Happy pagan celebration taken over by followers of a Jewish carpenter’s son! A weekend of football and netball and not a real lot else. It was Easter! And so it’s time for a rant.
            Good Friday is a full public holiday. Here in Australia more than three quarters of shops are not allowed to open. The entire country shuts down so some religious group can wave their beliefs in the faces of everyone else in the world. And what do we get on TV? Nothing. 40 year old movies, repeats of soap operas and horse racing. No real sport, nothing. Football codes are pushing for a match on Good Friday, but the religious community is fighting it. Why? Don’t know. Atheism in Australia is on the rise, church attendances are down and really, those who go to church are home by midday. Do people think they then sit in a darkened room and pray until midnight? Hmm?
            We want football on Good Friday, godammit!
            Oh, there was a pretty major jumps race – one of the few left in this country – in my neck of the woods this weekend, but as I dislike horse racing and jumps racing in particular, I shall pretend like it never happened.

New Zealand v Australia 2nd Test
Australia 231 & 8(dec)/511; New Zealand 264 & 302 – Australia won by 176 runs
            New Zealand made a real go of it, outscoring Australia in the first innings… and then completely lost the plot in the field in the second. I don’t know what happened, but they just could not keep Australia down. They scored well themselves, but there was no way they were going to make up such a huge deficit, and they didn’t. Shame. After the first 2 days this looked like it could have been a damn fine test match.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 2
Brisbane 16.11 (107) def Carlton 12.16 (88)
            Fevola got what some called retribution on his own club who dumped him for being an alcoholic pillock (allegedly). But the Brisbane team just looked stronger and Carlton tried hard, but could not match them.
Collingwood 12/14 (86) just def Melbourne 12.13 (85
            Yes, the team universally picked to be one of the bottom teams almost defeated a team generally regarded as a shoe-in top-4 finisher. This match seems to bring the best out of the Demons, and if nothing else, if they learn from this match then they will be a more successful team this year than even the most optimistic supporters could have hoped.
St Kilda 23.5 (143) slaughtered North Melbourne 6.3 (39)
            This, though, is how everyone thought this match would pan out, though a 100+ difference in scores was a little excessive. Hope your ‘rebuilding’ phase is going well there, North Melbourne…
West Coast 12.14 (86) def by Port Adelaide 13.11 (89)
            This was not supposed to be the score. Port were behind and came back to win. They did not wilt under pressure, especially being interstate. Where is the Port we’ve grown to know and laugh at? West Coast should really be ashamed of losing it, although neither team looked particularly skilled in this match in conditions that were not awful by any stretch of the imagination. Disappointing game all up.
Adelaide 11.9 (75) def by Sydney 18.10 (118)
            Convincing away win by the Swans against an Adelaide team that should be playing one hell of a lot better than they currently are. Something of an upset, actually. But if Sydney keep this form up they could well surprise many, including their own supporters.
Essendon 9.15 (69) def by Fremantle 17.11 (113)
            And the bizzaro-world results keep on coming as Fremantle not only win in Melbourne, but defeat Essendon there for the first time in more than 10 years! Another result that came out of nowhere and has left so many experts (and people like myself who just like the game and enjoy tipping competitions) scratching their heads and going, “Huh?”
Richmond 7.6 (48) hammered by Western Bulldogs 17.18 (120)
            And finally all is right with the world as premiership contenders slaughter potential wooden spooners with ease. A training run for the Doggies as Richmond only showed token resistance.
Hawthorn 13.13 (91) def by Geelong 14.16 (100)
            Good, tight game, but the 13s destroyed Hawthorn as they fell to last year’s premiers. This does show that Geelong still has it and that Hawthorn are coming back after a horrible 2009.
SANFL – Round 2
Norwood 11.12 (78) def by South Adelaide 12.11 (83)
            Wow, South beat Norwood at Norwood. That’s rare. South really do seem to be on the rise this year. So far…
West Adelaide 12.8 (80) def by Glenelg 16.10 (106)
            While Westies are on the rise, they came up wanting in their first real test against a genuine premiership hopeful.
Woodville-West Torrens 17.13 (115) def Port Adelaide 14.8 (92)
            This one went according to the script as Port’s slide to oblivion continues unabated.
North Adelaide 13.9 (87) def Sturt 11.13 (79)
            Last week’s draw must have hurt Sturt mentally because they really should have wiped the floor with the struggling Roosters. But instead they were defeated in a tight contest. Oh well.
Bye: Central Districts

Rugby League
NRL – Round 4
Melbourne 17 def St George Illawarra 4
Sydney Roosters 25 killed Brisbane 6
Cronulla 11 embarrassed Parramatta 0
North Queensland 32 def Gold Coast 18
Warriors 6 def by Manly 14
Canberra 22 def by Wests Tigers 35
            This was a good game and well worth tracking down to watch the replay.
Newcastle 30 def by Penrith 34
            Down by an incredible margin at half-time (24-6), the second half turnaround by the Panthers was nothing short of an Easter miracle! That and a dubious call from the video ref giving them a last minute try for the win…
South Sydney 38 def Canterbury-Bankstown 16
            This must be considered something of an upset, but Souths are now repaying the faith so many of us had in them at the start of the season all of a month ago… How fickle does that sound? Aren’t we sports supporters a little like that? Pathetic that I’m doing this as well… Sorry… been a tough week…

Rugby Union
Super 14 Round 8
Hurricanes 26 drew with Crusaders 26
Force 16 just def Stormers 15
Blues 32 def Bulls 17
Chiefs 27 def Highlanders 21
Waratahs 40 over-ran Cheetahs 17
Sharks 30 just def Reds 28
            With the exception of 2 of the games, all were so close that picking the finalists for this year’s competition is harder than picking a broken nose. Good competition!

ANZ Championships
Round 3

Mystics 46 def by Magic 55
            Low scoring affair here as both teams seemed to struggle.
Firebirds 40 def by Thunderbirds 41
            Adelaide’s first win in a rather scrappy game that did no-one any favours. But a close game and a come from behind win means that at least the crowd was entertained.
Tactix 53 def by Swifts 56
            This was a better game, and the close result was indicative of the closeness of the two sides. Good game.
Steel 56 def Pulse 44
Fever 50 def by Vixens 64
            Melbourne just dominated this one from start to finish. They are looking the goods yet again.

Asian Champions League
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1 def Adelaide United 0
            Adelaide’s 1st loss in the competition in their away leg against Hiroshima. Do them good, I reckon.
Melbourne Victory 1 def Kawasaki Frontale 0
            Melbourne’s first win, on the other hand, in their home leg, was too little too late for the Victorians.

A short one. Life still sucks without Jim being there, but we’re all coping, thanks. And thanks for the messages of condolence. It shows that there’s still decent people out there and that some people actually read this, both of which are strangely gratifying.
            Thanks, everyone. And that’s this view – Mar 30 through April 5.

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