Tag Archives: adelaidefc

Weekend musing – the Brownlow medal, Grand Finals in AFL & NRL……

I was pleasantly surprised to listen to Dustin Martin at his Brownlow presentation on Monday night. He came over a lot better than I had envisioned and he seemed like a reasonable bloke who loves his footy. Bruce McAvaney was a little sickening, but he did a good job getting Martin to talk so it worked.

With 36 votes Martin scored exactly the same amount as the entire All Australian back line of Rory Laird (9) votes, Alex Rance (8), Michael Hibberd (7), Sam Docherty (5), Michael Hurley (4) and Jeremy McGovern (3). While I am not suggesting that Martin did not deserve his votes, it is a little hard to accept that these six champion players could only amass 36 votes between them as most of them are big ball winners as well. The forward line did significantly better with a total of 75 votes, but the forward line included Dane Zorko (14) and Robbie Gray (12) who are essentially mid-fielders and Lance Franklin (22) who seems to capture the umpires eye. With five votes it did endorse my view that Eddie Betts was lucky to make the team.

It was also interesting to see that nine of the 18 clubs had two players that secured half or more of their teams votes and at Richmond, Martin almost did that himself with 36 votes out of a team total of 80. As much as it is great to have a Brownlow medalist from your team, from a team perspective it is better to have a spread of vote getters. The two top teams were Adelaide and Sydney who both had 88 votes, but the contrast was that Adelaide’s top four Sloane, M.Crouch, Jacobs & Atkins contributed 51 votes and Sydney’s top four of Kennedy, Franklin, Parker & Hannebery contributed 67 votes with Hannebery only contributing 6 votes. I think the upshot from this was Adelaide had more to handle in trying to control Martin it will than Richmond had trying to control Rory Sloane…and that is how it turned out yesterday. One thing that the Brownlow coverage brought home was how disappointing it is that Jobe Watson is no longer a Brownlow medalist. To see Cotchin & Mitchell lauded as medalists was disappointing whereas I had not thought about it much beforehand.

The Grand Final was a reasonable game and even though I thought Adelaide were the better side going into the game, the Grand Final was played on Richmond’s home ground which, in my view evened out the contest. Richmond were worthy premiers and it says something for a Club that decided to hold fast in the face of great criticism of their 2016 performance. If the Tigers had buckled at the end of last season and sacked Damian Hardwick, I doubt they would have climbed to the heights of premiership glory.

The Melbourne Storm are my fancies in the NRL decider today. They
have had a great season led by Dally M medallist Cameron Smith. North Queensland Cowboys have had a remarkable run to the Grand Final but I believe they will fall short especially as they are without their champion play maker Jonathan Thurston.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – fourth test in India, Seltun, Sheffield Shield final….

Sfan OB6Great to see the Australian cricket team hang on in the third test in India. Peter Handscombe obviously took my previous musing to heart and produced his best innings of the tour and in the context of the series, perhaps the best innings of his fledgling career. I think thishanscomb is probably the first time since the third test of the 2005 Ashes series when the Australian team has batted out a day to save a test. On that occasion Ricky Ponting batted nearly the whole day and we escaped with a draw with one wicket in hand. The Indians really took the game away from Australia on Sunday and to hang on as we did was a great effort and keeps a very interesting series alive going into this weekend for the fourth and final test of the series.

I was tickled on last weekend to see the horse Gingernuts salute in Sydney. Being a chestnut gelding this is quite a creative name by the owners and I am surprised it got through the authorities. It reminds me of the horse Seltun which is Nutles(s) backwards.

It is interesting that this weekend we have two sporting finals where the host team is playing away from home. The Victorian Bushrangers have made a habit of it recently and are hosting South 81946500Australia in Alice Springs in the Sheffield Shield final and in the AFLW we have Brisbane Lions hosting Adelaide Crows on the Gold Coast. As Victoria has won the last two Shield’s perhaps it is a winning formula, but clearly not ideal for local cricket fans. This scenario was apparent at the start of the season, however, the AFLW grand final is a bit more embarrassing for all concerned. The groundsmen in control of the Gabba apparently see their primary job to prepare the ground for the first test match of the year and AFL football takes a back seat. Leigh Matthews has said that this situation has existed since the Brisbane Lions started playing there and perhaps now with the Queensland state government getting involved, football might be treated a bit better.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Bart Cummings, AFL, sling tackles, player management……

Chris Barwin HillsLast weekend we heard about the passing of J B Cummings and with his passing we say goodbye to the trainer who trained more Melbourne Cup winners than any other trainer by a fair margin. He may not have trained as many winners or Group 1 winners as Tommy Smith or Colin Hayes or won as many trainers premierships, but in the race that every trainer sees as the pinnacle in Australia he imagestrained more winners of the Cup than those two trainers put together. His record of 12 Melbourne Cup winners will not be broken in my lifetime and with the internationalisation of the race I doubt it will be broken at all. Vale James Bartholomew Cummings an absolute legend of the Australian turf.

I was at the MCG last weekend to see the Bombers take on the Tigers and I witnessed Courtney Dempsey’s tackle on Brett Deledio and I must say that it was extremely dangerous and Deledio was Unknownlucky he escaped with only a sore neck and a slight concussion. That type of tackle is probably worse than the sling tackle and Dempsey fully deserved his 4 weeks. The stupid thing about it was than it was also unnecessary, the game was gone and a standard tackle would have seen Deledio penalised for holding the ball as he had already broken one tackle.

Continuing the AFL theme it was with some interest I listened to Wayne Carey suggest that this weeks Geelong v Adelaide game should be for double Brownlow votes given that the earlier game between the two teams was abandoned due to the tragic death of Phil Walsh. I initially thought the idea had some merit, but the more I thought about it the less appealing it became. In the end it would mean that someone would play one game and get double the votes. IUnknown-1 dare say that if someone lost out in that scenario then there may be a legal challenge. It was also proposed that all games in that round have voting suspended and that doesn’t make sense either as it penalises those players that performed well that weekend and again could open up a legal challenge. The original game was abandoned and the points were split and all the participants knew that there would be no Brownlow votes awarded and that is the way it should stay. It will be bad luck if Patrick Dangerfield misses out on the medal by less than three votes, but would it be worse than Chris Grant missing out on the medal from what was really only a clumsy attempt to spoil, I don’t think so.

There has also been a lot of discussion around Fremantle and North Melbourne resting players for the finals this weekend. While the Fremantle decision has no bearing on the finals, the North Melbourne decision is not as clear and the AFL are rightly copping a whack as a result, but this has happened before. Kevin Sheedy rested players at the end of 1990 to allow the four Daniher brothers Unknown-2to play together in the last round against St Kilda. They won the game, but due to the draw between Collingwood and West Coast in the Qualifying final it back fired on the Dons and some of the players had three weeks off and the rest is history. Sheedy did it again in 2001 when Essendon played Richmond in the final round, a few players were rested, but the team clearly didn’t have a winning mind set and went down by about four goals. This result kept Richmond in 4th place and meant that Carlton could not get above 5th. The following week in the Qualifying final Essendon belted Richmond by about ten goals.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – State of Origin, NBA, Women’s World Cup, AFL

Chris Barwin HillsOn Wednesday night I ventured along to the MCG with 91,500 others to watch Game 2 of the State of Origin series between NSW & Queensland. It was certainly a much better game than Game 1 with an early try to both teams. However, the most exhilarating part of the night, the Greg Inglis near length of the field try, was disallowed by the video referee. I don’t claim to be an expert on Rugby League, but to the letter of the law it would seem the decisionUnknown was correct, but what an anti-climax! In the end the game was essentially decided on two very marginal video referee calls. The Josh Morris try where he appeared to only get a thumbnail worth of downward pressure on the ball and Myles knock-on which cost Inglis his try. Both decisions looked correct on review. I enjoyed the game, but I think rugby league is probably a better game to watch on television, particularly for the uninitiated. That observation may also explain why their club games do not draw big crowds.

The NBA final series came to a close earlier in the week and it was good to see Andrew Bogut celebrate his win with the Golden State Warriors, however, given he had no game time in the last two games and only a couple of minutes in game 4, it may be a slightly hollow feeling for him. He obviously deserved the accolades but it would have been good to see the coach put him on for the last couple of Unknownminutes given they had a reasonable lead at that stage. I hark back to the old days with football when you had the 19th & 20th men and the coach would bring them on for the last couple of minutes of a grand final just so they felt part of it. Continuing with the NBA it is hard to see how LeBron James could not be considered the MVP for the final series given his herculean performance, however, I understand that in American sport that the MVP would never go to a player in the losing team.

Great to see the Australian women’s soccer team, the Matildas, get through to the round of 16. I know the team from the United States is always strong in women’s soccer, but Australia was in the ‘GroupUnknown of Death’ together with the Nigerian and Swedish teams. To get through that group was a very good effort. They now come up against Brazil who are one of the tournament favourites so fingers crossed for the Matildas.

The “3rd man up” in ruck contests in the AFL is generating a bit of discussion at the moment and I think the way Geelong are using it with Mark Blicavs & Rhys Stanley has probably narrowed the discussion. It seemed to me that last week against Port Adelaide, imagesone of them was blocking Matthew Lobbe while the other one took the hit out. That would appear to be contrary to the rules, but not only that, what happens if each side sends another man up, then you have 4 players competing for the throw in and it begins to get farcical. I am starting to agree with Leigh Matthews that the “3rd man up” should be banned.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL is back, the US Masters & Sydney’s Autumn carnival

Chris Barwin HillsWell the football season is back and everyone has something to talk about. It was strange in an opening round that included five games where the result was two goals or less but with two big blow outs being the Adelaide v Nth Melbourne and Hawthorn v Geelong games. The coaches on the receiving end were the Scott brothers. Unknown-4As usual you cannot get too carried away with the results from the first round of the season and I would not be writing off either North or Geelong. North were belted by the Bombers in round one last year and made the Preliminary Final and Geelong played the best team in the competition who were primed and ready to go.

The Masters started this morning and my tip before it started was Jordan Spieth and he is currently in the lead. Last year I predicted that Jason Day would win a Major, however, his body let him down Unknown-5and he failed to fulfil my prediction. This year he is fit and is also well placed and if Spieth does not win, I would be more than happy to see Day salute. It is always difficult for a golfer to lead a tournament from start to finish, so I will be monitoring the scores over the next three days with interest.

Sydney’s fickle weather again played havoc with their Autumn carnival with day one of the Championships postponed from last Saturday to the following Monday. It is a shame that these good races with good fields are run on wet tracks, so sometimes the best horse does not salute. One horse that could not blame the state of Unknown-6the track was Lankan Rupee. I had been concerned after his run in the Newmarket and my concerns weren’t allayed by hearing Mick Price give a cautious appraisal of his recovery before last weeks T J Smith Stakes. I was not surprised to see him finish out of the places again. He is clearly not right and should be tipped out for a spell.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Cobalt in the feed?, Darts, Taylor Walker….

Chris Barwin HillsThe big story this week was the three horse racing trainers possibly facing charges for traces of cobalt being found in their horses. This has the capacity to damage a sport that is already damaged so it will be interesting to see which way it goes. My gut feel is that the racing industry cannot afford to have three of the biggest trainers in the state suspended and this will be a shot across their bows as a warning to everyone else. The suggestion at the moment is that the horses that tested positive were well over the prescribed limit which would negate any assertion that it was bad feed, but it is difficult to accept that these trainers, who know the rules have allowed their horses to be administered cobalt to a level which is banned. These guys have teams of vets working for them and need to keep very detailed records of feed and supplements/medications which are administered, so what went wrong? There is more to this than the Essendon supplements saga, but it won’t attract as much attention because horse racing just doesn’t have the profile save for the Spring Carnival.

I didn’t go to the darts at Etihad stadium last week, however, I did see the news on Sunday and the behaviour of the crowd was deplorable. If it was a higher profile sport the examination of the episode would have continued all week. dartsThe reports from the event last year were that it was a great success, but now any future tournament will be highly scrutinised. Imagine if you attended on Saturday night and had your night ruined in that fashion, you would not be very happy. Perhaps they need to breathalyse patrons as they enter the stadium!

I was interested to see that Adelaide had named Taylor Walker as their captain for next year and for me, it raised the concerns about full forwards as captains. There is no doubt you can captain the side from full forward. The AFL’s longest serving captain, Stephen Kernahan, spent more time at full forward than centre half forward and I think the same could be said about Wayne Carey. Jason Dunstall was a genuine full forward who was captain and hisTaylor Walker influence was difficult to assess as Hawthorn were on the slide when he took over. My question mark about full forwards as captains is they have a limited opportunity to influence the game from that position, unless, like Carey, they can be swung onto the ball. I think the main reason Patrick Dangerfield didn’t get the position is not because he may return to Victoria, but his lack of popularity with his team mates which emerged late last year. It will be interesting to see how Walker goes.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, final eight, Arsenal, Champions League…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell with one round of the AFL season to go there is still a great deal of interest in the final positions in the final eight.

Should the results go as expected it will be a battle between Adelaide and West Coast on percentage for the final position, but Richmond have their fate in their own hands so it is the position you want to be in from a Richmond point of view. If the game was in Melbourne I would give them a genuine chance, but being in Sydney I think I will have to favour the home team. That being said, the Swans will know the equation necessary to hold top spot as Hawthorn play Collingwood tonight and a big win by Hawthorn and a loss to Sydney could see the Swans lose top spot.

Looking to the other games, Geelong should beat Brisbane at home, but if you cast your mind back to the corresponding game last year Brisbane lost by a kick in controversial circumstances. Geelong have won a lot of games this year by small margins and have not played out four quarters many times and if they lose and Fremantle win, Geelong could drop to fourth. Fremantle need to win to at least hold fourth spot as a loss to Port Adelaide will see Port take fourth spot.

North Melbourne looks to be the only team that cannot go up or down, they are a game and 16% below Port and a game and 10% ahead of Essendon, so they look like retaining sixth position with a home final. Essendon need to beat Carlton to retain seventh position to play North in Melbourne, or run the risk that a loss to Carlton and a win by Richmond could see them head interstate to play Freo or Port.

It is a great last round as so many positions could change, but I am predicting the status quo and games going with the favourites, so that will leave Adelaide and West Coast to fight out eighth position on percentage. My tip is Adelaide to just get there and play a home final against Port in the first week of the finals.

Also great to see the Gunners make it through to the Champions League again. They have drawn a reasonable group and should at least get through to the next round.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, final eight, Richmond FC, Essendon FC…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell it is getting to the business end of the AFL season with still a few spots up for grabs and the final order still to be decided.

Richmond have come out of nowhere to put pressure on the lower reaches of the final eight, but the final game against the Swans in Sydney may spell the end of an inspired run. Some sides have failed to consolidate their spots and in the case of Collingwood & Gold Coast they have actually relinquished their positions in the eight. In my opinion it has now come down to Essendon, Adelaide and Richmond competing for the last two positions. If Essendon win this week and Adelaide lose to North, then I think the Bombers will be safe. At least there is still some interest coming into the final two rounds.

I must say I did not think Brenton Sanderson did his team any favours by having a whine about having to play Brisbane in Brisbane on a day when it was 24 degrees. Adelaide is not known for it’s freezing winters and 24 degrees is not uncommon come September. I went to the 2001 Grand Final and it got to about 28 degrees that day. If you go back to 1986 or 1987 and the Grand Final was played when it was 32 degrees. By complaining about having to play in those conditions he was making an excuse for his team against Richmond before they had even played! Not a good move in my opinion.

Another issue to come out of the Adelaide -v- Richmond game was the score review system denying Rory Sloane a goal. I have harped on about the SRS before and I think it is unnecessary and we should just rely on the goal umpire who is usually in the best position to judge. It is unusual to have howlers like the Tom Hawkins goal in the 2009 grand final, but the game should just live with the consequences.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – World Cup, Suarez, AFL & more

Chris Barwin HillsWell the biggest sporting event in the world continues to throw up great games, great drama and now teeth grating! Well we all like a little Italian, being one of the world’s great cuisines, but Luis Suarez clearly likes his Italian fresh. What is it that makes him want to bite opponents? In a sporting sense the only comparisons I can remember are Peter Filandia biting an opponent in the nether regions and My Brown Jug biting Manikato when he realised he was going to get beaten by the champ one day at Sandown. The Suarez suspension has now been handed down and in some ways given he is a repeat offender, is quite lenient.

Continuing the World Cup theme it is interesting to note that England, Spain and Italy who represent three of the four biggest leagues in the world have all been eliminated. Is this just bad luck or is it a symptom of the leagues not promoting local talent in deference to established players from other countries? I would certainly think that is the case with the EPL, but I am not familiar enough with the Italian and Spanish leagues to know if the same problem exists. Germany has made it through and my feeling is that the Bundesliga retains a high German content, but again that is speculation not based on facts. English cricket suffered a similar fate to the EPL and County Cricket reduced the number of overseas players eligible for each team to improve their national team. Is it time for the EPL to place a restriction on the number of eligible overseas players?

I was a little disappointed with the Aussies last game against Spain. It probably went to script and the Socceroos without Cahill and Bresciano were undermanned, but a 1-0 or a 2-0 result would have been a little more satisfying given the performances earlier in the tournament.

The Bombers face the Cats tonight and the Cats are coming off their fourth loss of the season from their fourth interstate trip. Not only have they been beaten interstate, they have been comfortably beaten. That being said, they have not lost a game in Victoria and as a result I will be going against my team and picking the Cats, but barracking hard for the Bombers.

On the never ending supplements saga, it was interesting to hear Tim Watson make a comment on Talking Footy on Monday night. Given his position he has been very circumspect with his comments regarding the whole affair. In a obvious support for his son he finally made a comment about the use of AOD9604 and the lack of retraction or apology from the accusers, which was obviously directed at the time to Jobe.

I was interested to see Daniel Giansiracusa get 2 weeks for his late bump on Polec over the weekend and I ask the question, what was the difference between that bump and Adam Goodes bump on Joel Selwood? Not much, the ball had just left the area, he jumped in the air and hit him high and dazed him. I am not saying that Giansiracusa should have got off, but why wasn’t Goodes charged?

I omitted to make a comment last week about the State of Origin game. What a contrast with the first game which was one of the best rugby league games I have seen. Last Wednesday’s game was probably one of the most boring I have ever watched. The only constant was Queensland’s handling errors which again cost them the game.

Speaking of boring games, what about the Tigers and the Swans last Friday night! I think that is the stye of game that Mick Malthouse was referring to when he commented on the state of the game yesterday. That was the modern game at its worst and contrast that with the Bombers and Crows on Saturday night which was one of the best games I have watched all year.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Tania Hird, Andrew Demetriou…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell it is not very often I am angry on a Friday morning, after all it is the end of the week, however this week is different.

On the day before the Bombers first game of the year Tania Hird decides to give an interview to the ABC about some of the events of last year with regard to Andrew Demetriou and the so called “tip off”.  Why bother?  I can understand her wanting to support her husband, but save it for a book once he has retired.  It does not help the club one iota and certainly doesn’t help her husband who is already suspended, it just rekindles a story that all Essendon supporters and I am sure most football supporters are heartily sick of.

While I am back onto the Supplement Scandal I must say that Demetriou’s comment that he or anyone at the AFL didn’t inject anyone is quite childish.  He has said it on a number of occasions and it is not funny, it is not clever and it is not the point.

I am also puzzled about the ASADA findings.  A couple of weeks ago we were advised that the final report had been referred to a retired judge to consider if there was enough evidence to issue notices against any players.  Subsequent to that we now hear that ASADA are to interview Stephen Dank.  Should that not have happened before they finalised their report and sent it to the judge?

Let us not forget that the games have started and what an interesting first weekend of football.  The GWS must be one of the longest price winners in AFL history and they didn’t just win, they romped it in.  I think they were paying $11.00-$13.00 for the win and the Swans were $1.04- $1.05.  I don’t know what it says about either side for the coming season because you would not write off the Swans to still finish in the top four and equally the GWS finishing in the bottom four.  Maybe it is a portent for the future of both clubs beyond this year.

The Gold Coast beating Richmond was not a great surprise, although I am sure the Tiger supporters were very buoyant before the game.  Freo winning was expected, but the way they disposed of Collingwood after quarter time was very clinical and Ross Lyon could afford to rest Nathan Fyffe before 3/4 time.  It never ceases to amaze me how often Scott Pendlebury, Dane Swan and Dayne Beams get around 90 possessions between them, win lose or draw.  Port beating Carlton was also not a great surprise, Port play Etihad well and Carlton don’t.  The Cats have also saluted at home, which was also not a great surprise given that it is over ten years since Adelaide have won at Kardinia Park.

Roll on the rest of round 1 and may the discussion be around the games and not all of the outside rubbish.

Have a great weekend!