Monday, 2 June 2008

A weekend where two sports was quite enough

This weekend past held promise of a lot of sport. The Lions were playing North on Friday night, the Brissie to the Bay bike ride was on Sunday morning, and the Socceroos were playing Iraq on Sunday night.

Normally I'd look forward to such a weekend, but this Friday I was relieved when I got an email from the Brissie to the Bay folks saying that the ride had been cancelled due to "anticipated high winds and rain". I was home sick on Friday (and am again today) with a cold, and the prospect of a 7am ride in the rain and wind wasn't really appealing. Doubly so, since it was likely to bookended by trips to watch football, also probably in the rain.

In the end, it didn't really rain at either the footy or the soccer, which made both much more pleasant. The footy was a good game, with the Lions winning comfortably, but in a game that never lost its intensity (as the Lions' games against the Demons, Blues and Saints had). We were losing most of the ruck taps (MacIntosh is a quality ruckman), but winning a lot of ball out of the centre. Up forward, Brown and Bradshaw were marking everything that came their way, and although the former struggled with accuracy early, they kicked 6 each for the second straight week.

The soccer wasn't quite so satisfying.

The socceroos were ragged. Their shabby defense in the first half gifted Iraq a number of very good opportunities that they failed to grasp, and the lack of a true socceroo centre half really hurt them throughout the night. Kewell played well, but is no Viduka when it comes to holding up the ball on the top of the box, and no Kennedy when it comes to providing a target for crosses, notwithstanding his very good headed goal in the second half. Djite came on late to fill the role, but he spent his time fiddling about on the wing, which was less than useful. Despite dominating possession and playing well in the midfield, there are problems in defense and in attack (both of which can be partly explained by missing personnel - Neill, Viduka, Kennedy, etc).

I was once again very frustrated by the softness of the game, with lots of soft free kicks from the referees, and diving from the players.

There were 22 000 at the Lions' game, and 48 000 at the soccer, which as far as I'm concerned was completely out of whack with the quality of the spectacles.

As for the bike ride, it has been postponed, and the organisers have yet to set a new date. My apologies to those who have sponsored me (although obviously the money is far from wasted). I will post here when I find out the new date. In the meantime, if anyone wants to sponsor me, for a ride at an unknown date, they can still do so here. All monies go to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Queensland.

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