Home > General, The Final Word > The Monday Wrap – 17/10/11

The Monday Wrap – 17/10/11

Again another massive weekend of sport, and another weekend of disappointing results for Australia (unfortunately). In this week’s Monday Wrap – The Wallabies are out of the World Cup, the Kangaroos dominated the Kiwis in the rugby league, Australia’s tour of South Africa got underway, and much more.

The dream is over….again

In every four year cycle there comes a time when all Australian’s rise from their slumber to get behind the Wallabies, with an unfounded confidence and the expectancy of victory. Unfortunately it’s that time again. Coming off an unimpressive attacking effort against the Springboks in the quarter final, the Wallabies were unequivocally smashed by the All Blacks in the semi final at Eden Park. Quade Cooper and Will Genia seemed to be suffering from stage fright when the big time came, but the game was really over before it began as Cooper put the kick-off into touch on the full. While I’ll leave the analysis of the game to the best in the game, our Chief Rugby Analyst David Shipton, there is one thing I will say about the game, and Australia’s play in the big games. They’ve got to be willing to lose the game to win it. For the full eighty minutes, it seemed that they were more worried about stopping the All Blacks than winning the game themselves, and in my opinion, this negative attitude cost them greatly. Until they can feel free enough to throw caution to the wind (which itself seems to bring the best out of our star backs in Cooper, O’Connor and Beale), they will continue to lose out to the likes of the All Blacks, who are simply too good against tentative opposition.

Kangaroos grab back some Aussie pride

In a small win for the Australians this weekend, the Kangaroos ran rings around the albeit undermanned Kiwis to win the one-off Test 42-6. The right side of the Australians, with Willie Tonga and debutante Akuia Uate, ripped Lewis Brown and Kalifa Fai-Fai Loa to shreds,  and left those in attendance in no doubt about the favourites going into the tournament. Darren Lockyer played his last game on Australian soil, and was dominant throughout, while coach Tim Sheens’ ploy to start with mobile forwards Paul Gallen and Matt Scott worked a treat, as Keith Galloway, David Shillington and Tony Williams wreaked havoc later in the game against tired Kiwis. While the Kiwis are noted slow starters, and will have Adam Blair and Steve Matai available if they face the Australians in the final, it’s hard to argue against an Australian victory, and the end of a perfect send-off for one of the greatest players in history.

New stars emerge in the hit and giggle

Australia’s tour of South Africa got underway over the weekend as well, with a tied Twenty20 series. David Warner failed to score a run in his two innings, but the younger Australian stars stood out under pressure, showing that we’re definitely in good hands. Shane Watson’s batting in game one aside, the only other dominant performances came from Patrick Cummins with the ball (five wickets in two games), James Pattinson (2-17 off four overs in the second game) and Mitchell Marsh (36 off 21 balls in game two, with four sixes in the final overs). As I write this, I’ve just learned that Cummins has been chosen in the Test squad ahead of Pattinson, the only change to the squad which toured Sri Lanka. I will address this in more detail in my Test series preview, but I don’t think this is the best option. Anyway, the one-day series starts this week, before the real games get underway towards the end of the month. Big times ahead for Australian cricket.

In other news…

A big congratulations to Casey Stoner who sealed another MotoGP World Championship with a now customary win at Phillip Island. It was Stoner’s fifth straight win at the Island, and his second World Championship.

Some interesting results in the A-League over the weekend, with only Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory able to back up first start wins. Sydney FC’s woes continued with a home loss to the Roar, while Melbourne Victory remain without a win after an uninspiring loss to Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium. While Melbourne Heart are the only side without a point, there still remains five sides without a victory, and some less entertaining football after the spectacular opening round.

Finally, the MLB is drawing to a close, with the Texas Rangers now into the World Series with a 15-5 win over the Detroit Tigers to seal the ALCS, while the mighty St Louis Cardinals joined them, sealing the MLCS with a 12-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

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