#UpUpCronulla 2

The last few years have been something of a turbulent time for supporters of the NRL Cronulla Sharks first grade team. After the turbulence of the ASADA investigation and findings in 2013 and subsequent fallout and the effect on the team for that year, it has taken time to recover and re-build.

Throughout it all, the true supporters – the faithful (the Cronulla Tragics as we are known) being those that have supported the team through every high and low, have remained strong and given the team their undivided support. For some of us, that support goes back to the Club’s entry in 1967 to the top level of the competition.

We supporters believe the team stands a very good chance of finally winning their first Premiership when they play in the 2016 Grand Final on Sunday, October 2. So too do many commentators, past players from the Sharks and other teams and current players whose teams did not make it to the ultimate season finisher. The Sharks are a Sydney based team with the other team being based in Melbourne. As a result a considerable proportion of Sydney’s population are getting behind the Sharks, whether or not they support other teams during the rest of the year.

So, for the Sharks faithful, it is going to be a week of building hopes and excitement, nerves, trepidation, anxiety, in fact, a full range of the emotional roller-coaster.

Irrespective of the outcome, the Sharks players, coaches and management have delivered a great year for the faithful supporters. They deserve our respect and admiration for their efforts to produce a solid foundation and giving the faithful a team who can repay that faith.

Here’s the official team song that I hope to be singing on Sunday, October 2 (if I have any voice left after the game :-)). It’s sung to the tune of “Roll Out The Barrel”:

Up up Cronulla,
The boys in the black white and blue.
Up up Cronulla,
The name of the Sharks fits you.
Sharks, sharks, forever
go out and play without fear.
Now’s the time to see good football,
’cause the Sharks are here!
Up the Sharks!

UpUpCronulla!!!

Go those mighty Sharks!!

What a great display of determination in their game against the Brisbane Broncos last night. The Sharks were down 16-0 at half-time, and down 22-0 with 20 minutes game time left. With a never say die attitude, the Sharks players dug deep and finished the game winners, 24-22. That win makes it 4 years in a row at Suncorp for the Sharks.

Like the rest of the Sharks faithful supporters (or “tragics” as we sometimes get called), I hope this is the beginning of a turn around in the Sharks fortunes for season 2014.

Keep up the great work Sharks!!

Go you good things!

(P.S. Notice the new colour scheme for the site? I bleed Black, White and Blue!)

2006/2007 Ashes Cricket Test Series

At 12.18 pm today, Australia continued their dominance of world cricket by defeating England with ten wickets in hand to complete a 5 – 0 series “whitewash” in this years Ashes cricket series.

What can be said about a team that has won their last 12 (that’s TWELVE) Tests in a row?  No doubt there will be cricket afficianados and commentators with far more knowledge about the game and it’s history than I possess that will be able to deliver fitting tributes to the Australian Test cricket team of 2006/2007.  However, as a proud Australian I would like to congratulate the team on a brilliant series.  They never let up, and even when they knew England were on the ropes, the Australians kept the pressure on.  Their demolition of the English cricket team and it’s attempt to defend and retain the Ashes trophy they so narrowly won in 2005 has been a marvel to watch and a demonstration of the awesome professionalism of the Australians.

Can I wrap it up with a piece of true Aussie vernacular?  I hope so.

To the Australian cricket team, their coaches and their management – “Strewth, you blokes are bewdies”

Bring on the One Day Internationals… C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon….

2006/2007 Ashes Cricket Test Series

Tuesday, January 2, 2007, marks the start of a tremendously important game for both the Australian and English cricket teams.

The Australian team, stinging from the loss of the Ashes series in England in 2005, is after a 5 – 0 whitewash of the English team to wipe out the pain of the loss the Ashes and to show that they are still the premier cricket team that the rest of the cricketing world has to try to catch up to.  It’s also important because 4 of the senior members of the team have announced their retirements and this represents the last test they will play for their country on home soil.  Whilst many of the pundits predicted Australian cricket was being caught up to by the rest of the world at the end of 2005, the Australian team have simply “shifted gear” and raised the level of their play yet again as if to say to the rest of the world “Come on, we aren’t done yet. If you want our place, then you’ll have to fight bloody hard to take it.”

The English team, on the other hand, are looking to avoid the embarrassment of losing the Ashes 0 – 5 just 12 months after they won them.  They are looking to retain some smidgeon of the pride they gained when they won the series on home soil in 2005.

It seems to me the only hope the English team have of avoiding a whitewash lies in the weather forecast for Sydney over the next week.  Although, given the way the English team have capitulated in the previous games of the series, I reckon it would take 4 days of rain to give the English any chance of avoiding a whitewash.

C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon…..

2006/2007 Ashes Cricket Test Series

Game 3 of the Ashes series begins at the WACA in Perth today.

Can the English cricket team do anything to restore their battered confidence and pride?  They face an enormous task to retain the Ashes trophy.  They must win at least 2 of the next three games, and do no worse than a draw in the third.  Given the way they threw victory away in the Second Test in Adelaide, I wouldn’t be putting my money on them.

In a way, I’d like to see them put up a bit of a fight to keep the series alive.  However, as a true blue Aussie, I want to see our team continue to crush the “old foe”.  The English win in the previous Ashes Series in England certainly seems to have sparked renewed interest from Australian spectators.  I get the feeling this interest is more than likely a desire to watch the Australian team avenge the loss of the previous series.

I can hear the chorus already……. “C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon ….”

2006 V8 Supercar Series is done & won

Congratulations to Holden driver Rick Kelly on finishing as winner of the 2006 series, narrowly outscoring Ford driver Craig Lowndes.  The two drivers were so closely matched that at the start of the last race they both started on the second row of the grid, with equal points in hand.

Ford supporters are bemoaning a racing incident that saw Lowndes’ car suffer damage that severely affected the performance of his vehicle.  The incident involved Kelly, who was given a “drive-through”penalty as a result of that involvement.  Kelly did not suffer any significant damage to his vehicle and was able to make up enough lost ground to finish well ahead of Lowndes.  Kelly finished 18th in the last race, and Lowndes finished in 29th place.  As Kelly remarked, it wasn’t the best possible way to achieve the prize but it showed how his season of consistently finishing races rather than risking a “DNF”in pursuit of a win in each race of each round was the way to win the series.

To all my fellow Holden supporters I say “Go Team Red” in 2007!!

To all the Ford supporters, especially those complaining about Kelly’s win, I just want to raise two points for you to consider.  Firstly, Kelly isn’t the first driver to employ the tactic of consistent high place finishes to win the series – Ford driver Russell Ingall used the same tactic to win the 2005 series.  Secondly, stop whining about Kelly’s alleged driving tactics in the last race that you claim took Lowndes out of the race.  I’ve seen the footage of the incident and it was nowhere near as bad as Russell Ingall’s infamous Eastern Creek incident with Mark Skaife in 2004.  Thirdly (ok, so I thought of something else while writing the other two points – so sue me), Ford teams have (with financial assistance from corporate Ford Australia) a habit of poaching drivers from Holden teams – both Craig Lowndes and Russell Ingall “cut their teeth” in high profile Holden teams.  Seems Ford find it difficult to develop their own drivers, and when they do the driver leaves (remember Marcus Ambrose?)…… 😛

2006/2007 Ashes Cricket Test Series begins

At last, Australia can seek redemption for losing the last Ashes series in England.

The long awaited and much anticipated series began in Brisbane on Thursday, November 23.  Australia showed their true colours, spending almost 2 days amassing a massive score of 9/602, and then taking 3 quick wickets to have England reeling at 3/53 at the close of play on day 2.

Grab a cold beer and a comfy seat in front of the tv and join me in a rousing chorus of our cricketing national anthem…

C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon…
C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon…

Hehe – ’tis the end of day 3 – England all out for 157, Australia 1/181 (giving the Aussies a lead of 626), and the Barmy Army prove they are just a bunch of whinging poms – all they can do is complain about what they consider heavy-handedness by the local constabulary.

What time tomorrow will Punter declare?

Ok you dinkum Aussies (and anyone else that feels like joining in), sing along – you all know the tune… C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon…

😛

Football Grand Finals

Sadly for me, the teams I favoured lost their respective Grand Final matches.  I hope this doesn’t mean I gave them the “kiss of death” !!

The Sydney Swans lost an exciting tussle by 1 point (85 – 84) to the West Coast Eagles, while the Melbourne Storm were unable to outrun the Brisbane Broncos, losing 15 – 8.

Congratulations to the winning sides, commiserations to the losing sides, and goodbye to the football until 2007.

Bring on the cricket!!

Footy codes show results of years of planning & development

Well, the dust has settled on the semi-finals for Australia’s 2 major football codes, the NRL (National Rugby League) and the AFL (Australian Football League).  The results are no doubt pleasing to the hierarchy of the codes respective managements as proof of their plans to develop truly national competitions.  The grand finals of both codes will not have a team representing the traditional strongholds of each code.

The NRL Grand Final will be played out between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm.  As a New South Welshman, I have mixed feelings about this result.  As a follower of rugby league from my early childhood, it is hard to swallow a grand final that will not have a NSW based team in it.  On the other hand, I am happy to see the game growing in strength and widening it’s support base, although most of that growth at this time stems from areas that are traditional rugby league supporters anyway (that being NSW and Queensland).  As to who I want to win?  Given that I don’t support either team, it’s a decision that I really don’t care about too much.  Ahh, stuff it!  Old rivalries come to the fore, and I simply cannot back the Broncos.  Go Storm!

The AFL Grand Final will have the Sydney Swans defending their 2005 title against the West Coast Eagles.  Not being an avid follower of AFL and being based in Sydney, it is difficult for me to do anything other than say, Go Swans!

Good luck to all the participants.