Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sporting shorts - No. 23

The seasons are now coming to a close with three rounds to go in the League before the final series and two more in the AFL. It’s meant the quality of football is improving and I think the competitions are really even with no really clear cut favourite. The talk on the League front is mostly about Penrith sacking their coach just before the final series starts and the Panthers haven’t been doing too bad.


  • The Swans had a must win game against Melbourne and for once they managed to pull it of. Feel devasted for Alex Johnson, he has injured his other knee in his second game back after six years out. He deserved better ‘luck’. My gut tells me that if the Swans stay in the eight, they won’t do much damage. 
  • It didn’t rate West Coast’s chances at the beginning of the year but they’re sitting second and may be a chance to win the competition. 
  • The Giants are still a great chance to win, they are likely to get some key players back over the next few weeks
  • Hawthorn are still in the hunt for a top four spot. Well done Clarkson, he has really done well in refreshing their team and players. 
  • I think North Melbourne blew their chance to get into the eight. Essendon has games against Richmond and Port Adelaide so I think they’re gone too. After their loss to West Coast it seems Port Adelaide are trying to not play finals. 
  • Sydney and Melbourne are the two teams in the most danger of slipping out of the eight. 
  • I’ll start with the Warriors, they had a good win against Newcastle. One of the games they had to win if they want to be considered a chance for the title. I still wouldn’t put money on them to do much in the finals, but it looks like they will finish in the top eight.
  • The Dragons are running away from finals football, with a 4-40 loss to the Eels. Have to admit, I really don’t know what’s happened to Eels. They were in my top eight at the start of the year. The Dragons were looking like Premiers in April. Now not so much. 
  • Was stoked to see Cronulla beat Melbourne. I have a little soft spot for the Sharkies. They might be one of the dark horses along with the Panthers. 
  • At the moment, I think one of the Rabbits, Roosters or Melbourne will win the title. It’d be fitting for Slater to end his career with a premiership. Slater is certainly one of, if not the best fullbacks I’ve seen play the game.
Rugby Union
  • Not much happened over the weekend, but the Rugby Championship starts next weekend, with the Wallabies taking on the All Blacks in Sydney, and Argentina travelling to South Africa.
  • Still think the Wallabies are a chance this year. 
  • Arsenal started the season as I expected, with a 0-2 loss to Manchester City. A little opimistic about Arsenal this year, their first year after Wenger’s retirement. Not optimistic that they will challenge for the title, but hopeful they will qualify for Europe. 
  • As always, I’m looking forward to the European football leagues and continental tournaments starting. Don’t think we’re in for much of a surprise though. A team that has won the competition previously will win it again this year. 
  • In Cricket, India may not be the challenge they were built into this year. England currently lead the test series 2-0. Apart from Kohli, India just haven't shown up. 
  • I think the New Zealand Women’s team is over in Australia later this year, I may try and go to one of the games. 
  • Other than that, I’m not sure what sport is on the horizon for the year. Next year has the Women’s Football World Cup and Australia has a realistic chance of winning: and we also have the Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan which will be a fun tournament. 
  • I don’t have a team, but the NFL starts early next month. It should be an interesting year, especially seeing I don’t have team I’m cheering for or against. It’s the best part of the season, everybody is 0-0 and the storyline is yet to be written. Anyone can win it. 
  • In Baseball, hard to pick a favourite, but the Red Sox have the best record. My baseball team, Toronto’s Blue Jays won’t figure in the playoffs about 17 games out of the wildcard position. 
  • The challengers at this point are the reigning champions (Houston Astros) and the Indians (Cleveland). Though I do wonder if there’s a team lurking in the background who will surprise us all. 

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