In a weekend in which we saw South Sydney Rabbitohs show there premiership credentials and the AFL become an even tighter competition we launch our first sports report for all the Aussies that visit here and ex pats living and working in Europe
On Friday night we saw South Sydney Rabbitohs beat the West Tigers 54-10 at the Olympic Stadium at Homebush, with Russell Crowe and honorary Aussie Joel Madden in the crowd the Bunnies showed their premiership credentials by flogging a Tigers team that had at least 8 first graders out and look like fighting it out for the wooden spoon with the Auckland Warriors who were flogged 62-6 by the Penrith Panthers later in the weekend. South Sydney only needs to keep their roster healthy for the rest of the season and they will be there deep into September.
In the Second game on Friday night we saw a pretty ordinary game at Suncorp Stadium between Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans that Brisbane won 32-6. It was an ordinary display that is likely to be given more time at the judiciary on Tuesday night than it will in the weekend papers.
On Saturday night we saw St George Illawarra flog an ordinary Parramatta Eels 32-12 in Wollongong, led by new recruit Josh Dugan and Trent Merrin the Dragons passed 30 points in a game for the first time in 18 months against a team that have about two years of football in front of them before they will look like a top four side.
In Townsville the Cowboys hosted the Roosters in torrential rain and the Roosters left with the points 12-8 leaving the cowboys at 4-6 for the season, one of the premiership favourites before a ball was kicked this season need to address the lack of a dummy half at the club to get the team going forward, with the two current Australian props and Jonathon Thurston sterring the team around the park they have the talent to make the finals but will need to get some wins on the board in the next month if they are going to improve on last season’s disappointing finish.
In Sunday arvo footy we saw the Sharkies host the Canberra Raiders at Shark Park in front of a packed house and beat the Raiders 30-20 to remain in the eight, with uncertainty still hanging over their season due to the ASADA investigation and witch hunt for Paul Gallen the Sharks are starting to show some consistency that will see them finish in the top half of the comp dependant on the outcome of off field issues.
In Newcastle the inconsistent Knights hosted the Bulldogs in front of 20,000 people and lead 12-0 early and 12-8 at halftime ran away with it in the second half to win 44-8 and maintain fourth on the ladder.
In Monday night football we see the Manly Sea Eagles travel to AAMI Park to take on the Melbourne Storm, with Manly losing to the Roosters and Melbourne dropping two in a row for the first time in three years you would expect to see Melbourne win on home turf with how angry Craig Bellamy would have been at training this week, either that or the Storm boys might want to catch the flight home to Sydney with Manly rather than front up to training on Tuesday if they drop three in a row.
On Friday night we saw The West Coast Eagles host North Melbourne at Subiaco and get home with a goal to Nic Naitanui after the fulltime siren to win 90-88.
On Saturday we saw Hawthorn beat the Canberra sorry Greater Western Sydney Giants 140-57 in Launceston with Jaryd Roughhead leading the goal count, at this stage of the season it looks as though the Hawks are on track to go one better than last year. We also saw the Brisbane Lions beat the Essendon Bombers 98-88 at Docklands with ex Eagle Brent Staker kicking the winning goals after two years out with knee injuries. We also saw the Gold Coast Suns beat the Western Bulldogs 93-61 to be 4-4 after 8 rounds of the comp, in a sign that it is going to be a long season for the Doggies they celebrated winning the toss.
At the MCG Collingwood beat the previously unbeaten Geelong Cats 102-96 in front of nearly 75,000 freezing fans. In the game of the round we saw the Sydney Swans host the Fremantle Dockers at the SCG and in a seesawing game where both teams had the chance to win and lose the game it finished in a 70 all draw which is a bit like kissing your sister with both coaches conceding that their respective teams did not deserve to win the game.
On Sunday we saw Carlton we beat Port Adelaide 109-91 at Docklands and Adelaide beat a disappointing St Kilda 87-47 at Footie park, at the MCG we saw Richmond beat the improved Melbourne Demons 106-72 to be at 5-3 after 8 rounds and dare I say it destined to see September action for the first time since most of their squad were in kindergarten and preschool.
On Friday night we saw the Melbourne Rebels register their first win as a franchise against a South African team by beating the Cape Town Stormers 30-21 in Melbourne without the input of Kurtley Beale who has been stood down while dealing with drinking and anger management issues, he looks like missing the lions test matches while he deals with these problems and looks two have played his last game in Rebels colours with a move back too NSW tipped in the off season ending a mixed two years in Rebels colours for the enigmatic Wallaby.
On Saturday night we saw the Western Force beaten in Perth by the Durban Sharks 23-13, with the Force having played their grand final for 2013 by beating the Crusaders a few weeks back the less said about them the better. We also saw the inconsistent Queensland Reds lose to the Cheetahs 27-13 at Free State on the High Veldt in South Africa, for a team that will provide the bulk of the Wallabies this year it was a disappointing team performance in a game you would expect them to win.
At Homebush we were treated to an entertaining local derby and a half between the NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies with the resurgent Waratahs winning 28-22, with a change of coach and basically the same squad it’s amazing what a coach who likes to punch on and isn’t afraid to get his point across in the car park rather than a powerpoint presentation can be a motivator for rugby players after all. The down side to this game was seeing injuries to certain Wallabies George Smith and Tatufu Polota-Noa with George leaving the field with a knee injury and big Taf certain to miss with a broken right arm.
With the Wallabies team to be announced later tonight to tackle the lions im going to name the team I think will be named allowing for injuries to key players at the moment:- 1. Dan Palmer 2. Stephen Moore 3. Benn Robinson 4. Sitaleki Timani 5. James Horwill (C) 6. Dave Dennis 7. Michael Hooper 8. Ben Mowen 9. Will Genia 10.Berrick Barnes 11. Digby Ioane 12. Adam Ashley –Cooper 13. James O’Conner 14. Israel Falou 15. Jesse Mogg With Ben Alexander, James Slipper Rob Simmons Ben Maclaman, Wycliff Palu, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Phipps and the Faingaa twins making up the rest of the squad. Im tipping that Quade Cooper will be left out as he and Robbie Deans do not trade text messages let alone Christmas cards and will be paying the price for his toxic environment claims last year.
Let us know what you think of the first column and whether we continue with it or I can let my mum buy it on Ebay or gumtree the week after next
Good new section, good round up!