THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
Ladies and gentlemen, the New England Patriots are your Super Bowl LIII Champions. This NFL season was one of such promise. It was a season built on high powered offences and exciting, high-scoring NFL matches. The newly crowned MVP, Pat Mahomes, looks like he will revolutionise the game after tossing 50 TDs in his second season.
But Super Bowl LIII proved the antithesis of the first 20 weeks of the season. Defence held court, and Bill Belichick was judge, jury and executioner as he orchestrated the most rounded and impressive defensive performance in history. The Rams, a team averaging over 32 points a game this season, managed just three in the decider. The equal lowest SB score of all time.
— NFL (@NFL) February 4, 2019
Funny enough though, other things happened while the NFL’s game of games took centre stage. The NBA went into meltdown as the Knicks traded their franchise cornerstone in Kristaps PorzinGOAT and Anthony Davis told the Pelicans he would not sign an extension with them in the summer. Some games were played, too.
In Australia, the Big Bash edged agonisingly close to the finals. Just over one week in fact. So, only five regular season games remain, we have a guaranteed top three (Hurricanes, Sixers and Renegades). And, only five winner’s tickets and two fast pass tickets remain to Draftstars’ Biggest Bash Live Final.
Concurrently, the Test summer ran its course with Australia cruising to another easy win over a hapless and undermanned Sri Lankan outfit devoid of class. But the Aussies won, and a few players even made centuries, so that’s something.
Also, excitingly, the AFLW season kicked off, as did the AFLW contests. Saturday saw Draftstars offer a $10k prize pool for the first day of games, including a match involving upstarts Geelong. Then Sunday went off again as new girls, the Roos, smashed the Blues.
NFL SUPER BOWL CONTEST
Despite the 13-3 score line of the Super Bowl, it was not exactly boring. Such is the nature of a close game, particularly one in which only six points are scored for the first three quarters, the unknown result keeps the fans on the edge of their seats. And this was exactly the case in SB LIII.
— NFL (@NFL) February 4, 2019
Knowing Tom Brady was going to produce a drive to snatch a lead in an even match did nothing to cede the tense atmosphere reverberating through the TV from Atlanta. Knowing the Patriots were partway through their typical “bend but don’t break” routine had no effect on the nerves of every armchair spectator. And the surreptitious knowledge, after watching three quarters of bleak, Gurley-lacking Rams offence, LA were not going to score, had no effect whatsoever on the clam felt in the palm of your hands. Felt as the time tick-ticked away in the final quarter as New England drove the ball down the field and Rob Gronkowski gave Sony Michel the field position he needed to bang in a two-yard rushing touchdown.
So, yes, the score was low. Shots were left unfired. Punches were pulled. But the ultimate game lived up to the unpredictability of the NFL and showed why sport can be an awe-inspiring, melancholic ride through every emotion the human mind can comprehend.
Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman, did all he could to will the Pats to a first half touchdown. His 141 receiving yards resulted in 24.9 DS points, the highest of the game, and he became the first receiver to win the MVP award since 2009.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 4, 2019
As the game was not fluent with offence, the DS scores were not particularly attractive. madbomber76 and knickless1 claimed the contest victory with just 80.40 points.
The most important choice you could have made in this contest was whether you chose the Patriots or Rams D/ST. While the Rams were commendable in holding New England to just 13 points, New England held the Rams to three. As a result, the D/ST knocked up 13 DS points and carried the contest winners to the $1,100 top prize.
The NFL season has now concluded, and we are all thankful for what it provided in 2018/19.
AFL WOMENS CONTESTS
The third instalment of the AFLW is the biggest yet, and the quality just keeps getting better. With Geelong and North Melbourne joining the ranks of clubs vying for supremacy, the expansion of this important competition has further instilled belief in young girls and women around Australia. As evidenced by this photo (which is going viral) taken at Geelong’s inaugural match. The excitement is palpable and the passion is intense.
'Glorious' photo of AFLW fans goes viral for the best reason.
— 7Sport (@7Sport) February 4, 2019
Over 18 thousand fans packed into GMHBA stadium to see the Cats play Collingwood in what was truly a statement by the fans. And the game delivered with the Cats victorious by a single point in a thriller. The star of that matchup was number one pick, Nina Morrison. She was tireless in gathering 22 disposals but she saved the best for last as she kicked the point that got Geelong over the line.
Later that evening, the Bulldogs prevailed over Adelaide in another one-point thriller. In that match, AFLW Best and Fairest hopeful and Crows midfielder, Ebony Marinoff, dominated. At her typically industrious best, she collected 24 disposals and nailed 11 tackles to be the best scoring player of the round.
On Sunday, the Kangaroos kicked off their lifetime with a comprehensive victory over foundation club, Carlton. Former Collingwood All Australian, Emma King, was their most prolific. She had 18 hit-outs and hit the scoreboard as well, nailing two majors.
Other than one blowout, each game was hotly contested. Fremantle knocked off the Daisy Pearce-less Demons by four-points and Brisbane outlasted GWS by two.
For the Lions, Jess Wuetschner took an early lead in the goal kicking, bagging three goals.
Three goals for the Woosh!
— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) February 3, 2019
Freo won their first ever interstate game and it was thanks in no small part to Kiara Bowers. Bowers, an aerobic animal, missed the first two seasons of AFLW due to injury but showed why she was a marquee signing for the Dockers in 2016 by wrapping up 11 opponents and being the third highest scoring player for the round.
The Australia v Sri Lanka series was shambolic. Sri Lanka never had ascendency, at any moment, in either game. Australia battered them with bat and ball and ran out comprehensive 2-0 series victors. The final test of the summer saw the first Australian century of the summer, and it was followed by three more. Joe Burns was first, then came Travis Head, second gamer, Kurtis Patterson and even Uzzie chimed in with one. And there was even a moment of pure elation, putting to bed (maybe) the catastrophic past 12 months in Australian cricket.
What a moment😍
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) February 2, 2019
The match also marked a return to form for Mitch Starc who bullied his way to match figures of 10/100 (no, we are not working in binary).
The past week of Big Bash saw the finals take shape and proved definitive for a number of sides. As mentioned, the Hurricanes, Sixers and Renegades all secured their spots in the final four while the Scorchers guaranteed they will miss out and the Strikers, Heat and Thunder face difficult tasks to unseat the fourth placed Melbourne Stars.
The Stars will be kicking themselves after falling to the Scorchers on Sunday night, missing a chance to ensure a finals appearance. Ashton Turner was the difference for the Scorchers as he continued an impressive BBL 08 season with 69 off 42 and 129.5 DS points.
The Renegades set up their finals qualification with a huge win over the Thunder on Wednesday. Cameron Boyce was clearly the best player on the field, and he even put his foot forward for national selection with 51 runs off 22 to go with his bowling figures of 2/17. Translating to 173.5 DS points.
The Strikers knocked off the Hurricanes in an important match, then fell to the Heat in a sequence emblematic of their season. The loss all but signalled an early exit for the boys in blue, but it may not have been that way if not for a brilliant individual performance from Matt Renshaw. He notched up 173 DS points via bowling figures of 2/15 @ 7.5 and an impressive 90, not out, off 50.
While we wait for play to resume in Perth, lets take a look at today's first @Dream11 Fantasy MVP – Matt Renshaw!
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) February 3, 2019
A crazy week off the court in the NBA overshadowed what was a typically manic week on the court. Notably, the Warriors blue, red and white coloured kryptonite, the 76ers, snapped their winning streak at Oracle arena. Lebron returned from his groin injury, flirted with a triple double, and led his Lakers to victory. And the Nuggets just continued to be really, really good, reclaiming the West from the Warriors.
Harden continued to be superhuman, boasting a six game average of over 70 DS points, but his salary, sitting at $26,180 is a major sticking point.
Speaking of the Nuggets, Monte Morris, point guard filling in for the injured Jamaal Murray (with no timetable for return), strikes as a handy pick-up. He has flourished in a starting role, logging 40+ minutes, and has a three game average of a whisker under 44. In his last outing he put up a double-double and added seven rebounds. Priced at $13k, Morris could be a difference maker, the man is straight up balling.
— Nitrogen Sports (@NitrogenSports) February 2, 2019
Alongside him is teammate Malik Beasley. Averaging 36 DS points per game in his last three also, Beasley is playing the best basketball of his career. Against Houston on Saturday, he put up 35 points and claimed 46.5 DS points. Beasley and Morris’ performances shine a light on why the Nuggets are where they are in 2019.
Written by Brin Duggan Follow @BrinDugganAFL, BBL, Latest, NBA, NFL