Tag Archives: rugby-union

Weekend musing – Australia’s Test woes, Ireland defeats the All Blacks…amazing!

Sfan OB6Last week I wrote that Australia had got off to a great start in the first test match in Perth, but that was about it as far as Australia was concerned as South Africa dominated the rest of the game even without their best bowler. The Australian batsmen did not show the resilience required to win a test match, although they did do better in the second innings lasting nearly 120 overs. In fact if they had made 360 in the first innings, the result may well have been different.

This is the first time in 28 seasons that Australia has lost the first test match on home soil, but it also must be one of the only times testthat there has only been one round of Sheffield Shield matches before the first test. By contrast the South Africans had a warm up match in Australia after two first class games in South Africa. International sides have often been criticised for only having one lead up game before the first test and yet the home side falls to the same lack of preparation here!

Well we thought the Chicago Cubs 108 year drought breaking effort
the-amazed-international-media-reaction-to-ireland-beating-the-all-blacksin the World Series was a significant milestone and then, coincidentally in Chicago, Ireland beats the New Zealand All Blacks in the rugby union for the first time in 111 years. What am amazing year we are having in sport around the world.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend musing – Sportsmen and alcohol, drawn AFL Grand Finals

Chris Barwin HillsI was thinking about Grant Hackett this week and how he now joins a burgeoning list of sportsmen who should refrain from drinking. I understand the incident itself may have been blown out of hackettproportion and has been sensationalised as seems to happen these days to sell papers. Hackett is in good company with the likes of Brendan Fevola, Robert Allenby, David Warner, Mitchell Pearce and any number of rugby league and union players. Most of these people are reasonable types who just don’t seem to be able to handle their grog. There is no doubt they should find other ways to relax!

I must say I think the move to drop the AFL Grand Final replay in the event of a draw was the correct decision. It may have been OK in the old VFL days when teams were all situated in Victoria but now with the national competition, imagine if Brisbane were playing Fremantle drawin the Grand Final and they had to come back the following week. It would be just too difficult. In addition, it would be unfair if a Melbourne based team were playing an interstate team.

What I do not agree with is the pundits who suggest the same should apply to a draw in the regular season games. A draw is an unusual outcome and I agree it does leave everyone a bit flat, but it is a arsenallegitimate result and history does not need to be changed just because some want a winner and a loser at the end of each game. Soccer is the most popular football game in the world and a draw is a common occurrence. Imagine if the same ‘sensibility’ applied to that game?

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 – Melbourne Cup selection, Terry Bailey, Jake Carlisle and the Wallabies

Chris Barwin HillsI must say I was very impressed with the win of Winx in the Cox Plate last weekend. I discounted her chances as she had not been around the Valley before, but she went around that home turn like a winxgreyhound lure while Criterion went around it like a Mack truck. Clearly Criterion will be better suited by the open spaces of Flemington and is worth some serious thought for the Melbourne Cup. I also like Preferment and Amralah for the Cup.

While we are on the races, the attack on Terry Bailey was very baileydisturbing. From all reports Bailey would not be concerned, but in cases like this it is always the family that is vulnerable. When officials who are trying to uphold the integrity of their sport or the law are attacked in this way and to have this type of threatening behaviour makes you wonder about the fabric of our society.

I remained silent on the Jake Carlisle trade last week, but was bemused by the scrutiny his manager has come under this week given he knew of the video before the trade went through. As Carlisle’s manager he is charged with getting the best deal for his client, it is carlisle
really up to the suitor to do their due diligence. The video was supposedly doing the rounds of various media outlets for a week before it came to light and the jungle drums suggest there was other material out there which may have betrayed his proclivities. The suggestion is that the Western Bulldogs & North Melbourne had done their due diligence and dropped out of the chase early as a result.

Good luck to the Wallabies this weekend in the fight for the Webb wallabiesEllis trophy. Against the Kiwis they will have their work cut out, but they have shown that they can beat the All Blacks if everything clicks, so fingers crossed.

Have a great weekend!

Kurtley Beale shouldn’t pull on the Wallabies jumper again

bealeThere comes a time when even the most talented of players need to be cast adrift when their behaviour continually creates problems off the field. Kurtley Beale certainly falls into that category given his indiscretions of the last eighteen months culminating with a $45,000.00 fine for sending an offensive text message to a female staffer.

Beale has had a ‘colourful’ career with a number of brushes with the law since 2010. I don’t intend to look back at earlier incidents, but if we simply look at the recent past since early 2013, there is plenty to be troubled about. Starting with a fight with teammates in March 2013, when Beale was part of the Melbourne Rebels squad playing in South Africa, he was sent home in disgrace, put on an alcohol ban, fined and suspended indefinitely by Rebels management. Regrettably, the Rebel’s indefinite suspension did not last all that long.

After returning to the Rebels side, within two months, Beale admitted to breaking the alcohol ban and was stood down for breaching behavioural guidelines. Less than a month after, in June 2013, Beale was photographed at a fast food outlet at 3.50am several days before the second test against the British and Irish Lions. The Rebels found that Beale had not been drinking. I don’t see that as the point though. No player, who is serious about representing his country, would (or should) be out at that hour of the morning before a very important game.

Fast forward to the most recent indiscretion. Beale still has not learned anything as far as I am concerned. His statement that he has been ‘vindicated’ misses the point completely. The reason for vindication? Beale was found guilty of only sending one offensive text to a female staffer….and not two.

Along with the fine, there should have been a lengthy suspension. Nowhere in Beale’s history do I see genuine contrition or remorse. His apology to the staffer seems to have been motivated purely on the grounds of self preservation evidenced by the request to ‘not tell anyone’ that accompanied the apology.

The Wallabies will never be a power in world rugby while they tolerate any player behaving in this manner. What example are the ARU setting to young players? Do they realise off field behaviour and on field performance are very much related? With the World Cup looming, I doubt Australia’s performance will improve very much from where we are at the moment…..maybe fourth in the World.

Sportzfan Radio show #261.1

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!26 August 2012 261.1 – The Professor and Paul Gamble kick off the program with Sportzfan Stan still out of the side injured. They start the program looking at the parlous state of rugby union with the Wallabies failing to trouble the scorer for the first time in fifty years against the All Blacks. They consider that Robbie Deans tenure must be on shaky ground. Dan Butterly comes on to talk US sport and looks at the Lance Armstrong decision not to contest the USADA charges, the start of the college football season and also the start of the NFL season. The Gelding talks racing and reviews the results from yesterday’s Moonee Valley and Warwick Farm meetings.

Sportzfan Radio show #238.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!11 March 2012 238.2 – The second hour starts off with the Dr Leslie CSA. John O’Callaghan comes on the show to talk about the press release for the Lingerie League that is coming to Australia. He thinks it is a bad thing being the wrong message for sport and the wrong message for women. He believes if Sally Pearson was a man she would be front page news every day. John also wants to get rid of the title Sports Minister from the cabinet as it is just a “Minister for Good Times” position. He says Australia is obsessed with winning medals at the Olympics and the money being fed into winning medals should be put into grass roots sport. Daniel talks basketball and looks at the NBA with rookie Ricky Rubio from the Timberwolves tearing an ACL and missing not only the rest of the NBA season but also the Olympics. He also can’t understand why Australians would be begging Kyrie Irving to play for Australia. If he wants to play for the Boomers, it’s an honour. He only lived here for three months so he has a tenuous link with Australia at best. The New York Knicks are struggling and Linsanity seems to be wearing off. Daniel then looks at the possible trades before the trade deadline including Andrew Bogut, Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. He also looks at the NBL and all the right things the New Zealand Breakers are doing. They have also re-signed Darryl Corletto for a further two years. Daniel looks at the run towards the finals with five teams in the running for four spots. Paul Dalligan talks NRL and tries to explain how the Rabbitohs lost last Monday night’s game and he called it an horrific loss. He reviews the round two results and makes predictions for the games remaining. Daniel finishes the show talking about the move Troy and Brad Pitt. He asks Sportzfan Stan for advice about the achilles heel as he says Stan must have been alive back in 1AD.

Sportzfan Radio #186.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!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.