What an amazing weekend for Queensland.
The Lions get knocked out in straight sets, the Broncos suffer an all-time Finals annihilation, and then the Lightning get completely and utterly scrambled going for the 3peat.
On the bright side, the Lady Broncos are on track for another NRLW title.
The Boomers at the World Cup
Before I get stuck in, I should note one big achievement the Boomers managed this past fortnight- Finishing ahead of the USA at a major tournament for the first time.
Now, for the feature presentation.
At the Waterford TAB, we have a catch cry that gets shouted in anger all too often.
F***ing Fourth Again!
It’s the same shitty story over and over for the Boomers, written on a different sheet of paper.
They had a medal right there and waiting, and they just completely disintegrated after such a superb tournament.
A big lead on Spain in the Semi before they fell into a hole down the stretch with stupid preventable turnovers, ‘Jingles’ going cold and missed free throws, and then to be 15 points up on France on Sunday in the Bronze playoff… and they just completely disintegrated with silly turnovers again… and Lemanis messing up his timeouts and only having one to use in the 4th Quarter, with gassed players two days off a Double OT loss.
Forget about FIBA being crooked, the Boomers didn’t help themselves there.
And then just look at what Spain did in the final… it was like the Argies were a pile of cones.
And the Boomers were a shot away from beating them.
It hurts to think about.
I now send out an SOS to a certain Australian in Philadelphia.
Mr Simmons- Ben- Guy who got kicked out of Crown- If you have it in your heart, your very valuable heart, please, go to Tokyo next year.
Do it for the boys.
Super Netball Grand Final: The Swifts pull the rug out and win the title
A 64-47 belting of the Lightning… just a lazy 27 goal turnaround from a fortnight ago.
That can’t be understated what an achievement that was by the Swifts, not only for the fact that they won their first title in the Super Netball era, without captain Maddy Proud, and given their last title was in 2008 in the old ANZ Championship, when they were captained by Cath Cox.
Sam Wallace got a well-earned Player of the Match, shooting 40/44 with 6 rebounds- More than the Lightning had as a team, and the defence forced 27 turnovers… although some of them were pretty easy.
The seeds of the upset were sown in the 1st Quarter, when the Swifts jumped out to an 8 goal lead by controlling the speed of the game, only for the Lightning to hit back as champions do and tie the game in the 2nd Quarter, but the Swifts hit straight back and ended up getting back out by 8 goals at the half, then by 10 at 3/4 time, and then just methodically destroyed the dream of the 3peat by winning the final quarter 18-10.
It was so clinical, that the small Swifts contingent were able to whip out the classic “New South Wales” chant…. in Brisbane.
Now that is just rubbing it in.
It was also a farewell for Lightning coach Noeline Taurua, who will focus solely on coaching the Silver Ferns, after a disappointing year in which they only won the World Cup.
I wonder what it was like for Noeline in the odd event of a loss.
“Hey Taurua, you’re the worst coach this team has ever had!”
“Homer, she’s the only coach this team has ever had.”
This Swifts team barely defeated the Firebirds a few weeks ago, and when their backs were pointed to the wall and the firing squad was filling in the rounds before the Grand Final, they thumped the unbeatable team.
Good on ’em.
Cricket: Australia’s Women keep winning in the Windies
The ODIs are done, and it seems no matter what mode it is, the Aussies are a tad better than the Windies, as the two T20s to play out have shown.
Australia (4-108, 18.5) defeated West Indies (8-106) by 6 wickets @ Barbados
POTM: Meg Lanning (54* off 54)
The Megs got the job done in the 1st T20, as Meg Schutt set things up with 3-31, with the Windies setting 107 for the Aussies after being reduced to 4-18 after 3 overs, and then skipper Meg Lanning got the job done with a run a ball 54, as the Aussie ladies chased down the target with 7 balls to go, and never looking in ‘serious’ danger.
There was a small victory for the Windies, who finally managed to dismiss Ellyse Perry, who was trapped LBW by Afy Fletcher.
2nd T20I: Australia (1-98, 14.3) defeated West Indies (9-97, 20) @ Barbados
POTM: Alyssa Healy (58* off 43)
After the Windies looked like they were going to be able to set a competitive score after getting to 30 without loss after 5 overs, the middle order was vaporised after top scorer Britt Cooper was run out by Ash Gardner on 39, the first of a spell where the Windies lost 5 wickets for 9 runs, collapsing from 2-55 to 7-64.
They limped to 9/97, and the Aussies had no problems again, reaching the target with 33 balls to spare, as ‘Midge’ Healy cracked 58 off 43 balls, including 10 4s, with Lanning happy to sit back and watch, as the Aussies wrapped up the T20 series with a game in hand.
NRLW Round 1
I believe that the NRLW has to get a mention, just to cheer up the Queenslanders, because they actually have a team here that hasn’t disgraced them yet.
Warriors 16 defeated Roosters 12 @ AAMI Park
You know what I found out?
Rick Stone is cooking the Roosters’ Women.
I thought the Knights beheaded him after 2015, and based on this game, they probably did.
In something of an upset, Charntay Poko led the Warriors from the halves, scoring a try and keeping the pressure on the Roosters with a very solid kicking game, as the Kiwis scored 3 tries to 2 to get the win.
After missing the 2018 edition of the NRLW, Poko has shown in one game what everyone was missing out on.
Broncos 14 defeated Dragons 4 @ Bankwest Stadium
Great stuff by the Broncos ladies, becoming the first Broncos team to win a game at Bankwest Stadium, but there was another slice of history to come from this game.
Saints’ Teuila Fotu-Moala is the first player to be charged by the MRC, and given it was a Grade Two dangerous contact charge on Lavinia Gould, she’s Winx odds to add “First player suspended” to that achievement, facing a 2 game suspension and missing the rest of the 2019 season.
In the offseason, the Broncos lost 5 players from the 2018 title team to the Dragons, including the Dally M Player of the Year Brittany Breayley, in a case of recruiting on par with Mr Burns signing all the MLB All Stars to play for the Power Plant’s softball team so they could win the pennant.
As a sign that they’re still the team to beat, the Broncs still handled them comfortably… despite the rather physical play of the Dragons.
To be honest, based on how successful the Broncos have been despite losing players consistently, a diluting of the talent pool through expansion can’t be too far away.
Australians in the NFL Watch
Probably would’ve been better off starting this last week, but shit happens.
We had the unique situation where two Aussies played against each other in Week 2, as Jordan Berry punted for the Steelers, and the best punter in pro football Michael Dickson lined up for the Seahawks at Heinz Field, who funnily enough, hadn’t scored in Pittsburgh in the 21st Century.
If I scour through the record, the last All-Australian battle I can remember was Berry against Adam Gotsis when the Steelers played the Broncos last year… There’s probably one more recent.
The Seahawks won 28-26, Berry punted 5 times (Average of 44.8 yards) and pinned the Seahawks in their own 20 twice, and Dickson punted 4 times (Average of 51.3 yards), and managing one touchback.
Adam Gotsis didn’t start for the Denver Broncos against the Chicago Bears, only managing two tackle assists, as the Donkers suffered the ignominy of losing to the Bears on a last-second field goal.
And the other player of note for me was fellow Sandgroper Mitch Wishnowski, as the 49ers travelled to Cincinnatti to play the Bengals, and if you know your history, they utterly hate the Niners for very obvious reasons.
It was only two Super Bowls in the ’80s.
Anyway, Mitch had a very quiet day, only having to punt twice as the Niners won 41-13 to go to 2-0, with one punt keeping the Bengals pinned in their own 20.
Funnily enough, Berry and Wishnowski will punt-off this week, because the Niners play the Steelers in Week 3.