The View From Down Here #11

The pointy end of the season, with one code ending, two more about to end… and cricket just around the corner! More sport than you can shake a stick at! Okay, not quite. But it’s still pretty good down here. Here’s the sport from the bottom end of the Earth…

Australian Rules Football
Brownlow Medal
The Brownlow is the AFL’s Best and Fairest award, named after some Geelong administrator from about eighty years ago. It has taken on a mantle of some importance, and this year it was won by the Western Bulldogs’ Adam Cooney. A bit of a dark horse, but he clearly deserved it, and the favourites did not really play into it as much as expected, especially the vaunted Geelong players. But Cooney’s team did not make the grand final, so in some ways this is probably a bittersweet victory for the young South Australian now living in Melbourne.
Grand Final
Hawthorn 18.7 (115) def Geelong 11.23 (89)
The favourites were done, partly by their own arrogance, a lot by shocking kicking accuracy in front of goal, but mainly by the extraordinary persistence of the opposition. And for Hawthorn legend Shane Crawford, after 17 years he finally has the medallion. It was a good game as well, living up to all the hype and producing a brilliant result. Some of the marks were fantastic, and the solid tackling and bumps made me wince at times. They were desperate, both wanted it, but the Hawks came through in the end. But Geelong will be back. Both these teams are young; they’ll be fighting at the top of the competition for many years to come.
Preliminary Final
Glenelg 17.17 (119) hammered Sturt 8.5 (53)
Did some-one forget to tell Sturt that this was the business end of the season? Wow. What a shellacking. But, as I said last week, Glenelg v Central Districts was the grand final we’ve been expecting for a few months now, and hopefully, like the AFL one, it will be quite the spectacle.

Rugby League
Melbourne captain Cameron Smith has been found guilty of a grapple tackle and suspended for the rest of the season, meaning he’ll miss the grand final if Melbourne makes it. What is ridiculous about this decision is that Melbourne have been using this tactic all year and it’s only now that the NRL judiciary does something about it? Why? Are they that desperate to have the cup remain in Sydney? (The answer to that is yes, by the way.) So Melbourne’s coach launched a scathing attack on the NRL… and they hit him with a whopping $50,000 fine for doing so. Oh well, it didn’t work as Melbourne got through to set up a replay of last year’s grand final.
Melbourne 28 embarrassed Cronulla 0
Manly 32 also embarrassed their opposition, Warriors 6
Two one-sided games, and especially the Melbourne one was a dull spectacle. Why is it that the higher the level and the more money poured into a sport, the more anodyne it becomes? At least Melbourne v Manly for the decider next week should be a good game, and probably quite violent, too.

NBL Results – Round 2
Adelaide 99 def. Sydney Spirit 89
New Zealand 120 def. Melbourne 111
Townsville 91 def. South Dragons 89
Perth 94 def. Gold Coast 80
Townsville 100 def. Cairns 96
Sydney Spirit 112 def. Adelaide 105

Asian Champions League
Adelaide United 1 def Kashima Antlers 0
And Adelaide are through to the semi-finals! This is the best result for an Australian club team, and one which is coming off a hectic start to the regular A-League season. Congratulations to Adelaide for putting their best forward in front of a rabid, sell-out home crowd at Hindmarsh Stadium. And once again the difference was in goal, with Adelaide’s keeper saving more than his fair share of Kashima attacks. Let’s hope they can continue with their winning ways.
A-League Round 6
Central Coast Mariners FC 4 defeated Perth Glory FC 1
Adelaide United FC 2 def Newcastle Jets FC 0
Wellington Phoenix FC 2 def Sydney FC 1
Melbourne Victory FC 0 lost to Queensland Roar FC 2

Next time, all going well, a preview of the domestic cricket season! Okay, admittedly that’s not too exciting, but it is the view from down here.

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