I love this time of the year. Mid-Winter has passed and the worst of the Lithgow weather is on the back-burner. Days are slowly getting longer, the temperature will gradually rise and we will start to look ahead to christmas and summer!
The origin series is over after another Queensland flogging and all the attention comes back to the club competition. The ladder is starting to sort itself out of who has made it, who has a chance and who should look to next year.
It was around this time last year that Parramatta made their historical, ground-breaking finals run from no-where. I remember watching the Footy show and Nathan Hindmarsh saying, "We have to win 9 from our last 8 to make the finals". It shows that not even their most capped player expected what was about to unfold. The Eels started that winning streak because of one man, their fullback Jarryd Hayne.
Last Monday night I knew Hayne was about to produce something special. Why would his own coach bag his marque player in the media if he didn't have a reason for it. Hayne reacted and scored 3 tries to lead his team to victory over the Cowboys.
During the week the 'Hayne Train' qoute once again made its way into the papers. All the Eels needed was one performance by their freak fullback to get some confidence back. Their performance on Saturday night against the Panthers at CUA stadium was both disgraceful and amazing. I say that because they were down 22-0 and then somehow won the game 34-28. Even the Fox Sports commentator jumped on board screaming 'All Aboard, Tickets please! .. For the Hayne Train' after Hayne ran 88m to score a crucial try.
The Eels still sit in 10th position, with only the Dragons and Panthers assured of a finals spot. Currently ten other teams are searching for a spot in the final 6 of the top 8.
Josh Dugan's hat-trick in his side's strong 52-18 win over the Knights at Canberra Stadium threw another cat into the bag. I really love Dugan as a player and it is awesome that he has resigned for the raiders for another two seasons. The weeks leading up to September are going to live up to their annual repuatation and produce some of the most exciting games and jaw-dropping performances ever seen.
The World cup was run and won by Spain with their 1-0 victory over Holland. I really got into the soccer for while and now the Tour de France is on and in its 2nd week. It looks like Alberto Contador will take the overall win but I'm hoping Luxemburg's Andy Shleck can produce the goods!. Lance Armstrong has had his worst luck of any tour this year in which will be his last. He definately won't go out of the headlines though with a current investigation into doping allegations from previous years being undertaken. Whatever the result of the case, Armstrong is one of the most inspiring sportsman on the planet and should be praised for all the work he does for the fight against cancer. I'll definately be looking up to him to 'livestrong' if the disease ever comes my way.
Well I'm back at uni now and looking foward to smashing out the assignments and 2 weeks prac we do throughout this 2nd semester. I also returned to work at the bowlo which is rad. The foot is holding up allright, I'm going the gym 3 times a week and will hopefully start running in a few weeks. I am saving for a trip to the Gold Coast and Darwin in November. My top 8 is as follows..... Dragons, Panthers, Tigers, Warriors, Broncos, Roosters, Sea-Eagles, Eels.