The View From Down Here #31

Just a short one this week as I have a full-on schedule. The show is coming along well, and we perform in three weeks! And, yes, it is sport-based, thank-you for asking – we do our version of comedy gymnastics. Including the overweight, broken has-beens… like me…

Basketball
Nothing to see here. Maybe ever again after this series… Who knows? Certainly not the public…
NBL – Quarterfinals
These are sudden death
Perth 96 def by Townsville 103
            Perth lost at home? In a sudden death final? Wow…
New Zealand 131 def Adelaide 101
            While the score may indicate otherwise, this was not a really entertaining match…
WNBL – Round 19
Bendigo 75 def Townsville 63
Dandenong 73 def Sydney 70
Logan 73 lost to Canberra 77
Adelaide 104 hammered Perth 67
Bulleen76 edged out Townsville 74

Soccer
A-League
Preliminary Final
Adelaide United 1 def Queensland Roar 0
            Better from Adelaide, but I actually would have expected much better being at home. So now Adelaide head off to the Grand Final to face Melbourne for a chance at further humiliation.

Cricket
International Cricket
Australia are now in South Africa for the return leg of the series. And if South Africa win at home, they take on the mantle as number one test playing nation from Australia, so a lot to play for for both teams. So, to start, a warm-up match:
SABP XI vs Australia
SABP XI 7dec/403 & 182; Australia 4dec/360 & 2/171 – match drawn
            The South African Board President’s XI was, really, a second-string team after the rigours of the country’s main Twenty-20 competition was over and before the international series started. A nice hit out in a three day match to start the tour for the Aussies, but their lack of penetrating bowling power must surely be a huge concern.
Domestic Cricket
Sheffield Shield

New South Wales 227 & 218; Victoria 447 – Victoria won by an innings and 2 runs (Vic – 6 pts)
            The New South Welshmen are claiming this result is because so many of their team are in the Australian squad. That’s right, and the fact several Victorians should have been there as well, but aren’t because of all the NSW people in it…
            Who cares? NSW lost and that’s all that matters in domestic cricket any more!
Western Australia 189 & 168; Tasmania 163 & 5/197 – Tasmania won by 5 wickets (Tas – 6 pts)
            Another good Shield match. Been a great domestic season this year!
One-Day Series
Last one day match before the final!
South Australia 7/258; Queensland 210 (47.5 overs) – SA won by 48 runs
            The result cost Queensland a home final against Victoria, and propelled SA into third on the one-day table, thanks largely to Mark Cosgrove, who the SA selectors have finally remembered exists and knows how to play brilliant, entertaining cricket. Oh, that’s right, he’s a little overweight. Cricket in SA is in a bad way, and decisions like treating Cosgrove like a leper and allowing Harris to go to Queensland only make them seem bush league.
One-Day Grand Final
Queensland 8/187; Victoria 175 (48 overs) – Queensland won by 12 runs
            Strange match which always felt like it was on the verge of breaking out into something amazing, but just held back. But well done to Queensland for a well-deserved win.

Australian Rules Football
Pre-Season Cup (NAB Cup)
Round 1 (continued)

Carlton 1.17.12 (123) def North Melbourne 0.11.4 (70)
Hawthorn 0.11.3 (69) def Melbourne 1.8.9 (66).
            Last year’s champion barely scraping past last year’s wooden spooners? Shows just how some clubs treat this pre-season competition, doesn’t it?
Geelong 1.17.8 (119) def Adelaide 2.9.12 (84)
            I watched this game and, to be perfectly honest, Geelong let Adelaide get that close. They should have had them on toast by more than a hundred points, such was the difference between the two teams. But Geelong took their collective foot off the gas and coasted home. Things look good for Geelong this year while Adelaide… are Adelaide.
Sydney 1.10.9 (78) lost to Port Adelaide 4.16.11 (143)
            Port played well, and, really, Sydney looked like they thought they were in a practice match. But they have not won a pre-season match in eight years or so, so it is no great surprise there.

Rugby Union
Unfortunately I don’t get a chance to watch a lot of the Super-14, which is a damn shame because the one match I saw this round was excellent. Some of the new rules look to be really good, and it’s just a shame that the northern hemisphere teams play such a boring brand of this sport which makes the World Cups such a huge let-down. But give me these 14 teams each year running into each other like wounded rhinos, and I’m a happy camper.
Super 14 – Round 2
Bulls 59 slaughtered Blues 26
Sharks 25 def Lions 10
Stormers 27 def Reds 24
Brumbies 18 def Crusaders 16
Force 16 def Cheetahs 10
Hurricanes 22 def Highlanders 17
Waratahs 11 def Chiefs 7
            Well, all the home teams won! I certainly hope this does not set a pattern for the year or else it will make everything incredibly predictable.

Rugby League
League is in pre-season mode as well, but they take their pre-season matches even less seriously than the AFL. But, be warned, if you think I had a whinge about off-field shenanigans in cricket and basketball for the past fifteen weeks, wait until the rugby players get going and I really rant.

Album review
Bruce Springsteen’s released a new album and so, true to form, here are some quick thoughts on it:
            First, Working On A Dream is yet another solid album from The Boss, with not a really dud track on the whole thing. Some reviewers have said it the least of his albums since The Rising, but I disagree. It was an easy listen, and had some form of hope… until the last track, but I’ll get back to that in a bit.
            The CD opens with six tracks which would likely be side one in the old format… and all are very strong songs. ‘Outlaw Pete’, ‘Working On A Dream’ and ‘Queen of The Supermarket’ I found in particular were great songs, worthy additions to his already overflowing canon of great compositions. The next few tracks were, while not bad, a little mundane, then ‘Kingdom Of Days’, my favourite track on the album. The last official track – ‘The Last Carnival’ – was a let down for me, but the bonus track more than made up for it. The closing credits song of my favourite film of the past year The Wrestler. A depressing song, much like its parent film, but one that is bound to be included on the next Springsteen Greatest Hits Collective.
            The bonus DVD, however, was a little dull.
            Still, well worth the purchase.

Quick word on the Academy Awards. The wrong person won Best Actor. Rourke was robbed. Penn is dull in Milk. And I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it.

And that’s this week’s view.

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