The Weekend Wrap – March 26th 2018
An eventful weekend included the return of the footy season, Socceroo struggles and a ball tampering disgrace.
Happy Monday, or unhappy Monday depending on how big your weekend was.
In the world of sport, it was a huge weekend, with so much going on at home and abroad, and in some cases, a little too much going on.
So let’s take quick look back with our weekend wrap.
AFL Round 1
Footy, it’s great to have you back.
From Thursday night until late Sunday night we were treated to an action-packed opening round which had a bit of everything, including a few too many 50-metre penalties.
The season started off with a bang when Carlton jumped out of the gates to kick the first five goals of the game against Richmond, but couldn’t stop the Tiger train when the reigning Premiers came home strong for a 26 point win. Charlie Curnow starred with five goals for the Blues, but the umpires matched him with five 50-metre penalties!
The AFL recently instructed its umpires to enforce the ‘protected zone’ for when a mark or free kick is given, but admitted that they got a bit too excited and made a few mistakes on Thursday night.
It was as if the umpires were on a bonus for the amount of 50’s they paid, as they managed to anger 90,000 spectators all at once.
Tom Mitchell proved that 50 is the new 40 by racking up 54 disposals against Collingwood on Saturday night, while Nathan Buckley and Eddie McGuire probably aged 10 years following the stress of watching their side lose by 34 points to a hungry Hawks team. Mitchell’s 54 possessions were the most ever recorded in AFL history… can he crack 60 this season?
We love a Sunday afternoon at the MCG, and Melbourne and Geelong’s clash did not disappoint. The Dees fought back from a 27 point halftime deficit and had a golden chance to win the game in the dying moments, but ruckman and cult-hero Max Gawn’s accuracy was gone, as he sprayed a shot from 30 metres out with only 10 seconds remaining.
While Melbourne supporters were Dee-stroyed, Cats fans were celebrating the return of favourite son Gary Ablett Jr. who along with Joel Selwood, enjoyed 39 disposals and looked at home in the blue and white hoops once again. The footy world is eagerly awaiting Patrick Dangerfield’s return from injury to see what the star-studded trio can do in the same lineup.
It’s only round 1, but the pressure is already mounting on the Western Bulldogs courtesy of a dismal 82 point loss to GWS and Tom Liberatore rupturing his ACL. The 2016 Premiers went from heroes to zeroes after missing the finals last season, and the heat is on ahead of their clash with West Coast this Sunday.
Sunday night footy was the perfect way to cap off an eventful weekend (unless you’re a West Coast fan), and Swans’ star Luke Parker put his hand up for a spot in the Socceroos squad with this early contender for goal of the year.
The Socceroos vs Norway Friendly was not so Friendly
New manager Bert van Marwijk’s first game in charge for the Socceroos started well when we took the lead through Jackson Irvine after 19 minutes, but World Cup dreams quickly turned to nightmares when Norway came back for a 4-1 victory. Norway have not qualified for a World Cup since 1998, and on paper, this result was nothing short of embarrassing.
But let’s not panic… yet.
Remember it was only a friendly, and the squad has not had long to get familiar with Bert’s system, formation and football philosophies. He handed a start to a few new faces (including Andrew Nabbout and Dimitri Petratos) who will struggle to get game time during the World Cup, and his first friendly was a good opportunity to experiment with the team before it’s too late.
Remember, this manager took Holland to the World Cup Final in 2010, so let’s not run him out of town… yet.
NBA: No Hurry for the Return of Curry, LeBron Being LeBron
Bad news for the Golden State Warriors, really bad. Steph Curry will not be returning until at least the second round of the playoffs due to an MCL injury in his left knee.
Coach Steve Kerr confirmed that there is “no way” Curry will be fit to play in the first round of the playoffs, and we can’t help but wonder if his season is over. But bad news for the Warriors means good news for the Rockets, as Houston appear to be cruising at the top of the Western Conference.
Could this be the season that we finally see liftoff for the Rockets deep into the playoffs?
Over in the East, LeBron James continues to do LeBron James things, scoring 37 points and leading his team to their fifth straight win with a hard fought W over the Brooklyn Nets.
While we don’t cover much cricket at Echo Charlie, we had to address the ball tampering disgrace which happened in South Africa this weekend. Captain Steve Smith and the Australian cricket team have caused national outrage, and even Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has expressed his disappointment.
For a team that prides themselves of playing hard but fair, this is just not cricket, and we can’t help but wonder how long this has been going on for.
Not only are they cheats, they are also really stupid, because this is not Saturday afternoon cricket in the park, this is world class test cricket watched by millions of people, and covered by more cameras than a Justin Bieber concert. How did Steve Smith and co. think they could get away with this?
Take your bat and tampered ball and go home lads.
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