Saturday, October 14, 2006

Jets vs Knights

Ok, I couldn't resist and had to go down to the Muddy Farmer and watch the game. They still haven't got Fox Sport 3 incidentally, but fortunately this weekend most of the games (except last night's) are on Fox 1.

Just a couple of observations. I really like watching Newcastle play and have done before, even when they weren't so victorious. And frankly their win tonight can't be seen as any vindication of getting rid of Nick Theodorakopoulos, because this sort of play must take a lot of work to build up in a team, and he did it. There's something tragic about his demise as coach. The timing was precisely tragic, in my view, and precisely wrong.

New Zealand really are bad, and I'm not even in a cruel mood. The different styles of play were summed up when Michael Turnbull booted a goal kick all the way down to his opposite number Ben Kennedy, who quickly and professionally fed the ball to his defenders. With Newcastle's capacity to maintain possession down the field, the Knights' goalie may as well have just given it to the closest Jet.

At the beginning of the game I really didn't mind who won, but by half way through the first half, such was the stark difference in style and quality, when the Knights did get the opportunities (generally from a lottery lob) I cringed at the thought they might get lucky, so undeserved were they.

How many times did Rodriguez have a shot at goal? Turnbull will be having nightmares about him tonight. I did wonder if Rodriguez was overrated at one point, given that he was so often off target. It will take watching many more games to get a feel for whether the sheer unrelenting pressure of such constant attempts are worth it. I did cheer for Rod when he finally delivered, in the final minute - the poor bugger must have been very frustrated.

Stuart Musialik's goal was sublime. The first goal from Jade North, a text-book head from a corner kick, was merely a relief, as up until then I was fearing a much undeserved nil all draw. But Musialik's goal was sheer joy. I don't know how he had the audacity to shoot at all from where he was, let alone how the ball managed to miss all those defenders.

Loved it. I'll sleep well tonight - well, for a bit. Gotta get up at 2am. Don't ask; it has nothing to do with football.


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