defeated St George Illawarra 12 @ Shark Park
Was Joel Wilson working in The Bunker on Sunday evening?
HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT WADE GRAHAM TOUCHED THE BALL AND KNOCKED IT FORWARD FOR BRONSON XERRI.
Actually, judging by my attempt at showing his fingers bent back, pretty easily.
Graham himself admitted that he’d touched the ball, but I suppose the league’s only saving grace is that the Dragons are a decomposing corpse, and nobody really cares about them anymore.
Even Mary said he won’t blame the referees for the loss which has officially ended Saints’ season… Which is fine, because everyone will once again blame Mary’s coaching for the loss.
Basketball: 1-all in the Boomers vs The ‘Canajuns’ in Perth
Venue: RAC/Perth Arena
After the Boomers lost 90-70 on Friday evening in Game I, I figured that they weren’t going to do a damn thing at the WC without Ben Simmons and the other assorted background characters who have withdrawn from the squad.
As a result of running him out of the country, we can rule out Tokyo as well.
But, the Aussies added plenty of respectability 24 hours later with an 81-73 win, noted by some very good perimeter shooting (38% from 3) and a 13/7 statline from Jock Landale (Who played in the NBA Summer League for the Bucks), and a 12/5 performance from Jonah Bolden, who promptly left for Philadelphia due to personal reasons, and won’t take part in the World Cup.
Regardless, it’s good to get a win, before whatever remains of Team USA come to Melbourne come Saturday.
Bledisloe Cup: All Blacks 36 defeated Wallabies 0 @ Eden Park
There are so many jokes about the Wallabies I could make to describe this dad dicking, but I think I could sum this up with a gag that few people will know.
There hasn’t been a Blackout this big in Auckland since March of 1998.
Tennis: Adventures in the Midwest
In a week where Saint Nicholas took us on another wild ride, Ash Barty narrowly missed out on reclaiming the World Number One ranking ahead of the US Open, which was the real downside to her best run in a tournament since she won Birmingham in June.
It was a fairly erratic tournament overall- Our No.1 was a game away from losing to Anett Kontaveit in the Round of 16 before coming back and winning, and then in the Quarters, she led 5-2 in the 1st Set against Maria Sakkari, then made a bucketload of simple errors, and Sakkari stormed back to win the opener 7-5.
Baaad memories of the 1st Set of the French Open semi.
Of course to her credit, Ash came back on won the next two sets fairly emphatically (6-2 6-0), and then took on the evergreen Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, who would pull off the upset and quite comfortably defeat Barty 6-2 6-4, despite dropping the opening 2 games of the match.
If you ask me, it wasn’t Sveta beating Ash comfortably on the day, it was Ash being distracted by what happened to Steve Smith at Lord’s.
I reckon the same thing happened against Sakkari- After going up 5-2 in the 1st set, Ash probably went to go check her phone and see if play had restarted on Day 3, and then lost focus, before finding out it had indeed been rained out, which made her go into 8th gear and blast the Greek off court.
Still, outside of Winston Salem this week, that’s it until the action in Flushing Meadows begins next week- Speaking of which, Qualifying kicks off today.
Super Netball: Round 13 (The Penultimate Round)
Collingwood 64 defeated NSW Swifts 56 @ The Silverdome, Launceston
Here’s a fun fact: The Silverdome was the first indoor velodrome in Australia.
The Tasmanians got their annual taste of our Australian brand of netball, and what a show they got, as Rob Wright gave the finger to his former team and pulled a ripper of an upset, leading for the entire game, and denying the Swifts the satisfaction of even claiming a bonus point, as the 2nd quarter ended in a 15-all tie.
On the downside, there was some horrible fortune for Magpie Kelsey Browne, a few weeks after her ‘chat’ with Wright, she ended up rupturing her ACL, and faces the fate of a year on the sidelines.
I’ve seen no more than 4 , and at least every single time, I think I’ve seen a poor girl/woman go down with a knee problem, such is the problem with the pace of the game.
In an unusual twist, Swifts coach Brionry Akle was re-signed by the club today, and if losing to Collingwood was a criteria, then it’s no wonder they haven’t made the finals in yeras.
GWS 54 defeated Adelaide Thunderbirds 40 @ Priceline Stadium
For 24 hours the Giants were out of the Top 4, but that was as long as it was going to be, especially after Adelaide’s top goalshooter Sarah Glasgow went down in the 1st Quarter with a knee injury, finishing the game on crutches.
The pain continued from there, as Glasgow’s replacement Emma Ryde lasted two quarters and shot 18 from 19, before hyper-extending her knee and joining Glasgow on crutches.
It forced Wing Attack Chelsea Pitman to play the unfamiliar role of shooter with Maria Folau, and understandably, Adelaide could hardly shoot a goal in the opening 3 Quarters, and in the end the Giants claimed 3 bonus points (The 3rd quarter was a 10-all tie) + 4 for the win, and fairly convincingly to boot.
Sunshine Coast 56 defeated Melbourne Vixens 55 @ Melbourne Arena
THREEPEAT STATUS: ON
A huge moment in the context of this season, as the Lightning came back from 8 goals down to win a thriller, and with only a game to go, the Sunny Coasters are now top of the ladder over the Swifts, and they only have the lowly Thunderbirds at home standing in between them and the minor premiership + home court for the finals.
If the Lightning do go on and win it, then it would be the second-most celebrated threepeat by a Queensland team this century, just behind the Lions of 2001-03, and just ahead of the Maroons, which wasn’t even a threepeat… it was an eightpeat.
But it would be the most celebrated for a Queensland women’s team, so they’ve got that going for them.
Queensland Firebirds 68 defeated West Coast 62 @ Perth Arena
This just in: A team who couldn’t sink any lower, have officially sunken lower than before.
In fact, the Fever have sunk so low, that they could walk across the ocean floor, and have a tour of the Titanic… or the HMAS Sydney.
They lost to the Thunderbirds back at the start of the season, when the Croweaters hadn’t won a game since 2017, and now, they’ve done it- They’re officially the first team to lose a game to the Firebirds.
Just think- One of these teams played in a Grand Final last year.
THE LADDER POST ROUND 13
Football: Aussie Watch
Brighton 1 drew with West Ham 1 @ Falmer Stadium
Matty Ryan started, while Aaron Mooy made his debut for the Seagulls with a 5 minute cameo off the bench, as Brighton stayed unbeaten through two games, after first having a goal denied by the VAR in the 1st Half, before going behind on the hour, only for Leo Trossard to equalise 4 minutes later.
The Nags: The Mystic Journey towards a Cox Plate
Well, the Spring Carnval is unofficially underway, and the good horses are emerging from their Winter break, and one in particular was current Cox Plate favourite Mystic Journey, who is often reminded that she comes from Tasmania, who apparently never trained horses prior to 2019.
My estranged friend Crazy Craig thought ‘Betty’ was in danger of losing 1st Up at The Heath, but of course, the greatest thing to happen to Tasmanian racing, probably ever, won the Group 2 PB Lawrence through sheer talent alone, ahead of Cliff’s Edge and the 2017 winner Hartnell, who once again ran a placing.
Of course, it’s not like the mare affectionately known as ‘Betty’ was a six-figure blue chip foal… she was purchased for $11,000, and has now won $3.38 million… and possibly even more than that, if all goes to plan in October.