The View From Down Here #55

A week off. I’m sorry. Bad week, punctuated by bad things. So I’ll catch up on two weeks’ worth of results and maybe some wrestling, and not go into anything else…
            For all you ex-pats out there, here’s what’s happened in the land down under the past two weeks…

Cricket
English Tour
            One thing – the standard of the umpiring in the tests has been abysmal. Sure, some of the decisions were difficult, but I think these guys have been in the umpiring game too long and once more I call out for more ex-high level players to come into the fold and take charge out there.
Third Ashes Test
Australia 1st innings 263; England 1st innings 376; Australia 2nd innings 5/375
            Match drawn
            A dull match where the weather was the ultimate winner. Graham Manou debuted for Australia as wicket-keeper, and it’s a shame he’s the second choice because I like him better in the role than Brad Haddin.
Fourth Ashes Test
England 1st innings 102; Australia 1st innings 445; England 2nd innings 263
            Australia won by an innings and 80 runs
            Yes, England were dismissed in less than a day for a score that looks better on paper than it actually should have been in the first sessions of play. They had the golden opportunity to take hold and win the Ashes back, but this test has seen them slip. Australia won in less than four days. This was more than a loss, it was a humiliation. If Australia retains, the Poms will only have themselves to blame…

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round Eighteen
North Melbourne 11.18 (84) def by Carlton 14.10 (94)
            Another day at the office for Carlton.
Western Bulldogs 17.9 (111) def Fremantle 11.14 (80)
            Not a great game, but the result everyone expected.
Geelong 14.9 (93) def Adelaide 13.13 (91)
            Despite the closeness of the score, not a great game.
Sydney 13.15 (93) def by St. Kilda 13.16 (94)
            A close call for the Saints, but they just held on for the win. Sydney, however, look to be making a late-season charge for the finals.
Collingwood 12.23 (95) def Brisbane 8.7 (55)
            Another dull game. Collingwood could have absolutely swamped Brisbane if they had kicked straight.
Melbourne 12.10 (82) def by Richmond 12.14 (86)
            Richmond just escaped, but another bad match in a week of them.
Port Adelaide 18.13 (121) def Hawthorn 14.19 (103)
            Last year’s premiers looked anything but as Port Adelaide picked them off well.
West Coast 14.11 (95) def Essendon 10.8 (68)
            Essendon are on the slide now…
AFL Round Nineteen
Carlton 14.13 (97) def Geelong 8.14 (62)
            The loss to St Kilda seems to have affected the Cats more than could have been imagined at the time if this result is anything to go by. Carlton played well, but Geelong did not.
Western Bulldogs 13.19 (97) def by West Coast 16.6 (102)
            An upset. The bulldogs looked to have third spot all but theirs, but this really throws the whole race wide open.
Hawthorn 7.7 (49) def by St. Kilda 10.14 (74)
            Some consider this an upset, but the Saints juggernaut just keeps on rolling on…
Essendon 13.9 (87) drew with Brisbane 12.15 (87)
            An after the siren goal from Brisbane has really stirred the pot in the race for the finals.
Adelaide 9.14 (68) def by Collingwood 13. 188 (89)
            Another potential upset, with Collingwood firming their top four spot, while Adelaide could conceivably miss out on the finals. While I doubt that’s going to happen, they will be at the wrong end come September.
North Melbourne 19.9 (123) def Melbourne 8.13 (61)
            Too little too late for North Melbourne while Melbourne are now really down. They will be the wooden spooners this year.
Richmond 10.8 (68) def by Sydney 18.15 (123)
            Sydney keep just in touch with the top eight with this mammoth win, celebrating Michael O’Loughlin’s 300th game in style.
Fremantle 17.14 (116) def Port Adelaide 11.8 (74)
            Another upset, although Freo at home are a challenge for most. Port hang onto eighth spot by half a game. They are in danger of missing out on the finals this year.
SANFL Round Eighteen
Glenelg 14.8 (92) def Norwood 12.10 (82)
            Tough day at the office for Glenelg, but they managed to get the win.
North Adelaide 8.8 (56) def by Sturt 13.16 (94)
            North are falling badly off the radar as the season is going along.
Port Adelaide 11.5 (71) def by Central Districts 16.15 (111)
            Port’s up-and-down season continues while Centrals’ mid-season slump seems well and truly over.
West Adelaide 22.7 (139) slaughtered South Adelaide 7.9 (51)
            Sigh!
Bye: Woodville-West Torrens
SANFL Round Nineteen
Norwood 13.5 (83) def by Woodville-West Torrens 16.8 (104)
            This was not a good match. The standard was poor and while the result was probably what most expected, it did not mean much to either team.
West Adelaide 16.10 (106) def Port Adelaide 9.9 (63)
            West are starting to come through at the right time of the year, gearing up for a run at the finals. But it may well be too little too late.
North Adelaide 12.4(76) def by Glenelg 16.12(108)
            North tried, but just couldn’t do it as Glenelg continue on their winning way.
Bye: South Adelaide, Sturt, Central Districts

Soccer
A-League – Round One
Brisbane Roar 1 def by Gold Coast United 3
Newcastle Jets 3 def Wellington Phoenix 2
Melbourne Victory 0 def by Central Coast Mariners 2
Adelaide United 1 def Perth Glory FC 0
North Queensland Fury 2 def by Sydney 3

Rugby League
NRL Round 21
St George Illawarra 26 def Melbourne 12
Gold Coast 18 def by North Queensland 34
Canberra 56 decimated and embarrassed Brisbane 0
            Yes, you read that score right. And, no, the game was not a good one. It was a glorified training run.
Newcastle 18 def by Sydney Roosters 30
Penrith 32 drew Warriors 32
Cronulla 0 hammered by Parramatta 30
            And Cronulla are thanking Brisbane for being even worse this week…
South Sydney 18 def by Bulldogs 26
Wests Tigers 19 just over Manly 18
            Good game, this one.
NRL Round 22
Penrith 6 def by St George Illawarra 25
Melbourne 20 def North Queensland 8
Manly 22 def by South Sydney 36
            South Sydney’s rollercoaster is up this week!
Bulldogs 23 def Canberra 20
Warriors 10 def by Gold Coast 30
Sydney Roosters 10 def by Wests Tigers 17
Parramatta 40 def Newcastle 8
Brisbane 30 def Cronulla 10

Swimming
Michael Phelps, for refusing to bow to pressure and wear the cheating suits, and yet still win and set records, has gone from being a tool to being one of the few US sports stars worthy of being a hero.

Auto-Racing
V-8 Supercars
Norton 360 Sandown Challenge

            For the first time all season, Holden had Ford’s measure this weekend.
Race 13
1st Will Davison (Holden Commodore VE)
2nd James Courtney (Ford Falcon FG)
3rd Craig Lowndes (Ford Falcon FG)
4th Todd Kelly (Holden Commodore VE)
5th Michael Caruso (Holden Commodore VE)
Race 14
1st Garth Tander (Holden Commodore VE)
2nd Will Davison (Holden Commodore VE)
3rd Jamie Whincup (Ford Falcon FG)
4th Cameron McConville (Holden Commodore VE)
5th Craig Lowndes (Ford Falcon FG)

Rugby Union
Tri-Nations
South Africa 31 def New Zealand 19
            South Africa are now firm favourites for the Tri-Nations title.
South Africa 29 def Australia 17
            Australia are looking outclassed this year by both teams. This is not a good result.

Sporting Morons
Well, there’s been a few in the past 2 weeks. Of course. We’ve had our one week of nothing…
Fabian Francis (ex-AFL): facing charges of assault against his ex-wife.
Travis Cloke (Collingwood, AFL): Facing court for throwing a bottle from a moving car.
Nathan Lovett-Murray (Essendon, AFL): Trying to clear his name after being allegedly found with a ‘drug of dependence’.
Damian Cupido (SANFL): Sad story, but his gambling problem now has forced him out of the game.
The Matildas Squad (soccer): I’ll count the team as one, but their on-field brawl with the moron Chinese team was stupid, petty and fell right for what the Chinese were setting them up for.
Luke Pomersbach (cricket): Charged with assaulting a police officer while allegedly trying to escape custody after crashing a car while allegedly drunk. A true moron, this one.
Tally: 40

Professional Wrestling
RCW – Dark Days
August 8, 2009
Match 1: Del Taurino & Marvel v ‘Hangtime’, Brett Reynolds and Brodie Archer
            Archer and Reynolds are the latest rookies to come onto the big stage and they did not embarrass themselves, with some great high flying moves, and some solid chain wrestling. One or two dodgy spots, but well covered by the more experienced masked men. The crowd were really into this one, a great way to get them involved, and they took to the younger guys well. The masked men won when Taurino pinned Archer while Marvel held Reynolds in a dragon sleeper on the outside.
Match 2: Mimic v Jacko Lantern
            Leading up to next month’s rematch between Mimic and Grimm, each got to pick the other’s opponent, and so Grimm picked another tall bugger for Mimic. Good match which Mimic won with two Sega Mega Drivers, even after being misted.
Match 3: Fuzion & Brad Smyth v TJ Rush & Matt Silva
            RCW is developing quite the tag team division without having a tag team division. This match has been brewing for a few months now. It was a great match (my match of the night), with TJ and Silva winning after TJ hit the shooting star press onto Smyth. Afterwards Smyth almost shakes TJ’s hand in the ‘respect’ that’s been going on for a while, but Fuzion prevents it. Dissension is teased after Smyth refuses to cheat all through the match, however.
Match 4: Vixsin v Miami
            Miami has been on quite the roll of late, and this was another strong showing. One of the first women’s matches I’ve seen where they brawled a lot more, which suits Vixsin’s style a lot better, and works in well with Miami’s size and strength. Miami gets them win after blocking a second butt drop to roll Vixsin up for the pin.
            Afterwards, Vixsin starts to go on a rampage, but Savannah Summers comes out to prevent a chair shot, chasing Vixsin out of the ring. Then she waffles Miami in the head hard, thus completing the turn that has been coming for months, since the time Grimm curb-stomped her.
Match 5: Voodoo v G.D. Grimm
            Mimic chose Voodoo as Grimm’s opponent knowing they had a great series of matches last year, and that Grimm would be tested. And he was throughout, but finally came up with the win after a nasty curb stomp.
Match 6: The Riot City Rumble.
            The rules are simple – every two minutes some-one enters by random draw. Elimination is over the top rope to both feet touching the floor or entrance ramp. The last two remaining in the ring will then have a best of three series of matches over the next three months to see who wins the ‘Key to the City’… think Money In The Bank, but without the ladders and with more actual wrestling.
            Only one thing wrong here before I start – I actually picked the order of entrants after I saw the first two come in. But the focus was not on the eliminations, it was more about what was happening inside the ring, which is a nice change for a rumble. Not all kicking and punching and four hundred near eliminations. Just wrestling with a stipulation.
            Marvel and Mimic start, then Taurino joins them for a two-on-one beat down, then TJ Rush comes in for a two-on-two match. Brett Reynolds joins us, and with his help we get a three-on-two suplex which looked quite impressive.
            Brodie Archer comes in next, and he and Reynolds go after the masked men, but they are eliminated in short order. Taurino is then eliminated by Marvel after TJ moves out of the way. Jacko Lantern is in next, followed by Brad Smyth. Jacko is eliminated by Mimic and TJ eliminates Marvel. Voodoo in next and Grimm comes down to ringside to taunt Mimic. With his interference, Mimic is eliminated as Luke Santamaria comes in. He is quickly ousted by Smyth after a brief flurry. Silva is in next, and then Fuzion is the last one to come in.
            Smyth and Fuzion eliminate Silva, leaving the final four Smyth, Fuzion, TJ Rush and Voodoo. And somehow they manage to amp it up a little more as these four go for it. Voodoo is then eliminated, leaving TJ one-on-two. However, heel miscommunication leads to Fuzion being eliminated, so the two men fighting for the Key to the City are TJ Rush and Brad Smyth!
            Afterwards, TJ finally gets the respect handshake from Smyth… who then hits him from behind with the knucks, and he and Fuzion lay into TJ until all the faces come out of the dressing room and chase them off, hoisting TJ onto their shoulders.
            These three matches could be good.
Overall:
            A good show, and it’s good to see that they are putting the quality on again. Next month with Smyth/Rush 1 and Mimic Grimm 3 (hardcore rules) will be awesome! And the crowd was okay, despite going up against the Crows/Collingwood football…

And that’s the view this week…

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