Welcome back to our weekly sporting review Circling the Drain where we pick our favourite bits from the weekend and look forward to what’s good for the weekend.
SHORT AND SWEET THE RIGHT INGREDIENT TO MAKE A LEAGUE INTERESTING.
Controversy in the A League this week, when the wild weather is Brisbane claimed the remaining 20 or so minutes of the A League game between Brisbane and Wellington. The home side were less than impressed that at 2-1 down to the Pheonix when the rains came and washed away the match, they were the official losers.
The decision is a rare one, but technically correct according to the rules. But instead of using it as a negative, maybe the boffins at A League HQ could think outside the square to Cosby up the ALeague.
If the rule is that once the second half has started whatever the score is at the time of declaring the game stopped, maybe the A League could introduce a new rule where the second half could finish at any time. For fairness give a two minute whistle to give them a heads up rather than just shut up shop immediately.
Think about it, how many games have plunged into boredom until the opposition scores and the other side finally wake up and realise they need a goal to win or draw. Imagine then, a second half where both sides won’t be sure when the games ends until a two minute warning goes off. It will be attacking football galore, and something for the fans. Well, except for Sunderland fans who would have already left by the time the second half starts.
FOOTBALL PRE GAME THEATRE
One thing that has been on the mind of The Gurgler is how good enjoyable it is to get in the mood of football games with the footage of the pre game wait in the tunnel.
Instead of the traditional boo the opposition for no reason, and the home team being led out by fifteen sponsor mascots and cheerleaders, there’s something to be said for both teams walking out in a ceremonial march, and the pre games tension or banter depending on the depth of the hatred of the two teams.
Although the holding of kids hands out to the middle is overkill, and even more so is the large FIFA banners behind them with the usual pot kettle message about how great football is and which of the world’s ills it can cure. FIFA quite simply shouldn’t be telling anyone what to do given their dealings and shenanigans, worst of which is the many migrant workers being killed to build stadiums in Qatar for a World Cup that no one outside the Qataris and a few well paid FIFA executives want.
Come to think of it, it is starting to sound a bit pretentious. How about a compromise. Two mascots from either side in a boxing/wrestling match just before the players walk out, and they walk behind a nominated FIFA member who the crowd can boo, and then the players come out and stand in front of a banner made by the kids instead of having their hands held onto the pitch.
US TO BID FOR 2026 FOOTBALL WORLD CUP
Whilst on the FIFA boo-wagon, nice to see the US stating that they are looking to apply to host the 2026 World Cup. One of the points of the double ballot for 2018 and 2022 was so that the countries who applied couldn’t apply for another 30 years or something equally or slightly less ridiculous.
No surprise then with a smell of US Dollars wafting under the snouts of FIFA that it is no problem for the US to throw their sizeable hat in the ring. It would be a good World Cup, and judging on their support of the 2014 it would be great, however hopefully Australia or someone in our time zone like Japan who also missed out last time are allowed to have a chance before most of the people that are alive to remember the Qatar World Cup are dead.
RUGBY LEAGUE OFF TO A GOOD START
It was one of those off season where rugby league wanted the season to hurry up and start, maybe they hurried it too much.
On the field in the last round there were two clear video referee decisions that were wrong. Previous to that a player can continue to smash a much smaller halfback for zero weeks suspension. Then off the field a nice punch up between some players, and the fact that star players can sign for other clubs after two rounds has given League plenty of things to explain. Not that referees would, as they are a protected specie who never have to own up to errors.
Rugby League needs a clean out, hopefully in time for the next TV rights review so we have some people with the whole of Rugby League, not just Channel 9 in mind.
More on League tomorrow with the Return of Kick to Come weekly League talk.
MARTIN GUPTIL’s DOUBLE HUNDRED v WINDIES
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS SMASH PREMIERS IN QLD CUP
CRYSTAL PALACE’S STYLE
Forgot that to avoid shit finals decisions you should first make the finals and then the Top 4. Both may not be a problem in current form.
Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1
The biggest spenders in world sport in the biggest game of the year in Spain.
SURPRISE BIG GAME
The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy is a knockout Cup for just the third and fourth division football teams in England. Somehow they got 72,000 to watch two third div teams Bristol City and Walsall play. Almost as many as the NRL Grand Final. For the record Bristol City took the game 2-0 to go with their pending promotion back to the Championship.
Here’s a Round Up of the best of what’s on offer this weekend for the sports nut, and casual sporting viewer alike.
CRICKET WORLD CUP SEMI #2
AUSTRALIA v INDIA
Winner to play New Zealand in the final.
NRL – PARRAMATTA V SOUTHS
V8’s in TASMANIA
F1 – MALAYSIAN GP QUALIFYING
NRL – SUPER SATURDAY
BIG SPORTS DAY – CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE NOW AND PREAPRE FOR SPORTING SLOTH
10:30AM – NRL – NZ v BRISBANE (CH9)
12:25PM – V8’s – TASMANIA RACE 6 (FOX 5)
1:00PM – CRICKET WORLD CUP FINAL (CH9 or FOX 3)
1:30PM – RUGBY LEAGUE – QLD CUP – NORTHS V REDCLIFFE (GEM)
1:00PM – NRL – ROOSTERS v CANBERRA
2:00PM – A LEAGUE MATCHES
3:30PM – F1 MALAYSIAN GP – PRE RACE HYPE AND RACE
TIME FOR A SUPER MULTI = it’s been too long.
CRICKET – AUSTRALIA to beat India
NRL – WESTS TIGERS to beat Bulldogs
FOOTBALL – UNDER 2.5 GOALS – SCOTLAND v NTH IRELAND
FOOTBALL – OVER 2.5 GOALS – GERMANY v AUSTRALIA
FOOTBALL – OVER 2.5 GOALS – DENMARK v USA
FOOTBALL – GEORGIA to beat Malta
FOOTBALL – ENGLAND to beat Lithuania
FOOTBALL – DRAW Slovakia v Luxembourg
Like the rest of this bit, the Ticket to Ride returns. It is an attempt to having a rolling $1 bet over a minimum of 5 weeks. Our best “streak” thus far = 1 week.
THIS WEEK’S BET
F1 – NICO HULKENBURG TO FINISH TOP 6 @ $17