NRL POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 20

This is the most open NRL competition in a long time. Manly should be the clear favourites, but they are likely to implode any day now. I’m going to stick my neck out right now and say the 2014 Premiers will be the Melbourne Storm.

16. Canberra (Down 1)- There is certainly a Sticky situation happening down in Raider nation.

15. Cronulla (Up 1)- One of the best wins of the year. There haven’t been too many, so not that hard to compare.

14. Newcastle- #oneweektoolate But better late than never.

13. Gold Coast (Down 2)- This was almost a must win game. And it was almost a win. Chalk this game in that ‘almost won’ column which will turn the coaches hair a different shade.

12. Wests Tigers (Down 3)- This team is like a 2 1/2 year old child. Sometimes you love them and other times you know why it’s called the terrible twos.

11. St George (Down 1)- it was definitely Christmas in July for the Saints. They asked for a win and Santa dropped off Gareth Widdop, wrapped in Dragons and England, red and white.

10. NZ (Down 3)- They played at Mt Smart stadium, but without Shaun Johnson, they didn’t look to smart.

9. Parramatta (Up 4)- Hayne is apparently  a “f@*cking arrogant prick” according to Nate Myles. Well, when you score 50m individual tries to win the game, I think you can afford to be a bit cocky.

8. Brisbane (Down 2)- The Griffin is gone and playing in the ninth month of the year could be a myth as well.

7. North Queensland (Up 3)- One of the worst performed teams all year is suddenly making a play for finals football. They hadn’t won a game on the road until last week and now they are eating at roadside diners toasting another victory away from the Townsville area.

6. Roosters (Down 1)- Were beaten in one of the biggest upsets of the year. SBW has a sore thumb now to compound matters. Was this loss just a hiccup or is this chook a bit raw?

5. Canterbury (Down 2)- The Dogs need to get a Navman, get Google Maps or even just find a Gregory’s. They have lost their way and need to get back on track very quickly.

4. Melbourne (Up 4)- Melbourne is known for its coffee. The beans down there look like they will be perfect soon.

3. Penrith (Down 1)- Caught in the jaws of a Wobbegong Shark. Not many teams have been caught in these jaws this year and the two loses to the Sharks this season could really haunt this team come September.

2. Souths (Up 2)- Glory glory to…injuries. Injuries are starting to enter this team at the wrong time of the year. Will another campaign be derailed like the monorail?

1. Manly- They are like Family Feud. It’s the players v management and Geoff Toovey is Grant Denyer, the host in the middle. Somehow they are atop the NRL!

Here are the highlights from the Titans v Eels game, showcasing Jarryd Hayne at his finest. His long distance try is one of the best you will see.

 

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Are you trying to kill me, sport?

Great article from Kazblah.com on Australian couch potatoes watching sport and lots of sport!

kazblah

Couch potatoes, unite! Image by RoboM8 Couch potatoes, unite!
Image by RoboM8

I’m not silly. I know being an elite athlete is about the worst thing you can do to your body. Strange as it may seem, all that fitness really isn’t good for you.

So I’ve opted for what I thought was a much safer pursuit as a couch potato.

Over the years, I’ve swum world records with Perkins and Thorpey, done c’mons with Lleyton, jumped hurdles with Sally Pearson, bowled out Poms with Warney and Ooh Aah Glenn McGrath or tonked them all over the park with Steve Waugh and Clarkey. I’ve done all this without even pulling a hammy.

Yes, there have been a few late nights and a few early rises. Sometimes both in the same day. But that’s the price you pay for being a champion in the field.

Six weeks ago though, I could see trouble on the horizon. The…

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AUSTRALIA’S AWESOME SURFING FOURSOME- girls, you’ll like the bodies in this one

We are over halfway in the 2014 surfing calendar.
The 6th ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) event was held last weekend in Eastern Cape, South Africa and in case you missed it, Australia’s Mick Fanning was the victor at the J-Bay Open.
The man from Penrith, is the defending World Champion and he won this event in style, edging out his compatriot and good mate, Joel Parkinson in rather placid waves…just 6-8 feet of placidness.
Not only was it an all Australian final, it was all Aussies in the last four with Joel Parkinson taking on Matt Wilkinson and winning the ‘son’ at the end of your surname battle, while Fanning got it all right when he beat Owen Wright.
Jeffreys Bay is a marine sanctuary, meaning the surfers couldn’t use jet ski’s to assist them at all, making it even tougher, in the big swell.
Parkinson took nine waves, while Fanning surfed seven times and was victorious 17 points to 13.60.
For people not completely familiar with surfing rules, you may surf as many waves as you like and your two highest waves are used in your final score. Waves are scored from  0.5 – 10, with 10 naturally being the highest. A 0.5 is given if you simply stand up. If you complete two manoeuvres on a wave, you will generally score a 5.
It was Fanning’s third J-Bay victory and he is now not too far behind Brazilian leader, Gabriel Medina.
The next event is the Billabong Pro in Tahiti on 15th August, 2014 where another Australian and an old boy from school, Adrian Buchan, is the defending champion. Buchan’s father was actually even my rugby coach when I was 12 years old.
Here are some incredible surfing highlights from last weekend.
If you like this post, follow me at nowinsport.wordpress.com

FLASH BACK FRIDAY- trying to impress a girl

Trying to impress a girl. This could relate to me on a Monday or a Tuesday and not just flashback to last (or any) Friday.

Most men try to impress women and this young guy is starting at a very young age.
This ‘Flashback Friday’  isn’t from very long ago, it’s actually only a few months old, but I still find it funny.
In baseball, when a foul ball (a ball not in play), is hit into the crowd, the unwritten rule is, that the person who catches it, gets to keep it. If it’s a home run ball, you are meant to throw it back.
This ball was a foul ball and the player actually threw it to a young kid…and then watch what he does.
It will make you laugh!

BATTEN DOWN THE BATON- Commonwealth Games off to a delayed start

Opening Ceremonies just don’t quite seem to work.

First there was Cathy Freeman, patiently waiting in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics while mechanics all around her failed.
 
Now, in one of the funniest moments of Commonwealth Games history, there was an unplanned pause between proceedings.
 
I’m sure many of you have seen what’s happened, but in case you haven’t let me walk you through it.
 
Sir Chris Hoy, hands the Commonwealth Games baton to Prince Imran, the Commonwealth Games President. Prince Imran is then meant to open the top of the baton, to reveal a speech which he gives to the Queen to read out. 
 
Now, this baton isn’t like a normal relay baton. The top of it has been screwed on tightly. It’s not like a jam or honey top and batten down the hatches has really come into play here. This baton has travelled around 190,000 kilometres (118,000 miles), through 71 countries over 288 days. The top had to be on tightly. 
 
And it was. So much so that Prince Imran couldn’t get it off! Sir Chris Hoy tried to help, but it wasn’t like riding a bike.
 
With a big smile, the baton was finally opened and he handed the Queen her speech.
 
I’m sure better quality videos will emerge soon, but here is a video showing what happened!
 

WOULD YOU SELL YOUR CAR OR YOUR BLOOD TO GO TO A GAME OF FOOTY?

I’ve been lucky to have seen some amazing sport in my time.  

From watching my primary school friend, Scott Jenson, win the inaugural ‘Hughes Cup’  Handball Championships (yes it was named after me, well Dad started it and yes it still continues to this day at Pennant Hills Primary), to 12 Grand Finals for NRL and AFL, three Olympic Games, World Cup Soccer qualifiers and of course the absolute highlight of my life, the Super Bowl.  

I’ve been lucky that I haven’t had to sacrifice too much to get to these events, apart from that painful journey to Homebush and the even more painful journey back, when you’ve had 15 schooners and Central Train Station can’t come soon enough. 

Matt Scully, Co-Founder of the true sports bible for anyone wanting to watch sport, www.sportswhereiam.com, has shared some stories with me of the lengths people go to, to watch sport in the US. This first guy really lives by ‘Dude, where’s my car’, as he sold his car to get to a game!  

We’ve all heard of bleeding for your team…well one guy did. 

Have a read of these short stories and enjoy. You can also add your own funny stories of what you would do for your team at http://sportswhereiam.com/citypride 

This first story is from Dylan Brittingham in Philadelphia. 

“Becoming an Eagles fan wasn’t an active choice I made. As a Philadelphia native it was only a matter of time before the inherent passion for the Eagles would manifest itself in the rabid fandom that all Eagles fans share for their football team. The true grit and fire of the city of Philadelphia is worn on the sleeves of every Eagles fan, and no other city’s culture is so perfectly intertwined with their football team than Philly’s.

Football was the first sport I was introduced to, at the age of 9. I can still remember not knowing too much about the sport, but just that I desperately needed the guys in green to score. From there my knowledge and love for football only skyrocketed exponentially, as stars such as Donovan McNabb and Brian Dawkins came and went through the gates of Veterans Stadium and Lincoln Financial Field.

If you’re looking for a story of how much I love the Eagles, you could look to the years of hope and heartbreak I’ve shared with them without giving up. But for one specific incident, I look to our Super Bowl season in 2004. I was living in Jacksonville at the time- where the Super Bowl was being hosted- and I found someone selling tickets to the game for $2,500 a piece. I sold my car and got two tickets- one for me and one for my dad, the most die-hard Eagles fan I know. My dad didn’t know I had sold my car for it, and even though we lost, I wouldn’t trade in the experience for anything.” 

This second story is by Zach Swan, from Portland. I think he was a fan of the Trail Blazers…

“This past season, the most exciting season for the Blazers since that 2000 conference finals run, I was determined to make it to a playoff game. 

It was the second round of the playoffs and I didn’t make it to a game in the first round series against the Rockets, which produced the greatest Blazers moment of my life with Lillard’s series clinching three in game six (I still haven’t forgiven myself for not making it to that game). There was no way that I was going to miss the opportunity to go to a game against the Spurs. Being the broke college student’s that we are, my roommate and I were searching for ways to be able to fund the purchase of tickets and a hotel room for the night. We resorted to selling our blood plasma on three different occasions, raising over $100 each…Anyways, we ended up getting a great deal on some 100 level tickets and booking a cheap hotel through Groupon. While the Blazers ended up getting blown out in the game, I would still do it all over again plasma donation and all.” 

Incredible commitment to watch a game of sport. 

What would you actually do or sell to watch your team?