20 THINGS

Inside Sport - - Contents -

1

In the a er­math of Mel­bourne Storm skip­per Cameron Smith break­ing the record for points scored in Aus­tralian rugby league’s do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion, there were wags out there who reck­oned it was wrong for Smith’s chil­dren (the Storm’s bal­lkids) to be stand­ing on the field ready to con­grat­u­late their old man as he lined up for the his­toric penalty goal. What if Smith’s aempt from in front had hit the posts and the kids were caught in the mid­dle of play? What if a lot of things in life ...

2

Fol­low­ing the AFL’s wide­spread rule changes ahead of the 2019 sea­son, foot­ball op­er­a­tions boss Steve Hock­ing be­comes in­creas­ingly wor­ried about com­men­tary re­lated to um­pires. Hock­ing told AFL.com that he would be talk­ing to the AFL Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion about potentiall­y re­cruit­ing some of its mem­bers to be part of a cam­paign aimed at shi ing pub­lic per­cep­tion around um­pir­ing. “It’s bloody tough to get peo­ple to sign up to be an um­pire,” Hock­ing said.

3

Hav­ing just watched Tiger Woods’ ma­jors come­back vic­tory on TV from New Zealand, Woods’ for­mer cad­die, Steve Wil­liams, tells ESPN.com the win proves what an amaz­ing ath­lete Woods is. Pre€y classy by Wil­liams, who many re­port had an ac­ri­mo­nious split with Woods back in 2011 fol­low­ing a dis­agree­ment over whether a cad­die should team up with an­other player while their full-time boss is out of ac­tion, like Woods was for so long.

4

The third sea­son of Sun­corp Su­per Net­ball is un­der­way. The 2019 sea­son was launched in Mel­bourne, with the league’s eight team cap­tains gath­er­ing ahead of a huge year for Aus­tralian net­ball. This lat­est in­stal­ment of Aus­tralia’s elite do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion prom­ises to be the fiercest yet, with na­tional team spots go­ing on the line in a World Cup year.

5

As Winx’s ca­reer was com­ing to an end, peo­ple from all corners were look­ing to cash-in one last time on the su­per­horse. One punter would’ve been nervous ahead of Winx’s fi­nal event, the Queen El­iz­a­beth Stakes at Royal Rand­wick. They placed $450K on her with the TAB – three bets at $150K. Two were at $1.10 and one at $1.08. Who­ever said punt­ing was an easy way to make money?

6

Two weeks a er plung­ing into melt­down fol­low­ing superstar Izzy Fo­lau’s lat­est con­tro­ver­sial so­cial me­dia post, Aus­tralian rugby re­ceived a rare boost when three of its Su­per sides scored wins across Week Ten. The Brumbies downed the Storm­ers, the Reds bested the Sharks, while the Waratahs also had a win ... over the Rebels, a fel­low Aussie unit, but rugby’s been doin’ it tough lately, so lay off ...

7

The Par­ramaa Eels have dis­cov­ered the se­cret to win­ning, and it’s as sim­ple as up­grad­ing to a new sta­dium. The 51-6 smash-up of the Wests Tigers to open Bankwest Sta­dium was a case of his­tory re­peat­ing. Their first-ever game at the newly de­vel­oped Par­ramaa Sta­dium back in 1986 was a 36-6 de­mo­li­tion of the St Ge­orge Dragons. How long be­fore Bankwest needs a renno?

8

In a mas­sive boost for the A-League, English Premier League great Rob­bie Fowler is the new Bris­bane Roar coach a er sign­ing a two-year deal to coach the Queens­land club. The Liver­pool leg­end and for­mer Eng­land in­ter­na­tional’s name and con­tacts will mean he’ll potentiall­y bring in qual­ity from Aus­tralia and abroad.

9

The Syd­ney Swans’ vi­sion for an AFLW team is set to be re­alised. The Fed­eral Govern­ment has commi€ed $15 mil­lion in fund­ing to a new Syd­ney Swans HQ and Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. The $55 mil­lion pro­ject to trans­form the Royal Hall of In­dus­tries at Moore Park will de­liver ded­i­cated fa­cil­i­ties for a Syd­ney Swans AFLW team.

10

A er eight years as the club’s gen­eral man­ager of foot­ball, for­mer Pen­rith player Phil “Gus” Gould has fin­ished up at the Pan­thers a er a mu­tual de­ci­sion to end Gould’s eight-year ten­ure. Dur­ing his time lead­ing the Pan­thers, the for­mer Pen­rith coach helped re-build the club back from a dis­as­ter zone fi­nan­cially and into the team with ar­guably the best ju­nior path­ways sys­tem in the known league world.

11

The state of the art Ford Mus­tang Su­per­car, in­tro­duced into the series this year and driven by the likes of Sco‡ McLaughlin and Chaz Mostert, has had to un­dergo changes to its rear wing and un­der­tray to ease par­ity con­cerns from the Holden and Nis­san teams. Mus­tangs won nine of the first ten races of the new sea­son.

12

Shane Wat­son washed up and fin­ished? Not by a long shot, it seems. Play­ing for Chen­nai Su­per Kings, the 37-year-old belted a match-win­ning 96 from 53 balls to guide his team to vic­tory over David Warner’s Sun­ris­ers Hy­der­abad. The hosts needed nine from the last over and won with a ball to spare.

13

Gary Able Jr didn’t en­joy the best of Easter Mon­days … A€er “lik­ing” a tweet from Izzy Fo­lau, the Geelong cham­pion was heav­ily booed at the Mel­bourne Cricket Ground by Hawthorn Hawks fans in the days fol­low­ing. Com­par­isons were im­me­di­ately made with the boo­ing of Swans leg­end Adam Goodes back in 2013.

14

Hot on the heels of the turf woes be­ing dealt with at the Syd­ney Cricket Ground came re­ports of more play­ing sur­face con­tro­versy, this time on the other of the coun­try. The Premier of WA and the boss of Op­tus Sta­dium both scoffed at the West Coast Ea­gles’ dis­plea­sure at the hard­ness of the Op­tus Sta­dium turf.

15

For the first time in 26 years, Aus­tralia is back in the Fed Cup World Group Fi­nal with a 3-2 vic­tory over Be­larus in Bris­bane. They will next face France, who also had a heart-pump­ing and tense tie against Ro­ma­nia. The Fi­nal will take place in Novem­ber, with Aus­tralia to host the tie but the venue is yet to be de­cided.

16

There’s not enough sport be­ing played in March, so it’s just as well Cricket Aus­tralia is con­sid­er­ing pi ing its one-day in­ter­na­tional series against New Zealand up against the footy codes. Ac­tu­ally, it has noth­ing to do with that. In­dia is play­ing hard­ball with the in­ter­na­tional sched­ule and the Aussies are run­ning out of dates to play the Ki­wis.

17

In­dian cricket god “The Li‡le Mas­ter” Sachin Ten­dulkar turned 46 re­cently. Is any­one else feel­ing re­ally old about that? Imag­ine how old he’ll be feel­ing these days though, hav­ing played 200 Test matches and 463 ODIs?

18

Where were you when the Port­land Trail­blaz­ers’ 50-point hero, Damian Lil­lard, fired a shot from the paint – not the paint un­der the key, but that of a logo in mid-court – on the full-time buzzer to seal his team a 118-115 win and 4-1 series vic­tory over Ok­la­homa City? Blew the roof off the Moda Cen­tre. Epic stuff.

19

The record for the fastest goal in the English Premier League has been bro­ken. Southamp­ton striker Shane Long scored just 7.69 sec­onds into his side’s clash at Wat­ford. The old record be­longed to To‡en­ham’s Led­ley King, who ne‡ed in 9.9 sec­onds back in 2009.

20

New­cas­tle coach Nathan Brown has admi ed that in­tense me­dia a en­tion sur­round­ing Ka­lyn Ponga’s switch from full­back to five-eighth to start the sea­son was a main rea­son for switch­ing the 21-year-old back to the num­ber-one jersey. Some sport­ing mag­a­zines even put the young Ponga on their cover. Sheesh ...

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