AFL

Tuesday Tithbits: 21st July

15 years since Glenn McGrath’s 500th wicket on Day 1 of the Ashes

It’s been 15 years since the 2005 Ashes Series began at Lord’s, and that first day at the home of cricket set the tone for probably the greatest test series known to humanity:

A mostly unproven Kevin Pietersen won a selection battle with Graham Thorpe.

Ricky Ponting getting cut on a cheek by a Steve Harmison bouncer.

Australia barely reaching 190 as they were bowled out before tea.

Then on the first ball after Tea, Glenn McGrath got Marcus Trescothick to play at one straight to Ponting in the slips to bring up his 500th Test wicket.

That was just the start.

McGrath and Shane Warne sent Andrew Strauss on his way, then Pigeon clean bowled Michael Vaughan for 3with a low ball, Ian Bell chopped a ball onto his stumps on 6, and completing an evening for the ages, Pigeon knocked Flintoff’s off stump clean out for a 4-ball duck.

England were 5 for 21, Brett Lee picked up two more wickets late in the day through nothing more than sheer pace, to leave England reeling at 7 for 92 thanks to stubborn resistance from KP.

17 wickets on Day 1…. the war was on.


Something I forgot in the heat of the Shane Tuck news

Spud Frawley, in his last year as Richmond coach, gave him his AFL debut in Round 14 of 2004.

In the span of 10 months, both of them are no longer with us.

It hurts just writing that.


Postponing the 2020 T20 World Cup

I now thoroughly look forward to the 2021 2020 20/20 Cricket World Cup.


Farewell Damian Martin

6-time NBL Champion, 6-time Defensive Player of the Year, Wildcats legend, the Best Defensive Player in the NBL of the 21st Century, and probably the best defensive player the league has seen in their 42 years of existence.

The top brass at the NBL think the same way:

What a player.


Paul Green’s departure from North Queensland

After Paul officially departed effective immediately yesterday, it continues this funny historical trend of Cowboys coaches being chopped before the season ends.

Neil Henry got told he was getting the arse a month before the 2013 finals (He did coach the year out), Graham Murray stood down in the middle of 2008, Murray Hurst got chopped 3 games in to 2002 after a horror start, and Tim Sheens was dumped 11 games into 2001 after 5 seasons of nothingness.

In the interim, another former Cowboy in Josh Hannay has got the job, having previously coached Souths Logan with limited joy, and it also makes you guess who could coach the Cowboys in 2021…..

I hear Anthony Seibold will be available.


Trent Barrett going to the Bulldogs

Given the very well-known feud between Damian Barrett and Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge in the AFL, I never thought I’d see this headline in 2020:

How nice of them to suddenly start bandying about a $3,000,000 war chest AFTER Dean Pay leaves.


Sonny Bill Williams

A big bit of news is that Toronto Wolfpack are unable to take part in the English Super League resumption due to financial difficulties, although according to our old mates at Channel 9/Fairfax, Sonny Bill has been given permission to return for a short stint in the NRL, which will probably be at most 5-6 games, given he has to potentially find a club by August 6 + complete quarantine.

You know what would be romantic, but absolutely won’t happen because it’s so romantic?

Signing for the Warriors and helping out his countrymen when they need a saviour.

It probably won’t happen, because he’ll sign for the Roosters for peanuts and a used Ford Fairmont from Uncle Nick.


Rugba’ Australia finally get a couple of wins

First of all, the quality of Super Rugby on-field has been a marked improvement on what we’ve been used to – The Reds-Force game on Friday night was a thrill every 5 minutes, filled with actual positive attacking play from both teams, instead turning it into a slow grind, and the Waratahs-Brumbies on Saturday, where the ‘Tahs put the blowtorch on with the player advantage before Issak Fines scored the winner for the Canberrans.

Now, RA have another supposed victory, this time over those league-playing serfs, having pried the 16-year-old sensation Joseph Suaalii from South Sydney on A 3 YEAR $3 MILLION DOLLAR DEAL, and given his birthday is in a couple weeks, he’ll be eligible to play for the Waratahs next month.

$3,000,000 for a 16 year old.

No wonder Rugby Australia are financially rooted.


A major issue in South Australian sport has been resolved

Hot Chip sizes at the Adelaide Oval.

While Victorian Karens whinge about being bored having to walk all of Brighton in lockdown, the Croweaters get the luxury of whinging about the size of hot chips.

What a brilliant problem to have in a pandemic.


Australians in major racing support categories

I didn’t have any room to squeeze these in on the Motorsport Monday reports, because they were so excessively long, but it’s interesting for us because it’s young Australians doing well.

Obviously it’s only 3 rounds in, but Oscar Piastri, the only Melbournian to escape lockdown, is currently leading the Formula 3 World Championship.

He finished 2nd in both races at Budapest this weekend to go 26 points (A full feature race win) clear of his teammate Logan Sargeant, but there was a wild situation in the 2nd race.

Dutchman Bent Viscaal, who led the race, was first handed a 5-second penalty for spinning a rival.

As if getting the red mist up, Viscaal carved his way through the field and went into the lead with 10 laps remaining, needing to build as big a gap as possible with a penalty hanging over his head.

However, he was given ANOTHER 5-second penalty for overtaking Sargeant off the track when he got up to 2nd.

On Lap 19 of 22, the lead was 6 seconds when he needed 10…..

Aaaaaand then disaster struck when a Safety Car came out for a crash.

The race never went green flag after that, so Viscaal crossed the line first, but instead of winning the race, he didn’t even score a point.

The actual winner was David Beckemann, while Piastri was promoted to 2nd, and also claimed the 2 fastest lap bonus points for the third time in 6 races.

Tasmanian Alex Peroni also scored 2 points finishes – 7th on Saturday, and he claimed the last point in 10th thanks to that penalty.

Meantime in Moto2 at Jerez, Remy Gardner started 12th and finished 7th, his second Top 10 finish from 2 races, and he’s current 5th in the Championship, which is right about where he was after 2 races.

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