Hayne faces uphill battle

Former Parramatta NRL star Jarryd Hayne today announced that he had signed a futures contract with the San Francisco 49ers.Hayne2

The reality is that Hayne is still a long shot to make the 49ers, or any other team’s, final 53 man roster come opening day in September.

While some parts of the Australian media have trumpeted this signing as Hayne making it with the 49ers, this is far from the case. Some of the reporting of this story has been laughable, with suggestions that Detroit cut Running Back Reggie Bush to make room in their salary cap for Hayne. Really?

There are a number of hurdles Hayne is yet to jump through. These include Organised Team Workouts, mini camp, training camp and pre-season.

He can be cut at any time of this process, as anyone who watched the show Hard Knocks on Channel 7 last year will know. These cuts can be cruel and based on the tiniest little issue, even for those who have played the game for as long as Hayne has played Rugby League.

He will be up against players coming out of college and others who have been cut from other teams, all desperate to get their shot. They know the game inside and out and have played the game at, or near the highest level, giving them a big advantage over the rookie from down under.

At this stage of the game, its not about money for Hayne. The contract announced today guarantees him only $100,000, much less than if he had played the safe option and stayed in the NRL.

Sometimes the road less travelled is more rewarding.

Hayne needs to decide very quickly what position he wants to try out for. He is clearly too small for most defensive positions with the exception of Safety and Cornerback. These positions involve intimate knowledge of what a tight end or receiver will run.

On the offensive side of the ball he could really only be a Running Back or Wide Receiver. Running back appears to be his position of choice, but he is smaller than most of the good backs and just a tad slower. As he continues to change his body shape for the NFL game further speed can come. We all know he has unique running ability in tight and open spaces.

In my opinion, his best shot is to bring some of his most brilliant NRL skills to the NFL as a kick returner. Making the roster on Special Teams doesn’t mean he has to stay there. It could be a foot in the door and enable him more time to learn a more favoured position under the tutelage of the game’s best coaches and first hand from great backs, such as 49ers veteran Frank Gore.

I for one applaud him for having the guts to have a crack at it. I guess its a win-win scenario for him. He either makes it and hits the big time or he goes back to a big contract in the NRL.

Do I think he will make it? – no

Do I hope he does? – absolutely

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Underwhelming World Cup to date

The ICC Cricket World Cup promised much which to my eyes the first two weeks have not delivered upon.2015_Cricket_World_Cup_Logo.svg

The tournament has been largely full of one-sided matches, not necessarily between the test playing nations and the so-called associates, but between the test playing nations themselves.

England have put in disastrous performances against competition favourites Australia and New Zealand, while Pakistan have perhaps been the most disappointing side to date, copping hammerings from India and the West Indies.

Even the much hyped match-up between India and South Africa was a fizzer, despite the second best ever ODI crowd at the MCG and an intense atmosphere created by the crazy Indian crown.

The Proteas looked overawed by the crowd that was clearly pro-India. Their performance in this match showed a long help belief of mine that outside of De Villiers, du Plessis and Amla their batting is hit or miss, as is their bowling if Steyn and Morkel do not fire.

The tournament desperately needs a cracking game this Saturday between the host nations. We may be robbed of that partly because of a two week layoff for Australia, caused by their game against Bangladesh being rained out.

Just why this fixture is being played in New Zealand is beyond me, the two countries played in NZ last time the World Cup was down here in 1992. This game deserves better than to be played in front of a small crowd on a gound not much bigger than an Under 10’s field.

Off the field, the organisers have not done the tournament any favours. One game per day since the opening two days of the tournament is madness and will make the event much longer than it needs to be.

A game should be played each day in both Australia and New Zealand. All Australian games should be day-nighters so that people can actually see them. I have been barely able to watch any matches as they have mostly been over either literally or practically by the time I am able to watch at night.

With this gap in between matches, why there is no reserve day is another question. There must have been time to play the Australia vs. Bangladesh game on Sunday or Monday in Brisbane.  The Gabba was not be used again for four days and Bangladesh did not play for another five days. The Aussies had a week in between games.

The lack of games in the big Australian venues and the timing of each team’s games doesn’t make any sense. New Zealand played three games in the first six days while Australia are playing once a week. The SCG does not have a game until almost two weeks into the tournament, while the MCG will have had all its three group matches before then.

With all this in mind and the upcoming distractions of the start of the football seasons plus the A-League finals, the ICC Cricket World Cup desperately needs something to kick start it.

Let’s hope it comes this Saturday in Auckland.

As long as Australia win!!

Exciting year ahead for Storm

The NRL season is just weeks away and for the Melbourne Storm this offers a chance to have another shot at premiership glory.

Bellamy watches over training

Bellamy watches over training

After an unusually early start to the off season, the Storm have had a solid pre-season of training.

That much was evident upon the first sighting of the players at the contested training session with the Canterbury Bulldogs held Wednesday evening. This session just happened to co-incide with my bike ride home from work. Together with my mate and fellow Storm nut Stu, I dropped in and saw some drills followed by a game of touch footy.

Billy Slater missed the tri-nations last November, which is a huge bonus for the Storm, as he had his first full pre-season in many years.

Slater, together with Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk will once again form a formidable spine. We know what we will get from them, its the ability of the players around them to step up that will determine just how far the boys in purple can go.

A couple of players caught my eye in the short time I was at the training session. These players filled me with instant excitement about the season that kicks off on March 9th in Sydney against the St George-Illawarra Dragons.

Winger Marika Koroibete looks bigger than last season, an obviously benefit of a first pre-season under Craig Bellamy.

After an interrupted 2014 campaign, front rower Jordan McLean has grown bigger, towering over fellow prop Jesse Bromwich, which is no mean feat. He is tipped by many to claim a starting front row spot and its hard to argue against that.

Perhaps the biggest excitement was generated by little known Kiwi Nelson Asofa-Solomona. Yet to turn 19 and already 200 cm tall, weighing 115 kg (according to the Storm website), comparisons have been made to Sonny-Bill Williams.

Training drills

Training drills

I am inclined to liken him to Israel Falou, who stormed onto the scene in 2007 as a 17 year old.

His size, speed and ball handling was mighty impressive, at one stage holding the ball with one hand, almost hiding the ball. If he can jump, which I have no doubt he can, we may have something special on our hands.

If he has half the impact as Falou did in 2007, we could be in for a good season.

Go Storm!

AFL and Sport News

By Lachlan Meister

Today I will be telling you about sport news all around the globe, well mostly Australia.

messi-neymarNot my favourite thing to talk about is the Essendon saga. Tim Watson said in previous interviews that this saga can go on for 3 or 4 years.

I keep on asking my Dad  about which team will we choose if Essendon shut down.

I might choose Carlton because my best friend Alex goes for Carlton. My Dad  will probably say that I’m crazy but I want to go for a team I like and my Dad can’t tell me which one.

All the time the World Cup has been around, everyone, well mostly everyone, has been saying that Brazil will win the cup. Now minds are starting to change  because  Neymar is out with a back injury,  so Germany actually have more of a chance to win the  final.

Well,  I’m wanting some people to answer this question. Who will win the golden ball award?

I think it will be James Rodriguez from Columbia.

In September 2015 the Rugby World Cup is coming, so go Australia. We had some good games beating France in the test series 3 – 0. That’s a really good result because in 2011 the World Cup final was between New Zealand and France, but France lost.

Here is also another clip from the cheeky minions, playing American Football/Rugby.

World Cup and Transfer Mania!

By Lachlan Meister

This June and July the World Cup is being played at Brazil the host country . Certainly Australia were not lucky at all in Group B going against Chile, Spain and Netherlands.

wc-1400859202Already we have got to the semi finals which are Argentina vs Netherlands  and Brazil vs Germany. My favourite is Germany.

While the World Cup is going on we can talk about  what is happening in the clubs.

Did you know that Suarez is going to Barcelona  for a trade and money? The trade  is Alexis Sanchez who did really well  in the world cup and the money – $145 million.

The top goal scorers in the World Cup, up to the semi finals are:

1.James Rodriguez – 6 goals.

2. Thomas Muller, Lionel Messi, Neymar – 4 goals.

My question to readers is why did Spain only win over Australia  3- nil?

The World Cup is really weird this year I wonder why?

Socceroo Adam Taggart is going to Fulham in England. I will post how he is going later.

Here’s a clip of minions playing soccer. I can’t watch this enough.

 

 

 

 

 

Meister Sports Podcast Episode 2

The Meister Sports Podcast is back for its 2nd episode.

Host Isabella is joined by Lachlan and Chris to talk about all the latest in sports.

The Winter Olympics, Ice Hockey, Cricket, Soccer and Baseball are all covered off in their own unique way.

There are some questions from our listeners and a surpise at the end.

https://soundcloud.com/chris-meister-3/meister-sports-podcast-ep2

Please let us know what you think of the show and any topics you would like covered

Its Now Or Never For T20 Side

As Australia’s Test Cricket squad prepare for a tilt at the number one ranked side South Africa, the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup was announced and I have to say, I loved it.

T20WClogoIt’s not often I  wrap up the selectors, but this time they have hit the nail on the head. The Squad has it all, a great mix of experience and youth, players in T20 form off the back of the BBL and T20I’s and a plethora of all-rounders who can win a match with either bat or ball.

The top order batting will see Dave Warner and Shane Watson, who both prefer to open, try to unseat the incumbents in Aaron Finch and Cameron White. The Victorians did a great job in the recent series against England and deserve to hold their place. One of these four will have to slide down to number three and one will miss out.

Number four is skipper George Bailey. After his recent form in the England series and the BBL, this is in ink. Great captain and all round nice guy to boot.

Brad Hodge, at 39 (a great age to be!!!), is the last specialist batsman and he must slot in at five. His ability to set the pace in an innings and finish gives the side what used to be Mike Hussey’s job. He is the man for any situation as he proved a number of times in the BBL.

Oh, and he can open the bowling as well.

The all-rounders are well catered for. In addition to Watson, there is James Faulkner, Dan Christian and Glenn Maxwell. Maxwell has the most potential with the bat but doesn’t deliver enough and is serviceable with his offies, while Faulkner is a gun with both bat and ball, having won at least two ODI’s off his own bat for Australia in the past few months. He probably doesn’t bat in the top six.

Christian is not quite as good as either of them with the bat or the ball, but will be a handy option if required.

Brad Haddin is the only keeper in the squad and will bat at seven. His experience and competitiveness will greatly serve the team, despite his lack of recent T20 games.

The quick bowlers have the power to win this competition for us on their own. Its not just in the attack of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Coulter-Nile where that stands out, its in the names such as Pattinson, Bird, Hazlewood and Hastings that missed out, plus Harris and Siddle who were not even considered. And the looming figure of Pat Cummins on the horizon.

This is a seriously good pace attack.

The spin “father and son” of Brad Hogg and James Muirhead provide the perfect mix. Both wrist spinners, who take the ball different ways as a result of one being right handed and the other left handed. This will be a learning trip for Muirhead as Hogg will be the first choice. Hogg, 43, is a great story, one which will hopefully end with leading Australia to its first T20 World Cup.

With all that in mind, I believe Australia’s first choice line up will be Warner, Finch, White, Bailey, Hodge, Maxwell, Haddin, Faulkner, Johnson, Coulter-Nile, Hogg.

Watson and Starc will be desperately unlucky to miss out on this side, while Christian and Muirhead provide more than capable back-up for injury and/or loss of form

Anything other than a trip to the final, with this squad, will be a failure.

Of course there are some other countries that will have something to say about that.