round up archive
October 5th 2006.
The ICC Champions Trophy
starts this weekend. Current World champions Australia
will head into the tournament as favourites. They
will be followed in the betting by home side India
and Pakistan. Sri Lanka is fourth pick and the weight
of the Sub-continent teams in the betting shows how
much better they play on their home wickets.
Australia and England this will be an important chance
to get match fitness ahead of the Ashes later on this
year. However, England are considered long shots with
a number of key players out through injury with captain
Andrew Flintoff resuming after a 12 week layoff.
Members of the victorious European Ryder Cup team
will be out in force to challenge Colin Montgomerie
when he defends his Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
title at St Andrews this weekend. Ernie Els will head
into the tournament as favourite with Vijay Singh
only ranked as an outsider to take home the crown.
October 12th 2006
In the first match of the 2006 Tri Nations series
the Aussies will travel to Mt Smart Stadium to take
on the Kiwis. The Kangaroos will be out for revenge
after being ambushed during last season Tri Nations.
The Australian team is packed full of talent and if
they fire on the night they will be more than a handful
for the Kiwis. It will be an interesting match up
in the forwards with both teams possessing big hard
running packs that are more than capable of putting
on a game turning hit. For the Australians, look out
for the Bulldogs pair of Willie Mason and Mark O'Meley
to try and dominate the Kiwis early. For the New Zealanders
the old warhorse Ruben Wiki and Roy Asotasi are more
than capable of giving as good as they get. The big
difference between the two teams is the quality of
the back line. The Aussies have the likes of Justin
Hodges, Mark Gasnier, Karmichael Hunt, Greg Inglis
and Darren Lockyer which may prove too much for the
somewhat inexperienced Kiwi back line.
In NBL action tonight, the NZ Breakers will host the
Perth Wildcats. The Cats have had a great start to
the season winning all four matches they have played
and they have a very good opportunity to make it five
wins and extend their lead on the ladder. The Breakers
looked very solid against the Kings in their last
game, though defensive lapses cost them in the fourth
quarter and eventually lost them the game. If the
New Zealand team is to win this week they will have
to fix their leaky defence. In the other match tonight
the new franchise Singapore Slingers will host the
Wollongong Hawks. For the Slingers this game represents
the middle of a busy schedule of matches as straight
after this match they will have to travel to Melbourne.
The Slingers are sitting on two wins out of four so
far which the team will consider a good start to their
season. They will have to be wary of the Hawks who
will be desperate after only the one win and who have
a good record on the road.
In the English Premier League this weekend Manchester
United will play Wigan on Saturday night. Man Utd
is currently sitting in first position on the EPL
ladder, leading on goal difference. They have only
dropped the one game this season, which was a 1-0
loss to Arsenal. It will be a massive task for Wigan
to win this week, though with the home ground advantage
they will be looking for the result. Last seasons
Champions Chelsea are currently sitting in second
position on the ladder dropping a game to Middlesbrough.
They will play Reading at the Madejski Stadium on
Sunday morning in what will be a tough assignment
for the Reading team.
October 19th 2006
The first Tri Nations test between the Australians
and the Kiwis produced fireworks with first Matt King
and Manu Vatuvei instigating a brawl and later Willie
Mason was hit by a big shoulder charge from David
Kidwell. The talk that has taken place during this
week suggests that the encounter this Saturday night
in Melbourne will have the same intensity. The Kiwis
were a lot more physical in the first test, so if
the Aussies adopt a more aggressive game plan the
Kiwis will be more than capable of handling the Aussie
forwards. Australia will find gaps in the big Kiwi
forwards if they can get the quick ball and keep the
New Zealanders on the back foot. While both teams
have size and speed in the backs, the Aussies backline
has more class and will again play a big part in this
The New Zealand National Provincial championship final
will be played between Waikato and Wellington. On
the way to the finals Wellington beat Auckland with
former test skipper Tanu Umaga playing an instrumental
role in his team's 30-15 win. This weekend's final
will be his last appearance in the NPC and his team
will be out to send him off in style. After finishing
as minor premiers, Waikato has won through the finals
series beating Southland 24-12 before thumping last
years finalists Otago 44-15 last weekend. In the forwards
for Waikato, Marty Holah and Liam Messam have been
dominant in recent weeks so the loose forwards from
the Northerners will have to step up to halt their
The ATP Tennis Masters in Madrid continues tonight.
Roger Federer is the dominant favourite heading into
the tournament with Spaniard Rafael Nadal the second
pick. Nadal will want to have a big tournament in
front of his home crowd and at $5.50 in the betting
could be great value. The WTA play a Tier 1 event
in Zurich this week. In a very competitive betting
market Maria Sharapova is the favourite followed by
world number one Amelie Mauresmo. Former world number
one, Martina Hingis, is fourth pick.
The ICC Champions Trophy is in full swing. On Friday
night the Sri Lankans will take on the Kiwis. The
New Zealanders had a surprise win over the South Africans
in the first game while the Sri Lankans couldn't get
over the top of an unsettled Pakistan team. Sri Lanka
will head into this match as favourites but they may
have trouble winning this match as the Kiwi bowlers
looked in fine touch last match. In the other match
the Australians will be out for redemption when they
play England. This is the first time that these teams
have meet since Australia's Ashes defeat last season.
Expect both teams to be on their games because they
will view this encounter as a prelude to the Ashes
series next month.
October 27th 2006
Great Britain start their Tri Nations campaign this
Saturday night when they play New Zealand in Christchurch.
The Kiwis have already shown in this series they can
be very physical and Great Britain will be ready for
this. With the likes of Adrian Morley, Stuart Fielden
and Andy Coley the Brits have forwards that can take
the ball up and give as good as they get in defence.
The New Zealanders were unlucky in some respects to
lose to the Aussies last week with the class of the
Aussies carving up a tired defence at the end of the
game. The style of game that Great Britain play will
be more suited to the Kiwis, so this match should
be an epic encounter.
Tonight in the NBL the New Zealand Breakers will travel
to Townsville to play the Crocs. Even after their
upset win over the Bullets last week the Breakers
are still sitting in tenth spot with three wins. The
Crocs only have one more win though and are sitting
in sixth spot on the ladder. The Breakers clicked
in their win over the Bullets with point guard Paul
Henare having his best game so far this season. If
he continues to fire the Breakers are in with a very
good chance to beat the Crocs.
In the other match, new franchise Singapore Slingers
will host the Cairns Taipans. The Slingers lost in
an upset to the struggling Razorbacks and after a
blasting from coach Gordie McLeod they will be pepped
up for the win this week. The Taipans will head into
the match as slight favourites despite having only
dropped two games this season. The big question mark
is how they will handle the travel as this is their
first trip to Singapore.
In the Chrysler Championship which tees off tonight,
there is a very open betting field. The big names
in the tournament Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Adam Scott
and Retief Goosen are all in the market at very attractive
odds and on form all of these players could be challenging
on the last day.
In the ICC Champions Trophy match to be played tonight,
the hosts India play the West Indies. The defending
champions will be on a high after beating the Aussies
in their first match. The Windies have one over the
Indians in recent times beating them in a home series
in May, though at home India will have a lot more
to play for. The Windies have an injury cloud over
inspirational captain Brian Lara and could find the
going tough if he doesn't take the field. Sportingbet
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