Finally, the long season of cricket is over, watching England dominate the Ashes wasn’t the ideal way I wanted to spend my summer though winning the ODI series 6-1 was a good way to hit back.
February always brings back the sights and sounds of rugby league, the grass being freshly cut on the fields, the ominpresent smell of beer and sweat of 20,000 crammed into a small area but mostly it brings back, my team St George Illawarra, who I can say for the first time in my lifetime, will enter the season as premiers.
It’s a strange feeling after disappointment after disappointment but also great to be able to silence all the doubters on that glorious and wet night in October, though defending your title is much harder than winning one, as no “legal” team has gone back to back since Brisbane in 1992 and 1993.
The All Stars clash tonight and the legends of origin was just to whet our whistles before the Dragons begin their title defence, tomorrow night against the Rabbitohs in the Charity Shield. Something which the Dragons have treated with not the greatest respect but that has changed this year, Dragons naming a full strength squad minus Soward and Morris.
This gives the experienced players and a chance to work out the rust and the young/new players a chance to impress the head coach and stake their claim for a spot in the starting 17. Lastly it gives the fans, their first chance to vent their anger at referees or the opposition.
Souths have to their credit also named a pretty strong lineup, making it an interesting clash to see if the Dragons can end Souths three year reign with the charity but it’ll be great to watch live rugby league again.
N.N Sorry this post was mostly scatterbrained and about St George, will have an actual predictions article up before the season begins and will be doing articles about the world cup. For my cricket blog viewers, there is Kirby Meehan (of Dustbin Cricket) and myself’s preview of Australia’s World Cup chances here: http://clearcricket.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/australia-four-peat-champions/