The Roar
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Roar Guru

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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Roar Guru
Roar Guru

Your AFL team's run home: Part 1

With seven rounds remaining, the race for finals positions is heating up. In this two-part analysis, I will detail the run home, predict where your team will finish at the end of 23 rounds and the first week of the finals series. Part 1 will detail the teams currently in the top eight, while Part […]

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

2019 State of Origin: Game 3 preview

The stage is set for what promises to be a massive State of Origin decider, with the Blues on the verge of not only claiming consecutive series victories for the first time since 2005 but also potentially winning the series in front of their fans for the first time since 2004.

League
 
Jul

Cheers 🙂

2019 AFL season: Round 23 preview

Thanks for the correction regarding Nathan Jones’ age. I thought for a while he was 32 now.

Can the Demons bounce back after a 2019 from hell?

Port had three straight Round 1’s at home between 2008-10, and two straight between 2001-02.

Adelaide hasn’t had consecutive Round 1’s at home since 1999-2000 so I thought it’s time that changed.

What Round 1 of the 2020 AFL season should look like

@Billy – I wasn’t aware that the SCG would still be unavailable until around the end of March.
@TomC – if that’s the case, then another alternative would be –
Saturday
North Melbourne vs Melbourne at Blundstone Arena, 1:45pm
St Kilda vs Fremantle at Marvel Stadium, 4:35pm
Brisbane Lions vs Hawthorn at the Gabba, 7:25pm (local)
Collingwood vs Sydney Swans at the MCG, 7:25pm (Seven) <– first time the Pies have had a home game vs the Swans since the 2013 controversy.
Sunday
GWS Giants vs Gold Coast Suns at UNSW Canberra Oval, 1:10pm
Having the Suns play away in round one would allow them to play their milestone 200th match at home.

What Round 1 of the 2020 AFL season should look like

CORRECTION: The Roosters’ 58-6 victory is the second highest/largest by any side this season. I forgot that Melbourne Storm beat the Parramatta Eels by 64-10 in round nine.

Get set for a huge Super Sunday in the NRL

Also worth noting that Melbourne Storm lost 38-36 to the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp in 2017.

History is against the Broncos as they face a Storm surge on Friday night

CORRECTION: “…with the Eagles recording their lowest score for the season with 5.4 (41).”

It is 6.5 (41).

2019 AFL season: Round 19 preview

Another thing that I must note was that it took Djokovic 56 minutes less than it took for him to beat Nadal in the 2012 Australian Open final, in which the final set went to 7-5. One of the all-time great matches.

Final thoughts on Wimbledon 2019

Thanks for the heads up. Sometimes it is hard to keep count when the most celebrated trio in men’s tennis (namely Djokovic, Nadal and Federer) have won so many titles that you tend to miss out on their exact figures by one or two.

I think Djokovic will be the fresher for the fact that 1) he played his semi-final first and 2) he was barely stretched by Roberto Bautista-Agut in his semi though he did drop the second set. He’s also 3-1 against Federer in Major finals (2-0 at Wimbledon and 1-1 at the US Open) so that will also play a factor.

Wimbledon 2019: Men's final preview

CLARIFICATION: “…having lost two of his three finals at the All England Club against the Serb”

Two of the three Wimbledon finals he has lost were to the Serb, while the other was against Nadal in 2008. Other than that, he has won eight Wimbledon titles.

Wimbledon 2019: Men's final preview

Completely forgot about that, thanks for the heads up.

2019 AFL season: Round 16 preview

Well, if Kyrgios does make it to round two, you can bet revenge will be on Nadal’s mind.

I still think the Spaniard is spitting chips at the fact he took his Australian opponent very lightly in 2014, as well as the fact he’d also lost to him after holding a match point in Acapulco earlier this year.

Wimbledon 2019: Mega preview

It was a game is missing; this is an error on my end.

2019 AFL season: Round 15 preview

Completely forgot about that game, thanks for the heads up. For the record, I have tipped Collingwood.

2019 AFL season: Round 15 preview

Completely forgot about that, thanks for the heads up.

Also of note is that Vondrousova is the first teen to reach a Major final since Caroline Wozniacki at the 2009 US Open, and first teen to reach the French Open final since Ana Ivanovic in 2007.

2019 French Open: Women's final preview

Let me clarify – Australia’s first Grand Slam singles triumph.

Defending champion Halep falls, new major winner guaranteed at Roland Garros

Cheers. While I expect Nadal and Djokovic to again feature at the pointy end I would not be surprised to see a first-time Major finalist here, like we did with Dominic Thiem last year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas in particular has had an impressive 2019 season taking down Federer and Nadal on hard and clay courts respectively, as well as reaching the final in Madrid (where he lost to Djokovic) and the semis in Rome (lost to Nadal). After reaching the semis at the Australian Open I wouldn’t be surprised if he again goes deep at Roland Garros.

As for the women’s, you can’t really pick a winner with any real confidence. Osaka’s form has been down since January, and Pliskova has been exposed as wanting at recent Majors. However, I think the latter is the dark horse, as her form in Rome showed. Halep will be under the most pressure as the defending champion and her form too has suffered in the past twelve months. Thus, I would not be surprised if there is a first-time winner in the women’s draw.

2019 French Open: Mega-preview

Fair to say American tennis (on the men’s front) has suffered since the great Pete Sampras retired in 2002 or 2003.

Andy Roddick was seen as his natural successor and indeed he lived up to expectations when he won the US Open in 2003, but that was as good as it got for him. I always say this – he was probably unfortunate that his career peak came at the same time as that of Federer and (to a lesser extent) Nadal.

Without Federer in his way, Roddick could so easily have won at least two or three Majors. The 2009 Wimbledon final defeat must surely rank as the most devastating defeat of his career for many reasons…. IIRC the American was only broken once in the entire match, at the very death.

On the women’s front Madison Keys is one of my favourite players and I hope she gets another chance to win a Major title. The US Open is her best shot.

R.I.P. American tennis

That would also be a fantastic idea; though as Singapore has the same time zone as Perth, the scheduling would be a massive issue (refer to the Optus Stadium section of the article).

All teams would fly to Singapore on the same day (say Monday or Tuesday), and then fly back to Australia as immediately as possible so as to recover and prepare for their next match.

This would also generate millions of dollars for the Singapore market, too.

Potential future venues for the NRL's Magic Round

I’m not suggesting the AFL should have a bye round should Marvel Stadium host Magic Round; rather they can still have a round of matches in that weekend provided they don’t schedule any matches at the venue.

Example – round 23 of the AFL this year will not have a match at the Docklands venue due to a basketball match.

Potential future venues for the NRL's Magic Round

I went for Marvel over AAMI because it’s closer to the Melbourne CBD plus the fact that it’s now called Marvel Stadium means the kids can enjoy what it has to offer with regards to the Marvel retail store inside the ground, certain movie characters being shown in and outside of the stadium precinct, and the potential entertainment before or in between matches (think the various Marvel movies).

I wouldn’t be against AAMI hosting Magic Round, though; it’s still a good ground to host the concept and it would light up Melbourne Park especially if there are any AFL matches being played nearby so fans can enjoy the best of both codes.

Potential future venues for the NRL's Magic Round

I also think it was that overconfidence which cost them against Fremantle in round five.

These days, you can’t go into a match just expecting to win, like the Cats appeared to do in round four. You have to play for it.

A Giant task awaits at the MCG on Sunday

This has also happened in the AFL in the noughties, when the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne took home games against the Sydney Swans and Brisbane Lions to the SCG and Gabba, respectively, effectively giving those tenant clubs an extra home game.

I think the reason the Sea Eagles want to play the Broncos at Suncorp is to generate money to upgrade the badly outdated Brookvale Oval. That’s my theory, I could be wrong.

Also, I can recall at least 2014 and 2017 when the Dragons played “home” games against the Wests Tigers and Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, which is used by those two clubs as their home grounds.

If Magic Round is to alternate every year, another venue I could suggest is Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, though this would require the AFL to vacate the ground for one round of matches (as a matter of fact, no matches are scheduled at the venue in round 23 of their season, due to a basketball match). A such round at Adelaide Oval or Perth Stadium would have to be held during one of the AFL’s bye rounds, during which there would be no games in Adelaide or Perth respectively.

2019 NRL Magic Round preview

Yes the Swans do have the youngest squad across the entire league. Last week vs the Giants was their most inexperienced side since Horse took over at the start of the 2011 season.

Is it time for John Longmire to leave the Sydney Swans?

It is true that Michael Voss’ influence in the final five minutes won the Lions the flag, but back then, the judges had to cast their votes before the final siren so that the votes could be compiled in time for the post-match ceremony. It must be noted that at three-quarter-time, the Pies trailed by only four points and were in it for the most part until Jason Akermanis’ late goal sealed the Lions’ second (of three consecutive) flag.

The voting procedure was changed following that year’s Grand Final, and since then there’s been one Norm Smith Medallist that came from the losing side – Chris Judd (West Coast) in 2005.

Lions and Pies set for Easter Thursday Bris Vegas showdown