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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NRL Lineups Round 26


FRIDAY
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS v PENRITH PANTHERS at WIN Stadium, 7.35pm
DRAGONS: Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby (capt), Dan Hunt, Dean Young, Michael Weyman, Beau Scott, Ben Creagh, Matt Prior. Interchange: Jon Green, Nathan Fien, Adam Cuthbertson, Trent Merrin, Mitch Rein (one to be omitted).
PANTHERS: Lachlan Coote, David Simmons, Taioalo Vai Vai, Brad Tighe, Adrian Purtell, Travis Burns, Luke Walsh, Sam McKendry, Nafe Seluini, Matthew Bell, Nathan Smith, Nigel Plum, Luke Lewis. Interchange: Kevin Kingston, Dayne Weston, Tim Grant, Blake Austin.
Referees: Gavin Badger, Phil Haines.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS at Ausgrid Stadium, 7.30pm
KNIGHTS: Kurt Gidley (capt), James McManus, Siuatonga Likiliki, Adam MacDougall, Akuila Uate, Ryan Stig, Jarrod Mullen, Evarn Tuimavave, Isaac De Gois, Antonio Kaufusi, Chris Houston, Neville Costigan, Joel Edwards. Interchange: Matt Hilder, Cameron Ciraldo, Richard Fa'aoso, Mark Taufua, Zane Tetavano (one to be omitted).

Monday, August 29, 2011

AFL Review Round 23.

What do the results of round 23 mean? Basically the final 8 is set with regard to the actual teams. Positions 1, 4 and 5 are settled. There is a possibility that there could be some shuffling around in the other positions. In fact, if Collingwood beats Geelong and Hawthorn thrashes the Gold Coast, both possible, then Hawthorn can finish 2nd! Regardless of the shuffle the following finals will be played like this:
Collingwood V West Coast at the MCG (maybe Etihad?)
Hawthorn V Geelong, Carlton V Essendon and St Kilda V Sydney.
But we should not get ahead of ourselves as we still have a round to go. Teams outside the 8 need to find sufficient motivation to win their last game and it will also be interesting to see the strategies of the final 8 teams and coaches as to how they approach their last home and away game with player availability, tactics and other aspects they will consider as they prepare for finals. If Richmond beats North then the Tigers will finish 9th – not bad. As well as Richmond winning, if the Bulldogs win and Melbourne win then Fremantle finish 13th!
Collingwood 20.12.132 defeated Fremantle 8.4.52

Friday, August 26, 2011

AFL Preview Round 23


Last week 5/8 = 128/171 (74.9%)
Yes it was a bad decision to pick Fremantle last week against North and perhaps the Tiger winning form should have been given more credit than to expect a fairytale game from the Demons although the win was just a few points. The Sydney win was a little unexpected but possible so a score of 7 would have been what most got last week. Consider yourself led astray okay if you followed the preview. This week we have the penultimate round and there are some interesting games with none more important than the North Melbourne versus St Kilda game. Simply put, North has to win. A win by the Roos will generate interest in the final round with the Saints, the Swans and North all in line for a finals position.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NRL Lineups Round 25

Teams named for round 25 of the NRL (all times local):
FRIDAY
PARRAMATTA EELS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS at Parramatta Stadium, 7.35pm
EELS: Luke Burt, Ryan Morgan, Justin Horo, Ben Smith, Chris Hicks, Jarryd Hayne, Casey McGuire, Tim Mannah, Matt Keating, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh (capt), Taniela Lasalo, Reni Maitua. Interchange: Shane Shackleton, Mitchell Allgood, Pat O'Hanlon, Justin Poore.
ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Sam Perrett, Justin Carney, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Phil Graham, Braith Anasta (capt), Mitchell Pearce, Jason Ryles, Jake Friend, Lama Tasi, Brad Takairangi, Aidan Guerra, Boyd Cordner. Interchange: Anthony Mitchell, Mose Masoe, Tinirau Arona, Frank Paul Nuuausala.
Referees: Jason Robinson, Grant Atkins.
MANLY SEA EAGLES v MELBOURNE STORM at Brookvale Oval, 7.35pm
SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Jamie Lyon (capt), Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, George Rose, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Joe Galuvao, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: Darcy Lussick, Jamie Buhrer, Shane Rodney, Tony Williams, Tim Robinson (one to be omitted).

Monday, August 22, 2011

AFL Review Round 22


You would have to think that the final 8 is looking almost settled after round 22 although final positions in the 8 may shuffle a little bit. North Melbourne can still sneak in but they have an interesting game next week against St Kilda. Essendon will win against Port so that makes them safe even with a bye in the last week. Sydney should lose against Geelong so North simply needs to win next week and the following week against Richmond because St Kilda then plays Carlton in the last week. Interesting. Then there are teams like Port who is really looking forward to not playing any more this season and the Suns might like a rest after their first and rather successful season.
The coaching shuffle looks intriguing as well with 3 positions to date available at Melbourne, Adelaide and Western Bulldogs. Some of these younger coaches are doing okay so I think we will see the end of Rocket Eade even if he reckons he has a lot to offer the game. I have a bit to offer as well but I am not going to apply for a coaching job….then again……if Bucks slips up at the Pies I might put my hat in the ring!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday NIght NRL Blockbusters

Friday Night saw two fantastic games, albeit for different reasons. In the Dragons v Storm game, defence ruled but it always seemed like they were in control. The game was only won 8-6, but the Storm looked more dangerous for longer periods and the Dragons were brave and hanging on. And they appeared to be mostly steps behind. This could be the game changer for the Dragons, and their fans can only hope.

The other Friday Night game saw the Rabbitohs continue their stunning charge into the top 8, with a come from behind 26-24 victory over the Cowboys. The Cowboys gave up leads twice during the game, with the Rabbitohs drawing on half-time and to level the scores for Full-time. Unfortunately, the game will be remembered for Isaac Luke's acting ability as he drew a Golden Point penalty which the Rabbitohs kicked to win the game.

Friday, August 19, 2011

AFL Preview Round 22


Last week 6/8 = 123/163 (75.5%)
Yes many things have changed in the AFL. The game has become faster and the skills of the players are constantly under review as is their fitness and their strength. Last week we also saw the rule applied that you have to be nice to your opponent and his mum. Don’t niggle him or pinch his buttocks because one of the 50 cameras at the game will pick it up. Likewise don’t hit him in the back of the head when you go for a spoil. Don’t say anything about his colour or race because that’s racial vilification. Don’t mention his kids or his wife in derogatory terms and certainly, don’t say anything about his mum. What can you say about an opponent’s mother that would cause him to report you to the AFL and get you suspended and fined $2000? Here’s some possibilities although I imagine the actual comments might have been worse:
1. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings. I’m sorry to bring your mother into this!
2. Your mum’s so poor I saw her chasing the garbage truck with a shopping list!
3. Your mum’s so stupid she tripped over a cordless phone!
4. Shut up. You’ll never be the man your mother is!
5. And the old favourite – Your mother wears army boots!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NRL Teams Round 24


FRIDAY

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS at ANZ Stadium, 7.35pm
RABBITOHS: Nathan Merritt, Dylan Farrell, Shaune Corrigan, Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen, John Sutton, Chris Sandow, Ben Ross, Issac Luke, Shannan McPherson, Eddy Pettybourne, David Taylor, Michael Crocker (capt). Interchange: Luke Burgess, Dave Tyrrell, Jason Clark, Nathan Peats.
COWBOYS: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Willie Tonga, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Ray Thompson, Johnathan Thurston (capt), Matthew Scott (capt), Aaron Payne, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: James Segeyaro, Tariq Sims, Scott Bolton, Ashton Sims, Cory Paterson, Joel Riethmuller (two to be omitted).
Referees: Ben Cummins, Adam Devcich.
MELBOURNE STORM v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS at AAMI Park, 7.35pm
STORM: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Dane Nielsen, Beau Champion, Anthony Quinn, Maurice Blair, Gareth Widdop, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (capt), Bryan Norrie, Adam Blair, Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Troy Thompson, Jaiman Lowe.
DRAGONS: Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby (capt), Dan Hunt, Nathan Fien, Michael Weyman, Beau Scott, Ben Creagh, Matt Prior. Interchange: Jon Green, Trent Merrin, Adam Cuthbertson, Dean Young, Kyle Stanley (one to be omitted).

Monday, August 15, 2011

AFL Review Round 21


Three rounds to go and the top 5 teams are set in that they will finish in the top 5. The existing order might change for positions 1 and 2 and the order might change for positions 3 to 5 but these teams are certain to be playing in the finals. Positions 6, 7, 8 and 9 seem a little hazy as the teams that keep shuffling around in this area are showing inconsistent form so, depending on how they manage the last 3 rounds, we will see who is to be playing finals come September.
Injuries to key players late in the season will also affect top teams and certain to test the depth of their player lists.
With 3 rounds to go tipsters leading the competition will be a few points ahead. The preview hasn’t done badly so allowing for you not following stupid tips you should be somewhere around the leading 10 tipsters. No tanking because no recruits to pick from as they are all going to the new team in Sydney, the Giants. Any 7’s from here on in will almost win you the competition but you will need some misses by the leaders. The preview picked 6 but it should have been 7. So choose carefully in the next 3 weeks and see if you can’t win a few tipping dollars.
Collingwood 14.5.89 defeated St Kilda 10.10.70

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Round 23 NRL

Round 23 of the NRL kicked off in style, with Darren Lockyer playing his 350th NRL game, and his team the Brisbane Broncos responded in style defeating the North Qld Cowboys 34-16. Josh Hoffman played the game of his career todate, while returning Cowboys Jonathon Thurston certainly had better days. The other Friday Night game saw the Tigers continue their streak with a 32-18 win over the Panthers.

Saturday night saw the Storm defeat the hopeless Titans 40-16 but lost some key players in the process. Other Saturday Night games saw the Warriors just defeat the Knights 20-12, and the Sea Eagles hold one 26-20 to once again cause heartache for the Eels.

The Souths Sydney Rabbitohs flogged the Raiders 47-18, with Nathan Merritt adding another three tries to his recent try scoring wizardry. The Dragons were again a major disapointment to their fans with the resilient Roosters beating them 20-12. The Dragons faithful are expecting big things for 2011 and at the moment, this doesn't look good.

Dragons Drop Another

The Dragons dropped their fourth game in a row today against the Sydney Roosters 20-12, in front of 14,000 fans in Wollongong. The Dragons started off the pace, and basically stayed their, as their forward pack were out-enthused and their star playmaker, Jamie Soward looked like he didn't want to be there. The Roosters need to be congratulated for their enthusiasm, and they easily outmuscled the Dragons. For Coach Wayne Bennett, benched Jamie Soward, Beau Scott, Michael Weyman and sent a clear message to these senior players that they must lift their game. Based on today, the Dragons have no hope defending their crown.

Friday, August 12, 2011

[AFL-Preview] Round 21

Last week 6/8 = 117/155 (75.5%)
Today was a return to China after almost 3 weeks in the Philippines. Last couple of days were spent in Manila where it did not pour rain continually this time. Stayed at a place called the Pearl Gardens Hotel which was strangely rated as a 2 star hotel but was at least 3 and a half or maybe 4 stars. The bathroom was way beyond expectations with a bath as well as a shower and very spacious. The restaurant and bar was a terrific place to eat and drink and as a pleasant change the service was super great, they even had knives with the meals! The hotel is located on Adriatico street where the night life rages from 5pm to 3am and during the day it is also a very busy street. The real surprise was the coffee shop attached to the hotel and with free Wifi there as well as in the hotel it was a great place to sit and have a cuppaccino and watch the world go by. In the evenings at about 6pm the 2 clubs that were opposite the hotel were hustling for customers and had the girls out there scantily clad and enticing passers-by. I noticed the name of one clubs was “The Sting”. How fitting!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

NRL Round 23 Preview

Friday Night sees the Qld Derby with the added spice of the return of Jonathon Thurston. The Broncos have had the wood on the Cowboys over the years, but this one could go either way. The emotion behind the record 350th game by Darren Lockyer could be the difference and that emotion could go either way. My Tip for the Broncos by 6.

The other Friday Night game is the Panthers playing the Tigers. Its hard to see the Tigers doing anything but win and win convincingly, but once again, if the Panthers turn up for the night, they could

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NRL Teams Round 23

FRIDAY
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS v BRISBANE BRONCOS at Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7.35pm
COWBOYS: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Willie Tonga, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Ray Thompson, Johnathan Thurston (capt), Matthew Scott (capt), Aaron Payne, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Tariq Sims, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: James Segeyaro, Glenn Hall, Scott Bolton, Ashton Sims, Cory Paterson (one to be omitted).
BRONCOS: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Lockyer (capt), Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange: Matt Gillett, Ben Hunt, Ben Te'o, David Hala.
Referees: Matt Cecchin, Gavin Badger.

Thaiday Named Captain

Sam Thaiday has been named the club captain of the NRMA Insurance Broncos for the 2012 season on the day he has committed himself to a long-term deal.
Thaiday will be seen in a Bronco jersey until at least 2015 after agreeing to a new three-year extension of his contract.
And he will be doing it with the ‘c’ next to his name after it was announced Thaiday would take over the captaincy role from the retiring Darren Lockyer.

Monday, August 8, 2011

NRL Review Round 22

Round 22 started poorly for the Dragons and the Cowboys, both sustaining losses to kick off the round. The Dragons were the most disapointing, coming as it did with almost a full squad back on the park. They went down to the Wests Tigers16-14, while the Cowboys were upset by the Bulldogs new found intensity with the Doggies 14-6 victors.

Saturday Night saw one lopsided game with the Storm 26-6 over the Panthers, but the other two were thrillers with Brisbane 21-20 victors over the Warriors and the Titans finally returning to the winners block courtesy of a 20-16 win over the Sharks.

The Knights thrashed the Raiders on Sunday 40-8, while Manly flexed its muscle 36-8 over the headless Roosters.

AFL Review Round 20

Tipping is like that some weeks, you can be two kicks from glory and it ends sort of average with a 6 a number most tipsters would have got. Essendon wins by a point and Adelaide wins by 5. Mick Malthouse might be right about what he said about the disinterest that can be generated by results like the Geelong and Collingwood wins this round. There is a huge gap between the bottom 4 teams and the top 4 teams and even between the top two teams and the rest of the competition. Finals do bring about some increased intensity by the lower teams in the 8 but let’s face it, apart from St Kilda who is outside the top 4, the other 3 teams that make the finals in positions 6 to 8 face an almost impossible task to match it with the teams in positions 1 and 2 this season.
While the Cats annihilated the Suns and the Pies thrashed the Power I was lying on a beach in Cabadbaran on the Mindanao coast. The beach was called Asinan, black sand and lots of pebbles and rocks. Getting in and out of the water was torture on your bare feet until you reached the sand about 20 metres into the water. The ocean here, I think it’s called the Surigao Strait, is dirty brown even when the sun is shining and I’m not sure whether that is because the sand is black or there is a river mouth near the beach we were at. The beaches are lined with ‘cottages’ and I use the term loosely. Napa palm thatched lean- to’s really, made of bamboo including some bench seating and a roughly put together table. Somebody comes along and asks you for 50 pesos to rent the cottage for the day. It was about 10 paces to the water so it was handy and certainly kept you out of the blazing sun when you weren’t swimming.

Friday, August 5, 2011

AFL Preview Round 20

Last week 7/7 = 111/147 = 75.5%
Apparently it was no big deal that for 2 weeks in a row the preview has been error free with an amazing 15 correct selections from 15 games. Many tipsters probably got these picks right but conversely there would have been a lot that got a few wrong trying to catch up. I guess I have to put into context the difficulty of picking error free when the tips and the preview have been done while being in and travelling in another country. The 8/8 was astutely tipped while travelling to the Philippines and the 7/7 was even more amazing because I was lying on a bed at The Tavern Hotel in Surigao city about as far removed from AFL as you could imagine although having travelled a bit I could safely say that a few other countries come to mind with regard to the relevance of that remark. I guess if you were in the back blocks of West Africa you might be further removed as well as having no internet access.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NRL Team Lists Round 22

FRIDAY
CANTERBURY BULLDOGS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS at ANZ Stadium, 7.35pm.
BULLDOGS: Ben Barba, Steve Turner, Josh Morris, Jamal Idris, Jonathan Wright, Ben Roberts, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Joel Romelo, Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Andrew Ryan (capt), Dene Halatau. Interchange: Greg Eastwood, Chris Armit, Corey Payne, Josh Reynolds.
COWBOYS: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Willie Tonga, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Ray Thompson, Ben Jones, Matthew Scott (capt), Aaron Payne, Ashton Sims, Gavin Cooper, Tariq Sims, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: James Segeyaro, Glenn Hall, Cory Paterson, James Tamou.
Referees: Jared Maxwell, Gavin Morris.
WESTS TIGERS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS at Sydney Football Stadium, 7.35pm.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Storm Prevail over Eels

The Topsy Turvy nature of the NRL 2011, was again highlighted with the Parramatta Eels dropping an 18-0 lead to eventually go down to the Melbourne Storm 22-18. The Storm took the lead in the 76th minute and held on a final Eels challenge to take the game and almost a stranglehold on the Minor Premiership. The Storm must surely be congratulated and Craig Bellamy must be in line for Coach of the year award, after resurrecting the former powerhouse after the 2010 year from Hell.

AFL Review Round 19

Owing to the vagaries of mass transportation I am spending my holidays in the Philippines. Sometimes you find a bit of paradise in the strangest places. After landing In Surigao I was taken to a place called San Francisco which is a Barangay or suburb of Surigao. The family I am staying with here are friendly, hospitable and speak enough English for everybody to understand each other. The houses of two families have been crudely but firmly constructed about 20 metres from the ocean separated only by a concrete dyke affair. A recent typhoon has caused some unwelcome weather and the waves that hit the wall provide us with great scenes of sea spray being thrown into the air and then cascading down over the top of the wall and beyond. This family has untold number of relatives, I am being introduced to a new cousin, uncle, aunt and lola and lolo who are the grandparents every day. It's amazing. Desperate poverty abounds and I don't see a lot of people working a problem that exacerbates their situation.