A-League

JTs Sporting Review: 26th-30th December


Sydney to Hobart: Commanche getting the job done

Here you go everyone – THE ENTIRE 2 HOUR BROADCAST OF THE LINE HONOURS WIN – And only 7 minutes of a still image.

My major takeaway – Where the hell did they pluck Gordon Bray from?

I’m surprised he wasn’t calling for a penalty every 2 seconds.

I’ll be honest, I always feel thoroughly let down watching the Sydney To Hobart.

If sailing isn’t a bunch of 12 metres with winged keels, all sponsored by some sort of a brewery, fighting it out off the coast of Rhode Island….

Then it’s just not sailing.


NBL: Round 13 (So Far)

The Looney Tunes were in full force for the Looney Tunes Round, brought about by a partnership with Warner Bros, and several players did heir own thing related to Space Jam, especially Mitch Creek, who went completely overboard in the spirit of the occasion, with a sick pair of sneakers showing the Tune Squad and the Monstars.

Twitter: South East Melbourne Phoenix

Bravo Mitch, but if you ask me, he missed the most important member of the Tune Squad on his sneakers.

WHERE WAS BILL MURRAY?


Boxing Day

Cairns Taipans 77 defeated Melbourne United 75 @ Melbourne Arena

The roof was open for the Boxing Day Classic, and thank god it was, because it wouldn’t have a hope in trying to contain the hype that is eminating from the Snakes.

3 times they’ve played United this season – 3 times they’ve handed those dirty Mexicans their lunch.

I found it funny that the Taipans got lumped with Wile E. Coyote for their Looney Tunes uniform character, because if you ask me, they should have been the Road Runner, because United sure as hell couldn’t catch them, despite trying to drop a boulder on them.

Still, it wasn’t easy – Despite leading by as many as 18 points after keeping Melbourne to the worst 1st Half score of any team this season (30 points), only for United to show their class and whittle it down to a tie game with 1:38 to play, following a pair of free throws to Melo Trimple, but stepping up to drop a fresh beat was DJ Newbill, who made the most of an offensive rebound from Krslovic to make a driving lay-up to put the Taipans up 77-75 with a minute to play.

Summing up the shooting performance of both teams, the scores didn’t change for the rest of the game.

Friday

NZ Breakers 99 defeated Brisbane Bullets 96 @ The Armory

WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT.

THE BULLETS WERE 11 POINTS UP AFTER THE 3RD QUARTER.

TO QUOTE TWEETY BIRD, THE BREAKERS TAWT DEY TAW A PUDDY TAT.

Then I turn around and Scotty Hopson called game on them.

The Bullets had Yosemite Sam on their uniforms, so I imagine this was their reaction to the absolute madman draining that buzzer beater.

Saturday

Perth Wildcats 98 defeated Sydney Kings 85 @ Qudos Bank Arena

In a top of the table clash against the Mighty Sydney Daffy Ducks, the Wildcats quite fittingly had ‘that tat’ Sylvester on their uniforms – Not that you could tell, because he was barely even visible on the side of the singlet.

BUT, while that tat was invisible, both Point Guards were anything but.

In an epic 4th Quarter, Casper Ware at one end fired down 4 consecutive long range shots to hand the Kings an 81-76 lead with just on 6 minutes to go.

But at the other, Bryce Cotton still had powder in the keg, and absolutely demolished the hosts/ladder leaders with a massive 39 points, with 18 in the last quarter, including a career best 8 threes, one of which was the dagger late in the quarter.

And I didn’t even mention Andrew Bogut’s 15-12, and Saint Nicholas Kay dropping down a few Christmas presents for the Perthlings, with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Kings may be great, but they’ve learned the same thing teams have learned the hard way for 32 years – If you want to win the title, you’ve got to figure out how to tame the Wildcats.

SEM Phoenix 112 defeated Illawarra Hawks 102 @ The Firepit

Armed with the power of Marvin the Martian, the Phoenix rose up and disposed of the Road Runner Hawks, whose attempts at going MEEP MEEP fell short in the 2nd Half.

Another great shooting performance from the Phoenix – 56.5% from the field, 50% from 3 (14/28), and John Roberson shot 28, and Tai Wesley and Mitch Creek both shot 25 points, which were all better than Illawarra’s leading scorer Todd Blanchfield, who finished with 22.

Sunday

NZ Breakers 96 defeated Adelaide 36ers 87 @ Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Despite being from the City of Churches, the 36ers were adorned with an utterly tiny Taz The Tasmanian Devil, despite the fact their mascot is a bird, which would make more sense for them to have Tweety Bird.

In the first meeting since Jerome Randle fired a last-second game winning 3 in Auckland, the No.1 star in the City of Churches still had a big game with 28 points…

The difference in the game – Other than fatigue – Was that Scotty Hopson had a bigger one.

Brisbane Bullets 102 defeated Melbourne United 96 @ Melbourne Arena

Shots fired alright – And the big difference for the Bullets were that most of them were made 3s.

16/35 from 3, compared to just 10/32 for United.

Look back at the scoreboard, and that was the difference.

After reeling at 7-10 and having had their spirits shattered on Friday, Lamar Patterson provided a big pick me up for his teammates with 35 points, supported by Nathan Sobey and Josh Cadee, who took over when Patterson was intently monitored, doing most of the damage from deep.

This game just goes to show how far the Wildcats and Kings have separated themselves from the pack – They’re both on 13 wins and comfortably above .500 right now….. and then you have United in 3rd, simply motoring at 10-9, and consistently being dragged underwater by the host of teams like the Bullets nipping at their ankles.

With a very long road trip ahead for Melbourne, I imagine the Theme to jaws will be playing over that subtle nipping of the ankles in the not too distant future.


Australian NBA Watch

First up because it’s funnier – Joe Ingles had a big Boxing Day, with 26 points and 6 threes, alongside Donovan Mitchell’s 35 points, to lead the Jazz to a 121-115 win against the Trail Blazers in Portland.

Ingles was so hot, that during the Half Time show on TNT, Shaq once again tried honouring our native hero in a language we can all understand – Australian.

To be fair to the big Shaq Fu, I still find his accent more believable than Merryl Streep playing Lindy Chamberlain.

Ben Simmons

After a 15-14-7 on Christmas Day to bring down the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks, the Sixers went down to Miami, where they took on the Heat, who had the best home court record in the NBA (And still do), and in a close contest with the Sixers leading 106-104 and having possession, the Heat stole the ball from Joel Embiid, and Tyler ‘Holding Out For A’ Herro hit a massive 3 to put them up 107-106, and after another turnover and foul, Jimmy Butler split his free throws to set the score at 108-106 with a few seconds to spare.

The Heat committed a horrible foul with 1 second to go, and Josh Richardon missed his first shot, then intentionally missed to try and hope a teammate could get a layup, which turned out to be a flying Simmons, which was initially called back for a lane violation or for the ball not hitting the rim, only to be overturned and counted after a review.

Ultimately, the Sixers couldn’t repeat the dose, and lost by a point in Overtime.

Sound the Price Is Right Loser’s Horn.


(V)A(R)-League: Round 12 (So Far)

Friday

WSW 3 defeated Adelaide United 2 @ Hindmarsh Stadium

One of the funniest games I’ve watched in a long long time.

In conditions that were still in the high 30s at kick-off, the Wanderers scored twice in the 2nd Half to lead 3-1 heading into injury time, which for a number of fighting related reasons, was originally 7 minutes long.

The Reds were awarded a penalty in the 90th minute via Patrick Ziegler’s foul on Al Hassan Toure, which was originally missed by referee Chris Beath, only for the VAR to once again laugh in the face of the Wanderers and help change the decision.

Eventually, George Blackwood converted in the 94th minute to make it 3-2.

Now viciously applying the blowtorch on the Wanderers’ defence, a cross into the box deflected off Daniel Georgievski’s arms as he crossed them and partially turned his torso, while he was inside the penalty area.

Originally Beath waved play on, but the VAR decided to have another laugh at the Wanderers’ expense, overturning the call to ANOTHER injury time penalty, which under the rules was a correct decision – The ball had struck the arm that away from the body, and the player was making himself unnaturally bigger with the jump.

Seeing the call overturned, Georgievski was so incensed that he threatened to walk off the pitch in disgust and not even play the remaining seconds.

Eventually he relented and returned thanks to the coaching staff, and it’s a good thing he did, because he got a beautiful view of Blackwood subsequently turning into Roberto Baggio, and sending the penalty into orbit.

That was pretty much it, and after 100 minutes ticked over, the Wanderers had scored a well-earned first victory in 2 months.

‘Barry’ Beath had to detail everything after the game, and to be honest, if there is at least one tiny advantage our crummy version of the VAR has over our friends in Europa – The referees actually take the time post match to detail their reasons.

Peak A-League material – Would watch again.

Saturday

Wellington Phoenix 3 defeated Western United 1 @ Ballarat

Being from Wellington, the Phoenix are used to playing in a part of the universe considered outer space.

Explains why they did so well in Ballarat.

That said, this was the kind of result that the Phoenix had been building towards in recent weeks with the draws against the Victory and Sydney FC, and it was in no small part to Speedy Gonzalez himself Ulises Davila, who set up the opening goal on the break which David Ball finished just before the half, and then scored the sealer in the 80th minute with a sharp finish to make it 3-0.

After United scored a consolation goal via the penalty spot, Gary Hooper looked like he’d scored the 4th for the Phoenix just before full time with a hilarious 30 yard header, buuuuuuuuuut he was ruled offside by the VAR.

Still , it couldn’t distract us from the fact that the Phoenix had another very good result, which has put them back in 6th place!

Newcastle Jets 1 drew with Brisbane Roar 1 @ McDonald Jones Stadium

A malaise between the A-League’s resident cripples, and it was only fitting that it ended in a draw.

The Jets had a billion chances to make it 2-0 in the 2nd Half after dominating the opening 80 minutes, and then out of absolutely nowhere, Bradden Inman fired an absolute Katyusha to level the scores with 4 minutes to go.

The greatest shot by an Inman since Jude Law’s Inman gunned down those Home Guard members at the end of Cold Mountain.

Sunday

Sydney FC 2 defeated Melbourne City 1 @ Kogarah

I’ve gotta say it.

City have as much spine as a crooked politician.

Sure it was Sydney north of the Murray, but if you want people to take you seriously as a team, winning after going 1-0 up and then having an 11 on 10 advantage FOR 70 MINUTES is a good start.

18 shots to 7 in favour of City… and yet they only had 5 on target, compared to 4 for the Sky Blues, who somehow got the points again thanks to Kosta Barbarousses.

That player advantage was created when Rhyan Grant went for a 2-footed lunge in the 24th minute, which was originally only given a yellow, but the VAR was obviously repulsed by someone named Rhyan, and helped change the punishment to a straight red.

Unsurprisingly, the Sky Bues will appeal the decision.


EPL Watch: Aaron Mooy actually scored

There was a South Coast Derby on Saturday between the Seagulls and Bournemouth, and not even 2:30 into the game, the hosts had hit the lead when a solid build-up saw Alireza Jahanbakhsh rifle home the opening goal, and they never looked back.

After it looked like Brighton had scored a second on the hour to consolidate that lead, the VAR intervened and wiped it out due to a marginal offside call.

After dominating the next 15 minutes, Brighton finally cracked it in the 78th minute, when Mooy got on the end of a cross from Trossard, got it to ground slammed home the sealer past Aaron Ramsdale – His first goal for Brighton!

A good day out for the Aussies – Mat Ryan keeps a clean sheet, and Aaron Mooy gets on the scoresheet!

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