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Sunday, 26 December 2010

Ashes Series 2010/2011: Australia v England Fourth Test Scores, Commentary & Twitter Updates from MCG - 2010/2011

Ashes Series 2010/2011: 

V
 Australia v England Fourth Test.
Scores, Commentary & Twitter Updates from The MCG in Melbourne - December 26-30, 2010.

England defeated Australia by an innings and 157 runs to win the Test Match and retain the Ashes.
3rd Test Review
Please Note:
Due to being away for the Christmas Holidays there will not be daily recaps of the 4th or 5th Test. There will be 4th & 5th Test Reviews with Winners/Losers, Player Ratings & MVP Votes at the conclusion of the 5th Test Match.
MATCH RESULT
4TH TEST - AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND
 DAY FOUR - Stumps 
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Australia 1st Innings: 98 All Out. 
England 1st Innings: 513 All Out.
Australia 2nd Innings: 258 All Out.
England 2nd Innings: DNB
ENGLAND WON BY AN INNINGS & 157 RUNS.

GET LIVE SCORES VIA THIS WIDGET
Please Note: Due to Christmas Holidays there will not be regular updates of the 4th Test on wdnicolson.blogspot.com

ENGLAND lead 2-1 in the Best of Five Ashes Tests.
1st Test: Draw - Review
2nd Test: England won by an Innings & 71 Runs - Review
3rd Test: Australia won by 267 Runs - Review
4th Test: England won by 157 Runs - Review to come.
Due to being away for the Christmas Holidays there will not be daily recaps of the 4th Test. There will be 4th & 5th Test Reviews with Winners/Losers, Player Ratings & MVP Votes at the conclusion of the 5th Test Match.

Here are The 4th Test Player Ratings
Note: There is a Player of the Series Award based on the Player Ratings and an MVP Award based on IMPACT over the course of the Series. It is of course possible for one player to take out both awards. All Ratings out of 10.
AUSTRALIA - 4th Test Ratings
Phil HUGHES
Shane WATSON
Ricky PONTING (c)
Michael CLARKE
Michael HUSSEY
Steven SMITH
Brad HADDIN
Mitchell JOHNSON
Ryan HARRIS
Peter SIDDLE
Ben HILFENHAUS
Michael BEER (12th Man)
ENGLAND - 4th Test Ratings
Alastair COOK - 8
Andrew STRAUSS (c) - 8
Jonathan TROTT - 10
Kevin PIETERSEN - 7
Paul COLLINGWOOD - 4
Ian BELL - 3
Matt PRIOR - 9
Tim BRESNAN - 8
Graeme SWANN - 6
James ANDERSON - 9
Chris TREMLETT - 9
Steven FINN (12th Man)

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas from Warrick Nicolson for 2010


Just a quick video to wish my friends out there (if there are any) a Merry Christmas for 2010. 
If you've followed any of my offerings online during 2010 - thank you and http://wdnicolson.blogspot.com, The NRL Tweet and hopefully NOT The Footy Show will be back even better in 2011.
If you know me outside of the online environment, then I hope to catch up with you again in the New Year before you recognise the error you've made in continuing our friendship.
Have a great holiday period, be safe and to quote a great Scrubs phrase "I love you all and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it."
As an extra Christmas gift here is the greatest dance move in history from that very episode of Scrubs... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_MqeV...
 
(watch the guy in the choir - middle left) 
Seeya in 2011!
Warrick
Ok one more great Scrubs Dance Moment (there are many) for you... Turk doing the SAFETY Dance then there's a compilation of his best work from throughout the series to SAFETY Dance - very cool.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyecEG...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

NRL 2011 - What I Want For Christmas... NRL Edition - Part 2

WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS...
NRL EDITION
Part Two.

Christmas may be just a few days away but there is another countdown of sorts for NRL fans around the world that might feel just as important... because they are counting down the days until the Rugby League Season returns.

So what does everyone want for Christmas in the NRL sense?

And no we can't alter time, speed up the harvest or teleport you to the start of the 2011 season.

But we can try to advise the NRL about what we want them to do to try and improve the Greatest Game of All.

Here's the Top Five Things I want from the NRL in 2011... Christmas Edition.

5. Fix the NRL Jokediciary.
No that's not a typo.
The NRL's 'Judiciary' is about as reliable as Wally Lewis injury update.
Wait that's not fair... Wally at least gets it right some of the time.
Since the old school format was thrown out (when three former players got together and passed their own judgement on a referred case) the NRL's discipline committee - yes the Jokediciary - continues to show stunning inconsistency when the player in question's worth comes into play.
Anyone who honestly believes that the value of a player to their club, state or country doesn't factor into the sentence handed down is on the good stuff - that is if the case even gets to the Jokediciary in the first place - the amount of referable cases each weekend that don't get passed on is appalling.
The Points System might look good on paper but it is easily circumvented by changing the grading or altering the charge itself to avoid loading from a previous charge.
Think about it - how many times does a player with a track record of high shots get a very low grading for a tackle that a no-name player can find themselves on the receiving end of a massive charge?
Go back to appointing three former players and let us live and die by their judgement - not by what the Points System Sheet spits out.
And I haven't even got started on the role of QC's in defending players... if you get referred then let the committee decide your fate, not some legal mumbo jumbo.

4. Get Greg Inglis on a plane for America for an NFL try-out.
IF he can't secure a deal with South Sydney then Greg Inglis and his legion of advisors must seriously consider a real challenge.
That challenge is the National Football League.
Inglis is just 23 years old and has all the physical tools to make a foray into Gridiron.
That doesn't mean he'd actually be able to play it successfully but why not have a crack?
As I mentioned on a guest spot on 101.5FM's Sports Fever Breakfast Show on December 23 switching to AFL or Rugby Union wouldn't be easy but it would be a safer option for Inlgis if Rugby League can't accommodate him. But imagine if Inglis backed himself and went for a try-out in the United States or Canada (with the CFL).
He would be the first Australian athlete to truly have a crack at the game and although he would have an incredible amount to learn about the game the sheer talent he has physically would give NFL scouts something to think about. There are combines a-go-go in the States as the NFL Draft approaches and that would be where he would have his chance to impress.
The more I think about it the more it makes sense. Inglis could attempt to play any number of positions and if he can't control his weight - no problem, because the NFL invented positions for big men!
I sincerely hope he stays in Rugby League and that South Sydney get him because with Russell Crowe owning that club - marketing Greg Inglis to the world will be a breeze.
But Greg Inglis in the NFL - with Russell Crowe's support... now that would be something.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

NRL 2011 - What I Want For Christmas... NRL Edition Part 1

WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS...
NRL EDITION
Part One

Christmas may be just a few days away but there is another countdown of sorts for NRL fans around the world that might feel just as important... because they are counting down the days until the Rugby League Season returns.

So what does everyone want for Christmas in the NRL sense?

And no we can't alter time, speed up the harvest or teleport you to the start of the 2011 season.

But we can try to advise the NRL about what we want them to do to try and improve the Greatest Game of All.


Here's the Top Ten Things I want from the NRL in 2011... Christmas Edition.

10. Bill Harrigan to stick to his guns and enforce basic rules in Rugby League.
Bill Harrigan came out swinging in his first press conference as Referees' Boss and said that amongst other things there would be a crackdown on Sam Perrett--err players in general walking off the mark at the play the ball, that Off-Sides from kick-offs and drop outs would be punished and that the Scrum, yes the SCRUM would be policed.
The two easiest rules to enforce are the Perrett Rule and the Off-Side Rule.
For the Perrett Rule simply make the Touch Judges do some actual work and mark the point in line where the player is tackled. If Sam Perrett moves forward after he is tackled then PING him! This could also apply to other individuals in the Premiership but the over/under on times Sam Perrett is penalised for this indiscretion has been conservatively set at 51.5.
The Off-Side Rule is something Harrigan himself imposed on the game in the latter years of his refereeing career and he was very good at it. He would simply stand on the attacking side of halfway, further across to one side of the field and if a player stepped over the halfway line before the ball was kicked - he'd PING him!
So actually enforcing those two rules is not that difficult. Which makes you wonder why these two rules were so hard to enforce last year!
As for the Scrum... well in light of the Tigers-Roosters debacle in the Qualifying Final last year there's only so much that we can ask of Santa isn't there?

9. Seriously look into expanding the game into the West and finally give the Central Coast their Bears.
It really is that simple.
If the NRL is going to expand in 2013 or 2015 or whenever, the two locations that make the most sense are Perth with the Western Reds (don't even think about changing the names you marketing types!) and Gosford with the Central Coast Bears.
There are a number of other locations that have a case but as much as I'd love to see a Central Queensland team playing out of Rockhampton, a South Queensland//Ipswich/Brisbane team filling Suncorp Stadium every second week and a second team in New Zealand in Wellington or Christchurch - they are not realistic options right now.
Notice I didn't mention Adelaide?
Well that's because I'm a firm believer in the new Western Reds team being based in both Perth AND Adelaide. The Rams of the 1997 Super League season weren't a complete failure finishing 9th in the ten team comp. Then in the combined 20 team 1998 Premiership they managed to 'improve' to finish 17th. In short the people of South Australia deserve another chance to support a team, given the two years they did get weren't exactly a prime time for selling the game.
Perth offers many positives not least of all the extra TV time slot for live games in the Eastern States. They could share nib Stadium with the Western Force in Perth but what makes the most sense is to split the Reds' home games in a 75% Perth & 25% Adelaide ratio and give the WESTERN Reds a supporter base across two states.
Plus the chance to have a Kangaroo as a club mascot again is too good to pass up.
So bring back the Western Reds!
As for the Central Coast Bears returning... well if you've been to Blue Tongue Stadium for any sporting event you know how good it is and don't think for a second that the Central Coastians who didn't show up to watch the Northern Eagles did so because they didn't like Rugby League.
They didn't like Manly - and who can blame them?
North Sydney got royally stuffed by the elements when trying to build their new stadium in Gosford in the late 1990s and a sudden drop off in quality on the field by the Bears at the same time sealed their fate within the NRL criteria. They were forced into an ill-fated merger with Manly and it came as no surprise to anyone to see their Northern Eagles 'franchise' fall apart the moment Manly saw an opening to reclaim their Sea Eagles' identity.
The northern & north western suburbs of Sydney still remain without a genuine team that feels like their own (although Manly to their credit try to reach out and do support the local competitions). But Manly remain very much the Silvertails to anyone not living on the Northern Beaches, so if the new team was to play out of Gosford they could still attract large numbers of North Sydney fans who grew up with the Bears and hold out hope their team will return. The commute is also quite manageable from a centre like Hornsby or Castle Hill, so it's not a reach to suggest that the fans will travel to Gosford if THEIR team is playing.
Bring back the Central Coast Bears!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

NRL 2011 - TV Schedule for First 5 Rounds of the 2011 NRL Season Released

NRL 2011:

TV Schedule for First 5 Rounds of the 2011 NRL Season Released
In case you didn't know, the NRL are contractually obligated to continue their scheduling arrangement with Channel Nine & Fox Sports for the 2011 NRL Season and today the Match Schedule as dictated to them by Television Executives was released for the opening Five Rounds.

There are a few surprises in the schedule but as always the Brisbane Broncos are gifted an almost permanent spot on Friday Night Football. Granted being a Queensland team makes them a logical choice for FTA on a Friday but their main sponsors NRMA and Sportingbet will be grinning from ear to ear as their sponsorship dollars get full value in exposure.

The big snub of the schedule heads the way of the 2010 Premiers, with the St.George-Illawarra Dragons not featuring in a single Friday Night game in the first five rounds. While they may not have a home game in that stretch until Round 5 - it is stunning that the reigning premiers won't be seen in prime time before April.

You may not be able to stomach the 'Our match scheduling is not controlled by TV' rhetoric NRL CEO David Gallop spouted at the announcement but here it is anyway:
“The release of the first five rounds and venues today is a reminder for all fans to start planning for next year and with Christmas just around the corner it is a perfect time to purchase your club memberships for the 2011 Telstra Premiership.”


David Gallop tries to say all the right things but the extent to which the game is not self governed is highlighted in the schedule year after year.

Will the Independent Commission change all this?

Well a 'recruitment agency' still has to pick the IC members first and who knows how long that will take...
Anyhoo, here is the Official NRL TV Schedule for the First 5 Rounds of the 2011 NRL Season.
Please Note: All Match Times are Local Times, Channel Nine (Free to Air) Games in Bold.

Round 1 : March 11 - 14
Match
Venue
Day
Time
TV
Roosters v Rabbitohs
SFS
Friday
7.30pm
Nine
Broncos v Cowboys
Suncorp Stadium
Friday
7.30pm
Nine
Warriors v Eels
Eden Park, NZ
Saturday
7.30pm
Fox
Storm v Sea Eagles
AAMI Park
Saturday
7.30pm
Fox
Titans v Dragons
Skilled Park
Saturday
6.30pm
Fox
Raiders v Sharks
Canberra Stadium
Sunday
2.00pm
Fox
Panthers v Knights
Penrith Stadium
Sunday
3.00pm
Nine
Bulldogs v Wests Tigers
ANZ Stadium
Monday
7.00pm
Fox
The NRL Tweet Round 1 Lowdown:
Opening the season with Souths v Easts is a winner. Season 2010 was supposed to be the year of the Rabbitoh but instead it was the Roosters who went all the way to the Grand Final - and of course this should see the debut of Greg Inglis as a Rabbitoh which everyone wants to see.
The other Friday Night game was sadly way too predictable and the Broncos will host the Cowboys at Suncorp - surely last year's Premiers the Dragons against a team that reached the Preliminary Finals in the Titans makes more sense? That's not to say that watching Darren Lockyer v Johnathan Thurston isn't enticing but the Dragons won the comp - surely they open the season even if they are on the road!
The Warriors continue to be handed the early Saturday night game but given they are two hours ahead it doesn't hurt them too much (as it remains a 7:30pm start in Auckland) but the NRL should be giving the New Zealand fans as many Sunday games as possible while the weather remains pleasant. The Storm start playing for points again at home against the Sea Eagles in a fairly decent matchup, while the Titans host the Dragons at Skilled Park.
Sunday sees the Raiders play the Sharks in the 2:30pm Fox Sports game, while the Panthers will face the Knights in the Channel Nine Sunday game. This is the most curious choice of the weekend given the quality of games to choose from.
Finally the Bulldogs and Tigers will try to attract a Monday Night Football crowd of over 20,000 when they probably would've approached 35,000 had it been scheduled on any other day.