Best of the weekend was Fiji beating Wales and Argentina beating Ireland, and both victors going through to the quarter-finals -- Southern Hemisphere rugby giving the Europeans a lesson. Sadly, Tonga looked like they were playing one match too many against a disciplined England, didn't they, but with just half of the 'home nations' through to the quarter-finals (and that only because Scotland had the easiest of draws), maybe it's time for the British Isles teams to club together as the Lions if they're going to be competitive at future World Cups? And for the Pacific Islands and Argentina to be taken more seriously when playing schedules are drawn up?
And let's talk about that amazing Geelong victory again. The world's second oldest football club in any football code (can you name the oldest?) thrashing the second-placed team in their competition by the highest margin ever recorded in a final! And doing it playing a wonderful brand of running play-on football! What a game. What a result. Melbourne's Herald Sun gives some context:
Five times since 1963, the [Geelong] Cats had gone to the Grand Final well and drawn only bitter defeat.It was fantastic to watch. The absolute highlight of a hard-fought fightback and a whole year of stunning Geelong performances -- this really was The Year of the Cats -- and of another great weekend's sport. You can lap it all up at Real Footy , the Herald Sun Finals wrap-up, and at The Cattery.
As a low, grey sky settled over the ground, the fear that this day might see another disappointment was unspoken but palpable. "I couldn't sleep last night. Oh, Christ, we have to win," said a young bloke to his mates. It was more prayer than blasphemy, and his plea would soon be answered.
Port were flat-footed from the bounce, unsure of themselves and growing more wobbly by the minute as Geelong posted the first goals of the deluge to come. By not much after half time, the team that only a week earlier had bowed and strutted and high-stepped on its own turf while destroying the Kangaroos had sunk to a level beneath despair.
If Port's players had been horses, the stewards would have hauled out the canvas screen and put the whole sorry lot out of their misery. Not that Geelong had much sympathy for the foe as the home team cake walked toward a record-winning margin.
Oh yes, did anyone even notice the Ranfurly Shield changing hands? Or that five-tackles-and-a-kick game last night? (Or the huge hold-up on the Kopu Bridge about rush-hour on Friday night? If you were wondering which arse-hole caused the traffic to back up to Totara on one side and nearly to Highway 27 on the other, then here's your answer ... it was me.)