Well what a great AFL Grand Final and a result that is good for football. With the Doggies breaking their 62 year premiership drought, it brings to 4 the number of significant droughts broken in the last 15 years. First you had Brisbane/Fitzroy breaking a 47 year drought in 2001, then Sydney/Sth Melbourne breaking a 72 year drought in 2005 and Geelong breaking a 44 year drought in 2007. This now leaves Melbourne (1964) & St Kilda (1966) as the two established clubs with the longest droughts and with both sides having encouraging years this year, who knows we may see another drought broken shortly.
I must say that Luke Beveridge handing over his medal to Bob Murphy was a wonderful gesture, but equally Murphy giving it back was the right thing to do. Without trying to kill Bambi, I am getting a bit tired of the love for Bob Murphy. Yes he is the captain and spiritual leader of the Doggies, but he is not the only player that has missed out on a premiership due to injury or suspension. I have always felt sorry for the recently deceased Neville Crowe who was captain of Richmond in 1967 when John Nicholls feigned being struck and Crowe missed the 1967 premiership as a result. That was also a drought breaking premiership win for the Tigers (24 years).
In the NRL we also saw the Cronulla Sharks win their first premiership since they entered the competition 50 years ago. I obviously wanted the Storm to win, but again it is hard to begrudge a club a drought breaking premiership.
The attention of the sporting public now turns to horse racing and the Spring Carnival. The Melbourne public see Winx for the first time since the Cox Plate last year. She is in a three horse field and sometimes these races can provide an upset because they can become a “sit and sprint”. If that is the case it may favour Black Heart Bart who is clearly the best sprinter of the three acceptors.
Have a great weekend!
One wonders what NRL Clubs thought when confronted with the fact that one of the wisest and most successful coaches going around in Wayne Bennett decides to release Ben Barba from the remaining two years of his contract with the Brisbane Broncos.
Like me, smart clubs would have ignored the fact that Barba was on the market.
Not the Cronulla Sharks though, or a number of other clubs for that matter who all showed an interest in the full back once Bennett gave Barba his marching orders.
Forget for the moment that the club from the Shire will be his third team in three years or that Barba had a really ordinary season for the Broncos in 2014 or that the Broncos were so eager to rid themselves of Barba that they were prepared to pay half his salary with his new team or that the player has self confessed gambling and alcohol problems or that he failed to complete a rehabilitation course ordered by Canterbury in 2013.
But return if you will to season 2013, when Barba was in a Canterbury jersey. For those with short memories, he was released on compassionate grounds from the balance of his contract at the end of that season and was headed to the Broncos because of their well regarded welfare program. The catalyst for the release on that occasion was an alleged incident where Barba struck a female companion.
One would have thought the lessons of history would have taught Cronulla well given the union with the troubled Todd Carney that ended in tears.
And all this for $800,000.00 per season – As I said ….. some clubs never learn.
I was disappointed to hear how Australia had fared in the cricket in Abu Dhabi overnight and it rekindled a gripe I have about Test cricket, particularly games against India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. A test wicket should offer assistance to the quicks in the first session at least and provide a good contest between bat and ball. Australia has the most dangerous fast bowler in the world at the moment in Mitchell Johnson and he gets his first and only wicket in the second session with the only wicket in the first session going to Lyon the spinner. If the ICC wants to promote Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game they have to have the fortitude to demand pitches which provide a proper contest. Having said that Younis Khan has to be congratulated for his three successive centuries which is a formidable feat no matter how good the wickets have been for batsmen. Speaking of batsmen, Australia’s performance in the 1st test was quite lamentable with only Warner & Johnson able to hold their heads up.
It was an amazing performance by Adelaide in the Cox plate last week, languishing at the back of the filed he made one of the longest sustained runs I have ever seen in the time honoured race. He was helped by the banked turns at the Valley and at the turn into the straight looked like he was going to win running away, but the length of his run told in the final stages and Fawkner and the others on his inside pushed him all the way to the line. It was an even more memorable performance when you consider that he is only a 3yo and because of the difference in breeding schedules in Europe he had to carry the weight of a 4yo in the Plate. However, I do wonder why they gave a colt a female name, what next a filly named Sydney?
Moving on to the AFL fixture I note that Essendon are again playing the Demons in a home game at the MCG. The Bombers have hosted Melbourne in at least the last 4 games at the MCG and have lost 3 of them in circumstances where they have started warm favourites each time. Everyone knows Melbourne perform poorly at Etihad, but we keep playing them at the G. Why? I was also perplexed to note that the Bombers only play 2 Friday night games, both against North Melbourne. While the Bombers didn’t win too many of their Friday night fixtures this year, they put on some pretty good games against Hawthorn, Geelong & Sydney. Speaking from the perspective of my own team, not a great draw in my opinion.
In passing I think Paul Gallen is obviously pretty stupid for his Tweet insulting the NRL chiefs, but a $50,000 fine!! That is hefty and I question if it really fits the crime. $5-10,000 would have sent the same message.
Have a great weekend.
26 February 2012 236.2 -Wayne Holdsworth , CEO of the Southern Football League explained the reasons behind the expulsion of the Doveton Eagles from the League stemming from racial slurs and intimidation of umpires in a 2011 elimination final. This was not the first time the Club had been expelled as in 2010, their coach had been found guilty of coaching whilst his accreditation had been suspended. Wayne also discussed that due to lack of resources, community leagues don’t conduct drug testing. On a positive note, Wayne firmly believed that within three years there will be a professional Australian Rules national competition for women. The Panel discussed the Sydney Kings choice of Shane Heal as their head coach position for the remainder of this NBL season. Daniel believes that in order to increase interest and attendance at NBL games, something needs to be done to boost scoring to make it more entertaining for spectators who want to watch a more fast-paced game. Paul Dalligan provided his NRL 2012 season preview and weighed in with his picks for the first game of the NRL season picking Newcastle to win the first game of the season at home against the Dragons. He also thought the Bulldogs would beat the Panthers and the Rabbitohs would get over the Roosters. Paul gave his final 2012 ladder predictions including his top eight. He said it was difficult as the competition is one of the best in years. Surprisingly, not in the top eight were the reigning premiers, Manly, after losing their coach to the Bulldogs and the Brisbane Bronco’s who he saw finishing in the basement due to the loss of several top players.
12 February 2012 234.1 – Paul Gamble is in the chair hosting this week’s Sportzfan Radio and the Professor, who spent the past week in the U.S. for the NFL Super Bowl, gets to sit back and just be a ‘normal’ member of the Panel. Paul Dalligan and Sportzfan Stan round out the Panel and Paul opens by talking about the ABL Grand Final between Perth Heat and Melbourne Aces. The Professor felt that the Super Bowl was anti-climatic for anyone not a New York Giants fan and was critical of the inaccurate, over-hyped coverage that the Australian news gave to the reports of Gisele Bundchen, wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, abusing fans. He said the post Super Bowl news buzzed with questions of whether the Colts will retain Peyton Manning, their quarterback since 1999, who is worth 23 million if they don’t cut him by the first week in March. Sportzfan Stan’s rant was on the two year suspension handed out bythe Court of Arbitration for Sport to Alberto Contador. He was also stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title after his positive test for the steroid clenbuterol. The Professor said the penalty was a farce as Contador has been competing regardless. The Gelding talks horse racing and Black Caviar’s easy win. He also reports on Danish Rock who is now in Mick Price’s stables at Caulfield and is described as a fit colt running even times. Nick Tedeschi comes on to talk NRL and his 2012 Punter’s Guide to the NRL. He is reserving his opinion on the Bulldogs at the moment. Dalligan’s “Dark Horse” for the year is the Cronulla Sharks.
3 March 2011 192.1 – Sportzfan Stan has a problem that the benefits the AFL players are going to get under a new collective bargaining agreement will be better than our military personnel who risk their lives on a daily basis. He is not happy with it. Paul Dalligan provides a bottom to top assessment of the 2011 NRL season….Cronulla Sharks to finish on the bottom – Melbourne Storm to be top of the table and beat St George in the Grand Final. The Professor takes an opportunity to talk with Glenn Day from the Great Western Hotel, the sponsor of the show. He thinks Hawthorn will finish in the top four and that Buddy Franklin will kick 100 goals for the season. The Gelding talks about his great day at Flemington, tipping four firsts and a third from five selections. He tells us he finished ‘about even’. Ha! Although the Gelding is a big fan of jockey, Brett Prebble, he awards him an S-Hit ride for his performance on Playing God. The Gelding also reviews the Sydney Colt’s selections at Warwick Farm. The Professor takes Mark Fiorenti to task about his prediction skills after saying last week that Adelaide would beat Gold Coast 2-0. He also discusses the Central Coast’s dour win against Gold Coast to get into the A League Grand Final.