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Joined January 2013

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Formerly The Master Mind, I cover mostly AFL and tennis, as well as some NRL and other sports.

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2020 AFL season: Round 8 preview

We are close to the halfway mark of the 2020 AFL season and this round will be the final chance for Sydney fans to catch some AFL action before the Sydney Swans and GWS Giants are forced on the road, most likely for the rest of the season.

Cheers. Thought it was at BankWest, but misread the round information. Didn’t know until just now.

2020 NRL season: Round 13 preview

Re:Scott Lucas – could be considered unlucky not to be named an All-Australian in 2006 given he (literally) carried Essendon on his shoulders that year.

It’s worth noting that, despite the Bombers’ dismal 2006 season in which they lost newly-appointed captain Matthew Lloyd after round three, they scored the highest amount of points among non-finals teams, and ranked ninth overall in attack.

The AFL all-time great alphabet teams: Letter L

Gary Moorcroft a bit stiff there. Who could forget when he took that spectacular mark for Essendon against the Western Bulldogs in 2001?

The AFL all-time great alphabet teams: Letter M

CLARIFICATION: “ The Eels very nearly avoided major embarrassment…”

The words “very nearly” shouldn’t be there.

2020 NRL season: Round 13 preview

Ratten did very well to lift Carlton into the finals between 2009-11, but I think it was his mismanagement with the playing list, plus the injuries among other issues, that proved to be his downfall in 2012.

To this day I still feel he was hard done by the Blues management and I think his sacking was simply a knee-jerk reaction to just one poor season. Fair to say the Blues have gone downhill since, as evidenced by wooden spoons in 2015 and 2018.

Happy to see Ratts coaching in the AFL again, now that he is better for the experience.

Forget Port Adelaide and the Brisbane Lions, St Kilda is this year's premiership dark horse

Definitely haven’t.

Looking back now their three losses don’t seem as bad, though I’d say they were just unlucky to have had to face the Suns in what was their 200th AFL game in round two.

Should start favourites in their next two matches before they face some tough opposition in GWS in round 13 or 14 (likely round 13).

Forget Port Adelaide and the Brisbane Lions, St Kilda is this year's premiership dark horse

The Western Bulldogs in 2016 is the perfect example of that. After a season mostly plagued by injuries to key players they finished seventh and no-one expected them to do well in the finals, not least after being drawn to face West Coast in Perth in the elimination final.

But they adopted a “why not us” attitude and rode it all the way to the flag. That proves that anyone in the eight can win the flag, not just those who finish in the top four.

Forget Port Adelaide and the Brisbane Lions, St Kilda is this year's premiership dark horse

Ahh, didn’t realise Port got to briefly fly home in between their round five and six matches, and will again this weekend. I thought the GC hub was to have completely dissolved by round six.

Football to make a triumphant return to Western Australia this weekend

As far as upsets go… I’m only looking back at upsets this century. I didn’t even think about Doohan’s upset win over Becker while writing the article (which should be released tomorrow).

From the vault: Classic Wimbledon moments (Part 1)

With the final-set rules in place at three of the four Majors (except Roland Garros), it’s unlikely we’ll ever see such a crazy scoreline ever again.

To think that the match started with Kevin Rudd as our Prime Minister and ended with him being deposed in favour of Julia Gillard is just as mind-boggling.

Isner versus Mahut: A decade on from the longest tennis match ever

CORRECTION: “At 30-30, 69-all”

It should be “30-30, *68-69” (Mahut serving).

Isner versus Mahut: A decade on from the longest tennis match ever

CORRECTION: “…which they lost by 95 points at Metricon Stadium in Round 16 last year.”

Was actually Round 17.

From Port to Adelaide, Gold Coast Suns complete the grand slam

That match will probably give us more of an indication of where the Eels are at.

The fact that it’s at Bankwest might give the Eels an advantage, but you can never count out a champion side like the Chooks, who will actually be the home side for this fixture.

Get set for a Western Sydney Derby like never before

That Tigers vs Broncos game you speak of was played at Campbelltown Stadium in 2002.

Craig Bellamy coached the Broncos in Wayne Bennett’s absence, but that match doesn’t officially count towards Bellamy’s coaching record.

2020 NRL season: Round 4 preview

CORRECTION: The GWS Giants’ score in the match against Carlton was 9.16 (70).

From the Vault: AFL Round 12

Ahh, didn’t think about that. I was only thinking about the footy codes. Thanks for the heads up.

Why the New Zealand Warriors could surprise many this season

The result in the Port Adelaide vs St Kilda preliminary final of 2004 was Port Adelaide 14.10 (94) defeated St Kilda 13.10 (88).
Also…
“…set up the first finals clash between the two sides since the 1997 qualifying final.”
The Cats and North had also met in the 2007 qualifying final, with the Cats winning by 106 points.

From the Vault: AFL Round 11

You may also recall that Walls also famously bagged Paul Roos after the Sydney Swans lost to St Kilda halfway through the 2005 season; it proved to be a turning point and the Swans went on to win the premiership that year (after which Roos refused to accept Walls’ apology).

Fair to say that Roos and Walls didn’t exchange Christmas cards that year.

From the Vault: AFL Round 11

Exactly what I’m thinking too.

Would be much quicker to take a five-hour round bus trip (two-and-a-half hours each way) between Canberra and Campbelltown, as you say. This way they would not have to zig-zag their way to home games, as Bankstown Airport is well further than Campbelltown from Canberra, geographically.

Consider this: for a 7:30pm home game, they could leave Canberra at 4:30pm, get to Campbelltown at 7:00pm and get prepared, then play their match, get changed immediately after full-time, get on a bus and then be home by midnight. How could it not be that simple?

If multiple buses are required to take the players to and from Campbelltown (so as to adhere to social distancing regulations on public transport), so be it.

I also can’t understand why Canberra Stadium would be ruled out as a safe venue esp when ACT borders remain open to travel.

The must-see moments in the rebooted NRL season

It came down to a coin toss as to whether to recap that match or the round 10, 2017 match (both of which were won by the underdog).

Without being biased, I chose the latter match given the magnitude of the Giants’ win, given they had half their side out due to injuries, and on their previous visit to face the Eagles in 2015 had lost by 87 points, marking a huge turnaround.

From the Vault: AFL Round 10

I’m sorry I didn’t realise this.

It was not my intention that I had to pick out another Eagles loss – but couldn’t go past the Metricon Stadium thriller from 2017.

From the vault: AFL Round 9

CLARIFICATION: I was going to cover the 2009 Grand Final between the Storm and Eels, but decided to look back at their round 13, 2010 match instead.

From the vault: NRL Round 10

Pavlich debuted in 2000. Cripps doesn’t meet the 150-game criteria (yet).

The best non-premiership-winning 22 of the 21st century

If you mean Robert Murphy, that’s because he debuted in 2000, which was the 20th century.

The best non-premiership-winning 22 of the 21st century

If I remember correctly, Phil Gould actually picked the Panthers to finish last that season. How wrong was he.

Also, in the AFL, Robert Walls picked the West Coast Eagles to win the wooden spoon in 2018, and he was proven wrong too.

From the Vault: NRL Round 8