Monday, June 04, 2018

Sporting Shorts - Number 13

Another weekend's action has come and gone.The highlight of the weekend was getting to my first live game of Rugby League for the year.


  • I mentioned this last year, but I'm not really a fan of this part of the season. Four games in a weekend is not enough. I'd just love a complete break for State of Origin. Play the three games over two or three weeks. It reduces the disruption to the competition. Though I guess its tougher on the players who are in the Origin teams. 
  • On the Origin, congrats to Billy Slater who will retire after this Origin series. One of the games true greats. Such a shame he pulled out of the team today. 
  • The series will be interesting with both teams having fairly young and inexperienced teams. 
  • Onto the on field action. I did enjoy the Parramatta - Newcastle game. It's the first live game I've seen this year. Was a touch disappointed in the crowd- its was just over 7700. It seemed most of them were cheering for Newcastle. Have to hand it to Newcastle's fans - they've had a few lean years yet still turn up to support their team. Feel for Parramatta too. They're in a bit of a slump now, I have admit, it is a slump I didn't see coming. 
  • So, when was the last time the top four was all teams based within Sydney. The top four are currently - St George, Penrith, Souths and the Roosters (with the Warriors in 6th place the first team not based in Sydney - Cronulla sit 5th). 

  • It seems clear to me the three form teams in the AFL are West Coast, Richmond and Melbourne - with injuries to key West Coast and Melbourne players this weekend, maybe Richmond is just in front as favourites. 
  • It says something that Melbourne have the second best percentage of 140.2 and are averaging more than 100 points per game across the season. 
  • The Swans had a tight win against Carlton. After St Kilda next week they have three key clashes - West Coast (H), Richmond (A) and Geelong (H). Those games will show whether they will challenge for the flag or be an also-ran.  
Super Rugby
  • This was the last round before the first International window.  Another drought was broken with the Melbourne Rebels wining in New Zealand against the Blues. Its the first time an Australian team has won in New Zealand in 1000 days.
  • Perhaps the match of the round was the 15 try game between the Waratahs and Reds. The Waratahs prevailed 52-41. 
  • Currently the semi finals would be  - Crusaders v  Rebels, Hurricanes v Highlanders, Lions v Jaguares and Waratahs v Chiefs. The system makes a little more sense this year with the top seeds being the top placed team in each conference, and the next best team across all of the conferences and then the next four best teams. 
Football World Cup
  • So, I think it is time for some predictions for the FIFA World Cup, which starts in about two weeks. I'm picking Germany to go back to back, and probably play Brazil in the final.  
  • I hope to see one of the Asian or African teams as the surprise packet. Japan and Egypt probably have the 'easiest draw'. 
  • I think for Australia, a lot will depend on their result against France, if they can edge a draw maybe a spot in the last 16 is inside the realms of possibility.  
  • The other team that often promises much is Belgium, would love to see them do well. 
  • I think Russia will possibly be the disappointment of the tournament, though with very little expectation on them, and playing the games at home, maybe they could spring a surprise. 
  • Leading Scorer - thinking its between Messi (Argentina) and Griezmann (France), though Rodriguez (Colombia) could be up there too. 
  • The Golden State Warriors lead the Cleveland Caveliers 2-0 in the NBA Final.  The series now moves to Cleveland for the next two games. I feel it is now the Warriors series to lose. 
  • The Washington Captials lead Las Vegas 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Final.  The series is not disappointing us. It's a shame its hard to watch the games live in Australia. 

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