By Max Lane.
Another sporting week goes by, and another one before that. Too much sport to comment on? Perhaps procrastination is closer to the mark. But since the readership is somewhere around the amount of finishers expected in this weekend’s Australian GP, we’ll allow ourselves a moment of sloth.
There’s plenty to ramble and whine about as Australian Football seasons begin, as does the F1, and various other sporting endeavours. It’s a hard job, maybe not quite as hard as the editors of reality TV shows who have to turn 1000’s of hours of whining, crying, and general dullity into a 60 minute TV show, but someone’s gotta do it. Lots of people will do it better, but that hasn’t stopped us before.
Finally, out of character for this site, got 2 / 3 tips up last week including a rare QRL multi at a respectable $18.50 and a near miss with van Gisbergen. Bet early – bet often.
The STABILO BOSS HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK – brought to you by Greg Grant Saddlery.
– Australian Cricket Team beating South Africa in the Test series. Talk about turn around. Less than 12 months ago we were truly pitiful against India and awful at times against England. A Clean sweep of England and an away win against the number 1 side in the world is welcome progress indeed. The top order started to fire, the bowlers are taking wickets, fielding is spot on. Happy days and time to sit back and smug ourselves to sleep.
– Return of Rugby League proper. The subtle rule changes allowed for a slightly quicker game, and there were plenty of tries, some great comeback, a handful of upsets, and Souths beating the Roosters. We’ll go into more depth in our Kick to Come article tomorrow. There’s some sizzle for you.
– Adelaide 500 – reminder of what the good old days of Adelaide F1 was like. Volvo taking second and drivers celebrating with on air special for the fans. Boxes ticked. Still disagree with three races instead of two, but Grandpa can go and have his nap now.
– Day / Night Sheffield Shield. The future is now, and isn’t it bright. Lights, Pink Balls, pure gold. What a way to connect with the fan of shield cricket by moving it to day/night to allow him more time to catch the action.
– FA Cup quarter finals. Setting up a final four of Arsenal, lower EPL Hull, even lower 2nd division Wigan, and even lower third division Sheffield United. The comp is now set up nicely for Arsenal to break their trophy drought, or set up their most spectacular choke to date.
THE “ABOVE THE TOP SHELF” PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
PNG RUGBY LEAGUE TEAM
I can’t recall a more welcome addition to any sporting competition in sporting history. The Gurgler was lucky enough to head to Dolphin Oval for their first ever game in the QRL and can’t recommend the experience more. The game was exciting from start to end, and the expectation of brutal first 20 minutes followed by drop off didn’t eventuate and the game flowed nicely for the whole 80.
Even the usual fanatic Dolphin fans couldn’t help but enjoy and marvel at some of the hits and reckless abandon of attacking football on offer. The atmosphere at the quite full ground was as good as you’ll get in League in Brisbane outside of Suncorp Stadium.
One can only imagine what kind of buzz would be up in PNG for their home games, but the first event resulted in another win and 2/2 is a good start for the Hunters. A vision of PNG on NRL Grand Final day gets the goosebumps on notice. If you get a chance, keep an eye on the QRL website for their away game near you.
GRAB THE PLUNGER – THE – brought to you by Ne – Neon.
– Channel 9 / Sydney Centric NRL. More in the Kick to Come but if they could honestly believe that two of the favourites for the wooden spoon this year St George and Wests Tigers is a better game for the non Channel 9 exec than Manly v Melbourne or any of the other games on offer than we can only hope that they get a monkey to do the last rounds of the schedule as if it matches their Parra-Tigers stacked schedule last year than the average not Fox owning fan will suffer.
Yes, we’re aware that all but the last 5 or 6 rounds are drawn at start of year, but have a look at last year’s final rounds to marvel at how many games the last two teams received on Channel 9, when it was reasonably obvious to even the worst tipster that they had a hand each on the spoon.
INTERMISSION LINK – Formula 1 Themed.
Some of The Gurgler’s favourites.
UPCOMING WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS – presented by Womack Industries Inc. (Formerly Womack & Womack)
– Australian F1 GP – more in our F1 preview later.
– AFL Part 1 – the season kicks off with part 1. With a first up game at the G likely to have more fans than the entire first round of the NRL, it’s good to have some balance back on the sporting landscape.
– More NRL, and the 2000km local derby between Qld and North Qld at Suncorp Stadium.
– An A League game between Brisbane and Sydney which is nearly half the distance as the NRL derby is on. With 5 – 2 and 4 – 0 wins already to the orange men, and Frank as popular as turd in an elevator, it should prove as interesting as A League gets.
– Two more T20 games between South Africa and Australia. With Hogg starring of course.
– The Sydney Racing Carnival starts to get interesting for those who like a punt.
THE BEST BETS OF THE WEEKEND
Due to it’s irregularity – we wish to boast once more about last time’s tips. Please look below for crash landing to reality.
Brisbane Roar to beat Sydney FC 3 – 2 @ $23.00
Collingwood (+8.5 start) v Freo
GWS (+48.5 start) v Swans
Gold Coast – to win by 1 -24
Port Adelaide (+24.5 start) v Carlton
$1 multi $19.00
Ipswich to beat Wynnum
PNG to beat Central
Easts (-24.5 start) v Sunshine Coast
Tweed to beat Norths
$1 Multi $11.00