That the Lions lost their third successive super rugby final — to the Crusaders for a second successive time — came as no surprise, for nobody really gave them much of a chance to take the trophy home. The bookies, always the best informed, had the Crusaders at a dollar and the Lions at eight dollars. The final score was 37-18.
But there were some indications that once again — as in 2016 and 2017 — coaching decisions had played a part in the defeat. One amazing stat that emerged during the final was that Lions fly-half Elton Jantjies had played every game of the season in its entirety. (He also played the entire 82 minutes of the final).
One has to wonder why coach Sys de Bruin put such a strain on the man. The super rugby season is always arduous and in recent years it has become even more of a strain as there is a break in June for international games to take place. This was devised as a way to give teams the chance to recover from injuries, but in reality a broken season like this is more of a strain than one that runs unbroken from start to finish. Much in the same way that it is easier to run an 800 metres race rather than two 400 metres races with a short break in-between.
Continue reading “Lions fail again, Crusaders romp home”
For a third successive year, South African super rugby side the Lions have made it to the final where they will, for a second year running, lock horns with the Canterbury Crusaders, the most successful team in the 23-year history of the competition.
Last year, the Lions took on the Crusaders at home but were beaten 17-25, with their coach, Johan Ackermann, to blame. Ackermann let the side down in 2016 too, when the Lions were beaten by the Hurricanes.
This year, the task will be harder as the final is being played at the Crusaders’ home ground.
Continue reading “Will the Lions be third-time lucky? And will the ref learn to hold his peace?”
Over the last three weeks, viewers of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program have been treated to what is the ultimate waste of time: a recapping of all that has gone on in the United States during the investigation into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential campaign.
There was nothing new in the nearly three hours of programming on what is the ABC’s prime investigative program. It only served as a vanity outlet for Sarah Ferguson, rated as one of the network’s better reporters, but after this, and her unnecessary Hillary Clinton interview, she appears to be someone who is interested in big-noting herself.
Exactly why Ferguson and a crew spent what must be between four to six weeks in the US, London and Moscow to put to air material that has been beaten to death by the US and other Western media is a mystery. Had Ferguson managed to unearth one nugget of information that has gone unnoticed so far, one would not be inclined to complain.
Continue reading “Recycling Trump: Old news passed off as investigative reporting”
The worst airport in the world is in Los Angeles. This is the opinion of one who has passed through airports in Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Dallas, Orlando, Singapore, Bangkok, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Cancun, Colombo, Dubai and London (Heathrow and Gatwick).
I have passed through LA in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Why does LA qualify as the worst? The buildings and facilities are alright but the staff are both incredibly inefficient and rude. They do not seem to give a damn about doing their jobs – which is to ensure that passengers get through the airport as fast as possible and catch their connecting flights or leave for their homes.
It is common to find airport staff — and there are legions of them — lounging around while crowds of passengers try desperately to get through the maze-like rigmarole that passes for immigration. There is no thought given to the fact that there may be passengers who have little time to catch a connection – anyone who wants to seek assistance has to go searching for some majordomo who is in charge, some tinpot dictator who is located at a considerable distance away from the milling crowd.
Continue reading “The worst airport in the world? Easy, it’s Los Angeles”
In March 2018, the Australian cricket team was in serious trouble after some players were caught cheating on the field.
The captain, vice-captain and the player who was the executor of the cheating that had been planned all lost their places and were ejected from cricket. Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for two years and Cameron Bancroft for nine months.
Coach Darren Lehmann retained his job but resigned soon thereafter.
Continue reading “Appointing Justin Langer as coach will not solve Australia’s problems”
Steve Smith, Darren Lehmann and the whole lack-of-leadership group of this Australian cricket team should be banned for life. Cameron Bancroft can be spared – he was just made the fall guy.
The most shameful aspect of this episode is that Bancroft, the juniormost, was made the fall guy. That’s good “leadership”, Steven Smith.
Darren Lehmann has to go. If he knew about it, then he approved and should go. If he didn’t, then he has no business being coach.
Continue reading “Steve Smith has no ethics. No shame. He should be sacked”
Barnaby Joyce has come (no pun intended) and Barnaby Joyce has gone, but one issue that is intimately connected with the circus that surrounded him for the last three weeks has yet to be subjected to any scrutiny.
And that is the highly incestuous relationship that exists between Australian journalists and politicians and often results in news being concealed from the public.
The Australian media examined the scandal around Deputy Prime Minister Joyce from many angles, ever since a picture of his pregnant mistress, Vikki Campion, appeared on the front page of the The Daily Telegraph on February 14.
Continue reading “Joyce affair: incestuous relationship between pollies and journos needs some exposure”
Australian cricket authorities are short-charging fans of the national Twenty20 competition, the Big Bash League, through their policies on releasing players from national duty when needed by their BBL sides for crucial encounters.
The Adelaide Strikers and the Hobart Hurricanes, who contested Sunday’s final, were both affected by this policy.
Adelaide won, but had they failed to do so, no doubt there would have been attention drawn to the fact that their main fast bowler, Billy Stanlake, did not play as he was on national duty to play in a tri-nation tournament involving New Zealand and England.
Continue reading “Cricket Australia needs to get player availability policies sorted”
A little more than a year ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 500 and 1000 rupee notes would be removed from circulation as a step to flushing out all the black money in the country.
He made the announcement on TV in prime time on 8 November 2016 and gave people four hours time to be ready for the change!
But judging by the amounts which cricketers were bought for in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 auction last week, there is more black money than ever in the country.
Else, sums like US$1.5 million would not be available for the Kolkata Knight Riders to buy a cricketer like Mitchell Starc. This is black money being flushed out and made ready to be used as legal tender, the main reason why the Indian Government turns a blind eye to the process.
Continue reading “Black money continues to pour in to IPL”
The year that ends today was remarkable for one thing on the media front that has gone largely unnoticed: the fall from grace of one of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s brightest stars who has long been a standard-setter at the country’s national broadcaster.
Sarah Ferguson was the journalist’s journalist, seemingly a woman of fierce integrity, and one who pandered to neither left nor right. When she sat in for Leigh Sales, the host of 7.30, the main current affairs programme, for six months while Sales was on a maternity leave break, the programme seemed to come to life as she attacked politicians with vigour and fearlessness.
There was bite in her speech, there was knowledge, there was surprise aplenty. Apart from the stint on 7.30, she brought depth and understanding to a long programme on the way the Labor Party tore itself to bits while in government for six years from 2007, a memorable TV saga.
Continue reading “All your gods have feet of clay: Sarah Ferguson’s fall from grace”