Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sport shorts - No. 20

Both the NRL and AFL ladders are tightening up, and the Super Rugby competition is now at the semi final stage. So quite a significant weekend...


  • Well I guess the Suns win over the Swans was the biggest upset for a while. Funnily enough while it had the potential to be an absolute disaster, Geelong and GWS winning meant they finished the weekend in fourth spot. Yes, they still have a tough draw, but I still think they can make it.  They’re helped by the fact most of their games are on the road. Their record at the SCG this year has been ordinary. 
  • The Geelong-Melbourne game was the match of the round, with Geelong kicking 8 goals in the final quarter to steal the game. The last goal was kicked after the siren. 
  • I feel there are ten teams battling out for positions in the eight. Adelaide and Essendon are hurt by their percentage but still in with a shout. 
  • The biggest story for me about AFL this weekend, is the potential for rule changes next year. The one seeming most likely to be tried is a 6-6-6 zone system. I can’t say I’m sold on the end for the reform, and the reform itself. To me at least the game is in really good shape. Yes there has been some ordinary games each weekend, but there have certainly been some crackers over the past few weeks. 
  • The other point of note is that while watching the final five minutes of the Geelong-Melbourne game it certainly came to mind how important home ground advantage can be. The game was played in Geelong rather than at the MCG, and while it means a smaller crowd, it also means a clearer home ground advantage. So for me, Geelong should be entitled to play their home finals in Geelong. 
  • A few results kept things interesting, but I think the top eight is settled. Mathematically the Tigers can still make it, but it will take a few results going there way. Canberra sadly are out, their first half against Cronulla cost them.  The Tigers have beaten Melbourne twice, Souths  the Dragons and the Roosters, so if they do sneak into the eight, they could do some damage.
  • If any team falls out of the eight it’s most likely to be the Warriors.
  • The standout performances from the weekend were Brisbane’s win against Penrith and the Roosters defeat of Manly. Apparently there hasn’t been a premier who has conceded 50 points in the regular season. This could be the year that changes with both Penrith and St George conceding 50 points in regular season games this year. 
Super Rugby
  • Congrats to the Waratahs, coming from 6-23 down to win their quarterfinal. The Highlanders illdiscipline cost them as the Waratahs scored three tries while the Highlanders had a player in the bin. 
  • In their 40-10 win over the Sharks the Crusaders showed why they are favourites to win the title this year. 
  • Next weekend sees the Crusaders play Hurricanes and the Waratahs travel to South Africa to play the Lions. I like getting egg on my face, so I’ll say it’s going to be a Crusaders v Waratahs final.

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