History will reflect on 2020 as a year of unwanted sporting firsts and this week the AFL enters a course of very unchartered waters. Some 33 games will be played across 20 consecutive days and as the sun sets on this week’s deadline the fun starts on Wednesday night with the Western Bulldogs and Richmond going head to head at Metricon as Queensland becomes the AFL Mecca.
For some, it is Christmas in July. For the AFL and Gil McLachlan, it will be either a masterstroke or an ill-conceived experiment.
There is common sense and rationale behind the radical move. As the COVID situation shows no evidence of slowing in Victoria, teams are safely ensconced in hubs – and importantly for Victorian teams, away from Victoria.
In club land the mood is one of, “Let’s get on with it”.
So rounds nine through 12 are whirlwind. Five-day breaks a luxury. It’s not “Eat, Sleep, Pray”. It will be ‘Eat, Sleep, Play’ with a touch of praying given the pitfalls that may lay ahead in 20 straight days of football.
The format of rounds 13-16 is yet to be decided as 2020 continues to be a fly by the seat of your pants season. More than likely be more of the same.
By virtue of what the AFL is trying to achieve, the draw is less kind to some clubs than others. Clubs will be on high alert for a spike in injuries and fatigue. They must to plan how best to keep their playing group healthy. The answer could be resting players en masse. The AFL hierarchy and club officials are thinking on their feet.
This radical plan might work. It might not. Either way, it is going to be one hell of a ride.
It could come as welcome relief for some Queensland rugby league fans sick of watching a Broncos team that apparently feel a 48-point thrashing as acceptable because, “they played better for 20 or 30 minutes”. The Titans and Cowboys doing marginally better.
For those fans Santa has just delivered an unexpected Christmas in gift in July. The Lions at the top of the AFL table and a banquet of AFL worthy of an Christmas feast. In Queensland? Who would have thought – Strange year 2020.
SHOW SOME LOVE TO TEAL AND PINK
Football kicked off for many on the Sunshine Coast last weekend. Unfortunately it was not an auspicious start with many games cancelled due to the wet and soggy state of the fields due to the heavy rain.
As the season gets underway, players, officials and supporters are reminded that referees wearing teal shirts are in their first year of refereeing. Any referee wearing pink arm bands are under 18 years of age. These are excellent initiatives by Football Queensland to easily identify first year and younger referees.
While all referees should be shown respect, it is hoped that these new and or young referees will be encouraged and supported in their endeavours. It is early days for these referees who are still learning about the game. Learning the intricacies of the rules of the game. They are developing the skills to manage a game and managing players on the pitch but they are the future of refereeing.
It is a timely reminder to everyone that without the man or woman in the middle with the whistle there is no game. Good luck to all the newcomers this season.
If you would like more information on the teal shirt initiative head to the Football Queensland website .
JUNIOR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP POSTPONED
The District Junior Golf Championships due to be played at Mt Coolum Golf Course last Sunday fell foul of the weekend weather.
After more than 50mm of rain fell on Saturday night the event was postponed.
A rescheduled date has not yet been announced. We will bring you the updated date as soon as it is available.
LIONS KICK ON
The Noosa Lions were back in action last weekend. Both the Men’s Premier and Reserve Grade sides were coming off good games at their previous outing. The Men had a 4-0 win over Kawana and the Reserves played a 2-2 draw against Caloundra. There was plenty of confidence as they took on the Beegees (Beerwah United) on their home patch in conditions better suited to ducks than footballers.
The Men’s game was a torrid affair and not without drama. Addison Brader suffered a fractured ankle during the game. Hopefully it will be a speedy recovery and he is back in back in action before season end. It was an unfortunate incident but he was well looked after by the Beegees’ match day medical staff.
Despite the wet conditions there were some great goals scored in a game that swung from end to end. Each team had their chances. After an exciting first, scores were locked up at two all at half time.
Matthew Thompson was outstanding scoring a double. Oli Williams also found the back of the net. The Lions were gifted a goal when the Beegees scored an own goal. The Beegees goals came from Cameron Nairn who scored a double while Tim Lawson and Giacomo Mellino each found the back of the net.
The final score Beegees 4 Noosa 4
The Premier Reserve Men’s game was also a tough game but there was no joy for the Lions who went down 1-0 to the Beegees’ Ressies. The winning goal was scored by Beegees. player Josiah Green.
Players and supporters will be hoping for better conditions next Saturday night when the Premier Men host Coolum. -Kick off is 6.00pm. The Premier Reserves also play Coolum with a 4.00pm kick off.
BROAD AND POMS ON THE CUSP
No crowd no problem for Stuart Broad. Even without a crowd at Old Trafford, Broad added a sense of drama to the final over on Day Three. Broad almost stole the show on a day where England dominated.
With one ball of play remaining Broad needed one wicket for to reach his 500th Test wicket. He had his hands in the air as he nipped the ball past the outside edge.
West Indian Shai Hope just retracted his bat in time, leaving Broad to sleep on 499 wickets and then cool his heels on day four as the rain tumbled down and play was officially abandoned.
Day five the weather forecast looks more promising for play but even Gordon Greenidge and the 1984 Windies musketeers would struggle to knock off the 389 more runs West Indies require to win.
England is eight wickets short of victory, with maximum of 98 overs to be bowled on the final day, (Tuesday evening our time) a 2-1 win for the Poms looks the likely scenario.
Of course you can’t count your chickens and all that but there should be that crowning moment for Broad when he finally joins that elite 500 club. It would be a fitting close to what has been an entertaining series.
Members of the elite 500 club:- Muttiah Muralitharan (800); Shane Warne (708); Anil Kumble (619); James Anderson (589); Glenn McGrath (563); Courtney Walsh.
TIGERS MEN REPEL HORNETS
The Noosa Tigers got home by just three points in their round three clash against the Aspley Hornets in the QFA Hart Cup. At the end of the first quarter the Tigers held a slender one point advantage. The score, Hornet 2.2-14 – Tigers 2.2-15.
Tigers, first quarter goal scorers were Liam Kenny and Maverick Pettigrove. Despite goals to Rogers and McDonald in the second quarter the Tigers trailed 5.7-37 to 4.4-28 at the half time break.
Goals from O’Dwyer and Mc Donald and a behind in the third saw the Tigers take a slim 5.9-39 to 6.5.41 lead into the final quarter.
The Tigers opened the final quarter with a goal to Daniel Stevens and in a thrilling finish held the Hornets at bay to grab the comepitition points in round three. The final score Hornets 6.10-46 – Tigers 7.7-49.
Fitzpatrick, Buntain, Laskey, Maher, Meredith all played well while McDonald the best with the boot for the Tigers.
In the Reserve Grade game the Tigers went down to Aspley 8.5-53 to 7.6-48. There was more joy for the Colts who had a 13 point win in their game.
In round five, on Saturday Noosa host Coorparoo. The Colts kick off at 10.00am followed by the reserve grade at midday with the main game commencing at 2.00pm.
After months of “will there, won’t there” be rugby league junior Pirates teams hit the paddock on Friday night and Saturday.
If the COVID entry requirements didn’t make things difficult enough, heavy rain Friday night and Saturday morning made things even more challenging for players officials and spectators. However rugby league fans showed their support and despite the conditions there were good crowds at games in Cooroy and Tewantin.
The boys under-15 side had a 32-16 win over Nambour. As the saying goes the real winner was Rugby League with every one pleased to see the mighty Pirates back in action.
This would not have been possible but for the efforts of the committee members, coaches, managers and the support of parents carers and family members. Everyone has gone above and beyond to get players back on the paddock. The support of club sponsors throughout this testing season has been unwavering and the Club is planning to hold a function when restrictions allow to show their appreciation.
With the help of everyone the Club nailed the new Covid entry requirements – Thanks to the army of volunteers including Sandy Bolton MP who popped into the canteen for a stint to help kick off the season.
Next week the majority of games are away with only a handful on Friday night at Tewantin. Details are available on the Pirates’ Facebook page or by following the link :