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Friday, May 27, 2011

AFL Preview Round 10

Last week 5 /8 = 50/69 (72.5%)
By Saturday night when I had tipped 4 from 5 I thought 6 or 7 was a sure thing. Both WA teams were tipped incorrectly which didn’t help and an underestimation of Hawthorn sealed the score at 5. But it has been difficult to gauge the form of some of the teams. Geelong and Collingwood look like good prospects to pick to win each week. Port Adelaide can be picked to lose every week. Essendon, Carlton, West Coast, Hawthorn and perhaps Fremantle are showing some consistency and the rest? Figure it out.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is this the Blue Formula?

NSW are back! As evidenced in the opening State of Origin match the NSW Blues have finally found the formula to defeat Qld. Tough uncompromising defence was the cornerstone of their effort, but it was their brilliance in slight of hand attack, that had them in front with just seven minutes left, but it was QLD that produced the play of the game which saw the Maroons continue their dynasty with the 16-12 victory.

Half-time saw complete dominance with the ball and field position, but QLD were winning by just 6-0. This NSW is tough, and can win this series easily. Qld two first two tries came from the kick, yet it was NSW that when in position, scored easily with their attack. Qld will be hoping that Greg Inglis and Justin Hodges are fit for Game 2, to add attacking nous. In saying that, Dane Nielson and Willie Tonga were good right throughout the game, even with Tonga nursing a shoulder.

In the end, it was the Slater, Thurston, Lockyer, Cronk, and Smith combination that brought the Queenslanders home.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NRL 2011 Round 12 Teams

FRIDAY

MANLY SEA EAGLES v BRISBANE BRONCOS at Suncorp Stadium, 7pm
SEA EAGLES:
Brett Stewart, David Williams, Jamie Lyon (capt), Steve Matai, Will Hopoate, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason King (capt), Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Joe Galuvao, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: Vic Mauro, Jamie Buhrer, George Rose, Tony Williams, Tim Robinson, Michael Oldfield (two to be ommited).
BRONCOS: Gerard Beale, Dane Gagai, Dale Copley, Jack Reed, Shea Moylan, Corey Norman, Peter Wallace, Mitchell Dodds, Andrew McCullough, Nick Kenny, Domanis Lui, Alex Glenn, Ben Te'o. Interchange: Kurt Baptiste, Scott Anderson, Dane Carlaw, David Hala, Corey Parker, Jharal Yow Yeh (two to be omitted).
Referees:
Ben Cummins, Gerard Sutton.

Eels Turn it One

The Parramatta Eels, led by Luke Burt and Jaryd Hayne, simply turned it on, last night on Monday Night Football, to smash the Sharks 40 points to 6. The win gives the Eels fans some glimmer of hope, in a season that has to date been abysmal. Burt, Jordyn Atkins scored doubles, while comeback kid, Chris Walker scored a try as the Parramatta team ran riot in a free-flowing spectacle.

Monday, May 23, 2011

AFL Review Round 9

Geelong 15.12.102 defeated Carlton 14.16.100
As predicted there was really nothing in this game and had Warnock kicked truly the result would have gone Carlton’s way. Geelong survived another close one. That’s two in a row. When players have the outcome of a game in their hands with almost the last kick it’s hard to blame them for the loss of the game. The Blues had almost double the inside 50’s to Geelong in the final quarter and could not post a winning score. That’s footy. Selwood continues his stellar step up for the Cats after the loss of Ablett and the usual good players for Carlton like Murphy, Simpson and Gibbs were prominent.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Results NRL

On this shortened round, just two Sunday games, and both were low scoring affairs with the Warriors knocking over the South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-6, while the Roosters defeated the Knights 12-10 in a cliffhanger.

Watch Out for the Blues

I cannot believe some of the junk being written about the first State of Origin. Many in Qld are labelling this Blues side as one of the Worst ever. ppplllllleeeeaaaase. This Blues side is one that can kill the Qld. They have a decided advantage on the outer edges with Gasnier and Jennings poised to wreak some havoc, against Tonga and Nielson. The Forward packs has a hard edge to it, with Bird, Scott and Gallon and the form halves in Soward and Mitchell Pearce.

Qld need to be very careful is all this scribe will say. In fact I would be suggesting to take the 13+ odds on the Blues.

Tigers Steal a win over the Gould-inspired Panthers

The Wests Tigers got out of jail, through Benji Marshall brilliance, defeating the Penrith Panthers 20-18. The Tiges were down 18-10 with thirty minutes left, and at this stage it looked like Phil Gould had inspired the Panthers to another victory.


Marshal scored a try to bring the game back, and then combined with Robbie Farrah to send David Simmons away in the final minutes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Raiders Back to Form

The Canberra Raiders muscled up last night and disposed of the Canturbury Bulldogs 20-12, in a game the Dogs were expected to win easily after their promising effort against the Dragons the previous week.Things are certainly looking up for the Raiders after their eight week losing stretch early in the season, and with Terry Campese coming back the next round they play, their confidence is certainly on the up.

Friday, May 20, 2011

AFL Preview Round 9

 
RIP Bobby Davis!!
Was it that many years ago that I used to watch the Footy Show on channel 7 with Bob Davis, Lou Richards and Jack Dyer? Only Lou ‘the lip’ left now of that trio who were all controlled, sort of, by Ron Casey. For us young footy followers it was a must watch show and of course the Sunday footy show with the handball and the accurate kicking competitions, the scores, the ladder and the basket full of pies (Four ‘n’ Twenty of course)and sausage smallgoods (was that Watsonia? Can’t remember) hamper for the players that came on to be interviewed. Bobby was a real character that’s for sure as, of course, was Jack and Lou. Lovable larrikins. Most of us played footy on Saturday at the same time the VFL games were being played so it was our chance to catch up with the latest football news especially if we had missed the Sporting Globe late Saturday edition.
There are still a few footy talk shows on the box but they have lost some impact because games are now played over a number of days and the show cannot give a complete summary of the round.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

QLD Team Named

The Queensland side was today named for the first State of Origin game next Wednesday Night. Without both, Justin Hodges and Greg Inglis, the side is lacking some class at the edges. This will prove a real challenge to the QLD team keeping the State of Origin crown for the sixth year. The Qld Team is:

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

Corey Parker has been rewarded with his consistent form, while Dane Nielsen and Jharal Yow Yeh are set for their Origin debuts.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Titans Continue Woeful Form

The Gold Coast Titans decided to play some football during the second half of their game against Manly, but found out, that it was just too little too late. The Final score of 16-12 did not show the dominance that Manly had, but it was pleasing that the Titans made a game of it. The win leaves Manly sitting in Third Spot while the Titans sit in 15th spot with just three wins. The season just gets harder now for the Titans with seven games away from home, from their next ten.

AFL Review Round 8

Geelong 8.17.65 defeated Collingwood 9.8.62
It was bound to happen eventually and the Cats stole the show and the points in the big game of the undefeated teams at the MCG. Collingwood’s problem is not the disallowed goal near the end of the game, it’s the fact that Geelong had 25 scoring shots to 17 in a low scoring game. Something to ponder. Another 80,000 plus crowd at a Collingwood game this year – no wonder the AFL loves them! With just a 3 point margin and a disallowed goal you can be sure that the next time they meet tipsters will have the same problem, just who to pick. The result was not convincing enough to suggest that Geelong will win the next time they meet. Selwood was the best for the Cats and Thomas the best for the Pies. Ottens had an impact on the game which suggests that the absence of Jolly for Collingwood was important. The Cats play another tough one next week against Carlton and the Pies meet Adelaide.
North Melbourne 19.10.124 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday and Sunday Results

The NRL results for Saturday and Sunday went a little like this. The Canberra Raiders finally put an 80 minute performance in and upset the Melbourne Storm 2-12. The Cowboys came from a long way behind to beat the Eels 40-26, while the Rabbitohs defeated the Wests Tigers 29-18.

Sunday saw the Sharks back to form with an emphatic 18-4 win over a lethargic Roosters outfit, while the Warriors stole a win against the Knights 25-16, after the Knights were leading 16-12 with just nine minutes left.

NSW Blues Named

Ricky Stuart has today named the NSW Blues side to attempt to end the Qld Domination of State Of Origin. Jarryd Hayne and Jamal Indris are the two most notable ommisions, but in all serious, this side looks the goods. The team is:
1. Josh Dugan (Canberra)
2. Brett Morris (St George Illawarra)
3. Michael Jennings (Penrith)
4. Mark Gasnier (St George Illawarra)
5. Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights)
6. Jamie Soward (St George Illawarra)
7. Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters)
8. Jason King (Manly)
9. Michael Ennis (Canterbury-Bankstown)
10. Kade Snowden (Cronulla)
11. Beau Scott (St George Illawarra)
12. Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans)
13. Paul Gallen (c) (Cronulla)

Bench: Ben Creagh (St George Illawarra), Trent Merrin (St George Illawarra), Tim Mannah (Parramatta), Dean Young (St George Illawarra).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday Night Results Round 10

The Brisbane Broncos were brought back to reality, with a crushing defeat by the hands of the Phil Gould inspired Panthers, who outplayed the Broncos in all aspects of the game to win by 33-10. Justine Hodges now also must be in clear doubt for Origin, while a confused ref sin-binned both captains, Corey Parker and Petro Civoniceva. The Broncos now head into the Origin Zone with two consecutive losses, and their must be some worry at Red Hill.

The Dragons toughed out a second half resurgance from the Bulldogs to win 15-10. The Dogs showed they had plenty of fight in them, as they really took it to the Dragons, but again the steely defence of the reigning Premiers. The Bulldogs applied pressure and the Dragons were certainly stressed by this, however they held together to record a win.

Friday, May 13, 2011

AFL Preview Round 8

Last week 6/8 = 39/53 (73.6%)
I will be missing the coverage of the big match between Collingwood and Geelong on Friday night as I will be teaching English to 25 or so Chinese petroleum workers. This new contract has put an end to my happy AFL Friday nights. By the time I get home it will be 10.45pm EST. My other classes barely clash with any other fixture so future Friday night games will have to be replayed if they are any good. I was listening to 3AW this morning and there were a lot of complaints about a gas smell in some Melbourne suburbs and my theory is that the open stack they have on the petroleum refinery here in northern China is to blame. It was belching out some very noxious looking fumes most of the day yesterday and the wind direction was pushing that smoke directly over Australia and subsequently the Melbourne metro area. To add to the suspect environment being experienced we had some sort of sand storm blow in from Mongolia overnight giving the whole province an eerie, orange glow. Anything exposed outside was covered in fine, sand particles and even keeping the inside of the living area clean was a waste of time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NRL 2011 Round 10 Teams

FRIDAY
BULLDOGS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS at ANZ Stadium, 7.35pm
BULLDOGS: Ben Barba, Steve Turner, Josh Morris, Jamal Idris, Michael Lett, Kris Keating, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis, Mickey Paea, Frank Pritchard, Andrew Ryan, David Stagg. Interchange: Greg Eastwood, Jake Foster, Corey Payne, Dene Halatau.
DRAGONS: Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Kyle Stanley, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby, Dan Hunt, Dean Young, Michael Weyman, Beau Scott, Ben Creagh, Matt Prior. Interchange: Adam Cuthbertson, Jon Green, Trent Merrin, Mitch Rein, Jack Bosden (one to be omitted).
Referees: Ben Cummins, Tony De Las Heras.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Afl Review Round 7

 
Hawthorn 15.14.104 defeated Port Adelaide 10.12.72
It wasn’t until the last quarter that Hawthorn got away from the Power who played well enough to keep the game close for a while. Another knee injury for a player – Rodan of Port this time. Buddy was well held but still managed 3 goals.
Sydney Swans 10.13.73 defeated Western Bulldogs 10.5.65
Well the game was always going to be difficult one from which to pick the winner. Swans got away in the 3rd quarter and were then able to hold on in the last as the Doggies came at them. So the Western Bulldogs were second favourites for the flag? Not anymore. Sydney might even finish ahead of them at this rate.
Geelong 19.13.127 defeated North Melbourne 9.7.61
Top Cats Kelly, Selwood and Bartel were impossible to stop by North. Almost 100 possessions and 3 goals between them tells a story. As expected North took it up to Geelong for a quarter and a half but skill and experience in the Geelong side started to tell after that. Geelong cruised to a 10 goal win.

Raiders continue their Orible Run

Again, the Canberra Raiders have failed to have been sparked by star recruit Matt Orford, going down to Manly Sea Eagles 20-0. Brett Stewart gave the Eagles fans something to cheer about with a hatrick of tries on a rain-soaked Monday night Brookvale clash.

The Raiders are lost and rudderless this year, and it will take a massive turnaround for them even to look like winning a game.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dragons Continue Winning Ways

The St George Illawarra Dragons, down Jamie Soward, Darius Boyd and Jason Nightingale, proved today they have the depth and the discipline needed to again be a huge threat in the 2011 NRL. They faced off today against the third placed Cowboys and kept them scoreless until just before the full-time siren when Jonathon Thurston became the first player in three game to score a try against the Dragons.The Dragons won 22-6, and look to have a few injury concerns with Mark Gasnier and Ben Creagh, along with Kyle Stanley in some discomfort.

In the other game, the Titans miserable season continues with a 34-14 loss to the Warriors.

Storm Prevail over Brave Broncos

The Melbourne Storm were expected to dominate over the fledging Brisbane Broncos outfit last night, as the Broncos were resting many of their test stars, notably Ben Hannant, Darren Lockyer, Justin Hodges and Sam Thiaday. However, the Storm did not get things their own way, and led just 12-6 at the break and twice the game was tied at, once at 12 all and then in the last six minutes at 22 all

Cooper Cronk broke the deadlock with a 76 minute field goal, then broke the hearts of the Broncos supporters with a try in the 78thminutes to leave the game scoreline at 29-22. The supporters of the Broncos walked away very happy however, as they not just competed with the star-studded Storm outfit, but almost pulled off a miracle result.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Aussies Just Too Good

The Australian Kangaroos continued their mid-season Test Dominance with a sketchy 20-10 win over the New Zealand Kiwis. We call the win sketchy, as the Kiwi's stayed in the game, but ultimately it was their mistakes that enabled the Kangaroos to snatch the win. The Kiwis were let down by a series of errors in the own half, midway through the second half, which paved the way for a Billy Slater try from a Ben Hannant scoop from yet another Kiwi dropped ball.

The Kiwi's were brave, as always, but the Aussie's capacity to capitalise on errors was the difference. Debutants, Jamal Idris, Jaral Yow Yeh and Kiwi Mathew Duffie all scored tries in an absorbing test dual.

In the annual City-Country Origin game, Country defeated City 18-12.

AFL Preview Round 7

AFL Preview Round 7
Last week 5/7. Total 33/45 (73.3%)
Apologies for the bad tip I gave you last week of Swans beating Carlton. It almost happened but the tip was probably a long shot in the context of current form. The surprise result for most last week was the win by the Adelaide Crows against the Saints.
Again this week there are some difficult games from which to make selections of confidence as the form of a few teams is a bit up and down. Bit like the weather in Northern China, highly unpredictable. Or the driving – totally unpredictable! This country is the only one I know where a pedestrian can suffer acute road rage. You can be hit by a car on a zebra crossing (because the local drivers will only make way for zebras I think). You can be hit by a car walking on the correct side of the road. You can be hit by a car walking on the footpath because vehicles have access to and use the sidewalks when driving.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NRL 2011 Round 9 Teams


SATURDAY

BRISBANE BRONCOS v MELBOURNE STORM at Suncorp Stadium, 7.30pm
BRONCOS: Corey Norman, Dane Gagai, Jack Reed, Dale Copley, Shea Moylan, Ben Hunt, Peter Wallace, Nick Kenny, Andrew McCullough, Mitchell Dodds, Alex Glenn, Dane Carlaw, Corey Parker (capt). Interchange: Kurt Baptiste, Scott Anderson, Dunamis Lui, David Hala, Justin Hunt (one to be omitted).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

AFL Review Round 6

 
West Coast 15.16.106 defeated Melbourne 6.16.52
A rather insipid display by Melbourne may cause one coach some embarrassment while it provides another with relief. The Demons seem to be in some sort of form limbo and the Eagles continue their bright start to the season. There was, of course, an immediate call for the axing of Bailey as the coach of the Demons and while I doubt that will happen during the season I would be looking at alternate employment if I was him at the end of the year. The result proved to be a mini salvation for Worsfold whose position at the Eagles looked rather tenuous too.

Kangaroos Test Team Announced

The following team has been announced as the Kangaroos side to play the New Zealand Kiwis on Friday at Skilled Park, Robina. The VB Australian Kangaroos are:


Billy Slater (Storm), Brett Morris (Dragons), Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Jharal Yow Yeh (Broncos), Darren Lockyer (c) (Broncos), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys), Petero Civoniceva (Panthers), Cameron Smith (Storm), Matthew Scott (Cowboys), Ben Creagh (Dragons), Sam Thaiday (Broncos), Paul Gallen (Sharks). Interchange: Cooper Cronk (Storm), Ben Hannant (Broncos), Jamal Idris (Bulldogs), David Shillington (Raiders).

Sunday NRL

Sunday NRL results went with the trend, with the only hiccup in my eyes being the loss of the Panthers. The Dragons really leapt to the top of the ladder with an amazing 30-0 victory over the Eels. The Dragons led 24-0 a halftime, so the results was never in doubt, but in situations like these the fans would have wanted an absolute slaughter. The second half was a bit non-descript after a first half that highlighted doubles to Matt Cooper and Ben Hornby.

Amazingly the Tigers defeated the Raiders 49-12, cementing a great track record of the Tigers knocking over the Raiders. Additionally, the Warriors defeated the Penrith Panthers, in what surely was a great chance for the Panthers players to show their administration that they got it wrong. It appears the front office got it right with the Warriors winning 26-18