JTs Sporting Review: 19th-23rd December

Well, it is December 23 – A Festivus for the Rest Of Us!



Golf: Australian PGA Championship @ Royal Pines

Before we kick things off, here’s the highlight of the weekend on the Gold Coast – Damien Fleming driving into the Fairway of Failure.

That went about as well as Shane Warne’s attempt to complete Flem’s second Test hat-trick.

Cameron Smith was going for a 3peat of Aussie PGA Championships, but his chances drowned in some part of Coolangatta on Thursday, when he shot a 2-over 74 to look a serious chance of missing the cut, although he did hit back with a massive 7-under 65 to move into the Top 10, but he never really got close to playing at that level again, and subsequently finished tied for 10th at 7-under.

The added effect was that Smith finishes the year ranked at No.53, just shy of being guaranteed an early spot in The Masters for being ranked inside the Top 50 at year’s end.

While Smithy was done on Thursday, his Presidents Cup teammate and a Gold Coast local in Adam Scott spent the first 3 days putting himself in the hunt, and after starting with 2 under on Thursday, the only Australian to ever go a year without failing at Augusta emerged from the ruck on Saturday to take the outright lead at 10 under.

Then after a somewhat steady Sunday, featuring only 1 birdie through 14 holes, finding the water on the 8th, and a number of par saves, Scott regained the lead from wounded Kiwi Michael Hendry, and just about sealed the title with an eagle on the par 5 15th.

Despite a nervous bogey from Scotty on the 18th to finish at 13 under, Hendry bogeyed the final 2 holes, handing Scotty his second Australian PGA title, and his first title since March of 2016.

In that time he’d finished in the Top 10 of 21 separate tournaments

NBL: Round 12


NZ Breakers 90 defeated SEM Phoenix 84 @ Horncastle Arena, Christchurch

The Breakers started a 6 game road trip with a visit to the South Island, and despite losing Corey Webster to Chinese interests, and RJ Hampton still sitting on the sidelines, Scotty Hopson stood up again with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists, countering Mitch Creek’s 24, while the Breakers made sure John Roberson couldn’t ignite like a Tibetan monk again, keeping him to 13 points.

After the Phoenix emerged from the ashes early in the game, the Breakers grabbed the lead by the end of the 1st Quarter, and over the next 2 quarters slowly built that lead on the back of hammering the visitors in the paint, sending the referees hoarse with the amount of times they sent the Kiwis to the line – It ended up being 20 attempts to 11 the way of the Kiwis, and the 9 more makes told on the scoreboard.

The Breakers go to 5-10 in what was their first win outside of Auckland this season, and the Phoenix miss a chance to move to a winning record.

Illawarra Hawks 93 defeated Adelaide 36ers 84 @ Adelaide Arena

The consensus in Adelaide was clear after the floundering Hawks won the battle of the birds.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

Sunday Dech that is.

This is quite a remarkable win for the Hawks, considering they were without LaMelo Ball, the eternal David Andersen, Josh Boone and their new import Billy Preston, best remembered for playing the keyboard with The Beatles on Get Back, scored 7 points in 6 minutes before he fouled out.


Brisbane Bullets 87 defeated Sydney Kings 80 @ QSNC

I know he’s got serious NBA prospects, but I’m disappointed Will Magnay’s surname wasn’t something like Will Magway, so that instead of saying where there’s a will, there’s a way, you could say where there’s a Will, there’s a Magway.

Melbourne United 87 defeated Perth Wildcats 74 @ The Jungle

After being tormented by the Wildcats time and again of late, United finally got one back and did what they couldn’t do in the 2019 Finals – Win in Perth.

A certain Romelo Trimble made all the difference – 23 points on 7/12 shooting, alongside Shawn Long with 23 points and 13 rebounds, as he and Mitch McCarron delivered a painful Brazilian to Perth’s big men, keeping United in touch with the Cats in 2nd place, pegging the gap back to 1.5 games.

Oddly enough, in the Cats’ 3 defeats in Perth, they’ve lost each time by double figures, although they won’t need to worry about those pissy meaningless home games anymore, as they begin their annual month long Summer of Tennis-related road trip across the Antipodes


NZ Breakers 91 defeated Illawarra Hawks 89 @ WIN SEC

Here’s the perfect distraction to a tough loss – The Big Baller himself, Lavar Ball, has graced our shores.

Cairns Taipans 94 defeated Adelaide 36ers 86 @ Adelaide Arena



I lost my train of thought.


Sydney Kings 110 defeated SEM Phoenix 98 @ Qudos Bank Arena

In a fairly entertaining contest, a season-high 27 assists to the Kings proved more than enough to overcome the dogged Phoenix, who made several mini comebacks throughout the night, but the Kings, despite losing 3 of their last 4 games, were up for this fight.

Despite their litany of star power, it was a pair of bench players that led the Kings to a win – Daniel Kickert with a season-high 18 points, while import DeShon Taylor rifled home 15 points, all from 3 point range.

The decisive moment came after Ben Madgen had cut the Kings lead to 72-67 with 4:36 left in the 3rd Quarter, only for the Sin City Slammers to end the quarter on devastating 16-4 run, thanks to a hat-trick of 3s to Taylor, plus another to Kickert just 4 seconds before the end of the quarter, establishing a 17-point break that the Melbournians couldn’t peg back.

So as we head into Christmas, the Kings are sort of showing glimpses of the team that won 11 of their first 12… and everyone else is just half-arseing along.

Aussie NBA Update: Enjoying some Christmas Jingles

Fellow degenerate Hawthorn supporter Joe Ingles started the season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz, but through 20 games was putting up some of the worst numbers of his NBA career – 9.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and just 31.3% from 3, despite being one of the best deep ball shooters in the NBA.

Injuries to Mike Conley at the beginning of the month restored Smokin’ Joe to the starting 5, and in the 8 games since, the Jazz have gone 6-2, including winning their last 5 in a row, highlighted by Jingles shooting at 48.8% from 3, and he also leads the Jazz in assists.

The most recent came in a come from behind win in Charlotte against the Hornets, in which Ingles scored 14 points (5/10, 4/8 from 3) and racked up 7 assists, as 7 Jazz players reached double figures, and coach Quinn Snyder got ejected in the 4th Quarter for arguing about a foul call.

Jingles all the way!

That said, it can’t be a coincidence that Jingles’ stats have shot up with the Jazz entering the easiest stretch of their schedule thus far- The 5 consecutive wins have all come against teams with sub .500 records, a streak which ends when they play the Heat on Tuesday morning our time.

(V)A(R)-League: Round 11

WSW 1 drew with Western United 1 @ Bankwest Stadium

Good news Wanderers, you didn’t lose.

Bad news Wanderers, you didn’t win…. again.

Wellington Phoenix 2 drew with Sydney FC 2 @ The Caketin

The Phoenix have played pretty well lately, and despite being held to another draw, they very nearly pinched a result on the league’s diamond standard,

Melbourne Victory 2 defeated Melbourne City 1 @ AAMI Park

After going winless in 3 Derbies against their Victorian rivals already in 2019/20, Vic skipper Ola Tovionen made sure his team weren’t going to get rolled for a 4th time, scoring a brace in the 1st Half, despite the fact that his groin gave out in the 2nd Half carrying his sad sack of a team.

Then again, if the Victory are a sad sack, then City are….

Hang on, what’s worse than a sad sack?

Even more of a sad sack?

Yeah, that.

Perth Glory 6 defeated Newcastle Jets 2 @ HBF Park

What’s the time in Perth right now?

6 past Moss.

Central Coast Mariners 2 defeated Adelaide United 1 @ Bluetongue Stadium

Hang on a minute, Central Cost Mariners?

Even the FFA’s YouTube channel find them completely irrelevant… despite the fact that they actually won and Milan Duric did this.

The Arima Kinen: Frosty Lane and Lys Gracieux with a farewell for the ages

Cox Plate winner Lys Gracieux was set for a grand farewell in the ever popular Armima Kinen at Nakayama, and the Bunbury Flyer in Damian Lane wasn’t going over to Nippon for an end of year holiday with the best lady in his life – He was there to do it for Samurai Dundee himself, Yoshito Yahagi.

“You call that a katana? THIS IS A KATANA.”

The ride was majestic – She was absolutely travelling on the fence the entire way with a hot speed up front, and within 75m on the turn, Frosty cleared 6 lanes of traffic without so much as a scratch to put her in clear air, and displaying the almighty turn of foot we witnessed at Moonee Valley in October to win by a stunning 4 lengths.

Enjoy the majesty of a Japanese race call

Seriously, the Yakuza would have marveled at the brilliance of the drive-by shooting delivered by LG, and forget about staying for a holiday, the Japanese may as well crown Frosty the Emperor, because holy moly, that field had about 11 Group One winners in it, including a certain Almond Eye – And LG shat on them all.

My other big takeaway watching that performance – Castelvecchio and Te Akau Shark have a pretty good form reference for the Autumn.

Another one of note was the sheer enormity of the race – Check out the amount wagered on the Japan Racing Association tote.

Yep, that’s $620,748,000 AUD, and that was just on the JRA tote – It makes the millions we piss away on the Melbourne Cup look like wagering on duck duck goose at a kid’s birthday.

Then again, Sha Tin on a Sunday makes the Melbourne Cup pool look like wagering on duck duck goose at a kid’s birthday.

If that wasn’t good enough, the Lane family fun continued when no more than 5 minutes later, his dad Michael trained fvourite We’ve Got Dreams to win the 2nd at Bunbury…. and then half an hour later, Western Chant won the 3rd in an upset.

He’d already got it sewn up, but based on sheer weight of performance, Frosty was the best Australian jockey of 2019 by the length of the Flemington straight and a couple of laps of Caulfield – The Golden Slipper, the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate, plus several Group 1 wins in Japan during his separate visits throughout the year.

That absolutely puts Craig Williams winning a premiership and a long overdue Melbourne Cup in the shade.

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