It’s not often you have to admit you’re wrong in the public domain.
But, I’ll put my hand up and own it… I owe you an apology Pat Cummins.
After Australia lost its opening two matches of the ODI World Cup, to India and South Africa, I was critical of the way the skipper – and coach Andrew McDonald – guided the team.
The players looked lethargic, devoid of ideas and appeared in danger of missing the play-offs.
Then Travis Head returned from injury, aided by his good mate Glenn Maxwell.
All of sudden, the Aussies slowly found their groove.
They were buoyant in the field, while Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitch Starc lifted the intensity with the ball.
However, his decision to bowl first in the final in front of 120,000 passionate Indians was a gutsy call, which could have backfired.
It didn’t… and he led the national side to its sixth World Cup crown.
You can’t do much more than that.
Jets’ ground switch proves costly
At what cost are major events worth having in the region if they’re going to impact our elite sporting teams?
That seems to be the message coming out of the Newcastle Jets’ camp after their recent A-League Men’s (ALM) clash was moved from its base at McDonald Jones Stadium to Industree Group Stadium in Gosford.
The F3 derby between the Hunter club and the Central Coast Mariners is usually one of the eagerly-awaited clashes in the competition.
But, Newcastle was forced to give away its home-ground advantage at the weekend due to the state of the surface following the Fox Australian Supercross Championship earlier in the month.
Yes, the Jets will have the opportunity to host the second showdown there later in 2023/24.
However, that won’t mean much to coach Rob Stanton and the boys.
Newcastle entered the round five fixture with a ton of confidence, after a 1-0 win at the expense of Western United, while Central Coast – the ALM champions – was yet to register a victory this season.
However, with the encounter being transferred, through no fault of the Jets, the desperate Mariners received all the benefits.
As a result, Central Coast secured its inaugural victory, courtesy of a 3-1 triumph, while Newcastle will wonder “what could have been”.
It might be a minor problem now, but it could have major ramifications for the Jets moving forward.
Spurred on by local supporters, back-to-back wins against a struggling outfit would’ve secured a top six spot, instead of falling off the pace with their second loss.
Hopefully, they’ll be back on their turf when they face defending premiers Melbourne City on Sunday 3 December.
I doubt the Newcastle Knights would have been treated with such a lack of respect.
Newcastle still packs a punch
Tszyucastle turned it on again during the week when another impressive crowd packed into the Entertainment Centre to watch Nikita Tszyu claim the Australian super welterweight title.
On Australian soil, legendary father Kostya and his two boys – Tim and Nikita – boast an incredible 48-fight winning streak.
Well done to all, from boxers to promoters, for another fabulous spectacle.
For more sports stories:
- ALM: Goodwin’s return not enough to lift Jets
- Chairman Geoff Barnett bids NJC farewell
- Football legend Craig Johnston humbled by Lake Mac honour
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