Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sydney Stuck At The Bottom


"DEFENCE....DEFENCE.....DEFENCE...." Not even Rodney O, who made a return to the microphone , could keep Sydney from being belted by the Hawks. People waiting for over two years to see their beloved Kings team be reinstated to the NBL have been let down by poor on court performances.

A real Sydney fan would have known once the team was assembled that on court performances were going to be below par when compared to the Championship teams of the past. I seriously do not understand what planet Mr Turner was on when putting this team together. There were many good players the Kings could have picked up when every single player was on the free agency. This obviously wasn't on Turners' agenda! He waited and waited and then announced a seven man roster with a few spots to be filled by imports. Now of those spots I would say only Ben Knight and Julian Khazzouh are starters, the rest are just role players and not bad ones either. However Moose, if that's what everyone likes to call him (I have other names), gives them extended minutes. These minutes most of them have not seen in their playing careers and it is showing in the results.

Here is my breakdown of the current roster:

Luke Cooper: I didn't know much of Luke but heard a little about him in his time in the Waratah League this season. I was in Europe and never got to play against him. What I did read though was that he was a superb pickup. What didn't make sense was that they already had Luke Martin who isn't a starter. Now you are stuck with two backups. There was the first mistake. Luke proved to be a young star in his first few games and contributed more than what I was expecting. However a season ending injury has put that to an end. Hopefully he can recover in time for the ABA season. 

Graham Dann: I've known Graham for a long time now and he is a great player. However he is not a starter. I think he provides good minutes off the bench for any NBL team. His numbers so far are not what you'd expect from an import swingman that the Kings have had in the past. His horrific injury against the Breakers may keep him on the bench for a while but I hope he comes back stronger and puts up some good numbers. 

Blagov Janev: Blogs is another good role player that can hit a perimeter shot with ease. It seems as though his confidence has been shattered by the limited minutes he is receiving. I would rather have Blagov on then Jared Scoines who provides absolutely nothing at this level. The Kings need his size in the key as Khazzouh and new import Gilder have arms the size of mine! If blogs can find some confidence he could be good for the team. Give him a go, MOOSE!

Julian Khazzouh: The shining light for the Kings so far. The guy is racking up some seriously good numbers this season. I'm glad he has worked hard at his game and is now seen as a go to guy for an NBL team. I do have one problem with him. He has no size!! Larry Davidson muscled him all around the key last Sunday and Khazzouh could do nothing about it. I spoke to a few people who maybe suggested his work ethic in the gym must be horrendous. I can see their point. He has been playing professional basketball overseas for a season or two now and played for the Sydney Spirit when they were around. He should be the size of Barry Hall by now! After watching the game on Sunday and witnessing the two new imports take all the shots, I am predicting Khazzouh may soon become a little frustrated. He was taking up to 18 shots a game before Sanders and Gilder have come in, now a measely seven against the Hawks. I can imagine that Julian is itching for Dickle to get on the court and direct traffic his way.

Ben Knight: I was in Knight's Kings team a few years back now and he is a great guy, player and captain. It has taken him a couple of months to get in the starting lineup but now that he is in it he will cement it as his. He will be a leader and won't stop even when the times are tough. The one thing that is worrying for me is that he is not fully fit and don't think he will ever get to 100% again. I hope he does for the team and fans sake. The first couple of games watching him hobble around was painful as a viewer let alone what he was going through. 

Ben Magden: Another unknown identity for myself when he was announced in the roster. He is a scorer and he is starting to come along quite nicely. However he can't stop a parked car. So really he may be scoring 15 but he is letting in 17. If he can fix that part of his game up he could be a role player the Kings rely on down the stretch. I also like his passion and desire to win a basketball game. I don't really see it from many of them. 

Luke Martin: Luke is probably the best back-up point guard in the league and he showed that when he played with the Gong last season. A horrible injury helped him take a back ward step this season and he hasn't looked his usual self since. So this is the problem! Luke is running the show at the moment which is allowing rival point guards to apply a lot of heat on him. I don't think the Kings ran many sets last week because Luke couldn't get the ball across the court without having to pass it off. I like the Luke Martin who comes off the bench gives 10 hard minutes, scores a few points, grabs a few steals and electrifies a crowd with an awesome dish. This is where the Kings went wrong at the beginning of the season. They should have brought in a legitimate point guard like Gary Ervin or Corey Williams. Luke would have fed off them and everything would have been much rosier. However now they bring in 35 year old Mark Dickle, former New Zealand international who has played no basketball for a year and has taken up a role in coaching overseas. COME ON MAN!!!!!! I hope to see Luke show his true colours over the next few weeks. I believe in him and he will show us that he belongs in the NBL.

Damien Ryan: I'm sorry Mr Turner but can you please explain why this man is playing for the Kings. He is a 31 year old has been for goodness sake. He is out there to shoot three's but can't hit them. BJ Carter would have been a better pickup. He brings more passion for his jersey than Ryan ever will and plus he is dead eye from any range. He better pick up his game or give him the boot, he is tearing up salary cap space! At the moment he is just an oxygen thief!

Jared Scoines: Refer to Blagov Janev's spiel. The bloke just isn't up to the NBL and can't believe he is playing ten minutes a game. He is an ABA level player.

Patrick Sanders: Can hoop! I think the Kings have found an import who can play and loves doing it. The guy is of decent size and can hit a jump shot. The only thing that I don't like is that he seems very one out and doesn't involve his teammates. He is a black hole (if you give him the ball, you ain't getting it back). He scored 27 points against some good defense in Campbell and Saville which gives Sydney fans some hope of witnessing more than one win this season, sorry we haven't yet! That one was down in Melbourne. 

Joel Wagner: Brought into the roster in place of injured Luke Cooper. What a great pickup......NOT! The guy is smaller than Luke Martin and can't score. The only reason he is in the team is because of Connor Henry (Sydney Assistant Coach) who was the assistant coach of the Perth Wildcats where Wagner was found. He has been seeing more minutes than Luke Martin which is ridiculous. I don't think we will see much more of him when Dickle starts playing, which could mean a flight home for Wagner is on the cards. 

Trey Gilder: I watched the game last week and he was disgraceful. He has zero size which is exactly what the Kings did NOT need. The Kings needed someone to work with Khazzouh in the paint. Now the Kings have mini me point guards and stick men centres. COME ON MAN!! Gilder's body language throughout the match was disgraceful and his little dummy spit after getting fouled when the basket waved off was a joke. Grow up mate! I don't know how they play in the D-League in the states but we are a bit tougher down under. You may want to get used to it buddy. I've spoken to a few people and they are giving this guy 2 weeks max. I'm going to give him more of a run but if he performs anywhere near the standard of last week he will be getting flown out razor sharp. By the way Trey, just a quick heads up, Shane Heal's number 23 was retired, don't be showing disrespect for the man who led the Kings to their first championship. I'm guessing he demanded that he either wear it or not play! MOOSE would have given in because he is a pussy.

Finally MOOSE: Our head coach is past it! We need someone fresh. His ideas and rotation are atrocious. Is it because his team isn't as talented as the rest of the field or is it his techniques. Look at Joey Wright, Rob Beveridge and Marty Clarke. They have all come into the league and showcased their coaching talent. This is a case of Mr Turner being cheap. I'm sure there would have been someone out there that could be doing a better job. He lets Connor Henry do all the talking in timeouts. I absolutely hate that! Get in their MOOSE. Run the show and get your team organised. Mr Henry if you get another technical foul you should get the flick. It is down right embarrassing!

TURNER: Sharpen up or get out of the office. Your marketing tactics are disgraceful. If you weren't a basketball fan you still wouldn't know the Kings are playing. Please stop thinking that you are going to continually bring in opening night crowds when:
A: You don't win
B: You provide the same entertainment week in week out. I think the same thing was done for the last 20 years. I was there the other week and I said to my girlfriend this new hip hop boys crew, who definitely weren't in time, (I'm positive I saw them dancing around central station one week for money) is something different. She turned and said mmmm yeah they are OK. Then another of my mates told me this is the 4th time they have performed. Fans don't want to see the same thing every week. They will stop coming back. 
C: The Lions routine is outdated, enough of the Michael Jackson mask and same music every week.
D: It's about time you brought back Rodney O. The next thing you need to do is bring back the BAND! They will bring back the younger adult crowd. Have them play before and after the match so people can mingle and have a few drinks. This will lead to people chanting and being a little more passionate than most of the people I witnessed when I was there against the Breakers.
E: Pay someone to market the team much better than what is happening at the moment. It's a farce! Don't worry I won't forget you asking me to work for free! 

There is much needed improvement over the rest of the season. I hope things come together for the Kings as the league needs them to be doing well.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some PT for PM


Patty Mills has finally seen some solid playing time for the Portland Trailblazers after sitting the pine for two seasons. The boy from Oz registered 29 minutes against Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns yesterday.

During his 29 minutes Mills went 4-9 from the field, grabbed three rebounds and threw out seven assists. His nine points helped the Blazers get over the line against a Suns team who just didn't want to go away. One of his assists registered as the assist of the night on www.nba.com. Check it out below. Couldn't find a link for the actual video but it is in this library.

I was starting to worry about whether Patty was going to see any court time again this season. I was watching one of his games on ONEHD when he walked in front of the camera and waved like some school kid who won the prize to suit up and sit on the bench with the team. It was quite embarrassing and I really can't see him doing that again, now that he is in the rotation.

Andre Miller will come back into the lineup and Mill's minutes may deteriorate but I think he has shown to Nate McMillan that he can play at this level. He is good on the defensive end and will give opposition back up point guards fits. It should be interesting to see what Nate does with him now. Australian fans can only hope that backup point guard Armon Johnson sucks it up so Patty can get a run.

I'm also hoping this because I'm sick and tired of watching the Lakers, Heat, Magic and the Celtics on the TV. No more Milwaukee action either, they're terrible to watch and their games are down right boring.

Well done Patty for sticking it out. Lets hope that a few scouts watched some of your highlights, maybe a bigger contract could be coming your way.



In the wake of Twente's goalkeeper blunder during the champions league group stage fixture Wednesday morning, I've found it's not only the keepers that can bodge it. Take a look at some of these missed shots by some of the highest paid players in the world. 

I bet the Pakistan Cricket Team strongly believe this was FIXED!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010



I was shown this last night and had to laugh. I think the coach has every right to blow up. There is seriously nothing wrong with this play. The commentators had no clue as to what was going on, it was quite funny. Have a look and see what you think.

Another controversial play is this one. I'm not sure if this is allowed but it is quite smart if it is! If anyone knows if it was allowed or disallowed, fill me in!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Some Roughies This NBA Season

With the NBA pre-season now in full swing, fans are able to check out their team’s youngsters and some of their new bought talent. Many of the NBA teams have acquired new members, some having put together very competitive squads. It should be interesting to see some of last year’s minnow teams this year having a big crack. I’m a big fan of a few underdogs this season.

I think the Clippers are going to be a lot stronger than last season with Blake Griffin coming back. He has started the pre season really well. Against Sacramento Griffin did not miss any of his seven field goal attempts and pulled down 8 rebounds. Not bad for 22 minutes of play! In his second game he was even better hitting 10 of his 15 shots and pulling down nine rebounds in 24 minutes. If Griffin is to be putting up these numbers and the Clips remain healthy they will hold a respectable record come seasons end. Not only will they have a good record but Griffin will put his hand up for Rookie of the Year honours alongside 2010’s number one draft pick John Wall.

The Washington Wizards will want to improve on last year’s shenanigans. Gilbert Arenas will have a pre season under his belt and have some youngsters that can seriously play around him. Will John Wall take a backseat to Arenas or will there be some tension throughout the season? I think the acquisition of Kirk Hinrich will help get them both the ball. In the pre season it looks as if they are going to start all three of them. That would be interesting as they would be so small. The Wizards will trouble many teams with their speed. The likes of Wall, Arenas and McGee running the floor, teams will have to be playing very good transitional defence. Wall hasn’t been the shining light of the pre season as of yet. Over his two games he has shot 10-28 and dished out 15 assists. He will need to put up better numbers if he is to win the Rookie of the Year honours. The Wizards also acquired Yi Jianlian who will see plenty of minutes at the three spot. This will be a big chance for Yi to show his true ability. He can play a big role in helping the Wizards climb the ladder in 2010.

However if you’re looking for a young team to watch in 2010/11, check out the Toronto Raptors this season. They may not do extremely well after losing Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu in the off season but there is some serious talent left in the squad. Kleiza is coming off a big world championship and will be a solid swing/four man. Another European who is a big talent is Andreas Bargnani from Italy. He will have a much larger responsibility and I think he will shine through it. De Rozan will play more minutes along with Sonny Weems and newly acquired livewire Barbosa. I think this team led by point guards Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack will give a few teams a go this season. Early signs have been good in the pre season beating Phoenix by 41 and losing to Boston in Boston by only four.

I hope you enjoy the pre season and make sure you check out some of the talent on show that you may not see during the season.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010



This is one hell of a classic by the guys from "The Chaser". They get the West Coast Eagles something brilliant. This video was taken around the time Ben Cousins stood down as captain of the club. Enjoy and tell me what you think. Listen carefully as some of the one liners are hilarious.


Monday, September 6, 2010



The NBL and OneHD have just released their new 2010 commercial. I'm quite impressed! They definitely put some money into it. It's showing that they actually care and want basketball in Australia to succeed. Lets hope this continues to bring basketball back to the glory days.

LeBron James Clip Classic


A mate of mine sent me to this you-tube link of LeBron James. It's quite hilarious! I hope you all enjoy it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Is Match Fixing Becoming A Way Of The Sporting Life?


Firstly in the NRL, ex Melbourne Storm now Canterbury Bulldogs forward Ryan Tandy, is suspected to have been involved in a fix during the first few minutes of the Bulldogs/Cowboys clash at Dairy Farmers last weekend. Tandy says he has nothing to hide regarding the incident, and that he was not involved at all in the betting plunge. Punters were set to collect a lovely $250000 if the Cowboys kicked a penalty goal as the first scoring play of the match. The reason Tandy is having the finger pointed at him, is that first he knocked the ball on in the opening set of six, and straight after gave the Cowboys a penalty right in front of the sticks. The Cowboys chose not to take the two, instead tapping and scoring in the corner. Therefore, the sting didn't succeed and the punters were left wondering! Do you think Tandy is guilty? Do you believe that other matches in the past or present have been fixed? Gambling on sport is on the rise and it doesn't look like slowing down. There will definitely be more instances of this occurring.

Secondly a more important scandal that is happening right at this moment is the Pakistan Cricket Team bonanza. There have been fresh reports that money was exchanged over the table. You see in the video an unnamed man, declaring that there will be a no ball on certain balls bowled. That is insane! They weren't wrong either. The no-balls that were bowled are hilarious, check them out below. They certainly made sure their foot was over the line. The more I watch these videos the more it makes me cringe. These guys should be banned for life. There is no room for this behaviour in any sport around the world. When the Australians did come back from that test in Sydney, you had to question the tactics of the Pakis.

I really hope that the sporting world isn't rocked to hard by these two stories. However, something must be done about this. This can't be swept under the rug. An example must be set and if it's Ryan Tandy or the Pakistani's, SO BE IT!

Sunday, August 22, 2010



A couple of days ago during a World Cup warm-up, the Serbs and Greeks had an all in brawl. Check the video out below. Some crazy crazy shit goes on. The size of some of the men on both sides is ridiculous. It should be interesting if these two teams are to meet in the World Cup. I say bring it ON!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The NBA Is Losing Control Of Their Players

Carmelo Anthony wants out of Denver for some crazy reason. He wants out fast too. Firstly he wanted to go and partner up with Amare Stoudemire at New York. Now he has come out and said that if the Rockets or the Nets come up with a trade he will sign a multi-year deal with them.

Along comes Chris Paul who supposedly stood up at Anthony's wedding declaring that they were going to make a super team of their own. Paul was talking about himself, Anthony and Stoudemire at the  New York Knicks. Who do these guys think they are trying to run the NBA? What confidence does this give GM's when signing big name players? What about the fans? Players just don't care anymore!

There is no more loyalty in the game. Denver fans just having purchased 'Anthony' jerseys over the off season should receive a refund. New Orleans fans won't know if to cheer or boo Chris Paul if he stays on this season. They all know for a fact that he wants out, why should they cheer for him this year?

I understand  why people think that this is exciting for the game but it really isn't! There will be five or six really good teams and then the rest will be pathetic. Who wants to watch LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh absolutely tear apart the Sacramento Kings? I certainly don't. I want to see a competition where many of the teams have superstars which they can build around. Just as the Lakers have done with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol being surrounded by great role players. That is why they're so successful and fun to watch.

The NBA needs to sit down and put a stop to this. It is ridiculous how three all star players can go to lunch and discuss how they can all play on the same team. If the NBA is going to move forward they need to clean this mess up. I really feel for the fans in this situation and I hope David Stern does too!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010



I am sick to death of complaining about NRL Referees but last nights game has to be spoken about. The St George Illawarra vs Manly was shaping up to be a cracker of a match before the man upstairs decided it was to be all about him.

Bill Harrigan who is the head of the referees was the man pressing the button last night. You would think that he would know the rule that you can't lose control of the ball over the try line and than place your hand on it after the ball has hit the ground. Obviously not! Gasnier shimmy shimmy whoosed before crossing over for what looked like a great individual try, but he clearly lost the ball. If you haven't seen it watch the video below, on the slow motion replay you can see clear separation. After the first replay it would have been a red light for me, it was that clear. When the green light came on, I couldn't believe it. The commentators were blowing up. Anything to get in the news Billy Boy! I liked Warren Smith's comment "Here's $10000 Dessie get into them after the game!" Good on you Waz.

This is bad for the game, it's wrong for the players and fans to be punished by these imbeciles. Bill Harrigan after the game defended himself by saying "It was the benefit of the doubt, there was no separation.The ball was put down short of the line than rolled onto it." WOW WAH WEE WAH, he is going bananas! The worst thing is the Dragons claiming that he got it right. Gasnier said "I guess it was one of those 50/50 calls, I guess I got the benefit of the doubt." Are you insane Gaz? What's so 50/50 about it? The ball was clearly out of your hands, I even think that the Manly guy kicked it before Gaz touched it again! Wayne Bennett even denied there was any separation. That's alright the bloke is getting old, he probably is having troubles with his eye sight. 

Bobby Fulton was furious "It was the worst decision by a video referee since the introduction of the video ref in 97. The decision was a joke. Harrigan is a blight on the game and he must be sacked as a video ref." There has been a feud between Harrigan and Fulton for years now. Back in 1987 Fulton told Harrigan "I hope you get run over by a cement truck."

In the second half Brent Kite went to the line and handed the ball to Kieran Foran who was a metre in front of him. Shane Hayne was standing right there and signaled that he flicked it back. I could see it first time, he threw it so far forward it was worthy of a penalty. How do two men in the middle plus two touch judges miss that? Foran was looking at Hayne with a guilty look on his face, praying for him to award the try. If this is the game of the round and we have these monkeys adjudicating, the finals could be ruined!
Lets hope they can start to get it right, I think the first step to that is getting rid of the video ref. It will give the refs downstairs more confidence in their decisions and fans will accept that. All this slow motion rubbish is causing to many grey areas in our game.

Friday, August 13, 2010



A couple of things regarding the "King" LeBron James. While I was away in Europe I heard of this nonsense 1 hour special he had on ESPN regarding his move to Miami. I couldn't help but laugh at how much of a wanker he is.

What I do love is how some of the players and comedians are mocking him! Check it out.

Not only has there been videos but there have been some heated words over the last two days between LeBron and Charles Barkley!

Only a few days back James tweeted “Don’t think for one min that I haven’t been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!” Barkley was quick to respond on 103.3 ESPN Radio in Dallas stating “I heard about LeBron’s little tweet today that he’s remembering everybody that said anything bad about him, and he says everybody. Well, I want him to make sure that he puts my name on that because I thought that his little one-hour special was a punk move, I thought them dancing around on the stage was a punk move, and I thought he should’ve stayed in Cleveland. Him joining Dwyane Wade’s team was very disappointing to me. From a basketball standpoint, I wish he had stayed in Cleveland, and if he takes that as criticism, so be it. He knows where I’ll be, I don’t run. I’m on TV every week, I’m easy to find.”

I love Barkley and can't wait until LeBron chokes all over national television this year! Oh wait, he has done that his whole career, MY BAD!

Fans are in for one hell of a season, it can't come quick enough!



A highly anticipated NBL season could be heightened even further if the 12 players listed below can put up an almighty performance at the World Championships in Turkey. Is this the right team to carry Australian Basketball back to the glory days? 

I have a really good feeling about this group. The loss of Bogut was huge. If they throw him in this mix than we stand a big chance. Many of the boys chosen have all now had European experience and understand their style of play better than 4 years ago.

Australia is slowly catching up on the world, we are starting to infiltrate the European leagues. I don't know how happy the Europeans are about that but they are going to have to deal with it. With Anderson and Mills gaining NBA experience throughout last season, the Aussies will have a few go to guys when the game is on the line. 

This World Championships is wide open. The Americans haven't fielded a great team at all. I strongly feel that they will not win the competition. The Spaniards will definitely be strong but the loss of Pau Gasol hurts them. If you take them out of the equation the Aussies can make a push for a top 4 spot. In a one off game anything can happen and we all know that Aussies love being the underdogs. 

I just can't see basketball taking off if we don't do well in this tournament. The newspapers will be filled with bad press and that's exactly what the NBL doesn't need only a month from tip off. If the results are good, basketball and non basketball fans will want to catch a game during the NBL season. With ONEHD covering the season, AND1 the new clothing sponsor and Spalding getting back on board, things are looking good for the NBL. 

I really hope the boys do us proud in Turkey, for Basketball Australia and for the NBL's sake. Could 2010 be the year Australian Basketball comes back to life? 

Golden Star Australian Boomers – 2010 FIBA World Championship Team
David ANDERSEN / 212cm / 30 / Centre / Toronto Raptors (NBA) / Frankston Blues (VIC)
David BARLOW / 205cm / 26 / Forward / CAI Zaragoza (Spain) / Sandringham (VIC)
Aron BAYNES / 207cm / 23 / Centre / EWE Baskets Oldenburg (Germany) / Cairns (QLD)
Adam GIBSON / 188cm / 23 / Guard / Gold Coast Blaze / Launceston (TAS)
Joe INGLES / 203cm / 22 / Forward / CB Granada (Spain) / Southern (SA)
Steven MARKOVIC / 190cm / 25 / Guard / KK Crvena Zvezda Beograd (Serbia) / Bankstown (NSW)
Aleks MARIC / 210cm / 25 / Centre / Panathinaikos (Greece) / North Sydney (NSW)
Damian MARTIN / 188cm / 25 / Guard / Perth Wildcats / Gloucester (NSW)
Patrick MILLS / 183cm / 21 / Guard / Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) / Shadows (ACT)
Brad NEWLEY / 198cm / 25 / Guard / Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania) / Forestville (SA)
Matthew NIELSEN / 209cm / 32 / Forward / Olympiacos (Greece) / Penrith (NSW)
Mark WORTHINGTON / 202cm / 27 / Forward / Brose Baskets (Germany) / Bunbury (WA) 

Boomers 2010 International Schedule
28 August            FIBA World Championship           Jordan                  Kayseri, Turkey
29 August            FIBA World Championship           Argentina            Kayseri, Turkey
30 August            FIBA World Championship           Germany             Kayseri, Turkey
1 September       FIBA World Championship           Serbia                   Kayseri, Turkey
2 September       FIBA World Championship           Angola                  Kayseri, Turkey

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm Back!!


Sorry readers, I've been away on my three month Euro Adventure and did not have any time to write about what's going on in sport back home. I actually had no idea what was going on back home.

After a weekend of sport, I'm back. What a weekend it was too! The NRL finals race should be a cracker. The top four is anybody's for the taking. St George showed that they are not done with yet, but that won't be far off. St George fans have four weeks left of celebrating before their team chokes again. Nothing new though, right? Although all the Dragons fans seem to think it's their year, but we have all heard that one before. It should be a great finals series!

Big news which happened last night was that Greg Inglis was released from the Melbourne Storm.  Brisbane weren't sympathetic at all to the Storm, issuing a press release that Inglis had accepted the terms of his new contract only minutes after the news of him being released. I love it! What is that going to do for the Broncos next season? They have some very exciting youngsters coming through the ranks. If Hodges is injury free next season then Brisbane are going to be lethal down the sidelines.

Where does this leave Melbourne? Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith are all that is left to a once all star team. I think it's a great time for the Storm fans, they will get to see the new breed of footballers down South. It will be a struggle over the next few years but you had your taste of glory even if it has all been taken away.

How about that refereeing on Monday Night? What a disgraceful performance by the men in pink. Matthew Elliot has every rite to be furious. I'm surprised he didn't blow up and cop the $10000. That last penalty on Gordon for taking Vidot out in the air was a belter. The referee was standing right there and couldn't see that Gordon contested the ball. Canberra launched a massive attack after the penalty which resulted in the winning try. After 19 first grade games, I think old mate might be heading back to premier league. I must commend Canberra on their comeback, they played some hardarse football from the opening whistle of the second half. Furner must have sent a rocket up their backsides during halftime.

It's still a long way out but I think Manly are going to cause many of the finals teams trouble come September. I also think Penrith have the forward pack to go deep into the finals. I will never be convinced with Jamie Soward running the Dragons around the park, people won't agree with me but there is no better evidence than the last few years. Time will tell, I look forward to the next month and a half.

It's the perfect time to be back home in Australia. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pressures Mounting On Eels Superstars

Has the pressure of being one of the greats in the game today got to Jarryd Hayne? Or are his teammates the ones to blame for his lackluster start to the season?

The Eels head into this weekend’s clash against the in-form South Sydney Rabbitohs with a lot on the line.

Sitting on the bottom of the table with only two points from their five contests, things aren’t looking too great for the runners-up of last year’s season.

They can consider themselves lucky to even have those two points.

Their only win of the season came on the back of two forward passes, one of them was that forward it probably should have been called a penalty.

Who is to blame for such a poor start to the season? Are the Eels looking to replicate the Cinderella story they created last season?

I don’t think they can do it this year.

There are too many teams this season that on their given day can beat anyone. Teams like the Bulldogs and the Eels are going to struggle to even make the finals if they don’t pick up their act, starting from this weekend.

If you had been away for the first five weeks of the season and had seen Parramatta at the bottom of the ladder, you would straight away think Jarryd Hayne must either not be playing well or not playing at all.

It seems all the finger pointing is being hurled at the fullback who last year carried his team to the grand final.

Is this fair?

I don’t think so.

Hayne is a brilliant player, but he can’t weave his magic if his forwards aren’t doing the work upfront. At the moment the Eels are sitting back and waiting for the superstar to pull off a miracle week in, week out.

Nathan Cayless, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh and Feliti Mateo all must knuckle down and do the work upfront. At the moment opposition front rowers are running all over them. This is not allowing Parramatta’s star studded backline any room to create for each other.

There have been questions raised about Nathan Cayless, if he is still is able to compete with some of the best.

There is no doubting his passion and desire to help the Eels win a premiership, but should he be the man carrying them forward at the moment?

On the other hand, has the pressure got to last season’s Dally M Player of the Year?

Opposition teams have put together strategies to take the RLIF International Player of the Year in 2009 out of the ball game. As much as Hayne has downplayed the effect it’s having on his game, it must be eating him up inside.

I could not believe one of the excuses Daniel Anderson gave www.sportal.com.au this week on why Hayne has been conservative of late. “Jarryd’s a little gun shy because he’s been called for forward passes in two games … I don’t think either have been forward.”

Mr Anderson, I think you need to go and watch the footage again.

Great players always seem to find a way out of a tough situation, and I’m thinking Jarryd Hayne will be one of them. Look for a purple patch of form from the electrifying Eel in the coming weeks.

This weekend’s contest between the Eels and the Rabbits is set to be a rip roaring affair. If the South’s forwards get the upper hand, it could get ugly for the Parramatta fans.