#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 1967 entry 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!

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.