Sport mo­ments to watch in 2018

Sports fans won't know where to look in 2018. It's set to be a mas­sive year, par­tic­u­larly for those of us in WA. Fever­ish an­tic­i­pa­tion reigns for the open­ing of Perth Sta­dium with cricket, rugby league, soc­cer, AFL and AFL W sched­uled. Turn on the box and

The Advocate (Perth) - - NEWS -

LO­CAL 1. Aus­tralia vs Eng­land One Day In­ter­na­tional, Perth Sta­dium, Jan­uary 28

More than 50,000 fans. At a cricket match against the Old En­emy. In Perth? Have we en­tered some sort of wild al­ter­nate re­al­ity? It’s to be a sport­ing crowd the scale of which WA has never seen. 2. UFC 221, Perth Arena, Fe­bru­ary 11

It’s the event that was out­lawed by the for­mer State Gov­ern­ment. How’s that for a tag line? With the cur­rent Gov­ern­ment hav­ing lifted the ban, the in­tensely pop­u­lar com­bat sport makes its Perth de­but. Aus­tralian Rob Whit­taker head­lines the card, look­ing to de­fend his mid­dleweight ti­tle against Amer­i­can Luke Rock­hold.

3. A new era for WA rugby in the Su­per W Compe­ti­tion

WA has a new team to cham­pion af­ter the dis­ap­point­ing demise of the Western Force. A na­tional rugby compe­ti­tion is the lat­est prod­uct of the rise and rise of women's elite sport. The fiveteam 15-a-side show­down is to run from March to April.

4. Fre­man­tle vs West Coast, first Western Derby at Perth Sta­dium, April 29

It will surely be the loud­est derby of the sides’ 23-year ri­valry. It was dis­ap­point­ing it was not given the op­por­tu­nity to shine in a night slot, but the Sun­day af­ter­noon clash will add a mo­men­tous chap­ter to the Dock­ers-Ea­gles chron­i­cles.

5. A de­ci­sion on WA F1 ace Daniel Ric­cia­rdo’s fu­ture

The Dun­craig dy­namo has tal­ent to burn but not yet the car to take him to a world cham­pi­onship. The Red Bull Rac­ing driver’s con­tract is up this year. Will he stay or will he go? GLOBAL 1. Win­ter Olympics, South Korea, Fe­bru­ary 9 to Fe­bru­ary 25

Aus­tralia is tipped to field its most suc­cess­ful team ever. It’s a line we hear ev­ery four years but if you ask vet­eran aerial skier David Mor­ris, there’s a sense of va­lid­ity to it this time. “I do hon­estly be­lieve this is the strong­est team we could pos­si­bly have,” he said re­cently. World cham­pi­ons Scotty James (snow­board­ing) and Britt Cox (moguls) stand as Aus­tralia's gold medal hopes.

2. Com­mon­wealth Games, Gold Coast, April 4 to April 15

The coun­try’s top ath­letes win­ning a swag of medals on home soil on the Gold Coast. Eng­land topped the medal tally at the 2014 meet in Glas­cow, tak­ing 58 gold to Aus­tralia’s 49. It would be em­bar­rass­ing to have them do that again, par­tic­u­larly on our turf. 3. FIFA World Cup, Rus­sia, June 14 to July 15

Aus­tralia took the long­est route of any team in FIFA his­tory to earn its place in Rus­sia. Op­ti­mism is high with the Soc­ceroos avoid­ing a group of death in their draw of France, Peru and Den­mark. Aus­tralia’s first game is against France on June 16.

4 Hockey World Cups; women – Lon­don, July 21 to Au­gust 5; men – In­dia, Novem­ber 28 to De­cem­ber 16

The Hock­ey­roos haven’t won a World Cup in 20 years. The Kook­abur­ras have won the past two. The pres­sure is on for Aus­tralia’s top men’s and women’s teams for two very dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

5. AFC Women’s Asian Cup, Jor­dan, April 6 to April 20

A dom­i­nant show­ing for the Matil­das at this tour­na­ment will put their ri­vals on no­tice for the 2019 World Cup. The Matil­das open their cam­paign against South Korea on April 7.

Perth Sta­dium.

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