Inside Pulse » test 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. Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:24:28 +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 » test The View From Down Here – 10 Thoughts on the 5th Ashes Test Sun, 09 Jan 2011 10:59:04 +0000  Fifth and final Ashes test for this series!

1] Australia with no Ricky Ponting. Apparently some reports are saying he’s not happy about this. Other reports are saying he’s going in for surgery as early as tomorrow. Who knows? It can’t be worse for Australia… Can it?

2] A decent start for Australia on a rain-marred Day One. 4/134. Usman Khawaja made 37 in a fine debut for Australia, although Clarke – even as acting captain – bombed again with 4.

3] Thanks to a half century from Mitchell Johnson, Australia made a respectable, yet modest 280.

4] Australia struck early, and at the end of Day Two England are at 3/167. Two days and an even test match. Thank goodness!

5] Well, that didn’t last long, did it? A century from Cook (189) and Bell (115) left England at 7/488 at the end of Day Three, already more than 200 runs ahead.

6] Despite the use of technology by the third umpire, a decision against Bell was overturned which should not have been. Yes, it’s the first mistake I’ve seen with this technology, but it was a big one in the context of the match.

7] England were eventually dismissed for 644, with Prior adding to the list of England centurions. This is England’s highest ever score against Australia on Australian soil. So while the Aussies have (apparently) improved in the batting, the bowling still apparently needs a LOT of work.

8] Several media pundits / former players think a 3-1 series loss is just the wake-up call the Australian selectors need, while also emphasising the need to show faith in the youngsters selected for the team. But the biggest issue is this: Who can possibly be a decent Australian captain?

9] Stumps on Day 4 and Australia are 7/213. Clarke got 41, Watson 38, Haddin 30, Smith not out on 24… Batting collapse again. Sigh! Another innings defeat coming up. When was the last time Australia suffered 2 innings defeats in a row? And out of the last 6 run outs in tests involving Australians, Watson’s been involved in 4. His run out here signalled the collapse. What does this mean?

10] Australia put up a sort of rear-guard action. Smith not out on 54, Siddle with a 43. But Australia still only managed 281. Another innings defeat. 2 in a row. I hope that this finally – finally! – makes the selectors and Cricket Australia take note. We relied for too long on too many older players. Now they’ve gone, the next generation has not been given the opportunities to shine or even develop. They have done the country a disservice. Now they need to do something about it.

Bonus Thought!
11] England played their arses off this series to win 3-1 (1 drawn). Apart from a few fielding lapses, they were clearly the better team. Their goal is to be number one. While I think they have a while to go before they challenge South Africa or India, the fact remains they are on target to give it a red hot go. Hats off to them (as much as that irks me); they deserved every bit of it.

Australia 1st innings: 280; England 1st innings 644; Australia 2nd innings 281
            England won by an innings and 83 runs.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE – 10 THOUGHTS ON THE ASHES FOURTH TEST Wed, 29 Dec 2010 21:27:09 +0000 Ashes 4: A New Hopelessness

1] The Boxing Day Test Match in Melbourne is one of Australia’s sporting event icons. With the AFL grand final, the Melbourne Cup, Bathurst, the Phillip Island motorbike race, the Sydney to Hobart yacht race and the Tour Down Under, it is a sporting event that drags in the hugest crowds and often gives the bestest action.

2] There’s crumbled and then there’s this pile of steaming horse manure. Where Australia struggled on the first day of the Perth test, in this one they completely collapsed. All out for 98 in less than a day. Every single one of them caught as well.

3] To rub salt in Australia’s festering wounds, England finish day one on 0/157. Yes. No wickets, more than a hundred runs.

4] Day Two is England teaching Australia how to bat. That is all.

5] I have ragged pretty hard on Ponting over the years. His display on Day Two is worth mentioning. Pietersen was given not out. Australia called for the third umpire, who agreed. SO Ponting then went on about it to the umpires for 8 minutes! The video replay showed he had not hit it. Ponting felt the video was wrong. The technology they use is excellent. Ponting is… not.

6] Day 3 and England are finally dismissed for 513 runs.

7] The one – one! – positive out of England’s innings for Australia was Siddle. He took six wickets and two catches – that’s having a hand in 8 out of 10 wickets. England on the other hand saw Trott not out on 168, Prior with 85, Cook 82, Strauss 69 and Pietersen 51. Add this to Anderson’s 4 wickets and Tremlett’s 4 wickets and it looks like Perth was just an aberration.

8] End of Day 3 and Australia are 6/169, still 246 behind.

9] It took England an hour or so, but Australia were finally all out for 258, losing the match by an innings and 157 runs. That’s not a defeat – that’s a complete and utter humiliation. I’ve been watching cricket for 3 decades and it is the worst performance I have seen by an Australian side against England. Ever. What crap.

10] Ricky Ponting’s captaincy must be in doubt. Yes, I know he played with a broken finger, but that does not explain the fact he is now only the 2nd Australian captain ever to fail in 3 Ashes series. Yes, Australia can still draw the series in Sydney, but England have retained the Ashes because a draw won’t win it for Australia. His insipid performance as captain again must surely put his position in jeopardy, a view expressed by more than one ex-player. The problem with that, however, is: who takes over? Michael Clarke’s form is almost as bad as Ponting’s and he seems to be having a crisis of confidence. Watson is being touted as a possible, and his form has been okay, while he has fronted media more than once and done an admirable job. Hussey was also mentioned as – despite failing in Melbourne – has had a good series, but his age goes against him; Australia prefers younger captains who’ll stick around for a bit. It seems the whole team needs something of a going over, and with Harris out with an ankle injury some enforced changes are bound to happen.

Australia 1st innings 98; England 1st innings 513; Australia 2nd innings 258
            England won by an innings and 157 runs
            England have retained the Ashes.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #122 – We didn’t get the World Cup issue. Wed, 08 Dec 2010 01:29:22 +0000 Australia didn’t get to host the World Cup Soccer. Apparently this is the end of the world. But it’s only soccer. I’m surprised the competing nations didn’t all get given a nil-all draw, and then be forced to shoot at a goal protected by a skinny man with gloves until some one finally managed to score enough to win the event. Oh, they did. But the goals were measured in dollars and the skinny man with gloves was just the intermediary between FIFA and everyone else.
            I’m not actually bitter. While it’s a blow for the tourist money and means many of our nation’s stadia won’t get upgraded, I think having the McDonalds of world sports here and giving them everything they want despite the fact that (judging by audiences) 80% of Australians don’t even care about the sport is just ludicrous.
            Of course, that’s just me and the soccer lovers (a nasty habit which can be broken by aversion therapy) will say having the WC is the best thing ever, letting me know via nasty emails and responses… although their comments will lack grammar, proper syntax, punctuation and anything even approaching decent spelling, making them as hard to understand as Glen Beck’s logic. Oh, I do continue this rant further down, if you want more vitriol.
            Now: The view!

Australia v England – 2nd Ashes Test
Australia 1st innings 245; England 1st innings 5(dec)/620; Australia 2nd innings 304
            England won by an innings and 71 runs.
Ten Thoughts on the Second Ashes Test:
1) The new Adelaide Oval grandstand looks so underwhelming on TV. All the charm and character of the Adelaide Oval of the past has been replaced by a generic small-ish stadium. And apparently this is “progress”.
2) 3 wickets for 2 runs! Australia were 3 for 2!? What in the holy hell was that shit? They dropped Mitchell, how about some goddammed batsmen while they were at it?
3) England should have gloated so much more in that first innings of Australia. They should have laughed at them and made them feel like they were pathetic. Because Australia deserved it. Hussey (93), Watson (51) and Haddin (56) scored some runs. Ponting got a duck. Clarke got 2. The 8 extras were the fifth highest score of the total! Gloat, England! You’ve earned it!
4) Early English wicket on day 2… then they decide to bat for a while… Australia better be ready for a lo-o-o-ong day. Dropped catches, missed run-outs… an even longer day.
5) Day 3 was stopped short due to a sudden thunderstorm with pelting rain. (Don’t I know it! Frantic dash outside to rescue the washing…) England were 4/551, with Pieterson 212 not out. You’d have to say England’s day again, and the rain may be the only thing saving Australia’s bacon at the moment.
6) Early on Day 4 and England declare at the mammoth total of 5/620. Australia will have to rely on the weather and dour batting to save this one.
7) Australia looked to be saved by the rain again after tea, but the skies cleared and then Australia lost a vital wicket in the last over, with Clarke gone for 80-odd, leaving Australia 4/238 at the end of the day with one day left and only rain there to save Australia.
8) Surely Ponting’s position must be up for review. Another double failure with the bat and, really, his captaincy is not inspiring. And North as well… and he was being touted as captain material not that long ago.
9) And doesn’t day 5 with Australia defending the meagre total start well for the Aussies with wickets falling regularly (Harris got a king pair… that’s two golden ducks… that’s no runs at all, dismissed on the first ball…). Australia clearly wants to beat the rain as much as the English! Hey, Australia, trying IS an option!!
10) England won and they thoroughly deserved it. Australia were outplayed, outcaptained and outclassed across the board.

A-League Round 16 (cont)
Sydney 3 def Wellington Phoenix 1
Gold Coast United 1 def by North Queensland Fury 2
            1714 people bothered to turn up. So the so-called passionate supporters who so desperately wanted the World Cup in Australia couldn’t even go out and support the local league. “But it’s the World Cup!” they cry. And, sure, if Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Germany, England, etc play, the crowds will be there. But think about the final pool game between, say, Nicaragua and Nigeria, where neither team has won yet and won’t make it through to the next round… how many supporters are going to bother to turn up? Really? You say you would? Liar.
            And. Let’s be serious, you think FIFA didn’t look at this, only two days before the vote was taken, and take it into account? “They say the Australian people will support the World Cup, but they can’t even support the A-League!” Yes, sure, there’s corruption – there always is at this level of sport – but Australia got only ONE vote. That’s not corruption at work. That’s the rest of the world telling Australia that if you want a sport, you have to take it seriously. Crowds are down, TV ratings are down, interest is down, Soccer is the number 3 or 4 rated football code in the country.
            But, the apologists cry, 200,000 Australians play soccer! Yes, including children and juniors and indoor comps. And why? Because it’s seen as safe. But it’s not even the most popular sport (and no, it isn’t; the stats used are not comprehensive – soccer lovers use all forms of soccer in their stats, but ignore all forms for others) in Australia – cricket and netball vie for that honour. More kids ‘do’ swimming, even though they may not compete, than soccer. Counting kindergym (under-5’s gymnastics), more people do a gymsport than soccer as well. Of course, soccer apologists will say I am lying. They always do. Neglecting to mention they lie and that I have some decent stats on my side.
            The World Cup, they claim, is the biggest sporting event in the world. And yes, it is the biggest single sport event in the world. But the Olympics and Asian Games are both larger. Soccer claims the preliminary matches count towards its size; so why don’t Olympic preliminaries count?
            It’s soccer. They aren’t going to listen to criticisms. Their McDonalds sport is like a cancer on the world and they don’t care. It has led to wars, inherent corruption, cheating (ask Ireland about that one) and ridiculous amounts of crowd violence across the world. They think none of that matters. Why should the rest of us care?
A-League Round 17
Brisbane Roar 3 def Perth Glory 2
Melbourne Victory 3 drew with Brisbane Roar 3
Central Coast Mariners 4 hammered Sydney 0
North Queensland Fury 0 def by Newcastle Jets 2
Gold Coast United 3 easily def Melbourne Heart 0
Wellington Phoenix 2 def Adelaide United 1
W-League Round 5
Melbourne Victory o hammered by Brisbane Roar 4
Canberra United 4 hammered Adelaide United 0
Perth Glory 1 def Newcastle Jets  o

NBL – Round 8
Gold Coast 85 def Sydney 68
Adelaide 92 def Townsville 79
Cairns 80 def Wollongong 62
Melbourne 82 def Gold Coast 78
Perth 90 def Townsville 64
Sydney 80 def by New Zealand 94
WNBL – Round 9
Townsville 61 def AIS 46
Bulleen 87 def Dandenong 75
West Coast 65 def by Canberra 92
Sydney 59 def Townsville 57
Bendigo 70 def by Bulleen 83
Logan 80 def AIS 45
Adelaide 66 def by Canberra  97

V-8 Supercars
Sydney 500
Race 25
1st Jonathon Webb (Falcon FG)
2nd Jason Bright (Commodore VE2)
3rd Rick Kelly (Commodore VE2)
            Only one of the five drivers – James Courtney – fighting out for the championship even finished the race! And there are complaints that his car, which was badly damaged, was actually not roadworthy enough to be allowed out of the pits after it was very quickly repaired. This is really going down to the wire…
Race 26
1st Lee Holdsworth (Commodore VE2)
2nd Steve Richards (Falcon FG)
3rd Shane van Gisbergen (Falcon FG)
Final Standings:
1st James Courtney
2nd Jamie Whincup
3rd Mark Winterbottom
4th Craig Lowndes
5th Garth Tander

Brisbane 8 def Perth 1
Adelaide 1 def by Canberra 3
Adelaide 6 def by Canberra 11
Melbourne 1 def by Sydney 3
Brisbane 2 def by Perth 7
Adelaide 1 def by Canberra 6
Brisbane 3 def Perth 1
Brisbane 2 def by Perth 3
Melbourne 1 def by Sydney 2
Melbourne 1 drew with Sydney 1 (curfew closed game)

After last week, here’s my top 10 favourite non-Australian International cricketers. Again, this comes from a little over 30 years of watching cricket, and these are my favourites, not necessarily the best.
=(10) Richard Hadlee (New Zealand). I didn’t see much of him, really, and I think I probably missed out here.
= (10) Clive Lloyd (West Indies). Ditto for this master batsman.
(9) Chris Cairns (New Zealand). First New Zealander to make me care about them.
(8) John Davison (Canada). Yes, a Canadian. And, no, he didn’t play tests.
(7) Malcolm Marshall (West Indies). Deadliest fast bowler ever.
(6) Larry Gomes (West Indies). Steady, reliable batsman.
(5) Kepler Wessels (South Africa). Okay, I know he also played for Australia, but I think he really came into his own with the South African team after all the years of world exclusion.
(4) Daniel Vettori (New Zealand). Efficient bowler and a damn fine captain.
(3) Ian Botham (England). Would have been the best all-rounder, were it not for…
(2) Imran Khan (Pakistan). Best all-rounder.
(1) Sachin Tendulkar (India). Greatest batsman I ever saw. Full stop.
            Agree? Disagree? Want to rip me a new one? Remember, these are my favourites, not necessarily the best. Feel free to leave a comment.

And that’s the View through to December 6, 2010.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #121 – The Ashes Are Here! Tue, 30 Nov 2010 23:24:40 +0000 Who cares what else is happening? England and Australia are playing one another in the Ashes! That’s all that matters! Sitting in front of the TV, an eskie full of beer and a couple of meat pies. Come on Aussie!

Australia v England – 1st Ashes Test
England 1st innings 260; Australia 1st innings 481; England 2nd innings 1(dec)/517; Australia 2nd innings 1/107
            Match drawn.
Ten Thoughts on the First Ashes Test
1) Siddle’s hat-trick was a thing of beauty. He had them bewildered and was bowling brilliantly.
2) England came into the game with such promise and hope. Their preliminary matches were dominant. But that first innings was out of character. So why did they bat like they were scared? And why did they drop so many catches?
3) Hussey saved his career with his solid 195. And Haddin has shown with his 136 that he is a worthy heir to Adam Gilchrist’s batting wicket-keeper throne.
4) Clarke should not have played – his back was clearly troubling him. That’s the only reason I can see for his poor batting and ludicrously simple dropped catch. North’s career must be at a crossroads. And Ponting could also be worried. They underperformed, all of them.
5) Bowler Steven Finn was a revelation for the English team. He could prove to be a game breaker already, and he’s barely into his 20s.
6) The second innings was a completely different English team. Where were they on the first 3 days?!
7) Cook and Strauss batted with great poise and control. Nothing silly, nothing too fancy. They had a ship to steady and they did it well.
8) Australia bowled in the second innings like a different team. Wayward and not tight at all. What happened? Did the two teams do some sort of swap during the innings break?
9) So something has happened to the ‘Gabba ground. Three partnerships in a row broke the record for highest partnerships on the ground in Ashes tests. Good to see that changes are being made so the grounds are not predictable.
10) The last day was just England so clearly playing for a draw. A drawn series means England retain the Ashes. Is this final day an indication of the sort of cricket we could be faced with for the rest of this summer – dull?

A-League Round 15 (cont)
Wellington Phoenix 2 def Melbourne Heart 0
Central Coast Mariners 1 absolutely humiliated by Brisbane Roar 5
A-League Round 16
Newcastle Jets 1 drew with Central Coast Mariners 1
Adelaide United 2 def Gold Coast 1
Wellington Phoenix 2 drew with Melbourne Victory 2
Melbourne Heart 0 drew with Sydney 0
North Queensland Fury 1 drew with Perth Glory 1
W-League Round 4
Adelaide United 0 hammered by Melbourne Victory 4
Sydney 1 def by Newcastle Jets 2
Brisbane Roar 1 def Perth Glory 0
            A goal in the 93rd minute of 94 minutes! What an ending! (There – something positive.)

NBL – Round 7
New Zealand 100 def Gold Coast 79
Townsville 94 def Melbourne 66
Wollongong 89 def Sydney 72
Perth 64 def by Cairns 72
WNBL – Round 8
AIS 53 def by Canberra 76
Dandenong 74 def Sydney 59
West Coast 66 def Townsville 64
Bendigo 72 def AIS 57
Bulleen 69 def Sydney 62
Adelaide 82 def Townsville 60

Rugby Union
Spring Tour
England 11 def by South Africa 21
France 16 destroyed by Australia 59
Wales 25 def by New Zealand 37
Ireland 29 def Argentina 9
Scotland 19 def Samoa 16

Perth 9 def Adelaide 7
Brisbane 6 def Sydney 1
Perth 9 def Adelaide 3
Perth 2 def by Adelaide 4
Brisbane 1 def by Sydney 3
Brisbane 12 def Sydney 3
            A 9-run 11th inning did it for Brisbane.
Perth 4 def by Adelaide 11
Canberra 2 def by Melbourne 6
Brisbane 0 def by Sydney 1 (finished early)
Canberra 2 def by Melbourne 10

Just thought I’d put out there my top 10 favourite Australian cricketers. I’ve been watching cricket for a little over 30 years, and with the Ashes almost completely dominating my sporting mind, here’s my favourite players. They may not be the best cricketers ever, but that does not matter.
(10) John Dyson. This batsman is on my list for many reasons – unassuming, hard working, dependable. But there is one over-riding reason why he became a favourite – he took what I consider the best ever catch in all of test cricket ever.
(9) Michael Clarke. In my opinion, best of the current crop. If he can just keep his personal life separate from his cricketing life, and not get too injured, he’ll likely become recognised as one of the greats.
(8) David Boon. A hero to all of us who are slightly, shall we say, barrel-shaped. Strong and dependable. And insane enough to enjoy fielding at silly mid-on.
(7) Darren Lehmann. Career was too short, and stop-start, mainly because of eastern state politics. Still, one of the most exciting batsmen I have ever seen.
(6) Jason Gillespie. Underrated bowler, dropped stupidly from the team after he scored a double century! Always put in full effort, no matter what.
(5) Adam Gilchrist. The greatest ever wicket-keeper batsman. And his autobiography is actually entertaining. None could score like him before Twenty20 was developed.
(4) Dennis Lillee. Maybe not as fast as others, but he still looked like he could kill you with a ball if he wanted. And he had the best moustache ever in professional sport (sorry Newk, Boonie, Merv…).
(3) Rod Marsh. Still, in my mind, Australia’s best ever wicket keeper. Could hit the ball when at bat and I even remember watching him bowl once in a ODI! Seemed to always enjoy his cricket (underarm bowling incidents notwithstanding).
(2) David Hookes. As South Australian captain I watched him with Wayne Phillips score at the time a world record partnership at Adelaide Oval. Snubbed by the Australian selectors too often, killed by some thug in Melbourne. Bad things sometimes do happen to good people.
(1) Steve Waugh. My favourite Australian captain, the highest run scorer in Australian test cricket, an underrated bowler (especially by himself). And he came across as a genuinely nice guy away from the arena.
            Agree? Disagree? Want to rip me a new one? Remember, these are my favourites, not necessarily the best. Feel free to leave a comment.

And that’s the View through to November 29, 2010.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #115 – The One Where Things Settle Down Tue, 19 Oct 2010 01:18:18 +0000  A short one because, let’s face it, nothing’s really happening in Australian sport at the moment.

Second Test – India v Australia
Australia 1st innings 478; India 1st innings 495; Australia 2nd innings 223; India 2nd innings 2/207 – India won by 7 wickets
            India won the series 2-0
1st ODI: India v Australia at Kochi
            Match abandoned due to awful weather. Not a ball was bowled. Shame.
Following yet another series loss to India, and after disastrous forays elsewhere this year, captain Ricky Ponting’s job… is perfectly safe! The coach’s job… is perfectly safe! The jobs of the selectors… are perfectly safe! Now, I know I’ve harped on here about coaches copping the blame for poor performances and being sent to the gallows, but this has been a long time., At the elite level, cricket coaches don’t do that much (if anything), so who do we blame? Who takes the leadership role? Who selects the team? Australia are going to be soundly defeated in the Ashes on home soil if the current form guide is to be any indication. And yet nothing will change. It was once said that it is harder to get kicked out of the Australian team than it is to get in (unless you’re from South Australia where getting in is impossible). Recent results would seem to indicate that Australia will lose, the media will kick up a stink and Australian elite cricket will go along oblivious to even losing.

A-League Round 10
North Queensland Fury 2 def Perth Glory 1
Melbourne Victory 3 def Sydney 0
Brisbane Roar 1 drew with Newcastle Jets 1
Wellington Phoenix 2 drew with Melbourne Heart 2
Gold Coast United 0 drew with Adelaide United 0
Why bother?

NBL – Round 1
Wollongong 83 def Gold Coast 77
Melbourne 68 def by Sydney 84
Townsville 79 def Cairns 70
Sydney 70 def by New Zealand 83
Adelaide 74 def Perth 69
Another new NBL season. This time we actually have a team from Sydney, although we almost didn’t have a team from Adelaide as one of its main financial backers has been accused of some naughtiness. It has nothing to do with the team itself, and so I won’t go into details, but it did almost derail them at the eleventh hour.
            If this is anything like last year, there will be little actual news to report. The basketballers tend to behave themselves. But the administration is something else. They tend to be amateur-ish at best. This is the third or so revamp of a national basketball competition in recent years, and those in charge are pushing for basketball to be as big in Australia as they think it was in the mid-90s. That could be interesting. But things do seem to have settled down a bit, so we shall see if this one works.

Commonwealth Games
Final medal tally for the XIX CommGames, Delhi 2010*
Australia: 74 gold, 55 silver, 48 bronze, 177 in Total
India: 38g, 27s, 36b, 101T
England: 37g, 59s, 46b, 142T
Canada: 26g, 17s, 32b, 75T
Republic of South Africa: 12g, 11s, 10b, 33T
Kenya: 12g, 11s, 9b, 32T
Malaysia: 12g, 10s, 14b, 36T
Singapore: 11g, 11s, 9b, 31T
Nigeria: 11g, 10s, 14b, 35T
Scotland: 9g, 10s, 7b, 26T
            [* This final tally is completely dependent upon the outcomes of various random drug testing. So far two Nigerians – and maybe a third – as well as one Indian have tested positive in B samples, and a few others from other nations may also have not been entirely legit. So be prepared for changes…]
Australia won. Didn’t crack that 200 medal mark this time, but you’re not going to do that every Games, seriously. However, the fun happened afterwards. An unnamed Australian athlete was sent home for allegedly breaking some unspecified rules (could have been a boxer dropping his pants to a judge?). The Games village had, for the first time ever, an open bar, meaning after the closing ceremony (very impressive, by the way) the Australians did what Australians overseas everywhere do – got drunk and acted like morons. According to reports, rooms were trashed, fittings broken, a washing machine was pushed out of an eighth storey window, lewd behaviour was the norm… Hang on. A washing machine? What, a TV is just too passé? Indian police described the Australians as “berserk”. The Australian officials described the incident as “exaggerated” and describe the team as being “in high spirits.” So good to see the reputation of our fine nation being lived up to by those sent to represent us…
            Much to everyone’s surprise, the Indians in the end did a fine job of hosting these Games. They may be paying for them for a while and may now own a few white elephants, they may have had some appalling crowd numbers, they may have had dodgy water in the swimming pools, but, really, the Games were damn fine in the end. Congratulations all round to the Indians for pulling it off, even if the rest of the Commonwealth did have their doubts.
            And now we wait two years for the London Olympics where Australia will see their true place in world sport – over-achievers who can’t really match the big boys but who will win a few medals and make lots of excuses.

From reading the Internet and watching shows like Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and anything with The World’s Worst in the title I have come to understand that there are certain states in the USA where the population is regarded as, shall we say, educationally challenged.
            In Australia the place is called Queensland.
            Well, Queensland has taken a big step to join the twentieth century (no, that’s not a mistake). A couple was charged with offences related to having a non-emergency abortion. Yes, in Queensland abortion is essentially illegal. So, this couple were charged, taken to court… and the charges against them were dismissed. The statute is still on the books, but it’s good to see a court with common sense.
            Now, if we can just convince them that a desert is not a good place to grow rice and cotton, that cutting down every single tree in sight is probably not the best land or animal management strategy, that cane toads are a feral animal that should have its expansion encouraged, that corruption is not the ideal way to run a police force or government system, that education is something that should actually teach the children at a level comparable with everyone else in Australia…
            However, of course, if they do change, then who will be the butt of our jokes?
            Of course, Queenslanders shoot back with their glorious weather (rained last 3 times I was up there), their theme parks (Americanised, overpriced, poorly managed), the fact that the Gold Coast is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia (made up of ex-pat Victorians who’ll do anything to get away from Melbourne), their popularity as a tourist destination (which would be a lot lower if it was not for schoolies week, attracting not only kids leaving high school but also a certain amount of older men and women who go to pick up a drunk teenaged root), and their wonderful night-life (where you can get drunk any time of the day or night so long as you are nowhere north of Brisbane in which case the towns shut at about 5 in the afternoon).
            They had (and maybe still have, who cares?) a tourist tag line: ‘Queensland – beautiful one day, perfect the next.’ And it’s true, because everything’s beautiful and perfect when you’re drunk and stoned.

And that’s the View through to October 11, 2010.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #114 – CommGames Mon, 11 Oct 2010 07:46:31 +0000 Look, there’s not a huge amount of results, but there’s a lot of news and, boy!, do I rant a lot in this one! Oh, and I let you know where to holiday whilst Down Under.

Australian Rules Football
It’s trade week, meaning the teams are changing as players are swapped like commodities, lives are put on hold, futures are placed in the balance. Clubs have no qualms about dumping players, and yet get all uppity when players want to move on. It is the reason why rugby players defect to the super league in Europe. Loyalty is a two-way street and clubs just do not show any. Why? Because the AFL only cares about money and not about people. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it, but the AFL does not care about the sport or the players. And draft week makes it obvious. And what’s worse is this draft means not a real lot because of the insane amount of concessions given to a team that has not even a culture of the sport being played in its area of operation. Well done, AFL. Morons.
            Next uproar – following the news that a few Collingwood players (who have since been named and shamed by a Melbourne radio station, despite not having been charged yet) were alleged to have sexually assaulted a young female, former AFL star ‘Spida’ Everitt tweeted: “Yet another alleged girl, making alleged allegations, after she awoke with an alleged hangover and I take it an alleged guilty conscience” and followed up with: “Girls!! When will you learn! At 3am when you are blind drunk & you decide to go home with a guy ITS NOT FOR A CUP OF MILO! Allegedly……” Then morning TV hostess Kerri-Anne Kennerley waded in, sort of saying that Spida made some good points.
            Both are being blasted as if they condone sexual assault. What a joke. I am not going to put my personal opinion on it here because some one is bound to misinterpret what I say as well. And yet the man who outs these as yet uncharged players is not condemned at all. Mob justice is to justice what a lynching is to appropriate punishment.

Rugby League
Parramatta player Timana Tahu walked out of the New South Wales State of Origin team because of racist remarks aimed at another player. A man of conscience and morals. A man who has now been accused of using a derogatory racial term against a sixteen year old Aboriginal player at a tournament. The complaint has been formalised and is now being investigated.
            And speaking of investigations, several Cowboys players are also being interviewed regarding a suspicious betting plunge.
            It never ends, does it?

First Test – India v Australia
Australia 428; India 405; Australia 192; India 9/216 – India won by 1 wicket
            Australia just cannot seem to win in India. This was a close match. Maybe one or two dodgy decisions, but Australia really only had themselves to blame for that second innings collapse.
            Quick note: Last year I put in all the scores from the domestic season here, but it seemed that no one actually cared too much except at the business end of the season. So I shan’t be doing that this year unless there is such an outpouring of dismay that I have no other option.
Still all quiet on the scandal front.

A-League Round 9 (finished)
Melbourne Heart 2 def Melbourne Victory 1
Why bother?

V-8 Supercars – Bathurst 1000
This is the single biggest race on the Australian racing calendar. It is seen as the pinnacle of closed wheel racing in this country. The all-day broadcast attracts viewers who would normally avoid car racing like the plague. To win this race more than once automatically makes you a legend in this country.
            Which is why the Seven Network in Australia broadcast it on 20 minute delay and peppered it with too many ads and generally did one of the worst jobs of covering the car race in its illustrious history.
Crash from Youtube
            Raced at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW, over 1000km.
1st TeamVodafone: Craig Lowndes / Mark Skaife (Commodore VE)
2nd TeamVodafone: Jamie Whincup / Steve Owen (Commodore VE)
3rd Toll Holden Racing Team: Cameron McConville / Garth Tander (Commodore VE)
4th Trading Post Racing: Jason Bright / Matthew Halliday (Commodore VE)
5th Jim Beam Racing: James Courtney / Warren Luff (Falcon FG)
Formula One – Japanese Grand Prix
1st Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2nd Mark Webber (Red Bull)
3rd Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

Commonwealth Games
As of 6pm, Central Australian Summer Time, the medal tally (top 10) sits thusly:
Australia – 61 gold, 39 silver, 37 bronze, 137 in Total
India – 29g, 22s, 23b, 74T
England – 26g, 46s, 33b, 105T
Canada – 22g, 12s, 25b, 59T
South Africa – 11g, 11s, 9b, 31T
Nigeria – 8g, 7s, 11b, 26T
Malaysia – 6g, 7s, 7b, 20T
Kenya – 6g, 4s, 4b, 14T
Singapore – 5g, 5s, 6b, 16T
Scotland – 4g, 8s, 6b, 18T
Australia has suddenly gained for itself a reputation as sore losers. We are dominating everything, but people not winning are acting pathetically. It is what we have seen from Americans in the past (and by seen, I mean I have seen it – protests, threats of lawsuits, sit-down strikes, the works… at least ours weren’t that bad). Sally Pearson was spectacularly disqualified from the 100m sprint after thinking she had won gold… 3 hours later! But she accepted it. She was teary and confused, but she accepted it. However, the same cannot be said for Shane Perkins who was sent to the back of the pack for causing an accident in the kieran (a cycling event) and gave a two-fingered salute to the judges, or Hassene Fkiri in the wrestling who refused to shake hands with his opponent or the judge and gave another two-fingered salute when he finished second; he was subsequently stripped of his silver medal. Morons.
            All right, now the Games themselves. Watching on TV there seem to be two things wrong with this edition of the CommGames. First, there are no crowds. Fear and the fact Indians only care about sports they do well in are mainly to blame. And those crowds that do turn up think nothing of trying to distract divers, swimmers, gymnasts, whoever, with no recourse to normal sporting etiquette. Second, it is really everyone battling for second with Australia being so dominant. And this does not augur well for England in their bid for hometown glory at the 2012 London Olympics.
            Oh, and TV viewing figures are down so much it is believed free advertising slots after the games are being offered to keep the sponsors on board. Eek.
            Enough negativity. It has been a stunningly beautiful Games so far. India comes across as picturesque and calm and placid (even if people do wander across roads without looking at anything). And the joy of this entire event is that smaller countries and more athletes get a chance to compete in a large scale international event.
            And now the highlight of the first week of the Games from an Australian perspective. Geoff Huegill has marked an amazing comeback to the sport with a gold medal. He quit swimming after the 2004 Athens Olympics, but decided to aim for a comeback, starting in 2008. He hit the pool at 138kg. By the time these Games came around he had dropped 43kg and, at the age of 31, captured an individual gold and silver, and medley relay gold. Wow. The guy is a true champion.

 “Hey! Love the column. Were coming 2 Australia in feb. Where should we go”
            That’s an email from one Peter S of Sacramento. Well, why not indulge him?
            So let me list my 5 favourite holiday spots in Australia. Before then, first, you just have to see Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Northern Territory and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. Just given. I find the Sydney Opera House odd, the Harbour Bridge just a bridge and Sydney Harbour not the world’s best, not by a long way. So, anyway, my top 5:
            (Highly commended goes to Cradle Mountain, Tasmania for hiking, Barossa Valley, South Australia for wine, and Fraser Island, Queensland, for camping. Add Uluru and the Reef, this makes ten spots in total…)
5) Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound (South Australia). If you want a camping trip with lots of glorious hiking, native wildlife and wonderful views, this is for you. Climb St Mary’s Peak, explore the fossil sites, just have a long look around.
4) Perth (Western Australia). If you want a holiday in a larger city, Perth is for you. It is my favourite big city in Australia. Beautiful beaches, great shopping and a national park within walking distance of the CBD. Catch a ferry down to Fremantle, look at the history, it’s a great city.
3) Bendigo and surrounds (Victoria). Smaller country town in the middle of a state, surrounded by natural beauty. Take a drive down to Hanging Rock, walk around the city and the marvellously preserved historic buildings, some of the very best second hand book shops, great climate, this place has it all.
2) Port Arthur (Tasmania). If it’s history you’re after, you can’t go past the site of Australia’s most infamous penal settlement. Do the ghost tour at night and be caught up in the atmosphere, catch the boat out the Isle of the Dead, spend a few days wandering and taking too many photos. It is also poignant for being the site of Australia’s worst mass killing. Take the guided tours; you will not be disappointed.
1) Kangaroo Island (South Australia). My favourite holiday spot. Wonderful beaches (including Vivonne Bay, voted best beach in Australia), the seal colony, Flinders Chase National Park, great fishing, historical sites. You can stay in accommodation from tents through to the luxury of Southern Ocean Lodge. Relaxing or hiking or fishing or sand surfing or boating, the spot to go.
            So, I hope this gives you some ideas if you’re planning on coming to Australia!

And that’s the View through to October 11, 2010.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #102 – The New and Improved View. Mon, 19 Jul 2010 14:08:20 +0000 All right! I’m back, and the holiday was very nice, thank you very much. This is the first try at a revamp of my format. It is only a little different, but enough to make it feel fresh to me. Hope you all enjoy and, as usual, leave comments to let me know.

Australian Rules Football
Yes, I missed two rounds… Live with it.
AFL Round 16
Adelaide 11.8 (74) def Geelong 9.9 (63)
Collingwood 15.10 (100) def St Kilda 6.16 (52)
Hawthorn 17.16 (18) hammered Brisbane 7.1 (43)
Essendon 14.16 (100) def by West Coast 20.12 (132)
Western Bulldogs 12.11 (83) def Port Adelaide 7.5 (47)
Carlton 10.8 (68) def by Sydney 16.11 (107)
Richmond 7.11 (53) def by North Melbourne 15.13 (103)
Fremantle 11.16 982) def Melbourne 10.11 (71)
One major news story from the past week – Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams fell on his sword, quitting with rounds left of the season. His 2IC and heir apparent Dean Laidley decided not to go for the top job, leaving untried and untested Matthew Primus as caretaker coach. My take (for what it’s worth) –
            Port would not have fired him due to the financial situation of the club and having to pay him out and him most likely making it hard for them. However, he was ‘convinced’ to quit and will take the money when they find it.
            And I think he would have quit anyway, when his contract was up.
            Look, Williams was a good coach, but only when he had absolute control and power and the players did as he said without question. He is an old-style, autonomous autocrat of a coach and today’s player do not respond to that over the long term.
            For Port it was a good decision, either done 2 years too late OR 4 months too early. An already ruined season has been completely disrupted, especially with Laidley’s decision to not go for the top job. Is Primus the right candidate? I guess we’ll find out over the next 8 rounds, won’t we?
            As for Williams’ next move – he’ll go to Melbourne, away from Adelaide. I can see him taking a VFL coaching position, maybe with the Collingwood-associated team (whatever one that is), especially with Nathan Buckley the new senior coach at the Maggies. Maybe even at Essendon, with Knights under the pump as well. Or taking on an Indigenous coaching / ambassador / development officer role within the AFL itself.
            Oh, and in other news, it appears caffeine tablets and hyping up on them before a game is completely legal in the AFL.
SANFL Round 17
Central Districts 9.10 (64) def Norwood 8.8 (56)
Sturt 12.14 (86) def North Adelaide 8.6 (54)
Port Adelaide 110.10 (70) def by Glenelg 15.15 (105)
Woodville-West Torrens 17.14 (116) def South Adelaide 9.9 (63)
None of note. No, really. Okay, something might have happened, but this is the South Australian football league, so our newspapers are filled with stories about the Victorian version of the game. Go figure.

Test Cricket
Australia v Pakistan
            Due to the apparent violence in a friendly nation, Australia (and some other nations) have spat the dummy and refused to play cricket in Pakistan. So they’re playing at Lord’s in England, a neutral venue (and let’s be serious, there’s almost as many Pakistanis and Australians in England as in their own countries anyway). But it’s still like saying to your son he can’t play with the Johnston’s kid at their own home because his brothers might beat him up, but at the playground it’s okay, where they can beat him up away from interested authorities, and where others can beat him up as well.
Australia 1st innings 253; Pakistan 1st innings 148; Australia 2nd innings 334; Pakistan 2nd innings 289
Australia won by 150 runs
Muttiah Muralitharan has announced that he is planning to retire sooner rather than later. The Sri Lankan spin bowler – famously accused and no-balled for chucking with his dodgy bowling action – has been a scourge of cricket nations for a long time and this news was greeted with relief. But then he said he might wait until he’s taken 800 wickets. Damn!
            Now, this is somewhat controversial, but his action is suspect. Every time he was tested it was in a laboratory situation, not on a match day. A group of sports scientists here in Adelaide actually found that he does throw and not bowl, but their findings were dismissed.
            For those unsure, in cricket a ball is bowled if the arm does not bend more than a certain amount. I think it’s 15 degrees, but could be wrong and couldn’t be arsed finding out. Anyway, it’s not much. Muralitharan bends his arm; he claims it’s from a badly healed injury, but science indicates it’s a dodgy action. However, the ICC is run buy the subcontinent and so science is ignored if it goes against what they want.
            Sport and politics – just say, “Piss off!”

ANZ Championships – Grand Final
Before I go to it, in case you missed it, the Sydney Swifts, undefeated all year in the regular season, went out in straight sets in the finals. The pressure got to them, obviously. Or maybe they were just losers. Who knows?
Adelaide Thunderbirds 52 def WBOP Magic 42
            Yes, Adelaide, the South Australian team made up of players from every state other than South Australia won the grand final.
This is sort of news, but here goes – the grand final was held in Adelaide. Not the normal venue – it was deemed too small. So they moved to the much much larger Entertainment Centre. Where rock concerts are held.
            It sold out in 12 minutes! That’s faster than Bon Jovi… oh no, that’s right. They’re not coming to Adelaide because they don’t think Australia exists past Melbourne. Buy a freaking atlas, morons! How about Springsteen? No, that’s right, he didn’t come here either. And… nope, they didn’t come. There was… nope, then either. But the largest netball crowd in Australia turned up in Adelaide and they did it so fast even members struggled to get good tickets.
            Impressive. And it just goes to show that in this country netball is not only one of the highest participation sports (the last stats I saw indicated it was second only to cricket), but also a popular spectator sport.
            I still don’t get why it’s not more popular elsewhere in the world.

World Cup Final
Spain One, Germany Lost
            There has been some debate here on Pulse as to why soccer is not more popular in the States. Ditto for Australia.
            Here’s why I think it’s not up there. Yes, our kids play. Because it’s easy. They also watch Sesame Street. Doesn’t mean as an adult I have to. Look, it’s simple. The game is boring. Some one actually said that the lack of scoring or scoring opportunities makes you relish them all the more when they come, unlike the sports popular in the USA and Australia. Yeah, but sometimes they NEVER freakin’ come!
            It’s dull!
            It’s boring!
            Ahh, forget it. I stick by my assertion that soccer is the McDonald’s of world sport. It’s everywhere, it’s insidious, it tells lies about itself (the World Cup, for example, is NOT the biggest sporting event in the world), and too much of it can be bad for you. What? Tell me soccer riots have never existed, then come back to me. When was the last time we had an Australian Rules riot? Or a gridiron riot? What? You can’t? Why? Because things actually happen on the field of play! Our sports have cathartic release! Soccer has long stretches of tedium punctuated by masturbatory moments of near-hysteria!
            Who cares? It’s soccer. A bunch of kids and a round ball. The game they play when there’s no basketball rings available.

Rugby League
State Of Origin – Game 3
New South Wales 18 def by Queensland 23
            And Queensland have won five series in a row, clean-sweeping this one.
NRL – Round 19
Gold Coast 10 def by Brisbane 24
South Sydney 13 def by St George Illawarra 16
Warriors 13 def Melbourne 6
Penrith 28 def by Parramatta 34
Cronulla 18 crushed by Manly 48
Canberra 52 hammered Newcastle 18
Sydney Roosters 36 def Canterbury-Bankstown 32
Wests Tigers 26 def North Queensland 16
The Melbourne Storm salary cap breach now appears to be twice as bad as first thought. Yes, more than 3 MILLION DOLLARS over the cap! What the f? How in the HELL could this happen and (a) News limited, the owners, not know about it, (b) the NRL, the body running the game, not know about, and (c) the players, those who see each other with seventy-six cars and twelves houses scattered throughout the world not have an inking something’s not quite right? I don’t think this is head in the sand time, it’s more like head up the goddammed arse time! They were paying enough to field two teams! They cheated really badly! Their sanctions may have seemed harsh; now they seem grossly underdone. They say the players should not be punished for the deeds of the higher ups. Well, they must have known something was up when every car in their private car park was the latest Mercedes, BMW or Lamborghini. No, the people who have been shafted are the supporters, who have paid money for tickets, for memberships, for everything else, and have a team that cheats and cheats them out of having success legitimately…

V-8 Supercars – Townsville
Race 15
1st: Jamie Whincup
2nd: Garth Tander
3rd: Mark Winterbottom
Race 16
1st: Mark Winterbottom
2nd: James Courtney
3rd: Garth Tander
Formula One – British Grand Prix
1st: Mark Webber
2nd: Lewis Hamilton
3rd: Nico Rosberg
Tensions are boiling over in the Red Bull camp. Webber and Vettel hate each other and it’s being stirred up by the team itself. Marketing wants Vettel to be the champ and number one driver because he is German and we all knows Germans are such great marketing tools. And Webber wants to be champ and number one driver because he, you know, drives well.

Other Sport
Wheelchair Basketball Men’s World Championships
Australia 79 def France 69

Professional Wrestling
Riot City Wrestling – Dark Days 2010
Holy Crap. Yet another brilliant show. What can I say? This group is putting on consistently high standard wrestling shows. The skill level is amazing, the wrestlers are looking more and more like wrestlers as we know them and the story-telling is consistent and logical.
            Huge, packed crowd of around three hundred (as near to capacity as dammit) got to see:
Match 1 – The Rude Ones (Del Taurino & Marvel with El Presidente) v Only The Strong (Mimic & Voodoo)
            This looked like they decided to do a twenty minute match, but then only had ten minutes, so they did it anyway at double speed. Fast, hot opener. There was no feeling out process – these teams have now fought three times and it was as though they just wanted to kill one another. The ending came when Mimic had Del Taurino up for a DVD, and Voodoo double stomped him off the top rope as it was delivered, then picked up the 3-count.
Match 2 – Blue Blood v TJ Rush, Aerial Assault match
            The goal is to hit your opponent with a top rope move. No pinfalls, submissions or anything. Lots of high impact action, and Blue Blood is really getting into the RCW style. A few top rope moves missing before TJ hit a corkscrew 450 splash (phoenix splash) for the win.
Match 3 – Fuzion v Warship
            The newly face turned Fuzion surprised everyone with a freshly shaved down look all over. But he still fights the same, which was a relief. How many guys turn heel and suddenly lose all their aggression and aggressive moves? Warship’s best RCW match, as he has also adapted to the RCW style. Fuzion won with the cold fusion followed by a chokeslam. Post-match Warship cut another anti-SA promo and promised one of the RCW wrestlers was secretly supporting Victoria.
Match 4 – Savannah Summers v Miami, Table match
            First time for a females table match in South Australia, maybe Australia (though we have heard of maybe one other). Holy cow, these girls went at each other. Brad Smyth got involved for Summers, but Sway came out to tackle him. Summers bled, a metal rubbish bin got involved, tables were broken and the end came when Sway distracted Summers enabling Miami to spinebuster her through a table in a corner for the win. Wow. What a match – match of the night in a night of great matches.
Match 5 – Rockey Menero v Tim Burgundy
            Hard hitting match which Rocky won. But the fun came afterwards when Elliott Sexton attacked him from the crowd. Who? Well, he has appeared from EPW/NWA-A out of nowhere here and gone after one of the most popular wrestlers. He cut a brilliant intro promo and then Rocky attacked him back and they brawled until security took Sexton out of the building. Welcome to RCW!
Match 6 – Luke Santamaria v Brad Smyth v Jacko Lantern v GD Grimm
            4-way elimination match for the number one contendership, 25 minute time limit. Anyone left after twenty five minutes will face the champion next month.
            So much happened. Apart from one tower of doom spot, it was essentially two brawls going back and forth around the place. So hard to follow both. Into the crowd, through the crowd. Then they all managed to get near the stage and Jacko climbed onto the commentators’ table and hit a somersault plancha onto the other three over the heads of the crowd! Holy crap! Luke was pinned by Smyth after a shot to the head with a set of scales at about 16 minutes, Smyth was pinned by Jacko after a Fuzion distraction at 22 minutes, and Jacko’s pin on Grimm was stopped at 2 when the time ran out! Grimm and Jacko both face Rush next show!
            Go to to buy the DVDs because you will not be disappointed.

This is the newest section. It seems that so many people have no idea what our country is about. Canada see us as a Little Britain, China sees us as a mini-USA, Britain sees us as a prison, the USA sees us as place where if the serial killers don’t kill you the wildlife will, and New Zealand sees us as a pain in the arse.
            So the idea here is that any big news stories will be put forward, otherwise I’ll steal sections of other sites around the Pulse and put an Australian spin on it. The reason is that, apart from the wrestling section (where I am an occasional contributor to roundtables and other things) and comics section, where Australia does not really figure, but they did answer my questions when they had a Q&A section, the other zones do not give a shit about anything not American. Yes, shout outs to IP Sports, Pulse Wrestling and Comics Nexus. And so here I am.
            First, big news is that Australians get to vote on August 21. Federal election time. It’s not like America – when we vote, we vote just for a local candidate. The side with the most candidates wins and the leader of that party becomes prime minister. We do not directly vote for our nation’s leader. That aside, we have a choice of the Liberals, led by a religious bigot who wants to filter our internet to a point where it as bad as China and take away our rights at work. Or we have Labor, led by a woman who was deputy but not involved in the previous PM’s silliness no way uh-uh, who want to filter our internet to a point where it is as bad as North Korea and spend our money on so-called nation building which achieves nothing of substance. Either way, we lose. There are minor parties – the Greens want to give animals (and some plants) the same rights as humans, the Family First Party wants the Bible to be the only thing read by anyone anywhere and make Christianity compulsory in Australia, the Christian Democrats makes Family First look like a gay lib meeting, the Democrats don’t really exist any more, and most independents are only in it for the pension fund. Only Nick Xenophon, South Australian senator, does things for the people of this country. But his is a lone voice in the wilderness of stupidity that is Australian politics. It’s worse than the USA only without the budget or entertainment value.
            Now, next. I’ll start small, and give a shout out to a book. Shades Of Sentience is an anthology of short horror stories by Australian authors. Some are weird, some are scary, but the vast majority are really good. The tales look at traditional themes in some cases but with a new spin, or take other concepts and make them eerie. The first story in the book takes a look at art that is just plain unsettling, for example. A good book. Thoroughly recommended.
            That was brief, but I hope to look at music, films, TV and beer. Not celebrities, though. They suck no matter which country they’re from.

And that’s the View – through to July 19.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #100 – The 100th not very special edition. Mon, 21 Jun 2010 12:44:11 +0000 Sportsportsportpsortsport. What? You expected something else?
            As of next week I shall be tweaking this report a little. While I shall include the scores, I shall be limiting the commentary and opinions… and adding some extra stuff about Australia in general. The one thing that people seem to ask me is ‘what do Australians think about this’? Where this is anything. So I’m going to add some more social commentary, less sport commentary and whatever else the hell I feel like.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 13
Split round, half the matches this week, half next.
Hawthorn 14.18 (102) def Essendon 13.8 (86)
            Damn fine game. Essendon came from behind,. Took the lead, but then the Hawks clawed their way back to a solid win. Great stuff from both teams, but Hawthorn’s experience won out in the end.
Carlton 12.15 (87) def by Fremantle 14.12 (96)
            Freo hit the mid-season break in the top four with a strong away win. They looked the goods all match and should give it a red hot go this year come September.
Brisbane 12.14 (86) def by Richmond 15.15 (105)
            Richmond are coming good with yet another good win, this time away from home,. Brisbane’s up and down season has hit a new low now, losing at home to the hapless Tigers. There is much work to be done in Queensland over the break.
North Melbourne 19.15 9129) def Port Adelaide 14.9 (93)
            Port’s downward spiral continues unabated. After such promise at the start of the season, they are sinking fast. North Melbourne, meanwhile, are on the cusp of an amazing resurgence. This dominant win sees them in touch with the top 8 and a good chance for a finals shot.
West Coast 9.5 (59) hammered by Western Bulldogs 17.17 (119)
            The Eagles looked inept out there as the Bulldogs ran riot over them. They are heading for their first ever wooden spoon, while the Bulldogs are pushing to be legitimate finals contenders and a real threat to the flag.
SANFL Round 12
West Adelaide 10.5 (65) def Woodville-West Torrens 8.7 (55)
            West got the jump on the Eagles early and kept their noses in front all day for a hard-earned win. But it was good match, and both sides played as if their season relied on it.
Port Adelaide 6.9 (45) def by Norwood 8.9 (57)
            Tim Weatherald (a man I know personally and respect a lot) played his 300th game and it was his efforts that led Norwood to this victory. Not a great game with neither team scoring a goal in the first term, but it was certainly hard fought.
Central Districts 10.17 (77) hammered North Adelaide 5.3 (33)
            The Bulldogs cruised through this match, and if they had kicked straighter (mind you, the weather was pretty appalling) it would have been even more of a shellacking. They did enough to win well, but that was about all.
Glenelg 14.11 (95) def Sturt 13.11 (89)
            Surprisingly close game, showing Sturt are not out of finals contention just yet… they’re just not winning as often as they would like.
Bye: South Adelaide
            A strong bye this week from the Panthers, the first thing they haven’t fouled up in over a month. Let’s hope this is the start of a wonderful resurgence.

One Day International
Ireland v Australia

Australia 9/231; Ireland 192 (42 overs) – Australia won by 39 runs
            Ireland lost this one. Against such a world force in cricket (/sarcasm), Australia struggled. Okay, it was only a warm up game before the meaningless matches against England starting next week, but there was not a lot here to keep Australians hopeful of regaining those Ashes or even beating England.

ANZ Championships – Round 14
            Last round before the finals series, with teams still to cement their places in the finals…
WBOP Magic 53 def Thunderbirds 44
            This gave the Magic third spot on the ladder while the Thunderbirds remained in second place, but this was not the result Adelaide wanted going into a desperate finals series.
Fever 67 def Firebirds 59
            And thus the Firebirds season ends with a whimper. They could have snuck into the top four, but, no… This loss to bottom four side Fever destroyed their season.
Tactix 47 def by Mystics 58
            Both teams played well and tried hard, but neither was in line for a finals spot and the whole game had a feeling of inevitability about it – this was their last game for the season.
Pulse 48 def by Vixens 49
            The Vixens have finished a hugely disappointing season with a hard fought win. Too little, too late.
Swifts 55 def Steel 38
            After a close first half, the runaway best team of the year so far ran away with it, giving themselves a nice hit-out before the finals series, which the Swifts will enter as clear favourites.

World Cup
Ghana 1 drew with Australia 1
            Okay, so there was a dodgy (very dodgy) referee call against Australia (again). But the Aussies did not look like they were going to win. This World Cup campaign is over, and the fact the Socceroos will go it with such a whimper will make Australia’s bid for the 2022 World Cup that much more impossible.

Rugby League
State Of Origin – Game 2
Queensland 34 def New South Wales 6
            New South Wales shot themselves in the foot with the racism row, in fighting, poor selection policies and general arrogance, the likes of which really only exist in Sydney in this country. These games are supposed to be the best rugby in the world; this match was definitely NOT that.
NRL 2010 – Round 15
Brisbane 12 def by Penrith 22
            A disallowed try was what swung the momentum against Brisbane, and so their 5-game winning streak was broken and Penrith take a share of the lead of the competition.
Canterbury-Bankstown 24 def by Gold Coast 25
            Not a good game. There were a lot of errors from both teams and the Titans squeaked in with a just win after leading 24-6 at one stage.
Melbourne 58 crushed North Queensland 12
            The Storm came back after a disappointing month with a totally dominant performance over the hapless Cowboys.
Manly 26 def South Sydney 25
            Two late field goals did it for Manly in what was a great game from both sides.
Cronulla 4 def by St George Illawarra 22
            The referee may have influenced the outcome of this game with a bad call in disallowing a try. But St George were the better team on the day anyway.
Wests Tigers 18 def Canberra 8
            Don’t let the score fool you – this was a close game.
Newcastle 6 def Parramatta 4
            A try and conversion in the 78th minute won it for Newcastle in a game of defence. I found it a dull spectacle…

Rugby Union
International – Test
Australia 20 def by England 21
            An upset! After being thoroughly beaten in Perth, the teams shifted to NZ stadium and the English squeaked over the line. The problem is Matt Gitaeu scored all of Australia’s points, but had an off night with the boot. England had multiple scorers. Simple.
            Australia is looking old; England have a heap of new young players. Australia’s union stocks are falling. The Super-14 and now internationals are looking more and more like pipe dreams for Australian teams.

V-8 Supercars

1st Mark Winterbottom
2nd Jamie Whincup
3rd Shane van Gisbergen
1st Jamie Whincup
2nd Mark Winterbottom
3rd Shane van Gisbergen
            This pushes all three of these driver sup the rankings and towards Courtney at the top of the leader board.

And that’s the View – June 15 through 21.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #99 – Wrestling! Mon, 14 Jun 2010 12:37:22 +0000 Riot City Wrestling made this long weekend a great one. Add to that my team winning in the AFL and ignoring the soccer, it was a good weekend!

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 12
North Melbourne 14.13 (97) def Carlton 10.8 (68)
            Upset! North Melbourne’s form is harder to pick than a broken nose. This week they were on an up… who can tell what’s going to happen next week?
Hawthorn 19.10 (124) def Adelaide 11.11 (77)
            Not an upset! Nope, Adelaide were dismantled effectively and completely. Hawthorn barely broke a sweat. Dull, disappointing game.
Essendon 12.11 (83) def by Geelong 23.16 (154)
            Glorified training run for Geelong who looked like they barely got out of second gear. Great game to watch of you are a Geelong supporter.
Port Adelaide 8.7 (55) def by Sydney 14.9 (93)
            I should thank Port Adelaide for allowing Sydney to play themselves back into some form. Port were completely outclassed here. What happened to the Port team of the first part of the season? Wow, they were crap here.
Richmond 19.12 (126) def West Coast 11.11 (77)
            A month ago this would have been an upset. But last week I said Richmond would go in as favourites… and they won. West Coast, you are now almost as bad as Adelaide… And the game was not a great one, by the way.
Western Bulldogs 17.19 (121) def Brisbane 8.8 (56)
            The Bulldogs just destroyed Brisbane. It was a rout. Brisbane have lost Brown through injury, and this result shows that they are most likely a one-person team. Without Brown, they are clearly nothing.
Fremantle 10.7 (67) def by St Kilda 12.13 (85)
            Fremantle were exposed again by another rival for their top four place. While they comfortably play against the lower ranked teams, those near them prove much more of a challenge. But if there is anything to be taken from this year, it’s that Fremantle know how to learn from a mistake, and they should bounce back better than before.
Melbourne 11.10 (76) drew with Collingwood 9.22 (76)
            The scoreline should tell you all you need to know about the reason this was a draw – Collingwood wasted so much in front of goal. Scrappy game, that’s for sure.
SANFL Round 12
West Adelaide 6.7 (43) def by Central Districts 10.6 (66)
            Centrals going through the motions this week, treating Westies almost with disdain. Westies kicked the last 3 goals to put some respectability into the score line, but by then the damage had been done. And now Centrals are on top. Again.
South Adelaide 11.7 (73) def by Port Adelaide 13.10 (88)
            And now South Adelaide are at the bottom of the table, officially the losers of the competition again. They do this all the time. I blame Mike Rann, our state’s Premier and Panthers’ number one ticket holder. Everything he supports turns to crud.
Sturt 11.13 (79) def Norwood 10.11 (71)
            Norwood’s win streak stops at 6 as Sturt have decided to turn it on this week. Good game.
Glenelg 17.8 (110) def North Adelaide 8.15 (63)
            The game was in the balance with some not brilliant football from both teams for the first three quarters, then Glenelg hit a nine goal to one final term to wipe the Roosters off the paddock. Not a convincing performance from either team.
Bye: Woodville-West Torrens

ANZ Championships – Round 13
            One round to go after this, and the top four is still open to any of six teams, with only the Swifts and Thunderbirds guaranteed a place so far.
Pulse 52 def by WBOP Magic 58
            Close game with both teams still fighting for a spot in the finals. Solid work from the Magic to pull it out in the end.
Vixens 46 def by Swifts 58
            The Swifts did not get out of second gear for this one. They won comfortably, but last year’s premiers looked like a B-team in defeat.
Thunderbirds 54 def Fever 45
            Dead even at three quarter time, but then an 18-9 goal final term sealed it for the so-called Adelaide team. Tight, close match, but why aren’t South Australians involved in the South Australian team? Just asking…
Firebirds 75 def Tactix 32
            Well, that was a convincing win and a nice way for the Queensland team to send a warning to the rest come finals time. They completely outclassed and outplayed the Canterbury team, starting with a 20 goal to 8 first quarter.
Mystics 43 def by Steel 50
            Both teams were gunning for that top four, but the Steel just wanted it more and they fought hard to ensure their current winning streak remains strong.

World Cup
Germany 4 def Australia 0
            Now, I said I would not be talking about the World Cup, but like so many others I was suckered in by the hype and watched Australia’s opening match.
            We were abysmal. A player got red carded and cried. The Germans toyed with the Australians. The Socceroos chased all match long. And to those who sent me emails (you know who you are) after I commented in the D-Group preview on this very site that Australia are overrated – bite me.
            In my local football tipping competition, we had this one as a wild card entry this week – winner and margin. So to Shane, The Ferg and Duane – when I said 3-0 Germany’s way and you laughed… I expect my money in notes, not coins this time.

Rugby League
NRL Round 14
Gold Coast 28 def Manly 14
            Something of an upset. Gold Coast were in front all day and even dodgy refereeing in Manly’s favour (an 8-point try my arse; I see that sort of thing all the time without penalty) could not help them win.
North Queensland 16 def Canberra 8
            Surprisingly good match from these two teams, with many stars out for Origin duty. But they were entertaining and it was good to see North Queensland get a win on the board.
Newcastle 24 def by Warriors 32
            Newcastle played like they were going to lose. It was simple as that. Warriors did not win, Newcastle lost.
Brisbane 50 def South Sydney 22
            What happened? Souths have been going great guns of late, but the Broncos have clearly decided they came to play, and ran all over the Rabbitohs. Brisbane’s form reversal for the past few weeks has been stunning.
Melbourne 8 def by Sydney Roosters 38
            How the mighty have fallen. After running on adrenalin for the first few weeks after the debacle over the salary cap emerged, Melbourne now seem to realise they are literally playing for nothing, and are putting in that effort – nothing. The NRL has done their sport a huge disservice, because if Melbourne continue like this – and who could blame them? – they will lose the support and goodwill of their city and the sport will fall over there, leaving rugby league a quaint regional game in an Australia dominated by the AFL and Australian rules football…
State Of Origin
            With game 2 just days away, new South Wales have been thrown into turmoil they do not need. Andrew Johns, league legend, has stood down as NSW assistant coach because his racial slur against Greg Inglis caused Timana Tahu to leave the team in protest.
            So… NSW don’t want to win? They want to be seen as the losingest side in Origin history? First Johns, who should have known better. Then Tahu leaving because of it when the player involved stayed. Then NSW rugby for letting it all happen and not getting them together to thrash it out.
            Oh well. My money’s on Queensland in a humiliation.

Rugby Union
International – Test
Australia v England, Full Time 27-17
            While Australia won, the fact their scrum still looks like a dog’s breakfast means they won’t win against New Zealand or South Africa. Still, a good win against England, outscoring them with ease.

Halle Title, Germany
Lleyton Hewitt def Roger Federer 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4
            Now I don’t often write about tennis outside of the Grand Slams (and even then, only if the Australians actually, you know, play okay), but this was huge Australian sport news, with Federer being done by Hewitt for the first timer since a Davis Cup encounter in 2003. This either means Hewitt is peaking at the right time for Wimbledon, or Federer is out of form. I guess we’ll find out soon enough, but for now – well done, Lleyton, and C’Mon!

Professional Wrestling
Riot City Wrestling – Ultimatum 2010
            A crowd of 250-ish – down a little – and a weird mob as well.
The Rude Ones (Marvel & Del Taurino) def BeBop & Blue Blood
            Seemingly random pairing to go off against the dominant tag team in RCW. Blue Blood seems to have the hang of RCW stylings now and BeBop’s new suit looks like the Flash meets Octopus Man. The match was a good opener and got the crowd into the show, even with a few dodgy spots.
Rocky Menero def Tommy Hellfire (VIC)
            And the interstate rivalry continues this month. Another good match, but disjointed at times as their styles, while seemingly similar, did not mesh brilliantly. Still, the crowd were into it and Rocky went over strong against a guy the same size.
Warship & Matt Silva (VIC) def Mimic & Voodoo
            This time the Victorians came out on top. Warship looks to have settled in to the RCW style well and it’s always good to have Silva back. This was a great match with these teams giving their all, even if the crowd were deflated at the end. The BPW (from Victoria)/ RCW rivalry is bringing out some great match ups.
Miami def Savannah Summers (by DQ)
            These two went all out, hitting harder than most women I’ve seen. The DQ was the only way it could have gone under normal rules so next month, the commissioner has decided – tables match between the two. For the short length of time, this was an intense match.
Jacko Lantern def Fuzion
            Brad’s interference cost Fuzion again, only this time it was after an amazingly even match. They worked well together and this was yet another really good bout. After the loss, Brad and Savannah attack Fuzion, and the break up teased for so many months comes, along with a monster pop for the Fuzion face turn, especially after Jacko makes the save.
Luke Santamaria def Tim Burgundy & Brad Smyth (3-way)
            Luke’s improvement this year has been outstanding. The three were in the match together for the majority of the time, and some of the innovative 3-way spots were mind-blowing. Another excellent match.
TJ Rush def GD Grimm to retain the RCW championship
            This was a great match, but the crowd were not into it. Maybe they were just worn out after so much happening before, I don’t know. But they seemed to be really sitting on their hands. Even TJ couldn’t gee them up. The end came after a ref bump, and Grimm grabbed the belt, but TJ got it. Grimm begged to be let alone, TJ have him the finger, then nailed him. That finally got the crowd to cheer. Maybe that bit of mongrel was what they were waiting for. Afterwards, Grimm complains, and is put into the 4-way for the number one contendership at the next show.
            Yet another really good show from RCW, still the best wrestling in Australia.
            Check out their website! Buy their DVDs!

And that’s the View – June 8 through 14.

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THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #98 – Israel Folau! Mon, 07 Jun 2010 14:00:28 +0000 Not as many scores as normal as less than normal happened this past week… oh, except we had a female tennis player do something decent and we have a rugby player do something intelligent. No, seriously. It’s the view!

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 11
Richmond 8.11 (59) def by St Kilda 14.13 (97)
            Richmond came so close to doing it, to toppling one of the AFL’s current powerhouses… but they couldn’t. However, their effort in this match was such that they might actually go into this week’s match against the West Coast as favourites.
Carlton 15.11 (101) def Melbourne 9.6 (60)
            Carlton ran all over the top of the hapless Demons… I think my attempt at the most clichéd sporting sentence was more interesting than the game… So that should give you an idea how crap this game was.
Adelaide 16.9 (105) def Fremantle 12.10 (82)
            I’m going to call this an upset… but Adelaide were running on pure emotion. With 300+ game veteran Tyson Edwards leaving the club, being denied a farewell match, then the club deciding he needed one – and this was it – the rollercoaster ride came to a head with a strong, attacking win. If they had played this way all year they would be on top of the table, not making up numbers in the bottom half.
North Melbourne 12.18 (90) def Brisbane 13.11 (89)
            North Melbourne seem to have struck a patch of form this week, as Brisbane did not play badly. The one point win should have been greater but inaccuracy in front of goal cost them.
West Coast 14.14 (98) def by Geelong 18.14 (122)
            Damn close up till three quarter time, and then the Cats went away with it. It almost seems like they are doing this a lot lately, and maybe it is being done deliberately. They have an aging list, it could be to save their legs for finals action come September. Whatever it is, they’re winning, and doing it relatively easily.
Sydney 12.17 (89) def Essendon 12.8 (80)
            Sydney back in the winner’s circle after a tense battle with Essendon. The lead changed over and over, but the Swans fought hard and eked out the win. Good game.
Hawthorn 10/14 (74) def Port Adelaide 8.15 (63)
            Hawthorn led by 33, Port then led by 1 and the Hawks ended up winning by 11. It was a back and forth game, and was surprisingly good, but Port look like they blew their load in the first two months of the season.
Collingwood 17.11 (113) def Western Bulldogs 16.7 (103)
            The Bulldogs almost snatched it with a great come back, but they just could not overcome the deficit.
SANFL Round 11
North Adelaide 15.10 (100) def South Adelaide 13.9 (87)
            Yet again, one lousy quarter – this time the second – cost South. If they can play four solid quarters, they will start to actually win… if they remember how.
Norwood 9.15 (69) def Central Districts 9.12 (66)
            It’s now official – this Norwood have to be ring ins. Defeating Centrals? Wow! With the lead never going above two goals for either team, it was a great match, certainly better than some of the AFL matches I’ve seen lately. Great advert for the local league.
Port Adelaide 13.8 (86) def by Woodville-West Torrens 15.10 (100)
            The Eagles played themselves back into a bit of form at the expense of the Magpies. Not a good game, but it did what the Eagles needed – they won.
Bye: West Adelaide, Sturt, Glenelg

ANZ Championships – Round 12
Mystics 62 def Fever 53
            For the first three quarters, this game could have gone either way, but the Mystics ran away with it in the last to have a convincing win.
Firebirds 55 def Pulse 45
            The Pulse got away to a flying first quarter, then let the Firebirds back in and that was all she wrote.
Vixens 43 def by Thunderbirds 54
            Sixth straight loss for the Vixens and it would seem their hopes of defending their 2009 title are now gone. The Thunderbirds played well enough to win, but, it should be pointed out, with a minimum of home grown talent yet again…
Steel 53 def Tactix 39
            Tactix lost it in the 2nd and 3rd quarters after a strong opener.
Swifts 60 def WBOP Magic 43
            And the Swifts show rolls on relentlessly, completely outplaying Magic for the entire game.

Rugby League
NRL Round 13
Parramatta 24 def Melbourne 10
            This was dubbed the rematch that never was, a replay of last season’s grand final which the Storm won and was subsequently stripped of, but which was not awarded to Parramatta. However, things were played civilly… until the second half when things turned nasty. A brawl, reports, nastiness… in front a crowd smaller than the one which watched the Vixens/Thunderbirds netball match.
Canterbury-Bankstown 12 def by Wests Tigers 19
            The conditions made this more like a game of mud wrestling than rugby. But the Bulldogs struggled and could not stop their losing ways.
Penrith 28 def Newcastle 10
            Some hard hitting and bone jarring tackles lifted this from the mundane to the moderately exciting.
Sydney Roosters 18 def by Cronulla 42
            The Sharks have been criticised for the way they’ve been attacking recently. Well, 7 tries to 3 should silence some critics as the Roosters felt the brunt of their wrath.
Warriors 20 def by St George Illawarra 22
            Wet, windy, injuries piling up… this was not a pretty game and St George were lucky to come away with a win.
Canberra 28 def Gold Coast 24
            At one point Canberra were 26-6 up. But Gold Coast came back strong and hard to almost snatch victory. Good second half.
Manly 6 def by Brisbane 22
            This game shows just how good a player Folau is (see below) (really). He put on something of a one-man show for the Broncos, with 2 tries and an awesome AFL-style mark. He is going to be a big loss for the entire sport.
South Sydney 32 def North Queensland 4
            A glorified training run for the Rabbitohs as they dominated from woah to go.
Israel Folau
I wasn’t sure whether to put this here or in the AFL section, but because of the immediate impact, here it shall stay.
            Now, for most of the world, they probably think this is some new Middle Eastern crisis. But, no – it’s a man.
            At age 16 Israel was dominating the under-19s in Queensland rugby league. He became the hottest property in the game for a long time. He won a premiership with the Melbourne Storm (which may or may not still be a premiership… what day of the week is it?). And aged still in his early 20s, he was considered already one of the greats of the modern game with only more greatness to come.
            All well and good – the guy is a freak of nature, a huge, agile, strong man who can run like the clappers and hit like runaway train. One of the best league players of a generation.
            Get the idea?
            He’s decided to take the million dollars plus a year on offer and jump to the Australian Football League to play Australian rules for the new Greater Western Sydney franchise.
            He is jumping codes.
            He is thinking about his long-term career, and this is a solid, well-considered choice.
            For an athlete of his undoubted ability to do this is almost unheard of. Think David Beckham taking up basketball, or Brett Favre deciding to try the marathon, or Michael Jordan going to baseball… successfully. Those in the lower ends or middle sections of the food chain, sure, but a star? Wow!
            Now, there are negatives on both sides. From the rugby point of view, he has jumped for the cash, leaving them without one of their more bankable stars. For the AFL how can some blow-in come and command such a high pay packet when those who have been working hard at this level for ten years earn a quarter of it?
            But the positives for the AFL are the name value, the drawing power and the fact people are already talking about a team that won’t hit the field for another season and a half.
            For the NRL, the only positive is it may finally get them seriously looking at their salary cap issues that have seen Melbourne decimated and Folau really given no option but to look after his future welfare.
            Oh, and despite his efforts on the weekend, he looks set to be dropped from the Queensland state of origin team for game 2. So rugby have already decided he be punished. (Although it does appear a group of quite politically powerful players are lobbying for that decision to be overturned.)
            Like that’s going to help their cause.
            Now, the media in all of this.
            Yes, this is a huge story in this country. But if it wasn’t for Sam Stosur in the tennis, it would have been the ONLY story. Not just sport, but the only story in the news this week, full stop. This came out on Tuesday; I am writing this on Sunday and it was still one of the main stories people were talking about on TV and radio.
            So here’s my 2 cents – good on him for looking after himself and taking on quite the challenge of changing codes. Well done AFL in this coup (hot on the heels of Karmichael Hunt’s similar defection to the new Gold Coast team). And wake up, NRL, or else this sort of thing – from the AFL, from overseas league clubs – is going to happen again and again.

Rugby Union
International – Test
Australia 49 def Fiji 3
            Test season is now upon us… and don’t scores like this make the game seem exciting? Australia claimed they went in ‘rusty’, and this game was a good chance for them to blow off their cobwebs, but against Fiji it is hard to gauge just how well they are going to do against the rest of the test playing nations.

French Open – Women’s Final
Francesca Schiavone def Samantha Stosur 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
Sam Stosur said she was simply outplayed in what was essentially an upset loss, that she played well and she’s got confidence from the fortnight.
            Not from what I saw.
            There were many unforced errors and she looked like she was nervous. She played so well to defeat Henin and Williams, but once she was out on the biog stage in the final as favourite, she froze. Well, it was her first time, and with those big scalps under her belt, she should learn from this.
            But you do know what this means, right? Australia’s women tennis players are no longer the most overrated sports people in the country! First Webber wins, then Stosur does well! Damn, I’ll gave to find some one else to whinge on…

Interesting week, if nothing else.
            And that’s the View – June 1 through 7.

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