Sports round up archive

Thursday July 5th 2006

The 2006 World Cup Final kicks off this Monday morning with 1998 World Cup champions France set to take on Italy. The Italians haven't won the World Cup since 1982 when they beat Germany 3-1. On the way to the finals the Italians beat Ukraine in a convincing 3-0 win in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals they played 2006 World Cup hosts Germany. This game went right down to the wire with Italy eventually winning 2-0 deep in injury time with goals to Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero.

France started the World Cup quite slowly and only started to perform in their Round of 16 with a strong 3-1 win over Spain. They carried this form into the quarters where they beat World Champions Brazil 1-0. Portugal, who had played extremely well to make it to the semis did not seem to have the answers to combat the big guns from France, going down 1-0.

Hosts Germany will be disappointed with their semi-final exit to the Italians. They will now play Portugal in the third place play-off game. Sportingbet is also offering 'In-Running' Betting on live telecast World Cup Matches.

This week the Swans will host table topping Adelaide at the SCG. The Swans have had up and down form at home recently, losing two before winning last week. The game last week against the Dockers was quite close until the Swans skipped away in the final quarter. The Crows will be a different proposition with their quick midfield and a steady forward line. The Crows have only lost two games so far this season and Sydney will really have to lift their game if they are to maintain their position in the top 8.

The match between St Kilda and Collingwood should be a cracker. The teams are very evenly matched all around the park. Both teams have a lot to play for and the Saints maybe more so. They had an encouraging win last weekend, though their form has been up and down this season. If the Saints want to be around in September they will need to start to string some wins together.

On Friday night the Melbourne Storm will host the Brisbane Broncos. This will be a top of the table clash with the Storm four points clear of the Broncos. Origin discard Billy Slater will have a lot to prove as he missed the Origin Series through suspension. If the Storm wins on Friday they will be strong favourites to take out the minor premiership. There will be a few stars returning from Origin duty so there may be a few tired bodies running around and plenty of space up the middle of the ruck for the quick men in each team.

On Saturday the Bulldogs will host the Warriors at Telstra Stadium. The Warriors will only have Steve Price returning from Origin, while the three key forwards for the Dogs will also be returning from Origin. The Warriors have exceeded expectations this year and are now in a position where they can challenge the top 8.

Rugby Union
This Saturday night the Tri Nations kicks off with New Zealand hosting Australia in Christchurch. The All Blacks have tried many combinations in their first three Tests this year, finally settling on Mils Muliaina in the outside centre position. His move allows Kiwi coach Graham Henry to bring Leon MacDonald into the starting side at full back. In the forwards Jason Eaton has got the nod over Ali Williams in the lock position. For the Wallabies coach John Connolly has named an unchanged line up to face the Kiwis in the opener. Mat Rogers has done enough for the Aussie selectors and gets a starting jersey ahead of Matt Giteau with Scott Fava and Ben Tune getting a call up to the bench.

The Wimbledon Championships are really hotting up with the top four Ladies seeds through to the semi-finals. Kim Clijsters will play Justine Henin-Hardenne while Amelie Mauresmo will play Maria Sharapova in the other. In the Men's, Jarkko Nieminen and Rafael Nadal will complete their quarter-final match as it was rained out last night.


Thursday July 13th 2006

In a replay of the 2005 Grand Final Sydney will travel to Subiaco Oval to take on West Coast. The form of both teams has been questionable over the last month with the Eagles narrowly winning last week whilst losing the two before that. For the Swans the situation is much worse. They have lost three of their last four home games which is disappointing considering their previous form at home. The Eagles will head into this game with the edge as they will have the support of a full home ground. For the Swans they will need to find the hunger again if they are to turn around their season.

After starting the season so well the Magpies have had a shocking run. They have lost three of their last four matches by big margins. Their star forwards Chris Tarrant and Anthony Rocca have struggled to score goals which has put their top four spot in jeopardy. The inconsistent Dockers are living up to their tag with losses to Sydney and Geelong and a win against Essendon last week. This game can be seen as a crunch game for both teams with the Pies looking to maintain their number four position. While for the Dockers there is the potential for a top eight spot if they keep winning.

The Dragons will host the Bulldogs at OKI Jubilee Stadium on Friday night. The Dragons are sitting in second position on the ladder with seven wins in a row. A win this week will hold the Broncos in third. Dragons coach Nathan Brown is taking the gamble of playing Mark Gasnier at number six, though he has hedged the selection by playing Ben Hornby at full-back. The Dragons will also benefit with the return of Winger Colin Best and forwards Danny Wicks and Luke Bailey. For the Dogs they will look to continue their winning streak aiming for win number three. They will have a good opportunity this week as Gasnier is a questionable selection at number six and his inexperience can be exploited by the Dogs pack.

The 2006 season is all but mathematically over for the Roosters. The team has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks, so all they have left to play for is pride. They will host a Sharks team that is having a remarkable season. The Sharks are sitting at fifth on the ladder and apart from a disappointing couple of weeks are looking good to make the final eight. The Roosters have the upper hand in recent meetings at Aussie Stadium, though considering the form of both teams the Sharks are favourites to win this match.

Tri Nations Rugby Union
The Aussies were shown last week just how much improvement they need to make a challenge for the World Cup next year. The Aussie scrum still looks a little tender and they will have to muscle up this week against the massive Springbok pack. The Springboks play a very forward orientated game with a rush up style defence in the backs that attempts to keep the ball tight and in the forwards. So for the Aussies to be competitive they will have to dominate the break down and get quick ball to their electric backline. The alternative is another long night at the office.

Thursday July 20th 2006

West Coast will travel to the MCG on Saturday night to take on Collingwood. The Pies season is starting to look terminal with only one win from their last five outings and while they have a relatively comfortable run home they could still easily drop out of the Top 8. West Coast on the other hand have been winning the close ones as last weeks win over the Swans highlights. The Eagles have their big guns firing in the midfield which may prove too much for a Pies team that is struggling to score goals.

On Sunday the Dockers will host the Demons at Subiaco Oval. The Dockers are coming off successive wins, winning last week against Collingwood and Essendon the week before. After a shaky start to the season the Demons are having a great run and are sitting in third spot with 11 wins. The Dockers will need to contain the Demons midfield if they are to notch up another win this week.

On Friday night the Sharks will play a season defining game against the Storm. The Sharks who had started the season so well have been fading in recent weeks and have lost their last three. The Storm on the other hand have gone from strength to strength and appear to have the minor premiership sewn up. Despite their current form the Sharks actually have history on their side heading into the match winning their last three encounters against the Storm with the last two being played in Melbourne.

On Saturday the Queensland local derby will be played between the Cowboys and the Broncos at Dairy Farmers Stadium. In the first round of the season the Cowboys snatched the mantle of being Queensland's premier team. This weekend will be an excellent opportunity for the Broncos to reclaim it. On and off the field the Cowboys are facing troubled times and they must start to win again if they want to be around at finals time.

Tri-Nations Rugby
The Springboks started their Tri-nations campaign in the worst possible way losing 49-0 to the Aussies. This week they will face up to the All Blacks. The Kiwis have made a number of changes to their starting line up as part of their rotation policy, though these changes don't look to have weakened the team. The South Africans have also made some changes, though in their case these changes were due to a lack of form.

The British Open golf tournament tees off tonight with Tiger Woods heading into play as the favourite. The Aussie contingent, who are having a great season, are lead in the betting by Adam Scott who has firmed from $41 to $31 while Geoff Ogilvy and Stuart Appleby are also up there in the betting.

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Thursday 27th July 2006

On Saturday the match of the round will be the top of the table clash between Adelaide and West Coast. The Crows are going from strength to strength this season and a win this weekend will go a long way to sewing up the minor premiership. After dominating the competition early on in the season the Eagles fortunes are looking a little shaky. In their last two matches they have snuck home against the Swans and backed up with a loss to Collingwood last week. The Crows have an impressive record this season. They have not conceded more than 100 points in a match and they have also won by an average 65 point margin in their last eight games.

For the Swans the business end of the season has arrived. After two losses to competition heavyweights Adelaide and West Coast they had a promising win over Richmond last weekend. They will head into the match against Port Adelaide knowing that to keep their season alive they will need to keep winning. Port has a less than impressive record at their home ground AAMI Stadium this year and will have to be on top off their game if they are to keep their season alive - slim as it may be.

On Friday night the Knights will travel to Toyota Park to take on the Sharks. The loser of this match will most likely drop out of the final eight and the winner will go some way to cementing their position for the finals. The Sharks are on a four game losing streak so will need their home crowd behind them this weekend. They have a decisive advantage over the Knights at this field, winning four of the past five encounters. The Knights have been off the boil for some time and just scraped home against Souths last round, so this weekend could be the opportunity the Sharks need to get back in the winners circle.

The Dragons season has hit a speed bump. They have lost their last two matches, one against the Dogs and the other against the Raiders. They will need to regroup for their match against the Storm who are the form team of the competition. The storm head into Sundays match with an impressive nine game winning streak and looked like a premiership winning team in their win over the Sharks last week. The Dragons have the strike power to beat any team in the competition, but will need to turn up to play if they are to win this top of the table clash.

Tri Nations Rugby
This Saturdays Tri Nations clash between the Aussies and the Kiwis may decide the winner of the Bledisloe Cup and will also most likely decide the winner of the Tri Nations. The Wallabies have a very good record at Suncorp Stadium, winning their last six tests. Their last win was a 49-0 thrashing of the South Africans. The All-Blacks also had a good win over the Springboks last week, though without some Daniel Carter magic the scores could have been much closer. The Kiwis will field a full strength team for this clash. The rotation policy that has been employed by coach Graham Henry could backfire as the team has had little opportunity to form important combinations. For the Aussies, monster prop Rodney Blake will make a return to the team in an attempt to anchor the scrum that went missing last time these teams met. In the backs Matt Giteau will retain his inside centre spot after a man of the match performance against the Springboks.

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