The View From Down Here #61

<Insert interesting opening comment here.>
            Can’t think of anything. My head is swimming with sport, sport and sport. I need a life. Know where I can get one?

Fifth One-Day International
England 299 (50 overs); Australia 6/302 (48.2 overs) – Australia won by 4 wickets
            Another convincing win for the Australians. Johnson hit a six off the last ball to seal the victory chasing a good target, but it was captain Ricky Ponting who made the difference after his brief rest from the game. Quite a good one to watch as well, and England showed they could well win one… but then you have to look at it mentally. Australia are aiming for a series whitewash, but nothing will wipe the stain of Ashes defeat, and the English know that and are playing these matches as though they have already managed to get the job done. Which they have. These one-dayers mean nothing; the Ashes are already lost.
Sixth One-Day International
Australia 8/296; England 185 (41 overs) – Australia won by 111 runs
            I write these little bits as each game happens, and it looks like saying England do not care about this series after winning the important one really came to the fore in this game where they played like a county side, not a side representing their country. Disappointing game.
Seventh One-Day International
Australia 176 (45.5 overs); England 6/177 (40 overs) – England won by 4 wickets; Australia won the series 6-1
            To show the vagaries of sport. If Australia had completed a 7-0 whitewash of this series, they would be ranked number one for one-day cricket. But they didn’t so they are stuck at number 3. But they played like they thought it was going to be given to them. Three batsmen bothered to make an effort and the bowling was atrocious. But take nothing away from England, playing only for pride, and Graeme Swann whose 5 wickets were telling. Australia could have learnt from the way he went about things, but they knew better, lost, and blew it. They lost the Ashes and the chance to be number one in a form of cricket. Now for the Twenty-20 tournament…

Australian Rules Football
AFL Finals Week Three
Preliminary Final One

St Kilda 9.6 (60) def Western Bulldogs 7.11 (53)
            What a game. I mean… what a game! It could have been anyone’s, but there was one difference, and his name is Nick Riewoldt, St Kilda captain. Only sixteen goals were scored in this match and he kicked four of them, all in the second half. He kicked one quarter of all major scores on the day, including the last. But this was a great game. The Saints had to fight to win and the Bulldogs have shown that next year, barring some catastrophe, they are going to be well in the mix. If you can watch the replay, watch it.
Preliminary Final Two
Geelong 17.18 (120) embarrassed Collingwood 6.11 (47)
            And then there was this one. Collingwood looked so good last week in the second half against Adelaide, but maybe that was it for them. They were spent. That effort killed them mentally and physically and they just couldn’t come up for this game. Mind you, the Cats were on song and made it look so easy. SO next week is the Grand Final everyone was assuming would happen 12 weeks ago.
            It should be brilliant!
Brownlow Medal
This is awarded to the best and fairest in the AFL, and as such is regarded as the best player of Australian football in the world. Some would argue, but it’s pretty hard to do so. The votes are given on a 3-2-1 scale for each match by the umpires. However, any player suspended is ineligible to win. Gary Ablett Jr went into the awards night the almost unbackable favourite for the third time, but he hasn’t won twice before. I would like to point out that, in my opinion, he IS the best player going around at the moment.
            And he, indeed, won. Not just won, but dominated, leading from the word go and never headed. His outstanding year was vindicated by the umpires.
            1st Gary Ablett Jr (Geelong)
            2nd Chris Judd (Carlton
            3rd Lenny Hayes (St Kilda)
SANFL Finals Week Two
First Semi-Final

Sturt 12.16 (88) def Woodville-West Torrens 11.12 (78)
            A scare for Sturt here as the Eagles brought their A-game, and made them work damn hard for the win. WWT look like they might just have something for next year, while Sturt have been in the top three all year for good reason. And, sure enough, that’s where they are right now.
Second Semi-Final
Glenelg 11.13 (79) def by Central Districts 12.9 (81)
            A great game! Glenelg looked to have it all sewn up, but the ‘Dogs came back hard… and won! They now get the week off before the grand final while Glenelg face Sturt for a place in the grand final. And, really, it could go either way. These three teams have been close all year, and no matter who makes it through to the big one against Centrals, it will be a good close game if the rest of the year is anything to go by.
Magarey Medal
This is for the best and fairest player in the South Australia National Football League. This means the umpires vote on it, and any player who is suspended is ineligible.
            The winner for 2009 ended up being winners, as there was a tie between:
            Rhys Archard (North Adelaide) and James Ezard (West Adelaide) with James Allen, the 2007 winner from North Adelaide, in third place. Well done to all the guys.

Test Series
Test Four
New Zealand 46 def by Australia 47
            One goal! This was a brilliant game and I could not stop watching. It had me on the edge of my seat. Of course I was supporting the Australian ladies, but just the sheer athleticism of the game and the speed and determination of both sides… wow! Australia, having lost the first, now have a 3-1 lead and have sealed the Trans-Tasman trophy. However with the fifth and final test coming up, New Zealand are not going to lie down.

A-League – Round Seven
Adelaide United 0 def by Melbourne Victory 2
            At home Adelaide went down in the grand final replay. They look out of sorts and at this stage do not look like matching the heights of recent years. And the crowd violence was ugly, but that has become as much a part of soccer as dull matches and cheating.
Central Coast Mariners 3 def Gold Coast 0
            Central Coast are finally hitting their stride if this game is anything to go by.
Wellington Phoenix 1 drew with North Queensland Fury 1
Sydney FC 2 def Newcastle Jets 1
            Not a bad game this one.
Brisbane Roar 2 def by Perth Glory 4
            Another good game. This round has finally shown some of the spark that has made Australian soccer a lot less dull than some of its overseas counterparts.
            How much of this has to do with Australia trying to put itself above the diving controversy in Europe, I don’t know. But that whole diving thing is a very large reason why I (and many Australians) simply cannot take soccer seriously (that and the lack of scoring or even movement in the game).
            For those unsure of what I’m talking about, Arsenal’s Eduardo da Silva took a dive in a match when he was never even touched to get a free kick which helped Arsenal win. For diving, authorities gave him a two match ban which was then overturned, basically saying that in soccer you can cheat because it’s soccer. The ban looked good; the overturning of it has made soccer once more into an international joke.

Rugby League
Finals Week Two
Parramatta 27 def Gold Coast 2
            No, that is not a typo. 2. This wasn’t a final, it was an embarrassment, and Parramatta, having just squeaked into the finals are now in the final four. Look, the Titans attacked and attacked hard, but just could not get the job done while the Eels made it look easy and went on to a comfortable and easy win.
Brisbane 24 def St George Illawarra 10
            The minor premiers have gone out in straight losses. While the score may not indicate it, this was a good, intense game with both teams putting it all on the line. But in the end the Broncos defence held much better and so the Dragons have been eliminated in what must count as an upset.

Rugby Union
New Zealand 33 def Australia 6
            After some promising outings of late, Australia went back into old, bad habits against the dominant All-Blacks. They were embarrassed, and embarrassed badly. There is potential there, but while New Zealand do this to Australia on such a regular basis, then those in charge who want results yesterday may not stick with what will pay dividends in two years’ time. We can only hope rugby has better sense than any other national sport…

Auto Racing
V-8 Supercars
Phillip Island 500
Race 17

1st Toll Holden Racing Team – W.Davison/G.Tander (Holden Commodore VE)
2nd TeamVodafone – C.Lowndes/J.Whincup (Ford Falcon FG)
3rd Ford Performance Racing – S.Richards/M.Winterbottom (Ford Falcon FG)
4th Jim Beam Racing – J.Courtney/S.Johnson (Ford Falcon FG)
5th Jack Daniel’s Racing – R.Kelly/T.Kelly (Holden Commodore VE)
            The next event on the calendar is THE racing event in Australian closed-wheelers, maybe all of Australian racing. I think it outdoes the Formula One Grand Prix, the rally series, the Indy Car races, the superbikes, everything. It is the race that makes legends in Australian motorsport. It is also one of the few car races that gets the non-car person interested. Two and a bit weeks and we’re there.

Sporting Morons
Daniel Singleton (East Geelong FC, ARF): Following on from last week, this is the man charged with the killing.
Daine Laurie (Wests Tigers, NRL): Has been stood down indefinitely after being charged with assaulting his partner, making him the seventh NRL player to be charged with assaulting a female this year, the worst spree on record for a sport not renowned for its fair treatment of the fairer sex.
Tally: 60

Another week, another view. Hope y’all enjoyed it!

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