It’s with heavy eyelids but an uplifted heart that Friday’s first Freak Out goes live, after an incredible Thursday night’s test cricket from Trent Bridge.
With the batsmen looking like they’d struggle to find a root in a brothel, let alone edge one past him at third slip, ticket holders for Day Three must have been regretting their hasty decision to purchase ahead. Little did they know that the team was about to be saved by a 19 year old kid making his test debut and walking out at number eleven.
Ashton Agar has lifted the spirits of the country after his incredible 98 – and what’s not to like about him, when one of the first things he did after going out was running over to his mother and apologising for not making a century?
Bless that kid. He’s already apologised more times than Dave Warner has in 18 less matches.
Day Three commences tonight (Australian time) and sees the “Pom” we all love to hate in Kevin Pietersen attempting to salvage some respect into a team that, whilst advertising themselves as having the best strike bowling combination in the world, now has the unenviable record of having the highest score made by a number 11 against them. A 19 year old number 11 on debut who had only played 10 first class matches beforehand.
The final round of Super Rugby kicks off in Christchurch where the rampaging Crusaders look like they’re prepared to quite possibly eat an underdone Hurricanes in order to secure a home final. If the Blues manage to restrict the Chiefs to no points and the Saders can orchestrate a massacre of their own, the New Zealand conference champion title can wind up back in Christchurch and land the team with a dream run through to the final. The Chiefs, however, will be looking to defend their Super title and walking away from Auckland with even one point tomorrow will secure the top of the log.
The Rebels will be looking to finish their season with a win against what can only be described as a ridiculously disappointing Highlanders team for season 2013 to give captain Gareth Delve a worthy send-off. The Landers looked full of promise at the start of the year with a squad that on paper should have been far more dominant than their epic season failure, but unfortunately for them, rugby is played on grass.
With the Brumbies guaranteed top of the log in the Oz conference, coach Jake White will be looking to stamp his authority on the code after being overlooked for the top job earlier this week with the unceremonious “walking away” of former Wallabies head honcho Robbie Deans. Just what White would have brought to the national squad remains to be seen, but given the conference leaders take on the cellar dwellers in the Force, it shouldn’t be too difficult to walk away with an “I told you so” result.
The South African conference sees the Stormers taking on the rampaging Bulls in front of a home crowd that would love to see the Cape boys finish with a win after promising so much and yet struggling to deliver. That said, with the Bulls the best chance the Republic have of taking the Super title back home, there may be some not so convincing “Stooooorrrrrmmmmeerrrrrrsss” chants from the crowd, with a nation due to take the Super title back across the Indian ocean.
With their season thrown to the lions (well, not literally anymore, I guess) the Sharks will be looking to earn some form of redemption in the earlier match of the day against the Lions replacements, the Southern Kings. Credit where it is due to the Kings, for a team that had critics slamming their inclusion in Super Rugby in the first place, their ability to not only win games but win fans has to be applauded. Their brand of rugby has been exciting and with their future next season in Super Rugby not guaranteed, they’ve played with more heart than at least a dozen of the other teams in the competition. Kudos.
The Moto GP is on again Sunday night in Germany and after Valentino Rossi scored victory in the Netherlands – his first win in about 900 odd starts – one could be forgiven for thinking that Moto GP had somehow found a way to time travel. It’s been a lax few years for the guy who was previously world champion, but if anyone can prove that persistence pays off, it’s a little Italian guy with a sugar accent and a hotted up piece of machinery between his legs.
The Origin rounds are by far and away the least desirable rounds in the NRL, with a large number of players unavailable due to state commitments; which, come to think of it, is a refreshing change from the days of AFL State of Origin. With Blues skipper Paul Gallen ruled out due to injury, I’ll be looking forward to the cane toads going back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back. Yes, by typing it out that way, it really rubs in to NSW just how terrible their origin squads have been over the years.
Le Tour hasn’t really captivated me this year yet, but the news that Mark Cavendish was covered in urine certainly brought me back. Perhaps it was a random hell bent on a bit of mischief? Perhaps it was one of the “anti-British” brigade in full swing after the Lions and Wimbledon victories? Or perhaps it was a Dave Warner fan, who wrongly assumed what his version of being “on the piss” was.
Just enough time for a nap before the weekend starts and the Aussies cause all sorts of torment to the Poms; enjoy it whilst you can. Have a cracker.