NRL 2013 Season Draw and New Rules.

NRL 2013 Season Kickoff .. Thursday March 7th.

The first 4 rounds of the NRL 2013 season will have a Thursday night game, and the Australian Rugby League Commission have implemented some rule changes ahead of the NRL 2013 season commencement.

Mahe FonuaState of Origin eligibility is one of the Commission’s changes in 2013. The new rule states that a player must live in either Queensland or NSW before the age of 13 to be eligible to play for that state. The only other way you can play Origin is if you are the son of an Origin player, then you can be selected for the state for which your father played. That would seem to exclude  Mahe Fonua, a born and bred Victorian playing for The Storm, from ever playing Origin. Or indeed any future born and bred Victorian or New Zealand player from doing the same. The rule used to be that if you were born in one state but played for a junior representative team in another state you could play for either.

Another rule change in the NRL 2013 Season is the change to “benefit of the doubt” when scoring a try. The on-field referees are obliged to rule on the try. If there is any doubt about the try, they can then go to the video ref, however the video ref can only change the decision if there is “sufficient evidence to suggest the original call was incorrect”, no benefit of the doubt.

NRL 2013 Season NewsThere is also a new ruling on the shoulder charge. It is banned. The new rule states that a player must attempt to make a tackle with his arms out in front of him for the tackle to be legal. This one makes sense. When I was a boy learning to play Rugby League, the shoulder charge was seen to be a sookie or cowardly way to tackle. I’m glad it’s gone.

Click here for the current  season draw.

There has been significant player movement during the latter part of 2012 and into 2013.

Click this link to see who moved to where. 

Mike Hussey ..Mr.Cricket’s Farewell.

Mike Hussey to go out at his peak.

Mike Hussey will bid Test Cricket a fond farewell after the third test against Sri Lanka commencing at the Sydney Cricket ground tomorrow.

37 year old Hussey is retiring from the test arena to spend more time with his family. He say’s that when he thinks of spending so long out of the country during the tour of India and then the Ashes tour this year , he does so with dread at being away from his young family for so long.

He said, “When you start to feel like that,it is time to give it away.”

Hussey will have played 78 Tests and 165 One Day Internationals for Australia, having scored 6183 runs at an average of 51.52 from the 78 tests.

Tomorrow’s 3rd test against Sri Lanka will be Mr.Cricket’s last.He will leave a large hole to be filled in Australian Cricket.

Australian Captain Michael Clarke has announced that they will take 4 pace bowlers into the 3 test.  After his strong debut in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, Jackson Bird has retained his spot in the side to be joined by Peter Siddle, Mitchel Johnson and Mitchel Stark. The Australians believe there will be a green tinge to the Sydney surface which will respond well to pace.

Ball Tampering Bullshit

Sour Grapes… Sri Lankians allege ball tampering.

What a mob of whingers and poor sports. I defy anyone to view the two incidents in question and come up with “Ball Tampering” as a result. That is of course unless you are a whinging Sri Lankian.

If Siddle or Cowan could manage to disfigure the ball by doing what the video clip shows them doing,perhaps we should be looking for a new ball manufacturer.

The Sri Lankians did not look at any stage to be capable of winning the first test in Hobart and then to come out with this rubbish just smacks of poor sportsmanship.

They quickly say that they didn’t put in an official complaint, and that they just happened to mention it to the match ref because it was on TV.

If you don’t want to complain officially, then forget about it.

Perhaps they could concentrate on trying to put up a better show in the next test.

See you on Boxing Day. Peter Siddle doesn’t need to tamper with the ball to skittle you blokes. From memory he got 9 of you in the first test.

Phil Hughes Back In Test Lineup.

Phil Hughes replaces “Punter” in Hobart.

It seems a little ironic on Ponting’s home turf and at the scene of Hughes’ test demise last summer.

As the Australian squad prepares for the first Test against Sri Lanka starting in Hobart on Friday, Phil Hughes would no doubt be feeling a little nervous.

It was at this ground 12 months ago that his test career faltered with a disastrous series against New Zealand.

However his mentor, Neil D’Costa, the same mentor as Captain Michael Clarke incidentally, has no doubt that Hughes can rekindle his test career with his refined batting technique, which has seen him top the rankings in Australian domestic cricket this summer.

D’Costa believes that Hughes (Only 24 years old) can become one of Australia’s best ever batsmen and go on to score over 10,000 runs in his revitalized career.

Just three players in Australian cricket’s 135-year Test history have reached the elite 10,000-run club, with Allan Border (10,927) first achieving the feat against the West Indies at the SCG in 1993 before being overtaken by Steve Waugh (11,174) and Ricky Ponting (13,378).

Hughes currently has 1072 runs from 17 Tests, but D’Costa believes the left-hander has the talent, drive and Clarke-like toughness to surpass batting icons such as Matthew Hayden (8625), Greg Chappell (7110) and Don Bradman (6996).

Australian Squad For Perth

Two young quicks and Mitchell Johnson added to a 14 man squad.

Australian cricket selectors have picked a 14 man squad for the third test against South Africa starting in Perth on Friday.

They have bought Mitchell Johnson back into the fold and into calculations for the test. Johnson has performed well on the Perth wicket in the past, both for Australia and domestically. He has been performing well for his adopted WA this year and is primed for a return to the test side.

Both Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus gave their all in the second test in Adelaide and with the fast turn around may not fully recover in time for Perth. As backup for the two warriors, and joining Johnson in the wings, are high performing young quicks, John Hastings (Victoria) and Josh Hazelwood (NSW).

Mitchell Starc also remains in the squad and could also be a likely replacement if Siddle and /or Hilfenhaus don’t recover in time. Our fast bowling stocks are certainly in good shape coming into a test on the fast WACA pitch.

Rob Quiney has been left out of the squad after his pair of ducks in the second test and will be replaced by the returning Shane Watson who will also bolster the Australian bowling stocks.

The Squad is:

David Warner, Ed Cowan, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Johnson, John Hastings, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Captain Michael Clarke does not rule out taking 4 quicks into the match.

If Australia wins the third test, they will go to the top of the world test rankings. South Africa however only have to draw the test to remain at the top.

 

 

Michael Clarke 224 Not Out

Pup scores aother double ton against South Africa.

MICHAEL Clarke has scored another double century against a hapless South Africa attack in the second Test at Adelaide Oval.

In so doing the peerless Australia skipper became the first player to score four double Test centuries in a calendar year.

A little more than a week after scoring a defiant 259 not out against South Africa in the drawn first Test of the series, Clarke was given marvellous support from Mike Hussey and Dave Warner who scored centuries in the record-breaking day.

Australia was 5-482 with Clarke on 224 (39 fours and a six) after stumps were drawn when Hussey was bowled by Dale Steyn for 103 (nine fours and three sixes).

Hussey’s dismissal ended a 272-run stand with Clarke that included 201 runs in the final session.

Clarke broke Sir Don Bradman and Ricky Ponting’s records as he registered his fourth 200 plus scores in a calendar year here on Thursday against South Africa at the Adelaide Oval in the second Test.

Watson Might Bat Without Bowling.

Squad named as Wato’s given time by selectors.

The Australian cricket selectors have named a 13 man squad for the second test against South Africa to begin in Adelaide next Thursday. They are giving Shane Watson until later in the week to prove his fitness as he makes good progress in his recovery from a strained calf muscle.

High performance manager Pat Howard said last week that if Watson couldn’t bowl he wouldn’t be picked for his batting alone. However chairman of selectors, John Inverarity sees it a little differently. he says that if Watson can fullfil his duties in the field apart from bowling he could be picked as a batsman, although it was a thin line.

Rob Quiney, who replaced Watson in the first test in Brisbane has also been named in the squad with Watson the only change from the 1st Vodafone Test.

The Australian squad for the second Vodafone Test is:

Michael Clarke (c) NSW
Shane Watson (vc) NSW
Ed Cowan TAS
Ben Hilfenhaus TAS
Mike Hussey WA
Nathan Lyon SA
James Pattinson VIC
Ricky Ponting TAS
Rob Quiney VIC
Peter Siddle VIC
Mitchell Starc NSW
Matthew Wade VIC
David Warner NSW

Australia’s Day At The Gabba.

Ed Cowan Gets His Ton.Ed Cowan scores his maiden Test Century while “Pup” scores a double.

In a redeeming day for Australia at the Gabba today, Ed Cowan silenced his knockers today with a wonderful century against the much vaunted South African attack just when his team needed it most. While skipper Michael Clarke scored his third 200+ run haul for 2012.

When Cowan and Clarke came together Australia was 3 for 40 and in dire trouble. However the pair put their heads down and battled hard as they dulled the “Best Attack in the world”. The South African bowlers had absolutely no answer to the spectacular batting from the Australian pair. In fact the only wicket they were able take all day was the freak run out which claimed Cowan’s wicket when Clarke smashed a ball straight back at the bowler who managed to get a finger to it before it crashed into Cowan’s  stumps and caught him backing up out of his ground. But not before he made 136.

Pup gets a double.However that bought Michael Hussey to the crease. Hussey stayed until stumps supporting Clarke as he reached 218 for the day while he managed 86 runs himself in a magnificent innings of his own.

Australia resume tomorrow at 4 for 487, 37 runs in front of South Africa. Captain Clarke hinted that they may try to get 100-150 in front before asking SA to bat again, providing the prospect of an exciting last day of the first test.

Get Ready For The Cricket!

First Test Against South Africa Starts Next Friday and will kick off a great summer of cricket for the Aussie season.

South Africa is the number one test cricket team in the world at the moment while Australia is rated at number three while our other visitors this year, Sri Lanka come in at number six.

In ODI, Australia rate at number four while our opposition this summer Sri Lanka and The West Indies are rated five and seven respectively.

In the 20/20 arena Sri Lanka is rated # one, The West indies # two while Australia is rated a lowly # seven.

This summer presents an opportunity for Australia to polish up and work toward next years twin ashes series.

Below is a summary of this summers action by Fox Sport journalist Trent Hile.

 

South Africian Quick Vernon Philander.The Proteas break their Brisbane exile – when they face Australia at the Gabba for the first time in 49 years. In the last Australia-South Africa Test played at the ground in December 1963, a Richie Benaud-led Australia drew with a South African team featuring six debutantes, including left-handed batting ace Graeme Pollock. That match is also infamous for being Ian Meckiff’s last after he was no-balled for throwing four times in his only over.

The world’s deadliest pace attack – Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel – they’re the three names that collectively disturb the sleep of batsmen across the planet and have taken South Africa to the top of the Test tree. Throw in the ever-reliable Jacques Kallis, and it’s easy to see why the Australian top order will have their work cut out this summer.

Australia to fight fire with fire – how to counter the Proteas’ deadly trio of quicks: with an all-out pace barrage of your own. Sorry fans of Nathan Lyon and the art of tweaking, but Michael Clarke is likely to go for a four-pronged pace attack for at least one of the Gabba and WACA tests, if not both. Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc are the favoured quartet for the opening Test, with young gun Pat Cummins waiting in the wings.

Ricky Ponting make history – the opening match of the Sri Lanka series will be played at Blundstone Arena (you might know it as Bellerive Oval). Should the former Aussie skipper play in all three Tests against the Proteas, he will be in line to create Australian cricket history by passing Steve Waugh as Australia’s most capped Test cricketer at his home ground.

Sri Lanka in the Boxing Day Test – for just the second time. It’s been more than 16 years since the Lankans first took to the hallowed MCG turf on Boxing Day, when Muttiah Muralitharan was infamously called for throwing by Australian umpire Darrell Hair.

The world’s best cricketer – Kumar Sangakkara. The prolific Sri Lankan keeper-batsman will arrive Down Under fresh from being named the ICC Cricketer of the Year. One of the most sublime strokeplayers in the game, Sangakkara scored 1444 runs with five centuries in 14 Tests and 1,457 runs in 37 one-day internationals with three hundreds during the year.

 

The Aussie’s summer of cricket schedule has just been released by the ACB. Click here to view and get more news courtesy of Fox Sports News.

 

V8 Supercars Abu Dhabi Round.

The V8 Supercars head to Abu Dhabi this weekend for the next round of the championship.

V8s In Abu DhabiThis year’s Abu Dhabi round will be held at the 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi GP, This is the first time that the V8s, in a points round,  have run on the same weekend and at the same venue as the Formular 1 championship. According to promoters, the V8s run second only to Formular 1 as a global motor sport viewing draw card and they were determined to run an event with both championships on the same card. This will also be the first time the V8 Supercars have raced on the full 5.5-kilometre Grand Prix length circuit after using a 4.7km version for the last two events.

Holdens won both races last year with Jamie Whincup (Team Vodafone) winning the first and James Courtney the second (Team HRT). However the Fords of Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison, second and forth in the championship points are expected give first placed Whincup strong opposition.

Yas Marina Circuit.The state of the art Yas Marina circuit is a spectacular venue. Click here to Take a look at the circuit.

Click the following link to find TV Broadcast times in Australia.