Welcome to a new weekly wrap of all things sport. Every Wednesday, we will have a look at the big issues kicking around in the world of sport and try to make some sense of them.
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Shocking news for former Adelaide Thunderbird and now Collingwood Magpie Cody Lange who has undergone her second knee reconstruction in the space of two years after rupturing her ACL at training early last week. It is terrible luck for the 22-year-old, who was just starting to find her place as a Magpie. Sport is a funny game. Going into the season the Pies had the title sewed up according to most (me included), but are now in a real fight with the other two new franchise teams in the Giants and the Lightning as well as the Vixens for the title. Out of that lot, the Magpies will go into the finals as fourth favourite. Sport ay?
If the unthinkable happens and Australia’s cricketers boycott the upcoming Ashes Series, close the gates. Test Cricket in Australia is delicately placed with some key changes coming in the next couple of years set to ultimately determine its long-term future. A compromised Ashes Series will be the final nail in the coffin for Test Cricket. Already sell-out crowds around the country will not forgive the game if strike action were to eventuate. Get this deal done and get it done quickly for everybody’s sake.
There is only one true way to make the AFL fixture an even affair. Seventeen games with each team playing each other once and swapping home and away year on year. Or thirty four games with each team playing each other twice, once at home and once away. Now in the commercial and regulated world of sport today, neither of those options are going to happen, so what is the solution? A wildcard round would be great for the AFL’s bottom line, but would do nothing to even up the fixture. What if you finished seventh or eighth, three or four games plus percentage clear of ninth or tenth, but then lost the wild card game to the ninth or tenth team and missed the finals? That would be pretty unfair. The compromise has to be everyone playing each other once, before breaking into conferences for the last four or five weeks of the year. It is the best of a bunch of poor solutions to attempting fixture reform.
Adelaide has the best travelling supporters in the land. They travel long distances week after week and in large numbers. At every ground around the country there is always a sea of red, yellow and blue. Even on the streets before a game in other states, the Crows colours will be always present. Kudos.
There still has not been any word on which Super Rugby team will be chopped ahead of next season. While this impending removal is certainly not a positive, it is great to see the Melbourne Rebels and Western Force stand up for themselves and fight for survival. They have shown more tenacity and guts than anyone running Super Rugby in Australia at the present time.
Adelaide Lightning have obtained some big name signings ahead of season 2017/18. Along with a new television deal, perhaps this is the start of a resurgence in basketball for women in this country. Here’s hoping. Signing on for Adelaide next season are big names including Ruth Hamblin, Abby Bishop and Natalie Novose.
Who becomes the new basketball writer at The Advertiser following the resignation of Boti Nagi? Boti is never afraid to offer an opinion. Expect his blog to be a must read over the coming months.
— Thomo (@liamthompson1) May 23, 2017
You have to head to Queensland to realise the full scale of trouble that the AFL is in up north. There were 13,000 people at the Gabba on Saturday night as Brisbane took on Adelaide in what were perfect conditions for watching football. I would estimate that more than half of those in attendance were Crows fans. While that was good for Adelaide, as it provided a bit of a home away from home, it is not good for the League.
The Gabba itself is in desperate need of an upgrade with a bolt in the row of seats I was sitting in dislodging itself and tipping people off their chairs. A disaster waiting to happen. The ground needs a major lick of paint and far better facilities.
The answer is not a simple one, but it is time the AFL did more. Brisbane cannot continue to lose highly talented players and be a basket case on the field. Is it draft concessions, making draftees stay with clubs for a longer period of time, a larger salary cap perhaps? There are options and the AFL needs to act quickly, because a quick glance of the papers up there indicates that the AFL is gaining very little traction.
You can say what you like about Tasmania, but having been down there a week or two ago, these people talk footy, they love the game and are very passionate about it. There just is not the same feel in Queensland and you wonder how much longer is it sustainable.
Picture – AFL Media