Tag Archives: world-cup

Friday musing – NAB Challenge, AFL, cricket, ICC World Cup….

Chris Barwin HillsThis week the NAB Challenge commenced and the AFL has decided to trial four field umpires. I have no particular problem with the trial of four field umpires, however, why not trial using the boundary umpires and/or goal umpires assisting with the decision making. Often times the boundary/goal umpires are in the best position to see infringements, particularly those behind play and to me it makes more sense to use what you have got instead of adding more ingredients to the pudding.

The ICC World Cup continues to roll on and I must say with most of the games being covered by Foxtel, there is very little discussion and very little vibe around the place regarding the tournament. I think the organisers have made a mistake by not showing games, other than those involving Australia on free-to-air television. Imagine the free-to-air audience for the India v Pakistan and the India v South Africa games and the number of people that would have tuned in once news about Chris Gayle’s innings during the week got out. The Big Bash did it very well having a game on most nights and the World Cup could have tapped into that interest.  A chance lost in my opinion.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Cricket, World Cup, Essendon FC…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell the Cricket World Cup is about to begin and I note that Australia is drawn play a game against New Zealand in New Zealand, so much for the home World Cup. With 2 pools the Australians and the New Zealanders should have been placed into different pools so that there was no away game for either team. In the previous World Cup in 1992 the same thing happened with Australia drawn to play New Zealand in New Zealand (and we lost!). With the 2 pools it is unlikely that either side would miss the next stage, however, I do have an issue with that type of fixturing.

It will be interesting to see how the World Cup goes. It would appear that some games will be very popular, like the opening game of the tournament tomorrow with Australia v England and the India v Pakistan game in Adelaide which was apparently sold out some months ago. However, many of the others could be television games only. The tournament is scheduled to go over seven weeks which to me is way too long and there is a big risk that the interest in the game will wain over that length of time. I think a compressed format of 4-5 weeks would have been more appealing. The Big Bash was played over a period of a month and I think they got that right.

I was bemused to hear Mick Malthouse and Nathan Buckley’s comments about the Essendon players and their stance regarding the NAB Challenge series. I think the club should field a team for the series, however, I also agree with the approach that the entire list from 2012 should not play to at least try and preserve the anonymity of the players to which they are entitled. There should be enough players that have come onto the list since 2012 and I wonder what Malthouse & Buckley’s views would be if the boot was on the other foot and it was their players that had to bear the brunt of this continued saga.

Have a great weekend!

Socceroos need to keep winning to earn respect

kruse“We deserve some respect’….so says Socceroo forward Robbie Kruse. Personally, I think Robbie is getting just a little ahead of himself with that comment. Australia, on the back of some poor results over the last eighteen months has slumped to a lowly ranking of #100 of the 209 teams ranked by FIFA. It will take more than a few wins over fellow strugglers to earn recognition from the fans.

If one looks at the results the Socceroos have turned in (not including the Asian Cup currently underway) in the 15 matches played since September 2013, their record is won 2 drawn 2 and lost 11 – goals scored 12 – goals conceded 37. Not a flattering scoreline at all. In that run of matches we managed to lose to Qatar (ranked 92) and Canada (ranked 112). Sure we played some powerhouse teams like Brazil, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and France along the way but that will always be the case in the world game.

After two rounds of the Asian Cup we have beaten up on Oman (ranked 93) and Kuwait (ranked 125). My expectation is that we should beat these teams at home, so I am not getting carried away just yet. Let’s see how we go against the Korean Republic (ranked 69) in our next game and some of the other heavy hitters of the region in the rest of the competition.

If Kruse wants ‘respect’ it needs to be earned on the pitch with the Socceroos performing well against quality opposition!

Friday musing – Socceroos, Tim Cahill, Asian Cup……..

Chris Barwin HillsI was watching the friendly between the Socceroos and Japan during the week and I considered that Australia created the best of the chances in the first half, but didn’t have sufficient strike power or effectiveness to take advantage of those chances.

It would seem that if Tim Cahill is not on the park, we can’t score. I did hear one “expert” suggest that reason was related to the Dutch system of total football which does not produce strikers. I felt like ringing up and offering the names of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben. I think that as a the A League tim cahillimproves and it is improving, more strikers will come to the fore. I raised the name of Tommy Juric last year and I still think he has the most potential of the younger brigade. Watching the game also got to me to thinking about how many of the current national squad would make it into the 2006 World Cup squad. Putting aside Tim Cahill, I think perhaps only Mile Jedinak could justify inclusion.

The next big test is the Asian Cup and it is on home soil so there will be no excuses.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Golf, Cricket, Spring Carnival…….

Chris Barwin HillsThe thing that really piqued my interest in the sporting arena this week was the story about Phil Mickelson calling 16 year old US born Australian Ryan Rufflels (the son of former tennis player Ray Ruffels) to try and get him to Arizona State University on a golfing scholarship. Apparently Ryan plays off plus 6 and in a recent monthly medal at the Victoria Club shot rounds of 10, 9, 7 & 9 under. Wow! Golf seems to be producing some real prodigies at the moment and hopefully Ryan can go on and create a name for himself. Which country would have the bragging rights? I think that while he was born in the US, he grew up in Australia and took up golf in Australia, I consider that to be enough to claim him as an Aussie.

It was interesting to see that less than 25,000 people for the International T20 match against South Africa last Friday at the MCG. That is a disappointing crowd and casts a bit of doubt about the overall interest in the cricket coming into a summer where Australia will be hosting the One Day World Cup. Apart from the Ashes that is always well patronised, the cricket does seem to be losing its mojo. I have mentioned this in the past and in my opinion, it has a lot to do with the year round coverage of cricket throughout the world. The football is played over a period of six-seven months and then there is the build up and anticipation for the following season which is all very well staged managed by the AFL. The international cricket season has started with very little sense of anticipation and not helped by the recent test flogging at the hands of the Pakistanis. Time will tell if they can build some momentum into the World Cup.

The major races of the spring have now been completed and there was a number of notable performances, however, I do not think that any horse stamped its authority on the spring. There was not a dominant sprinter, there was not a dominant weight for age performer and there was not a dominant stayer. Having said that the “one off” performances of Terravista, Adelaide and Protectionist (you could also add in Admire Rakti in the Caulfield Cup) where truly great performances.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – World Cup, Tour de France………

Chris Barwin HillsWell the biggest sporting event in the world, the World Cup has now concluded and I got it wrong with Argentina and Messi failing to ignite. Germany deserved to win in my opinion and the goal from Gotze was an absolute ripper.

We then move towards one of the more low key events being the Commonwealth Games. To me the Commonwealth Games can be equated to the old AFL pre-season competition. It is relevant, but not the main game.

With the impending retirement of Lenny Hayes, the question becomes who will now be a lot of people’s favourite player from an opposition team. Well I have always admired Hayes for the same reasons I admire Jimmy Bartel. They are both extremely skilful players who do not seek out the accolades for themselves and do not try and help the umpires umpire the game. My nomination therefore is Bartel, but I probably had him as my favourite player from another team anyway.

The final comment for the week would be the potential for Richie Porte to “do a Bradbury”. With all the retirements due to injury it would appear that Porte has a very good chance of taking out the Tour de France if he can get over Vincenzo Nibali. For someone who was supposed to be the second man to Chris Froome he has been given the chance and I will be keeping my fingers crossed for him.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – World Cup, Brazil, Germany, Argentina & more….

Chris Barwin HillsWell the World Cup is coming to a conclusion and my predictions for the quarter finals got the result wrong with the Brazil versus Chile game, but I am betting that Brazil are now thinking they should have lost that game and not faced the humiliation of being trounced 7-1 by Germany. My son’s U12 team lost 5-0 on Sunday and I thought their defence was poor! Well Brazil took it to a new low. I saw the first two goals and went to brush my teeth and missed the next two! An amazing result. Were the Germans that good or the Brazilians that bad? I favour the latter, the goals they conceded were from very poor defence more that inspired play from the Germans. Germany executed very well, but if you take the first goal, how could the Brazilians allow Mueller to sit in the box unattended with no one between him and the goals? The Brazilians are still trying to answer that question.

Now we move onto the final and while Germany will probably start favourite on the back of the rout of Brazil, I think the Argentinians will win with some inspired brilliance from Messi.

As a Bomber supporter I was rapt with the win over Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval last Saturday night, but I was very disappointed that Brendon Goddard was cited by the Match Review Panel and then agreed to take the week on the sidelines. Yes, it was a cheap shot to bump Kane Cornes well off the ball, but he didn’t hit him high and Cornes continued to play the game. Pt Adelaide got the free kick and that is where it should have ended. How many times in games is there bumping, pushing and shoving off the ball with players going to ground trying to milk a free kick? Every game you go to, there is some of this byplay. Will this be set as a precedent? I doubt it, but this decision has certainly robbed the Sunday afternoon fixture against Collingwood of some interest. Goddard has been in great form since Jobe Watson went down and he has shown some real leadership. I can only think he is carrying an injury and thought the week off would do him good, otherwise why would he and the club not challenge the decision?

Speaking of Kane Cornes have you ever noticed that his christian name and surname are both agricultural crops?

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – World Cup, Wimbledon, Kyrgios & more…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell the World Cup continues to dominate the world sporting landscape with the quarter finals coming up this weekend. It is interesting to note that former winners in Germany, Brazil, Argentina and France comprise four of the eight places available and the Dutch are three time finalists, so there is a familiarity about the remaining participants. The real interest may come from those outside the usual suspects with Colombia given a real chance of knocking off the hosts, Costa Rica not without a chance against the Netherlands and Belgium were considered a good outsiders chance coming into the tournament. My tips for the quarter finals are Colombia, Germany, Netherlands and Argentina.

Turning to Wimbledon, I have said in the past that I am not a great fan of watching tennis, but I had to watch the abbreviated replay of Nick Kyrgios knocking off Rafael Nadal. I must say it was pretty exciting to see a young Aussie do that on the world stage and it was a bit of a shame that the scheduling meant he had to front up the next day to play again. After taking the first set he tired and fell away, but it would appear we finally have a junior star translating to the adult stage. It reminded me of Mark Philippoussis knocking off Pete Sampras at the Australian Open, but then losing the next round match. Philippoussis went on to produce some pretty good tennis, but probably did not go as far as his talent suggested he should.

I was bemused during the week to hear Eddie Maguire call for compensation for Collingwood due to the poor drawing fixture against Carlton last Sunday night. He has often trumpeted that Collingwood fans would turn up any time any place to see their team play, but in the space of three weeks they have had two poor drawing matches. The other game against the Bulldogs at Etihad stadium three weeks ago failed to get 28,000 spectators and that was an afternoon fixture under cover! Given Collingwood gets a lot of scheduling favours due to their supporter base, I do not think Eddie would have gleaned much sympathy from any of the other clubs.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – World Cup, Suarez, AFL & more

Chris Barwin HillsWell the biggest sporting event in the world continues to throw up great games, great drama and now teeth grating! Well we all like a little Italian, being one of the world’s great cuisines, but Luis Suarez clearly likes his Italian fresh. What is it that makes him want to bite opponents? In a sporting sense the only comparisons I can remember are Peter Filandia biting an opponent in the nether regions and My Brown Jug biting Manikato when he realised he was going to get beaten by the champ one day at Sandown. The Suarez suspension has now been handed down and in some ways given he is a repeat offender, is quite lenient.

Continuing the World Cup theme it is interesting to note that England, Spain and Italy who represent three of the four biggest leagues in the world have all been eliminated. Is this just bad luck or is it a symptom of the leagues not promoting local talent in deference to established players from other countries? I would certainly think that is the case with the EPL, but I am not familiar enough with the Italian and Spanish leagues to know if the same problem exists. Germany has made it through and my feeling is that the Bundesliga retains a high German content, but again that is speculation not based on facts. English cricket suffered a similar fate to the EPL and County Cricket reduced the number of overseas players eligible for each team to improve their national team. Is it time for the EPL to place a restriction on the number of eligible overseas players?

I was a little disappointed with the Aussies last game against Spain. It probably went to script and the Socceroos without Cahill and Bresciano were undermanned, but a 1-0 or a 2-0 result would have been a little more satisfying given the performances earlier in the tournament.

The Bombers face the Cats tonight and the Cats are coming off their fourth loss of the season from their fourth interstate trip. Not only have they been beaten interstate, they have been comfortably beaten. That being said, they have not lost a game in Victoria and as a result I will be going against my team and picking the Cats, but barracking hard for the Bombers.

On the never ending supplements saga, it was interesting to hear Tim Watson make a comment on Talking Footy on Monday night. Given his position he has been very circumspect with his comments regarding the whole affair. In a obvious support for his son he finally made a comment about the use of AOD9604 and the lack of retraction or apology from the accusers, which was obviously directed at the time to Jobe.

I was interested to see Daniel Giansiracusa get 2 weeks for his late bump on Polec over the weekend and I ask the question, what was the difference between that bump and Adam Goodes bump on Joel Selwood? Not much, the ball had just left the area, he jumped in the air and hit him high and dazed him. I am not saying that Giansiracusa should have got off, but why wasn’t Goodes charged?

I omitted to make a comment last week about the State of Origin game. What a contrast with the first game which was one of the best rugby league games I have seen. Last Wednesday’s game was probably one of the most boring I have ever watched. The only constant was Queensland’s handling errors which again cost them the game.

Speaking of boring games, what about the Tigers and the Swans last Friday night! I think that is the stye of game that Mick Malthouse was referring to when he commented on the state of the game yesterday. That was the modern game at its worst and contrast that with the Bombers and Crows on Saturday night which was one of the best games I have watched all year.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – World Cup soccer & hockey, AFL…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell what a big week in sport!

Starting with the soccer World Cup, I must say my prognostication from about a month ago concerning Australia’s chances have come to fruition. I did suggest that while the Socceroos were unlikely to win a game, they would acquit themselves a lot better than most of the pundits and the public were expecting. As it stands after two games we have been highly competitive and very unlucky not to have secured a point from either game. The table for Group B at the moment has the 59th ranked Australian team ahead of the 1st ranked Spanish team. Not a bad result in that group. Save for Tim Cahill, who is not really a striker, we have lacked a world class finisher with several chances not being put in the back of the net. It is a bit of a shame that Robbie Kruse has been injured, while not being top shelf, he is still probably Australia’s best man up front. Hopefully he will be fit for the Asian Cup. It would be great to secure a draw or better against Spain.

Great to see Patty Mills and Aaron Baynes being a part of the NBA championship winning San Antonio Spurs. Mills really made a contribution and is now on the radar for several big NBA franchises. I read during the week that he only secured an AIS scholarship when Scott Pendelbury knocked it back. Who knows what might have 954743-patty-millshappened if he did not get that opportunity. He could be playing for the Sydney Swans!

Other Australians to be successful at the highest level this week were the Kookaburras, who beat the Netherlands easily in the World Cup of hockey. I am not a big hockey fan, but those that love the sport, really love it. It always good to see Aussies successful even if it is an area that you don’t have a great deal of interest.

The Essendon supplements saga is dominating the airwaves again and while I do not want to spend too much time on it, there was one comment that I could not resist responding to. On Saturday night Sam Lane confirmed that she had seen one of the show cause notices served on the Essendon players. Luke Darcy then asked her if she would take the six months that was offered. She responded in the affirmative. How can she possibly put herself in the shoes of the Essendon players and make judgement based on a “show cause” notice! It beggars belief. When asked the same question by Bryan Taylor later in the show she was a bit more circumspect, but if this type of dribble continues how are the Essendon players and the club going to get a decent hearing in the court of public opinion. Don’t forget that last year Jobe Watson was persecuted for his revelation that he may have been administered AOD9604. ASADA have now confirmed that this preparation only became banned after April 2013. Have any of his persecutors like Tim Lane (Sam’s father) apologised to him? I think not.

I was also bemused that Collingwood played the Western Bulldogs at Etihad as a home game and conversely, Essendon played Melbourne at the MCG as their home game. As fate would have it, both “home” sides lost. I am not suggesting that this issue cost Essendon the game on Sunday evening, the Dees did very well and how the Bombers let the last goal through means that their lapse against Hawthorn earlier in the year has not improved their capacity to think under pressure.

Have a great weekend.