THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
Another week of oval ball sport dominating the Australian sport landscape, another week of overblown review technology critique. Who really cares? It happens!
Yes, the NRL saw three controversies which threaten the very fabric of the game and how it will be played and officiated for years to come. And yes, David Zaharakis did kick a goal that was called play on. But, if there were no cameras, like there aren’t on a wet Saturday afternoon at the local footy oval, the result would have been the same.
To be honest, I feel most for the poor Draftstars participants who had Zaharakis in their team and were denied the extra six points towards their final contest total. With three points separating second and third in Friday night’s contest, that could be the difference between a prize of almost $4k instead of almost $2k.
But the world keeps spinning, no matter how aggrieved you may feel. And it spun the right way, again, for Brooks Koepka who snagged his second purse of 2019 in the St. Jude Invitational. Aussie Marc Leishman was a value selection in the contest. He finished second at -12 and racked up 113 DS points.
In other huge international sports news, the world’s biggest cycling event, the Tour de France, was won by Egan Bernal from team Ineos in a time of 82 hours and 57 minutes. He was one minutes and 11 seconds ahead of teammate Geraint Thomas.
The AFL produced another topsy-turvy round which ended under the narrative that the Blues could actually make the finals. A third straight victory over Adelaide brought about the utopic discussion but hey, stranger things have happened. When all was said and done though, Gold Coast lost again, and Geelong retained top spot on the ladder.
In the NRL, the Storm’s win streak was incredibly snapped in a one-point thriller against Manly. And victories to the Rabbitohs and Roosters closed the gap at the top. Still, it would take a minor miracle for the Storm to be dislodged as minor premiers.
The pack chasing the eight spot in finals remains as tight as ever but a Broncos shellacking of Gold Coast thrust them into eight spot, for the time being at least. And the Titans? Well, they are in the same spot as their AFL counterpart. Bad and getting worse.
The Raiders continued their good form in a 12-point victory over Penrith in the final game of the round. A 74th minute try to John Bateman gave him the best DS score of the week with a whopping 88 point return. His score came on the back of that try as well as 165 run metres, 42 tackles and seven tackle breaks.
Kalyn Ponga’s 80 DS point effort in a two-point Knights loss to Wests was the second best return of the round. As is typical of Ponga, he costs a lot but he is worth it. 151 run metres, a try and three conversions made his score what it was.
And how about the cricket? England tried their best to lose to Ireland after being rolled for 85 in their first dig. But the they skittled Ireland for 38 in their second innings to resume normality.
Then Australia battled it out for Ashes squad selection with an intra-club match that saw only Dave Warner and Cam Bancroft pass 50. That knock was enough for Bancroft to earn a Test recall, while Alex Carey’s world cup heroics were not enough to push him ahead of Tim Paine, or Matthew Wade, in the keeping pecking order.
AFL ROUND 19
Another Friday night blockbuster turned fizzer ensued in wet and dreary conditions at the MCG. And Richmond were the ones to reap the rewards of their attacking style of football in the wet. The game was over just before half time when Richmond were ahead 61 to 11. Dustin Martin had arguably his best game of the year with 38 touches, two goals and 133 DS points while Tom Lynch sent a message to the competition with five goals and 94 DS points.
Saturday provided a lot more. Beginning with the Lions continued domination of Hawthorn. They checked another box, beating the Hawks in Tassie, a feat that is none too easy. Dayne Zorko continued his purple patch with 25 touches, two goals and 118 DS points. In terms of value, Noah Answerth was the answer(th) as he accumulated 87 DS points from 15 touches and a goal.
The Blues are rolling, and this time they toppled the Crows who had three ex-Blues playing in the SANFL who all dominated. Carlton took the lead just before quarter time and never looked back, running out comfortable 27-point winners. Unless you live under a rock you would know Patrick Cripps had another Patrick Cripps game (39 touches, 19 clearances, 141 DS points) but the best choice for your DS team was Kade Simpson who managed 142 DS points in his best game of the season.
West Coast did it pretty easily over North, as the Roos showed their first signs under Rhyce Shaw of what they were like earlier in the year. Josh Kennedy burst back into form for the Eagles booting seven majors, including his 600th career major. His haul earnt him 102 DS points.
Emerging from the rubble of simply skill errors and incredible underperformances was St. Kilda. In their second game under Brett Ratten, and their second consecutive victory, they overcame the Demons and ended up running out 19-point victors. Seb Ross was enormous for the Sainters with 146 DS points as a result of his 31 touches, nine tackles and two majors.
Port’s loss to GWS on Saturday night provided a microcosm into the ongoing fight that is their form. In stages, the Giants could get anywhere near them. Then at other points of the game they looked second rate. And, if not for their inaccuracy (7.13) they would have beaten one of the flag favourites. As it was, the Giants snuck home with a one-point victory. Toby Greene was the best player on the ground with 126 DS points from 30 touches. Fittingly, Greene held the ball as the siren sounded.
It is not often such melancholy is felt on a football field as was felt at Marvel stadium on Sunday. The Doggies beat Fremantle easily, and debutant Rhylee West had a fairytale start to his career. But club legend Dale Morris suffered another ACL injury in his first game back from ACL surgery. Marcus Bontempelli had another day out with 28 touches, two goals, 128 DS points and a probable three Brownlow votes.
The Cats looked more like ladder leaders than they have in recent weeks against the Swans. Despite falling behind early, Geelong regrouped and ran out easy 27-point winners. The usual suspects for both teams led the DS rankings with Dangerfield, Duncan, Heeney and Kennedy topping their teams scores respectively. Scott Selwood was good value with 93 DS points in a rare AFL appearance.
A late Isaac Heeney goal at least gave the Sydney home crowd something to cheer about.
The Suns very nearly pulled off a miracle to defeat the Bombers in the Sunday twilight game. But instead it was heartbreak as, again, a late opposition goal saw all of their heroics undone in an instant. Shaun McKernan (four goals, eight marks, 93 DS points) and Jake Stringer (four goals, 91 DS points) were the match winners but credit must be given to future star, Ben King, who booted four of his own goals to give the Suns a fighting chance.
Written by Brin DugganAFL, AFLW, Latest, NRL