Home > The Final Word > The Monday Wrap – 23/5/11

The Monday Wrap – 23/5/11

Hello all WPW fans, the Monday Wrap is back! Some busy times and general laziness meant I had to forgo this spectacular weekly piece for some time, but in an effort to procrastinate from other things, The Monday Wrap returns in all its glory, taking a look at all things interesting in the world of sport, and other things. This week’s edition includes a look at Game One of this year’s State of Origin, the fiery Waratahs fan forum, FIFA’s unsteady stance on Qatar 2022, all the promotion and relegation news from the EPL and a short tribute to the many superstars we’ve lost recently and much more! 

That special time of year

Origin footy is now only 2 days away, and you can feel it in the air! The big question this year, will Ricky Stuart be the difference and finally bring the shield back down south of the border, or are this Queensland side just too good? As I’m sure you would have heard in our YouTube Extra – Origin One special, I have tipped Queensland to win Game One, but don’t let this fool you. This year’s NSW squad, minus a couple of ‘interesting’ selections, are more than good enough to beat the Queenslanders, particularly in Sydney. At Suncorp Stadium for Game One, I think that the many rookies in the NSW side may just feel overawed, and Queensland’s back-line, even minus two superstars, will pounce.  Despite this, I can see NSW winning the series, and I’m thinking it will all come down to Game Three up in Brisbane. We’re in for a big one this year! (Short side note – I tend to agree with Ricky Stuart’s assessment of Jarryd Hayne as a five-eighth rather than a fullback. While people may forget his failed experiment there a few years ago, his game is suited to that role, and in my opinion, he is just a little lazy and hot-headed for the position. If he can mature a bit more, and want to get his hands on the ball more, he could be a major success in the No. 6 jersey.

Winning ugly or losing pretty?

This has been a hotly contested debate across all codes for some time. Now that sport is effectively in the entertainment business, do teams have to play pretty, or are fans content with simply winning. I bring this up on the back of a fan forum conducted by the Waratahs last week, where they basically got abused for an hour about their style of play. Following this they came out and scored five tries in the first half against the Lions at home to grab a bonus point win. In addition to this, the Wests Tigers played possibly their worst football in some time on Saturday night, but managed to grab the two points off the Panthers. So this begs the question, do fans prefer to win at all costs, or lose but entertain? David Sygall of the Sun-Herald took a closer look at this in his piece yesterday and came to some interesting conclusions. (Another short side-note – thinking further about this, my next edition of The Final Word will centre on this topic, allowing me to move on now)

The inside jobs

With the FIFA presidential elections coming up soon, current President Sepp Blatter has come out and announced a thorough investigation into Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid amid claims by The Sun newspaper in England that they bribed officials from the Ivory Coast and Guinea. Blatter also failed to rule out a re-vote for 2022, with Qatar out of the race. While some people are overly excited about the prospect of another shot at the World Cup for Australia, it must be taken into consideration that the presidential elections are upon us, and Blatter’s main rival is Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam. So I’d say take his comments with a pinch of salt, but still, if FIFA are serious about taking down corruption this would be a must. In summary, don’t rule it out, but definitely don’t put your house on it.

Final day madness

Every year the EPL throws up a massive final day, with relegation battles, the occasional title race, and European spots all making for some fantastic entertainment and even better football. This year, minus the title race, was no different. Last week saw Man Utd secure the title at Blackburn, while West Ham manager Avram Grant was sacked in the tunnel at full time after his side’s catpitualtion at Wigan, where they surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2, saw them confirm relegation. Coming into the final day, there were still five sides which could claim the final two relegation spots, whilst Liverpool and Tottenham were battling it out for a final place in Europe. In the end, Birmingham and Blackpool joined West Ham in relegation, with both sides losing devastating clashes. Blackpool led champions Man Utd 2-1 mid-way through the second half only to lose 4-2, when a draw may have been sufficient to stay alive. Birmingham meanwhile drew level with Tottenham in the 79th minute of their clash, a result which would have seen them survive and Wolves fall into the Championship. However, a 93rd minute winner from Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko saw them thrust into relegation. The final placings meant Man Utd claimed the title, and an automatic Champions League spot, with Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal joining them in the world’s premier continental cup competition. Tottenham claimed the Europa League spot, and Birmingham, Blackpool and West Ham were relegated. So far QPR and Norwich have confirmed their returns to the EPL from the Championship, while the final spot will be decided in the Playoff Final next Tuesday morning from Wembley.

The Governator

In another big story of the week, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been found to have fathered a child 14 years ago to one of the staff members in the house of him and wife Maria Shriver. Shriver left him a week before it was revealed in the press, and the fallout has seen Arnie push back his film return. In all, the prime-time television hosts have enjoyed this the most, with Conan O’Brien taking the cake for investigative analysis of the situation. In a recent monologue, O’Brien Schwazenegger’s efforts to conceal the child had to be applauded, considering it took them 14 years to find this, but only 10 to find Bin Laden!

In other news

Some random radio news, one of WPW’s favourite shows, Triple M’s Dead Set Legends, has been extended to three hours on a Saturday morning after thirteen years on the air. Great news for all the sporting fans of Sydney, and it also means even more of the great live reads from Ray ‘Rabs’ Warren and the Twelfth Man, Billy Birmingham.

R.I.P.

Sadly, the past few weeks has seen the sporting world lose some of its greatest stars. Not long ago the boxing world said goodbye to Aussie legend Lionel Rose with a state funeral. The AFL lost Geelong great Bob Davis, the NRL lost Tigers and Dragons great Sid Ryan, and just last weekend the wrestling world lost larger than life superstar Randy ‘The Macho Man’ Savage. Finally only this morning it was announced that the NRL world had lost another one, in former Cowboys forward Sam Faust. Faust had been battling Leukemia for the after it prematurely ended his promising career in 2008 at just 23, and with the help of many NRL stars, NSW hooker Michael Ennis had been raising much needed funds for Faust to travel to America for the treatment needed to save his life. Unfortunately he lost his battle with this terrible disease, and as a mark of respect the Cowboys will honour Faust at their home game against the Roosters this Saturday night.

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