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A GOOD SPORT: Dan’s right despite Commonwealth Games backlash

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Welcome to the first weekly online column of A Good Sport.

But, please, don’t be fooled by the title… I was only an average sportsman at best.

However, my interest has never waned and with so much going on in the sporting landscape these days, I thought it’s high time to add more fuel to the fire on many issues, including the positives and negatives, whether it’s local, national or global.

So, here goes.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews copped an absolute barrage for pulling the pin on Victoria hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

And, while I love my sport and seeing the Aussies excel on the international stage, I have to applaud him for his gutsy decision.

Yes, I realise it will upset numerous people and I understand that.

I’ve had a couple of mates like sprinter Adam Miller and swimmer Ethan Rolff compete, so I know how hard they trained and looked forward to representing the “green and gold”.

But, it’s a totally different era now and the chance to use the funding elsewhere is spot-on.

From what I believe, several of the tenders jacked up their costs to cash in on the event, which blew out the budget by so much.

Plus, it says something when no other Australian state was prepared to step in and take over the running of the Commonwealth Games.

In the end, Andrews was on a hiding to nothing, no matter which way he went.

Maybe, just maybe, it will open the door for Newcastle – and it’s highly-touted sporting/entertainment precinct at Broadmeadow – one day.

Matildas kick an early goal

Footy fever has well and truly struck the nation with the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicking off in Australia and New Zealand.

And, despite coach Tony Gustafsson playing ducks and drakes over the availability of superstar Sam Kerr, the Matildas overcame a tough opening hurdle.

While the locals won 1-0, thanks to a Steph Catley penalty, the Republic of Ireland deserves plenty of praise for pushing the Aussies all the way.

The Irish lasses also showed Australia it won’t be that easy on home soil.

If they can account for Nigeria, and then welcome the return of Kerr, the Matildas might just have the firepower – and belief – to threaten any side deep into the tournament.

‘Joker’ can’t escape from Alcaraz

Tennis has produced some absolute champions in the men’s ranks, names like Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak “Joker” Djokovic.

But, wow, the new kid on the block Carlos Alcaraz is something else.

For someone not accustomed to grass, the way the Spaniard dismantled Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon, 1-6 7-6 6-1 3-6 6-4, was extremely impressive.

I realise he was ranked No 1 heading into the most prestigious event on the calendar.

However, his maturity, shot selection and the way he absorbed the pressure could see Alcaraz join the forementioned players as another “great” on the game.

Let’s enjoy the ride.

Maitland embraces junior rugby coup

If you’re a fan of the sport they play in Heaven, then venture out to Marcellin Park on Sunday (23 July).

The Maitland Blacks Junior Rugby Union Club is hosting the prestigious City v Country fixtures.

There’ll be seven matches, from under-14s to under-18s (boys and girls), with several promising youngsters representing the Hunter.

Who knows… we might unearth an urgently-needed Wallaby.

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