As all grand finals should, the 2018/19 A-League decider loomed as a tight and unpredictable affair. Both Perth Glory and Sydney FC had every reason to believe they would prevail at Optus Stadium. The fervent local crowd gave the locals an extra leg, yet the superb recent form of the Sky Blues had every Glory fan trembling with fear after Sydney’s demolition of Melbourne Victory in the semi-finals. As expected, a cagey atmosphere marked the early minutes. Both sides had half chances, mostly from promising headers. Dino Djulbic went close for the home side before Rhyan Grant sneaked in at the near post and had a chance of his own. Despite those early scares, the contest remained a little conservative. Both sides appeared to believe that the final half-hour of the grand final would make all the difference; biding their time for the dramatic events to follow. Just short of thirty minutes, Sydney looked to have taken the lead when Michael Zullo and Alex Brosque combined on the left … [Read more...] about Sydney FC pinch grand final from premiers Perth
Evening Roarers! I’m pleased to tell you that today I successfully complete the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon. Great news for me, but bad news for my aching calves, and bad news for you, as today’s column is a little light on as a result. Let’s get started. Blowouts be damned, Brendon Bolton doesn’t deserve scrutiny What’s worse is when your team plays in the last game of the round and puts in a poor performance, as Carlton have done this week. It makes you public enemy No.1 in the media for the week to come, especially when it comes to big clubs like the Blues. Undoubtedly one of the big talking points of the media cycle this week will be the future of Brendon Bolton at the Blues. Expect the conversation to follow much the same lines as it did two weeks ago when Carlton were uncompetitive against North Melbourne. My take? Quite simply, it’s unrealistic to expect any more from Brendon Bolton than what we’re getting right now. His arrival … [Read more...] about Five talking points from AFL Round 9
Well that’s a wrap! After 30 weeks in Australian top-flight football, Perth Glory hosted Sydney FC in front of over 56,000 fans at Optus Stadium. Sydney secured their fourth A-League championship, but let’s see how all 10 clubs performed throughout season 2018/19. Adelaide United While going one better than last seasons fifth, the Reds’ inconsistency led to only 12 wins. Australian marquee Craig Goodwin showed spark throughout the season, with nine assists and ten goals. The Reds hit top form at just the right time of the season, knocking out Melbourne City 1-0 in the semi-finals then pushing Perth Glory to a tightly contested penalty shoot-out. Brisbane Roar John Aloisi’s exit midway through the season added to a struggling season for Brisbane. Interim coach Darren Davies was unable to counter the losses, ending with just four wins. Eric Bauthéac and Dylan Wenzel-Halls showed promise, however new coach and Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler will have his work … [Read more...] about A-League season review
A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size England will look to become champions of the world for the first time in their history when the Cricket World Cup kicks off on May 30 in London. Currently sitting first in the ODI world rankings, England’s one-day form has been outstanding, winning five of their seven matches this year. The hosts will go into the tournament as one of the favourites, and with the competition being played on home soil, there has never been a better time for the Eoin Morgan’s men to do their nation proud. Squadsquad up until May 22 but this is how they currently stand: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood. Alex Hales was dumped from the squad last month and is yet to be replaced. The squad consists of six batsmen including Buttler, four bowlers and … [Read more...] about Can the hosts win the Cricket World Cup?
A couple of Origin hopefuls put their hand up, a former Tiger haunts his old side and proof that good things happen to good people. Scott Pryde has conveniently decided to copy his Dragons and take the week off, so I’m on board to bring you my talking points for Round 10. Melbourne have found Billy Slater’s heir for the third time and they may still hold onto all three Fast forward to midway through 2019 and they are spoilt for choice. Scott Drinkwater was initially touted as Slater’s replacement before he tore his pec in the pre-season, seeing Jahrome Hughes handed the gig. But a concussion forced the 24-year old out of Thursday night’s game against the Tigers and Parramatta junior Ryan Papenhuyzen lined up in the number one jersey. Hughes had already established himself in Melbourne’s first-grade squad after filling in for an injured Slater in Round 12 last year. The 24-year old made that much of an impression that when Slater returned he wasn’t … [Read more...] about Six talking points from NRL Round 10