THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
While the results over the weekend were not necessarily unpredictable, the narrative they followed resembled a legendary fable.
The Djokovic/Federer Wimbledon Final delivered a match up labelled as the greatest final ever. And it is easy to see why after Novak Djokovic prevailed after a four hour, 57-minute display of power and finesse from two of the best players ever.
Earlier in the week, Simona Halep became the first Romanian woman to win Wimbledon after overcoming Serena Williams in straight sets.
On the same night and in the same city as the Djokovic victory, the cricket World Cup final was being fought out. England were declared winners in one of the most jaw-dropping results of any sport in recent memory after scores were tied after 50 overs, then tied again after a super over. New Zealand were left heart-broken after the winner was decided by who hit the most boundaries during their innings… So, technically England still have not actually won a World Cup.
The AFL produced another tight and unpredictable round with four games decided by less than 10 points and Collingwood, Richmond, Brisbane and Carlton producing rousing upsets. Though Gold Coast reaffirmed their standing as the worst team in the league with a second consecutive loss of 90+. As a result, they are well and truly anchored to the bottom, while Geelong bounced back from last week to stay on top.
Again, in the NRL, the Storm restated their absolute dominance, and won in a fitting tribute for 400 game club legend, Cam Smith. And the Roosters dropped another game and now sit fourth on the ladder, behind the Storm, Rabbitohs and Raiders.
But the League week was stolen by the incredible third and final origin game which saw the Blues overcome the Maroons in an absolute heart-stopper.
AFL ROUND 17
Friday night and Collingwood are proving to be a real winner for the fans. For the second week in a row they were involved in a match decided by less than a goal. The Pies stormed home to overcome the Eagles by a solitary point and Brody Mihocek was the instigator. His 19 disposals and four goals won his team the game and accumulated 120 DS points.
The Blues are storming home now and sit only nine games from top spot! On the other hand, the Swans did major damage to their finals chances with the unforeseen loss. Nic Newman had his best game in Blue against his old side. Running loose he racked up 32 touches, took 13 marks and scored 129 DS points.
The wheels have completely fallen off at Fremantle. The loss to the Hawks at the weekend was their fourth consecutive and their finals hopes look dashed. As always though, Nat Fyfe was resolute. He was a one-man team for points of the game and did his best to keep his side in the game with 24 touches, three goals and 128 DS points.
One of the best games of the season was played out between the Bombers and North. With plenty on the line, neither side took a backward step at any stage. An undulating score line saw both sides dominant in parts but Anthony McDonald-Tipingwuti playin’ footy got Essendon over the line in the last breath of the game. He kicked four majors and had 99 DS points while Ben Brown was dominant at the other end with six of his own and 134 DS points.
The less said about the Suns the better. Where are they headed? Tasmania? They were completely hapless in their 95-point loss to the Crows. Eddie Betts, again, silenced his doubters with six majors and 120 DS points while Rory Atkins ran riot with 35 touches and 123 DS points. Six Adelaide players scored over 100.
The Cats looked to right their wavering ship against the Saints and eventually got there through some Gary Ablett late brilliance.
Patrick Dangerfield was clearly the best player on the ground with 32 touches, seven tackles and a goal for 123 DS points. But the Saints were the side to look to for DS value and scoring with six players chalking up triple figures including the increasingly impressive Rowan Marshall with a team topping 122.
Richmond are into fifth spot on the ladder after leapfrogging a flailing GWS. And losing Stephen Coniglio for the rest of the regular season looms as ominous. Shai Bolton was rewarded with a rising star nomination for his sustained hot form and 29 disposal, 115 DS point performance. For the Giants, Toby Greene returned to the midfield in Coniglio’s absence with aplomb. He returned 34 disposals, two goals and 144 DS points.
The Doggies continued their hot form with a grind-it-out victory over Melbourne. They sit one game out of the finals but could have fallen victim to a wonded Demons side if it was not for the incredible Josh Dunkley. His season has been impressive to say the least but he climbed into superstar territory with 39 touches, 15 tackles, two goals and 189 DS points on Sunday afternoon.
The final game of the round saw the Lions stake themselves as a legitimate premiership threat. With a favourable run for the remainder of the season, a double chance seems almost guaranteed. The Lions are the real deal and have winners on every line, Jarryd Lyons has been immense this year as a top up player but starred on Sunday with 36 touches and 140 DS points.
CRICKET WORLD CUP
Before getting into the final, let us cast our eyes back to the semi-finals. New Zealand were never expected to beat India but they dominated them in the end.
And it was amazing bowling performances from Matt Henry, Mitch Santner and Trent Boult that got them over the line. India were 3/5 after three overs after Henry ran through Rahul and Rohit and then Boult claimed the huge scalp of Virat Kohli.
Kane Williamson 67 (95) and Ross Taylor 74 (90) gave their bowling attack something to defend.
The other match left the whole of Australia disappointed and looking across the pond for success. The top order failed for basically the first time all tournament and, while Steve Smith 85 (119) and Alex Carey 46 (70) did their best to post a defendable total, 223 was never going to be enough.
Chris Woakes was the standout bowler for England with 3/20 while Jason Roy dominated the Aussie attack, plundering 85 from 65.
The final lived up to any possible billing as it came to be decided to just a matter of inches. Martin Guptill returned for a second run to take the New Zealand super over to 15 but feel agonisingly short as England ran out winners.
Ben Stokes was the man of the match for his (kind of) match winning 84 from 98. If not for his 110 run partnership with Jos Buttler, the Kiwis would have won the match in a canter. Equally impressive with the ball was Chris Woakes who backed up his performance in the semi, taking 3/37.
Written by Brin DugganAFL, AFLW, BBL, Latest, NRL