The Weekend Wrap – April 9th 2018
Another wild weekend of sport featured hoops and hamstrings, bus attacks, comebacks and another Tiger tale.
Another Monday means another weekend of sport to try and decipher, from bus attacks to comebacks, and hamstrings and hoops. Here’s a quick review.
AFL Round 3
The excitement of Geelong’s star-studded midfield trio of Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Ablett was literally hamstrung on Sunday, when Ablett was forced off the field with a hamstring injury during the last quarter of the Cats’ 15 point loss to West Coast.
The 33 year old will miss his Kardinia Park homecoming against St. Kilda this Sunday, and most likely won’t be back in action for at least three weeks.
After a summer of hype, Geelong have struggled to live up to expectations, and are lucky not to be 0-3 after managing to escape with a victory over Melbourne in Round 1 thanks to Max Gawn’s inaccurate kicking, along with a one point loss to Hawthorn in Round 2.
The Western Bulldogs have lifted a massive weight off their shoulders courtesy of a 21 point win over Essendon, while Port Adelaide are the only undefeated side after three rounds of footy, sitting alone at the top of the table.
Nathan Buckley is breathing a sigh of relief thanks to Collingwood’s 24 point victory over Carlton on Friday night, in what was a worrying display of footy from Brendon Bolton’s side, who appear to be lacking direction and basic skills at the moment. The AFL might be just as worried, as the Blues still have four Friday night games, and one Thursday night game remaining in footy’s coveted timeslot this season.
English Premier League
The Manchester Derby did not fail to disappoint, with Manchester United’s remarkable comeback putting City’s title celebrations on hold for at least another week. The blue half of Manchester appeared to be set for a league clinching victory when they went 2-0 up after just 30 minutes on Saturday, with their boisterous fans goading their fierce rivals throughout the entire first half.
But whatever Jose Mourinho said (or most likely screamed) to his United squad at halftime must have worked some magic, because the ‘away’ team came out swinging in the second half, and managed to score three goals in 16 minutes, holding on for a famous 3-2 derby win.
United’s fans celebrated as if they had won the league following a famous comeback against their neighbours, while City were left to wonder how they had conceded six goals in two games following a disappointing 3-0 loss to Liverpool in the Champions League quarter finals midweek.
While Liverpool wowed the soccer world last week with their 3-0 win over City, they were frustrated by a defensive-minded Everton side with an uninspiring 0-0 draw in the Merseyside Derby on the weekend.
The Philadelphia 76ers are rolling into the playoffs and have now won 14 straight games, including a 132-130 win over Cleveland this weekend. Aussie Ben Simmons is hitting form at the right time of the season and is averaging a triple-double during the 76ers’ winning streak, helping his team climb up to third place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Despite Philly’s hot form and trusting in their process, it must be noted that it’s that time of year where many teams are tanking, or saving themselves for the playoffs, so don’t book your flights to The City of Brotherly Love just yet. There’s no doubt that the 76ers have had an impressive season so far, and we would love to see Simmons have a strong postseason campaign, but we’ll have to wait for the playoffs to begin to decide if this young team is a genuine contender.
Over in the West, OKC were impressive as they defeated the Houston Rockets by six points, while the Pelicans enjoyed a win on the road against Golden State by the same margin.
The NBA regular season concludes on Thursday (AEST), and we cannot wait for the playoffs!
Khabib Nurmagomedov was unimpressive in his victory over Al Iaquinta in their lightweight title bout in Brooklyn, despite winning the fight via a lopsided decision. But UFC 223 will not be remembered for what happened inside the octagon, as Conor McGregor lost his mind and went ballistic outside a news conference to promote the event.
After an already tough week for the UFC following Tony Ferguson’s withdrawal from the main event, Irishman McGregor (who has not fought in the Octagon since November 2016) threw a trolley, a metal barricade and a trash can at a bus carrying UFC fighters, shattering its windows and causing Mike Chiesa and Ray Borg to pull out of their fights due to glass cuts.
Although it resembled a WWE style stunt, McGregor’s antics were no joke, and landed him in jail after being arrested by the NYPD. UFC boss Dana White was furious, but his latest indiscretion grows the rivalry with fellow lightweight Nurmagomedov and will most likely set up a legitimate grudge match.
McGregor’s last ‘competitive’ bout was his overhyped boxing match against the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, but that so-called rivalry seemed more like a staged cash grab with both fighters laughing all the way to the bank. Fortunately, this rivalry with Khabib will be 100% real.
Tiger Woods did not enjoy the fairytale comeback that the sport of golf needed (and many begged for) during the Masters, but did finish strong with a three-under-par final round at Augusta on Monday morning.
Although many assumed he was a genuine contender to win, it was Tiger’s first Major in three years, and he is now once again ranked in the top 100. We get the feeling that the Tiger story has a few unwritten chapters remaining, and his presence will be bigger than the entire sport for the remainder of 2018.
American Patrick Reed held off a late charge from Jordan Speith to win his first Major and the coveted green jacket.
On a serious note, 23 year old Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts tragically lost his life during the famous Paris-Roubaix race due to a cardiac arrest. His family and friends are all in our thoughts following this devastating news.
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