Smith, Cronk and Slater show ends

Former Australian wicket keeper Ian Healy gets up close and personal with the 'Pink Ball' before play on day one.

The second Test hangs neatly in the balance as we roll out this edition of Spin. The Adelaide “pink ball” test is proving to be a winner. The ground record and sell out crowd for day one seemed unfazed by the un-Adelaide like conditions – freezing cold and showery as play got underway. I’ve now ticked off the Adelaide Cricket Test off the bucket list, and I can definitely say I was not disappointed. Well, perhaps I could have ordered better conditions. I am sure I have only ever been colder on the sidelines at Sullivan Oval in the middle of July.
The revamped Adelaide Oval is not only a joy for spectators, but also players and commentators. I had the chance to chat with Ian Healy prior to the ground opening on day one, and he certainly sings the praises of the ground as a commentator. It now rates as one of the top three in the world. The Poms, and there were a lot of them in Adelaide are in love with the ground with many seasoned world cricket travellers labelling it the best in the world for spectators and far superior to some of the most iconic English grounds (Lords included). Having said that while there is a lot of Bradman aura associated with the ground, it does not have the tradition associated with its English counterparts. However, it is wonderful to see firsthand some green grass remaining at a major venue and also the original scoreboard.
While play continued at ground level and the balance of the game tipped from Smith’s men to thee Poms, a host of spectators (not this one) took the opportunity to do the roof climb at the Oval and enjoy one of the most spectacular views of the game imaginable from atop the Oval grandstand.
It was from there that the Qantas choir belted out a spine tingling, “I still call Australia Home” and Australian national anthem. It set the tone for the game.
As we head into day four, how this game plays out is still anyone’s guess. Smith and the Aussies have the upper hand, but the Poms struck back late on day three and there will be more twist in the tail or tale of this game before it is over.
Adelaide you were great – my message to cricket lovers – this is a must do. Now what’s next on the cricket bucket list?
– Casey
Rugby League fans have been treated to a real smorgasbord of excitement throughout the World Cup culminating with wins for both the Jillaroos and Kangaroos. The Jillaroos made sure they sent their retiring stars out with a worthy World Cup win in what was a classic game. Anyone who watched the game will tell you these women play for keeps and some of the hits would not have been out of place in the men’s game.
The speed and skill level of these players is worth watching, and I am sure their performances will only enhance the position of women’s rugby league.
On paper and before the game, many were predicting the Men’s final would see a blow out win to the Aussies.
We have come to expect a great deal from Wayne Bennett-coached sides over the years, and this English side was no exception.
The Kangaroos were pushed all the way, and in a good old-fashioned struggle the only points were scored early in the first half when Cordner barged over for the Kangaroos. The flood gates however did not spring open as anticipated. In the trade mark style of a Bennett-coached side, the Poms defended and defended and then defended their line some more. The unwavering defence from both sides resulted in tries being butchered by both teams. Few would have predicted a six-nil score line.
Australian and former Maroons coach Mal Meninga continues his amazing run with representative sides, and the Kangaroos have kept his unbeaten run intact and retained the World Cup.
For Cooper Cronk, it was an ideal time to announce his retirement from representative football, and so brings to a close the end of the amazing Smith, Cronk and Slater show. How lucky have we been to see three once-in-a-lifetime players combine at club, state and international level. Whether or not you bleed Maroon, follow the Storm or support the Green and Gold, you cannot be anything but inspired by these remarkable players as individuals and as a collective.
In many ways, they have changed the game. They have set their own lofty standards, led by example but who it seems have managed to remain those three very normal Queensland kids who had a chance and took it.
At a time when most sporting codes appear to be struggling for numbers in country and city areas, it became apparent to me that this is not just a local, state or national issue after speaking to a number of visitors in Adelaide for the Test.
The Poms are finding exactly the same problems at village, district and country level in cricket. But not just cricket – the number of rugby league teams in the north, the heartbeat of rugby league in England is also on the decline. It seems that even numbers in soccer/football are not as strong as several years ago. Many of those I spoke to hold well-founded concerns for the future of some of those magnificent county grounds with their amazing scoreboards and white picket fences. The thing that everyone seems to agree on is that if teams fail to form for a season, they are doomed and will become extinct. Unused grounds gobbled up for other purposes.
The problems of youth involvement in team sport, youth retention and sourcing willing club volunteers are the exact same problems the Poms are grappling with.
Organisers were pleased to see a good roll up for the association croquet games early last week. As a result of the better numbers, three separate games are played.
Pat Schnoor partnered Val Shepherd for 23-14 win over the combination of Carol Verwey and Grace Howard. Jenny Tunbridge and Val Richardson played Joy Newman and score to win in a very tight game. The final score 14-13. In the third game, Margaret Dickenson and Peter Tunbridge for a 12-9 win over Andrea Denkewitz and Effey Russell.
There was a very small turnout for the games ricochet on Thursday morning. Seems there may have been quite a few people preparing for the Christmas luncheon which was also on Thursday. Those who were there enjoyed a good game where new recruit Bron Southgate showed remarkable improvement. She partnered Sharyn Roser, however it was the more experienced pairing of Andrea Denkewitz and Jenny Tunbridge who took the honours 22 hoops to 16.
Seven players were in action on Friday at the gateball games and despite some changes in playing personnel throughout the morning, Team one scored a clean sweep of wins.
In the opening game, Margaret Dickenson, Sharyn Roser and John Draper combined to form team one and played Andrea Denkewitz, Pat Schnoor and Joy Newman, Team Two. Les Williams refereed the opening game which was comfortably won by Team One – the final score 15-10. On the final turn of the game, Margaret Dickenson showed her experience scoring the winning points with a couple of gates and an agari.
In game two, John Draper took over the refereeing duties while Les Williams took his vacated place in Team One. It was another win to that team – the scores 11-8 at the end of play.
In the next game, Andrea took over the refereeing duties and team one managed a 13-10 victory. For the final game, it was Margaret Dickenson doing the referee, with her place in the side taken by Andrea Denkewitz. John Draper sealed another win for Team One after making two Agaris.
Tony Steele claimed a win at Sporters last Sunday and relegated Rod Pettiford to the runners-up spot. Mark Lynam and Ray Thorn figured prominently in the run downs while it was Matt Waterworth who posted the Bet Gross Score of thee morning. Waterworth also grabbed the pin shot on the third. Mark Lynam made the pro pin his own. Rod Pettiford made up for finishing just off the pace by sneaking off with a meat tray. David McPaul was seen leaving with the second tray. Sporters organisers are hoping to see a big roll up of regulars for the Christmas party on Sunday. The festivities will get underway early with a barbecue brekkie getting things underway around 7am prior to tee off. Not sure if Santa and his boomers will be making an appearance on some of those back holes. Guess you will just have to get along there and see.
Following a disappointing loss last week Wheatvale bounced back to their best, posting a decisive win over Redbacks in the weekend’s cricket fixtures. The game which was scheduled for Mayhew Oval was transferred to Queens Park after there were issues with the pitch.
Wheatvale set thee Redbacks a sizeable total of 231. In a far better team performance, Wheatvale’s Chris Malone topped the batting with 98 runs. Carter Billborough also added a handy 38 to the total.
Andrew Politch 2/29 and Justin Wheeler 2/45 finished the innings with the best bowling figures.
Redbacks would not be pleased with their performance in the field after grassing as many as nine catches in the innings. That sort of fielding form makes winning matches at any level difficult.
In reply, Redbacks were all out for 178. Tyhe Clarkson top scored with 47 and Drewery added 29 after taking 1/45 in the field. The strong partnerships Redbacks needed to reel in the required target deserted them in this game, thanks to some good bowling performances from Wheatvale.
Malone starred with the ball as well as the bat taking 2/16. It was an impressive team performance with the ball from thee Wheatvale bowlers. The Breen brothers and Rylie and Hayden Doherty also taking two wickets each. Hayden Doherty ensured there was no sting in the Redback’s tail taking 2/1 from just four balls late in the innings as Redbacks were dismissed for 178 well short of the required total.
In a tight game at Slade Oval on Saturday, Maryvale held their nerve to score a one run win over Warwick Hotel Colts. Lachlan Gross has been one of the mainstays of the Colts side again this season, and on Saturday in a total of 191 contributed 53 runs. Will Gordon starred with the bat for Maryvale, posting the top score of 60. It was another solid performance Maryvale who reached the required target with two wickets in hand continuing their impressive performance this season.
In the game at Allora, Rascals set their home town opponents a 182-run chase. Paul Christensen top scored for Rascals with 60 runs. Jon Millard (40) also got among the runs. The bet bowling performance for Allora came from Willie Ole who finished with 4/31 from his eight-over spell.
In reply, Allora Matt Kiernan top scored for Allora posting 31 runs, but the Rascals bowlers had the upper hand. Tom Morris, Jamie Holmes and Brad Johnson each took a pair as Allora was dismissed relatively cheaply for 132.
The Delaney Family recently sponsored the annual 4BBB Medley Stableford competition in honour of their father Kev Delaney. The competition now in its 21st year, saw a fantastic field of 60 golfers turned out in an effort to this much-sought after trophy and the raft of prizes up for grabs. The winner was the all-girl team of Tracey Spinetti and Justine Washbourne. Runners-up were Ken Hinze and Ian Henderson.
Last weekend the December Monthly Medal was decided, and another excellent field was out on the course. The winner of the first Monthly Medal of the new season and starting off the year on the right note was the Men’s winner Matt Waterworth. Waterworth’s purple patch of recent form saw him take out the Medal after a countback. Neta Thouard has also been in good touch in recent rounds, and she took out the Ladies event.
The call has gone out to former senior Wattles players “Where are you now?” Players from across the years are urged to register their name and current town of residence with the club.
There are two major celebrations planned for the club in 2018. The first, the ‘100th Anniversary of the Birth of Rugby League in the Allora area’ and while 2018 marks Wattles 53rd year, the club is planning on celebrating and reuniting for the clubs ’50th Anniversary’.
History shows that Wattles did not become Wattles until 1969 after a competition to “give the club a name” was organised by Mal Eiby.
The “Greens” as they were known in the club’s early days had their beginnings as Allora-Clifton and ran on in their first official club fixture in the Warwick District Rugby League competition on 27 March, 1966 against Millmerran at Allora. A game which they won.
The Allora-Clifton side that played the first grade match that day were Tony Cartwright, Mal Henry, Des Cantwell, Rob Lester, Stuart. Sparksman, Bevan Crothers, Barry Donegan, Ted Cowley, Dave Achilles, Des Power, Tom Zeller, Russell Cass, Kev Smith (Captain).
Allora-Clifton only played one season, 1966, in the Warwick District competition, before being admitted to the Toowoomba Rugby League in 1967.
Organisers of the proposed celebrations now have the big task of locating as many past players, administrators, sponsors, princesses/ambassadors and volunteers as possible.
If you know of or are a former Wattles player, post their details on the club’s Facebook page or alternatively contact Glyn Rees the club president.
It matters little if you played one game in any senior grade or a hundred games, or a volunteer in any role, the club is looking for you.
Matt Campbell has put in the hard yards in motor sport, and is now reaping the rewards. The young Warwick driver this week announced he has signed a new deal with Porsche that will see him remain with the team for the coming year. The deal will see Campbell taking the next step up the Porsche ladder. He will move from the junior drivers programme to a young professional where he will be behind the wheel of a GT-style car, as well as racing across custom cars at different venues around the world. He is expecting to race at tracks throughout Europe and perhaps America after a very successful break out season for the manufacturer.
It has been a dream year for the young man who cut his racing teeth in Warwick. In addition to his success with Porsche, he also had success in the V8s this season. Campbell added a fifth placing at Bathurst and a podium finish Gold Coast to his impressive racing resume.
Well it has been confirmed. The Hayne plane has transferred from the Titans hangar to Parramatta, but not before reportedly picking up another wad of cash from the club that gave him a home a little over a year ago.
Titans fans are entitled to be asking for someone at the club to held accountable for the Hayne debacle that has seen their coach shown the door. Surely there are some execs and board members with a fair wad of egg on the face.
Hayne is reportedly forgoing a lot of cash to return to his roots at Parramatta – can’t say that I hear many in the rugby league world mourning that.
While Brad Arthur might be responsible for bringing their prodigal son home, I hope he also asked him to pack his intent. I doubt I have watched a more lacklustre performance by a talented player than watching Hayne go through the motions for Fiji – the country he chose to play for in the World Cup.
There is one positive the Titans can now get on with building a football side around players who want to be at the club and will be prepared to “put in” every week. Let’s hope we can see the best of them in 2018.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.