The View From Down Here #62 – AFL Grand Final Edition

Well, this weekend was the weekend for the majority of sports watchers in Australia – the AFL Grand Final. Other things happened, but that match overshadowed virtually everything else. And so shall it be here…

Champions Trophy
This is a one-day tournament, 50 overs a side, this year being held in South Africa. In the grand scheme of things it means very little apart from some pride, some ranking points, and the chance for the top nations to catch up with one another over a few beers.
1st Match, Group B: South Africa v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 8/319; South Africa 7/206 (37.4 ov)
            Sri Lanka won by 55 runs (Duckworth/Lewis method)
2nd Match, Group A: Pakistan v West Indies
West Indies 133 (34.3 ov); Pakistan 5/134 (30.3 ov)
            Pakistan won by 5 wickets
3rd Match, Group B: South Africa v New Zealand
New Zealand 214 (47.5 ov); South Africa 5/217 (41.1 ov)
            South Africa won by 5 wickets
4th Match, Group B: England v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 212 (47.3 ov); England 4/213 (45 ov)
            England won by 6 wickets
5th Match, Group A: Australia v West Indies
Australia 8/275; West Indies 225 (46.5 ov)
            Australia won by 50 runs
6th Match, Group A: India v Pakistan
Pakistan 9/302; India 248 (44.5 ov)
            Pakistan won by 54 runs
7th Match, Group B: New Zealand v Sri Lanka
New Zealand 7/315; Sri Lanka 277 (46.4 ov)
            New Zealand won by 38 runs
8th Match, Group B: South Africa v England
England 8/323; South Africa 9/301
            England won by 22 runs

Australian Rules Football
St. Kilda 9.14 (68) def by Geelong 12.8 (80)
            What a game.
            What a game!
            The skill level was not the best, but the determination, hard-hitting contests and desperation to win was there and the game was brilliant as a spectacle. The 12 point score line actually flatters Geelong a little, but a goal was kicked after the siren and it was all over with no pressure. The lead changed often, and there were so many times in the last quarter that scores were actually level. I don’t support either team, but I was on the edge of my seat watching the game; I would have hated to have been a fan! The highlights were many and I really can do it no justice here. Suffice it to say, if you get a chance catch a replay of tyhis one. It wioll be well worth your time and effort, and is a great example of why this game is the best football code in the world.
            The Norm Smith Medal for best on ground was won by Geelong’s Paul Chapman, who also kicked 3 goals to be the game’s leading goal scorer. But individual stats do not tell the tale here. No stats do. Geelong had 192 kicks to St Kilda’s 189; handballs were a little more in Geelong’s favour, 186 to 138. St Kilda managed 127 tackles to 103. St Kilda managed to get 24 free kicks to Geelong’s 21. The game was so even all throughout the afternoon it was intense.
            But Geelong have now won 2 out of 3 grand finals in the past 3 years, having appeared in all of them. Whether this is the start of something for St Kilda remains to be seen with some of their older players slowing a little.
            Great game. One of the best grand finals I’ve seen.
SANFL Finals Week Three
Preliminary Final

Glenelg 7.13 (55) def by Sturt 9.6 (60)
            Another close game! And Glenelg, the minor premiers, has gone out of the finals in straight losses. And they had this one. Sturt did not score in the first quarter. But then they made their comeback and the game was tight from then on, with the Double Blues coming out by less than a goal. This was a game that was not the best example of skill, marred by the conditions somewhat, but it sets up a great grand final. Central Districts, in their tenth grand final in a row, facing Sturt, who last won in 2002.

Test Series
Test Five

New Zealand 52 def Australia 36
            Australia took the foot off the gas and New Zealand swooped in for a confidence-building victory. Australia looked like they knew they had the series won. They looked tired. Lots of errors. Disappointing match, especially after the brilliant spectacle of game four. Australia may have won the series 3-2, but New Zealand leave with the momentum.

A-League – Round Eight
Newcastle Jets 0 def by Perth Glory 1
Gold Coast United 2 def by Melbourne Victory 3
Wellington Phoenix 0 drew with Central Coast Mariners 0
            This was described by both teams as a game “for the purists”. Having watched it, I can tell you, that means it was dull as ditch water…
Brisbane Roar 1 def Sydney 0
            Brisbane have had the wood over Sydney, winning the past 8 encounters. Still, game was frustratingly boring.
North Queensland Fury 0 def by Adelaide United 2

Rugby League
Finals Week Three
Preliminary Finals

Bulldogs 12 def by Parramatta 22
            And the Parramatta fairytale run continues on unabated. This was a good, tight game, and a lot of fun to watch. Hayne just escaped a suspension from a silly tackle, but that means the Eels will be a full strength for next weekend’s grand final.
Melbourne 40 def Brisbane 10
            Melbourne are into their fourth successive grand final as Brisbane feel their hard run through the finals finally took its toll. But the whole game was not a brilliant spectacle. We can only hope that next week’s grand final will be a good one.

NBL Round One
            So, after all the rubbish that went on since last season, there is a sort of basketball season happening.
New Zealand 95 def. Cairns 75
Townsville 82 def. Gold Coast 79
Wollongong 94 def. Perth 92
Cairns 86 def. Adelaide 75
            There are 8 teams, and one (Melbourne) had a bye this round.
            Let’s see how the season progresses before I slag it off too much. Of course, I could be mistaken. With any luck, I’ll be involved in a couple of weeks in an Adelaide home game, and can give a slightly different perspective of proceedings…
            We’ll see.

Cadel Evans became Australia’s first road race world champion in Mendrisio, Switzerland. Amazingly, with 3.5 km to go in the 262 km race, he broke away from a 9-man breakaway and was never headed. His winning time was 6 hrs, 56 mins, 26 secs. He won by all of 27 seconds. I put this in because it so good to see an Australian do well in a sport such as this.

Sporting Morons
Michael Hurley (Essendon, AFL): Allegedly assaulted a taxi driver.
Brendan Fevola (Carlton, AFL): Hang on, wasn’t he here only a couple of weeks ago? Yes, but this is different. And I struggled with should he be two times a moron or not. Well, he is. It has emerged that at the Brownlow Medal count he was so intoxicated that he abused, slurred and stumbled his way through a segment being filmed for TV, creating such a mess another player was quickly drafted in to recover it. His career now hangs in the balance.
Tally: 62

And so next week we have two more grand finals to watch… Man, I love this time of the year! That’s another view done. And try to catch the AFL grand final. You won’t be disappointed.

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