Inside Pulse » Mark Webber A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » Mark Webber The View From Down Here #125 – 2010 Awards Sun, 23 Jan 2011 16:19:58 +0000 AUSTRALIAN SPORT AWARDS
This concept is stolen from Australia’s Inside Sport magazine. But I like it so much, I’m going to present my awards for the year 2010.

On a more personal note, this column is becoming a little less regular, mainly because no one actually seems to care what I write here. Come football season, I’ll try and do a weekly AFL column, and still cover test match cricket featuring Australia, but the feedback I’ve received indicates those are probably the only 2 sports people want to hear about (oh, and soccer, but that doesn’t count). So, sorry to my bosses, sorry to the one reader who “misses the column”. My own studies have to take precedence starting February, and I’m enjoying the new challenge of writing for the Wrestling section. And no, I am not moving to another site (thanks for the rumour…) like other writers here. I like Inside Pulse, so here I shall stay.

Australian Sportsman Of The Year:
Mark Webber.
After years of being all talk and nothing much else, this year he was suddenly a very viable contender for the Formula One world championship. With what appeared from the outside to be less support from his team than his teammate, he came through to win and podium more times than ever before and put up a real fight, right down to the wire.
Honourable Mention: Samantha Stosur.

Most Improved Sport Of The Year (Australia):
After years of being a sport that Australians enjoyed watching but not actually excelling at (trampolinists aside), suddenly this year we saw the sport come into its own. Both men and women did well at the Commonwealth Games, and then Lauren Jackson hit gold at the World Championships. Let’s hope it keeps up!

Australian Coach Of The Year:
Tough one. Wayne Bennett? What would have happened if Melbourne had been allowed to compete for points? Mick Malthouse? What would have happened if the AFL had not handed them everything on a silver platter for the past 5 seasons? No, the coach of the year is the Coaches of the year. Those grassroots coaches, junior coaches, volunteer coaches and recreational coaches without whom there would not be sport in this country.

Australian Sporting Event Of The Year:
Tour Down Under.
Yes, having Lance Armstrong helped, but the event itself was beautifully managed, run well and with great opportunities for the public to become involved. And the scenery was wonderful.

Australian Team Of The Year:
Central District Football Club (SANFL).
The Bulldogs won their ninth SANFL grand final this year. They have appeared in every grand final since 2000 and this was their ninth win. The other two years – 2002 and 2006 – they were runners up. Eleven grand finals in eleven years. This is a team that does not get anywhere enough credit for so much recent success. And this year they were not the dominant team all through the season, yet still came up trumps at the pointy end.

International Sportsperson Of The Year:
Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko (boxing).
The brothers have taken boxing back to being seen as a legitimate sport, and not something being run by promoters for no one but themselves. They rarely fight outside of Europe (thus avoiding the tarnish of the US) and are so dominant that getting people to fight them – like the UK’s WBA heavyweight champion David Hayes – is proving next to impossible. Another great year for them, and their reigns look set to continue further yet.

Australian Villain Of The Year (Sports):
Brendan Fevola.
In a year where the sports stars have excelled themselves, this was a tough one. Joel Monaghan and his dog. Stephanie Rice twitting. Jake Friend and drugs. Mitch Clark, urine and a cigarette machine. Ben Cousins. The list goes on… as usual. But one name above all others stood out this year. Fevola. His leaking of private photos of Lara Bingle (though he was cleared of any actual wrongdoing). Repercussions of his 2009 Brownlow Medal night. Being seen in a Melbourne casino while rehabbing an injury, after admitting to a gambling problem. Allegedly flashing a woman in Brisbane. Maybe villain is too strong a word. Maybe moron covers it better.

Least Improved Sport Of The Year:
Men’s Tennis.
Our Davis Cup team could not get back into the world group. Lleyton Hewitt is our highest ranked male after having hip surgery, and he’s not in the top 50. Not one other player appears in the top 100. Our highest ranked male doubles player is Paul Hanley, not in the top 20. Stephen Huss is in the 50s. Jordan Kerr in the 70s. Rameez Junaid in the 90s. 4 players. It was not that long ago we had the world’s number one player and a bunch more in the top 100, and our doubles players were doing really well. What happened? Where is the money being spent on this sport going?

Australia’s Least Coach Of The Year:
Tim Neilsen (cricket).
Australia’s ranking has fallen in all aspects of the game. We are not currently feared. While I would like to blame Ricky Ponting, the fact is he is test captain, while Michael Clarke is Twenty20 captain and the ODI captaincy seems to change between the two of them. So what is constant? The coach. Just saying.

International Villain Of The Year (Sports):
Thierry Henry (soccer, France).
He single-handedly (pun intended) stole Ireland’s place in the World Cup. Sure, he wasn’t caught doing either handball but the fact is he cheated, got away with it, and put an undeserving team in the World Cup. And he showed no remorse for his actions.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #119 – Arias and not as much dog sex Tue, 16 Nov 2010 11:33:48 +0000  More results than you could shake a stick at! If, of course, stick shaking is your thing. It’s not mine. I prefer girls. Call it a weakness.

Pakistan wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider didn’t report in Dubai for Pakistan’s match against South Africa (held, as is usual nowadays for a Pakistani team, in a neutral country). Grave fears were held for him, until he rocked up at London’s Heathrow Airport. There he has claimed asylum, claiming that he received death threats because he refused to be involved in match fixing.
            The International Cricket Council, in their own special way, have said they cannot help him unless he helps them. They also say they are in constant contact with the Pakistan Cricket Board over all of this. After all, they feel this is a “team matter’.
            Yes, let’s make the terrified cricketer who feels he has to flee for his life feel even more vulnerable and threatened.

A-League Round 13 (cont)
Adelaide United 2 def Perth Glory 0
North Queensland Fury 2 def by Melbourne Heart 3
A-League Round 14
Gold Coast United 3 def Sydney 1
Wellington Phoenix 0 def by Central Coast Mariners 3
Newcastle Jets 3 def Adelaide United 1
Perth Glory 3 def Melbourne Victory 1
Melbourne Heart 1 def by Brisbane Roar 2
W-League Round 1
Brisbane Roar 2 def by Sydney 4
Adelaide United 0 def by Newcastle Jets 2
Perth Glory 1 def by Canberra United 4
W-League Round 2
Perth Glory 4 hammered Adelaide United 0
Canberra United 1 drew with Brisbane Roar 1
Melbourne Victory 1 def by Sydney 4
Why bother?

NBL – Round 5
Adelaide 78 def by New Zealand 82
Cairns 96 def Gold Coast 76
Sydney 59 def by Townsville 64
Perth 114 def New Zealand 74
Wollongong 93 def Melbourne 82
WNBL – Round 6
Sydney 78 def by West Coast 81
Townsville 95 def AIS 55
Canberra 87 def Bendigo 59
Dandenong 98 def Adelaide 64
Logan 68 def Sydney 64
Bulleen 104 def West Coast 81
Another quiet week. Things are settling in nicely so far with the new Australian league. Now if they can only attract some crowds.

Rugby League
Four Nations
Australia 12 def by New Zealand 16
Last week I talked about Joel Monaghan’s indiscretion with a member of the animal kingdom. Well, of course, a story like this just ain’t going to go away!
            This week Monaghan quite the Canberra Raiders to , he said, save the team further embarrassment over his utterly ridiculous behaviour. Sad, yeah, but that’s the way it goes. What he did was just not acceptable.
            And in that vein, Canberra’s executive Don Furner expressed his hope that one day Monaghan would be able to return and play for the Raiders. Of course, that would be good… Hang on! What the…? They want him back? And he already has a Super League club ready to take him on in Europe?
            Okay, he didn’t kill anyone, he didn’t take drugs, he didn’t abuse a woman. But the guy got so drunk he thought it was funny to think about having sex with a dog! It does not matter that it was ‘simulated’, the fact is that thought actually crossed that man’s mind! But he did so much good for Canberra, the apologists cry. Sure, and even more to make man’s best friend feel loved and wanted.
            Now this does not mean he should never ever play rugby again. Far from it. But at least, please, let the furore die down before trying to rehabilitate a guy. Forgiveness is wonderful; but we need to forget exactly what it was he did first. There needs to be a time frame. There needs to be some sort of punishment seen at least to be served. At least a little one.

Rugby Union
Spring Tour
Wales 25 def by South Africa 29
Scotland 3 hammered by New Zealand 49
Ireland 20 def Samoa 10
Italy 16 def by Argentina 22
England 35 def Australia 18
            Equal highest winning margin by England against Australia, and the highest point total they have ever scored against Australia. Things look shaky for Australia in the upcoming World Cup.

Formula One
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
1st Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2nd Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
3rd Jenson Button (McLaren)
Driver’s Championship:
1st Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
            The youngest driver ever to be world F1 champ.
2nd Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
3rd Mark Webber (Red Bull)
            Shame he didn’t win but when even his team was pulling for the other guy, he really didn’t have much hope. However, excellent season from a man who 3 years ago was seen as all talk. This is the way to come back at your critics – with results. Oh that more sports people understood that!
V-8 Supercars
Falken Tasmania Challenge
Race 21
1st Craig Lowndes (Commodore VE)
2nd Garth Tander (Commodore VE)
3rd Greg Murphy (Commodore VE)
Race 22
1st Mark Winterbottom (Falcon FG)
2nd Paul Dumbrell  (Falcon FG)
3rd Jason Bright (Commodore VE)

For the first time in 10 years we have a professional baseball league in this country! 6 teams at this stage, lots of games.
            (Any suggestions as to how you want this, just the scores, or RHE stats, let me know below…)
Canberra 0 def by Sydney 1
Melbourne 1 def by Adelaide 9
Perth 3 def by Brisbane 8
Canberra 2 def by Sydney 4
Melbourne 4 def by Adelaide 7
Perth 2 def Brisbane 0
Melbourne 2 def by Adelaide 13
Perth 4 def Brisbane 2
Canberra 3 def by Sydney 13 (called early)
Melbourne 3 def by Adelaide 8
Perth 4 def Brisbane 1
Canberra 5 def by Sydney 7

ARIA Awards 2010.
            The ARIA Awards (Australian Recording Industry Association) are the Australian Grammy Awards. Given to music acts, this year it was done in a manner that can only be described as… strange. The acts seemed to be all over the place when accepting their awards, it looked like a chaotic mess, Carmen Electra was there talking about sex videos and it was, quite simply, strange.
Album of the Year: Angus & Julia Stone – Down the Way
Single of the Year: Angus & Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane
Best Female Artist: Washington – I Believe You Liar
Best Male Artist: Dan Sultan – Get Out While You Can
Best Group: The Temper Trap – Conditions
Best Independent Release: Sia – We Are Born
Best Adult Alternative Album: Angus & Julia Stone – Down the Way
Best Adult Contemporary Album: Crowded House – Intriguer
Best Blues & Roots Album: Dan Sultan – Get Out While You Can
Best Children’s Album: The Wiggles – Let’s Eat!
Best Comedy Release: Andrew Hanson, Chris Taylor & Craig Shuftan – The Blow Parade
Best Country Album: The McClymonts – Wrapped Up Good
Best Dance Release: Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP – We No Speak Americano
Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album: Parkway Drive – Deep Blue
Best Music DVD: Various Artists – Sound Relief
Best Pop Release: Sia – We Are Born
Best Rock Album: Birds of Tokyo – Birds of Tokyo
Best Urban Album: M-Phazes – Good Gracious
Breakthrough Artist: Washington – I Believe You Liar
Best Classical Album: Australian Brandenburg Orchestra & Paul Dyer Tapas – Tastes of the Baroque
Best Jazz Album: James Morrison & The Idea of North – Feels Like Spring
Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Album: Before Too Long Triple J’s Tribute to Paul Kelly
Best World Music Album: Mamadou Diabate, Bobby Singh & Jeff Lang – Djan Djan
Best Cover Art: Angus & Julia Stone for Angus & Julia Stone – Down the Way
Best Video: Kris Moyes (dir.) for Sia – Clap Your Hands
Engineer of the Year: Wayne Connolly, Paul Dempsey, Fast Friends for Little Birdy – Confetti
Producer of the Year: Angus & Julia Stone for Angus & Julia Stone – Down the Way
            Public voted awards
Most Popular Australian Album: Powderfinger – Golden Rule
Most Popular Australian Single: The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition
Most Popular International Artist – Mumford & Sons
Most Popular Australian Artist: Powderfinger
            ARIA Hall of Fame Inductees
The Church
The Loved Ones
John Williamson
Johnny Young

And that’s the View through to November 15, 2010.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Coming to DVD/Blu-ray on November 9 Tue, 21 Sep 2010 01:06:22 +0000

Updated with official press release:








Universal City, California, Tuesday, September 21—Inventive visuals, endearing performances and a genre-smashing style define Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the critically acclaimed, action-comedy coming to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD November 9th from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.  In the movie, cutting-edge filmmaker Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) directs Michael Cera (Juno, Superbad) and an incredible ensemble cast in the story of a charming, unemployed bass player who discovers that in order to date the girl of his dreams, he must first battle her seven super-powered, evil exes.

Both the Blu-ray and DVD come loaded with deleted scenes, laugh-out-loud bloopers and cast commentaries assembled by director, producer and co-writer Edgar Wright. The 2-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack is packed with hours of additional in-depth bonus features; a Blu-ray and DVD copy of film; and for a limited time only, a digital copy of the movie that can be viewed on an array of electronic and portable devices anytime, anywhere. Blu-ray consumers will also be able to stream a free bonus movie instantly to any internet-connected player, Smartphone or iPadusing the free pocket BLU app. Starting with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, iPadowners can also enjoy a new, enhanced edition of pocket BLUmade especially to take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen and high resolution display.  With this app, Blu-ray consumers will be able to stream their full-length bonus movie in a way that’s bigger and better than ever before.

In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Edgar Wright brings Bryan Lee O’Malley’s hugely popular graphic novel series to life with gravity-defying action and videogame-inspired graphics. Joining lead actor Michael Cera is one of the coolest ensemble casts ever to share the big screen including Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Live Free or Die Hard), Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down), Chris Evans (upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger), Academy Award® nominee Anna Kendrick (Twilight series, Up in the Air), Alison Pill (Dan in Real Life), Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”), Brandon Routh (Superman), Jason Schwartzman (Funny People), Johnny Simmons (Jennifer’s Body), Mark Webber (Broken Flowers),  Mae Whitman (“Parenthood”) and Ellen Wong (“Runaway”). Scott Pilgrim vs. the World also boasts an awesome soundtrack featuring original music by Beck and performances by Broken Social Scene, Metric and more.


    • Making of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    • Music Featurette
    • You Too Can Be Sex Bob-Omb
  • ALTERNATE FOOTAGE: A special look at alternative edits to the film.
  • PRE-PRODUCTION: A look inside the film’s pre-production process including storyboards, pre-visualizations, animatics, motion capture tests, rehearsal footage, casting tapes, hair/make-up tests and more!
  • THE MUSIC OF SCOTT PILGIRM VS. THE WORLD: This feature includes four complete music videos and video remixes from legendary DJ Osymyso.
  • VISUAL EFFECTS: This feature takes a second look at the movie’s inventive visual effects.
  • SOUND WORK:  A mini documentary about the creation of the film’s super-powered sonic landscape.
  • TRAILERS & TV SPOTS from the theatrical release of the film
  • ADULT SWIM: Scott Pilgrim vs. The Animation
  • BEHIND-THE-SCENES PRODUCTION BLOGS from the set of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World by director /producer/ co-writer Edgar Wright.
    • Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live functions with ease.
    • Video Timeline: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the movie.
    • Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy exclusive content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
    • virtual Keyboard: Enter data into a Blu-ray player with your device’s easy and intuitive keyboard that will facilitate such Blu-rayfeatures as chatting with friends and sending messages.
  • FREE BONUS MOVIE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: Blu-ray Combo Pack consumers will have instant access to stream action hits Tremors or Pitch Black via BD-Live, Smartphone or computer.
  • U-CONTROL: Universal’s exclusive signature feature allows viewers to delve into the making of the film with the click of the remote without ever leaving the movie.
  • pocket BLU app: USHE’s groundbreaking pocket BLU app uses iPhone®, iPod® touch, iPad, Blackberry®, Nokia® Android, PC and Macintosh to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray player and offers advanced features such as:
  • DIGITAL COPY OF THE FILM: Blu-ray consumers can download a digital version of the movie to their Mac® and or Windows® PC for a limited time only.
  • BD-LIVE: Access the BD-Live Center through your Internet-connected player to watch the latest trailers and more.
  • MY SCENES: Bookmark your favorite scenes from the movie.
  • and lots more!


  • DELETED AND ALTERNATE SCENES with commentary from director/producer/ co-writer Edgar Wright
    • Cast commentary with Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Kieran Culkin and Mark Webber
  • BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTO GALLERIES including Edgar Wright’s photo blog
  • GALLERIES: Production photos, art galleries and marketing concepts.
    • Feature Commentary with director/producer/co-writer Edgar Wright, co-writer Michael Bacall and Author Bryan Lee O’Malley
    • Technical Commentary with director/producer/co-writer Edgar Wright and director of photography Bill Pope
    • Cast commentary with Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong and Brandon Routh


Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera).  A bass guitarist for totally average garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-old has just met the girl of his dreams…literally.  The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)?  Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him.  Genre-smashing filmmaker Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) tells the amazing story of one romantic slacker’s quest to power up with love in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Scott Pilgrim has never had a problem getting a girlfriend.  It’s getting rid of them that proves difficult.  From the girl who kicked his heart’s ass—and now is back in town—to the teenage distraction he’s trying to shake when Ramona rollerblades into his world, love hasn’t been easy.  He soon discovers, however, his new crush has the most unusual baggage of all: a nefarious league of exes controls her love life and will do whatever it takes to eliminate him as a suitor.  As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues’ gallery from her past—from infamous skateboarders to vegan rock stars and fearsomely identical twins.  And if he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all before it really is game over.

Original story:

Straight from today’s Life section in USA Today comes the news that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World will be available to own on DVD and Blu-ray on November 9. The newspaper hints at extras that include deleted and alternate scenes, bloopers and commentary from the cast and director.

Bleeding Cool, on the other hand, obtained reports that the release will include the following extras:

  • 5 minutes and 45 seconds of TV spots
  • A 1 minute and 24 second international trailer
  • An audio commentary with Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, and Brandon Routh
  • Another with Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Kieran Culkin, and Mark Webber
  • 20 minutes and 11 seconds of “Additional material Bonus X 2 3 Trailers”
  • The “main” trailer and teaser
  • The Osymiso remix clips, totaling a run time of 9 minutes and 13 seconds

Hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope at the very least the DVD includes that wonderful Scott Pilgrim animation that ran on Cartoon Network around the time of the film’s release.

Here’s a scan of the newspaper article that includes your first look at the DVD cover art:

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #97 – State of Origin Tue, 01 Jun 2010 01:26:11 +0000 A new view with a rant about the Thunderbirds and some State of Origin history. It’s another long-ish one, so grab a cold beer, sit down in front of the computer with a snag sanger and enjoy to your heart’s content.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 10
            And the “WTF” results continue for another week…
Essendon 15.9 (99) def Western Bulldogs 14.6 (90)
            First of the upsets. The Bulldogs looked out of sorts and sluggish while Essendon played as if there was everything on the line in this one. The final result did flatter the Bulldogs somewhat, but Essendon played very well for this important win.
Geelong 18.13 (121) def Melbourne 10/7 (67)
            This one went according to the script. Geelong barely got out of second gear as they ran rampant over the Demons. Geelong are back, ladies and gentlemen. That’s all you need to know.
Port Adelaide 3.12 (30) embarrassed by Richmond 10.17 (77)
            Yes, you read that correctly – not only did Richmond win their first match of the year (and their first match in the past 14 rounds, stretching back to last year), but Port Adelaide scored their lowest ever AFL score. And at home. In front of their smallest ever crowd. Richmond travelled, faced Port in the wet and wind, and still pulled out a more than comfortable win. Port should feel more than embarrassed – they should be downright humiliated and should give back all the money to their poor fans. Disgusting effort… or lack thereof.
Brisbane 13.10 (88) def Collingwood 11.14 980)
            Collingwood led at three quarter time, but then the Lions ran over them. While this is amusing on many levels, it is another upset, and shows that maybe Collingwood are not the force they like to think they are, either. It seems that after they defeated Fremantle, the Magpies felt they could beat anyone and so have played like they are owed the win. Arrogance has been their undoing. As to the game, it was a thrilling ride, but no great shakes as a spectacle.
St Kilda 19.9 (123) def Adelaide 12.4 (76)
            Too close to call at three quarter time, and then St Kilda lifted their game and cruised home way too easily. It is easy to say the off-field shenanigans in Adelaide over the week (Goodwin announcing his retirement, Edwards quitting and then having dummy spits with his dummy spitting team about a final game, more friendship break-up revelations in the media and on the big screen) hurt them, but they didn’t. Adelaide are an also-ran team in 2010. And the last quarter of this game proved it.
Hawthorn 10.19 (79) just def Sydney 11.11 (77)
            A last quarter come back from the Swans almost stole the game for them, but Hawthorn held on in a game more notable for the poor kicking for goal than anything else really. Just a game.
Carlton 15.15 (105) def West Coast 11.10 (76)
            Carlton were in front all day, West Coast outscored them in the last quarter, and it was a dull game to boot. But the Carlton coach enlivened things by saying his team played poorly and coasted. Well, duh!
Fremantle 21.13 (139) def North Melbourne 11.12 (78)
            Fremantle completely dismantled the Kangaroos, making their place in the top two definite and well deserved. The fairy tale season just keeps on keeping on, and only the powerhouse that is Geelong is keeping them from top spot. As to the game – they outplayed North in every conceivable way. That’s it. They won and did it well. Very well.
            I hope it is Fremantle’s year this year.
SANFL Round 10
Central Districts 15.12 (102) def South Adelaide 8.5 (53)
            Yet again South were humiliated in defeat. They did not score AT ALL in the third quarter, and even though they outscored Centrals in the last the damage was done, the horse had bolted and they had already lost.
Glenelg 13.8 (86) def Port Adelaide 11.11 (77)
            Port again played better than they should have… but were still defeated. Glenelg showed the form they should have been showing all season.
Woodville-West Torrens 11.6 (72) def by Norwood 14.4 (88)
            Remember how I’ve been asking what happened to the old Norwood, who were being hammered week after week? Well, they’re the new Woodville-West Torrens, who have gone from undefeated to defeated by almost everyone. But it was a close match, with only 2 points in it at three quarter time. Strong work from both teams.
Sturt 8.9 (57) def by West Adelaide 10.3 (63)
            Not a good game. But how the mighty have fallen with Sturt in the bottom three. The game… not good.
Bye: North Adelaide

Rugby Union
Super 14 Final
Bulls 25 def Stormers 17
            Well, the Bulls won for the third time in four years, but apparently the crowd was fantastic. I saw the game on the computer with no sound, and it looked like a fine example of rugby, if not a touch dull. But still, as a final and as a showcase for union, it was a great ending to a very even season.

ANZ Championships – Round 11
Mystics 48 def by Swifts 54
            And the Swifts unbeaten run continues, while at the same time the Mystics’ hopes of making the finals now seem to have faded. A comfortable win for the Swifts and while the Mystics pushed them all day, they just could not match the New South Welsh team.
Steel 52 def Vixens 39
            The Vixens were not just defeated, they were embarrassed here. Virtually unbeatable last year, this year they are just dropping lower and lower after winning the first five games on the trot. As such, this game was very one-sided.
Thunderbirds 58 def Tactix 34
            A 31 to 11 last half tells the tale of this game – the Thunderbirds were not just out to win, they were out to make a point, that they deserved to be in the top four and that the other teams had better watch out. They were that dominant. Oh, and on a side note, they were the only South Australian team in a national competition to win on the weekend and the media in this state treated it as if it didn’t happen. Yes, it’s netball, but netball is second only to cricket in numbers of participants in this country. How pathetic.
            All right, this comes with a caveat. And a small rant. The Thunderbirds are the South Australian team. How many locals are in the starting 7? Hmm? 1. Yes ONE. And with maybe 3 or 4 on the bench, two of whom have not had court time this year! What is going on here? South Australia has talent in the state leagues, (and would do better in national age events if the selectors did not insist on putting talented juniors in age groups higher than their own but that is another story) but these girls are having trouble seeing a higher level future when Netball SA looks elsewhere for players and takes cast offs from other places. I know of many supporters who are considering not renewing membership because of this. Netball South Australia is an oxymoron.
WBOP Magic 54 def by Firebirds 55
            Tight back and forth match which the Firebirds really won on the back of an outstanding first quarter.
Fever 63 def Pulse 45
            The Fever jumped out to an early lead and the Pulse just could not catch them in what was a standard game.

Rugby League
NRL State Of Origin – Game 1
New South Wales 24 def by Queensland 28
            NSW went out there looking like they were not going to win. People were picked simply because they were good players, and then they were played out of position and it took the entire first half before they even looked like a team. Queensland, on the other hand, picked the best players for the positions and deserved the win and, if this keeps up, deserve their unprecedented fifth straight series win.
            Now, what is State of Origin?
            New South Wales and Queensland have been having interstate competitions and matches for a long time (as far back as the early 1900s). But it always depended on where the players were actually playing at the time, which was seen as unfair because of the greater money available in NSW. So in 1980 a one-off ‘State of Origin’ match based on where they played their first senior match was done. This was repeated in 1981, and from 1982 it has been the official series set up. And there is something about it that brings out the best in players.
            It is the best rugby played in the world, when these two states go head to head. The games used to be real bloodbaths, but are nowadays just fantastic games of the highest skill.
            By the way, the NSW team is known as the Cockroaches or the Blues, while Queensland are called the Cane Toads or Maroons. Just so you know.
NRL Round 12
St George Illawarra 30 hammered Parramatta 0
            This was as one-sided as the score indicates. While the Dragons feel they got some revenge over the Eels for last year’s loss in the finals, this was a virtual no-contest.
Wests Tigers 50 absolutely hammered Warriors 6
            At the end of the first half the Warriors looked the better team and Wests had scored only 4 points. Fast forward to the end of the match and Wests have almost erased memories of their embarrassment to South Sydney a few weeks ago. Weird game. Talk about a match of 2 halves. First half was hard rugby; second half was a training run.
Cronulla 4 embarrassed by Brisbane 20
            Don’t let the low score fool you, this was a good match. Cronulla fought hard for the whole game, but just could not match the Broncos.
North Queensland 20 def by Manly 24
            Manly led 24 to 6 and almost managed to give the game away, but time just ran out for them. Because it wasn’t the Cowboys who were playing the better football – it really did look like Manly wanted to lose. Not a good game here.
Melbourne 23 def Canterbury-Bankstown 12
            The Bulldogs just can’t win in Melbourne. But Melbourne, even under strength with many stars out injured, showed that they can match any team. No matter what, even after the disaster that has been 2010, it looks like next year they are still going to be a force.
South Sydney 42 def Penrith 22
            Despite a brief Penrith come back in the middle, Souths ran out easy winners here. They are playing much better and much more consistently this year, and their fifth place on the ladder is a fine result for them at this stage of the season.
Gold Coast 16 def by Sydney Roosters 30
            More refereeing controversy marred a pedestrian game with an easy win for the Roosters, with players more out for themselves, vying for selection in the next State of Origin squad.

International – Women’s Asia Cup
Australia 1 def DPR Korea 1 (5-4 on penalties)
            The Matildas (yes, the “cute” name of our women’s team…) become the first Australian team to win in Asia. Well done! They played well against strong opposition… and like so many of these games, it was all tied up after extra time, and so went to penalties. If that’s what it takes to win, why not just change soccer to a game of penalties?
            Dull end to a great match. (And yes, I don’t care – penalty shoot-outs are inherently dull and ruin a game. They are nothing of the sport except one skill. Can you imagine a tied basketball game being decided on free throws? Or gridiron game on field goals?)
International – Friendly
Australia 2 def New Zealand 1
            A friendly match as a warm up for both teams headed into the World Cup. Australia were lucky to get the win; a draw would have been a better result as it not only showed how even the teams are but how DULL this game was!
            And it gets worse! Oh yes it does!
            Channel 9 in this country have been showing reports of how well the Socceroos – the allegedly cute name of the Australian men’s team – have CAUGHT THE DAMN PLANE to South Africa for the World Cup! They were there first! They taught some poor kids soccer skills! They sat in a lounge and hotel suite! Wow!
            And the very worst of it? This is still probably more exciting than 75% of the matches we’re going to see!

Formula One – Turkish Grand Prix
1st Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2nd Jenson Button (McLaren)
3rd Mark Webber (Red Bull)
            Mark Webber managed to get pole position, continuing his amazing season, and giving us this headline, which is really the only reason I mention it: “Webber beats Hamilton to Turkey pole” (from I don’t know why, but this struck me as funny, in a dying AWA kind of way.
            But Webber should have won, yet his team-mate seemed to go out of his way crash into him. It put his team mate (Vettel) out and dropped Webber to third. Even Hamilton saw it that way, as he was in third place and following. But the Red Bull team are blaming Webber. At least it made for an interesting race and really interesting post race press conferences.
            However, third is still enough for Webber to maintain his lead in the drivers’ championship.

Lots of sport again, so lots to write about.
            But to any readers out there – tell me! Anything! Write!

And that’s the View – May 25 through 31.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #95 – Sailing, Snooker and Souths Mon, 17 May 2010 12:39:02 +0000 A brief-ish one this week as much has happened, including my second short story published in 6 months, and this one by a group in another state. So I am, naturally, stoked. I also got a prize in another writing comp, so that makes this a good year. But the writing side of things has sort of taken over this weekend, so you’ll have to put up with this.

What? Sailing? Are you nuts?
            Jessica Watson of Queensland recently returned to Australia after becoming the youngest person to sail unassisted around the world. Even though she did not meet the strict guidelines for this sort of thing (not enough time in the northern hemisphere, a few hundred kilometres short), and even though they actually do not recognise this record any longer (to stop little twerps from going off alone), what she did was remarkable.
            She left when she was 16 and she turns 17 on May 18. This was a phenomenal effort, and one not to be taken lightly. She was well equipped and had people watching over her 24/7. However, here is a small issue I have. While some kids have great dreams like this, what would have happened if something had happened to her? How could parents live with themselves knowing they allowed their daughter to do this? Yes, I know, they said in interviews she would die doing what she loved, but that is not the point. The point is she is a kid. As an adult, sure, do crazy things, but she is a minor.
            While I applaud her and her efforts, I have concerns about the next one to try… and there will be a next one. Some American girl wants to go, and she’s 14 or 15, and a Norwegian court stopped one their citizens from doing the same thing at age 16. What next? A 12 year old? Because God knows I’ve met enough parents of precocious 2 year olds whose parents think they could do damn near anything.
            Bravo, Jessica, good to see you back home. Safely.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 8
Fremantle 15.7 (97) def by Collingwood 20.13 (133)
            Fremantle discovered that as well as they have been doing, they are still a step off the pace when playing with the big boys. But a valiant showing from them, and they were not completely embarrassed.
Western Bulldogs 14.17 (101) def Sydney 9.9 (63)
            And Sydney continue on the downward spiral, blasted by former player Barry Hall this time, the big felkla kicking 5 goals against his old club.
Melbourne 6.10 (46) def by West Coast 10.15 (75)
            Ugly game with neither team playing well at all. West Coast won, but really, the fans watching this one lost. And both teams played like a bottom side.
Brisbane 10.14 (74) def by Geelong 24.11 (155)
            Like Fremantle, Brisbane have a way to go at the moment to match the big boys. And Geelong looks to be back to – if not their best – some fine form.
North Melbourne 12.12 (84) def Adelaide 11.9 (75)
            A last quarter fight back by the Crowd could not hide the fact they were outclassed for the first three quarters and North Melbourne deserved to thump them by a lot more than they did. Adelaide were pathetic and deserve to be second-to-last.
Richmond 13.8 (86) def by Hawthorn 13.11 (89)
            Whether this was Richmond trying to prove a point after losing everything this year, including to Adelaide, or Hawthorn playing like crap is anyone’s guess. But having seen only part of the game I am guessing the former as it looked like a good spectacle.
Port Adelaide 14.8 (92) def by Carlton 17.16 (118)
            And Port Adelaide’s run comes to a crashing halt. They led at three quarter time and then fell away as Carlton found something. But don’t count wither team out just yet.
St Kilda 11.15 (81) def by Essendon 14.9 (93)
            For a team that were going to win everything in 2010, St Kilda certainly are not looking the goods at the moment. Essendon, on the other hand, whom many had in the bottom half of the ladder, are continuing to storm on.
SANFL Round 8
West Adelaide 13.10 (88) def Port Adelaide 11.9 (75)
            Port losing again, West back to winning – everything’s returning to normal in the SANFL again. Port fought back well in the last quarter, but Westies were in cruise control mode by then and were comfortable winners.
Glenelg 18.14 (122) def Woodville-West Torrens 12.11 (83)
            And thus the undefeated streak ends. It was Glenelg’s 8-goal third quarter that did it for them and the Eagles were struggling all day. But this might be just the wake-up they need to ensure it does not happen again. But, having said that, Glenelg looked the team everyone thought they would be this year.
North Adelaide 8.10 (58) def by Norwood 12.11 (83)
            Yep, that second, good Norwood team are still kicking arse all over the SANFL. North have been the yo-yo team so far this season, and another down match for them as Norwood completely dominated the game.
Sturt 15.8 (98) def South Adelaide 12.9 (81)
            Another week, another South loss. After such a promising start to the year, they are well and truly sunk, battling with Port for honours of worst team. Sigh. Not a good time to be a supporter, let me tell you…
Bye: Central Districts

Twenty20 World Cup
21st Match, Group E: Pakistan v South Africa
Pakistan 7/148 (20 overs); South Africa 7/137 (20 overs) – Pakistan won by 11 runs
            An easy win for Pakistan over the hot-cold South Africans. Pakistan have played well for most of this tournament and it is an indication that they may finally be finding stability in their team.
22nd Match, Group E: England v New Zealand
New Zealand 6/149 (20 overs); England 7/153 (19.1 overs) – England won by 3 wickets
            Tight contest which could have gone either way, but England proved too good in the end.
23rd Match, Group F: India v Sri Lanka
India 5/163 (20 overs); Sri Lanka 5/167 (20 overs) – Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets
            Off the last ball! This was an engrossing match and it was clear both sides desperately wanted that win, as the last over was about as tense as you can get in this form of the game. Great match!
24th Match, Group F: West Indies v Australia
West Indies 105 (19 overs); Australia 4/109 (16.2 overs) – Australia won by 6 wickets
            Australia in cruising mode as they easily took care of the host nation.
1st Semi-Final: England v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 6/128 (20 overs); England 3/132 (16 overs) – England won by 7 wickets
            And with this England cruised quite comfortably into the final of the tournament.
2nd Semi-Final: Australia v Pakistan
Pakistan 6/191 (20 overs); Australia 7/197 (19.5 overs) – Australia won by 3 wickets
            One ball to spare! And Australia showed they can not only post the big scores, they can chase them down as well. And this puts them into the final against England.
Final: Australia v England
Australia 6/147 (20 overs); England 3/148 (17 overs) – England won by 7 wickets
            And after all that it came down to a pretty comfortable win for the Englishmen, with their slightly up-and-down tournament finishing on an up and Australia losing their only game in the final. This does augur well for a competitive Ashes series later on this year, though. But congratulations to the English, and, speaking personally, I hope this does not ruin the Australians mentally… as has happened way too often in the past.
Women’s Twenty20 World Cup
And I have been COMPLETELY remiss in not including the results of this companion tournament, also held in the West Indies. Very bad of me. But I will not recap every game, so here are the finals:
1st Semi-Final: Australia v India
India 5/119 (20 overs); Australia 3/123 (18.5 overs) – Aust Women won by 7 wickets
            And so, much like their male counterparts, Australia have coasted easily into the final.
2nd Semi-Final: West Indies v New Zealand
New Zealand 5/180 (20 overs); West Indies 8/124 (20 overs) – NZ won by 56 runs
            And their opponents will be New Zealand… and after the recent series between the two countries which was split, it will be very interesting to see how they go on neutral soil.
Final: Australia v New Zealand
Australia 8/106 (20 overs); New Zealand 6/103 (20 overs) – Australia won by 3 runs
            A much tighter match than the men’s final, with Australia just keeping New Zealand out of it at the end, indicating that their close summer was not a one-off, and also that these two countries are the best in women’s cricket in all forms of the game… and, of course, I could be biased. But I’m not.

Rugby Union
Super 14 Round 14
Crusaders 40 def Brumbies 22
Waratahs 32 def Hurricanes 16
Sharks 27 def Force 22
Blues 30 def Chiefs 20
Reds 38 just def Highlanders 36
Cheetahs 59 hammered Lions 10
Stormers 38 def Bulls 10
            And there you have it – all the home teams won their matches.

ANZ Championships – Round 9
WBOP Magic 72 def Tactix 52
            An easy one for the Magic as they cruised to a comfortable home win.
Thunderbirds 58 def Vixens 47
            The Vixens are not looking like the team they were last year. Adelaide are now comfortable in the top four, while Melbourne is struggling to even win at the moment.
Mystics 61 def Pulse 60
            51-all after regulation time, extra time was started, and a one-point win! This was one hell of a match. Back and forth all night. If you can find it, catch the replay. This is what competitive netball is all about.
Swifts 44 def Firebirds 40
            Swifts remain undefeated, but the Firebirds pushed them hard all night. Tight game.
Bye: Steel; Fever

Rugby League
NRL Round 10
            The biggest story out of this week was the performance of some of the referees. There were some decisions that just did not make sense, and at least one coach said so. But it wasn’t just his team that suffered. Many did. For the game to expand in Australia and really compete against the AFL, this is the sort of thing that needs to be eliminated by the powers-that-be.
            If they can drag themselves away from harassing Melbourne for a few minutes.
Canterbury-Bankstown 6 def by St George Illawarra 19
            A game of two halves with St George made to loom ordinary at the start, and then running all over their opponents. A bit of a grind, but a hard-fought victory.
Brisbane 28 def Gold Coast 6
            Brisbane are becoming more and more a one-man team – Israel Folau IS the broncos. Sure, people may disagree, but watch what happens when he’s next not on the paddock – they will be lost.
Warriors 24 def North Queensland 12
            Warriors’ first win a while, and they set it up with a 20-zip first half. The Cowboys, to their credit, did come back at them, but could not rein them in completely.
Sydney Roosters 18 def by Newcastle 34
            The Knights were hit by injury so badly they ended up with no interchange bench, and yet still pulled off a win, including one of the most amazing tries ever. Unbelievable.
Canberra 6 def by Melbourne 17
            And Melbourne’s “All For Nothing” tour continues as they score yet another win for no reward except the knowledge they are sticking it to everyone else just by being there. On the Melbourne issue, it now seems that Melbourne’s board is going to sue the NRL for something somewhere sometime. Just keeps getting nastier and nastier.
Wests Tigers 10 hammered by South Sydney 50
            Wests did not look like they belonged out there. Souths were just so completely dominant it was embarrassing. But afterwards the enthusiasm of their fans was amazing. They have the most rabid and passionate fans in Australia, and their actions afterwards showed just that.
            What? Big statement? Well, some history then:
            Back in the 1990s we had a thing called Super league. Basically some clubs thought the NRL wasn’t fiving them what they wanted, so they spat the dummy and formed a new league under Murdoch’s News Ltd newspaper group and his money. And the money was huge. Contracts were thrown around left, right and centre and the cash was disgusting. Teams sprung up everywhere. We even had one in Adelaide (which I went along as a proud supporter). But two leagues trying to kill one another was never going to work long-term and they actually sat down and worked out that what would be good for the sport would be to join back together and actually put the sport first and not self-controlling media interests.
            I know, stunned me as well. Fancy putting the sport ahead of lots of money!
            Well, part of the amalgamation of the Super League and NRL was the culling of clubs. Adelaide was one (so to this day we still don’t have rugby league represented in the big league). And South Sydney was another. And the fans went ballistic. Led by celebrities and literally thousands of ordinary punters, they marched and cried and rallied until, through sheer force of will, Souths were re-entered back into the fold. Now, under the helm of Russell Crowe and friends, they are a viable concern, but those days of non-existence will never be forgotten and the fans remain as rabid and loyal as anything ever.
Cronulla 14 def by Penrith 34
            Cronulla are still last, but this was a far better performance than the one we saw against St George. Still, they are struggling to win and in this day and age, that ain’t good.
Manly 12 def by Parramatta 19
            Tight game with Jarryd Hayne the difference between the sides.

V-8 Supercars
Winton Motor Raceway
Race 11
1st James Courtney (Falcon FG)
2nd Craig Lowndes (Commodore VE)
3rd Jamie Whincup (Commodore VE)
4th Steven Johnson (Falcon FG)
5th Shane van Gisbergen (Falcon FG)
Race 12
1st James Courtney (Falcon FG)
2nd Craig Lowndes (Commodore VE)
3rd Lee Holdsworth (Commodore VE)
4th Rick Kelly (Commodore VE)
5th Michael Caruso (Commodore VE)
            And to show how fast things can change, Courtney has taken over from Whincup as the overall leader after 12 races, amazing when you consider how dominant Whincup was at the start of the season.
Formula One
Monaco Grand Prix
            Yes, two weeks in a row! And, yes, that does mean mark Webber’s won two races in a row! He’s now equal first in the drivers’ standings! I am acting excited!
            Okay, fun’s fun. This is great news for Australian sport, as it means another local boy is making it really big on an international stage. Now while Webber may not be liked by the media here (he has a habit of telling the truth without tact – like his criticism, quite rightly, of the Melbourne Grand Prix), he is doing the country proud.
            So, yes, congratulations.

World Championships
            Snooker? Yes, snooker.
            Because Neil Robertson has become only the second Australian EVER to win the world championship.
            The first was Horace Lindrum way back in 1952.
            28 year old Robertson defeated Scot Graeme Dott 18-13 in a best of 35 frames final. 12 hours and three days of snooker.
            Congrat’s young man!

Professional Wrestling
Riot City Wrestling
Match 1 – Fuzion def Blue Blood
            Okay opener. Afterwards, Fuzion and Brad Smyth, his protégé, got into a shoving match.
Match 2 – Del Taurino and Marvel def Mimic and Voodoo
            Holy cow, what a match! Off the charts! Scramble (or Mexican) tag rules made this just wild and out there. Some of the best tag wrestling I’ve ever seen live.
Match 3 – Rocky Menero def Mike Burr
            Burr’s RCW debut (he’s from Victoria) and it was a decent match. Would have blown away many other shows, but not tonight…
Match 4 – Luke Santamaria def Brad Smyth, Warship and Jacko Lantern in a 4-way match
            Smyth took the pin from a rejuvenated and much improved Luke. The match was just filled with great wrestling, but the ending – with Jacko and Warship on the floor recovering instead of beating each other on the floor as a more legit ay of keeping them out for the ending – did seem odd. But Brad and Luke were the stars here.
Match 5 – Sway def Savannah Summers
            The women’s division in RCW, with the interstaters coming in and adjusting to the RCW style, just keeps getting better. Solid match again.
Match 6 – GD Grimm def TJ Rush (title match)
            What a match! Again, they just keep outdoing themselves, and for twenty minutes these two beat the holy hell out of one another. Grimm got the win with the curb stomp to retain…
TJ decides to cash in his key to the city there and then!
Match 7 – TJ Rush def GD Grimm (new champion)
            I have NEVER heard a pop like the one when TJ won. The loudest sound I’ve been in the middle of. Short, sharp and shiny, with TJ getting beaten, then managing to hit a coast to coast van Daminator before the shooting star press gets the pin, the win and the explosion.
            Well, this was yet another great night. I think the tag match was match of the night, but the title match was up there as well. And it was a full house with people being turned away. Great night, great wrestling. The RCW crowd appreciates and accepts longer matches and technical wrestling, and so the styles of the matches can vary. Just great. This promotion should be out there much more!
            Fan-boy rant over.
            Great show. Buy their DVDs.

Wow! Wasn’t that brief after all, was it? Lots of sport and lots of results… and no feedback yet.

And that’s the View – May 11 through 17.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #94 Mon, 10 May 2010 12:48:41 +0000 It’s been another weekend of too much sport, too little sleep and some great match-ups… and some real duds as well. But before we go into that, a word of warning – if you see an Australian TV mini-series called ‘The Legend Of Billy Sing’ advertised, avoid it. Billy Sing was a Chinese Australian sniper in World War One who did some amazing stuff, rightly considered a war hero. Well, there’s a mini-series about him… starring a Caucasian as the titular figure… and he’s the son of the director. Yep, a Chinese-Australian played by the white son of the white director. Don’t give this rubbish any consideration. Let it die.
            Rant over.
            Sport time!

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 7
Melbourne 9.12 (66) def by Western Bulldogs 10.10 (70)
            Melbourne were game and tried hard and almost had it, but the Bulldogs eked out a win. While Melbourne will be pleased with their effort, even though losing, the Bulldogs would worry about how difficult the win was. Melbourne really are travelling above expectations this year.
Essendon 16.10 (106) def by Port Adelaide 17.7 (109)
            Three points! Last year, Port would have crumbled under the pressure, but this year they held on and managed an astonishing away win. Port Adelaide, much like Melbourne, are hitting above expectation. Essendon are rebuilding and their young team showed a lot of fight and as the year goes on and they get more experience they will be hard to beat.
West Coast 15.12 (102) def Hawthorn 14.10 (94)
            West Coast won at home against a Hawthorn team that looks lost out there on the paddock. Yes, West Coast won, but it was not convincing.
Collingwood 23.19 (157) hammered North Melbourne 14.7 (91)
            Collingwood showed a deal of class out there in this game, but North Melbourne showed their recent wins may gave been more fluke than anything else. Collingwood have moved to the top of the table with this win, and (as much as I hate to say it) deservedly so. And they will probably stay near the top with the AFL’s favourable draw for them.
Brisbane 15.10 (100) def by Fremantle 15.23 (113)
            Fremantle won in Brisbane for the first time ever, stretching back 15 years. Yes, Brisbane were without several key players through injury, and yes they did mount a stirring last quarter fight back, but the fact is Fremantle won and if they had kicked straight would have won by a hell of a lot more. Freo are now second on the ladder and the Lions’ up and down season has gone down again.
Geelong 19.12 (126) embarrassed Sydney 9.5 (59)
            Well, it seems Geelong did play themselves into some form last week, and that Sydney’s recent run of great matches has come to a sudden and gut-wrenching halt. It was like two different teams from a fortnight ago on the field in this match and Sydney did not even make a real game of it. After such a great start this was very disappointing for the Swans while Geelong are showing once more some of the form that took them to a couple of recent premierships.
Adelaide 15.14 (104) def Richmond 7.12 (54)
            The battle of the wooden spoon was a turgid, disappointing, horrid affair. Neither team looked any good for the first three quarters, both almost playing to lose. However, in the final quarter something happened and Adelaide suddenly began to play football again, and Richmond… didn’t. It was not a great game and Adelaide did not play fantastically, but they won and Richmond lost, and Richmond I cannot see winning anything for the rest of the year. Are there still priority draft picks now that we have new teams joining? If not, then Richmond are doing all this for nought.
            (Priority picks are given in the draft at the end of the season to those teams that do spectacularly badly, winning a stupidly low amount of games. But with draft concessions given to the two new teams, priority picks may mean nothing and the teams get no advantage for being total losers…)
St Kilda 9.14 (68) def by Carlton 20.9 (129)
            This is St Kilda, the team so many experts had as winning the flag in 2010? And Carlton, an also-ran team? This competition is proving that, apart from Richmond and probably Adelaide, anyone can win on their day, and this result in what was a dull game really, just reinforces that.
SANFL Round 7
Norwood 16.13 (109) def Glenelg 6.6 (42)
            All right, joke’s over. Who took the Norwood from the start of the year and replaced them with a team that can actually play? Glenelg were tipped by many to be premiership contenders but they looked anything but against a hungry Redlegs side. Norwood’s stunning form turnaround has been amazing, and makes for another interesting cog to be thrown in for the year.
Port Adelaide 12.12 (84) def by Central Districts 22.10 (142)
            Back to reality with a thud for the Magpies as Centrals show that their form from last week was not a one-off, but they are back and back in force.
South Adelaide 9.6 (60) def by West Adelaide 12.15 (87)
            Well, last week was clearly indicative that South Adelaide have not only fallen back into their bad habits, but are going to play them to the hilt. This was an ugly game and Westies did enough to win in an unconvincing game that did nothing for either team.
Woodville-West Torrens 18.6 (114) def North Adelaide 5.17 (47)
            The Eagles still keep going on their merry way, winning and keeping a low profile. North Adelaide – who were embarrassed by Centrals last week – were made to look ordinary yet again. It seems that the predictions of North struggling this year are starting to come to fruition.
Bye: Sturt

Twenty20 World Cup

7th Match, Group B: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe
Sri Lanka 7/173 (20 overs); Zimbabwe 1/29 (5 overs) – Sri Lanka won by 14 runs (D/L method)
            Rain, so shortened form of the shortened form of the shortened form of the game. Ridiculous to have a twenty over game shortened even further; what hope did Zimbabwe have?
8th Match, Group D: West Indies v England
England 5/191 (20 overs); West Indies 2/60 (5.5 overs) – West Indies won by 8 wickets (D/L method)
            And again. One ball remaining as well, so it was a good, close match, but it’s hardly worth padding up for 6 overs, is it?
9th Match, Group B: New Zealand v Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe 84 (15.1 overs); New Zealand 1/36 (8.1 overs) – New Zealand won by 7 runs (D/L method)
            Yep, despite bowling Zimbabwe out for a paltry score, they had to use Duckworth-Lewis again! Insane! Maybe the solution is simple – stop playing tournaments in places and at times where it rains! Australia in winter – it rains. West indies in wet season – it rains!
10th Match, Group D: England v Ireland
England 8/120 (20 overs); Ireland 1/14 (3.3 overs) – No result
            And so it rains so much this time even Duckworth-Lewis can’t save the ay. And shame, because not only did Ireland look like doing something really good, but England looked like doing something really bad.
11th Match, Group A: Australia v Bangladesh
Australia 7/141 (20 overs); Bangladesh 114 (18.4 overs) – Australia won by 27 runs
            Australia’s fine form with the bat continues with a convincing win over Bangladesh. The score was just too large for the Bangladeshis to chase and they lost wickets too regularly, forced by a sense of panic.
12th Match, Group C: Afghanistan v South Africa
South Africa 7/139 (20 overs); Afghanistan 80 (16 overs) – South Africa won by 59 runs
            This wasn’t a win, it was a massacre. Poor Afghanistan. They are so out of place in this tournament that it’s not even pleasant to watch them flounder out there.
Now we hit the first of the “super” rounds, where the top two teams from each group now play one another.
            The standard should, logically, step up from here on in.
13th Match, Group E: England v Pakistan
Pakistan 9/147 (20 overs); England 4/151 (19.3 overs) – England won by 6 wickets
            And straight away the high scoring and fine bowling from both teams is a huge improvement. Both these teams have not been convincing all tournament, however, and both were lucky to face one another at this stage.
14th Match, Group E: New Zealand v South Africa
South Africa 4/170 (20 overs); New Zealand 7/157 (20 overs) – South Africa won by 13 runs
            This game would have been closer, I would have thought. But South Africa played very well and new Zealand just could not match them.
15th Match, Group F: Australia v India
Australia 5/184 (20 overs); India 135 (17.4 overs) – Australia won by 49 runs
            India were defeated by a lot more than they should have been. But look at that score from the Australians! That intimidation factor alone is probably what defeated India. But that is a huge score from 20 overs.
16th Match, Group F: West Indies v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 3/195 (20 overs); West Indies 8/138 (20 overs) – Sri Lanka won by 57 runs
            And as if to say that anything Australia can do Sri Lanka can do better, this score was phenomenal… and with the loss of just three wickets. Poor West Indies did not stand a chance. The Sri Lanka/Australia showdown is now greatly relished by everyone!
17th Match, Group E: New Zealand v Pakistan
New Zealand 7/133 (20 overs); Pakistan 7/132 (20 overs) – New Zealand won by 1 run
            Two good matches for Pakistan, two losses. And good to see New Zealand bouncing back from their loss as well.
18th Match, Group E: England v South Africa
England 7/168 (20 overs); South Africa 129 (19 overs) – England won by 39 runs
            After such a good win over New Zealand, South Africa seemed to fall in a heap against inconsistent England.
19th Match, Group F: West Indies v India
West Indies 6/169 (20 overs); India 9/155 (20 overs) – West Indies won by 14 runs
            It’s like getting thumped by Australia has shattered the confidence of the Indians. They should be playing better than this and need to get their heads on straight to live up to their potential. Some are blaming the long IPL season for their current woes, but the captain’s having none of it. Instead he offers “no idea” as an explanation.
20th Match, Group F: Australia v Sri Lanka
Australia 5/168 (20 overs); Sri Lanka 87 (16.2 overs) – Australia won by 81 runs
            The match everyone was waiting for turned into a complete fizzer, almost a farce of a game. Sri Lanka are so much better than this, but played like they did not know what was going on out there. Australia, on the other hand, were 5/67 and recovered incredibly well. If some-one fails it seems there is always some-one else to cover for them. A good team effort in the tournament thus far.

Rugby League
Australia 12 def New Zealand 8
            Not a great game, but for the first international hit-out for both teams in a little while it did its job.
NRL – Round 9
            Due to the International game, this is the first of many shortened rounds to come as representative rugby takes centre stage. But other news this week is that two of Parramatta’s star players have signed to play for the New Zealand Warriors come 2011. This is a huge coup and an enormous blow to the Eels. And it also shows what a marked difference there is in recruiting philosophy between rugby and Aussie rules. In Aussie Rules, this is illegal, as no players can be recruited mid-season from another club. Well, in the NRL it appears to be open slather… and look where that got Melbourne. Just saying…
Manly 24 def St George Illawarra 6
            St George looked anything but the competition leaders as Manly humbled them all match.
Newcastle 36 def by Gold Coast 38
            This was a battle of the tries and the Titans just managed to keep the Knights from stealing it, but this was a game that is a great advertisement for the sport. Hunt down a replay if you can.
Melbourne 14 def by Brisbane 36
            Melbourne’s brand new stadium was christened with this match, and it was supposed to be the homecoming to make the fans forget about the past two weeks of absolute crap, but some-one forgot to tell Brisbane as they made Melbourne look second-rate. Mind you, nice arena.
Sydney Roosters 14 def by North Queensland 32
            15th on the ladder defeated 7th. If that doesn’t show how even this competition is, then nothing will. North Queensland, though, really did dominate the entire game, leading by 8 at the half, and then cruising to a comfortable win.

Rugby Union
Super 14 Round 13
            I was asked why I don’t put commentary in for these matches. Simple, really – I don’t get to see them. They are not shown in Adelaide without paying some private company an exorbitant amount of money. Yes, I know you have to pay to see the cricket as well, but only if you don’t have a decent internet connection. So sorry, people. At least you get the results.
Hurricanes 44 hammered Reds 21
Bulls 40 def Crusaders 35
Chiefs 19 hurt by Waratahs 46
Brumbies 31 embarrassed Highlanders 3
Lions 14 slaughtered by Blues 56
Cheetahs 29 def Force 14
Sharks 20 def Stormers 14

ANZ Championships – Round 8
WBOP Magic 56 def Pulse 44
            Rough match. Not a good spectacle, but hard fought all the way by both teams.
Swifts 60 def Thunderbirds 44
            The Swifts remain unbeaten after easily running over Adelaide. The Thunderbirds had no answer and their determination to win from the past month seemed to desert them. At this point, the Swifts look like the ones to beat this year.
Steel 49 def by Mystics 52
            The difference was the shooting of the Mystics forwards in what was quite an intense, good game.
Vixens 53 def by Fever 56
            Last year’s champions just cannot seem to take it up that next step this year, with the Vixens going down again.
Bye: Tactix, Firebirds

Formula One
Mark Webber won the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix. He’s Australian, so, after receiving a vaguely threatening e-mail, I have posted the result here.

Davis Cup
Australia v Japan
A convincing performance from Australia has given them a shot at entering the World Group in Davis Cup for the first time since 2007. Lleyton Hewitt whinged his way back to Australia from Europe for the tie, but apparently was so happy with the way he played he even played in the dead rubber on the final day, something he has hardly ever done in Davis Cup.
Lleyton Hewitt def Tatsuma Ito 6-3 6-3 6-2
Carsten Ball def Yuichi Sugita 6-3 6-4 6-4
            Nice debut from the youngster, who didn’t let the big stage upset him.
Lleyton Hewitt / Paul Hanley def Go Soeda / Takao Suzuki 7-5 6-4 6-0
Lleyton Hewitt def Yuichi Sugita 7-5 6-2
Carsten Ball def Tatsuma Ito 6-3 7-6 (9-7)

That’s another one down. And still no suggestions regarding the column. However, I did receive a nice e-mail from Johnno, “Thank-you for NOT putting the Logie results in your column.” He then went on to abuse Australian television in general, and I found it quite hard to disagree with him, so thanks again, Johnno. Love to know what he thinks of the Billy Sing debacle. At least some-one reads me.
            So, please, let me know what to do.

And that’s the View – May 4 through May 10.

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The View From Down Here #54 Mon, 27 Jul 2009 23:50:03 +0000 A weekend of sport. Training resumes for me next week so I’ll actually have an excuse to peel my fat arse off the couch and do something physical (beyond being tortured by a personal trainer) instead of just watching others…

English Tour
Australia 8(dec)/308 & 3(dec)/270; Northamptonshire 7(dec)/226 & 217 – Australia won by 135 runs
            Australia had a reasonable hit-out here before the next Ashes Test, but nothing in this game really indicated any hopes that Australia can reverse the result from the last test match.
            Okay, yes, Australia won this three-day game, thanks to a lot of sporting declarations. Mind you, though the win means absolutely nothing in this Ashes campaign apart from giving a few so-called second-string players a chance to play, it is rather interesting to note that Michael Hussey was acting captain – no Ricky Ponting in sight – and so the win may mean something after all…

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round Seventeen
            This the so-called ‘Rivalry Round’. Now, some of these matches – the local derbies between the two Western Australian teams or South Australian teams, Melbourne v Sydney, Carlton v Collingwood – I have no issues with being called rivalries. The ideas behind them go beyond sport to class, culture and other things. But others are simply contrived to fit a round of football. And the Rivalry Round logo is dominated by a large letter V. For those not from Australia, this is actually quite a slap in the face to the non-Victorian clubs, as it accentuates the old VFL (which is really all the so-called AFL is) and ignores the fact that football is played across Australia. But Melbourne and its football-obsessed inhabitants tend to forget that, thinking that before the advent of the AFL in the 1990s football was not played anywhere else. And so they treat interstate (non-Victorian) clubs like crap and give money after money to the Victorian clubs in an over-saturated market. That’s the real rivalry – AFL versus real football.
            In my opinion Rivalry Round should also include something the NRL has – a State of Origin match between Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Allied Australian States. Pair them off. The next year, the two winners play, and the two losing teams. Keep doing that. You’re not going to get the same match-ups two years in a row and it might actually be interesting. But they won’t do it because Victoria knows that the Victorian team will be the perennial loser in all of this…
            Onto the results of VFL round:
Carlton 4.16 (4) def by Collingwood 14.10 (94)
            One-sided when it should have been so much closer. Carlton were exposed as pretenders this year by this result, and Collingwood scored an impressive win. This should seal their top four spot.
Geelong 15.9 (99) def Hawthorn 14.14 (98)
            Wow! I mean, wow! This was an edge of your seat sort of game. I could not stop watching. It was brilliant and if you can get a chance to watch a replay, do so. The only downside was Hawthorn’s shocking inaccuracy in front of goal, but a lot of that was due to Geelong’s defensive pressure. But Geelong showed its class, coming from behind at the third quarter break to win by one point.
Fremantle 10.11 (71) def West Coast 8.18 (66)
            More shocking goal kicking. Fremantle can’t win… except against West Coast. They seem to have the wood over their Western Australian rivals, but really this means very little for either team this year.
Brisbane 17.14 (116) def North Melbourne 11.9 (75)
            A good win for the Lions, and North Melbourne were shown to have a lot of cracks in their armour. They will need some wholesale changes if they hope to be a genuine finals contender next year.
St Kilda 16.10 (106) def Western Bulldogs 9.7 (61)
            Every week St Kilda look more and more unbeatable. Just like Geelong last year. And then they lost the grand final…
Melbourne 6.14 (50) def by Sydney 10.8 (68)
            Not a good game. Melbourne are not a good team at the moment and Sydney did enough to win.
Essendon 14.12 (96) def by Richmond 15.11 (101)
            Richmond’s latter half of the year resurgence continues, and this gives some good indication that they could well be a finalist come 2010.
Adelaide 19.18 (132) hammered Port Adelaide 9.8 (62)
            An absolute rout by Adelaide. They have bounced back well from last week’s loss to St Kilda, while Port Adelaide were shown to be the pretenders so many have thought they are this year. Adelaide look certain to make the finals, while Port must now rely not only on its own winning but also on other teams losing in order to be there come September. And it was a really disappointing game. Living in Adelaide, this match (called the ‘Showdown’, thanks to a beer company) gets the same sort of hype that grand finals get elsewhere. I actually know a player from the Crows who was involved in one of their grand final wins of the late 1990s, and he told me that the grand final was a little sour because they had lost to Port in a Showdown. Serious; it means that much to these people. I know, no perspective, but they only live for their sport so what can you expect? This game was the front of our local newspaper all week. Something may have happened somewhere else in the world, but we here in South Australia would not know about it because there was a football game on.
            And that brings me to one of the worst things about this whole overhype. There was an Adelaide team that was in the grand final of a truly national (international?) sporting competition, a sport played by more people in the world than Australian rules football, and with enough countries playing to not only have a World Cup but to be included in the Commonwealth Games. Yes, the Thunderbirds were in the netball grand final. But you would not have really known it because an overblown sport played really in one insignificant country in the world got more publicity for a regular season game. I’m not saying they got NO publicity; even Adelaide’s media is not that stupid. But the amount of publicity they received was really pitiful considering the level of competition involved.
            Now, to be fair, I don’t support either team (I follow Sydney and have for nigh on thirty years) but the hype this one simple game gets goes beyond mere fandom. It is as though our entire state lives its life vicariously through the fortunes of its two AFL football teams and when one defeats the other half the state goes into mental meltdown. I like sport (obviously) but even I cannot see the point of putting your entire life into this one game just so you can brag about it to your fellow work-mates for six months. But South Australia has an immature ego and a small-persons (small-states?) complex and so this has become the norm here. We have to do things bigger and better otherwise we… something. Pathetic, isn’t it?
SANFL Round Seventeen
Woodville-West Torrens 13.6 (84) def North Adelaide 9.13 (67)
            Not a good game, but it kept the Eagles up there while showing that North Adelaide still has a long way to go and really will be making up the numbers if they make it to the finals. And I’ll say it again – dumping Andrew Jarman as coach was the worst move North ever made.
Glenelg 11.15 (81) drew with Central Districts 12.9 (81)
            Another draw! A good game from arguably the two top teams this year. This indicates that any finals match between these two is going to go down to the wire, and means we should have an awesome finals serries in 2009.
Sturt 19.15 (129 hammered Port Adelaide 5.7 (37)
            Port just couldn’t take a trick in either competition, could they? Sturt showed once more why it is one of the top three sides, and I repeat – this year’s finals series is going to be one of the best for years. Throw the Eagles into the mix as well and you have four teams, literally any of which could conceivably win. I am looking forward to this year!
Norwood 14.10 (94) def South Adelaide 7.9 (51)
            South come close to the top teams, meet another lower ranked team and are soundly beaten? I don’t understand it. This, alas, was another not very good game.
Bye: West Adelaide

Finals – Grand Final
Melbourne Vixens 54 def Adelaide Thunderbirds 46
            While the Vixens did dominate the game, the Thunderbirds were far from disgraced. It was also not the best game these teams have played this year, and a lot of that I think was due to the nerves being felt by all the players. And maybe that was why some of the umpiring decisions were not the best, either, especially where Adelaide was concerned. But that is by the by – Melbourne deserved the victory after what has been a really outstanding year. Both these teams should feature prominently again in next year’s Trans-Tasman Netball Competition and it’s going to be a shame not being able to spend my Sunday afternoons watching the ladies play their fast-paced, tactical, awesome sport.
            Next we have a few test matches around Australia, and I hope to be getting to the one in Adelaide. And for those in the United States, get this game. It moves much faster than basketball and I think is a much better spectacle.

Rugby League
NRL Round 20
Manly 44 hammered Newcastle 20
Gold Coast 34 hammered Brisbane 18
Bulldogs 8 hammered by Parramatta 27
North Queensland 20 def by (not hammered) Penrith 28
Melbourne 30 hammered (yep!) Cronulla 10
Canberra 4 hammered by Wests Tigers 25
Warriors 4 hammered by St George Illawarra 29
South Sydney 40 hammered Sydney Roosters 20
            Two good wins in a row means you know Souths are going to collapse in a screaming heap next week.
Yes, a lot of lop-sided scores this round. And the three games I watched were not good ones…

All swimmers at the FINA World Championships are cheats.
            Rule 10 of the FINA code states that swimmers are not to wear anything that aids buoyancy.
            But these suits clearly do, I’ve seen ad hoc demonstrations of their abilities to do so, sand so these swimmers are cheats.
            And FINA is gutless for letting them all get away with it. Or maybe just greedy because of the money these swimsuit companies ‘donate’ to the sport.
            Before you get all high and mighty about new technologies, that misses the point. Swimming is not a sport about technology. It is one person against another to see who is the fastest in the water. It is pure human competition. Well, it used to be. Now it’s who has the best suit. Swimming is not Formula One car racing; technology is not what the sport is about.
            Swimming used to be a sport.
            Now it’s bullshit.

Formula One
Hungarian Grand Prix

1st Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2nd Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
3rd Mark Webber (Red Bull)
            Yes, another podium finish for Webber, meaning his is now just 18.5 points behind leader Jenson Button of Brawn. He is definitely racing like everyone said he would five years ago.

Rugby Union
Next Tri-Nations match does not involve Australia.
South Africa 28 def New Zealand 19
            I have to say that this result does not bode well for Australia in this year’s Tri-Nations series. I can see South Africa and New Zealand exchanging home wins and Australia struggling to keep up. Of course, I could be wrong as rugby union never seems to go the way you expect it to…

Sporting Morons
Okay, last week we had none, unfortunately this week…
            And I won’t be making smart-arse comments this week either…
Shane Martin (cricket): This former cricketing legend (a winner of the prestigious Bradman medal) faced court this week after stealing in order to feed his gambling problem.
Kane Allen (football): Kane plays for a regional team in South Australia, but he is regarded as one of the best in his area. However, he has now been charged with the murder of his ex-wife.
            There is another (a few?) pending, as it seemed that before the third State of origin game in the rugby league, several Queensland players were taking cocktails of drugs, alcohol and high energy drinks. Yet more to come… maybe…
Tally: 34

(Brief) CD Review
It’s been a while, but here is a great album from an under-rated Australian artist. I bought it two months ago, and have decided to share my joy:
Mixtape by Kram
            Kram is the drummer/singer with one of my favourite Australian bands Spiderbait. Their song Shazam is one of my preferred workout songs (along with You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC and Eruption by Van Halen), while their cover of Black Betty ranks amongst the best remakes this decade. However, this is his first solo album and it is as eclectic as his old band’s releases. This is not to say it is just a rebranded Spiderbait album. It is different in many regards. Not better, not worse, but different.
            Only one or two tracks did not sit well with me, but those that did were fantastic. The styles vary from ballads to rockers to a bit of country to everything in between. My personal favourite track – ‘Thankyou Mr Ludwig’ – is an instrumental drumming track that really rocks. But there are so many other great songs here: Good Love; Turn A Light On; Silk Suits; Live A Long Time; Satellite; Get To It; Down The Line… All great stuff. I hope it’s available on Amazon because you really need to hear this guy.

 And that’s the view and the accompanying audio!

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The View From Down Here #52 Tue, 14 Jul 2009 03:28:47 +0000 Big week in Australian sport, and I’ve got all the details here. Not only that, but I went to the RAW house show here in Adelaide and was underwhelmed somewhat. So let’s get on with it!

English Tour
First test match in the Ashes series!
(Played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff)
England 1st innings – 435; Australia 1st innings – 6(dec)/674; England 2nd innings – 9/252
            Match drawn
As I have indicated over the past couple of weeks, Australia’s batsmen were definitely in form and really ran over the top of the English bowlers. But the Aussie bowlers were ineffective, especially on the last day when the game was there to be won. The English tail-enders put up a great fight, and the Australians just could not get that last wicket, even after being given some extra time.
            But the big thing out of this test was Australian captain Ricky Ponting’s assertion that the English deliberately wasted time to save the game, and brought into question their sportsmanship. There were lots of questions to the umpires, a change of gloves and the team physiotherapist came out even though neither man looked to be in any distress at all. It was quite an anti-climatic end to what had been quite a good game of cricket.

            And I don’t mind saying that I was impressed and a little amazed by the way both teams played. They showed great skills and the battle was intense. All I can say after this is: bring on the Second Test!

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round Fifteen
The round saw quite a few players booked for striking and rough conduct, which made it an entertaining round from that stand-point. But the result of the round goes to Adelaide and Fremantle…
Western Bulldogs 16.14 (110) def by Collingwood 17.9 (111)
            One of the greatest comebacks in AFL history by the Western Bulldogs, ruined only by the fact they lost by one point in the end. A six-goal to one final quarter just was not quite enough…
Sydney 10.12 (72) def by Essendon 15.17 (107)
            Barry Hall admitted defeat and quit the Swans this week, leaving Sydney without one of their stalwarts. He claimed he could not control his anger. And this clearly upset the Swans as they went down at home to the Bombers…
Carlton 16.13 (109) def Richmond 12.17 (89)
            The result was down to one player: Brendan Fevola and his nine goals. He was the difference between the teams. And if you can get a chance to watch the highlights of his goal-kicking – especially yhe freak over his head in the middle of the air shot – do so. It was an amazing spectacle. The guy runs hot and cold, but when he’s hot, there are none better.
Brisbane 16.12 (108) def Geelong 9.11 (65)
            I said last week that I felt the loser of the Geelong/St Kilda game would start to lose afterwards. And they did. Yes, they had eight good players out (including most of their back line), but Brisbane still had to capitalise on it. And they did. And suddenly the race for the flag has been thrown wide open.
Adelaide 19.16 (130) def… no, completely humiliated Fremantle 1.7 (13)
            Yes, you read that right. Fremantle scored ONE GOAL in an entire match. Now Adelaide were good, but they weren’t that good. Fremantle were AWFUL. They scored one behind in the first half, the worst since 1995 (when Fitzroy scored nothing). It was also the first time since 1961 that a team scored only one goal for a match in VFL/AFL circles (this is a complicated thing which I will explain one day – what the VFL/AFL union/break means)… But this was not a good game. It was a glorified training run. Mind you, Adelaide look like genuine premiership contenders.
Hawthorn 10.13 (73) def North Melbourne 9.10 (64)
            Ho-hum game made vaguely exciting by injuries and alleged rough conduct.
Melbourne 15.11 (101) def Port Adelaide 13.11 (89)
            Melbourne are no longer the hot contenders for the wooden spoon, and Port Adelaide are no longer contenders for the finals. That’s about all that can be said for this one. Mind you, Jurrah from Melbourne was exciting to watch; if he isn’t over-used into oblivion by the undermanned Demons, he will definitely be a player to watch in the future.
West Coast 11.4 (70) def by St. Kilda 13.12 (90)
            Even at three quarter time, the Saints piled it on in the last quarter to get the win. But it was not convincing… and the finals race is out of any of the top five teams (St Kilda, Geelong, Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, Adelaide). Finally, this season is a close one and could be a good final couple of months before the finals action hits…
SANFL Round Fifteen
Sturt 22.14 (146) def Woodville-West Torrens 13.12 (90)
            Sturt are really confirming their standing as the team on the rise at the moment. I can see a Double Blues-Glenelg grand final, especially after other results this round. On the other hand, the Eagles fought well, but just could not match Sturt. This won’t be their year.
West Adelaide 11.8 (74) def Central Districts 9.12 (66)
            A further dent in Centrals’ campaign for yet another flag as Westies came off last week’s humiliation at the hands of Sturt to take a firm grip on this game. Centrals are running too hot and cold at the moment.
Port Adelaide 20.6 (126) def South Adelaide 10.7 (67)
            The Panthers lost again, but this time they only put up token resistance. I said last week they were getting into a culture of losing, and this game showed that very clearly.
North Adelaide 13.11 (89) def Norwood 5.10 (4)
            Norwood have really fallen off the radar in the past few weeks. Second to bottom on the ladder and struggling against all comers is not a good sign not only for this year but for the immediate future.
Bye: Glenelg

Finals – Semi-Finals
Major Semi-final

Vixens 58 def Magic 43
            A completely expected result. The Vixens now get a week off and get home court advantage in the grand final. They outclassed the Magic in all departments, and the result was never really in doubt. The Magic now have to go on next week and face the winner of the minor semi-final, remembering that Adelaide hammered them just last week.
Minor Semi-final
Thunderbirds 51 def Steel 45
            In winning, Adelaide go on to face the Magic next week for a spot in the grand final, while the Steel has to lick their wounds and try to come back next year. But considering last week’s result, the Magic (despite being at home) have their work cut our for them against a formidable (and, to quote their own website, ‘hungry’) Thunderbirds outfit. I am reckoning on a T-Birds win, and then a monumental grand final the week after…

Formula One
German Grand Prix

1st: Mark Webber
2nd: Sebastian Vettel
3rd: Felipe Massa
            It’s now official: with his first win after more than 130 starts, Mark Webber is no longer the most over-rated sports-person in Australia. His win from pole was a good tactical race, and has actually become a source of national pride. It is, after all, the first win by an Australian in Formula One since Alan Jones in 1981. And, more than that, Webber sits third on the over-all standings with a series of podium finishes, still a fair way behind first-placed Jenson Button, but within striking distance of second-placed team-mate Vettel.
            Oh, and as to who now carries the mantle of the most over-rated Australian sports person? Any female tennis player…
V-8 Supercars
The latest round has been the Dunlop Townsville 400, held in north Queensland.
Race 11
1st Jamie Whincup (TeamVodafone – Ford Falcon)
2nd Will Davison (Toll Holden Racing Team – Holden Commodore)
3rd Garth Tander (Toll Holden Racing Team – Holden Commodore)
Race 12
1st James Courtney (Jim Beam Racing – Ford Falcon)
2nd Jamie Whincup (TeamVodafone – Ford Falcon)
3rd Garth Tander (Toll Holden Racing Team – Holden Commodore)
            (You may notice I’ve included the team names this time… that’s because I received an e-mail telling me it was allegedly against the rules for me not to do so. Not that I’m accredited with the racing group, but I might as well follow their “rules”.)
            Some controversy as well, with spilled oil being blamed for Craig Lowndes lack of success in qualifying. I know, it’s not much, but there rarely is in this sport where the sport itself does the talking…

Rugby League
NRL – Round 18
The third game in the state of Origin is this week, so many teams were without players, and it affected several results, once more throwing the competition into disarray.
South Sydney 36 def Penrith 12
            An example of how the lack of players has affected things.
Newcastle 23 hammered Canberra 4
Warriors 14 def by Bulldogs 18
St George Illawarra 48 embarrassed Manly 18
            St George are really looking the team to beat at this stage of the year, but after Origin duties are over we shall see. I still think they’ll do it…
Gold Coast 18 def Parramatta 12
            Gold Coast are eying the finals eagerly after a good, close game.

Sporting Morons
Good week this week! Just one:
Nate Myles (Sydney Roosters, NRL): You know, just one, but it had to be a rugby league player, didn’t it? Young Myles has been stood down for six weeks after allegedly being naked in a hotel corridor after going out the wrong door after a night of drinking… and then defecating in the corridor after disturbing a family staying there. He did pay for damages and apologised, but… The man had a dump in a hotel corridor. Moron.
Tally: 32

Professional Wrestling
WWE RAW, Adelaide, Australia July 6, 2009
The show started with a high point with the announcement that John Cena could not make it, so if people wanted their money back, they were advised to get to the box office before the end of the second match. Apparently a total of 5 people took them up on the offer out of thousands (it was a sell-out at our largest – admittedly small – indoor venue) and three of those were teenaged girls.
Match 1: Goldust (with Hornswaggle) def Chavo Guerrero
            Something of a comedy match. After all was said and done, Hornswaggle hit his tadpole splash and the crowd was happy. Have to say, Goldust looked well, fitness wise.
Match 2: Sheamus def Santino Marello
            Two comedy matches in a row? Sheamus started by saying something about Irish = good, Italian = bad, but we really couldn’t understand him. Santino came out in an Adelaide Crows guernsey to suck up to the crowd (but failing). Basically a glorified squash for Sheamus. Hard to judge how good he could be from this.
Match 3: Jamie Noble def William Regal with a back-slide
            A technical match which bored some sections of the crowd, but got me (finally) into the show. Started off well also, with Regal copping stick from the crowd and responding with one simple sentence – “At least I’m not an Australian.” Really cool.
Match 4: Cody Rhodes (with Ted DiBiase Jr) def Carlito (with Primo)
            Lots of old school heel cheating goodness and behind-the-ref’s-back shenanigans. This match finally got the entire crowd into the night (despite Carlito’s over-use of the head-lock) and they had a good one as well. The ending came when Carlito accidentally hit Primo and was then taken out by Rhodes while DiBiase held Primo at bay, and some tension between the Colons was teased.
Match 5: Triple Threat for the US Title: Kofi Kingston (c) def The Miz and The Brian Kendrick
            Started off with the Miz coming out and cutting the longest promo of the night about his apparent awesomeness. Then Kendrick comes out, takes the mic, looks over the crowd, pauses… and says, “I got nothing,” before handing it back. Kingston was over amazingly. Good match with the heels teaming up on Kingston, but neither wanting to take the pin at the risk of upsetting the other. But then it broke down and became one of those rare 3-ways where all 3 are in the ring for most of the time. Kingston eventually got the pin on Kendrick. My personal match of the night.
Match 6: The Big Show def MVP with a chokeslam
            The Big Show was greeted with a huge pop, but some small children at the front took exception to him and abused him. He them got on the mic and shot back at them (“I’ve got socks older than you.”) and then spent a lot of the match antagonising them. He looked like he was having fun out there, and MVP was no slouch either. And now I’ve heard the chop Big Show does after hushing the crowd… ouch!
Match 7: Mickie James def Maryse (non-title)
            How to kill a crowd. Worst match I’ve seen live (and, remember, I watch a lot of local independent wrestling) in 2 years. Then hot crowd really faded during this marathon of botched spots (they screwed up and Irish Whip! How can you screw up and Irish whip?) and unconvincing offense. If this was on PPV, it’d be the piss break match.
Match 8: World Title match: HHH def Randy Orton
            Yes, you read that right. No, the title did not change hands. It was by DQ. Strong match, a little slow in parts, but the ending between the two was hot, and then Priceless came in to take out HHH (thus drawing the DQ) until the Primo and Carlito team ran out to make the save. They then managed to corner Rhodes, where Carlito gave him a backstabber and HHH a pedigree to send the crowd home happy. The three of them then played musical crowds for their own amusement, and after 2 hours of actual wrestling the show was over.
            Final thoughts: Not a blow-away show, but not a horrendously bad one either (women aside). More actual in-ring wrestling than last time Raw was in town, but I still find the lack of commentators slightly jarring, especially in matches like Sheamus/Santino or chick 1/chick 2 where they really did not do well in telling their story in the ring. Still an enjoyable night. I took my niece and she enjoyed herself, so it was a good night. Still, from a live stand-point, give me the RCW shows I frequent every time.


And that’s the view!

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