THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
With the bye rounds finally over in the AFL, order was restored. The couch was re-occupied all day Saturday and Sunday and the mould remembered the contours of your backside.
Yes, your significant other may have protested at the prospect of the ensuing 20 hours of footy watched over Saturday and Sunday (added to the few hours of cricket coverage slapped in between). But, a Draftstars win undoubtedly soothed the potential unrest. Particularly considering the staggering $250k on offer in the AFL contests alone, and the possibility of securing a ticket to the AFL live final.
AFL was not the only sport on offer though. The NRL returned to its full slate as well after the first ever Origin game in Perth. And week fifteen proved to be a thriller with six games decided by under 10 points. The big game between the Storm and Roosters saw Melbourne jump two games clear on top and Sydney fall behind the Rabbitohs into third.
The AFL was similarly thrilling, and even more unpredictable, as upset wins by North and the Dogs were overshadowed by last gasp wins from the Bombers, Eagles and Blues.
How about the winner? Casboult’s strength, Fisher’s tap on, Murphy’s poise.
The win saw them rise from the bottom of the ladder while the loss put Fremantle’s finals chances in serious jeopardy. And they would have dropped from the eight had Port not fallen unexpectedly to the Doggies.
And the World Cup really began to heat up over the week. Australia beat England and threatened to knock them out of the finals but then they beat India and the whole thing was flipped on its head. That victory against England, and another emphatic win against the Kiwis saw Australia assert some dominance and sit atop the table. Seven games remain and the battle for the top four is hotly contested as Pakistan threaten to knock England out of the final spot.
Though there was not a contest for it, NBA free agency commenced on Monday with KD, Kyrie and DeAndre Jordan committing to the Nets. Jimmy Buckets headed to South Beach, Al Horford landed in Philly, Kemba Walker ended up in Boston and the Warriors somehow got better despite losing KD by gaining D’Angelo Russell.
Where will Kawhi land? The Lakers? Will he stay? His call will shape the entire NBA landscape for 2019/20. How will these stars’ DS outputs change on their new sides?
AFL ROUND FOURTEEN
Another Thursday night game treated fans to four days of footy as the Bombers screeched down from the clouds to overcome the Giants at the death. A fairly low DS scoring game meant value was up for grabs and those who selected Shaun McKernan (92 DS points) and Kyle Langford (95 DS points) were rewarded for their risky choices.
Geelong were made to fight against the Crows before kicking away late on Friday night. Tim Kelly starred, again with 33 touches and a couple of goals on his way to 121 DS points. Reilly O’Brien continued his dominance with 128 DS points. But Mark Blicavs proved to be a match and contest winner with 101 DS points in his top scoring game of the year.
The Eagles emulated the Bombers with a come from behind victory over the Hawks. It was a strange match as the lead changed multiple times in the second half but a last gasp winner from Jamie Cripps had the Eagles laughing last. Luke Shuey was immense with 39 touches, nine tackles and a goal which culminated in 142 DS points. He sure does love the ‘G on a Saturday.
The Swans easily accounted for Gold Coast, which eventually led to the Suns being consigned to bottom spot on the ladder. Isaac Heeney continued his recent good form with 25 touches, two goals and 114 DS points. Darcy MacPherson proved to be great value for the Suns with 106 DS points.
A shock victory to the Roos was their best of the season and kept them in finals contention. The Pies were beaten at the contest thanks to the hardness of Jack Ziebell (120 DS points, three goals) and Ben Cunnington (106 DS points, 37 touches). The latter of those seemingly an All-Australian in waiting.
Nobody expected the Dogs to come over the top of Port after Port accounted for the Cats last week. But the Doggies bit harder than the Cats and were unstoppable on their way to a 25-point victory. Hamish Hartlett looks to be back to his best for the Power with 29 touches leading him to 112 DS points. But his efforts were for naught as Jack Macrae racked up 36 touches, booted a goal and racked up 135 DS points.
The Saints were somewhat gallant before conceding seven last quarter goals to the Tigers and losing by 33-points. Despite the loss, Rowan Marshall was impressive and is showing signs of being a future star with 19 touches, 33 hit outs and a goal. Mabior Chol was incredible value with 106 DS points from his three goals, but Dusty Martin was the star of the show as he collected 36 touches and 128 DS points.
And Sydney Stack lit up the first half.
Brisbane look finals bound after they held off the disappointing Demons. Eric Hipwood got the Lions going in the third quarter booting three goals in a row, and four for the quarter. But it was the Lions midfield trio of Dayne Zorko (143 DS points), Jarryd Lyons (135 DS points) and Lachie Neale (122 DS points) who were the match winners.
The final game of the round was the best one. Freo looked home at several stages throughout the game before Marc Murphy nailed a final minute winner after a frenetic sequence. Murphy was a fitting match-winner due to his heroic efforts to get the Blues back in the match. His 34 disposals were his season best and the most in the game and led him to 114 DS points. Sam Walsh proved he is a no brainer for rising star after a grown man’s game saw him chalk up 125 DS points.
CRICKET WORLD CUP
Mitch Starc dominated the headlines and the scoreboard after a herculean week in the World Cup. On Tuesday’s victory over England, his 4/43 paired with Jason Behrendorff’s 5/44 to win the match and protect the 285 target set through Dave Warner’s second tonne.
Then on Saturday Starc was at it again with 5/26 as he rattled through New Zealand, restricting them to 157. The effort may have been in vain if not for a fight back from Usman Khawaja (88 from 129) and Alex Carey (71 from 72) after Warner and Finch both failed for the first time this World Cup.
Starc leads the wicket takers at the World Cup and has three 5’fa’s.
Mohammed Shami was not going to let Starc go lightly, though. He took nine wickets this week too, with 4/16 against the Windies and 5/69 against England.
In that same England match, Rohit Sharma crushed his third tonne of the World Cup as he tried to give India a fighting chance at chasing England’s mammoth 337 run first innings total.
Two losses during the week to Pakistan and Australia saw New Zealand drop from top of the table to third, just one game ahead of fifth placed Pakistan. They need to get back on the winners list in their final qualifying match against England to ensure their spot in the finals, otherwise they rely on Pakistan falling to Bangladesh, or Bangladesh losing to India. Confusing. Best case for them, Kane Williamson continues his incredible form and his teammates follow his lead. He sits fifth on the run scoring list with 454 runs for the tournament.
Written by Brin DugganAFL, BBL, Latest, NBA, NRL