As Eastern Australia slowly collapses like a flan in a cupboard, for the first time in 4 months, footy returns to WA – The WAFL finally starts this week, as South Freo’s bid for 10,000 fans will have to stay at 5,000, and it’s a low-key Derby weekend with both West Coast and Freo literally flying after a successful end to the Gold Coast hubs.
If you want a rough estimate, the crowd will probably be somewhere closer to this on Thursday night, given there’s going to be storms around the afternoon.
All of 11,000 strong.
Warwick Farm called off tomorrow
A shame – I was looking forward to a 5-horse maiden on a Heavy 10 crapheap.
It would’ve been perfect timing if it was about the track, given Wayne Hawkes finally hit one of his many wild complaints in the ballpark when he stated that Sydney racetracks aren’t up to scratch, given we haven’t seen a Sydney metro meeting below a Soft 7 track in 2 months.
But no, it was the first Australian race meeting lost due to COVID-19 since late March, which does go to show how well the state governing bodies had managed this crisis… especially if you compared it to others.
Peter V’Landys & Racing NSW stated it was a ‘precautionary measure’ with an upturn in cases in the Liverpool City Council area, where the Crossroads Hotel is obviously located.
Weird how RV didn’t do the same with the Flemington meeting on July 4, given the stables at Flemington is possibly closer to the massive tower cluster on Racecourse Road, than Warwick Farm is to a place like Crossroads.
Still, just when Mitch Beer (Who had 2 horses entered) hadn’t suffered enough with training in Albury, and half his staff living in Wodonga:
Bubble Boys Forced Back Into Their NRL Bubbles
Melbourne was the first great city of Australia to fall to a second wave, and from what we can see out of Western Sydney, the other of Australia’s dysfunctioning parent cities is right on the edge of another lockdown, to the point that we’ve been left with this extremely real possibility for the game of rugby league:
I’ve got a rough picture in my head of the NRL relocating the entire league north and starting up the 2020 Queensland Rugby League season.
What a turn of events that would be – They could have Manly-Warringah playing at Wynnum-Manly.
On a similar note:
The AFL are already getting ready to clear the teams out of Sydney
It was already confirmed that to my surprise and possible delight, Hawthorn are leaving Coogee on the Saturday afternoon of Round 8, after they play Sydney at the SCG, to get hubbed up in Perth, and joining them alongside Geelong and Collingwood are the newly christened Electric Blues in Carlton, news that would be music to the ears of my dear colleague Nunz.
Meanwhile, Melbourne are effectively taking Carlton’s place in the Gold Coast hub, as Queensland already struggles to deal with the immense influx of Victorians who haven’t retired into a Surfers Paradise condo.
All of it comes with the realisation that if the season is to survive, the Victorian teams will need to spend closer to 42 days/7 weeks out of Victoria, instead of 5 weeks.
This season isn’t the Amazing Race as Gerard Whateley is putting it – It’s more like Independence Day, when they have to flee Washington DC for Nevada as DC gets obliterated, except the aliens are COVID-19.
Next thing you know, we’ll be playing games in Pine Gap before everyone gets infected.
The Massive Motorsport Monday that lies ahead
I think I might have to split the reports it into 2 parts.
First Up – The Sydney Supernight for the Supercars.
Next, the final leg of the F1 season restart triple header – The Hungarian Grand Prix…
And, to the delight of Mr Merv Roberts, the MotoGP season finally returns this Sunday, with the Spanish Grand Prix at a probably boiling hot Jerez, where we can promptly resume what was delayed for 4 months – Marc Marquez demolishing everyone.
Just think – It’s only 8 more months until Jack Miller gets legged up on a factory Ducati.
Dylan Shiel’s Failed Tribunal Bid
I was intrigued – First, they went for the comparison between his bump on Curtis Taylor, and the one Trent Cotchin put on Shiel himself in the 2017 Preliminary Final that concussed Shiel.
Somehow, Cotchin got off that one, apparently because he had his eyes for the ball, and won the footy, not even giving away a free kick.
Then, they went for the old character reference – Port Adelaide premiership coach, and Shiel’s former GWS assistant coach, Mark ‘Chocco’ Williams.
It’s not the first time Essendon have gone with character references at the Tribunal, after Rodney Eade helped Adam Cooney get a 2-game ban softened to 1 in 2015, but they should have known they didn’t have a hope with Shiel here:
Still, Shiel was unlucky – Charged and outed high impact for an incident where his victim passed for a concussion test, whereas Brad Ebert got a week for the exact same thing, which was graded medium impact, while Gary Rohan did the exact same thing on Thursday,and got a fine
The MRO Roulette Wheel at it’s spinning best.
The piece of information I found most hilarious about The Bunker after this week’s performance
“However, unlike players or on-field officials who can be dropped for making an error, Annesley admitted the NRL did not have that luxury at present. There are not enough people trained up to perform the detailed work needed.”
In a time of turmoil, what a relieving thing to know.
The A-League is apparently ready to go this weekend
All the Victorian teams made it in to Sydney after last week’s hilarity…. but sadly for me, which has helped kill my enjoyment for the Glory Boys, skipper Diego Castro won’t be joining the Glory for the restart, for what could be best described as family reasons.
Obscurely, those family reasons are because Diego took off in a camper van with his family to some obscure part of the North of Western Australia a month ago, and right now, he could be anywhere from the remote Pilbara, learning about the Karajarri people, to the Gascoyne searching for iron ore deposits that have probably already been claimed by the Hancock family.
Anyway, good luck beating the Sky Blues.