November 20, 2018
Uncategorized

Been bogged down by ball tampering news? Heres what you missed

On Sunday morning, the world of Australian sport was picked up, flipped over, shaken, dunked under water and then kicked into an oncoming wave by the ball-tampering scandal.

Since those first shots of Cameron Bancroft shoving "something yellow" down his pants hit the airwaves, everyone from the Prime Minister down has had their say.

Unfortunately, so many takes of varying temperatures leave little time for anything else, so here are some events in sport you might not have set aside enough brain space for over the weekend.

Bert's bad start

Tore Reginiussen of Norway heads in Norway's second goal with Australia's Jackson Irvine.

A national embarrassment that we all had to view in the cold morning light.

We're of course talking about the Socceroos getting pumped 4-1 by Norway in their first outing under Bert van Marwijk and one of their final four clashes before the World Cup.

Making matters worse, Australia led the Norwegians, ranked 20 spots lower in the world standings, after 19 minutes on Saturday but then let in four unanswered.

Ricky Stuart sympathising with referees

Ricky Stuart looks on during Raiders' loss to Storm

The Canberra Raiders endured a horrific day on Saturday, losing to the Warriors after leading by seven points with four minutes left.

The 20-19 loss was the side's third-straight defeat to start the year — all of them within two points — and coach Ricky Stuart was in fine form after the game, blaming the NRL for a lack of clarity on the obstruction rule.

Shaun Johnson of the Warriors celebrates with team mates after winning over the Raiders in Canberra.

"I've never seen the game in such a state of affairs in regards to what's happening at the moment with interpretations," he said.

"And I say it and repeat it again, it's not the refs' fault because the refs at the moment are guessing."

It's debatable if that was genuine sympathy or him shrewdly avoiding a $10,000 fine, but for a man who has had a frayed relationship with the officials over the years, this is probably as close to an olive branch as we'll see.

Matildas get back to winning

Alex Chidiac runs away smiling as other soccer players look on.

Another in the "rare as hen's teeth" column: a Matildas demolition job without a Sam Kerr goal.

Last night, the Aussie women stomped Thailand to the tune of 5-0 in their final hitout before the Asian Cup starts in Jordan on Sunday week.

We're slowly getting back to normal for now, so hopefully we can start paying more attention to performances like this.

Ricciardo keeps doing it the right way

Daniel Ricciardo smiles while wearing a Red Bull hat.

Daniel Ricciardo was one of the most talked about Aussie athletes in 2017, but his fourth place at the Formula One season-opening Australian Grand Prix barely registered this time around.

The poor bloke was less than a second off the podium after a tense battle with Kimi Raikkonen, but perhaps more impressive was waking up happy on Sunday morning.

"Because it's race day and it's been too long since we raced, so already before the race I was just happy and smiling," he said.

Classic Dan. Why can't all our sporting heroes be like you?

England almost doing the impossible

Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes

On Thursday, Australian cricket fans were having themselves a good ol' chuckle over England's misfortunes once again as the Poms were rolled for 58.

Even that meagre total was inflated by the flailing fireworks of tail-ender Craig Overton, who scored 33 off 25.

Well, while Australia was imploding in South Africa to the point that our own collapse for 107 was effectively forgotten, England came within a whisker of saving that Test against New Zealand.

They entered the last day three wickets down and 237 runs from forcing New Zealand to even bat again, but they didn't give up, batting for 80 overs on day five before falling a couple of overs short of what would have been a brilliant draw.

Speaking of cricket…

Jimmy Peirson and George Bailey speak while standing in front of wet pitch covers.

Did you know the Sheffield Shield final is on right now? You probably heard about some players from that game being on standby for axed Test team members, but many cricket fans would probably struggle to tell you what's going on at this point.

Queensland is playing for a draw and scored 516 in its first innings, in response to Tasmania's 477.

It started on Friday and ends today and rain is helping Queensland's cause.

Ben Simmons is playoff-bound

Ben Simmons goes past Jayson Tatum

The NBA has two seasons — the regular season and the playoffs — and Australian star Ben Simmons will experience both in his first year playing in the league thanks to his team officially clinching its post-season spot on Sunday.

It was all but locked in already, but the Philadelphia 76ers team are now a mathematical certainty even if every one of their remaining games this season is a blowout.

Basketball fans should be licking their lips at the chance of seeing this 21-year-old beast bouncing around on the biggest stage.

Kokkinakis turns giant killer

Thanasi Kokkinakis shakes hands with Roger Federer at the net.

Injury-plagued 21-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis also had the biggest moment of his career overshadowed by the scandal.

On Sunday he beat Roger Federer so badly at the Miami Open that the Swiss legend lost his number one ranking.

In reality it was a brutally close 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7/4) victory, but that really only makes it that much more impressive and worthy of your attention.

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