THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
Gather round the water cooler t work and you will hear about one thing. Sport.
Whether it is how the hell Carlton managed to lose to Gold Coast, how the Storm can actually be this good for this long, or (most likely) how Tiger Woods’ “comeback” Masters victory put a lump in the throat of every man and woman in the workplace. It is unifying. It bridges boundaries. And we love it.
It would be amiss to pass it by so let us start with it. Tiger Woods is the 2019 Masters champion. He finished 13 under at Augusta to lead all comers for his fifth Masters Green Jacket and 15th Majors win overall. It was his first Major win since 2008 and first Masters win since 2005.
Tiger’s victory briefly brought the world to a standstill, plenty of action still happened in the AFL, NRL and NBA. While the weekend proved little in terms of premiership favouritism in either football code, the match day headlines were still flowing
The Rabbitohs secured a huge win over the Warriors but, two days later, their star man Greg Inglis was forced to retire after injury took its toll. And Eels star Blake Ferguson did not just cop a loss over the weekend, he also suffered probably the worst broken nose in the history of the world, surpassing Cooper Cronk on the “most angular nose” scale.
In the foot based game, Carlton almost had their first win of the year before Jack Bowes sensational snap snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for the Suns.
Had Carlton won, every single team in the competition would have won and lost at least once after four rounds for the first time since 1997. They didn’t though, so now we have an almost stat. Almost the most even contest since 1997. Almost the closest season in recent memory. Let us see how it pans out from here.
And a world away in the NBA, the final games of the season decided the playoff picture, and then the playoffs began. The Magic and Nets returned to the playoffs after long lay-offs, and then won the first game of their respective series’ against highly fancied opposition. After somewhat of a shift in power throughout the league this season, perhaps a playoff shuffle is on the cards as well? Maybe the Warriors don’t win their third successive title? Maybe (Warriors in five).
AFL ROUND FOUR
Big Max Gawn managed to find time to step away from watching highlights of himself on his Google device for the first time in 2019. Rucking against a solid player in Callum Sinclair, Gawn managed 55 hitouts and boosted his DS score with four marks in the final quarter, finishing with 125 DS points for the day.
Collingwood battled but managed to get themselves to an even win/loss keel to start a season in which they are considered hot premiership contenders. Again, a ruckman dominated (and it certainly was not Tim English). Perhaps he felt slighted by the attention around Maxy, Brodie Grundy went nuts on Friday finishing with 58 hitouts, 23 disposals and 153 DS points.
These two mountains are the first picked in fantasy sides from Beaconsfield to Bethlehem and, despite their insane price, can win you a contest on a weekly basis.
The Giants pulled off a heist against the Cats on Saturday. Losing skipper, Callan Ward, to an ACL early in the match meant the building Josh Kelly needed to step up. He did, as did his band of merry midfield mates. Kelly, Whitfield, Taranto, Coniglio and Hopper combined for 574 DS points and 156 disposals. Get any of these guys in your side and you will be a happy punter.
The Bombers roared back into form with a huge victory over the previously undefeated Lions. Walla/Tippa/The Goat/Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was the chief destroyer with seven majors, to go with 20 disposals and 139 DS points.
Richmond pulled off a heist against the Power. In a return to their old “win at all costs” ways, the Tigers pulled this one out of the hat. An even spread meant no tiger stood out with Port having four of the top five DS scorers. The most impressive was Ryan Burton who found his place in the Port line-up with 102 DS points, 23 disposals and a huge goal.
Adelaide continued its hugely disappointing start to 2019 with a bad loss against the previously winless Roos. Jasper Pittard found some form dashing off of half back to score 106 DS points from 21 disposals. A lower end option, Pittard proved to be solid value.
In what looked like it was going to be a thrashing, Fremantle pulled back an early deficit to almost claim their first Western Derby since 2015. Alas, the Eagles steadied and won by 13. Despite being edged for the BOG medal by captain, Bunga Hurn, Andrew Gaff was prolific as he shrugged off jeers from the Freo faithful. His 35 disposals granted him 134 DS points and the top score of the match.
The Suns/Blues match was anything but inspiring until the final few minutes. 59 points was enough for the victory in one of the dourer affairs you will see. Jack Bowes may have kicked the winner but his tagging job on superstar, Patty Cripps, was less exciting. Cripps totalled a gargantuan 163 DS points for his 30 disposals, 12 tackles and two goals.
Another low scoring affair meant St. Kilda were able to scramble past a severely depleted Hawks line-up. Playing with a compromised bench, the Hawks looked like kicking away before stopping in their tracks. Niggly small forward Jack Lonie kicked the winner from a contentious holding the ball call but his overall game (three goals, five behinds, 97 DS points) was the difference.
NRL ROUND FIVE
Young stars took centre stage on Thursday night as Wests downed the Broncos. Luke Garner took his game to the next level as he clocked the full 80 minutes for the first time this year. It translated to 67 DS points and a welcome return for his investors.
The Titans snatched their first victory against Penrith on Friday. It came in milestone man, Michael Gordon’s, 250th NRL game. Not only did he manage a win, Gordon chalked up his best DS return for the year with 77 DS points. He also scored his first try of 2019 in what will be a match he will remember.
The Rabbitohs are one of the most exciting sides in the league and five-eighth, Cody Walker, is one of their best when he lights it up. At the weekend, Walker ran in four tries, including the match winner, as he racked up 90 DS points.
Despite his mammoth game, Walker was not the top DS scorer of the week. That mantle went to Dragons star half, Ben Hunt. On the back of Hunt’s 98 DS point two try, three try-assist performance, the Dragons made it three wins in a row with a 40-4 thumping of the hapless Dogs.
The playoffs truly are a different beast to the regular season. For example, the Warriors have just done enough over most of the season to claim top spot in the West. Then they come out and just obliterate the Clippers in game one.
Similarly, the Bucks were pretty emphatic all throughout their league best 60-win season, but game one against the Blake Griffin-less Pistons was next level. Never challenged the Bucks slaughtered the Pistons by 35.
Though the big guns fired, it was the surprise wins of Orlando, Brooklyn and the Spurs which rocked the boat the most. Even Portland and the Celtics victories raised eyebrows. Then, when you think about it, the Rockets posting 122 points and a 32-point buffer over the stingy Jazz is just as eye-opening.
Giannis (52.4 DS points) and James Harden (53.6) had unsurprisingly huge opening match scores but it was Enes Kanter’s 51.6 DS points that made the difference. His 20 points and 18 rebounds paved the way for a Trailblazer victory.
Bucks guard, Sterling Brown, clocked some minutes in the Bucks’ blowout win to post 37 DS points as he stuffed the box score. He was insane value and few saw that coming.
Spurs guard Derrick White was another Jack-in-a-box performer. Starting in his first playoff game, he was expected to stifle Nuggets star, Jamal Murray. Not only did he do that, he won the game for the Spurs with a clutch steal to go with his 27 DS points, 16 real points and 70% shooting.
The top scorer over the first game though was none other than the transcended Steph Curry. In scoring 65.5 DS points, 38 points, 15 boards and going 8-12 from three, he passed Ray Allen for most made playoff threes.
Written by Brin DugganAFL, Latest, NBA, NRL