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Sports round up archive


Thursday September 7th 2006

AFL
The AFL finals series kicks off this week. All four of the top spots on the ladder have been taken by non-Victorian teams which will make it difficult for the Victorian teams in the bottom half of the ladder to win the premiership this season.

The first match this weekend will see the Saints play the Demons on Friday night. Both of these teams have been in the top four this season with the Demons loss last week against the Crows losing them their top four spot.

Fremantle have made a spectacular late season charge to take third spot on the ladder. They will travel to Adelaide this Saturday to play the Crows.

In a replay of last years final and qualifying final Sydney will travel to Perth to play the Eagles. The Swans lost the corresponding game last season. Will they be able to win it this year? In the last game of the round either the Bulldogs or Collingwoods season will end. While Collingwood do not posses the pace of the Dogs, they will have the edge in height and experience.

NRL
Newcastle will host the Sea Eagles in the first game of the NRL Finals. This game will be a rematch of the controversial round 23 clash that saw Andrew Johns suspended for 2 weeks. Newcastle have been in great form since that match while Manly have dropped just the one match against the Storm.

The Broncos are looking the goods this season and are in great touch. They will host the Dragons who have had quite an easy late season run. The current form of the Broncos may prove too much for the Dragons this weekend.

The Raiders have been the surprise packets of the season with veteran Jason Smith outplaying more highly fancied opponents. They will play a Dogs outfit that has been hit by late season injuries to key players. The addition of Mason will please the Dogs, though there could be an upset if they are not on their game.

The fairytale run by the Eels was ended by the Broncos in round 25 and since then there is speculation that they can't lift again for the finals. This will be tested this week and against minor premiers Melbourne.

Tri Nations Rugby
South Africa takes on Australia at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday night in the final match of the 2006 Tri-Nations. The Wallabies have won their two previous encounters against the South Africans this tournament in Brisbane and Sydney. The Queensland match was a thumping 49 - 0, but Sydney was a different story with the Springboks only just going down 20 - 18. The question everyone is asking is, can this Australian team be the first to beat the Springboks in Johannesburg in over 40 years? Find out this Saturday night.


Thursday September 14th 2006

AFL
After being the form team of the second half of the AFL season the Dockers stumbled in their first match of the finals series losing to Adelaide last week. They will host the Demons this week, who staged a great come from behind win against the Saints to reach this knock-out final. The Dockers have the home ground advantage - this year they have dropped just the game at Subiaco this season. Regardless, the Demons are confident and are adopting the Swans approach by leaving for the West four days before game day.

On Saturday night the Eagles will host the Bulldogs at Subiaco Oval. The Eagles went down to the Swans in a thrilling one point loss last week. For many the match between the Swans and the Eagles was the game of the season, but for the Eagles fans that consolation amounted to little. They have the chance to make amends this week against the Dogs. The Dogs are one of the few teams that can match the pace of the Eagles mid-field and after their great win over the Pies last week they are on a high. The Dogs have beaten the Eagles at Subiaco this year so they know what it takes to beat the powerful Eagles.

NRL
On Friday night the second week of the NRL finals kicks off with the Dragons playing the Sea Eagles at Aussie Stadium. The Dragons were very impressive in their 20-4 victory over the Broncos, while Manly also looked good for parts of the match in their loss to the Knights. There will be a great competition between the forwards in this match, with both sets more than capable of getting the ball over the advantage line. Gasnier will be sorely missed from the Dragons backline.

The Knights beat the Sea Eagles last week in another controversial match that has cost Knights hooker Danny Buderus dearly. He has been suspended for six weeks, which rules him out for the rest of the season. Buderus is an integral part of the Knights team and his absence will be very difficult for the Knights to cover. The Broncos have struggled at finals time in recent years and the jinx looks to be continuing this year with another loss last week. They have a great chance to bounce back against a Knights outfit that will be distracted by the suspension of Buderus. One of the exciting match-ups of this game will be the contest between Andrew Johns and Darren Lockyer. Both of them have been among the best players of the code for a number of years and their performances could keep their teams hopes alive in 2006.

Soccer
There are two big matches in the EPL this week with Chelsea hosting Liverpool and Man Utd taking on Arsenal. Chelsea has started the EPL as favourites to take out the League once again this year and after four matches played, they are sitting in fourth dropping just the one match. They take on Liverpool who have struggled so far winning just the one match. Man Utd have started the season in red hot form winning all of their matches and scoring 11 goals so far. They will host the Gunners who have not been impressive to date, drawing two matches and losing one.

Golf
In the HSBC World Match Play Championship which starts tonight Tiger Woods is a bit more than an even money favourite to take out the Championship. Number one seed and last years winner New Zealander Michael Campbell is not highly fancied to defend his crown, being quoted at 21.00 in the betting. Australian Adam Scott has proven himself a capable player this year and is the highest ranked Aussie in the betting at 13.00.


Thursday September 21st 2006

AFL
West Australian AFL fans should be happy that both of their teams have made it this far in the season. Both teams will face hard tests this weekend with the reward being a place in the 2006 Grand final.

This has been the best result for the Dockers since their inclusion into the competition. After the Dockers loss to Adelaide in the qualifying final, their late season run looked to have come to an end. In a sign of the changes that have taken place at Fremantle this season, they were able to bounce back and run over the top of the Demons last weekend. After the Swans great win over the Eagles in the qualifying round, they have had the week off in preparation for this match. The Swans haven't had the greatest record at home this season though were able to notch up the win over the Dockers at the SCG during their horror run at home.

The match between Adelaide and West Coast on Saturday night will be a cracker. Both of these teams have been a dominant force in the competition for a couple of seasons. Adelaide secured their place in the preliminary final by beating Fremantle at home, while the Eagles had to fight their way through the semi finals after their loss to the Swans. Last week the Eagles made amends for their loss to Sydney with a comprehensive display over the young Western Bulldogs outfit. The Eagles will be playing for the chance of a second consecutive grand final appearance. For the Crows, this will be their first opportunity for a grand final match since their premiership win in 1998.

NRL
On Friday night Brisbane will have the opportunity to play in their first grand final since their win in 2000. Canterbury last tasted grand final success in their win over the Roosters in 2004. This season, the Broncos have had their most successful campaign in recent years. Their win last week showed the skill and desperation that is needed at finals time. The Knights had no answer to the size of the Broncos pack who were able to make metres at will and provide the space for the Broncos backs. This week will be a different story as the Dogs also boast a big and aggressive pack that will be more than happy to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Webcke and Civoniceva. Darren Lockyer was able to run rampant against Newcastle and more of the same can be expected if the Dogs give the Broncos five-eighth room to move.

In a replay of the 1999 grand final, minor premiers Melbourne Storm will take on the might of the St George Illawarra Dragons this Saturday night. The Storm had the luxury of the week off to get set for this match. They were not that impressive in their win over the Eels in the first week of the finals with the usually unstoppable back line failing to fire. For the Dragons their last start against the Sea Eagles will have given them plenty of confidence. They managed to keep the Sea Eagles scoreless through strong defence. In a worrying sign for the Storm, the Dragons backline was impressive against Manly even without Mark Gasnier in the side. It will be a good match up all round the park with both teams possessing solid forwards, classy centres and quick outside backs. The big difference between the teams is the kicking game of Trent Barrett. If his boot is on fire he could propel the Dragons into their first grand final since 1999.

Golf
The 2006 Ryder Cup starts this Friday. The US team will start as underdogs even with the inclusion of World beater Tiger Woods. The European team includes Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie and Luke Donald.

 

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