Big game specialist Roy ‘Crackling’ Pork and small game ignorer Wayne ‘Spanks’ Spankle grapple-tackle the week in sport to within an inch of its life.
CRACKLING: So it turns out the Wallabies can win after all. And all it took was forty minutes of abject humiliation and ten minutes of Michael Cheika threatening them with extreme violence.
SPANKS: I’ve always said that you don’t motivate men by training them to do their jobs well. You motivate men by waiting until the last possible moment before everyone is sacked, then screaming abuse at them.
CRACKLING: Worked for Hitler.
SPANKS: Exactly. What impressed me most about the Wallabies in the second half was that, even though they were passing the ball to each other, most of the time they didn’t drop it. It was great to see all the hard work they’ve put in learning how to not drop a ball pay off.
It bodes well for the World Cup – I’d say Australia is equal favourites to finish as high as third in their group now.
CRACKLING: To think we’ve lived to see the day the Wallabies beat Argentina – brings a tear to my eye.
SPANKS: Me too, Crackling. Or at least it would, if I had any moisture left in my body.
CRACKLING: Yes, the air here in Dubai is pretty dry, isn’t it?
SPANKS: It’s no wonder the Aussie bowlers found the going so tough.
CRACKLING: I think they had a pretty good day, though. To end up taking three wickets, despite a flat track, oppressive heat, and a general sense of unshakeable gloom permeating their every action, they stuck at their task and they now have a genuine chance of taking this Test into the third day.
In fact they have a genuine chance of taking this innings into the third day.
SPANKS: We shouldn’t judge the Australians too harshly.
CRACKLING: Yes we should.
SPANKS: Should we? Hmm, interesting perspective. But I think we need to cut them some slack. This is the beginning of a new era, the Paine Era.
CRACKLING: I’m glad the media has agreed not to use that name to create hurtful headlines.
SPANKS: Whenever a new era starts there are teething problems. Remember when Allan Border became captain they couldn’t even fill a whole team. Three of the Australian XI in the fourth Test of 1984-85 were picked out of the merchandise stall on the first morning.
His vice-captain on the 1985 Ashes Tour was Greg Ritchie’s pet snake. Yet AB persevered, and eventually became a spokesman for circulation boosting devices. Who knows, maybe one day we will say the same about Tim Paine.
CRACKLING: What I was impressed by was the way the Dubai locals came out to support Test cricket.
SPANKS: The stadium was empty, though.
CRACKLING: I know. I found that incredibly impressive. As hard as they try, Cricket Australia could never pull a crowd that small. I think it’s amazing the way the ICC has placed the hub of international cricket in a country with less interest in the game than any other on earth.
It’s administrative creativity at its finest.
SPANKS: I can never tell when you’re being sarcastic, Crackling.
CRACKLING: Can’t you? Thanks for sharing that, Spanks.
SPANKS: I can’t wait to see the second day of this Test. If the current trend of rare wickets and slow scoring continues, it could be an absolute belter.
CRACKLING: Personally I’m looking forward to seeing Marnus Labuschagne bat. If only to satisfy myself that he’s a real person.
SPANKS: We also saw the Bathurst 1000 over the weekend, and it was won by Craig Lowndes, who I think is the one with the eyebrows.
CRACKLING: It was a great moment for young Lowndesy. He’s a wonderful story, isn’t he? He started out as a racing driver who hadn’t won anything, and now he’s a racing driver who has won many things. A true fairytale.
SPANKS: I was disappointed yet again by the authorities allowing participants in the race to use cars. Seems unfair to allow mechanical aids in such a prestigious race.
CRACKLING: You’d prefer they walk around the course?
SPANKS: Well it would add to the theatre of the thing.
CRACKLING: Maybe they could strike a compromise: allow the drivers to get in cars, but remove the engines.
SPANKS: That seems sensible, I’d be happy with that.
CRACKLING: Of course the other big sporting story of the weekend was Winx.
SPANKS: Who I believe is a horse.