=================================================================== AFL ROUND 22 - 2009 The Final Spot in the Top 8 seems down to the winner of one game - with the schedule makers at the AFL positively giddy over the Hawthorn-Essendon matchup which should net a Saturday afternoon crowd of 70,000+ at the MCG. The winner gets 8th spot. There is a slight chance the Power can sneak in if Hawthorn win - but Port Adelaide would need a mammoth percentage boost from their game with North Melbourne and rely on the Hawks only winning their game by less than a goal. St.Kilda and Geelong will finish 1st and 2nd, while Collingwood look safe in 3rd on percentages even if they lose to the Bulldogs. The Dogs will hold onto 4th unless they get ripped apart by the Magpies and the winner of the Blues-Crows match mauls the other. If Brisbane beat Sydney they will leapfrog the loser of the Blues-Crows game and host a final against that team. Unless the Blues and Crows draw - in which case on percentages the Lions would stay in 7th even if they beat Sydney. So if the higher placed teams win this round the AFL Semi Finals will be: 1 St.Kilda v 4 Western Bulldogs 2 Geelong v 3 Collingwood 5 Carlton v 8 Essendon 6 Brisbane v 6 Adelaide Interestingly if these are the matchups - only one team out of Victoria will be left in the Finals after week one. EAGLES over TIGERS A Tigers win would see them pass the Dockers into 14th spot... and that would have an impact on their draft pick right? So go with West Coast who can win and stay in 12th. CATS over WHARFIES A win serves Freo no purpose and if the Tigers win the night before - put everything you own plus half of someone else's on the Cats. Mind you they'll be like $1.04 but Geelong are certainties as they search for some form entering the Finals. CROWS over BLUES Yes I realise that above the semi final matchups suggest Carlton win this - but I think the suspension of three livewires from their side will be their undoing. Crows to take 5th spot and face the Bombers in Week One. BOMBERS over HAWKS Simply because despite losing some very winnable games recently - the Bombers seem to want to play Finals Football more than last year's premiers. POWER over KANGAROOS A few big name Power stars will retire at the end of this game and the Roos might be on the receiving end of some missed finals frustration from Port. LIONS over SWANS To think the Swans almost saved their season against St.Kilda... and now are treading water out of the Top 8. Lions can get 6th spot if they win this game - so pick them. SAINTS over DEMONS If St.Kilda drop this game - get ready to back the Cats or... dare I say it - the Magpies. Saints must win this game well to send a clear message they are fully focused on a title. MAGPIES over BULLDOGS Even though these two teams would stay in the same spots (barring a massive Bulldogs win) this game should be a great game to finish the regular season. Going with Collingwood. =================================================================== 2009 ASHES UPDATE Said all I needed to say above or here - Australia not good enough and will forever rue not bowling Hilfenhaus in the last hour of the First Test in Cardiff... that decision should hurt the Australian decision makers for the rest of their careers. Because it cost Australia the Ashes. Follow me on Twitter during the Day's Play. =================================================================== WALLABIES TEST SERIES WINTER 2009 New Zealand hold onto the Bledisloe Cup for yet another year... and the Springboks look good things to secure the Tri-Nations against the Wallabies in Perth this Saturday Night... Good time to be a Wallabies supporter... Here is the Test Schedule for Winter 2009: June 6 Sydney 7:30pm (EST) Bundaberg Rum Series v Barbarians Won 55-7 June 13 Canberra 7.30pm (EST) Bundaberg Rum Series v Italy Won 31-8 June 20 Melbourne 8.00pm (EST) Bundaberg Rum Series v Italy Won 34-12 June 27 Sydney 8.00pm (EST) Bundaberg Rum Series v France Won 22-6 July 18 Auckland 5.35pm (EST) Tri-Nations v New Zealand Lost 22-16 August 8 Cape Town 11.00pm (EST) Tri-Nations v South Africa Loss 29-17 August 22 Sydney 8.05pm (EST) Tri-Nations v New Zealand Lost 19-18 August 29 Perth 8.05pm (EST) Tri-Nations v South Africa September 5 Brisbane 8.05pm (EST) Tri-Nations v South Africa September 19 Wellington 5.35pm (EST) Tri-Nations v New Zealand =================================================================== Good luck with your tips this weekend!
Thursday, 27 August 2009
NRL Tips Round 25 2009 - AFL Tips Round 22 2009 - England win back the Ashes
NRL Tips & Previews Round 25 2009 - AFL Tips & Previews Round 22 2009 - England win back the Ashes =================================================================== It's all you Jarryd.. Parramatta fullback Jarryd Hayne continues to dazzle with his incredible form but one has to wonder how much of a joke the NRL has become when it comes to protecting 'brand names'. There's no doubt Hayne is the 'it' player of the moment and the Eels run towards the Finals is a goldmine for the NRL (as Parra supporters come out of the woodwork when their team is Finals bound) but the glaring omission of the fullback's name from the Judiciary Charge Sheet on Monday was appalling. His high tackle on John Morris in the first half was careless at best and how he was deemed not to have a case to answer is beyond many. The lack of charge underlines how the NRL will do everything it can to keep its top stars playing - even when blind freddie can see they deserve scrutiny. And guess what - looks like Greg Inglis is coming back in a week or two... who would've thought it! Friday Night Football sees TV Favourite Parramatta hosting the Panthers and the Cowboys facing the Broncos in Townsville to open Round 25 of the 2009 NRL Premiership begins. The first and second parts of our 2009 NRL Premiership Reflections Series are also available on this site and are well worth a read. The Saints will not even be close to perfect. First Essendon and then NORTH MELBOURNE! The Saints not only threw away their perfect season and place in history but have relegated their potential premiership winning season into the good but not great category. Mind you any St.Kilda fan will take a premiership anyway they can get it but this playing group had a chance to put their names into football immortality. It won't happen now. Australia bring nothing but disappointment back from their tour of England. England deserve to hold the Ashes in 2009 after the Australian team was exposed as being rather average in the 5th Test at The Oval. More could be said but the immediate feelings have been chronicled here - one thing is for sure - Ricky Ponting will get this coming Australian Summer to either farewell the locals as skipper (with Michael Clarke to take over in 2010) or possibly - farewell them permanently if his passion for the game has waned. Australia throw another Bledisloe away and now face trampling by Springboks. Australia found a way to lose the 2nd Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand and then looked a gifted victory horse in the mouth in the final minute before throwing away (well knocking on) the game for good. But I reiterate my point from last week - truth be told interest in the 'middle' year of a World Cup cycle is always much lower than any other season. Wake me in 12 months and I'll start worrying about how the Wallabies are playing with the 2011 World Cup in mind. They play the Sprinboks this weekend in Perth. You can follow these sports and more, here on wdnicolson.blogspot.com or via my Twitter feed. Can you kick a goal from the sideline just 1.5 metres from the tryline - interested in giving it a go? Go to http://wdnicolson.blogspot.com/2009/05/kick-off-2009-are-you-up-to-challenge.html for more information on Kick-Off 2009! NRL & AFL Match Previews below. =================================================================== NRL ROUND 25 - 2009 Quick hit Previews for the Greatest Game of All. EELS over PANTHERS > Tipped against the Eels and Jarryd Hayne last week and got burnt. Can't do it again. Parra to win. BRONCOS over COWBOYS > Thurston continues to show he's a sook when things go against him and he's forced to carry the team in a comeback. The Cowboys should never have lost to the Knights and Thurston's legacy is looking very average in Townsville at the moment... That being said I still don't think the Broncos are a great side (yet) but Israel Folau is probably back and they need to win - so they get picked. TIGERS over TITANS > Really don't want to see a Finals Series without Farah and Marshall doing their thing. So I'll tip them against a Titans side which incredibly could still win the Minor Premiership... but they won't. STORM over ROOSTERS > Greg Inglis playing would guarantee a Melbourne victory - but even without him it is hard to see the likes of Slater, Cronk, Smith, Finch and Hoffman being prepared to give up 4th spot by losing to the Roosters. DRAGONS over RABBITOHS > Could be a tight game as the Dragons continue to struggle when their opposition gives them limited free opportunities in attack. But they still defend well and the Bunnies are missing some great players. SEA EAGLES over SHARKS > Over/Under 1.5 tries for Brett Stewart? Manly to win and win very very well. BULLDOGS over WARRIORS > The Warriors were certainties against the Raiders last week - but I can't tip against the solid Bulldogs on a Sunday afternoon. Warriors to keel over about the 55th minute mark. KNIGHTS over RAIDERS > Canberra are a shadow of the team that stormed home in 2008 and the Knights need to keep winning to play in September. So Newcastle to win.