A great weekend in Australian sport

I can’t remember the last time the start of the footy season was filled with such intrigue. We’re three weeks into the NRL and two weeks into the AFL and already we’re having to rethink about who looks like they’re on the way up, down or up the creek. Actually, there was heaps to like about a whole lot of things in the world of Australian sport over the weekend.


Let’s start with the NRL.  The Storm keep being the Storm, ruthless and relentless, while the Rabbitohs are also 3-0 but perhaps less impressive. The Roosters showed that they can play the long game and eventually run over sides in the last quarter of the game – this was more like their usual form. The Sea Eagles were very impressive away, especially with Tom Terrific back in the side. His interplay with DCE is possibly as good as any in the comp. On the other side of the coin, the Broncos were a bungling mess – goodness knows how they were in it right up until the last 10 seconds. Too inconsistent! Penrith also have some work to do after a very lacklustre effort. Big money spent on the Clearys looks shaky at the moment. In the enigma class we have Wests Tigers – showed flashes again but this was one they should have won.  The Dragons won but almost threw it away, and now they’ve lost Widdop for a long spell, perhaps the season. The Eels came back to earth and got the reality check they needed. Canterbury were the Dogs of old with a lot of gutsy defence early before unleashing a bit of sparkle later. Honourable mention to the Titans who showed considerable fight but seem to be one or two class players short of really competitive. NRL player of the week has to be the Bulldogs fullback Nick Meaney who was safe at the back under a lot of pressure (he copped a couple beltings but got up and got on with it) and sparked an excellent counter-attacking play with a long, swerving run that ended in a try to Reimis Smith.


Still on rugby league, in the QRL, Easts Tigers and Sunshine Coast Falcons remain undefeated after four Rounds. Their clash in a fortnight (a curtain-raiser to the Rabbitohs v Warriors NRL clash on the Sunshine Coast) should be a ripper. The Blackhawks and two lots of Seagulls hover, ready to swoop. Redcliffe Dolphins finally had a win (but only by a late field goal) but the PNG Hunters are the only winless team. Player of the Round was probably young Tom Deardon, the 18-year-old halfback for Wynnum-Manly. Keep this name in the back of your mind.


In the AFL, the Pies looked very good the other night when they gave the Tigers a proper towelling! Adelaide looked more like we expect them to be, Geelong were mighty impressive and the Bulldogs came from the clouds! West Coast got their act together while the Lions at the Saints are 2-0: now who would have tipped that just a fortnight ago? The Bombers are dreadful, the Swans are bad winged, the Kangaroos look lost and Melbourne don’t seem to be in the same league. Credit to the Suns for hanging on to win in spite of their shocking kicking. Keep an eye on Port Power who show promise of what might be. AFL player of the week – probably Jordan de Goey of the Pies, five goals, skill, pace and attitude!


Match of the week and most certainly highlight of the week goes to the AFLW Grand Final. The final score may have been a bit lopsided but, hey, what a great game! Fast, tough, total commitment, skills – and a crowd of 53,034!!! Most worthy Player of the Match  and Player of the Year was again Erin Phillips. But also important to me, Class Act of the Round is shared between Carlton AFLW coach Daniel Harford (for his grace and honourable comments in defeat) and several Carlton Blues players for the way they respectfully acknowledged Erin Phillips and wished her well as she was medi-cabbed off the field – CLASS!


I know I’ve said it before with respect to last year’s inaugural NRLW season, but I think the men’s codes can learn a lot from the approach, conduct and culture of their women’s equivalents.


Elsewhere, Victoria were worthy winners of the JLT Sheffield Shield, downing NSW by 177 runs at the Junction Oval in Melbourne. Marcus Harris and James Pattinson can pack their Ashes bags! An honourable mention to Trent Copeland for a never-say-die effort for the Blues.


Meanwhile, Australia completed a 5-0 win in their ODI series against Pakistan in Dubai. Some good form from Finch, Khawaja and Maxwell with the bat with Smith and Warner to come back into the team. But I’m not getting too carried away because the Aussies conceded some large totals to their modest opponents. The World Cup in England might expose this chink.


Finally, three cheers for Ash Barty after her win in the Miami Open and her elevation into the Top 10 of the WTA’s rankings! Deserves to be named Australian Sports Star of the Week. Yet again, she is all class in her approach, demeanour and post-match comments – some Aussies ‘boys’ could learn a lot.


Roll on next weekend!



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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.


  1. A great wrap-up of the weekend in sport, Ian.
    I believe the Sea Eagles’ Tom “Terrific” Trbojevic was once a member of the Sydney Swans Academy.
    A big lump of a lad by the looks – perhaps he could’ve been the next Plugger, Bazza or Buddy (but we’ll never know).

  2. Rulebook says

    Excellent Ian and totally agree aflw was the biggest story of the weekend to be part of the massive crowd was sensational geez it was so emotional when,Erin Phillips went down injured geez I reckon she is approaching,Tony Modra like worship in the city of churches totally agree re men’s footy can learn off the ladies rapt for,Ash Barty as well ( felt for,Chloe Scheer as well big time )

  3. Top marks to the Carlton girls that acknowledged Erin Phillips when she had to leave the field -fantastic sportswoman ship.

    Geelong irresistible at the Cattery on the weekend. Goodwin must be nearly bald by now with all the hair he must have torn out.

    On the SGC the Crows were better but still have a long way to go. A couple of great Buddy goals put the wind up me.

    Australia carries on with winning in Pakistan albiet against not the strongest opposition. Love watching :”The Big Show”.

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