Tag Archives: australian-rules-football

Weekend musing – Test cricket, twilight Grand Final, Nick Kyrgios, Golden Slipper…..

Sfan OB6Well it is lucky the Australian cricket selectors do not pay any attention to my musings, with Glenn Maxwell bringing up a century batting at number six in the third test in India. I had thought that Ashton Agar was the better option as a spinner/batsman, but http---prod.static9.net.au-_-media-2017-03-17-16-12-maxwell3_1703a_1000Maxwell has now grabbed his chance. Steve Smith has again been impressive and continues to push his case for the best batsman in the world at the moment. Peter Handscomb has been a little disappointing. After his four tests in Australia where he excelled he has now returned scores of 22, 19, 16, 24 & 19 so he has a got a start in each innings and failed to go on. I am not suggesting he should be dropped, but he needs to convert a start into something more substantial. Fingers crossed the Aussies can get the job done in this test and put the acid back on the Indians.

In the AFL a twilight grand final appears to be an inevitability. Now that Mike Fitzpatrick has stood down as AFL Chairman, I think Gillon McLachlan will be ensuring this goes through. I like mclachlan-change-620x370xxthe day grand final, but I am certainly not against a twilight match. I would not be in favour of a night grand final as I think it would detract from the functions and BBQs that people have based around the current fixture but that could transfer to a twilight time slot, but a later start would not be as conducive.

Australia’s richest race for 2yo, the Golden Slipper is on this Horse-Catchy-103462-636x424weekend and it is a shame that a heavy track is likely. My tip is the Blue Diamond winner, Catchy, as long as she handles the track conditions.

Nick Kyrgios beat Novak Djokovic for the second time in a row and I think most Australians would like to see him turn around his “on court” behaviour and focus his attentions on playing as he obviously has a special talent. He just needs to harness it!

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – Test cricket, JLT Community Series……

Sfan OB6The Australian test team did us proud in India last week after I had speculated that they registered an below par score in the first innings. As it turned out, Australia’s score in the first innings surpassed India’s match total. Clearly India prepared a pitch to suit externaltheir bowlers and were hoist on their own petard. Steve O’Keefe did an amazing job to take 12/70, but the real test comes in backing it up. Most cricket followers will recollect Jason Krejza took 12 wickets in his first test in India and then played only one further test match and finished with an average of 43.23. Everyone also knows the Bob Massie story. After taking 16 wickets in his first test against Englad he only played 5 more test matches for another 15 wickets. I hope O’Keefe can back it up as, if he does, it will go a long way towards winning the series.

With the JLT Community pre-season competition now in full swing I am always amazed that people are prepared to bet on the Unknownpremiership and brownlow medal on the back of pre-season form. These are practice matches where clubs are experimenting, building up players fitness and trying out rookies. There is no real pressure and winning and losing have the same end result. Last year a lot of Collingwood supporters got excited on the back of three convincing pre-season wins and they were considered certainties to play finals. By the end of the season they had only nine wins and finished twelveth. Yes they had some injuries to key players during the year, but did not live up to their pre-season form.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – T20 v Sri Lanka, first Test in India, more supplement scandal….

Chris Barwin HillsLast Sunday Geelong hosted an international sporting event being the T20 game between Australia and Sri Lanka. Unfortunately the day was less than ideal for cricket with a lot of rain falling. This obviously deterred some of the crowd, but not the Sri Lankan supporters. There was approximately 13,500 people in attendance and I would roughly estimate that two thirds of the crowd were Sri Lankan fans. The game was good, with Australia failing to australia-v-sri-lanka-2nd-t20_1aa318fa-f6a0-11e6-800c-c780129a337acapitalise on a good start and probably fell 15-20 runs short of what I thought was a par score. The last 4 wickets fell cheaply and they could not get Moises Henriques back on strike. The Sri Lankan innings started poorly with the loss of early wickets, then they consolidated. With three overs to go they still needed 2-3 runs a ball but then Gunaratne cut loose. Moises Henriques came on to bowl the 18th over having been Australia’s most economical bowler to that time. His first ball was a dot, the next three went for sixes and he conceded 21 runs for the over and Sri Lanka went on to win on the last ball of the night which also went for six. Gunaratne was the architect behind the win and he did so playing proper cricket shots. It was a good night and there were no rain delays so those that stayed away missed a very good match.

Meanwhile, in India, the main Australian team started the Test series on Thursday. Australia won the toss and the top order all got starts with only Matt Renshaw going on to post a half century. Mitchell externalStarc later added some respectability with a half century of his own. I have always thought that if you bat first in a test match, that a score of 350+ is par. Australia fell short of that total but made up for it on the second day with an excellent spell with the ball. Steve O’Keefe’s six wickets in 24 balls has put Australia in the box seat to take this first Test and now they must rely on their batsmen to set India a big total to catch.

On Friday morning the sporting world was again burdened with further instalment in the Essendon supplements saga with news of aPaul-Little recording of a meeting that, the then president Paul Little says he
didn’t know was being recorded. Surely this now becomes a police matter if people are being recorded without their knowledge and consent. It is unfortunate that this saga continues to generate ‘news’ as I am heartily sick of it all. How about we concentrate on what is now happeneing on the football field.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – AFL captaincy issues, Grant Hackett……

Chris Barwin HillsI was a little surprised by a couple of the AFL captaincy announcements during the week. Interesting that Nat Fyffe has taken over from David Mundy after he had only one year in the role at Fremantle. The other was Jack Viney joining Nathan Jones as a fyffe
co-captain at Melbourne. By all reports at Fremantle, Fyffe is not the most popular of players, but in a year when he comes off contract he is made captain. I know Freo had a bad year last year, however, nothing filtered through about Mundy’s captaincy, so to be replaced after a year is a big surprise to me. A slightly different story at Melbourne where Nathan Jones was not replaced, but was joined by Viney, which also comes as some shock. For some time before being made captain, Jones was considered the leader at the club and having skippered Melbourne to a promising season last year, he has been effectively demoted. Seems like a bit of a slap in the face for Nathan Jones.

Very sad to read about the continued spiral out of control by Grant Hackett. I remember an interview with him when he was on the way up, but still had not won anything of note and he was a very hackettimpressive individual who seemed to have his head screwed on right. He went on to have a stellar career and looked to have the world at his feet. Tim Watson spoke of his initial meeting with him at Channel 7 and said he had not met anyone as impressive as Hackett. It goes to show that sportsmen without the sport are vulnerable, even those that appear to do all the right things. It also shows that substance abuse doesn’t play favourites and can ruin anyone’s life. I hope for his sake and that of his family that he gets through it.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – Dawn of the AFWL!

Sfan OB6I watched a bit of the womens football last weekend and I was impressed with the degree of physicality exhibited. The standard of skill varied and it reminded me of watching a boys underage match where a third of the team were pretty good, the next third were okay and the final third were making up the numbers.

This is to be expected when the teams have sourced players from a variety of different sports and it will take time to raise the overall skill level to an acceptable standard. Some of the players were absolute stand outs like Carlton’s Darcy Vescio and the Bulldogs Katie Brennan.

It will be interesting to see how they go for crowds once the patrons have to pay, but in the meantime the concept helps fill the void between football seasons and I for one will continue to watch it.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – Australian Open, Garry Lyon on radio, Darren Gauci retires…..

Chris Barwin HillsLast weekend we had the women’s and men’s finals in the Australian Open tennis tournament and each participant was aged over 30. The
272647-roger-federer-wins-australian-open average age across both finals was 34. This surely must be some sort of record. Open officials probably couldn’t believe their luck after the early exit of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray with the Williams’ sisters, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal making it through to the final days of the tournament.

We had the much heralded return to the spotlight of Garry Lyon this e1f12fd5f6f40a0470b3f704d5f66570week on the re-vamped SEN breakfast show and I must say, to date, I am significantly under whelmed. It would want to improve significantly to stay on the air!

Darren Gauci retires from the saddle this weekend and what a great career he has had. He was a boom apprentice in his early days and darrengauciayersrockucistakes_630x368dmacunfortunately, a number of falls impacted on him later in his career. He was always regarded as one of the best riders of front runners and still got rides even though he was past his best due to his ability to rate a horse out the front. The statistics show that he won 10% of his rides and was placed in nearly 30%. That is a pretty good strike rate.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Australian Swimming Championships, Malcolm Turnbull and Port Adelaide FC’s China push

Chris Barwin HillsI have been watching a bit of the Australian Swimming Championships this week and have been amazed at the performance of Cameron McEvoy. Not only is he the first swimmer to win the men’s 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres freestyle, he is also mcevoyconsiderably smaller than the other swimmers. Most swimmers these days seem to be built like Centre Half Forwards whereas McEvoy is built like a Forward Flanker/Rover. He must have a very good technique to beat his more imposing rivals. I was also impressed that James Magnussen was happy to face the cameras after his defeat in the 100 metres final, he was clearly disappointed, but still put himself out there.

I was also bemused to hear during the week that Port Adelaide FC had secured a substantial sponsorship from China and they intended port adelaideto play an “away” game in China. That is quite magnanimous of them offering someone’s home game for their sponsorship! It reminded me of Carlton offering to play all their away games in Sydney some time back when it looked like the Swans were struggling and may fold. I cannot see any team wanting to take up Port’s generous offer, but the AFL may pressure the Gold Coast or Greater Western Sydney to take up the game as the AFL is still propping them up.

One thing I did laugh at was our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull telling the world that Aussie Rules was the best game going turnbullaround….this from a private school educated person who has no doubt played a fair bit of ‘rugger’ in his time. I thought at one stage Turnbull was going to gag on his words.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – limited overs cricket a lesser version of the game…..

Chris Barwin HillsLate last year I lamented the decline of West Indian cricket and the impact on world cricket and now we have the West Indian men’s team, women’s team and the men’s U19 team being the current windiesWorld T20 champions. While I think that is great for West Indian cricket and it should engender significant more people wanting to play cricket in that region, I hope that first class and test cricket is not overlooked. Whilst it might be my age and what I grew up with, test cricket is still the pinnacle of the sport in my opinion and the limited overs competitions are lesser versions of the game. Do you agree?

I was a little disappointed to see Jason Day drop down the leader Dayboard at the Masters on the first day. He got off to a great start, but a triple bogey late in his round brought him back to even with the card. He is still in contention, but it would be good to see Spieth, McIlroy and Day in the final groupings on Monday morning.

I tuned in to watch a little bit of the Footy Show last night to see how Rebecca Maddern fitted in to the format. She was clearly nervous which is understandable and some of her material was obviously maddernrehearsed/scripted to get her into the program, but I think she acquitted herself quite well and should be a welcome addition to the show which now has a very strong Geelong flavour. I don’t think her addition to the show will make me want to watch the show more often, but it is good see a bit of diversification and Rebecca is obviously a big footy fan which is essential.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – AFL, Sheffield Shield, Peter Moody, Jason Day

Chris Barwin HillsWell Easter must be one of the most diverse periods for sport in Australia, we had the start of the AFL season, the Stawell Gift, the bellsBells Beach Surfing Classic, the Sheffield Shield Final and some big horse races from Sydney. We also had soccer World Cup qualifiers either side of Easter.

It was great to have the football back despite Essendon not having much to look forward to. The debut of Patrick Dangerfield for Geelong was clearly the difference that got them over Hawthorn and Dangerfieldif he had of kicked straight they would have won by more. Collingwood and Fremantle were very disappointing, but I think both sides will perform a lot better this week. The Bombers first half was probably as expected, but their second half was a bit better. Given the number of new players due to the supplement scandal outcome it might take a while for the team to gel, but the wooden spoon still is theirs for the taking!

Also great to see Victoria win the Sheffield Shield away from home. A couple of weeks ago I was going to comment about the demise of Cameron White as a cricketer and while he has not put himself backsheffield in the frame for Australian selection, he has redeemed himself. When he lead Victoria to the Shield win just after David Hookes died I thought he was a future Australian Test Captain and while he did play a couple of test matches, he was mainly a ODI and 20/20 player, but his star had dimmed in recent times to the point where he missed selection for Victoria.

I was sad to see Peter Moody retire from racing and he has now sold moodyoff all his gear to resist the temptation to return to the sport, but I think, once his suspension is over, he will come back and establish a smaller boutique stable just to keep his hand in. It is very hard for real horsemen to simply walk away from the sport it is too ingrained in their DNA.

Also good to see Jason Day back to the world number 1 position in golf and I just hope he maintains his form going into the Masters.

Have a great weekend!

Professor’s Monday rant – AFL and International Rules…

meThe hybrid game of ‘International Rules’ football (the rules somewhere between Gaelic football and Australian Rules football) played between teams representing the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Australian Football League hasn’t been able to hold the attention of supporters in Australia or Ireland.

The contests date back to 1967 with the first three game series taking place between the teams in 1984. Since then it has had more downs than ups. In 1990 the series was suspended due to crowd ‘lack of interest’ but was resumed in 1998 in a different format with the matches reduced to two. This also failed to interest crowds as did the selecting of an all Indigenous team to represent Australia in 2013. In 2014 the two game format was reduced to one game with the Australian team featuring players selected as All Australians in that year.

That format seemed a first step back from the abyss with the game played at Subiaco where a 30,000+ crowd was attracted. The sensible next step would be to build on the format that had met with approval by the population.

It comes as a surprise then that, notwithstanding the relative success of last year’s format, it is rumoured the next game is set to be played in November in the USA, possibly in New York. The venue mentioned – Central Park…..really? There is no stadium in Central Park…..does the AFL really intend a team of All Australians play an international in a park? As for a stadium to play in, clearly the AFL has forgotten the problems in staging exhibition games there in the past due to the relatively small playing fields in US stadia.

The AFL’s treatment of the concept with such a suggestion indicates to me they don’t really care about international football. One thing for sure, there will be fewer people interested in a hybrid one off game in New York, especially as it will be played at the peak of the NFL season. In addition, I doubt anyone from Australia will pay any attention to it. The only beneficiaries here will be the players and coaches who get a junket to the USA.

The observations made by the GAA’s Paul Earley are close to the mark when he says “I don’t see the logic in playing it in the US to be perfectly honest. I think it has got to establish a foothold again in Ireland and Australia first of all before you take it internationally.”

Now there is a person who should be listened to, if anyone cares!