The View From Down Here #85


 With cricket winding up on the domestic front, basketball coming to a close, union just starting, league almost just starting, the AFL in their pre-season cup days, this week (and especially weekend) was dominated by 3 nights of wrestling as Riot Coty Wrestling presented their annual Strength Tournament as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival! The review for that is still to come, so what a weekend I had! Here’s the rest of the sport!

1st One-Day International
New Zealand v Australia
Australia 8/275; New Zealand 8/281 (49.2 ov) – New Zealand won by 2 wickets
            A good, tense, tight game between these two teams, showing just how much the Kiwis have improved over the past 5 years. It may also be an indication that Australia are tired after a long season, but I feel new Zealand just wanted it that little bit more. However, it is interesting to note that the Australians are not handling the pressure well. Some of the histrionics were a little over the top.
2nd One-Day International
New Zealand v Australia
Australia 7/273; New Zealand 253 (43.2 overs) – Australia won by 12 runs (D/L method)
Rain, so Duckworth-Lewis rears its ugly head again, and we have New Zealand needing 266 runs from 45 overs…
            And what a match! It came down to Daniel Vettori (70 from 49 balls) being the key as his New Zealand team-mates crumbled around him. They still had a chance with 14 runs to get from 15 balls… but with one wicket left. Close match again! This series is everything the two series in Australia should have been.
1st One-Day International
New Zealand Women v Australia Women
New Zealand 6/228; Australia 8/229 – Australia won by 2 wickets
            Off the last ball! What a game! After the one-sidedness of the Australian tour by NZ, this series between the two teams has suddenly blossomed into some damn entertaining cricket. It is said that Australia brings the best out of New Zealand, and on their home soil both the men and women have shown just that.
2nd One-Day International
New Zealand Women v Australia Women
New Zealand 8/255; Australia 4/256 (47.3 overs) – Australia won by 6 wickets
            Another close game! New Zealand’s ladies have found a new lease of life, and even in defeat they are looking strong. But Australia seems to be up for the challenge, making this suddenly an intriguing series.
Sheffield Shield
We’re down to the pointy end, with just a few matches remaining and only Victoria booked in for the final. Any of three other teams could conceivably get there with them, and this makes for some damn fine cricket with everyone going all out for maximum points.
            Australian domestic cricket is the best!
Tasmania v New South Wales
New South Wales 6(dec)/468 & 4(dec)/265; Tasmania 303 & 214 – New South Wales won by 216 runs
            Tasmania had the chance to win, but blew it. New South Wales looked strong again, but it is too late in the season, and they won’t make the Shield final.
Queensland v South Australia
Queensland 160 & 6(dec)/237; South Australia 72 & 231 – Queensland won by 94 runs
            While the scores may look improbably low, the weather in Queensland where flooding has become the unfortunate norm of late had a lot to do with this.
            But that does not excuse South Australia’s poor showing in this match where they had everything to play for. Instead Queensland are now into the final against Victoria.
Western Australia v Victoria
Victoria 199 & 378; Western Australia 274 & 249 – Victoria won by 54 runs
            Another close match, but there is a reason why Victoria have already booked a place in the final. They have been the form team this season, and the final against Queensland looks set to be a little one sided unfortunately.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Pre Season Cup
Round Three – Semi-Finals

            Closing in on the end of this series…
Western Bulldogs 1.11.17 (92) def Port Adelaide 1.12.8 (89)
            Tight game with both sides giving their all. And again Barry Hall was the difference with four goals and a mark with a minute remaining that he then fed a pass out so the winning goal could be scored. But the Power were far from disgraced.
St Kilda 2.15.7 (115) def Fremantle 2.3.9 (45)
            Fremantle tried hard to get to this point, but were so thoroughly outclassed by St Kilda that it was almost embarrassing. The gap still exists between those who try hard and those who have already been there for the past few years.

Rugby League
World Club Challenge
Melbourne 18 def Leeds 10
            The win was a good one for Melbourne leading into the domestic season, but there were a few errors on their behalf, and Leeds looked tired. Not a great game, but it does augur well for the Storm here in Australia.

Rugby Union
Super 14 Round 4
Chiefs 18 def by Reds 23
            The Chiefs’ first loss.
Brumbies 24 def Lions 13
Crusaders 33 def Blues 20
Waratahs 25 def Sharks 21
            This was a close game and it came right down to the wire. The Waratahs just managed to scrape home with the win.
Stormers 33 thrashed Highlanders 0
Cheetahs 28 def Hurricanes 12

Asian Cup Qualifier
Australia 1 def Indonesia 0
            This sort of makes up for the loss to Kuwait and means Australia may yet make it through.
Minor Semi Final
– Match E: Winner Match B v Winner Match C
Wellington Phoenix 3 def Newcastle Jets 1
Major Semi Final – (2nd Leg)
Sydney 2 drew with Melbourne Victory 2
            Melbourne go through to host the grand final on aggregate, dispute the draw. Controversial finish to the match with a free that maybe wasn’t warranted leading to Melbourne’s second goal.

NBL Grand Final
Best Of 3 series
Grand Final
Game One: Perth 75 def Wollongong 64
            Pretty dominant performance by Perth to start the series off.
WNBL Finals Week Three
Grand Final
Bulleen 70 def by Canberra 75
            Canberra’s record breaking seventh title and Bulleen just can’t crack it for the big one. Still, a fast paced match and very intense. Congrats to Canberra!

That’s this view – Feb 15 through 28.

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