The View From Down Here #38

I’ve got lots of results as the seasons are in full swing now. Oh, and I’ve got abuse. Who can forget abuse?

Cricket
International Cricket
Third One Day International
South Africa 6/289; Australia 7/264 – South Africa won by 25 runs.
            Finally, a close game, with both sides showing periods of ascendency, but South Africa holding on for the win. This is what we expect from these two teams!
Fourth One Day International
South Africa 6/317; Australia 256 (45.5 overs) – South Africa won by 61 runs.
            And so the Proteas win the match and the series, heading into the dead rubber match this week. I didn’t catch this one, so can’t comment, although the highlights package I saw did make it seem like quite the good match.

Australian Rules Football
North Melbourne players made a chicken sex video. The person who told the media about it has been put on ‘notice’. The players apologised for getting caught. The video was taken down. The coach knew about it. The whole tone of the event was stupid. The players could see nothing wrong in objectifying women and glorifying alcohol to this extent. On top of this Adelaide’s Nathan Bock was sorry for being caught allegedly assaulting his girlfriend; his actions, by the way were defended by a former player who said it would not matter if it had happened in their home. And then his caring club wanted him to do community service in a women’s shelter. This idea, by the way, was angrily rejected by said shelter. (Yeah, put a woman-basher in with bashed women; were the Crows trying to make him feel at home?) Football players really are brain-dead morons with no sense of reality. Coming soon: My rant against footballers and the modern state of footballing belief. Sorry, but this whole thing just beggars belief and makes me feel almost embarrassed for enjoying sport…
AFL Round Three
Geelong 18.14 (122) def Collingwood 13.17 (95)
            Geelong are already looking very strong, and almost unbeatable. It only took one quarter of hard work for them to do it, but they blew Collingwood away and then cruised to the victory. They are looking way too string. It’s already looking like a race to see who’s going to meet them in the grand final (he says after a mere 3 weeks…)
St. Kilda 25.11 (161) def West Coast 9.10 (64)
            The Saints are actually looking all right this early in the season, while the Eagles are running quite hot and cold…
Brisbane 15.10 (100) def Sydney 9.13 (67)
            Brisbane have broken their Sydney hoodoo in emphatic fashion. Michael Voss will quickly establish his coaching system upon the Brisbane team and they will get even better.
Carlton 16.16 (112) just def by Essendon 17.14 (116)
            A close game and a good one with the 70,000 strong crowd really adding to the atmosphere of the event.
Port Adelaide 22.15 (147) def Melbourne 14.6 (90)
            While it was a comfortable win by almost ten goals, it did not look convincing on Port’s behalf as Melbourne really are that woeful.
North Melbourne 10.9 (69) lost to Hawthorn 19.9 (123)
            Now this is more like the form we should expect from last year’s premier. I think the main difference in Hawthorn is something a little intangible, and that is the heart. And the heart of the team retired at the end of the year last year. Shane Crawford, while a clown and occasional buffoon and perpetually injured in his last few seasons, was also an old hand, a long-serving club member and he was the heart of the team. Without him there does not seem to be that single person that some clubs need to rally around.
Fremantle 11.14 (80) lost to Adelaide 15.14 (104)
            While it was a win, Adelaide’s inaccuracy in front of goal almost cost them and they had trouble shaking the Dockers all day. Not convincing.
Western Bulldogs 16.14 (110) def Richmond 8.15 (63)
            Richmond were made to look very second rate by the Bulldogs. I said the Doggies would be the dark horse this year, and so far are undefeated.
SANFL Round Three
Woodville-West Torrens 15.16 (106) def Glenelg 10.16 (76)
            One of their excursions to Woodville Oval saw a healthy win in front of a healthy crowd.
North Adelaide 16.14 (110) def Port Adelaide 11.10 (76)
            The Magpies are becoming a one-man show with Barham up forward, and this is why they are going to struggle this year. Losing to a hot/cold North Adelaide has done them great damage already.
South Adelaide 7.7. (49) hammered by Norwood 21.10 (136)
            Played at Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide, this is a good move I’m glad to see the Panthers continue. Just a shame they were humiliated by Norwood and the crowd – on a lovely day – was nothing short of pathetic.
Sturt 17.16 (118) def West Adelaide 9.8 (57)
            According to all expectations, this result followed the script as everyone assumed it would…
Bye: Central Districts

Athletics
Stawell Gift
This is really the only running race worthy of note in Australian athletics, and with quite the substantial purse on offer and the fact it really does involve runners from all over the place, it is well worthy of inclusion here. The winner was a beach runner who adapted to the grass and handicap rules with consummate ease.
            The wind assistance was 1.2 m/s, and the race is run over 120m.
First: Aaron Stubbs (11.87 secs) – This was the fastest time since 1995
Second: Paul Tancredi (12.04 secs)
Third: Matt Davies (12.08 secs) And he did this off the back-mark of 2.25 metres.

Motor Sport
Still another couple of weeks before this resumes.

Netball
Some closer than expected results this round. I know I said that next week I’d put my neck on the line and give some predictions, but I’m going to delay it for a while because this is too close to call.
Round Two
Magic 54 def Steel 47
            This one was closer than it had any right to be.
Thunderbirds 48 def Swifts 47
            A really good game. The Swifts were last year’s premiers, and could well do it again, but Adelaide are already showing that they have the goods. And so the strangehold the Swifts have had over Adelaide for a few years has been at least partially put to bed.
Mystics 54 def Pulse 50
            Another good, close game.
Tactix 52 def Fever 44
Firebirds 51 lost to Vixens 54
For those who have emailed me about netball, I understand it is not popular in America where basketball is a lot more dominant, but it is the single most played game (in all forms) in Australia amongst females, and second most played game (after cricket) for all sporting participants. It is faster than basketball, with a lot less stoppages due to free throws. If you can get your head around some of the more archaic rules, then it is a great spectator sport.

Rugby Union
Super 14 – Round 9
Blues 36 def Lions 12
Force 27 just edged out by Hurricanes 28
            The best last five minutes of a game, ever! Seriously. Regulation time had stopped, so they were just going to the end of the play, and the Hurricanes scored the match winning try! This after another try moments before to draw them closer after the Force looked like they had it in the bag! Great game!
Highlanders 24 def Reds 19
Brumbies 17 def Stormers 10
Waratahs 6 killed by Bulls 20
Cheetahs 31 hammered Sharks 6

Rugby League
Round Five
Sydney Roosters 24 lost to Brisbane 28
Parramatta 8 hammered by St George Illawarra 22
Cronulla 14 lost to Canberra 24
Melbourne 16 def Penrith 14
North Queensland 10 lost to Gold Coast 14
Newcastle 24 just over Warriors 22
Manly 23 killed Wests Tigers 10
            Manly won, and it was put down to the alleged girlfriend basher being back in the side. So there you go. Rugby league is now apparently actively encouraging its players to beat on women to help their teams to win.
Bulldogs 14 just over South Sydney 12

Tennis
Monte Carlo Masters Series
Lleyton Hewitt def Wayne Odesnik 6-2 7-5
            The only reason In put this in is to show that Australians still do play tennis. This was Hewitt’s first tournament win in around two years, and the first for an Australian male in that time. And, to think, he was world number one for over twelve months at one stage…

Soccer
Asian Champion’s League
Nagoya Grampus Eight 1 drew with Newcastle Jets FC 1
Central Coast Mariners 0 slaughtered by Kawasaki Frontale 5
            And I am sure I said this sort of embarrassment would happen to Central Coast.
World Cup Qualifiers
Australia 2 def Uzbekistan 0
            I missed this when it happened back on April 1, but it’s only soccer, so consider the speed of my results to match that of the game itself. This is making Australia’s path into the World Cup finals in 2010 a little easier, but, still, beating Uzbekistan is a lot like the USA defeating Norfolk Island in basketball. There’s not a real lot of prestige involved…
            I’d like to point out that the soccer players behaved impeccably both on and off the field. I’d make some comment about this being due to the boredom level of the game, but that would be quite nasty. Their fans, however, can often leave a lot to be desired…

Wrestlemania XXV
Well, everyone else is having their say, so I suppose I should as well!
            First, it was long (again). Second, the Kid Rock segment was dull and probably meant very little to the overseas audiences they are trying to cater for. Yes, he had a top ten single in the US… but nowhere else in the world. AC/DC would have been a far better choice! (But I’m biased…)
            Money in the Bank
            The weakest of them so far. After the innovation of the first two, this one felt more spotty.
            Miss Wrestlemania Battle Royale:
            They hyped these returning divas and we hardly saw them. And for this and Kid Rock, we didn’t get the tag title reunification match or ECW title?
            Chris Jericho v. Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka & Ricky Steamboat
            I didn’t mind this one. Snuka looked bad, but no worse than several younger stars I’ve seen on my TV in the past 25 years. Piper still looks insane. And Steamboat is still awesome. I liked this match.
            Jeff Hardy v. Matt Hardy
            Over-rated. You’d think that guys who had trained together as much as these two would have a bit better chemistry out there. It was certainly no Hart v Hart.
            JBL v. Rey Mysterio
            Waste of time.
            Shawn Michaels v. Undertaker
            Now, this was a good match, and I can see why many people claim it was one of the best Wrestlemania matches ever. But I was bored by it. The last ten minutes, cool, the rest did nothing for me. The big WWE matches are starting to look all the same to me, with less and less wrestling and more and more brawling, punching and ‘Sports Entertainment’. Say what you will about WCW when they were dying, but at least their lower and mid card acts were still wrestling.
            Edge v. John Cena v. Big Show
            Not a bad match, but the crowd was emotionally drained after the last match, and that lack of support seemed to hurt this one. Too little one-on-one-on-one, two much two guys pairing off. I was actually hoping for a Big Show win here, but could have lived with Edge winning. So the wrong guy won. John Cena – the Hulk Hogan of the 00’s.
            HHH v. Randy Orton
            Not a good way to end a Wrestlemania. Poor match. It looked as though Orton was trying to carry it but HHH was not helping him.
            And that is my opinion of the biggest show of the year!

Okay, I have been quite down on footballers from many codes this week. But if they are going to continue to act like brain dead morons who live above society, then they deserve every negative thing that comes their way.

And that’s the view…

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