- Breakers March on
It almost seems inevitable that the Breakers are going to go on and make it a hatrick (you won’t see the non-word Threepeat on this site) of Australian Basketball titles. They go t a small fright in Sydney this afternoon before sealing progress to the Grand Final series with a game in hand.
The Sydney Kings have bounced back nicely since they had that Bankruptcy Sabbatical year in 2011, and were one of the few sides to beat the Breakers this year.
But, from all accounts this sudden death play-off match was met with silence at the city at the forefront of the Australian sporting wars. Not mentioned in the papers, no advertising and only watchable on pay-per-view.
The Sydney sporting market is ruthless, and the strides in recent years made by Australian Rules and in the A-League, where the West Sydney Wanderers taking out the minor premiership is the fairytale story of the year, was balanced out by a record normal season NRL crowd over Easter. It’s not easy, but Basketball Australia needs to lift its game in Sydney.
Having the best sides in the league coming from Perth, Townsville, Wollongong and Auckland is geographically beautiful, but you don’t win any war on the fringes.
- Warriors. At last. True Story
Well, that win will see sighs of relief coming out of Matt Elliot like nothing before.
OK, it was pretty ugly at times, and the Warriors have a near perfect record at home against the Cowboys, but at least they are now on the board. And 268 days was quite a long drought.
Warriors fans can now smile at the fact they are no longer the NZ team with the longest losing streak. There is likely to be a battle between the Warriors and Highlanders this year. The former now takes the lead, although the latter has the advantage of playing in a competition that includes the Melbourne Rebels.
- Ending in a Whimper
The domestic cricket season has been one of the better ones. Helped by the combination of the golden summer and an excellent tour from England, interest has been high, records broken and, apart from some residual bleating from some quarters, a really good fell about the game.
It was disappointing then that the finale of the domestic season, the Ford Trophy final, was such a fizzer. The cricketing public’s mind was, quite rightly in a Christchurch hospital, the venue was awful, and the game was home so early that people had time to go home and watch the Phoenix lose.
New Zealand has an annual urge to change the format of the domestic format, and the move to condense the 50 over format into a quick-fire March tournament worked. Let’s hope fate doesn’t conspire to ruin the final next time around.
- London Calling
The Premier League is going to Manchester, and so is the Runners-up place.
Then the real fun begins. Chelsea’s unexpected defeat at Southampton over the weekend means that the three big London clubs are almost level-pegging in the race for those last two Champions League spots.
Should Chelsea and Arsenal win their games in hand it will be two points separating the three of them. Chelsea are showing all the signs of imploding, and if ever a manager hos lost a dressing room it’s Rafa, but you never know with that lot.
Spurs are giving hints of the choke from this time last season; that win at Swansea would have been a huge relief and Arsenal, although currently in fifth place, are probably the form team of the three.
Much more drama to come in this one.
- Never Write off the Crusaders
Blackadder must go, it’s the end of an era, they’re too old etc. That was the catch cry from a couple of weeks ago.
Well, this weekend, the Crusaders went to Cape Town without their four biggest names, and ground out a win over the Stormers. As Crusaders sides tend to do.
They will be around in late July; book it in