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Bunney

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Joined April 2017

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So much sport, so little time.

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As hinted at Ronan, Australia can get a lot better, which is a comforting thought.

Our batting overs 35 to 47 were putrid overall… imagine if we’d done that better.

But like all really good sides, we’re saving our best for the finals.

N.b. There is zero evidence for my prediction, only excited nationalistic fervour! Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

Australia leave England in World Cup disarray

Not a great write up is it?
Also says he was playing at left centre, even though at the end of the article Freddy is quoted as saying he was picked at right centre…

Trbojevic reveals Fittler's Origin II ploy

The rule is pretty black and white – you can’t tackle the legs, which is what Wallace did.
Not sure why you’re defending his actions to the point of suggesting rule changes.
Wallace tried hard, and was right to try and pressure the kicker, but he was never going to get there in time and should have pulled out of tackle attempt to avoid giving a stupid penalty.

Five talking points from State of Origin Game 2

I reckon you’ve been very generous Scott. Kevvie Walters has rightly rated the team performance as a 2/10, yet individually you’ve given everyone a minimum of 3.5.

I won’t go through all 17, but here’s some points on some stand-outs.

Gagai and Chambers completely shown up by their opposites Addo-Carr and Wighton. Zero positive impact, defensively found out. 2/10

Munster would be lucky to get higher than 1/10. Defensively he was horrible last night. A bad read left him tackling no one when Frizzell scored, and when Teddy skipped across field and through just before halftime, again, Munster stood there doing nothing. He should have tackled Teddy, but was lazy and not up with his inside man, which is what Teddy exploited. Morgan gets credited with a missed tackle, but at least he tried to stop him. Munster just watched. Even Ponga threw his arms up in the air and looked directly at Munster after Teddy passed to Turbo. Shocker.

DCE shouldn’t be in charge of long kicks. He’s never had a big boot. He went ok last night, but you rightly pointed out his poor long kicks…that should be for Munster, Hunt and even Morgan to take care of. Over 30 tackles with no misses. Tried hard, but intercept pass takes sheen off. 4/10

Napa had no impact, in 23 minutes. 1.5/10

Wallace tried hard, but the additional speed in SOO game compared to NRL game makes him unsuited to SOO. His mid-air tackle on Maloney the dumbest of dumb. Not only a 5th tackle penalty, but gives away 50m as well. Rightly hooked. Papers should be marked “Never to be selected again”. 1/10

Mbye – unused again. Has he just been selected exclusively as injury cover?? The first two matches have been polar different, yet both times he comes on with 10mins left to do very little. 1/10

On Hunt, his service was slow, but at least he had a go. Tried to increase defensive line speed and had some nice long kicks from dummy half. 4/10 is probably fair. As stated by seemingly thousands of other Roarer’s; he’s just not a 9. At least not an 80min one. Should be our 14 for game 3, with a proper 9 to start the match.

Queensland Maroons player ratings: Origin 2

Wallace was trying hard last night, but he’s as much of a trundled as Glasby.

After that dumb mid-air tackle on Maloney, I doubt Wallace will be there for game 3

Five talking points from State of Origin Game 2

Agreed.
Still thought it should have been handled the same way as game 1 with a sin-binning only.
However, I’m glad overall that the refs have the balls to call this – good on em. We should applaud all refs who make strong calls…it’s good for the game IMO.

Five talking points from State of Origin Game 2

Qld were pantsed badly, but apart from the penalty try (which probably shouldn’t have been) there were a lot of poor calls against Qld in the first 60 mins…
There is no chance the refs could have squared it up

Still wouldn’t have mattered a lot – Qld played slow and predictable. NSW had WAY more intensity and defensive line speed.

NSW Blues dominate Queensland in Game 2 to force State of Origin decider

I’d pick Brooks over Cleary

Surely Nathan Cleary is in the last-chance saloon

Smith is undoubtedly our best test batsman, but Warner, Finch and Maxwell are more important for Australia in ODI’s.

Smith is good enough to bat 4 and still have an impact. Khawaja’s best posi is opening – the further you drop him down the order, the less his impact. IMO we’re a better team overall if he comes in before Smith.
This shouldn’t be set in stone – some circumstances will suit to elevate Smith, in the same way it suited to elevate Maxi over Smith last night

Enormous batting effort blasts Australia past Bangladesh

I’ll disagree with you.
Khawaja needs to come in at three

Enormous batting effort blasts Australia past Bangladesh

I think there is room for both ODI’s and T20’s, but I would lose the Champions trophy and just have a World Cup for each discipline every 4 years. In the two years leading up to an ODI WC hardly any T20’s should be played, with the focus on 50-over cricket. Then the opposite occurs in the 2 years leading up to a T20 WC.

Meaningless fortnight looms at World Cup

I’m not saying there won’t be ‘meaningless games’ in the next 2 weeks. I’m disagreeing that the format of having ten sides play each other once is the cause. I think having a top four is good, as it rewards the good teams and prevents mediocre teams (reaching QF’s with 50% win/loss) from reaching the final on the back of a two game streak.
If the majority of teams make the knockouts, is the pool stage therefore mostly junk and meaningless?? I think so.
However, what the current format does is open up the possibility that the top 4 will be established early as it has here. Yes, the last few rounds will be duller as the finalists are set, but I disagree that rewarding mediocrity is the solution.

This happens in sporting competitions frequently, in many different formats.

If you blamed the 4-team finalist format, I’d accept that as valid, although I’d defend it as preferable to having the doors wide open for nearly everyone to make the knockouts. As I stated earlier, the bar is set higher to make the knockouts and that in and of itself makes the round-robin games more meaningful.

You assert the 10-team format is to blame. That is what I disagree with. We have 4 teams that are at least 10% better than the rest, simple as that.

If England lose to NZ, Aus and India in their last three, that wouldn’t be dull. Australia could lose their last three. Who knows? I’m clearly more excited about the next two weeks than you are!!

Meaningless fortnight looms at World Cup

There were plenty of junk games in the last WC – which is precisely the reason the minnows were excluded and a ten team format was created for this WC.
SA stumbled in loss to England and tripped over in next two. Out, as they should be.
There’s more pressure when you lose in this format than the last one, where the Windies made the knockout stage with 6 points (3 wins) from 6 games in pool B, and Bangladesh got thru in pool A with 7 points from 6 games (3 wins + 1 NR).
No one is making the knockouts in this WC with 9 or 10 points from their 9 games, which means this current format exacts more pressure, not less than the 2015 format.
This format sets a higher bar for knockout stage qualification. This directly reduces the number of junk games.

Meaningless fortnight looms at World Cup

Can’t agree with your analysis here David.
Your comparison to Football World Cups dilutes your argument…
I watched most of the opening game of the tournament – SA vs Eng, and I thought whoever loses would be under immediate pressure. I called it wrong – I thought SA would win and the pressure fall on England, but SA have shown that their early stumble really has put them into immediate danger of being eliminated.
Australia’s loss to India was only largely inconsequential because they’d banked other wins, like against WI who had us cold and should have beaten us. If they and Pakistan, who also had a real opportunity against us taken their chances, your argument would be completely void.
It’s sport – the top 4 has bolted and there was precious little the admins could have done about it other than get the top 5 teams to all play each other first to try and make one or two of them come from the back of the pack…but that would have been criticized as unfair too

Meaningless fortnight looms at World Cup

Oh, and three left side second rowers seems a little extraneous too. Boyd, Sims and Graham…where will they all play?
And please don’t say anything about Graham being versatile… when is the last time he played anywhere other than left-side second row??? About 5 years ago

Mitchell axed, seven changes for NSW Blues Origin 2 team

I am stunned
The mind boggles that Fittler believes that both Turbo and Wighton are better centres than Latrell right now! That’s great news for Qld!!

Saifiti and the lack of props on the bench are odd too. More good news for Qld

Mitchell axed, seven changes for NSW Blues Origin 2 team

Sorry nerval,
I didn’t get that impression…

A Kalyn Ponga code-switch would haunt the Wallabies, not help them

I just LOVE that ‘recidivist’ has been used thrice in this thread…
Awesomeness

McGuire escaping suspension shows the NRL doesn't care what you think

Gold!
I’d love to see if Finch would plunder the 1979 WC bowling attacks with his style, or if they’d dismantle his weaknesses with much better bowling than he faces today!! Holding, Garner, Marshall, Roberts et al would probably bowl him through the gate repeatedly!

The Liebke Ratings: Pakistan vs Australia

NCN has no answers to aggressive batting because he has no change-ups.
He just keeps banging it in as fast as he can, and it’s really not that fast anymore!!

Somehow, selectors think he’s really good, and by deducing that K-Richo is only fractionally worse than him, the selectors picked him too as back up!!

Pakistan implosion gifts Australia lucky win

Absolutely.
Never been sold on NCN, and K-Richo got really nice movement thru the air and off the pitch last night, but just bowled so many junk balls in between the good ones.
I haven’t been a big Hazlewood fan in ODI’s, but right now I’d LOVE him as our third seamer. Not sure why Dorff hasn’t had a go yet though. We need his accuracy, something NCN and K-Richo are missing.

Lacklustre Aussies need to start taking risks and so do the selectors

Great comment Bush.
The root cause for our ‘limited’ squad goes back at least two years to the Champions Trophy. The change of coach 12 months ago also impacted.

There is no quick fix, no player X that could be flown in to fix our problems, because they haven’t been part of the team sufficiently in the last two years.

Lacklustre Aussies need to start taking risks and so do the selectors

Giving middle order alternatives who could be dynamic for Aus is especially difficult as they’ve had next to no opportunity to prove themselves viable.
After Lynn struggled at the top of the order, I would have loved to see him have an opportunity as a low order hitter. Sadly, after a handful of innings, despite massive potential, he was gone.
After Turner hit that awesome 80 off 40, he went to the UAE and didn’t get a game.
Both Stoinis and MMarsh can be dynamic…they both should have made the squad to keep each other honest.
I’m not sold on Short, but could he have worked down the order?? We may never know because he was never given a shot.
You’ve said several times that Handscombe is in the same mould as SMarsh, Smith and Khawaja, but I think he’s got more hitting power than those three and an extra gear or two.
There are alternatives, but due our misfiring top order the past two years, we’ve ignored the middle/low order in a desperate attempt to fix the top (which IS of greater importance). Now our top order is going good, we might rue being so single minded though

Lacklustre Aussies need to start taking risks and so do the selectors

Ok, I understand your rationale a little better now.
One thing I do agree with is it’d be a big risk!!
The 5 man bowling unit would have to be able to regularly defend totals of 260 – 280 IMO.

Lacklustre Aussies need to start taking risks and so do the selectors

The main thrust of your article – that the Aussie’s need to start taking some risks – is agreeable David.
But you lost me on the details. Our middle/lower order batting failed, so let’s drop a batsman and play five frontline bowlers. What the?

Unfortunately, the Aussie’s missed a trick by picking the wrong squad. We should have picked Agar, so he Lyon and Zampa could pressure each other for 2 spots. This means we only need 2 frontline pacers most matches, so require only one of NCN, K-Richo and the Dorff.
We need an all-rounder, as you quite bizarrely point out at the end of your article, after saying we shouldn’t select one (very confusing), so Stoinis or MMarsh depending on fitness. I’ll back Stoinis to find form at back end of tournament.

You want to take risks? How about not selecting Smith? There’s something no one is expecting. I don’t rate his ODI batting as being anything special at the moment…very similar to Khawaja and SMarsh. So while we’re deliberately busting certain players hamstrings so we can tinker with the squad, let’s see Smith twist an ankle and replace with a hitter.

It’s tough to take risks with our current squad. Our middle order, bar Maxy, lack dynamism. Our spin bowling options aren’t ideal. Lyon for instance is anti-risk. He’s dependable, but not a match winner. A risk averse squad selection is the real problem.

Lacklustre Aussies need to start taking risks and so do the selectors