Weekend/Month that was in Sport

A lot has happened in the month since I last blogged (I’m sorry I know BUT I will be better).

First I would like to start with tennis. When I last posted I was bemoaning that Novak Djokovic wasn’t playing Davis Cup for Serbia. Instead he was preparing for Indian Wells. And what a decision that went on to be. Not only did Serbia defeat India (no shock there) he’s won the big Indian Wells and Miami titles back-to-back. Coming back from a set down to defeat Rafael Nadal in both finals. While I did not/can not watch the final as it was on at about 4am Aust. time and I don’t have ESPN at uni. I’ve read reports that it was some pretty spectacular stuff. Novak has now gone to No. 2 in the world (bye bye Roger Federer) but has won 26 matches straight.

Secondly, the World Cup has finally finished. In a tournament that went for an age, yes it started in February, India have come out on top. I thought Sri Lanka’s 274 might haven proven too much but the Indians through MS Dhoni and Gautum Gambhir were too strong.  The Aussies great run at the World Cup, a record three straight titles and 34 straight victories has ended. It also sees the end of Shaun Tait playing one day internationals (ten overs is too much for the speedster) but MUCH, MUCH more importantly the end of Ricky Ponting’s captaincy, both in one-dayers and in tests.

Ricky Ponting has always been my favourite player. I can remember being just a young girl and revelling in Ponting’s 197 against Pakistan in 1999. Ponting has received a lot of bad press over the past few years, and yes he lost the Ashes three times and hasn’t had a fantastic time with the bat, but I feel the media have unjustifiably crucified him. The rot started with the “monkeygate” incident between Andrew Symonds and Harbajhan Singh in 2008. And it went downhill from. Most recently we have seen ‘Captain Grumpy Ricky Ponting’. The original ‘captain grumpy’ Allan Border was applauded by both the media and the public yet this time around he had been admonished but for what? Leading a struggling side? Blowing up at Steve Smith for not yielding when Ponting had the catch covered?  Not walking? Claiming catches fairly caught? Wanting to win? Surely these crimes don’t deserve the punishment that has been dished out. Hopefully Ponting proves his doubters wrong like he did in his last innings in the World Cup and serves out some humble pie.

Quickly to football.

The NRL has again started off well with some excellent football matches again on the weekend. The mighty Dragons don’t seem to be effected by Wayne Bennett’s decision to leave (and go to the Broncos) and hopefully it won’t affect them for the rest of the season. The Dragons showed off some entertaining football in the first half against the Knights including a width of the field try to Jason Nightingale and showed why they are the best defensive team in the comp in the second half as the Knights dominated possession and field position.

The Raiders recruitment team must be kicking themselves after signing Matt Orford. The veteran half has been AWFUL in his three games and surely common sense will prevail and Sam Williams will be back in the first grade side and after again killing them in the 20s.

The Tigers medical staff may well be the busiest in the NRL with a huge injury total including internationals Gareth Ellis, Chris Lawrence and Lote Tuqiri, halfback Robert Lui, and hooker Robbie Farah who is playing with oseitis pubis. No wonder the Rooster’s were too strong yesterday.

The AFL also cracks a mention.

And wasn’t it great to see the Suns in their first game. It was a fantastic advertisement for the AFL’s plan to attack the NRL. This report by Mark Stevens sums it up beautifully.

BRET Thornton is a solid citizen more used to stopping goals than threading them.

Life in defence became so dire last year, he found himself playing in the VFL for the final eight weeks of the season.

Last night, he looked like Steve Kernahan.

In Round 1, Chris Yarran was tagged by Richmond’s Matthew White and could not get near it, let alone rebound from defence.

Last night, he looked like Michael Long.

It seems playing Gold Coast this season will be the ideal way to find some form.

Everyone arrived at the Gabba hoping like crazy the Suns would be competitive, but instead we got a total eclipse.

For Carlton, it was ridiculously easy. Training-drill easy. Carlton kicked five goals to zip in the first 10 minutes, all but killing the contest.

The Suns won’t win a game all season. And Gary Ablett will just have to cry about it all the way to the bank.

And just wait until GWS comes in next years. They got smacked by the Swans Reserves by 96 points.

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