AFL — Swans snatch premiership favouritism: The wash-up on the first week of the finals seems to be that Sydney’s epic one-point win over West Coast in Perth was enough to make the reigning premier outright favourite for the flag. Melbourne did well to fight off a sluggish start against the Saints, but really St Kilda didn’t fire when it needed to. Again. The Crows looked good with their B-team holding up against a disappointing Freo and the Bulldogs’ win over the Magpies was fantastic and breathtaking to watch but can they really do it three weeks in a row? At least Rohan Smith gets to play his 300th game. Oh, and the media are still laughing about Stephen Kernahan’s ham-fisted comedy routine at the Carlton Best & Fairest count, at the end of the Blues’ horrific week, where he managed to insult pretty much everybody who’s ever covered training. Some new nicknames are now circulating among the hacks.

NRL — another video ref controversy: The Melbourne Storm looked unimpressive in shaking off the Eels, and might not have won had a controversial “no try” been awarded by the video ref when Parramatta backrower Glenn Morrison’s crossing off the line, while being sat on by the entire Storm team. Apparently the “benefit of the doubt” rule was not brought into play. Back before video refs with 19 camera angles, there was just one referee, his line of sight and nothing but a natural “benefit of the doubt” judgement. Has technology really advanced sport? Meanwhile, there is a school of thought developing that Brisbane might be haunted by its ordinary recent form in finals, after another shocker on the weekend.

EPL — Cahill scores again: Everton won the Merseyside Derby over Liverpool, 3-0, with Australia’s Tim Cahill opening the scoring in the 24th minute, before Andy Johnson scored a double. It was Cahill’s third goal in as many derbies. Meanwhile, Manchester United and Chelsea both enjoyed wins while Arsenal drew with Middlesbrough.

Peter Fray

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