A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size Western Sydney coach Markus Babbel faces a delicate balancing act this week with his underdone players, after the risk of selecting them in the opening A-League round of the A-League paid off. Babbel said captain and two-goal hero Mitchell Duke, German striker Alexander Meier and defenders Matt Jurman and Dylan McGowan had all either come off a recent injury or joined the club late in the pre-season. “If you’re not fully fit but you have to play then it’s not easy,” Babbel said following the 2-1 home win over Central Coast. “We took the risk and we were lucky with the result.” Babbel said it could still be a few weeks before all of those players were fully fit, Following Saturday’s 2-1 home win over Central Coast, the Wanderers have just a six-day turnaround before playing away to Melbourne Victory. “Now we have a short week till we play on Friday, so … [Read more...] about Wanderers’ Babbel faces A-League balancing act
A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size If Australia fall short at this Rugby World Cup it won’t be because of chinks in their tight forward play. That assessment came from a team who know a good scrum and lineout when they see it – Georgia – whose leading figures declared the Wallabies are among the world’s finest set piece exponents. Australian coach Michael Cheika looks set to tell his team to keep running and passing when they play in next week’s quarter-finals. Before then, he hopes to have found a solution for their patchy attacking rhythm. Yet in the eyes of veteran Georgia captain Merab Sharikadze, the Wallabies’ strength lies with the bigger bodies of the tight five. The Eastern Europeans pack some clout of their own at scrum and lineout time yet they were monstered off the park in Shizuoka on Friday. “Lineout, Australia are a very strong team, I’m pretty sure their analysis is one of the … [Read more...] about Georgia rate Wallabies pack among finest
A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size Melbourne Victory’s Marco Kurz felt a draw was about right, while Melbourne City’s Erick Mombaerts wanted more, but both coaches saw reasons for optimism in their A-League season-opening scoreless draw. A second-half Elvis Kamsoba goal that was disallowed for the Victory was the closest either side came to breaking the stalemate on Saturday night in front of 33,523 fans at Marvel Stadium. Kamsoba looked to have broken through for his maiden league goal in the 56th minute but the Burundian winger was ruled offside by the video assistant referee (VAR). It was a shame because the call wasted a superb goal celebration by Kamsoba, who went backflipping towards the corner flag and stuck the landing with a flourish that would’ve done an Olympic gymnast proud. The first half largely lacked the energy and intensity typical of the heated rivalry, which was perhaps to be expected given the … [Read more...] about Glass half full for Victory, City coaches
“Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules?” I was reminded of these words from Walter Sobchak all too frequently this NRL season. Every time the refs made a big decision, there would be those who railed against the game’s officialdom. These whingers demanded that the whistle-blowers have a better ‘feel’ for the game and stop being such pedants about the rules. So Jake Trbojevic took out an attacking player who didn’t have the ball, in a try-scoring situation. It doesn’t matter that his action was a professional foul and the rules dictate he be sent to the sin bin. This was a finals game. The refs should have the courage to ignore the rules. So Jared Waerea-Hargreaves tried to trip an opposing player and ended up at the judiciary for the sixth time this season. The panel should have had the stones to realise he didn’t need to spend time on the sidelines for what was his fourth guilty … [Read more...] about Why complain about the NRL’s black and white decisions?
A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size As the sun rises over the city of Bathurst today, all eyes will firmly be on Mount Panorama and its breathtaking 6.2-kilometre circuit as the time has come to finally go racing. The build-up has been as intense as ever with narratives aplenty, as we approach the moment when the Supercars race 161 laps for the famed Bathurst 1000. Championship leader Scott McLaughlin claimed pole position emphatically in yesterday’s top ten shootout, eclipsing even his own fastest lap record set here back in 2017. But pole means nothing on race day. Not since Garth Tander and Will Davison triumphed in 2009 has the Great Race been won from the top spot. Although it has been lost on numerous occasions, including last year when leg cramps killed David Reynolds’ chances of back-to-back Bathurst wins. Survival will be the key, making sure that you’ve made it to the final stint of the race on the leading lap. … [Read more...] about Bathurst 1000 preview: Telling the tale of the victor