14 October 2012 267.2 – The Professor and Daniel talk about their production meeting at the Great Western Hotel on Friday. Daniel assesses the opening round of the NBL season. He thinks Melbourne Tigers could finish last on the ladder. Mark Fiorenti looks at the Socceroos upcoming World Cup tie against Iraq. He says if the Socceroos lose this game, qualification for the World Cup will be very hard. Whilst he is worried about the result, he thinks Australia can squeeze out a one goal victory. He also reviews the A-League and says Melbourne Victory and coach Ange Postecolglou are in trouble after a record loss to Brisbane Roar. Paul Dalligan comes on the show to talk NRL and last night’s test win by Australia over New Zealand. He also says the race is on for getting Craig Bellamy’s signature on a contract for the 2014 season with three clubs in the running.
07 October 2012 266.2 – Daniel continues with his preview of the NBL season. He thinks Sydney Kings will finish on the bottom and Perth Wildcats will win the title with the Adelaide 36ers being the big improvers. Mark Fiorenti previews the A League season. He sees a wide open season with Brisbane Roar winning the minor premiership and Western Sydney Wanderers being wooden spooners. He also briefly looks at the Premier League with WBA being the surprise packets so far. The Panel have no real interest in the Bathurst 1000. Paul Dalligan wraps up the NRL season with some comments on last week’s Grand Final between Melbourne Storm and Canterbury-Bankstown. Gelding queries the biting incident involving James Graham and Billy Slater.
16 September 2012 264.2 – The Professor and the Gelding talk Davis Cup tennis and the tie between Australia and Germany with the winner to get back into the World Group. They then talk soccer with Mark Fiorenti. He discusses the Socceroos loss to Jordan in the World Cup qualifying tie. He also looks at the Champions League and Premier League. Paul Dalligan comes on to talk rugby league and the NRL finals. Paul tries to keep the lid on after the Rabbitohs big win and into their first preliminary final for some time. His Rabbitohs taking on the Professor’s Bulldogs and he sees a Rabbitohs win! He’s hoping to be at Homebush at the Grand Final in two weeks time. There is a discussion between the Professor and the Gelding on the SFL division one preliminary final between St Pauls and Chelsea Heights. They are critical of the VFL playing their Grand Final on a Sunday at Etihad Stadium.
1 July 2012 253.1 – Regular NRL commentator, Paul Dalligan interviews NRL, Australian, Queensland, St George and Brisbane player Gorden Tallis about the deciding State of Origin match between Queensland and New South Wales and his rugby league career. As a bonus you can hear the Gelding discuss his investments at the track and the hard luck stories that all punters can relate too.
26 August 2012 261.2 – In the second half of the show, Mark Fiorenti discusses soccer with another star player leaving Arsenal. He also looks at the Premier League round to date. John O’Callaghan provides his insights into the Lance Armstrong decision. Paul and the Professor discuss whether Brett Ratten’s tenure at Carlton is almost over after the Blues loss to the Gold Coast, the Saints mathematical chances of making the eight and how well Nick Natanui is playing for West Coast at the moment. Paul Dalligan talks rugby league and the the close race for the finals between a number of teams.
5 August 2012 258.2 – featuring Daniel Eade, the Gelding, Sportzfan Stan and the Professor talking with Mark Fiorenti about the Olympic soccer tournament and Spain’s early exit. The Professor awards medals for the poorly behaved Olympic athletes with a Greek athlete getting the gold. They also discuss NRL with resident rugby league expert, Paul Dalligan. Mordiboy calls in from the MCG querying which sport has the ‘slips no go’ rule. He blasts the cheats at the Olympics and feels they should have all been immediately disqualified.
29 July 2012 257.2 – featuring Daniel Eade, the Gelding, Sportzfan Stan and the Professor talking soccer with Mark Fiorenti and the pool matches at the Olympic soccer tournament, rugby league with Paul Dalligan as he reviews the NRL round to date.
22 July 2012 256.2 – Daniel Eade, the Gelding, Sportzfan Stan and the Professor talking soccer with Mark Fiorenti who gives a rundown on the Olympic soccer tournament, special guest paralympian Jess Gallagher and Paul Dalligan talking rugby league and the NRL.
The last time that NSW won a State of Origin series against Queensland I was a single man living in Sydney. That night, buoyed by the jubilance of the result, and perhaps fuelled by more than a few pints, I marched up to the woman who would later become my wife. Given my wife will readily tell you that I didn’t exactly show Usain Bolt type speed in proposing the fact that I am now married with a family and long settled in Melbourne shows how long ago it was the last Blue Moon shone down over the rugby league landscape.
Being a rugby league fanatic and living in Melbourne is like being Sting’s Englishmen in New York. But come State of Origin time it is always easier to sell the greatest game of all to those in this AFL obsessed city as there isn’t much else in the way of quality live sport on a Wednesday night at prime time. And quality it is as even the most hardened AFL fanatic will usually tune in to watch teams from Queensland and NSW belt the living suitcase out of each other on the sport’s greatest stage.
I am always explaining to the locals, well those who will listen anyway, that there really is nothing like this event in AFL where the best of the best are on show, putting the Poms and Kiwis to one side for present purposes. Sure the AFL has their Grand Final, but Judd, Bartell, Swan, Franklin and Goodes wont all be on the field at once like they would be in their rugby league equivalent.
The NRL in their wisdom decided to play Game One of the State of Origin series of 2012 in Melbourne, much to the annoyance of the Sydney press which had been abuzz with a chorus of disapproval, led primarily by the NSW coach Ricky Stuart. Sticky queried why NSW would sell themselves up the river (or down the Yarra in this case) and discard the treasured home ground advantage when it was so intent on stopping 6 years of Queensland dominance. The rumour that the Victorian Government is in discussions with the NSW and Queensland government to obtain the neutral game each and every year at the MCG, thus ensuring an even series each year, did nothing to calm the baying masses in blue.
It was with a heady mixture of excitement, nervousness and anticipation that I ventured to Etihad Stadium on 23 May 2012, hoping that the maroon fortress built from 6 years of domination would finally start to crumble.
There may be no bigger gamblers in Australia than seen in nearby Crown Casino, but surely on this night Ricky Stuart would take the mantle of Australia’s biggest punter. His main gamble was the selection of Todd Carney, a man who at times in his life would make Brendan Fevola look more on the rails than a Swiss train. It was hoped that Carney would provide the spark that was needed to stop the brilliance of Inglis, Thurston, Smith and Slater but it was the equivalent of trying to win Crown’s Magic Millions with a pair of sevens.
It had always been hard to watch Greg Inglis star for Queensland, given that he was born and raised in Bowraville, a town that wont appear on any map of Queensland given it is several hours drive south of the border. NSW fans were however now hamstrung from any cries of unfairness given that our best forward on the night, James Tamou, is about as true blue Aussie as Jake the Muss.
NSW came out firing in the first half with their set plays looked more structured than a German kindergarten. It was a welcome change from previous Origin series, where any structure went out the window as soon as Queensland applied the inevitable blowtorch but tonight it seemed that finally we were ready to roar.
When the Fijian Flyer (ahem again to the Inglis from NSW argument) crashed over it looked like NSW may be in for a magical night. But as sure as bad news stories follow every Mad Monday, Queensland took the lead after a wild brawl which resulted in Michael Jennings from NSW being sent from the field.
The final cruel nail was delivered when Greg Inglis (I won’t start) crossed for the most controversial scoring play since Wayne Carey was found in the toilets with a teammate’s wife. Even those in Maroon in my vicinity declared that the video referee should have been wearing a balaclava as “you was robbed” (I quote). But to the victors go the spoils, and as I stated on the night I know of no other sporting team in Australia who have more tenacity, spirit and courage under fire than the Queensland Origin team that has developed into the greatest in the history of rugby league.
But onwards and upwards we go to Game 2 in Sydney, where somehow NSW is the bookie’s favourite. Sticky Stuart is still gambling with Todd Carney and I more than any man am hoping his ace in the pack will somehow trump the Royal Flush that has been the past six years of Queensland dominance.
Even if tonight ends with me seeing red, or Maroon in this case, I can take plenty more of that pain. I am also a Rabbitohs fanatic after all….
23 May 2012
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Tries: Boyd (2), Inglis
Goals: Thurston 3/3
New South Wales 10
Tries: Uate, Jennings
Goals: Carney 1/3
Best: Myles, Inglis, Tamou
At a recent State of Origin luncheon at the RACV Club, Sportzfan Radio’s own Paul Dalligan was on hand to ask a difficult question of former Bronco, Gordon Tallis. Here we see Paul making amends to Gordon for asking such a difficult question!