Whilst there was not all that much to tweak my interest this week, I did think Tom Hawkins was dead set stiff for copping a suspension when his hit was quite minor compared to the Cotchin, Cunnington & Jones hits of the previous few weeks. Having said that, you would think with all the publicity attached to those recent hits, he wasn’t using his brains to grab a jumper and then punch someone. The AFL were going to make a stand at some stage and Hawkins was the first one to be subject to the Match Review Panel’s crack down.
I was pleased to see that Josh Schache re-signed with Brisbane. Brisbane have coughed up a lot of players over the last couple of years and it is good to see one of their top draft picks choosing to stay. It’s about time things started to run their way.
It was also good to see the Socceroos succeed against Saudi Arabia on Friday night. Despite an indifferent performance they got the win and evened up the points with the Saudis and now only trail by goal difference. The pressure is on this team to make the World Cup finals and, if they make it, it will be a testament to the coaching of Ange Postecoglou. From what I see this current Australian team is a bit short on talent compared to more recent World Cup campaigns and while they have not yet confirmed qualification for the World Cup, they are still the only team in the group to be undefeated. Clearly, the match against the Blue Samurai in Japan in August will be crucial to qualification for both teams. Japan has the harder draw as they then play Saudi Arabia away in their last game while the Socceroos play bottom of the table Thailand in Australia.
Have a great weekend!
The Australian cricket team sank to a new level this week with another comprehensive defeat at the hands of the touring team from South Africa. This is an absolute embarrassment to go down so meekly on home soil. I don’t think I have seen two consecutive implosions like this in Australia since the rampant West Indian teams toured here in the 1980s. It has got a lot to do about the quality of our batsman. The South African bowlers have been good, but not that good.
We now have the chairman of selectors, Rod Marsh step away from his position and I think scrutiny needs to go onto the coach as well. Darren Lehman was brought in at a time when the team needed to relax a little after the regimented approach of Mickey Arthur’s, but it seems to have gone too far and batsmen don’t seem to know how to work through difficult periods of play. To me this is a coaching issue.
The bowlers have been okay, but I could not see how Joe Mennie deserved a spot ahead of Jackson Bird, with Bird being on his home track. I am also a bit surprised by the lack of success by Nathan Lyon. Lyon usually picks up his 2-3 wickets an innings, but he has had a poor run recently and will probably be dropped for the next test as long as someone else puts their hand up in this weekends Shield games. It also is a bit strange that Victoria has won the last two Sheffield Shields and yet cannot get anyone in the test team. Admittedly Peter Siddle was injured and may have been picked and the same could be said for James Pattinson, but surely someone is doing something right to win twice in a row. Peter Hanscomb with a century in the current Shield game is surely staking a claim.
There was more bad news for Australian sporting teams with the Socceroos only getting a draw in Thailand. This puts Australia back in equal third position behind Japan & Saudi Arabia and in danger of missing out on the next World Cup. Thailand were on the bottom of the table with only one goal and no points before the debacle the other night. There is still a bit to play out and Australia is the only team in the group without a loss, but they really can’t afford to drop any more points if they want the direct pathway into the World Cup.
Have a great weekend!
23 January 2011 186.2 – Paul looks at Nathan Tinkler’s offer to buy the Newcastle Knights. He thinks that it will make the Knights stronger. There is also a discussion about Melbourne Storm again being in the news with a fan under threat of being sued over comments posted on social media. Shane Harmon, Communications Director for the Rugby Union World Cup in New Zealand comes on to talk about the World Cup beginning in September. The global TV reach will be greater than 4 billion people over the six weeks of the tournament with 1.5 million attendees at the matches. Mark Fiorenti with a big smile chats about the Socceroos making the semi finals of the Asian Cup with Harry Kewell hitting the winner against Iraq in extra time and now going on to play Uzbekistan in the semis. He also looks at A League and Premier League results. The Panel discusses the shrine to be built to remember Paul the oracle octopus. Mark says FIFA should consider decalring a calamari free Friday as a tribute. Bogus Powerbalance bracelets also come in for examination and Nick believes it says something about the intelligence of our athletes. Nick also comments on the selection of the Australian cricket one day side for the World Cup. He thinks the overlooking of Brad Hodge is astounding and defies logic and belief. Paul reviews the upcoming ABL finals and how the first season has developed. He says it is the best value for your sporting dollar that is going around at the moment. A tweet from a listener provokes a discussion regarding Channel 10 dropping Kelli Underwood from the commentary box to the AFL boundary line for season 2011. Nick says if she is good enough she should be in the commentary box. The Professor feelks she may have been rushed in without serving an apprenticeship calling football at a lower level.
All in all a promoters dream in the 2010 World Cup – so many games changing so many fortunes all hanging on a knife edge in the 3rd round!
- No bigger than Chile v Spain – a Spanish loss and they are out.
- Italy v Slovakia – Italy must win to get through (NZ v Paraguay to add some smeltz…I’m sorry spice).
- Japan v Denmark – winner through to the next round.
- Germany v Ghana – could the unthinkable happen and Germany not qualify for the round of 16?
- Our Socceroos v Serbia – Aussie win may get us through depending on results, Serbian win sees them into the next round.
- Slovenia v England – a must win for England or one of the tournament favourites is going home! The spice is that if USA win, England must win by more to ensure a place in the next round.
- USA v Algeria – USA an unlikely member of the final 16 but should get through with a win.
- South Korea v Nigeria – Sth Korea will again move on to the round of 16 with a win.
- Greece v Argentina – Greece need to win by more than Sth Korea if they are to go through. A tall order against an undefeated Argentinian team.
- France v the host nation – You would think a France win on paper but has all the team unrest and infighting taken its toll? Besides if Uruguay v Mexico is a draw, this result doesn’t matter.
- Uruguay v Mexico – A winner heads the group whilst the loser may miss out. A draw and both go through.
How good is that 12 out of 16 games with a direct result on the next round.