Tag Archives: wayne-bennett

AFL & NRL Grand Finals, Arsenal…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell the AFL Grand Final is over and the competition has seen it’s second three-peat in the space of 15 years and this is in the context of a competition which has a salary cap and draft which is supposed to even out the competition. You factor in that Geelong has also won three in five years in that same period and the Swans have played in four Grand Finals and won two as well and it seems to be an indicator that once clubs get to the top it is hard to topple them despite the imagesdraft and salary cap. It has meant that Brisbane who completed the initial three-peat struggled after competing in the last of their grand finals in 2004 and Geelong are starting to struggle now having finished out of the finals for the first time in nine years. It seems though that teams are having long sustained runs at or near the top. Free agency and trading also favours teams up the top as good players only want to go to ‘destination’ clubs.

The NRL provided a lot more interesting grand final than the AFL with the high drama of the golden point result. While it might be sour bennettgrapes on the part of Wayne Bennett, I must say I think to lose a game in that circumstance would be pretty hard to take. If they are going to have extra time, it should be ten minutes each way as the golden point comes down to luck or bad luck as Brisbane’s Hunt would attest.

It was good to see last years VRC Derby winner, Preferment win the Turnbull Stakes and last years VRC Oaks winner, Set Square run third in the same race. Too often these days the winners of those races Unknown-6disappear the following year to be never seen again. I hope they both go on and have a successful spring carnival as it adds to the value of those races.

It was also great to see the Gunners fight back after a very disappointing display at home against Olypiakos during the week to alexis-sanchez-arsenal-burnley_3223813come out and trounce Manchester United by 3-0. The three goals came in the first 20 minutes and Man U did not look like scoring. I think this year Arsenal have a side which could be good enough to win the title, they just need to be consistent through the entire season.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Brownlow Medal, Nat Fyffe, Dally M, Jonathan Thurston, Wayne Bennett

Chris Barwin HillsI think everyone was impressed with the interview/acceptance speech from Nathan Fyffe on Monday night when he won the Brownlow medal. In my opinion it was the most impressive, natural post Brownlow performance I have seen. Not only is the guy a naturalfyffe footballer but he is a natural in front of the camera so you can imagine the media outlets will be lining up for his services and advertisers lining up for him to endorse their products. He is my favourite footballer that doesn’t play for my team and it was great to see him win.

The Brownlow voting seems to have changed over the last ten years. If you think back to 1990, Tony Liberatore and Gavin Wanganeen tied with 18 votes. Going back even further to 1986 Dipper and Greg Williams tied on 17 votes. In the last ten years only Ben Cousins in 2005 scored less than 24 votes (he scored 20) with five players HANNEBERYscoring 30 or more. In 2000 Essendon scored the most team votes ever in the Brownlow (116 votes), but James Hird was the highest with only 16 votes so the votes were more evenly spread amongst the players. Today we get star players dominating the voting. The best example of that is Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery from the Swans scoring 49 of the Swans 94 votes. That is more than fifty percent of the Swans votes between two players. It seems to me there is a bit of a “cult of personality” which has impacted upon the umpires and their voting.

I am hoping that the West Coast Eagles salute on Saturday, however, it is hard to see Hawthorn getting beaten.

The Dally M for the NRL was decided on the same night as the Brownlow and Jonathon Thurston won the award for a record fourth time. I am not a big rugby league aficionado, but that is a remarkable performance and now that the Storm has been knocked out of the johnathan-thurstonfinals it would be good to see his Cowboys salute in the grand final. Up against him is the Wayne Bennett coached Brisbane Broncos, who I understand has a perfect seven from seven record in Grand Finals. That is a remarkable statistic in its own right.

Have a great long weekend!

Some clubs will never learn

barbaOne 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 bennettthemselves 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.

Sportzfan Radio show #237.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!4 March 2012 237.2 – In the  second hour of the show, the Professor asked Daniel what had happened to the NBL season as it seemed to have disappeared with the playoffs beginning soon and the AFL and NRL overshadowing basketball in the news.  Sportzfan Stan’s view was that the league’s management needed professional help to increase interest in teams, awareness of games and boost revenues. His feelings were shared by the rest of the panel with discussions centering on the NBL’s lack of promotion of the game and a remedy involving a shared venue with other sports such as netball leading to increased awareness.  Daniel reviewed the NBA giving his opinion on the teams, their standings and whether Clipper Darrell had been harshly treated . He also looked at the Twitter tag #BlameLebron. The NRL report from Paul Dalligan included highlights of St. George’s win over the Tinkler Knights. The win surprised Dalligan as the favoured Knights played well. The Professor thought the Raiders v Storm match was the game of the round so far with Billy Slater’s brilliant late try winner being a feature. Dalligan congratulated The Professor on his Bulldogs pulling out a win after overcoming a 14 point deficit. The Panel also discussed Essendon’s no-show for their match on Saturday with St. Kilda in Wangaratta and the AFL originally splitting the game points between the two teams with all in agreement that St. Kilda should receive all four points. Last moment thoughts from the Professor had the Panel discussing the Grand Prix and Bernie Ecclestone’s annual threat of axing the race.

Sportzfan Radio show #236.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!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.

Sportzfan Radio #197.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!10 April 2011 197.2 – Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney is in the press again for all the wrong reasons. Daniel is on Rooney’s side in that he is under so much pressure whereas the Gelding says he is the tosser of Premier League football. Daniel also says Mark’s tweets are as far apart as goals in soccer. Sportzfan Stan talks about the AFL’s plans to increase the number of teams and the necessity for good transport to be provided to the new team’s grounds. He recalls AFL Park where there were promises to build a rail link and that did not eventuate leading to the ground’s demise. Paul Dalligan talks rugby league and NRL and says the Storm were fantastic on Monday night who scored before Paul and the Professor had sat down. Paul says he would walk naked to Redfern if Wayne Bennett takes the Rabbitohs coaching job. He also talks about the hospitality at the Great Western Hotel. The Panel talk basketball and Daniel says common sense dictates D-Mac should coach the Melbourne Tigers next season. The Professor suggests Brian Goorjian should be approached. Sean Callanan talks sports social media and suggests we should alter the way we look at the AFL ladder. Percentage should be scrapped and be replaced with a head to head record between teams tied on points.

Sportzfan Radio #191.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!27 February 2011 191.2 – The Panel discusses cricket and Ricky Ponting’s thrown cricket protector that damages a television. They then have a discussion whether Shane Warne should have been selected as Australian captain. Mark Fiorenti talks soccer and Daniel wants to know whether teams actually train to score goals. Mark doesn’t believe Gold Coast can beat Adelaide. Given Melbourne Victory came fifth and is now out of the finals, Sportzfan Stan says coach Ernie Merrick has been there long enough and should go. There is also a discussion of the Asian Champions League matches involving Victory and Sydney this week. Daniel predicts a 2-0 win to Adelaide using his own tipster method. Mark tips Arsenal to beat Birmingham City 2-0 in the League Cup and agrees with Daniel on the Adelaide game. Paul Dalligan, on the golf course again, reports on the developments in NRL during the week. The redemption story of 2010, Todd Carney back in the headlines again for drink driving.  Ivan Henjak sacked as coach of Brisbane Broncos two weeks out from the start of the season. Paul also reviews the World Club Challenge between St George and Wigan.  He thinks the Dragons will be too strong. The Professor awards the second ‘Benny Hill’ award for 2011 to Nathan Tinkler – when is a deal not a deal? Paul says Newcastle and Tinkler are still working through a deal. Dan Butterly comes on the show to bat clean up with his US sport report.  He talks NBA and Carmelo Anthony’s trade to the Knicks and also the trade by the Clippers (supposedly building for the future) of their 2011 #1 pick and Baron Davis for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.  At Detroit, there are discipline problems with players missing the shoot around.  Dan says at this time of the year all eyes are on College basketball with March madness on the horizon.  He thinks BYU will be seeded high by the NCAA tournament committee.  Finally Dan looks at baseball and he believes the Colorado Rockies will do well this season, the Mets won’t make the playoffs, the Kansas City will be Kansas City and the New York Yankees are getting old.

Sportzfan Radio #190.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!20 February 2011 190.2 – Mark Fiorenti talks about the headlines during the week ‘Soccer crowds worst of any code in Australia’ and wonders why these headlines have appeared at the start of the A League finals – he queries whether it is a conspiracy. He then looks at the finals already played and previews the Gold Coast United/Melbourne Victory game. On Kevin Muscat’s retirement he feels that Kevin’s passion sometimes led to some unfortunate consequences on the pitch. He did not expect Arsenal to beat Barcelona in the Champions League tie. Sportzfan Stan thinks Chelsea’s coach should be sacked as they have only won 6 of 19 games recently.  The Panel discuss the NBA All Star game and the voting that sees Yao Ming in the starting five even though he is injured and won’t play in the game.  Daniel says that the voting in the celebrity game was suspect as Scottie Pippen was clearly the MVP but Justin Bieber, who did nothing, got the nod as all the teenage girls voted for him.  He says if he had been Justin Bieber he would have handed the award to Pippen.  Daniel believes Blake Griffin will try to dunk over a car in the NBA dunk contest.  He still thinks Carmelo Anthony will end up with the New York Knicks even though Nets have improved their offer.  Paul Dalligan calls in from the golf course and talks rugby league and says Nathan Tinkler couldn’t offer any more to the Newcastle Knights.  There are also whispers that Kade Snowden and Wayne Bennett could be heading to the Knights.  Daniel picks up on a tweet from an Adelaide 36ers player who alleges that the accommodation arranged by the Perth Wildcats for visiting teams is sub standard.  The Gelding talks World Cup cricket and the selection of the one day team.  The Panel then talk with Sean Callanan on sports social media in particular the ICC banning any social media use by players and officials.  Sean says it is the case of another large sporting organisation not understanding the benefits of social media.  He believes that as long as there is a policy and guidelines, that should take care of any problems.

Sportzfan Radio #189.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!13 February 2011 189.2 – Daniel asks the Gelding why Richmond didn’t put a side in that had a chance of beating Carlton in the NAB Cup so that they could get at least try and get through to the next round. The Gelding didn’t like the alternate jumper and says the Tigers shouldn’t have taken away the yellow sash. The Professor says that the lid is definitely off with Melbourne winning the first two pre-season games. Daniel thinks the NAB Cup is a circus with teams having to wait to play a second game. It can’t be good for the game especially with the introduction of new rules – Daniel says whoever introduced them should be sacked.  Mark Fiorenti comes on to discuss soccer and he takes positives out of the defeat in the final of the Asian Cup.  He is definitely right behind Holger Osieck as coach of the team as he has emphasised team unity.  He discusses the A League which is coming to the crunch time of the season and also thinks it may be North Queensland Fury’s last game.  In Premier League, Mark looks at the Man Utd & Man City derby.  Paul Dalligan is looking forward to the Charity Shield later tonight between St George and South Sydney.  He says Wayne Bennett is on fire as a coach and he won’t tip against him in the game, the Newcastle Knights are all cashed up behind Nathan Tinkler and are chasing players and the new NRL Commission needs to be appointed by 30 April 2011 as that is when New Limited intends to step away from the NRL.  Paul then looks at the ABL championship games between Perth Heat and Adelaide Bite.  Daniel says Tom Walter the basketball coach of Wake Forest donated a kidney to save one of his players, Kevin Jordan but the College had to first check with the NCAA to make sure it didn’t break any rules. The Professor says that is taking rules too far.  Sean Callanan comments on Super Bowl XLV and the effect social media had on the event.  He also discusses Sportzfan Radio’s attempt to get Aaron Rodgers on the program.  Finally, the Panel differ as to whether Shane Warne and Liz Hurley are a worthy story or not.

Sportzfan Radio #182.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!5 December 2010 182.2 – Daniel and the Professor talk ABL and in particular the ‘rivalry’ round and ask how you can have a rivalry after three weeks of a new league. The Panel talk about whether the ABL will be a success. Stan is not so sure as there have been six or so attempts at starting a league over the years. The Professor believes with the MLB putting money and young talent in, it has its best chance. Some of the up and coming players include Quincey Latimore.

The Panel also discuss emails including the Gabba’s entry restrictions for bags.  Daniel wants to know how Wayne Bennett won the coach of the year award over Mick Malthouse.  Paul Dalligan weighs in with his opinion and believes Wayne Bennett is not only head and shoulders above all other coaches in the NRL, but he also gives his team an ‘x’ factor, so much so that he would love Wayne to coach the Rabbitohs.  Paul believes that Benji Marshall deserved his Golden Boot award and whilst the Professor queries whether the NRL are serious about arranging a World Club challenge in Las Vegas Paul thinks it is a good idea.  Although Paul yet to get to a Melbourne Aces game due to wash outs, he thinks it is a bit early for a rivalry round in ABL. 

Dr Leslie follows Paul’s segment this week and leads into a discussion of the NBA by the Professor and Daniel.  The Professor is amazed that the Knicks are 11-9 and struggles to remember the last time they started a season so well.   Axel is a huge fan of David Robinson…the General….no make that the Admiral.  Daniel believes the Knicks may make the playoffs but it depends on whether they go after Carmelo Anthony.  Daniel finds a way of bringing his team the Clippers into the discussion even though they are on the bottom of their division.

Sean Callanan looks at how social media was used in the World Cup bid and whether Australia used it effectively.  He believes it worked engaging fans but not in getting votes.  Sean reveals he did the ‘shimmy’ at the U2 concert and was rcognised as ‘the shimmy guy’.  The twitter handle ‘the Ashes’, is owned by a US woman who doesn’t know anything about cricket and she is getting cross about people tweeting her about cricket.  Sean will pluck the best three or four tweets he sees over the coming weeks to talk about on Sportzfan Radio.  He is considering bringing out a ‘how to’ shimmy dvd for Christmas.