The sports wrap with Nicky G
Wednesday 23 March 2011
by Nick Gibson
The Cairns Taipans pulled off 'mission impossible' on Saturday night by beating the Wollongong Hawks in an away gym. The scenario was simple - the winning side makes the playoffs! The five game losing streak appears it was a life time ago now and the boys are finding ways to win.
Coach Fearne has pulled off a masterstroke by dropping out of sorts Phill Jones a few weeks back only to bruise his ego and help him get his motivation back. In his last two games he's been the difference and 5 from 5 from outside the land of plenty (3 pointers) in the 'Gong' is proof that Aussies can love Kiwis!
The Taipans have two tough home games left against Perth and Townsville. These two clubs are aspiring for second place so there will be plenty of 'playoff style' basketball to see live in Cairns before the post season even starts. Let's get there and help make it an unpleasant fortress for the visitors by packing the joint and being extremely hostile.
While the basketball is heating up for a big month all eyes are also on the AFL opening round which commences Thursday night.
Old foes Carlton and Richmond is the scheduled game and as much as I'm looking forward to it I think the AFL could have scheduled a better game to start the season. A Grand Final replay or Geelong vs Gold Coast (Ablett against his former club) would have been so much more mouth watering.
The Carlton and Richmond rivalry was big in the 60's but there are better ones around now. Even Collingwood vs Carlton or the big improvers Essendon taking on the unknown quantity in the Brissy 'Fevless' Lions!
Maybe i'm being a bit harsh as watching the much improved Tigers getting smashed by 12 goals in the opening round is what it's all about! We've all got mates that barrack for Richmond and there's only one place for them - miserable!!
Actually the more i think about it, it's really not that bad. The last two years Carlton have won by 83 and 56 points. The 83 point loss had coach Terry Wallace with one leg in the sacked coffin after only one round (that was also Ben Cousins first game in the black and yellow) and last year Damian Hardwick told supporters not to expect too much from his young group - so no one did.
This year however a thumping will not go down well at all. Carlton president Stephen Kernahan has also added some spice by stupidly suggesting the Blues will win 2 flags in the next 5 years. Imagine if Richmond turn the tables and give the Blues a walloping I'm hoping as always for a close one.
Bring on the footy - it has seemed like a long off season...
This week's Winners - Taipans and Broncos
This week's Losers - Aussie cricket, Fevola (he'll never get off this list)