The View From Down Here #58

Quick one this week as home pressures are, well, pressing! And joy is dealing with changes like this with two children under 5 years of age…

Cricket
English Tour
Australia – 345 (50 overs); Scotland – 156 (39.3 overs)
            Australia won by 189 runs
A meaningless one day international against that titan of world cricket, Scotland. [That was sarcasm, by the way…]. Australia won as they should have – convincingly – but the big worry going into the one-day series against an upbeat England is the fact that Australia lost all 10 wickets on their way to their large total. While against Scotland that did not matter, and they lost the last wicket on the last ball, against England this is a huge concern. The middle order did not really fire in the tests, and apart from Hussey, Voges and Watson, no Australian batsmen fired in this match. In fact, extras outscored 5 of the batsmen. Well, looks like more Australian pain on the way…

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round Twenty-Two
Last week of the home-and-away season, and many of the spots are still up for grabs in the finals.
            However, something interesting came out of this week with Buddy Franklin of Hawthorn suspended for one game for delivering a bump. The standard of Australian football looks like being outlawed by over-zealous idiots determined to turn this game into a form of basketball. And AFL boss Demetriou thinks that’s good. They are slowly but surely destroying the game, but they don’t care because they still see money rolling in. But things are changing and AFL is going to be left behind if they continue to allow the things that make our game unique be eroded by their own non-playing standards.
West Coast 17.23 (125) hammered Richmond 6.9 (45)
            Richmond finished with a whimper; West Coast with a bang, but it means nothing for either team.
Geelong 14.10 (94) def Fremantle 8.6 (54)
            Yes, Geelong won going into the finals, but they defeated one of the three worst teams in the league. This is not a sign of any sort – good or bad – for Geelong, but for Fremantle, it’s another season that could have been…
Hawthorn 14.15 (99) def by Essendon 16.20 (116)
            And last year’s premiers are out of the race, Essendon have scraped into the finals and this game was not a good one.
Carlton 16.8 (104) belted by Adelaide 27.14 (176)
            That’s quite the comprehensive win. And some excellent form from Adelaide going into the finals. They finish fifth and could have a good run through, all going well. Carlton, though, must be dreading their first finals match next week…
Sydney 14.8 (92) def by Brisbane 15.10 (100)
            Brisbane get a good hit-out going into the finals, while Sydney’s season ends with a whimper.
Port Adelaide 9.13 (67) def by North Melbourne 10.11 (71)
            While the result did not mean much more than pride, it was a disputed one. Port Adelaide gave away a 50 metre penalty from the softest of free kicks because, again, the AFL and their umpires are deciding that the game needs to be a non-contact sport. Sorry if I sound bitter about this, but part of the joy of the game of football – and look at the rugby codes or gridiron for great examples – is to see man-on-man contests, not the boring style soccer tactics the AFL wants to ram down everyone’s throats.
Melbourne 10.7 (67) def by St. Kilda 17.12 (114)
            St Kilda, the top team, beat Melbourne, the bottom team. And that’s all that can be said of this game.
Collingwood 10.16 (76) def by Western Bulldogs 14.16 (100)
            The game of the round because of the fact final ladder positions depended upon the result, and because it was a close game, fought well with all the intensity of a final. Great game, and this shows that the finals series is going to be hard fought, hard won and damn exciting
The Ladder
            Here’s how the teams line up at the end of the home and away round.
            St Kilda
            Geelong
            Western Bulldogs
            Collingwood
            Adelaide
            Brisbane
            Carlton
            Essendon
                        These teams are into the finals. The rest, to follow, are not:
            Hawthorn
            Port Adelaide
            West Coast
            Sydney
            North Melbourne
            Fremantle
            Richmond
            Melbourne
SANFL Round Twenty-Two
The SANFL has one more round after this, so the finals do not start for another few weeks.
West Adelaide 5.6 (36) def by North Adelaide 5.11 (41)
            This has done it, given North fifth spot and a finals berth, while West have now missed out.
Central Districts 11.10 (76) def Sturt 8.10 (58)
            A good hit-out from Centrals against one of the other top contenders. Sturt were complaining about the lights afterwards, but were really outplayed.
South Adelaide 14.8 992) def Port Adelaide 12.11 (83)
            One of the greatest come from behind wins of the year. South scored 2 points (!) in the first quarter and came back to win. This is what was needed all year, not just when it no longer matters.
Glenelg 16.10 (106) def Woodville-West Torrens 12.8 (80)
            A good, solid hit-out for the premiership favourites against the fourth placed team. Glenelg are now odds-on for the flag this year.
Bye: Norwood

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

Rugby League
The finals race is still wide open with injuries to key players and results all over the place. Could be closest finals race in years and with one roun d left to play, the eight is yet to be decided.
NRL Round 25
Parramatta 48 hammered Penrith 6
North Queensland 10 def by Brisbane 16
Gold Coast 36 def Wests Tigers 24
            Entertaining game.
Melbourne 38 def Sydney Roosters 4
South Sydney 41 hammered St George Illawarra 6
            St George are currently second on the ladder; Souths are out of the top eight. And yet based on the form from this game you’d be excused for thinking things were the other way round. A worrying match for St George.
Manly 18 def Cronulla 16
Bulldogs 40 def Warriors 20
Canberra 30 def Newcastle 14
            Quite the upset, putting the Knights in danger while for Canbera it is too little too late.

Rugby Union
Tri-Nations
Australia 25 def by South Africa 32
            Australia have lost all 4 of their matches, but the phrase ‘rebuilding’ is being used a lot so don’t expect any wholesale changes soon.

Sporting Morons
Scott Miller (swimming): Retired swimming star caught in drug-dealing allegedly.
Chris Jongewaard (cycling): Found guilty over an incident where he struck and seriously injured another cyclist with his car.
Robert Cornthwaite (soccer, Adelaide United): charged with assaulting a bouncer and withholding information from police after a fracas at a nightclub.
Setaimata Sa (rugby league, Sydney Roosters): another alleged drunken escapade involving the police by a league player. Same old, same old…
Tally: 49

There’s another view in the bag! At this stage I shall have next week off (unless we somehow get internet coverage) and so will miss the last round of the SANFL and NRL, first week of the AFL finals and some cricket between Australia and England. I shall endeavour to catch up as I can the week after, but apologies in advance.

 Have a good one!

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