Drafting, ashing, sporting, resulting. It’s the latest view!

Australian Rules Football
AFL – Draft
The AFL had the most compromised draft ever this week, to put the youngest players in the nation on the cattle market, not knowing what state they’ll be forced to travel to, away from family and friends. Yes, I know they put themselves up for it. But without those positive influences and support, is it any wonder we see such pathetic behaviour from our footballers?
            Ah-hem. Sorry.
            The draft top 20:
1 Gold Coast – David Swallow (East Fremantle/Gold Coast)
2 Gold Coast – Harley Bennell (Peel Thunder)
3 Gold Coast – Sam Day (Sturt)
4 West Coast – Andrew Gaff (Oakleigh Chargers)
5 Brisbane Lions – Jared Polec (Woodville-West Torrens)
6 Richmond – Reece Conca (Perth)
7 Gold Coast – Josh Candy (Northern Knights)
8 Essendon – Dyson Heppell (Gippsland Power)
9 Gold Coast – Dion Prestia (Calder Cannons)
10 Gold Coast – Daniel Gorringe (Norwood)
11 Gold Coast – Tom Lynch (Dandenong Stingrays)
12 Melbourne – Lucas Cook (North Ballarat Rebels)
13 Gold Coast – Seb Tape (Glenelg)
14 Adelaide – Brodie Smith (Woodville-West Torrens)
15 Geelong – Billie Smedts (Geelong Falcons)
16 Port Adelaide – Ben Jacobs (Sandringham Dragons)
17 North Melbourne – Shaun Atley (Murray Bushrangers)
18 Carlton – Matthew Watson (Calder Cannons)
19 Hawthorn – Isaac Smith (North Ballarat VFL)
20 Fremantle – Jayden Pitt (Geelong Falcons)
(Collingwood, Sydney, Western Bulldogs, St Kilda had their first picks after the top 20)
            In all, a safe draft, with Gold Coast getting the pick of the crop. Talk is the AFL is extremely dissatisfied with Fremantle having such poor returns, and so is determined to make Gold Coast successful. To give you an idea of how much they are determined – when Adelaide entered the AFL in the early 1990s, they were not allowed to participate in the draft until their second year. Gold Coast on the other hand are getting more priority picks and concessions than all other interstate teams combined have ever had. And Greater Western Sydney will do the same. Why? Because the AFL does not care about its heartland but wants to waste money trying to take the sport into places where it will struggle to even be accepted, let alone adopted, by the people. They see money. And to the AFL that is all that matters: $$$.

Australia A v England
Australia A 1st innings 230; England 1st innings 523; Australia A 2nd innings 301; England 2nd innings 0/11
            England won very easily by 10 wickets
All the cricket news in Australia is focused, unsurprisingly, on the upcoming Ashes battle (and see down below for a brief overview of what that series is…). And this year has seen a return to an old format that I think is great – the visiting English team playing various state teams and an Australia A team. While other national teams may be ranked higher than the English, there is something special about the Ashes campaign that means it should be treated as different. I like this way of going about things after a few years of it not happening, and I hope it continues.
            The only other bit of news concerns the South African team. Now, the South Africans are a little bit annoyed that Australia insists that any tour of Australia by South Africa include the Christmas period for the Boxing Day and New Years tests in Melbourne and Sydney respectively. The Australians know these are their two biggest cash cows and are reluctant to see them go at all. The South Africans, on the other hand, quite rightly point out that this is also a time for celebration of cricket in their home country, being in the Southern Hemisphere and all, and they want the South Africa/Australia tours to be shared across this time. Australia have refused, meaning the tours of these countries by these countries are going to be cut cruelly short. Yes, it would be a shame to have the Boxing Day test at the MCG gone for a year… but South Africa do deserve something at a time when they would also like to celebrate and reap in some rewards. The day does not belong to Australia exclusively.
            Oh how I love it when the almighty dollar speaks louder than what’s the best for the sport, especially in a nation like South Africa that everyone pays lip service to helping… so long as it doesn’t hinder themselves.

Egypt 3 def Australia 0
A-League Round 14 (cont)
Newcastle Jets 1 drew with Brisbane Roar 1
Melbourne Victory 2 drew with Central Coast Mariners 2
A-League Round 15
Melbourne Heart 0 def by Adelaide United 2
Newcastle Jets 1 def Wellington Phoenix 0
Brisbane Roar 1 drew with North Queensland Fury 1
Sydney 2 def Perth Glory 0
Central Coast Mariners 2 def by Gold Coast United 3
W-League Round 3
Canberra United 1 drew with Melbourne Victory 1
Newcastle Jets 0 hammered by Brisbane Roar 4
Sydney 4 hammered Adelaide United 1

NBL – Round 6
New Zealand 57 def by Wollongong 73
Melbourne 84 def by Perth 93
Cairns 87 def Adelaide 71
Gold Coast 82 def by Melbourne 85
Townsville 77 def Adelaide 73
WNBL – Round 7
Dandenong 74 def by Bendigo 77
AIS 61 def by Sydney 71
West Coast 72 def Adelaide 59
Bulleen 74 def Logan 67
Bendigo 72 def Logan 67

Rugby Union
Spring Tour
Ireland 18 def by New Zealand 38
Scotland 21 def South Africa 17
England 26 def Samoa 13
Italy 14 def by Australia 32
Wales 16 drew with Fiji 16

V-8 Supercars
Sandown Challenge
Race 23
1st Paul Dumbrell (Falcon FG)
2nd Jamie Whincup (Commodore VE)
3rd Mark Winterbottom (Falcon FG)
Race 24
1st James Courtney (Falcon FG)
2nd Mark Winterbottom (Falcon FG)
3rd Jamie Whincip (Commodore VE)

Adelaide 2 def by Perth 4
Adelaide 7 def Perth 3
Melbourne 2 def by Canberra 5
Sydney 5 def by Brisbane 9
Sydney 3 def by Brisbane 4
Melbourne 4 def Canberra 0
Sydney 4 def Brisbane 0
Adelaide 4 def by Perth 6
Melbourne 3 def Canberra 1
Melbourne 8 def Canberra 9 (extra innings)
Adelaide 4 def Perth 3
Sydney 2 def Brisbane 0

The Ashes
            I promised this last year and never actually did it. So here is a brief history of the Ashes, the cricketing world’s longest rivalry and longest lived fought over “trophy”.
            The first tour of England by an Australian team appears to have been in 1868, when a team of Aboriginal Australians were sent to England. More a curiosity than anything at the time, it was still the first.
            The first officially recognised Test match was held in March of 1877 between England and Australia, in Australia, which Australia won by 45 runs (quirk of history – the centenary cricket match between England and Australia in 1977 was won by Australia by, you guessed it, 45 runs). I should point out now that the first international cricket match ever was played between Canada and the United States in 1844.
            The Ashes themselves dates back to 1882 when Australia defeated England for the first time ever on English soil. The name comes from an ‘obituary’ in the UK newspaper The Sporting Times: “In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances R.I.P. N.B.—The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.”
            At the start of the next series English captain Ivo Bligh promised to “bring back the ashes.” He was presented with a gift of an urn, which contained the ashes of some object (variously believed to be a bail, a ball, a stump or a woman’s veil – and the last is the most widely believed now) by some Melbourne women after England won the deciding test in this subsequent 1883 series. This was presented to the MCC upon Bligh’s death and is now the symbol of the contest (though not, as is widely believed, the actual trophy; until the 1990s there was not a real, actual trophy).
            The media latched onto this and the name at the time, but it soon faded from public usage. The term remained used by only the cricketers themselves until the early 1900s when the term was once more used by an English captain in public and this time the media did not let go of it and the name stuck. So we have the Ashes.
            The series is held in alternating 18 and 30 month gaps in the alternating nations. It is one of the few test series remaining where the teams play five games instead of the now standard 3 (or less in some cases).
            It should also be pointed out that England currently holds The Ashes, after defeating Australia 2–1 to regain them in 2009 in Great Britain. Australia, though, leads overall with 31 series wins to England’s 29, with 5 drawn (4 of those leading to Australia retaining and one for England).

And that’s the View through to November 22, 2010.

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