Monday, August 27, 2007

Tipping Only Twenty Rounds 'Till the Finals

Well Jacob's soccer was washed out and postponed on Saturday - his team is up to knock-out finals rounds - so Saturday morning was uncharacteristically un-soccer, though the news that CCM had done over Sydney in front of the latter's fans gave me a wicked inner glow. Jacob and I went to see The Simpsons. Truly, I expected the satire to be a bit more... um... now, or something, and despite a few belly laughs it was pretty average.

But anyway Jacob is about to turn 12 and Saturday night was sort of a present from his Mum and I. She and I shouted Jacob and three of his mates to the Roar vs Adelaide game. For Brigita both a soccer game and Suncorp stadium were completely new and although she may never be back for more, she certainly enjoyed it. It was a great night.

I thoroughly enjoyed the game and, completely prepared as I was for Adelaide to thrash us, I was blissed when we equalised with 10 men on the pitch. From any point of view that is a decent result for the Roar at this stage of proceedings. Adelaide beat us last time, and then went on to win the pre-season cup - only weeks ago. The Roar matched them convincingly. Good show.

Ok, just one other thing. Why the hell all the controversy about yellow cards, hard tackles and Moore's expulsion from the game, when no one has adequately explained why the Roar's goal from a free kick was disallowed just before half time? A Roar player was shepherding the wall? I simply don't understand what rule was brought into play, so if anyone could enlighten me it would be an act of charity.

Moving on though, the games have as usual been well analysed elsewhere, indeed by participants in the Down Under Football Tipping Competition, which I might just start calling The Blogger's Cup, because it's shorter. Mike, who unfortunately has not chosen to join us in the tipping (you still can Mike), has written on the Mariner's vs Sydney game and the Roar vs Adelaide game, and no doubt there's more to come. John has done the same here and here, though I'm certain there was a more elaborate version of the latter post up for a short time. So far Tony has given us an excellent wrap of the first game, and then an also excellent general wrap of the round, including his team of the week. Cecilia gives a general wrap up of the round. Wayne focuses on his beloved Central Coast's game and Neil similarly gives a fan's own account of Melbourne's game, as does Jeccy of the Roar's game, and Dane for Sydney's game. Eamonn, as prolific and diverse as ever, managed a snappy wrap of three of the games (where's Newcastle vs Perth?). And it's only a day after the round.

This incidentally, is my first-base media diet - everything from very expert game analysis to the diverse insights and annotations of fans. The mainstream media comes later, but although it often breaks the stories, it's generally very repetitive and predictable in its responses. The amateur blogosphere has an enormous role to play in sports media in my view. Many a sports 'amateur' will be far more competent at football analysis than someone with a journalism degree or cadetship, after all. It's very early days for A-League blogging.

Tipping competition... that's where I was. Apologies for the scattergun narrative style.

Thanks everyone for entering. The Blogger's Cup, which began as a private (though admittedly public) competition between my son and I grew to six by the end of last season and is now starting at 11! If only game attendances were growing so dramatically. The player missing from last year though is the very player which began the competition's growth by entering his tips by comment. Drsimmo, where are you? People are still welcome to enter on zero points (three of us are still on zero anyway). There's glory to be won, and a prize.

Anyway, I'm tabulating the competition as it goes along and publishing it here. I'll link it from the sidebar before this post disappears too far down. The table after Round 1 looks like this:

Dane 4
Wes 3
Neil 2
Tony 2
Dave 1
Eamonn 1
Hamish 1
John 1
Cecilia 0
Jacob 0
Jeccy 0

If I make mistakes, which in the course of the season is very likely, please point them out politely.

The disadvantage for the host of course, is I have to pick first. My tips for this weekend are:

Central Coast vs Wellington
CCM 3:2

Sydney vs Adelaide
Adelaide 1:2

Melbourne vs Perth
Melbourne 1:0

Newcastle vs Queensland
Queensland 1:3

Jacob's Tips:
Central Coast vs Wellington
CCM 1:2

Sydney vs Adelaide
Adelaide 1:2

Melbourne vs Perth
Melbourne 2:1

Newcastle vs Queensland
Queensland 0:3

One final note. Several people had a go at getting me to make a fantasy-league team, and I finally succumbed and joined Tony's game. It was somewhat against my judgment that it would just take up even more time and that it wasn't about real football or something. But I did it and as well as being kind of fun, I've found it a good opportunity to get to know some of the non-media-star players outside the Queensland Roar. I know some of you people seem to just know them all, but I don't ok. It's also interesting to see who Tony and James picks. James in particular will be pleased he picked Matty McKay, the highest scoring player in Round 1.

To all that which we can't comprehend let alone understand, may the A-League games this weekend as well as the U12s semi-final clash between El Salvador and the Hawks be grand events, may all the players perform to their best, may there be good sportsmanship on and off the field, may the adjudication be fair and effective, and may there be no serious injuries.


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Anonymous wayne said...

Hey Hamish, here are are my tips for round two:

Central Coast vs Wellington
CCM 3:1

Sydney vs Adelaide
Draw 1:1

Melbourne vs Perth
Melbourne 2:0

Newcastle vs Queensland
Draw 1:1

August 28, 2007 12:52 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

Thanks for joining us Wayne.

I'm still in search of some information. Over at Sportal they say that McKay's goal from a free kick just before half time was disallowed because, "Milicic illegally blocked off the Adelaide wall." That's fine, but I'm left feeling there's a rule I'm simply unaware of. Can someone explain to me why (well, where) it is illegal for an attacker to be in front of the wall, and exactly what the stipulation is.

August 30, 2007 7:49 am  
Anonymous wes said...

Hamish, let me give you my tips for round 2:

Central Coast 1 Wellington 2

Sydney 1 Adelaide 1

Melbourne 2 Perth 0

Newcastle 1 Queensland 1

Hamish, let me also bring attention to the other bloggers about tipping site which covers the the Uefa Champions league as well and uses similar rules as this competition.


August 30, 2007 9:55 am  
Blogger Jeccy - for the Roar said...

Ok. Here goes. Hopefully will do better than last road :P

Central Coast d Wellington

Adelaide d Sydney

Melbourne d Perth

Queensland d Newcastle

August 30, 2007 4:05 pm  
Anonymous Dave said...

Now we know that Tiatto will be out next week, I'm confident enough to weigh in this week.

Mariners 1 Wellington 1
The Mariners were gifted a win by Sydney's poor finishing and general lack of imagination last week, while the Phoenix came back strongly against the Vics. Should be pretty evenly matched - the NZers might even get away with this one if Felipe and Daniel fire.

Sydney 0 Adelaide 2
With Juninho wanting more touches than a drunk at a strip club, and the rest of FC's "strike" force seemingly on strike, it's hard to see them seriously troubling a seasoned and sharp-looking Reds line-up. The home crowd might be enough to get them in the game, but I'm yet to be convinced Sydney are the real deal this year.

Melbourne 2 Glory 0
The Vics looked very sharp in the first hour or so against the Phoenix, and a similar performance here should be enough to see them home against an uninspiring Glory outfit who've got additional problems with injury. Eleven men behind the ball and play on the counter is probably Perth's only hope, so I expect they'll defend grimly but quality will out in the end.

Jets 0 Roar 1
My prediction last week of a bore-fest in the Jets-Glory game came true, and it's hard to see Newcastle seriously threatening in this game - home crowd and a reshuffled Roar defence notwithstanding. Seo, Moore and Tiatto are out, but McLaren, McCloughan and (apparently) Packer are on deck for the Roar, so I don't think they'll lose too much in defence. If Marchino breaks the shackles in this game, the score could easily blow out.


August 30, 2007 4:49 pm  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

Thanks for the invitation Hamish!

Unfortunately, I always seem to get lazy and irregular with tipping comps. But how could I refuse to join such a distinguished list of participants?

Here goes then:

CCM 1-0 WP
SFC 2-1 AU (I'm an optimist)
MV 1-0 PG
NUJ 2-2 QR

August 30, 2007 8:23 pm  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

...I'm still in search of some information. Over at Sportal they say that McKay's goal from a free kick just before half time was disallowed because, "Milicic illegally blocked off the Adelaide wall." That's fine, but I'm left feeling there's a rule I'm simply unaware of. Can someone explain to me why (well, where) it is illegal for an attacker to be in front of the wall, and exactly what the stipulation is....

From memory it was actually Oggy who struck that FK. I think it was eventually disallowed for a foul on Salley by Milicic(?).

AFAIK, there's no problem with attackers being in front of the wall...not sure on that one though.

August 30, 2007 8:27 pm  
Blogger Dane said...

Coast 3 Wellington 1
Sydney 2 Adelaide 1
Melbourne 3 Perth 0
Newcastle 2 Queensland 2

Looking to keep my lead in tact ;)

August 30, 2007 8:31 pm  
Blogger Cecilia said...

I'm REALLY bad at tipping. I tend to tip the teams I want to win!

Central Coast vs Wellington
CCM 2:2

Sydney vs Adelaide
Adelaide 1:3

Melbourne vs Perth
Melbourne 3:0

Newcastle vs Queensland
Queensland 0:1

August 30, 2007 10:40 pm  
Blogger Neil said...

Here are my tips for Round 2

Central Coast 2 Wellington 1
Sydney 0 Adelaide 1
Melbourne Victory 2 Perth 0
Newcastle 1 Queensland 1

August 31, 2007 9:10 am  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

hamish, my vague recollections of that free-kick were that it was actually craig moore that stood in front of the wall and blocked off the run of the adelaide players. I can't recall if it was an indirect free kick but it must have been for the ref to spot and infringement. from the 1 replay fox showed it was too hard to tell if moore actually made a deliberate move to block off the run of an adeliade player or just stood his ground, but the ref must has seen the former.

anyway, to my tips;

CCM 3 v WP 1
SFC 1 v AU 2
MV 2 v PG 0
NJ 2 v QR 2

August 31, 2007 10:25 am  
Blogger Hamish said...

Thanks everyone for playing, and thanks mike and Tony, for attempting to answer my query re the disallowed goal by Matty/Oggy/Moore. Whoever. My curiosity is not satisfied. I still want to know - and surely there is some official take on it somewhere - exactly which rule did the ref evoke to disallow the goal. I have not seen anywhere in the MSN that a player was fouled as such. If they were - or at least if that was the ref's call - fine. But forgive me for wanting to be sure.

Now, Eamonn and Eric (from MVFC Blog) have submitted their tips by email.

Eamonn's Tips:
"Coast 3 Wellington 0
Sydney 1 Adelaide 2
Victory 4 Perth 1
Jets 1 The Roar, with the useless Milicic, 1"

Eric's Tips:
"Central Coast vs. Wellington - draw
Sydney vs. Adelaide - Adelaide win
Melbourne vs. Perth - Melbourne win
Newcastle vs. Queensland - draw

"Definitely think the Central Coast vs Wellington match is going to be the most interesting one this weekend!"

Eric, so far you're only playing for 4 out of a possible 12 points. Have a go at picking the scores. 1 point for a correct result and 3 points for the correct score.


August 31, 2007 5:45 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

Eric emailed his scores:

"Central Coast vs. Wellington - 1-1
Sydney vs. Adelaide - 0-2
Melbourne vs. Perth - 2-0
Newcastle vs. Queensland - 1-1"

August 31, 2007 5:59 pm  
Blogger john said...

grr still angry at FFA for making the rules up as they go.

Central Coast vs Wellington
CCM 2-1

Sydney vs Adelaide
Adelaide 1-2

Melbourne vs Perth
Draw 1-1

Newcastle vs Queensland
Roar 0-5

August 31, 2007 6:58 pm  
Blogger john said...


Frank said the same as you post match.

re this:

'I'm still in search of some information. Over at Sportal they say that McKay's goal from a free kick just before half time was disallowed because, "Milicic illegally blocked off the Adelaide wall." That's fine, but I'm left feeling there's a rule I'm simply unaware of. Can someone explain to me why (well, where) it is illegal for an attacker to be in front of the wall, and exactly what the stipulation is.'

August 31, 2007 6:59 pm  
Blogger john said...


the Moore cae was a differenty free kick where he argued with the ref over his right to stand in front of the wall. best not to argue...

August 31, 2007 7:02 pm  
Blogger Cecilia said...

Hamish, I'll get around to re-watching the Qld match at some point this weekend. Hopefully an answer can be found that we're all happy with.

September 01, 2007 11:20 pm  
Blogger Cecilia said...

wOOt! Another ZERO for me.

September 02, 2007 7:21 pm  
Blogger Eamonn said...

how's the tune when you're gloating, I only blog when I'm gloating

I am going to rejoice in the fact that not only did I get two results right I got two friggin scores right

This will never happen again, let me assure everyone fact I may well end up with 7 points for the whole season

But Hamish it just feels good to be in this comp right now...

and when Joel Griffiths squeezed that ball in to that gap with a minute or so to go..I found myself biting my nails hoping no other team would score

now that is sad:)

September 02, 2007 8:44 pm  
Blogger Cecilia said...

I've just realised that there's been a misinterpretation of my round 1 tips! I did it in a rush and all I changed was the scorelines - didn't realise that by copying a pasting whoever's tips I was putting in the same as them! (Silly me - blame Jacob, I think I copy and pasted from him!)

So when I said 0:2 for Sydney - Central Coast, I meant Sydney get zero and CC get 2. That "Sydney" in front of the 0:2 was completely missed! Hehe. Doesn't matter. Serves me right I suppose for doing it quickly!

September 03, 2007 3:08 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

Cecilia, I believe you. I thought your tips were a bit ambiguous but I decided I couldn't ignore the named team. I suspect the same went for your Wellington vs Melbourne tip as in your intro you even mentioned you were loyal when tipping, then you apparently tipped Wellington, though with the scores the wrong way around. I even showed the ambiguity to Jacob and he said the same as I thought - that making the error of putting the scores the wrong way around was much more likely than making the error of writing the wrong team. Now you've explained how you did indeed do the opposite and it makes sense.

I'm not going to change it as that doesn't seem fair, as it was your mistake, and in the end I think you lost just the one point for it.

The convention, which I know you know but some may not be completely clear about - is to list the home side score first, away team second. In other games it's often the convention to put the winning score first, and some have been doing this, so I assume that the named team is the winner. It's certainly not compulsory but it would be helpful (and correct, if you're a Capricorn, or have pedantic proclivities for less esoteric reasons) if everyone uses the soccer convention.

Meanwhile, if people check things fairly quickly, it's fine with me if tips are changed right up to the kickoff of the first game in the round. I will also reserve that right, though if I use it I'll make it clear in the post and keep my old tips in the post as well. Last week - when I realised we had not only lost Tiatto, but Oggy as well, not to mention Seo and Moore - I would have changed my tip for the QR vs NJ game, but I still wouldn't have scored as I would have made it a 2:1 win for Newcastle.

Talk about the curse of the defenders. And then Stuart McLaren got red carded. How many defenders can one team lose?

And as you commented over at A Seat at the A-League Cecilia, we also seem to have a cursed Captain's armband. Please don't give it to Matty!

September 03, 2007 7:13 pm  
Blogger Cecilia said...

I'll happily accept being on zero points, as I said it was my mistake.

Oh, please, not Matty!

September 03, 2007 9:02 pm  
Anonymous Wes said...

With Round 3 starting on Thursday, let me enter my tips now:

Roar 1 CCM 1

Adelaide 1 Victory 1

Welliington 2 Jets 1

Perth 2 Sydney 2


September 04, 2007 1:43 pm  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

I'll go for:

QR 2-2 CCM
AU 2-1 MV
WP 0-1 NUJ
PG 1-1 SFC

September 04, 2007 6:55 pm  
Anonymous wayne said...

And I'll go for:

QR 2-3 CCM

AU 2-2 MV

WP 2-1 NUJ

PG 2-1 SFC

September 04, 2007 7:43 pm  
Anonymous Dave said...

I'll get in early too.

Roar 2 CCM 1
Unlike some media types, I'm not ready to install the Mariners as title favourites just yet. The Coast boys started like a train against both Sydney and Wellington, but faded noticeably in the second half. I can't see Qld letting in three in one half like Wellington did, especially with Moore and Tiatto (suitably chastened) back and (probably) Ognenovski back as well. If the Roar can go into the break on level terms, they can probably run the Mariners down in the second.

Adelaide 0 Victory 0
Two teams with big problems this weekend. The Reds' potent attacking force of Burns and Djite is out of action with Olyroos duty, while the Vics have big injury problems. In the circumstances, and despite being a big game at this stage of the season, I think both will be content to come away with a point.

Wellington 1 Newcastle 0
Last week the Phoenix showed a fair bit of pluck, but worrying signs that they'll struggle away from home. The Jets however will also have problems with Olyroos duty. Back in NZ, the Phoenix should be a tougher assignment, and with the Jets missing goal scoring option Mark Bridge, could sneak this one.

Glory 1 Sydney 0
Sydney sparked into some kind of life against Adelaide, but with Juninho and Brosque both out, it's hard to see how they're going to manufacture against a miserly Glory defence. On the other hand, Perth won't be able to rely on Clint Bolton to gift them a goal. Perth will be desperate to score at home and despite their scoring problems this year, one goal should win it for them.

September 04, 2007 7:51 pm  

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