A reasonably successful weekend of Australian sporting results, discounting the Davis Cup.
Australia defeated SA in T20, crowned a new Heavyweight Champion, makes the final in 7s Rugby and golfer Adam Scott holds on for victory in WGC Cadillac Championship.
AFL Paul Couch Round
In honour and recognition of Champion footballer Paul Couch who passed away this weekend, here are the latest challenge results and preseason scores.
Western Bulldogs vs Melbourne Demons 1.7.9 (60) 0.10.12 (72)
Brisbane Lions vs St Kilda Saints postponed
North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Collingwood Magpies 1.10.8 (77) : 0.12.13 (85)
Essendon Bombers vs Geelong Cats 0.3.6 (24) : 0.17.9 (111)
Sydney Swans vs Greater Western Sydney 1.8.3 (60) : 0.14.10 (94)
West Coast Eagles vs Gold Coast Suns 0.7.13 (55) : 1.6.7 (52)
Season Kicked off with a win to Broncos over the much-hyped Eels, Rabbitohs cook the Chooks, Titans too strong for Knights, Manly mauled by Bulldogs, Raiders win the battle with Panthers, Tigers lucky against Warriors and Cowboys brush off jet lag with a win over Sharks. Storm and Dragons sat back and watched all this unfurl while waiting their turn on Monday night.
Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs 10: 42
Gold Coast Titans vs Newcastle Knights 30 : 12
North Queensland Cowboys vs Cronulla Sharks 20 : 14
Wests Tigers vs New Zealand Warriors 34 : 26
Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers 30 : 22
Manly Sea Eagles vs Canterbury Bulldogs 6 : 28
Parramatta Eels vs Brisbane Broncos 4 : 17
Super Rugby XV
Round 2 and the Reds continue to show lose, this time against the Force, Brumbies win a hard slog against Waratahs, Rebels decided to play in the second half but forgot two halves make a game going down to the Bulls. In the Australian Conference, Brumbies on top with Force, then Waratahs, Rebels and Reds.
Bulls vs Rebels 45 : 25
Cheetahs vs Stormers 10 : 20
Sharks vs Jaguares 19 : 15
Reds vs Force 6 : 22
Highlanders vs Hurricanes
Chiefs vs Lions 32 : 36
Brumbies vs Waratahs 32 : 15
Crusaders vs Blues 28 : 13
Cricket – International Stuff
Australia finally found a way to win a T20 International, beating South Africa in Game 2. Set an imposing 205 to win,the Australian’s looked to be in the proverbial at 3-32. Maxwell (75) joined Warner (77) at the crease and went the tonk, sending the ball to all parts of the Wanderers Stadium, in the process creating a new world record fourth wicket stand of 161 off 87 balls. Both batsmen were dismissed in the final over and requiring 2 runs off the last ball to win, Marsh held sway and Australia clinched the win.
Fawkner 3 – 28 was the pick of the bowlers.
Cricket – Domestic Stuff
After day 2
Tasmanian Tigers 301 242/10 (75.4) 59/3 (17)
New South Wales 271 271/10 (89.1) 0
Tasmanian Tigers lead by 30 runs with 7 wickets remaining in the 2nd innings.
Queensland Bulls 364 190/10 (71.3) 174/9 (55)
Victorian Bushrangers 147 147/10 (53.1) 0
Queensland Bulls lead by 217 runs with 1 wicket remaining in the 2nd innings.
Western Warriors 342 311/10 (106.2) 31/2 (13)
Southern Redbacks 230
Western Warriors lead by 112 runs with 8 wickets remaining in the 2nd innings.
Basketball – Wildcats take the title in the West
Perth Wildcats win a seventh title defeating NZ Heartbreakers in game three 75 – 52. It was the stifling defence, keeping NZ guard Cedric Jackson scoreless in a title decider that proved the difference. Wildcats lost the two previous Grand Finals to NZ and no doubt there will be some major alcoholic consumption in the West tonight, the monkey is off their back.
Boxing – Australian Lucas Browne New Heavyweight Champion of the World
In a first for Australia, Lucas Brown won the WBA World Heavyweight Championship, beating Russia’s Ruslan Chagaev in the 10th round. Fighting in front of his home crowd, the Russian knocked Browne down in the sixth round, only to see the Aussie stay on his feet until the bell. With the Russian holding a superior record, the underdog Browne kept himself in the fight until the tenth round, when the Russian attempted a left hook and exposed himself to a Browne right hook that sent the Russian to the canvas. Chagaev rose to his feet only to confront a barrage of hooks that forced the Ref to intervene.
With so many mickey mouse divisions and alphabets that have little meaning, the WBA is one of the prestigious three titles in World Boxing, along with WBC and IBF. Browne is promoted by Ricky Hatton and trains with Nigel Benn, adding considerable clout and kudos to the NSW fighter.
Golf – Scott it again
Adam Scott has held on to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral. With a strong performance over the first two days, and slipping back slightly with an over the card third round, Scott shot a three under final round to hold off Bubba Watson by one stroke with Rory McIlroy (+2 for the day) a further two shots back. Worst round for the day must go to defending Dustin Johnson who shot a 7 over round, going from challenger to chump in 18 holes.
Kevin the Muscat will not be sending Barmy Arnie a Christmas Card this year after suggesting the Sydney FC Coach’s louder than normal opposition (can this be possible) to a ref decision was the catalyst for Kosta Barbarouses having an extended holiday. Citing previous rough tactics carried out by SFC players and lack of action against them, perhaps he who makes the loudest noise gets paid more attention.
In the football action, Adelaide continue with their impressive form putting four into the net and of course all goals were scored by Bruce (see last week’s edition), and goalkeeper Bruce kept a clean sheet. Nobody expected the Spanish coach Bruce to be so successful in his first season at the A-League.
Victory defeated a brave Mariners, Melbourne City’s Bruno Fornaroli scored a hat trick against Sydney FC, Roar too good for Wanderers. Perth and Jets have time to cool their heels as they play on Monday night.
Central Coast Mariners vs Melbourne Victory 0 : 2
Melbourne City vs Sydney FC 3 : 0
Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United 0 : 4
Brisbane Roar vs WS Wanderers 3 : 2
Perth Glory vs Newcastle Jets Monday night game
UFC – Chokers
In a performance decided by choking as an acceptable manoeuvre in a sport (?), a loud mouth Irishman lost in a brawl, proving that you shouldn’t get in the ring (Octoagon) against a bigger person. Going up a weight division to fight, McGregor proved his mouth had more power and sting than his fighting prowess. In the women’s event, reigning women’s champ in the Super duper bantamweight division Holms also lost, but I can think of better ways to earn money and personally I am not a fan as you can possibly tell but I do like the drama. Both lost to choker holds.
V8s – Fast cars driving sleek and modern
The Adelaide festival of speed 500 provided thrills spill and downpours. Day one, two races, Jamie Whincup wins the first and James Courtney the second.
Day Two one race one hell of confusion. Reminding me of the last Adelaide GP I attended, the race was called off due to excessive water, Adelaide turned it on for the major need for speed event, unfortunately the taps from above were also turned on. Delayed warmup laps that weren’t, where the safety car lead the field under a controlled start that was challeneged by Team Red Bull as illegal, the race was finally suspended after two hours with local driver Nick Percat declared the winner.
The wild one Nick K was too ill to play Davis Cup against USA, although Big bad Bernie (BBB) decided to vent frustration during his crucial match against John Isner, questioning the Wild One’s health status. Obviously unable to concentrate for great periods of time BBB will never know what he could have achieved if focused on the match and not Wild One’s couch position, going down 6-4 6-4 5-7 7-6. Australia lost and will now have to qualify in the Group stages. In moments like this I recall the George Bernard Shaw quote of youth being wasted on the young.
Did anyone else think it strange that the spiritual home of grass tennis, Kooyong had to have turf laid on the centre court hard surface? Maybe next time we take it to the Mildura grass courts again.
Cycling – World Championships London
Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer turned in an impressive performance at the World’s in London, narrowly losing the sprint final to GB’s Jason Kenny. It is the first time an Australian male has been on the sprint podium since Perko in 2010, Glaetzer posted the fastest time in qualifications, defeated legendary Theo Boss in quarters and pushed Kenny hard to narrowly lose in the final race. One to watch for Rio Olympics, when they ever get around to building the boards that is.
World Record holders and defending World Champions, the Australian Women’s Team Pursuit were disappointing in the campaign, finishing fifth, won by Team USA. Plenty of work to do but I feel that with Nettie Edmondson being hit by a car 2-3 weeks out may have hindered the team’s preparations.
Glenn O’Shea produced an inspirational ride in the Men’s Omnium, coming from 9th place before the final Points race, and with a lap to go, three riders were on equal points after taking a lap from the field. O’Shea went on to win a Bronze medal, keeping his record of standing on the podium for each of his Omnium rides. A known pursuit rider he would have been disappointed finishing 17th in this category and knows this is an area for improvement and opportunity for Rio.
Strade Bianche 2016 Spartacus rules again in the Northern Classic in the South of Europe
Fabian Cancellara won his third Strade Bianche since the event commenced in 2007. With organisers promising to name a stretch of the iconic gravel that makes this event unique in his honour if he won, Spartacus, dismissed World Champion Peter Sagan and outsprinted Zdenek Stybar, last year’s winner, at the finish in Siena.
In the women’s event, World Champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) won the second edition of the race beating European Champion Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) and Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5.
Paris Nice – Prologue
Australian rider Michael “Bling” Matthews upset time-trial specialist Tom Dumouilin winning the Paris Nice prologue by one second. In the 6km race against the clock Bling rode the course in 7 minutes and 39 seconds on his first day of racing this year, defending champion Richie Porte finished 11th after clocking 7:49. Next stage is a 198km ride from Conde-sur-Vesgre to Vendome.
Pro Running – Euroa 5th March
300m Open Final 1st Paul Tancredi, 2nd Dale Lyons, 3rd Sjane Ezard 33:154
300m Women’s and Masters Final 1st Tim Halpin, 2nd Elizabeth Ruach, 3rd Leigh Phelan 35:696
1600m Open Final 1st James Deane, 2nd Michael Preece, 3rd Christopher Palermo 4:15:445
120m Open Gift Final 1st Paul Hughes, 2nd Ryan McNamara, 3rd Kevin Brittain 12:580
120m Women’s Gift Final 1st Melissa McQuade, 2nd Mandy Emmett, 3rd Kirsty Stevens 14:337
120 U20 final 1st Mitchell White, 2nd Matt Burleigh, 3rd Samuel Grouios 12:608
550m Open Final 1st James Deane, 2nd Cameron Clayton, 3rd Meg Deane 1:9:689
70m Open Final 1st Ryan McNamara, 2nd Jason Bailey, 3rd Tim Rosen 7:649
Townsville Fire will meet Perth Lynx in the WNBL grand final series after a 91-71 win in their preliminary showdown with the SEQ Stars.
Saving an embarrassing situation had SEQ Stars qualified for the final, Basketball Australia administrators can breathe a sigh of relief. With questions of finances or lack thereof directed at SEQ Stars, some were questioning their suitability to be playing Finals when unable to meet financial obligations. With a lack of sponsorship and attendances, Basketball Australia will take back the Licence. In all this, I hope the players and staff get paid, has BA been paid? Deloittes, the liquidators, are off the bench and about to get major court time.
English Football – EPL
Chelsea 1 – 1 Stoke
Everton 2 – 3 West Ham
Manchester City 4 – 0 Aston Villa
Newcastle 1 – 3 Bournemouth
Southampton 1 – 1 Sunderland
Swansea 1 – 0 Norwich
Watford 0 – 1 Leicester
Tottenham 2 – 2 Arsenal
Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Liverpool
West Brom 1 – 0 Manchester Utd
English Football – Championship
Brentford 1 – 2 Charlton
Derby 2 – 0 Huddersfield
Ipswich 1 – 0 Nottingham
Leeds 2 – 1 Bolton
Milton Keynes 2 – 0 QPR
Preston 0 – 0 Brighton
Reading 2 – 2 Fulham
Sheffield Wed 0 – 1 Rotherham
Burnley 1 – 0 Blackburn
Bristol City 0 – 2 Cardiff
Middlesbrough 2 -1 Wolves
Birmingham 1 – 0 Hull
Hamilton 0 – 1 Motherwell
Hearts 1 – 0 Partick
Celtic 0 – 0 Dundee FC
Dundee Utd 0 – 1 Aberdeen
Real Madrid 7 – 1 Celta Vigo
Villarreal 0 – 1 Las Palmas
Getafe 1 – 1 Sevilla
La Coruna 3 – 3 Malaga
Betis 0 – 0 Granada
Eibar 0 – 4 Barcelona
Gijon 0 – 2 Ath. Bilbao
Real Sociedad 1 – 1 Levante
Valencia 1 – 3 Atl. Madrid
- FC Koln 1 – 3 Schalke
Augsburg 3 – 3 Leverkusen
Bremen 4 – 1 Hannover
Frankfurt 1 – 1 Ingolstadt
Stuttgart 5 – 1 Hoffenheim
Wolfsburg 2 – 1 Monchengladbach
Dortmund 0 – 0 Bayern
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics 120 : 103
New Orleans Pelicans vs Utah Jazz 94 : 106
New York Knicks vs Detroit Pistons 102 : 89
Washington Wizards vs Indiana Pacers 99 : 100
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Brooklyn Nets 132 : 118
Chicago Bulls vs Houston Rockets 108 : 100
San Antonio Spurs vs Sacramento Kings 104 : 94
Los Angeles Clippers vs Atlanta Hawks 97 : 107