Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Round 1 wrap-up


Richmond 13.6 (84) vs Carlton 14.20 (104)
Geelong 6.12 (48) vs St. Kilda 6.11 (47)
Collingwood 24.11 (155) vs Port Adelaide 12.8 (80)
Adelaide 16.9 (105) vs Hawthorn 12.13 (85)
Brisbane 14.8 (92) vs Fremantle 13.16 (94)
Essendon 16.17 (113) vs Western Bulldogs 8.10 (58)
Melbourne 11.18 (84) vs Sydney 11.18 (84)
West Coast 13.14 (92) vs North Melbourne 13.10 (88)
Gold Coast Suns: Bye      

Well the only team not to make a mistake was the Gold Coast, unless they actually showed up to play a week early. Heath Scotland’s 200th game had the best result a player could ask for; Carlton played well against Richmond, however their goal kicking accuracy has fallen, last year they were the most accurate team in the comp; the first quarter was a shocking display of kicking. Richmond had a few bright spots, their accuracy was excellent and last years Coleman Medallist Jack Riewoldt started 2011 with 6 goals for this years goal tally. The new substitute rule went into effect, Jarred Waite looked like he might have had a concussion so he was subbed out in the second quarter. This threw Carlton’s game and allowed Richmond to regain the lead but they sorted themselves out in the final quarter. Richmond also used their sub, on Nathan Foley who was suffering from a gastric virus, in the third quarter. Richmond did okay but had no real superstars. Carlton had many players give standout performances, Waite’s first half was excellent, Gibbs, Curnow Judd were also brilliant. For Richmond Riewoldt and Nahas shone.
The best game to watch this week was Geelong against St Kilda on Friday night. Geelong struggled against St Kilda early on. Skipper Cameron Ling was out with his hamstring still injured and Geelong had big difficulties kicking their first goal. Despite this and St Kilda dominating the first half of the game the game was low scoring and the difference was minimal early on. St Kilda finally improved their accuracy and pulled away by nearly 20 points. Selwood and Ray had a nasty collision in the first quarter and Selwood was subbed off. The Cats fought back in the third quarter and got within distance. The final quarter was hotly contested and Geelong’s sub Milburn kicked the winning goal with only 19 seconds left. Corey Enright played his 200th game and he played well, Bartel and Duncan for Geelong also played well. Dal Santo, Hayes and Montagna played well for St Kilda.
Port Adelaide played well and kept in the game but Collingwood dominated in the midfield early on and a series of back to back goals including one by Dane Swan on the siren at quarter time showed Collingwood were just too . Port’s Hitchcock was subbed in for Schultz with nine minutes left in the second after he went down with a knee injury. Collingwood are still in great form and it looks like a premiership hangover is not in the cards this year but we are only at round one so lets not get ahead of ourselves. Port fought back hard to get the margin back down from 58 points and kept Collingwood off the scoreboard for the first half of the third quarter but tired and allowed Collingwood to stretch the margin again and they were unable to get within range again. Port’s Cassisi and played well but were out shone by Collingwood’s Cloke, Dawes and .
Adelaide looked for a start to their 20th year (21st season) to be a repeat of their first, and an improvement on the travesty of last years start. Hawthorn having looked at their game plan over the break and tinkered with it looked to start their campaign with a win. Of interest was the match up between Phil Davis and Lance “Buddy” Franklin at Half Back/Forward and Nathan van Berlo’s performance as Adelaide’s sixth appointed captain. Hawthorn killed it in the first half and it looked like they were going home the winners. Smith was subbed on in the first 10 minutes when shortly after slotting Adelaide’s first goal Porplyzia left with a shoulder injury. A second half comeback was due to the Crows kicking more as well as Reilly, Vince, Sloane and Otten leading the charge. Davis worked hard on Franklin and came out evens partly due to Buddy’s inaccuracy (2.6). Hawthorn’s Mitchell, Burgoyne and Young were just outclassed.

I feel that Richmond and St Kilda are rely too much on the one player which in Richmond’s case is an improvement as the player in question seems more polite to his team members. Adelaide have improved but their ball handling is still not quite right. Port tried but just weren’t good enough but we may see more of what they’ve got against a lesser opponent. Hawthorn look like they will be dangerous this year. St Kilda and Geelong are still star teams but may struggle against Collingwood later in the year. Collingwood are still as good as ever but took a little to get back into it.

Reports and injuries:
This week Alex Rance was reported for rough conduct against Jarred Waite he received a 3 game suspension. Matthew Scarlett was reported for striking against Riewoldt he receives a 1 game suspension.* Players Farren Ray, Aaron Davey, Jarrad Waite, Luke McGuane, Mitch Morton, Jordan Lewis, Joel McDonald and Matt Rosa were given a match day report or involved in an incident and cleared by the Match Review Panel.
Jarred Waite received a concussion and is expected to be back in this week. Joel Selwood received a concussion and is expected to be out for 1 week (test). Jay Schultz injured his MCL (knee) and is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks. Jason Porplyzia injured his shoulder and is expected to be out for the near future. Rory Sloane broke his thumb and injured his jaw, and is expected to be out for 6 weeks. David Mackay injured his should and is expected to be out for 8-12 weeks. Jonathon Brown fractured his face and is expected to be out for 8 weeks. Luke Power injured his back and is expected to be out for 1 week (test). Brent Staker injured his ACL (knee) and is expected to be out for the rest of season. Chris Masten injured his knee and is expected to be out for 6 weeks. Mark LeCras injured his groin and is expected to be out for 7-10 weeks.

Round Two opens Friday night as St Kilda play Richmond at the MCG. Next week will be the first AFL game of the Gold Coast Suns, they play Carlton at the Gabba. The bye will be held by the Adelaide Crows.

*All reports based on early guilty pleas being entered

Currently Listening: Where the City Meets the Sea – The Getaway Plan

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Book Review: Bloodthirsty

by Flynn Meaney

Rating: 9/10


Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls.

Fifteen-year-old Finbar Frame missed out in the gene-pool stakes to his twin brother Luke.

Finbar is tall, skinny, pale and pretty much allergic to the sun - and teenage girls don't appreciate Finbar's sensitive skin or his sensitive soul.

But at his new school Finbar seizes the opportunity to become a vampire! Or at least fake it... to get a date.

For all those who are sick of Team Edward and Team Jacob, this is a funny and interesting take on the vampire craze from the point of Finbar, a teenage boy.

Finbar didn’t get a great start in life, his parent named him Finbar which combined with the fact that he’s introspective and into reading, makes him a prime bully target. This would probably be okay except his twin brother not only has a normal name (Luke) he’s the star of the football team, tan, athletic, etc.

Now Luke is a pretty great brother as he makes every effort to include Fin, it’s just that he doesn’t feel all that comfortable with the idea of hanging out with the cool kids.

When Fin’s parents move him and his brother to New York he finds out he’s allergic to the sun and decides it’s high time he got a better friend than his mom. He cried watching The Notebook mostly because he realised he was watching The Notebook on a Friday night, with his mom.

On the subway Fin overhears three teenage girls espousing the virtues of vampires and he has an epiphany, all the things that make him a weird nerd make a vampire soooo hawt!!

Fin thus makes himself over to be a vampire, after researching he starts affecting the broody vampire way of life which goes surprisingly well as he has a different lunch hour to the people he meets so they don’t see him eat.

It’s a hilarious take on the vampire genre and it’s a great story, especially when he realises that his “being a vampire” has helped him to become a version of himself that he likes.

I’m hoping for a sequel after the novel ends with Luke having decided that he’s becoming a werewolf to impress a girl.

Currently listening: It's4u – Short Stack

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Book Review: The Cinderella Society

by Kay Cassidy

Rating: 7/10

thecinderellasocietyWhat’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?
Sixteen year old Jess Parker has always been an outsider.  So when she receives an invitation to join The Cinderella Society, a secret society of the most popular girls in school, it’s like something out of a fairy tale.  Swept up by the Cindys’ magical world of makeovers, and catching the eye of her Prince Charming, Jess feels like she’s finally found her chance to fit in.
Then the Wickeds–led by Jess’s arch-enemy–begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers there’s more to being a Cindy than reinventing yourself on the outside.  She has unknowingly become part of a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil, and now the Cindys in charge need Jess for a mission that could change everything.
Overwhelmed, Jess wonders if The Cinderella Society made a mistake in choosing her.  Is it a coincidence her new boyfriend doesn’t want to be seen with her in public?  And is this glamorous, secret life even what she wants, or will she risk her own happy ending to live up to the expectations of her new sisters?

Jess has recently moved, again, this time to her mum’s home town Mt. Sterling. Jess tried out for the cheerleading team just after moving, like she always does. When she made the team Lexy Steele the first alternate who had been a shoe-in got bumped.

Lexy really has it in for Jess who just wants to fit in. Jess gets an invite to the Cinderella Society which is all about empowering people and joins because it makes her feel like a part of the in-group. Jess gets a date with her crush, Ryan Steele, super-hottie and Lexy’s older brother after her make-over.

In-between the Cinderella Society, facing off against the Wickeds (represented by Lexy), Ryan and assuming the mantle of leadership Jess makes friends and leans about herself.

In the end Jess finally gets what the other Cindy’s have been trying to tell her and realises that she needs to accept herself for herself.

The story was great and I totally got where Jess was coming from, especially the thing about “cool” kids and invites to parties.

I am interested but not desperate to see what happens in the next book Cindy on a Mission, due out later this year.

Currently listening: Whoa – We The Kings

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Footy season!!

So footy season is baaack! Well right now we’re dealing with the NAB Cup which has the stupidest format in recent memory as far as I’m concerned.

11 extra games, two extra rounds and byes. This is the first time since 1994 that the AFL have had byes or a 24-round season. It’s expected to be the only season to have 17 teams. So people we’re a part of history, even the NAB Cup changed this year, the first time since 2003.

Anyway what I don’t get is the new bye system in place; for the first time since 1991 there is a bye in the AFL, c/o the new Gold Coast Suns. But some weeks three teams are on a bye. This means that for four weeks out of an entire year there will only be seven games. This enables the AFL to have “feature games”.

I think it means that we can give teams that don’t have appeal during the rivalry round such as Brisbane don’t have to play at all. However due to the addition of the new Gold Coast Suns we will have an extra 11 games in the season.

The NAB Cup Grand Final will be played next Friday 11th March.

The AFL season kicks off on Thursday 24th March with the fifth successive opening round clash of Richmond and Carlton.

Currently Listening: Turn It Off – Paramore

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Book Review: Firespell

by Chloe Neill

Rating: 8/10
As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…
When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.
The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.
Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet…
Firespell is the first novel of the Dark Elite by Chloe Neill. I really liked it, there was magic, friendship and a creepy boarding school. There was also hot guys. What’s not to like? Well when I read it there was still six months until the second book (Hexbound) came out.
This is well written and rings true, the novel is well paced and smart. Firespell is funny and it can be read as a stand alone or you can read Hexbound (my plans) and discover what happens next.
Ok so we have Lily, whose parents have dumped her in Chicago to go on a poetry sabbatical in Germany. So far so sucky.
Lily get’s to be roommates with Scout (not her real name) who is awesome and friendly which is all win for Lily. Scout pretty much disappears the second that school finishes to go “exercise” which is code for fighting the forces of evil AKA Reapers. Lily, patient soul that she is takes about two weeks before she realises Scout isn’t coming clean and follows her. Unfortunately for her she finds her, in the middle of a battle with the forces of evil. Lily gets hit and Scout is finally allowed to spill on her exercise regime.
Scout’s a magic user. Magic users are pretty awesome until they turn 25 or so, then they no longer have the energy and have to harvest it from others, magic user or regular human being, doesn’t matter which.
Things escalate from there, culminating in a battle with the Reapers or as they call themselves, the Dark Elite.
Currently listening: This Is Our Town – We The Kings