LET’S face it, unless it’s cricket, rugby union or the Olympics, we Brits really couldn’t give a stuff about Aussie sport.
So while the Aussies are going sport mental this week with the Aussie Rules and Rugby League grand finals both taking place, most Brit backpackers are probably still more concerned with whether Darren Bent scored for their fantasy team over the weekend.
“Why should we care?” you may well be asking. Well there are a couple of reasons. For starters, while we couldn’t give a stuff about rugby league back home, the standard over here is on another planet and the pace, skill and Neanderthal intelligence of the players actually makes it comparable with the Premier League back home. We can’t really say the same about AFL, which is basically just an excuse for nutcases to wear vest tops and wail on each other.
But the main reason you should take notice is because, well, it’s probably the closest thing the non-indiginous Aussies have got to developing a culture of their own. So here’s BBM’s guide to the AFL and NRL finals week. Which, to be honest, is as complicated as fuck to those of us used to simple phrases like round robin and league champions…
We’re talking in codes
THREE letters spring to mind to any none-Aussie who has a passing glance at how the NRL and AFL finals are worked out – W.T.F.
The route to the Grand Final is as complicated as voting against George Bush in an American election. This year, in the NRL for example, the final season table shows that of the 16 teams, St George finished as champions and the Parramatta Eels finished 8th.
“That’s it, season over. Give the St George lads the crown,” think those of you used to the English football league. Only the Aussies seem to have developed the unfortunate American trait of trying to jazz things up a little.
So the top eight go through to finals week, with first playing eighth, second playing seventh etc, etc. ‘What’s the point in winning the league then?’ you may think – which is why the Aussies have come up with the McIntyre Final Eight System, which is to rugby league what Duckworth and Lewis is to cricket.
The two lowest ranked losers from all four matches are eliminated, whilst the two highest ranked winners skip the next round and go straight to the preliminary finals (which are basically the semi finals).
This effectively means that the teams who finished first and second can afford to lose their “quarter final” and still have a shot at getting to the Grand Final by playing in an extra round of semi-finals, with the winners going through to… another round of semi finals (called the preliminary finals). Mental we know.
While this may seem like giving the league winners an advantage, it doesn’t take into account end of season form.
So while St George have been the best team all year, they were piss-poor at the end – while Parramatta scraped into the top eight after a late run of form.
Consequently, on-fire Parramatta battered St George – who then lost their ‘extra’ semi final to Brisbane – leaving the team that finished eighth within touching distance of glory and the best team of the year with fuck all.
And that’s just the NRL. Try working out the AFL. It’s a fucking nightmare so we’re not going to bother.
Anyway, the AFL grand final took place on Saturday (Sept 26th) while the NRL final is on October 4th.
STILL confused? Well let’s talk in a language you’ll understand: WAGS. The NRL and AFL has loads and BBM spent most of Tuesday morning googling a top four. Purely for journalistic reasons of course…
BROOKE CULLEN: The Miss Indy girl and model has allegedly tamed Manly Sea Eagles star Anthony Watmough of his wild ways. Fair play to the ugly bastard.
LAUREN PHILLIPS: Channel 9’s glamour girl reporter has bagged herself the AFL’s best player, Gary Ablett jnr.
KATE RITCHIE: OK she’s hardly a honey but we figured you might recognize her as Sally, the average looking one with massive tits, from Home and Away. She’s getting married to NRL coach Stuart Webb.
REBECCA TWIGLEY: Former weathergirl and model, Twiggers is dating Carlton AFL star Chris Judd.
Formula 1 finds Flavio’s fix feck up
FORMULA ONE: It’s the question that’s been dominating motor sport in recent weeks. Did Nelson Piquet Jr crash out of last year’s Singapore Grand Prix after sliding on the oily residue secreted by greasy Renault team boss Flavio Briatore?
The answer is no.
But the slippery Italian did order Piquet to crash so that team mate Fernando Alonso could take advantage of the subsequent safety car and go on to win the race.
The sport’s governing body FIA has banned Briatore for life for his role in the scandal, which also saw ex-engineering director Pat Symonds banned for five years. Renault were given a two-year suspended ban from Formula One.
The World Motor Sport Council ruled that Renault was guilty of breaking its sporting code, finding; “breaches relating to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to be of unparalleled severity.
“They not only compromised the integrity of the sport but also endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Nelson Piquet Jr. himself.
“The WMSC considers that offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship.
TENNIS: Former world number one and doppelganger for BBM’s sister in law Justine Henin has announced she will return to competitive tennis in 2010 – despite retiring 16 months ago.
The 27-year-old Belgian, who won 41 singles titles including seven Grand Slams, sparked rumours of a comeback when she began training again recently.
Henin is the only player to retire as world number one, and is also famous for being the only the lady’s tennis player who isn’t either a) a lesbian, b) a woman who looks a bit mannish, c) incredibly tall, fit and from Eastern Europe.
Her return follows the fairytale comeback of compatriot Kim Clijsters, who won the US Open earlier this month.
CRICKET: Everyone knows it’s the last match in a one-day series that truly decides the winner, just like ‘next goal wins’ before the flood lights are switched off during a 19 a-side football match on your local council pitch and with one team winning 15-1. It’s all about finishing the strongest.
With that in mind, England continue to dominate Australia at cricket this summer. Having allowed the Aussies to take a 6-0 lead into the final match of the one-day series, and thus building the convicts’ hopes of completing a 7-0 whitewash, Mother England reigned in their in-bred, banjo playing cousins by delivering a four wicket win.
aid down the old reverse-psychology trick, Ricky Ponting and his band of web-fingered simpletons entered the match hoping a whitewash might undo their Ashes hurt. But with England so good at sport now that we choose as and when to be crap in order to demonstrate our superiority, the Aussies hopes were dashed.
Graeme Swann took 5-28 as Australia were dismissed for 176. Andrew Strauss (46) and Joe Denly (53) led England’s batters towards a 177-6 victory.
England are now set to use the same trick during the ICC Champions Trophy just to give the rest of the world a chance.