The View From Down Here #50

Another quiet week, and a short view to celebrate 50 of these things. Thanks to all who have read, commented and e-mailed me. Even the idiots. Remember my YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/Geppy25) and don’t forget Tailgate Crashers on FaceBook!

Cricket
English Tour
The first proper match of the English tour, a warm-up match against a county side.
Australia 7 dec/349 & 7 dec/379; Sussex 311 & 7/373 – Match Drawn
Australia were not at all convincing. The word used by the press a lot has been ‘flat’. They seem out of sorts. I am not anticipating this being a classic Ashes series with both teams on the verge of dropping downwards fast, but it will be interesting for the simple fact that the winner could literally either of the two sides.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round Thirteen
Essendon 21.20 (136) def Carlton 9.13 (67)
            A glorified training run for the Bombers with Carlton looking strangely inept. They are having quite the yo-yo season, and until they can become more consistent they are not going to really trouble the top teams.
Collingwood 26.13 (169) def Fremantle 13.7 (85)
            With Collingwood’s favourable draw, this sort of result will become the norm. However, come finals, having not had real opposition, it will backfire, and the AFL’s desperate attempts to ensure Collingwood win the flag will be all for nought. Again.
Adelaide 12.13 (85) def Sydney 10.9 (69)
            After a forgettable and awful first half, Adelaide came back, on the heels of another Barry Hall brain snap and alleged nasty strike.
Brisbane 16.15 (111) def Melbourne 8.8 (56)
            Melbourne did not score a goal in the second or third quarters. Brisbane never got out of second gear. A dull game in a series of them this week.
West Coast 16.11 (107) def Hawthorn 13.9 (87)
            Hawthorn are looking far from last year’s premiers, and it gets worse and worse each week.
Geelong 18.14 (122) def Port Adelaide 13.10 (88)
            Though the result was never in doubt, Port still pushed Geelong all the way. However, they still lost and won’t make the final eight now.
North Melbourne 12.14 (86) def by Western Bulldogs 17.6 (108)
            really close game until the last quarter when the Bulldogs ran away with it. First game for new North coach won’t help him win the job next season…
St. Kilda 13.14 (92) def Richmond 5.6 (36)
            The Saints did not look convincing in destroying Richmond. While that may seem a contradiction, for such a dominant team, this was not a particularly brilliant display.
            Next week is shaping up as the most important week in the shaping of the finals. The two undefeated teams – Geelong and St Kilda – meet for the first time this season, and the winner will surely enter the finals series as the firm favourites. Despite this, expect a Saints-Cats grand final, with everyone else just making up the numbers, unless the loss affects the losing team psychologically and they start to lose on a semi-regular basis…
SANFL Round Thirteen
Norwood 11.9 (75) def by West Adelaide 14.10 (94)
            This win keeps West Adelaide’s slim finals chances alive… just. And dents Norwood’s preparation for the finals.
Port Adelaide 15.4 (84) def North Adelaide 10.12 (72)
            A surprise win, further damaging North’s chances in the finals.
Woodville-West Torrens 11.5 (71) def by Glenelg 16.9 (105)
            Glenelg tightened their grip on the top of the table even further with a hard-fought win in front of a good crowd.
South Adelaide 9.10 (64) def by Central Districts 11.14 (80)
            South pushed a top team all the way again, yet still did not win.
Bye: Sturt

Netball
Round Thirteen
For some reason, this has been named the ‘rivalry round’, with every match-up between a New Zealand and Australian team. Then, at the end of the round, the country with the highest score will “win”. Oh well, publicity, hype, whatever – if it gets people to the netball and involved in the scores, I don’t mind.
Mystics 57 def by Firebirds 59
            A good, close game between these two teams.
Fever 38 def by Magic 49
            Magic are trying hard to ensure they stay near the top of the table.
Pulse 53 def Swifts 52
            While this marks another defeat for last year’s premiers, the game itself was an awesome display of defensive netball.
Steel 58 def Thunderbirds 49
            A serious dent in Adelaide’s run as a genuine contender. They were behind the whole match and just could not catch up. This does not bode well, although it could well be just an aberration.
Vixens 63 def Tactix 35
            The Vixens, on the other hand, are confirming themselves as the team to beat this year.
            Now it’s all over and the rivalry round scores are: Australia – 261, New Zealand 252- , and so Australia win. This was close, and it came down to the last match and the Vixens total domination of Tactix for Australia to pull out the overall victory. And, I have to say, it did make for an exciting round, especially with the last two matches on Monday night bringing the result down to the wire. Okay concept, excellent execution.

Rugby Union
Rugby Test
Australia 22 def France 6
            This was something of a whitewash. I honestly thought Australia would be pushed harder by the French than this. But, then again, France do well in the northern hemisphere where the referees and administrators don’t liken exciting rugby and encourage dull, boring play because – hey! – who wants their sport to be popular? Australia now have some time off before meeting New Zealand in what should be a really good, hard-hitting test match.

Soccer
Asian Champions League
Pohang Steelers 6 def Newcastle Jets 0
            Not all the ACL results, just this one so I can say one thing: Told you so. Newcastle were never going to get anywhere in this competition – unlike Adelaide last season – because of the way they play. But boring defensive soccer is rewarded in Australian domestic circles, whereas the rest of the world are slowly waking up to the fact that it might be better if it were actually exciting. Only Queensland and South Australia play this sort of soccer; the rest… well, they get beaten 6-zip by other countries…

Auto-Racing
Formula One
            The shake-up mentioned last week ended up being all piss and wind. FIA backed down, the head honcho Max Mosely is saying he won’t stand for re-election come October, but is threatening to sue over being called autocratic or words to that effect, and the status quo remains and the sport won’t go forward and will remain a supreme waste of valuable natural resources.

Rugby League
State Of Origin
Game 2!
New South Wales 14 def by Queensland 24
            And this gives Queensland an unprecedented fourth state of origin series win in a row! Watching the NSW media pundits climb all over this has been the most entertaining aspect, with everyone from the coach and captain to the towel boys being lined up as the reason for the embarrassment. But if they don’t get their heads out of their arses soon (as in, yesterday), it’s going to be a Queensland 3-zero whitewash and that will look even worse…
NRL – Round 16
Wests Tigers 10 def by St George Illawarra 21
Bulldogs 30 def North Queensland 18
Gold Coast 28 def Warriors 12
Sydney Roosters 19 def Cronulla 12
            Somewhat derailing Cronulla’s recent momentum here… And interestingly, this was the Roosters’ first win since they last beat Cronulla… also by the score of 19-12 (on May 2)… Spooky!
Canberra 26 def Melbourne 16
            Something of an upset here. Canberra’s first defeat of Melbourne in more than ten attempts apparently.
Parramatta 21 def Brisbane 14
Newcastle 25 def South Sydney 20

Sporting Morons
I thought long and hard about whether Barry Hall should get a second guernsey here, but have decided against it because what he did was exactly the same as what he did last time. So he’s still a moron, but not a new one…
            Here’s the new one. (And I thought a week might go by without one… well, not this week!)
Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters NRL): Allegedly assaulted a woman at a nightclub on Sunday morning. A woman. She was probably threatening the poor little lamb and he just struck her in self defence. Like so many footballers in this country, clearly a misogynist and definitely a moron. And this happened two days after sentencing for a drink-driving offence earlier in the year.
Tally: 28

And that’s the view!

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