The View From Down Here #56

Thanks for your concern, everyone. But I’ll keep this going as long as I can; it has amazed me how many people like this format of an all-at-one-place, one-stop article for Australian sports results. So, thanks, especially to the ex-pats who seem to make up a lot of my readership…
            Three things before I start, however.
            First, this is Australian sport. English Premier League is not Australian, so I won’t be covering it.
            Second, yes, once there actually is a basketball season, I’ll be covering both men’s and women’s games. Likewise, when the women’s soccer begins later on this year, I’ll cover them as well.
            Thirdly, I am contemplating some Australian viewpoint of NFL. I have only caught a few matches of MLB and know next to nothing about US baseball, so for me it’s a matter of, “Nice hit.” But I like NFL, support the New England Patriots, and with one of our free-to-air channels now showing NFL, I shall have a chance to watch. I’m not knowledgeable enough to make a guess who will win anything, but I shall be watching.
            Okay, let’s get on with the scores:

English Tour
Australia 9 (dec)/ 340; England Lions 237
            Australia won by 103 runs
            A two-day match (1 innings a side), really just keeping the Australians focussed and giving the Lions a chance to match one of the better teams in world cricket. The Lions are more the ‘second XI’ side, with many promising young players and a few older players trying to get back into the top side. In Australia we call them Australia A.
            But that was all it was – a practice match. And with the final test coming up to decide the Ashes, it was just what Australia needed… and England didn’t.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round Twenty
Hawthorn 9.13 (67) def by Adelaide 13.16 (94)
            And that’s it. Last year’s premiers are going to miss the finals all together. Hawthorn outscored the Crows in the first quarter so completely it was embarrassing… and then stopped, scoring four more goals for the rest of the match. And Adelaide’s strange ending to the season continues. The recent losses will keep them out of the top 4, but they could make a dent come September.
Richmond 8/11 (59) embarrassed by Collingwood 22.20 (152)
            Almost 100 points. Collingwood will secure third spot. And Richmond need to take a long hard look at their team before next season.
West Coast 17.8 (110) def North Melbourne 10.12 (72)
            Both these teams will not feature in the finals this year, and the way things are looking, not next year either.
Brisbane 12.12 (84) def by Western Bulldogs 15.12 (102)
            This win could keep the Bulldogs in the top four. Brisbane will do better next year. But the entry of the Gold Coast into the competition could create some issues with finances.
Sydney 13.9 (87) def by Geelong 13.14 (92)
            And yet again Geelong escape by a slim margin. The recent wins have not been convincing, and their run to September since the loss to St Kilda has been spluttering at best.
Melbourne 20.7 (127) hammered Fremantle 9.10 (64)
            The talk of tanking seems to be the only motivation for Melbourne – they do not want to be labelled as the team that throws matches to get better draft picks at the end of the year. That is the only thing that explains this result. Not that it matters – both teams were essentially worthless this year.
Port Adelaide 9.13 (67) beaten by Carlton 18.13 (121)
            A nine goal to one final quarter killed Port, and may just have wiped out their chances of playing in the finals, while Carlton is eying a top four spot now…
Essendon 16.14 (110) def St. Kilda 16.12 (108)
            Yes, you read that right. St Kilda’s winning streak has ended at 19 with this, their first loss for the year. Riewoldt had the shot after the siren to win it for the Saints, but managed only a point. Still, full credit to the Bombers. They fought and fought hard and deserved the win. And this also pushes Essendon into the top eight, forcing Port into ninth, Port being the only team that realistically could force their way into the top 8. But this was a great game. The Saints did the big comeback thing in the last quarter, but Essendon held them off for the gutsy win, throwing the finals race wide open all of a sudden.
SANFL Round Twenty
North Adelaide 8.10 (58) def by Central Districts 17.9 (111)
            North Adelaide did not play well, but Centrals did, reaffirming their top 3 status for the finals.
Woodville-West Torrens 20.10 (130) def South Adelaide 10.14 (74)
            South look to have given up, and I hate to say that of the team I support… but it certainly looks that way.
Sturt 24.19 (163) def West Adelaide 7.12 (54)
            Sturt’s top 3 position also looks secure now. West Adelaide had fifth to fight for, and just did not fight. Sometimes this time of the year is not a good one.
Port Adelaide 13.8 (86) def by Norwood 18.14 (122)
            And Norwood did do enough to secure their finals position, even as Port Adelaide will miss out…
Bye: Glenelg

A-League – Round Two
Central Coast Mariners 1 drew with Newcastle Jets 1
            Dull match.
Gold Coast United 5 hammered North Queensland Fury 0
            This is more what we have come to expect from Australian soccer… at least from Gold Coast. High scoring and attacking.
Melbourne Victory 3 drew with Brisbane Roar 3
            Another high scoring game.
Wellington Phoenix 2 def Perth Glory 1
Sydney FC 1 def Adelaide United 0
            Dull, dull match.
Ireland 0 def by Australia 3
            A surprisingly easy win for Australia – including two goals from Tim Cahill – seems to indicate that the upcoming World Cup could be a very good one for Australia; the national team might even manage to make it into the second round of the competition!

Rugby League
NRL Round 23
South Sydney 14 def by Gold Coast 22
            At least Souths were valiant in defeat this team, and not just creamed.
North Queensland 12 def by Bulldogs 22
Sydney Roosters 12 def by Manly 44
            Just a training run for Manly, but they are finally in the zone for defending their title.
Canberra 24 def St George Illawarra 12
            Coming from behind, Canberra has done the shock of the year by downing the competition leaders. It looked like St George took their foot off the pedal, thinking they had it won.
Parramatta 40 hammered Warriors 4
Cronulla 10 hammered by Wests Tigers 56
            Wow! But this does not guarantee a finals spot for Wests; it is really tight at the lower end of the top 8, as any team down to about twelfth could make it through at the moment.
Brisbane 58 def Penrith 24
            A high-scoring, immensely entertaining game.
Newcastle 26 def Melbourne 14
            New coach for Newcastle, a win against a top 4 side. But will Melbourne still be there come finals, with so many other teams breathing down their necks? This season is shaping up as quite the battle.

Sporting Morons
Even more to add to the list:
Albert Proud (Brisbane, AFL): Pled guilty to assaulting two women at a nightclub in February.
Greg Inglis (Melbourne, NRL): Arrested over an alleged assault of his girlfriend. The girl, by the way, like so many others this year, is ‘standing by her man.’ Nothing more to add, really.
Ricky Nixon (player manager): Yes, I’m putting a player manager on the list here, after he got drunk and crashed his car into a tram. He is one of the most powerful managers in Australian sport; but you lie down with dogs…
Tamsyn Lewis (athletics): Oh, the joys of modern technology. Having missed out on selection in the Australian team for the 400m hurdles, Ms Lewis posted some rather unpleasant remarks about management and organisation on the public forum of Facebook, and now is in danger of forfeiting her other spot/s on the Oz team.
Tally: 44

And that’s the view this week…

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