An unforgiving mistress

By Tim Howard

CRICKET is an unforgiving mistress (or wife if you don't go in for that sort of thing).

Last Saturday South Services all-rounder Stuart Jonker was sitting on top of the world.

He'd just blasted his way to an amazing 129no in just 62 deliveries to take his side from a mediocre score against GI Tucabia Copmanhurst in the Bananacoast Community Credit Union premier league to a possibly match-winning 288.

Then on Monday night, the taken-for-granted girlfriend struck back.

Saturday's hero, elevated in the batting order to open the innings, was trudging back to the pavilion with a duck for company.

Satisfactory reply

QUICK Singles received a reply from local NSW Umpires convener Paul McErlean to the question about the non-appointment for SCG Cup games of promising Grafton umpire Steve Hackett.

It seems Hack, although an accredited NSW umpire, has not yet reached the standard required to control games at this level.

Quick Singles wants to assure Paul that there was no intention to denigrate any of the umpires appointed.

Locally, cricketers wondered why an umpire with Hack's talents missed out.

Opportunity is knocking

RUGBY league in the Clarence has reached a critical point with a host of challenges facing all three local clubs.

It is good to remind everyone involved that what some people see as challenges, others view as opportunities.

The report from the Grafton Ghosts' annual meeting made interesting reading.

The club kept its head above water this year ? although poor performances no doubt kept costs down in some ways.

It was interesting to note the attitude to possible amalgamation of the Rebels and Ghosts. It seems financial considerations are one of the main stumbling blocks.

It will be interesting to see the state of the Rebels' books when their second attempt at an annual meeting takes place next Wednesday.

Sacre Wallaby

WHAT'S happening to our Wallabies?

Six losses on the trot and no real confidence that the worrying trend is about to end has the sporting press in a frenzy.

Watching with bleary eyes on Sunday morning, it looked like the French defence had an intimate knowledge of every Wallaby play and massed tacklers in the space near the ball carrier.

And that's if we got the ball.

Once again the lineout was atrocious with throws missing their mark and not straight. The scrum was waltzed around the park like a drunken date at a dance and the halfback continued to throw sloppy passes to heavily marked runners.

Is it the coach, the front row, the halfback or the application of outdated tactics?

Quick Singles believes the Wallabies' tactics are fine ? multi-phase attacking play has a place in modern rugby ? but it needs to toughen up to contend with more robust defensive play as teams attempt to win back the ball.

The Wallabies need to take a look at the West Tigers playbook as written by Tim Sheens.

Speed the play up in attack, moving the ball faster than the man. It's a philosophy as old as football.

An oldie, but a goodie

THE Wallabies' woes reminds Quick Singles of an amusing anecdote doing the rounds several years ago, when the Wallabies managed to beat the mighty All Blacks five times in a row.

What is the difference between an arsonist and the All Blacks?

Answer: an arsonist would not lose his last five matches.

High noon (part 1)

FORGET the tri-nations rugby league, the wobbly Wallabies and the West Indian cricket tour.

On Sunday morning ? time still negotiable as we go to print ? sport with a real world focus will be in our living rooms as the Socceroos attempt to fight their way into the Soccer World Cup finals for the first time in 32 years.

The opponents this time, as last, are the dastardly Uruguayans, who so cruelly eliminated the Aussies four years ago.

It's still a big ask for our team ? the Uruguayans beat the leading team in the world, Argentina, to make this stage of the competition.

The behind-the-scenes manoeuvring has been as tough (if a little silly) as anything we will see on the pitch as Australia's new Football Federation Australia flexes its muscles to ensure the Socceroos hit the field in the best possible shape.

It's intriguing and it's important for the future of soccer (or football) in this country.

Receding Ashes

THEWest Indies capitulation in the first Test at Brisbane showed that it's 'business as usual' for the Aussies.

After the heady drama of the Ashes series, all Quick Singles can say is 'what a shame'.

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