Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NRL Team Lists Round 17

FRIDAY

Parramatta Eels v Brisbane Broncos at Parramatta Stadium, 7:45pm

Eels: Luke Burt, Etu Uaisele, Chris Walker, Jacob Loko, Jordan Atkins, Casey McGuire, Jeff Robson, Mitchell Allgood, Matt Keating, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh, Taniela Lasalo, Ben Smith.  Interchange (from): Shane Shackleton, Manase Manuokafoa , Carl Webb, Justin Horo, Reni Maitua.

Broncos: Josh Hoffman, Dale Copley, Jack Reed, Gerard Beale, Dane Gagai, Corey Norman, Peter Wallace, Nick Kenny, Kurt Baptiste, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn (c), Dunamis Lui, Matt Gillett. Interchange: Andrew McCullough, Ben Hunt, Mitchell Dodds, David Hala.

Qld Team Named

The Queensland Selectors have remained loyal to the Qld team, as per normal Qld policy, with the only changes, the return of long serving Justin Hodges and the inclusion of Jacob Lillyman in place of the big Dave Taylor who will plead guilty to a Dangerous Throw charge. The team is:

Queensland Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Lockyer (c), Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday, Ash Harrison. Interchange Cooper Cronk, Ben Hannant, Jacob Lillyman, Dane Nielsen, Corey Parker (one to be omitted)

Monday, June 27, 2011

AFL Review Round 14

We are well and truly halfway through the season of home and away and finals are just a couple of months away. I certainly miss going to the games, something I had the privilege of doing last season quite a bit even getting to the Collingwood Grand Final win. I wasn’t sure how much I was missing the game until I found myself at the Saertu railway station just standing there listening to the train horns which sound fascinatingly the same as the siren at the MCG. It was an eerily comforting sound. Lots of Chinese people just stared at me because I was not catching a train but then again being stared at here is not unusual. As a matter of fact you get to miss it when you are asleep, that being the ONLY time you are not stared at!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blues Twenty Man Squad

The NSW Selectors have named a twenty man squad for the deciding State of Origin Game on July 6.

Paul Gallen © Cronulla Sharks
Greg Bird Gold Coast Titans
Ben Creagh St George Illawarra Dragons
Michael Ennis Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Keith Galloway Wests Tigers
Mark Gasnier St George Illawarra Dragons
Kurt Gidley Newcastle Knights
Jarryd Hayne Parramatta Eels
Michael JenningsPenrith Panthers 
Luke Lewis Penrith Panthers
Tim Mannah Parramatta Eels
Trent Merrin St George Illawarra Dragons
Anthony Minichiello Sydney Roosters
Brett Morris St George Illawarra Dragons
Mitchell Pearce Sydney Roosters
Beau Scott St George Illawarra Dragons
Jamie Soward St George Illawarra Dragons
Glenn Stewart Manly Sea Eagles
Akuila Uate Newcastle Knights
Anthony Watmough Manly Sea Eagle

Friday, June 24, 2011

AFL Preview Round 14

Last week 7/8 = 77/101 (76.2%)
Seems I am having a good run with the tipping over the past 2 weeks and let’s hope the preview has jumped the right way in some of the closer contests again this week. Keeping up to date with what’s going on in Oz and it seems to be the usual – traffic, murders, violence, utility charges rising, banks making billions and still no Lotto win for those that really need it….like me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teams Round 16 NRL

FRIDAY

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS v BRISBANE BRONCOS at NIB Stadium, 7pm
RABBITOHS: Rhys Wesser, Nathan Merritt, Dylan Farrell, Greg Inglis, James Roberts, John Sutton, Chris Sandow, Ben Ross, Issac Luke, Shannan McPherson, Chris McQueen, David Taylor, Michael Crocker (capt). Interchange: Eddy Pettybourne, Dave Tyrrell, Jason Clark, Nathan Peats.
BRONCOS: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Lockyer (capt), Peter Wallace, Ben Hannant, Kurt Baptiste, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange: Corey Norman, Matt Gillett, Dunamis Lui, David Hala, Dale Copley (one to be omitted)
Referees: Jason Robinson, Steve Lyons.

Monday, June 20, 2011

AFL Review Round 13

AFL Review Round 13
China is a bit like Australia when I left with droughts in some places and floods in others. We lost quite a few lives in the Queensland floods this year and dry, dusty places became flooded lakes. Similar to here in China with droughts being broken by record rainfalls but with the population here the victim statistics are somewhat higher.
In north east China we have periods of rain and now real summer temperatures. 36 degrees it was today and the same forecast tomorrow. No air conditioning here either. All buildings have central heating which is hardly likely to be turned on for a few months. As hot as it is I still don’t look forward to the winter.
It was another good tipping round in the AFL with the preview picking 7 winners. The top 4 teams are clearing out from the rest and it’s from these teams that the premiers will emerge in 2011.
Western Bulldogs 14.16.100 defeated Adelaide Crows 10.10.70

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dragons in a SLUMP!

The Dragons are officially in a slump! They lost to the Brisbane Broncos 21-14, and although they were missing six regular first graders and somehow have two tries disallowed, the Broncos were served well by their youngsters who kept the game out of the Premiers grasp.

In the other game, the Titans were flogged by Souths 31-8.

AFL Preview Round 13

Courtesy of footy.com.au
The foreigner Olympics are over in north east China and our team, Two Eagles and Beaver, had a good final day but not good enough to win the coveted overall team trophy. The weather here is bordering on hot but the humidity as a result of all the wetlands and lakes makes it rather uncomfortable. We started the day with basketball and our team of 3 was made up of a Yank, a Canuck and myself. We made it through to the gold medal playoff which we won and while I was lucky enough to score some baskets when being guarded by a small Chinese female in a preliminary round (she is married to a foreign teacher so is allowed special dispensation to play) it was probably the fact that the Yank playing in our team was NBA material and hence the main reason for our success….awesome. He stepped it up in the final game and was unstoppable. Tennis went okay and we played off for gold but won silver. With lots of Poms and Canadians and 2 Aussies we agreed that cricket would be another sport but by that time the afternoon sun had melted a few resolves and sapped the energy and add to that some crazy scoring rules and we saw a team that finished with plus 4 win the gold ahead of a team that scored minus 10!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blues ALIVE!!

The NSW Blues resurrected State of Origin with a resounding 18-8 victory over Qld tonight. While the scoreline, may not suggest it, NSW never appeared likely to lose. They controlled the game better than Qld, and the much vaunted QLD attack was rarely sighted.

The defence of NSW brought quick defence into the face of the QLD runners, off the playmakers of Lockyer and Thurston, and in reflection the sweeping backline plays that QLD were famous for, cannot be remembered from this game. NSW strategy of running Qld, through inside runners then a shift, nullified the QLD big men, and the NSW took full advantage. In the end it was only QLD scrambling defence that saved the scoreline from becoming embarrasing.

Crucial errors were made by Harrison, Thiaday and Inglis and these errors provide costly in every instance. Qld didn't buckle under the pressure, but certainly didn't look composed and their attacking sets in the second half, lacked structure, organisation and impact.

For NSW, Paul Gallon was amazing and has revolutionized how front row will be played. He was a fitting Man of the Match, while Jamie Soward certainly shook the gorillas off his back in the biggest arena with a commanding display.

Monday, June 13, 2011

AFL Review Round 12

Well tipsters it is a rare event but worthy of mention to let you all know that the preview selected the 8 winners this long weekend. There were doubts with some of the selections and at three quarter time it looked like I had swung the wrong way with the Geelong versus Hawthorn game but as predicted, the Cats just seem to be able to squeeze wins out of tight games.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Broncos in Golden Point Thriller

The Brisbane Broncos showed glimpses today of what life will be like with Darren Lockyer, and at times it looked good as they bounced out to a 24-0 lead against the Canberra Raiders. The Raiders suffered an embarrassing first half, and looked like a reserve grade side with dropped balls and unforced errors the telling statistics.

However, as so often happens in our game today, some possession and luck finally came the Raiders way as they fought back to a 24 all scoreline at the end of the game. The Golden Point period was played and coming towards the end of the first five minute period, saw a concerted push from the Broncos which paved the way for a field goal by Peter Wallace to win the game.

In the other game, Benji Marshall was the star as he stirred the West Tigers to comeback and defeat the New Zealand Warriors 26-22.

Weekend Results NRL

Apologies for the lack of results posted so far this weekend, but I really do struggle for motivation with second rate teams running around due to Origin scheduling. You gotta love Origin, but we really need to find a way around this mess of schedules which see reduced teams playing in the main game.

Needless to say the two teams most affected so far this weekend, The Dragons and the Cowboys have both gone down. The Dragons lost to the Gold Coast Titans  28-14, while the Cowboys were dismantled by a close to full strength Manly side 24-4.

Friday, June 10, 2011

AFL Preview Round 12

AFL Preview Round 12
I barely survived the Dragon Boat Racing Festival day for two reasons. Firstly the early morning ride, a distance of about 12kms, 24 kms return, finished at some enormous lake but the mosquitoes were in such numbers it was impossible to do a lot. Then again there was really nothing to do there either after we had eaten our traditional zongzi (sticky rice with a sweet fruit inside all wrapped in a leaf and tied with stringy plant), hard boiled eggs, fish and rice porridge. The whole Daqing area is afloat on oil but also is part of huge expanses of wetlands, lakes, man made rivers and plenty of casual water, all perfect breeding grounds for the beloved mosquito. I have never in my life experienced anything like it. No Aeroguard either although I reckon this breed would have eaten the stuff. Secondly the Olympics. I was entered into the 100 metre dash as part of a team and finished a creditable 6th (in a field of 6) but got a hammy twinge as a result. Then horror of all horrors I was in the football team. Soccer! Yep I had to play soccer. From that game I suffered a calf strain and did a real dramatic swan dive to gain some sort of sympathy from the ref but to no avail. I eventually had to play 4 games in a round robin style tournament and actually kicked 3 goals with the team finishing in bronze medal position. While writing this preview the body is still wracked in agonising pain, every muscle hurting, even when I type on the laptop!! While there is no early morning bike ride next week the Olympics continues with basketball, tennis, volleyball and certain death!
Last week 6 / 8. Should have been 7. Never mind. 62/85 = 72.9%
St Kilda V Western Bulldogs at Etihad Friday Night
Tipsters will have to figure out just which of these two teams has gone further backwards from last year. Once you have that worked out the selection should be easy. The Saints and the Bulldogs have both been woeful in some games so it’s a matter of least woeful wins. Or a draw? Some of the stars of the game like Reiwoldt for the Saints and Lake for the Bulldogs are having very average seasons as well. Is the problem just form slump with these two teams or has it been something deeper. Sure has the fans confused I’m sure. Which team can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?
St Kilda by 12
Adelaide V West Coast Eagles at AAMI Saturday
The only thing that will stop the Eagles winning this game will be one of those amazing form turn arounds by Adelaide and it’s a possibility that such an event is scheduled shortly. Eventually tipping form will pay dividends so you have to stick with it. Adelaide defeated the Eagles at Subiaco in round 15 last year so maybe it’s time the Eagles reversed the result. Cox is having a great year so West Coast should win the stoppages and Cox is being ably supported by LeCras and Priddis. If the Eagles can stop Tippett up forward they should win.
West Coast by 22
Gold Coast V North Melbourne Saturday Night
The Suns acquitted themselves well against the Eagles last week but then so did North against the Crows. It will be interesting to see if Gold Coast can give the Roos a run for their money as they seem to be able to really push the middle of the road teams. It’s still too hard to actually go out on a limb and tip them. Harvey breaks the North Melbourne playing record held by Archer with his 312th game. Is it enough to drive North to another win? The Swallow brothers face each other as well. Don’t discount the Gold Coast for that extra possible point.
North Melbourne by 18
Geelong V Hawthorn at the MCG Saturday night
This is certainly a game of blockbuster proportions and the Cats have been able to beat the Hawks every time since being beaten in that grand final. For the Hawks to win Buddy has to play to give them that edge. The Cats are due for a loss, might as well make it this week and get it out of the way. Actually on a rethink Geelong always seems to have that experience required to win the tight games. They have shown that a number of times already this season. The Hawks can ill afford slow starts or for them to go to sleep in a quarter. Geelong can be ruthless if allowed to.
Geelong by 16
Carlton V Brisbane Lions at Etihad Sunday
The Blues are going very nicely thank you and the possible return of Kruezer would be a bonus not only for this game but for their preliminary final chances as well. Brisbane played a shocker of a first half last week so they will come out firing early. Carlton should be able to absorb the shock and go on to win. The Lions have lost Merrett for almost the rest of the season. I cannot see Carlton conceding a pencilled in win at this stage of the competition. They got a fright from lowly Port Adelaide last week before flexing their footy muscle and they won’t want to do that again.
Carlton by 33
Sydney V Richmond at the SCG Sunday
The Tigers are coming off a bye and that stat is starting to gather realistic momentum. On top of that we see the Swans just keep on winning these games against the middle of the road teams. The game is at home for them and that’s another reason to tip them against the Tigers although the Swans are playing better away from home at the moment. Richmond is a couple of points out of the top 8 and if ever they needed an incentive to win then that would be it. It might be enough but their form is a bit inconsistent.
Sydney by 19
Fremantle V Essendon at Subiaco Sunday
Both teams lost their last game with Freo being completely over run in the last quarter against the Hawks and Essendon getting a nice touch up by Melbourne. Based on form both teams should lose but maybe the fact that the game is at Subiaco might be enough to swing the result Fremantle’s way. Not convinced. Hird might like his team to help him celebrate his inclusion in the AFL Hall of Fame but I doubt personal accolades like that are team drivers. The Bomber will want to avenge an unexpected loss to the Tigers as well as the one to Melbourne. Is the Essendon form dropping off? The Fremantle form certainly has dropped off and the gap Sandilands leaves is a big one – over 2 metres actually.
Fremantle by 9
Melbourne V Collingwood at the MCG Monday
The Queen’s birthday game between these old rivals will bring a nice crowd again. It helps even things out a bit in that Melbourne seems to have found it’s mojo again and the Pies are having a few injury problems as well as losing Thomas for a week due to suspension. In addition Beams is out injured and Swan has been sent to high altitude recovery in Arizona, all exclusions that will test the depth of the Pies. Even last season the Demons served it up to Collingwood twice and there is no doubt that this game will be close as well. Hard to pick against the Pies based on consistency.
Collingwood by 34

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teams for round 14 of the NRL

FRIDAY
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS v GOLD COAST TITANS at WIN Jubilee Oval, 7.45pm
DRAGONS: Jason Nightingale, Ratu Peni Tagive, Alex McKinnon, Matt Prior, Reece Simmonds, Nathan Fien, Ben Hornby (capt), Dan Hunt, Dean Young, Michael Weyman, Jack Bosden, Michael Greenfield, Adam Cuthbertson. Interchange: Jon Green, David Gower, Daniel Penese, Jake Marketo, Mitch Rein (one to be omitted).
TITANS: William Zillman, Steve Michaels, Clinton Toopi, Joseph Tomane, David Mead, Preston Campbell, Scott Prince (capt), Luke Bailey, Matt Srama, Michael Henderson, Anthony Laffranchi, Mark Minichiello, Luke O'Dwyer. Interchange: Matt White, Ryan James, Bodene Thompson, Ben Ridge, Brenton Lawrence (one to be omitted).
Referees: Tony Archer, Alan Shortall.

Qld Make Changes

The addition of Greg Inglis and Dave Taylor into the Qld State of Origin team are the only changes for Game Two of the Origin Series. Inglis replaces the injured Willie Tonga while Jacob Lillyman has been dropped to make way for the irresistable form of Taylor. The team is:

Queensland Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Dane Nielsen, Greg Inglis, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Lockyer (c), Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday, Ash Harrison. Interchange Cooper Cronk, Corey Parker, Dave Taylor, Ben Hannant

Monday, June 6, 2011

AFL Review Round 11

Dragon Boat Racing Day in China on Monday(Duanwu Jie). It means that you have to rise very early and make your way to special fields or areas where a certain plant grows. You pour water over the plant and pick some to take home. The plant wards off evil spirits and guarantees you good health. You keep the plant at home and the fragrance works to keep you healthy. You are encouraged to walk as much as possible which also assists your well being. The ying and yang of China. Fascinating. Means an early night tonight and a 3am rise tomorrow. Sun is up about 4.15am anyway and we pedal for about an hour to reach the destination. Should be knackered by about 8am just in time to join in on the FO (Foreigner Olympics) we hold here every year. They don’t play footy as part of the games. If I introduce it next year I will win gold!!
Oh yeah. 6 from 8 in the tipping.
Melbourne 15.11.101 defeated Essendon 10.8.68

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blues Shocks!!

The NSW team has been announced for the next Origin game and it contains some shocks after injuries caused some changes to the team. The Team is:

NSW: Josh Dugan, Jarryd Hayne, Will Hopoate, Mark Gasnier, Akuila Uate, Jamie Soward, Mitchell Pearce, Paul Gallen (capt), Michael Ennis, Tim Mannah, Beau Scott, Ben Creagh, Greg Bird. Interchange: Trent Merrin, Kurt Gidley, Anthony Watmough, Luke Lewis.

The biggest shock is the selection of Will Hopoate, but can I tell you the selection of Anthony Watmough is the biggest question mark I have. Both starting props are gone from Origin 1, in Jason King and Kade Snowden while Dean Young has been demoted. Looking at the side...has it improved on the team from Game 1? Josh Dugan is a certainty to be not playing after injuring himself in the Raiders loss to the Cowboys.

Let Gould Take Over

As a Queenslander, I am not supposed to like Phil Gould. Personally I think he is spot on the money in so many areas of the game. Read the article from this link and see what I mean.

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/grand-plan-to-beat-burnout-20110604-1fm41.html

Keep Gallop Away

David Gallop annoys me. For the man charged with running, building and developing our game, he does a poor job. That is my opinion, and one that I am entitled to.

His latest excuse for a strategy, was to discuss moving State of Origin to Monday Nights. The fact that this occurred without any consultation from the fans and the players, indicates again, that Gallop believes he is bigger than the game.

The players have consistently said that State of Origin needs to stand alone. The Fans have said they want as much footy as possible, but moving away showpiece game to a Monday Night will do NOTHING to satisfy either parties.

I am a big believer in shortening our season. The NFL is the best example of a season that is spot-on with 17 weeks of regular play. Reduce the club season and clubs will increase revenue. Presently, clubs have many ho-hum games, giving fans the choice not to go for any number of reasons. Lessen the number of events will make each game more attractive to fans......The AFL doesn't suffer fools with its season, setting in well in advance, starting it three weeks after the NRL and concluding it one week before the NRL.... There's something in that David.

Saturday Night NRL Results

Saturday Night results saw one major surprise with the Roosters holding out the New Zealand Warriors 13-6, however the other two games went with favoritism with the Sea Eagles smashing the Bulldogs 38-4 and the Titans resigned very heavily to also-ran status with a 23-10 loss to the Panthers

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Night Footy Results

Brisbane have woken from the mid-season losing slump to demolish the Cronulla Sharks 34-16 with the scoreline flattered by some late Sharks tries. In the other game, the Eels stole a march on the Dragons leading 14-6, but a dogged Dragons outfit brought the game back to 14all at Full-Time. Golden Point ensued and the scores were unable to be unlocked and the game remained as a 14all draw.

AFL Preview Round 11

Last week 5/8 but a correction to the previous week in which I gave myself 5 when I actually did score 6 gives me 56/77 = 72.7%!!
This little place in which I am working in north east China does not have a problem about spending money on sports stadiums, unlike, say, Perth, who have been debating the expenditure of a mere billion dollars to upgrade facilities to cater for the two Aussie rules teams there, West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers. By the way, as I am teaching English maybe I should be using the plural of stadium as stadia…then again…… Anyway, the city of XinCun is building another stadium similar to the bird’s cage concept built for the Beijing Olympics. That in itself may not be news to you but in an area that has a population of just over 2 million there already exists 2 multimillion dollar stadiums, one in Yixi, just a few kilometres from XinCun and another in Ranghulu a similar distance in the other direction. Again, that may not be news to you but if I told you that NEITHER of the venues is ever used you would have to start scratching your collective heads right?

@TheFooty Podcast Episode #001

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