Greetings and welcome to Sports Briefs for another week – Some great sporting action lies ahead of us over the next couple of days.
There is no better place to watch the action than at The Gate/The Brook/The Ashby so get your mates and family together and enjoy your favourite sport at your local this weekend.
The Perth Wildcats sure know how to excite their fans and that is exactly what they did in their overtime victory over the Cairns Taipans last Saturday night.
US import Jaron Johnson came up huge in the clutch nailing a 3-pointer in the second last play of regular time to force the game to overtime where the Wildcats forged away to win by 10 points.
On Friday night Perth resume their rivalry with the New Zealand Breakers who started their campaign with a 5 point victory over Melbourne United.
Abercrombie top scored for the Breakers with 14 points in what was a very even team effort.
Perth will once again be looking for big performances from their talented trio of Johnson, McKay and Prather who combined for 63 of Perth’s 84 points in their win over Cairns.
Home court advantage is so valuable in the NBL and with Perth at home on Friday night TABtouch have installed them the $1.40 favourites with the Breakers rated a $2.95 chance. The line is set at 5.5 points.
While they are still adjusting to their new playing list I liked what I saw from Perth when it mattered most last week and they appear well placed to make it two wins on the trot in this fixture.
After starting in scintillating fashion last weekend slotting three goals in the first half Perth Glory failed to finish the job and coughed up a 3-0 half time lead to eventually draw 3-3 with the Central Coast Mariners.
It was a disappointing result for the boys in purple who looked a million dollars in the first term with Adam Taggart scoring a brace and Diego Castro also opening his scoring account for the new season.
In the second half it seemed a matter of how far the Glory would win by but they went into their comfort zone and the Mariners responded with 3 goals of their own to pinch a valuable point out of the clash.
Perth will be looking for a full 90 minute performance on Sunday when they play host to the Wellington Phoenix at nib stadium.
Wellington started their season with a 1-0 loss to title favourites Melbourne City who scored in the 31st minute courtesy of a piece of Caceres magic.
It must be noted that Wellington had a host of their stars missing on international duties with the All Whites last weekend and they will welcome back Durante, Barbarouses, McGlinchey and Ridenton for this one.
The betting market on the match sees Perth the white hot favourites at $1.63, Wellington a $4.35 chance and the draw paying $4.50.
I think Perth will be smarting from their second half fadeout last week and the positive to come out of the match was just how dangerous they looked offensively.
I expect the Glory to make amends for last week and land their first win of the season here.
The other highlight of the weekend will be the A-League debut from Tim Cahill for City in the Melbourne Derby.
The Socceroos Talisman will play a massive part in the fixture and expect a huge crowd and enormous interest in this clash.
The market is a giveaway as to how close the match is expected to be with both sides paying $2.55 for the win and the draw at $3.60.
Australia’s ODI tour of South Africa ended in tatters on Wednesday night with the Proteas once again dominating the Aussies to complete a 5-0 series whitewash.
Despite a magnificent knock of 173 from Dave Warner which included 24 boundaries the Aussies were bowled out for 296 in reply to South Africa’s 327 where Riley Rossouw did the damage with 122.
It was an embarrassing tour for Australia who opted to rest the majority of their top line bowling attack for the series and were duly thumped.
Australia will look forward to the return of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and co. for the upcoming international summer of cricket where they play host to South Africa and Pakistan.
In the Matador Barbecues One Day series domestically the Western Warriors fought back into contention with a win over the Victorian Bushrangers earlier in the week.
The win left the door open for WA to still win the trophy and they will be looking for a win on Saturday when they take on Tasmania in Sydney.
Watch for Test regulars Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh to pile on the runs while left arm quickie Jason Behrendorff will be looking to press his claim for a berth in the Aussie lineup this Summer.
RUGBY LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL
On Saturday night Perth plays host to the test match between Australia and New Zealand.
Coach Mal Meninga will be looking to get a feel for who his best outfit is heading into the Four Nations and from when we saw them last the Aussies will be minus Parker, Gallen, McGuire and Tamou while New Zealand are without Nikorima, Moa and Bromwich.
Australia have a significant edge in class with the spine of Boyd, Thurston, Cronk and Smith likely to be significant contributors in the match.
TABtouch have the Aussies the hot favourites at $1.40 with New Zealand at $3 and the line set at 7.5 points.
I like the boys in Green in Gold to win and cover the line here.
Some tremendous sport on the menu this weekend – whoever you barrack for good luck with your team.
My multi play of the weekend with TABtouch is the Wildcats to beat New Zealand in the NBL and the Aussies to cover the line and win by 8 points or more in the Test. The multi price is $2.66.