There’s an old saying that goes:  Confession Is Good For The Soul.  With that high falutin’ thought in mind I felt it appropriate to confess that earlier this week or possibly even late last week (when you’re retired every day is Saturday) as I was channel surfing the idiot box I came across a game of Rugby.  

Now, those of you who have suffered through my rants for several years are well aware that I have sworn a blood oath that I would never watch Rugby again.  Ever.  As my finger surged – with the speed of a thousand startled gazelles – towards the  let’s-get-to-hell-outa-here  button my eyes – just that tad more quickly – spied the score and my finger stalled.  It was  The Wallabies (that’s Australia for you late comers) playing  The All Blacks (that’s New Zealand for the same bunch of tardies) and we were in front!  

For years, in fact for longer than I can remember, The Bledisloe Cup  has been a modern day blood sport though  The All Blacks  seemed to see it more as a gladiatorial, take no prisoners, gee-it’s-fun-belting-the-living-day-lights-out-of-Australians contest and given there really doesn’t appear to be any known rules for the (and I use the term advisedly) sport (lip service only is paid to the commandment Thou Shalt Not Kill) to see us in front was amazing!  

And so it came to pass, that I didst tarry for a while on that channel and watched the game to the end.  Of course, during the commentary I was to learn that one of  The All Blacks  had been sent off – that’s never happened before – and we won!  New Zealand is currently in mourning, the coach is undergoing a degree of torture and re-education and only a fool would want to be a member of  The Wallabies  in game two of The Bledisloe.  Bill Shankly certainly spoke for New Zealand rugby when he said:  Football isn’t a matter of life or death – it’s much more important than that.  Will I be watching game two?  No, it’ll be an R rated blood bath and I have no wish to see pain and suffering being “legally” inflicted upon any Australian.  Do I feel better that I have now confessed?  Not really, it is after all, only rugby.

On the cricket field, The Galahs  beat the Poms by, well, a cricket score in the First Test at Edgbaston.  Smith batted really well and Warner failed.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the three cheaters are in the squad but I’m not happy!  The Second Test at Lords was rained out last night and while the umpires will try to make up several overs each night it’ll still be short of five days so all our team has to do is dig in make The Poms make the running.  I think we have the best attack and with a little bit of luck we could be two up shortly.  There’s only three days off after this game and then they’re into the Third Test so as we have the BIG MO we’re looking good.

The football scene this year has been a tad disappointing, to say the least.  “Mary” McGregor can’t seem to get  The Mighty Saint George  going and we seem destined to finish in the lower portion of the second eight.  Little comfort can be taken from the fact we’ll finish in front of  The Bulldogs  and  The Titans.  Next year.  Next year.

Down south it’s a similar story, The Heavenly Cohort Saint Kilda  will finish mid field in the lower ten and while it’s pleasing that not only  The Swans  and  The Blues  are behind us, so are  The Demons  and  The Suns.  It has though, been interesting to see several coaches given the flick and to hear the talk about  “the poor Demons”.  Nobody gave a fig when  The Saints  were on the bottom of the ladder (for several years) but suddenly  the poor Demons  are copping it bad on the fields and everybody is crying!

Suck it up princess!!!  As I see it (and this goes for any team in any sport) there are basically three areas where you can have problems:  One, your coach is hopeless!  If that’s seen as the problem then get rid of him.  Two, your players are hopeless!  If that’s the case then you need to cut the non-achievers and find some new ones who will do the job.  Or Three, if your coach is good and your players have potential then it’s The Board that’s your problem.  And here’s a fact you need to face in the big boy’s league:  while the Board oversees and gives the OK to sign both the Coach and the players, if the team doesn’t perform, The Board Is Never At Fault.  So obviously it’s the coach or the players who will bear the brunt of the fans anger and either or both of them will be hit.  Best of luck next year.

Not a lot else has happened.  Ash lost her #1 rating in the tennis world but could pull it off once again, Kyrgios won a tournament and surprise, surprise, he did it maintaining his cool.  For sure that’ll be a lesson he’ll ignore.  And it was wall-to-wall QCs when the Folau brouhaha made its first court appearance.  The judge asked the parties to talk again but it seems bound for trial.  What a waste.


Talk at you next month,

The Hillside Critic

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