Ah, September, that month where multiple teams reconfirm their status as perennial bed wetters.
If you ask me, the premiership isn’t necessarily won by the team who peaks in September, it’s won by the team who chokes the least.
The AFL Review Centre is up and running
And it’s quite appropriately abbreviated to the ARC, which should help the league office significantly for the flood of complaints that will come in when the 10 dickheads inside still manage to piss up a decision.
That said, that wall looks exactly like the sort of thing you’d find in a CBD Tab.
Geelong & Collingwood will set a record on Friday Night
The 1st Qualifying Final will be the 24th VFL/AFL final the teams have played against one another, taking over the record from Richmond vs Carlton (23).
As for the head to head, the Pussies lead 12-11, which includes a couple of Grand Final wins scattered through history.
The explanation for these very high numbers can be put down to the old VFL finals systems, where history is filled with examples of teams playing each other in the Semi-Final (The old Grand Final qualifier), and then usually meeting again in the Granny, or meeting in a Qualifying Final followed by a Prelim Final.
Case in point, Hawthorn and North Melbourne played each other in 10 finals in the 1970s.
In the AFL era exclusively (1990-), I could be wrong, but the record for finals meetings is the Pies playing West Coast 8 times.
It’s also worth noting that Collingwood have played Carlton 22 times in finals, yet they haven’t played one another in September since 1988, and Collingwood have played Melbourne 22 times in finals, yet they haven’t played the Dees in September since 1989.
Ash Barty is guaranteed to go back to No.1 after the US Open
So with Naomi Osaka being knocked out of the US Open by Belinda Bencic, the Ash Barty is guaranteed to regain the WTA No.1 ranking next Monday, at the very least, for a couple of weeks.
As it stands, Barty defended her 4th Round points from last year to stay on 6501 rankings points, Karolina Pliskova also lost in the 4th Round and drops to 6125, and Osaka falls to No.3 on 4846.
The closest any player can come to Ash post-US Open is Elina Svitolina (Currently in the QFs), who can get to within 249 points (6252) of No.1… providing she carries out the relatively minor task of winning the tournament.
Of course, Barty is the defending Women’s Doubles champion (With Coco Vandeweghe) at Flushing Meadows, and she was back on court this morning with her now regular partner in Victoria Azarenka, taking on the prepubescent pairing of Coco Gauff (15 YO) and Caty McNally (17 YO).
As you can expect, two World No.1s taking on preschoolers went pretty well- Barty & Azarenka won 6-0, 6-1 to move into the Quarters, where they face the rather daunting task of playing World No.1s Kiki Mladenovic and Timea Babos.
The Cox Plate qualifier was known as the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes for 14 years (After a sponsorship with Think Big Stud), but since Bart’s old mate departed the world last Spring, the MVRC are going back to the traditional name of the race, which was named after John Feehan, who owned the land on which Death Valley Racecourse was built on.
It could have something to do with this being the 70th anniversary of the first running of the race under the Feehan name.
The last time it was run as the Feehan Stakes was 2004, when Delzao beat a certain mare by the name of Makybe Diva, on the way to her second Melbourne Cup.
But still, my all time favourite edition of the race has to be 2001- Sunline at the peak of her powers, having the race shot to bits at the turn….
And then some Fighting Tiger from the West mowed her down.
Talk about a blast from the past- Lauda Air sponsored the race.
Team selections for the 4th Ashes Test
Old Trafford is statistically the most rain-affected ground in England, and quite possibly the world, so the 25 rain delays we’ll experience from Wednesday through to Sunday will make all this crap about bringing in Starc, and sacrificing ‘Susan Koala’ for Steve Smith nothing short of useless.
For all we know, that’s the last time Susan will be playing Test cricket for Australia… at least overseas, because he loves a good flat track here at home.
The other big note is that Joe Denly will now replace Jason Roy (Who is now walking wicket No.3) as England’s opener alongside Mr Burns.
Another fabulous move by the English selectors- So far, they’ve played someone as an opener who usually bats at 5 or 6 (Roy), they play the captain at No.3 when he’s a natural No.4 (Root), and they played Denly as a No.4 when he usually bats at No.3, and when they once again shuffle the order… they make him an opener.
All in all, both of these teams and their coaching staffs are as stupid as each other.
Quite fitting that it’s 1-all in the series.
Channel 9 trying to pinch the Tigers vs Sharks broadcast from Fox
Classic stuff- they’re happy to organise the latest attempted murder of the Sharks, but at the same time, they to broadcast them in a game that will probably smash Fox League ratings records.
Hey Nine- Maybe you should’ve realised back in March, when Paul Gallen said that 2019 was going to be his last season, that this might just be his last game.
Instead, you’re saddled with a 4pm snoozefest between the poo pushing Panthers and Knights.
Congratulations Nine, you pick games to broadcast as well as you attempt to relocate teams.
The Knights are putting the ‘New’ in Newcastle
A new coach in Adam O’Brien, and they’ve apparently conjured up a new logo for 2020.
The helmet facing in the opposite direction is meant to be symbolic, representing the playing group turning away from Nathan Brown.
Sekope Kepu retiring from International Rugby after the World Cup
He was already heading off to Europe to play for London Irish, but still, this mild era of Wobblies rugby is further reaching it’s end.
Of course, the bloke they call Keps is the only prop to play at least 100 Tests for the Wallabies, and one of only two Wallabies to get sent off this decade, a feat he accomplished against Scotland in 2017 for a shoulder charge on Hamish Watson.
He also put a few cheap ones on Dan Carter in the 2015 WC Final, which Nigel Owens decided were simply worth penalties.
It’s some good timing on Keps’ part, with the Wallabies’ playing their farewell game against Fiji this Saturday before they go to Japan, so he’s at least getting a proper farewell, before the Wallabies get smacked out in the Quarter Finals.