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Bats & Balls Podcast

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A podcast featuring Josh, Brendan, The Apprentice & friends talking about sport from Australia and around the globe.

Episode 272 – Itchy Trigger Fingers

272 – NRL, AFL, NBA, Motorsport, Cricket, Euro Cup

On the back of recording the NRL Mid-year report and run to the finals show, the boys are back for the regular episode.

The show starts with Pies off riding his push bike so we have to get Colbee in to cover the NRL. The Eels get another big win against the Tigers and Colbee and the a Producer then discuss if the send off in the Brisbane & Canberra game was the correct call.

In NRL Supercoach Colbee is fighting being the first team member relegated. Last years Bats and Balls Cup winner the DWS Fleshpuppets is in a battle to make the finals. Every player gets 5 trades after Round 15 so it is go time.

Pies then stops in to cover the AFL and NBA. In the AFL the guys discuss if the Swans bubble has burst after a bad loss to the Hawks. Did GWS let one slip after a tied game against the last place Kangaroos. The Producer is happy as his Eagles got the win against the Tigers.

While in the NBA the team Pies tipped the show earlier in the year is doing well. Can the Suns go all they way?

Colbee then returns to talk a little motorsport. Supercars and F1 have races this weekend while Nascar and Indy Car had great races over the past weekend. Colbee and the Producer also cover some Cricket with the ICC Test Final being played this week between NZ and India.

Lastly we get Erik on the phone to talk about Euro 2020. Denmark had a tough 1st game, can they bounce back and get to the next stage?

0:00:00 – NRL
1:07:00 – AFL
1:26:00 – NBA
1:30:00 – Motorsport
1:33:00 – Cricket
1:37:00 – Euro 2020

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

NRL Mid-Year Report Card

NRL Grades and Predictions

In episode 271 The Producer and Pies run through the mid-year report card for every NRL team.

We look at how they’ve gone so far, and then predict the future using The Producer’s own scientific method, Draw Difficulty Rating.

Draw Difficulty Rating gives the team coming first 16 points, second 15 points, down to last 1 point. Then we add up the scores for each opponent for the rest of the season.

Draw Difficulty Ratings (Easiest to Hardest) for the rest of the 2021 season
1 – 68 – Cronulla Sharks (11 games left)
2 – 69 – Newcastle (10)
3 – 78 – New Zealand Warriors (11)
4 – 82 – Manly Sea Eagles (11)
5 – 82 – Brisbane Broncos (10)
6 – 83 – Wests Tigers (10)
7 – 87 – South Sydney Rabbitohs (11)
8 – 89 – Melbourne Storm (10)
9 – 90 – Gold Coast Titans (10)
10 – 91 – Canterbury Bulldogs (11)
11 – 97 – North Queensland Cowboys (11)
12 – 99 – St George Illawarra Dragons
13 – 102 – Penrith Panthers (10)
14 – 104 – Canberra Raiders (11)
15 – 105 – Sydney Roosters (11)
16 – 105 – Parramatta Eels (10)

Melbourne Storm – Mid-Year Grade – A
1st (24 points, +294 differential) 12 wins – 2 losses
The run to the finals (5 Home, 5 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 89

Penrith Panthers – Mid-Year Grade – A+
2nd (24 pts, +285) 12-2
The run to the finals (5 Home, 5 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 102

Parramatta Eels – Mid-Year Grade – B+
3rd (22 pts, +176) 11-3
The run to the finals (5 Home, 5 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 105

South Sydney Rabbitohs – Mid-Year Grade – B-
4th (22 pts, +59) 10-3
The run to the finals (5 Home, 6 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 87

Sydney Roosters – Mid-Year Grade – C
5th (20 pts, +148) 9-4
The run to the finals (5 Home, 6 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 105

Manly Sea Eagles – Mid-Year Grade – B
6th (16 pts, +33) 7-6
The run to the finals (6 Home, 5 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 82

North Queensland Cowboys – Mid-Year Grade – B-
7th (14 pts, -119) 6-7
The run to the finals (5 Home, 6 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 97

St George Illawarra Dragons – Mid-Year Grade – D
8th (12 pts, -13) 6-8
The run to the finals (6 Home, 4 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 99

Cronulla Sharks – Mid-Year Grade – D
9th (12 pts, -46) 5-8
The run to the finals (5 Home, 6 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 68

Canberra Raiders – Mid-Year Grade – D-
10th (12 pts, -64) 5-8
The run to the finals (5 Home, 6 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 104

New Zealand Warriors – Mid-Year Grade – B
11th (12 pts, -66) 5-8
The run to the finals (5 Home, 6 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 78

Gold Coast Titans – Mid-Year Grade – D
12th (10 pts, -62) 5-9
The run to the finals (5 Home, 5 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 90

Wests Tigers – Mid-Year Grade – C
13th (10 pts, -82) 5-9
The run to the finals (4 Home, 6 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 83

Newcastle Knights – Mid-Year Grade – D-
14th (10 pts, -135) 5-9
The run to the finals (5 Home, 5 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 69

Brisbane Broncos – Mid-Year Grade – D
15th (6 pts, -204) 3-11
The run to the finals (7 Home, 3 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 82

Canterbury Bulldogs – Mid-Year Grade – D-
16th (6 pts, -204) 2-11
The run to the finals (6 Home, 5 Away)
Draw Difficulty Rating – 91

0:00:00 – Intro
0:07:52 – Melbourne Storm
0:11:53 – Penrith Panthers
0:19:58 – Parramatta Eels
0:26:06 – South Sydney Rabbitohs
0:29:41 – Sydney Roosters
0:35:58 – Manly Sea Eagles
0:42:16 – North Queensland Cowboys
0:46:35 – St George Illawarra Dragons
0:52:00 – Cronulla Sharks
0:57:46 – Canberra Raiders
1:00:04 – New Zealand Warriors
1:04:23 – Gold Coast Titans
1:07:53 – Wests Tigers
1:13:28 – Newcastle Knights
1:19:49 – Brisbane Broncos
1:23:36 – Canterbury Bulldogs
1:26:50 – Predictions

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Rounds 14 and 13

NRL Ladder predictions after round 14: Dragons crash and burn again. Cronulla’s remarkable rise.

(NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (1st) Holding. Just keep rolling on and my decision to keep them in front of Penrith on this ladder predictor has been justified as they now sit number 1 on the NRL ladder. I honestly just can’t see them getting beat, no matter who takes their spot in the starting side. Tigers are in real trouble against them next week, before my predicted Grand Final preview against the Roosters.

2. Penrith Panthers. (2nd) Holding. Back to back losses. Has the bubble burst? Time will tell. Outplayed in every department in the first half before a comeback, proving that the young blokes can match it with seasoned NRL players, but it proved too late. Roosters and Parra next will sort out their Origin issues and we’ll have to see how they come out of it.

3. Parramatta Eels. (3rd) Holding. Finished up with a great completion rate after some early dropped ball by their forwards. Opposition errors outweighed theirs and Parra were able to get on a great roll, scoring some classy tries. Back on track.

4. Sydney Roosters. (5th) Holding. Nearly blew a 26 point lead with 24 min to go. Well they did blow the lead but were classy enough to score the final try and nail the match winning field goal. A game that had everything and they keep finding a way to win, and I think that will continue into the semis.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (4th) Holding. Always had Newcastle’s mettle and I thought Mitchell had an outstanding 80 mins backing up from a great performance in Origin. As I said pre-season, their campaign hinges on him staying fit and out of trouble. Reynolds continues to perform and nail sideline goals for fun.

6. Manly Sea Eagles. (6th) Holding. After conceding a 12 point lead I thought “Here we go, no Turbo no win”. From that point on they were pretty destructive, and the Cowboys had no answers. Turbo’s return back in round 5 has sparked this team into a genuine semi-final contender and have now learnt how to play without him. Very impressive.

7. Nobody. (new entry). Nobody deserves to be playing finals footy except for the top 6 right now.

8. Nobody. Ditto the above.

=9. Cronulla Sharks. (9th) Up 3 spots. 3 on the bang now plus a bye has them in touching distance of the 8. Wouldn’t have picked that a month ago but huge kudos to them for turning it all around and knocking off the Premiership favourites (!) after a horror 7 straight losses. A great game of footy to watch.

=9. Gold Coast Titans. (12th) Down 1 spot. Continue to concede massive numbers in defence. True, it was a great comeback, (thanks to a rare sin-bin), but I’ve lost count of the number of times they’ve let in 30 points or more. Even if they do make the semis they won’t go anywhere unless they can shore up this massive problem.

=10. North Qld Cowboys. (7th) Down 1 spot. Blew a 12 point lead and ended up conceding 50. Ordinary completion rate and allowed 52 tackle breaks coupled with 13 errors. Next 2 games are winnable before facing Rabbits and Roosters. Their points differential is diabolical given they are currently inside the top 8.

=10. New Zealand Warriors. (11th) Holding. A farewell Maumalo hat-trick in the last 20 min was the only joy for the Warriors who led 2-0 after 22 min before the Storm just went bang, bang, bang. For and against will be critical for teams finishing around the bottom of the 8 and theirs isn’t crash hot at this stage. Really need to beat the Knights away next week before they face another side vying for position, the Dragons.

11. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (8th) Down 4 spots. Diabolical. Have now lost 7 from past 9, have a shocking run home and obviously have short memories. It’s a complete farce that they remain in the 8 on the NRL ladder.

12. Wests Tigers. (13th) Down 1 spot. Failed in the first test of a run against 3 of the top 5 after a great recent vein of form. Just never in it after Parra led 14-0 early. Even 2 opposition blokes in the bin didn’t assist their cause and I think they showed their true colours today. Which is a bottom 6 team.

13. Canberra Raiders. (10th) Up 1 spot. 12 point half time lead against a Broncos team that are more than struggling. Decent possession and completion rate was all they needed to do against that mob. A much needed win on the back of the bye though.

14. Newcastle Knights. (14th) Down 1 spot. Dropped a bomb first touch and never recovered after Souths scored straight away. Their slide to the depths of oblivion continues. Need to rediscover that form in the Manly game.

15. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Up 1 spot. Makes you wonder why they don’t play like that every week. Great completions, excellent defence and good enough acting to fool the bunker and referees. Looking way better than the Broncos at this stage. Won’t win for a least another 4 games though.

16. Brisbane Broncos. (15th) Down 1 spot. The only realistic goal for them is to stay clear of the Bulldogs. How many halves combinations have they tried so far? Normally their best forward, Matt Lodge had a shocking first half. That was not a send off though, they are kidding. Certainly didn’t help their cause although they didn’t play too badly when down to 12.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

NRL Ladder predictions after round 13: Knights on the slide, Dragons and Tigers up a spot.

Stat of the week: Matt Dufty pulled off a perfect 10 in the old Rugby League Week ratings with 2 tries and 5 try assists in arguably his best performance in a Dragons jersey. He’s off contract and unwanted. Whose going to sign him?

(NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (2nd) Holding. Nearly lost top spot on my ladder but got the job done eventually with desperate defence against a Titans side who just couldn’t finish. Now within a game of Penrith in the fight for the minor premiership. I am stunned that Sportsbet have paid out Penrith as Minor premiers and Premiers already. Ridiculous when you have a very strong Melbourne Storm side winning 10 on the trot.

2. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Holding. I guess “great depth” only goes so deep. Burned by the Origin bug and hardly the first team in history to suffer from this. Their charge to the finals now hinges on how busted their top players are after the origin period.

3. Parramatta Eels. (3rd) Holding. Finished up with a great completion rate after some early dropped ball by their forwards. Opposition errors outweighed theirs and Parra were able to get on a great roll, scoring some classy tries. Back on track.

4. Sydney Roosters. (5th) Holding. Had the bye. Next 3 Titans, Panthers, Storm.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (4th) Holding. Had the bye. Next 3 Knights, Broncos, Tigers.

6. Manly Sea Eagles. (6th) Holding. Had the bye. Next 3 Cowboys, Titans, Bulldogs.

7. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (8th) Up 1 spot. A completely different team with returning players, notably Ravalawa who is unstoppable near the line, de Belin who gave an extra dimension to attack and, in particular, Dufty who had an absolute blinder. Conceding 24 points may be a worry, but it doesn’t matter when you score more than 50.

8. Gold Coast Titans. (12th) Down 1 spot. Started both halves really well and had every opportunity, particularly in the 2nd half, to at least take this game to golden point. Forced numerous line dropouts but couldn’t get it done, the worst example when Kelly had his winger unmarked but chose to take the advantage and came up with an error instead of a potential match levelling try.

9. North Qld Cowboys. (7th) Had the bye. Next 3 Manly, Sharks, Knights.

10. New Zealand Warriors. (9th) Had the bye. Next 3 Storm, Knights, Dragons.

11. Wests Tigers. (11th) Up 1 spot. Good enough to take advantage of the Origin-less competition leaders and have now gone back to back for the first time this season. Unfortunately for them they have Parra, Storm and Souths coming up before the bye so I expect them to slide backwards again.

12. Cronulla Sharks. (10th) Up 1 spot. Had the bye. Next 3 Panthers, Cowboys, Broncos.

13. Newcastle Knights. (14th) Down 2 spots. Crashing back to earth and ended up copping a thrashing on Old Boys Day. Too much dropped ball and that premiership 20 years ago is really a fading memory. They’ve got nothing without Pearce and Ponga.

14. Canberra Raiders. (13th) Holding. Had the bye. Next 3 Broncos, Dragons, Titans.

15. Brisbane Broncos. (15th) Holding. Albert Kelly looks really dangerous in attack but once they let Dufty score under their noses on the stroke of half time and copped a sin-binning they really lost their way and just got flogged. Again.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Holding. Had the bye. Next 3 Dragons, Eels, Manly.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

Episode 270 – Inferior Rubber

270 – NRL, AFL, F1, Euro 2020, Cricket, NBA Playoffs

The boys are back after a week off and the Antacrtic Blast has hit Sydney just in time for Origin 1. Thankfully the NRL moved it to balmy Townsville which should give us an entertaining game.

In the NRL the Panther Cubs suffered defeat for the first time in 2021. More on the horizon? The Titans blew it against the Storm and the Eels got revenge for the 2001 GF. Now we’re all square.

In the AFL Melbourne keep rolling on, this time beating Brisbane at Giants Stadium. St Kilda continue to missfire in front of goal. And Richmond poured it on in the last quarter to finish all over the top of Essendon in Dreamtime at Optus.

In other sport the Azerbaijan GP gave us another great Formula 1 race. England keep on Englanding in cricket. The Suns disposed of the Lakers but we’re just waiting to hand Brooklyn the trophy.

And with EURO Cup 2020 kicking off this week, we predict the winners of each group and the winners overall.
Pies likes France to beat Croatia in the Final.
BS is backing Hungary with Sweden and North Macedonia as his smokies.
While Erik thinks Denmark are primed to make a deep run at it.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:05:00 – AFL
1:15:00 – Motorsport
1:20:00 – EURO 2020
1:28:00 – Cricket
1:32:00 – NBA Playoffs

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 12

NRL Ladder predictions after round 12: Half way mark of the 2021 premiership. 4 points separate 6th to 14th on the actual NRL ladder hence why its difficult to move this group of teams around too much. Predictions also take into account upcoming games.

Stat of the week: 4 teams in equal 8th at the half way mark of the comp. 11 teams have an even or worse win/loss record and 10 of those teams have a negative points differential, giving weight to the argument that an 8 team semi-final series is too many.

(NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (2nd) Holding. Not missing their big name players one little bit. Just an awesome footy team and the club culture at Melbourne has been strong forever.

2. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Holding. A little flat early but an opposition error gave them a comfortable enough half time lead. Started to click in the 2nd half and their line was only broken with a couple of minutes left.

3. Parramatta Eels. (3rd) Holding. Defensive right edge exposed again as Souths ran riot down that side. Back to back losses for the first time this season. Is it time to panic? I think not, next 3 games very winnable before facing Penrith.

4. Sydney Roosters. (5th) Holding. Manu a revelation a five-eighth. Roosters continue to find coverage for missing players and quickly regrouped after the shock loss last week and a 10-0 early deficit. So difficult to move anybody in the top 5 as they all look awesome at full strength.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (4th) Holding. The season reset came pretty fast as a near full strength Rabbits look really good, particularly their backline having a field day. Have a bye coming up then 3 easy games.

6. Manly Sea Eagles. (6th) Holding. Ill discipline burst their bubble. Failed to score decent points aside from an early try, and a loose pickup from Saab. Let’s see how they cope without Turbo during the origin period, although their draw appears favourable.

7. Gold Coast Titans. (10th) Holding. Again their defence was horrible, only looked sound when down to 12 men. Unfortunately for them, their attack didn’t click much this time around, and strangely, their best period with the ball was when they were a man short.

8. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (8th) Holding. Pretty clear this club is suffering badly from injuries and suspensions as at stages it looked like these guys had never played together before. Have dropped at least 5 must win games so far this season and have lost 6 from their last 7.

9. North Qld Cowboys. (7th) Up 1 spot. Holmes and the Hammer pulled it out of the fire after establishing a great half time lead before a Warriors comeback. Into the 8 for the first time this season even though it may be temporary.

10. New Zealand Warriors. (9th) Down 1 spot. A sin-bin for a late hit was very costly in hindsight and this 1 point loss may prove costly. Defence and inconsistency still a major issue.

11. Newcastle Knights. (11th) Holding. Stop Turbo and you’ll beat Manly. That seems to be the key, although the Knights errors and their inability to score points against 12 men is a concern. Still, a great 2nd half defensive effort got them a crucial win.

12. Wests Tigers. (13th) Up 1 spot. Another sound performance in attack although a better opposition will tear their defence apart. Managed the game well, in particular, their trainer. Unsure how a player gets to remain on the field once the trainer stops the game.

13. Cronulla Sharks. (12th) Up 2 spots. Have had a great season turnaround in the last 2 weeks. The bye next, while guaranteeing 2 points, probably comes at a bad time for them, seeing they seem to have hit some great form.

14. Canberra Raiders. (14th) Down 2 spots. Again blew a great start and wound up conceding a stack of points. In hindsight, flogged again and next week’s bye will be a welcome relief. Their total points conceded this season is getting way out of hand.

15. Brisbane Broncos. (15th) Down 2 spots. Couldn’t back up their great win last week but in fairness they were playing the defending premiers and, in my opinion, this year’s favourites.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Holding. Looked determined and put the competition leaders under a fair bit of pressure but errors crept into their game which sealed the very predictable result.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 11

Round 11 NRL Ladder predictions: Storm keeping Panthers off top spot. Top 8 unchanged. 3 of last years top 8 aren’t going to make it.

Stat of the week: Ben Cummins AKA Alan Harper broke the all-time record of first grade games refereed with 394. 393 too many in my opinion.

(NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (2nd) Holding. Overcame a bad start to comprehensively beat the struggling Raiders. Not missing their spine. Not one little bit.

2. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Holding. Continue to be faultless. Unlucky not to be first on my ladder but the Storm are the defending premiers and look awesome when in adversity.

3. Parramatta Eels. (3rd) Holding. Only their 2nd loss of the season, again to a non “big 5” club. No need to panic yet.

4. Sydney Roosters. (5th) Holding. No-one saw that coming. If you put your house on them at $1.05 you’d be leaping from a top story window right now. A minor hiccup and they’ll be better for it. The big crackdown could destroy Radley’s career.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (4th) Holding. Their returning players had every right to be rusty but this flogging is a major concern. They need to reset, and fast.

6. Manly Sea Eagles. (6th) Holding. Great win powered by emotion and their fantastic season turn-around continues.

7. Gold Coast Titans. (8th) Holding. Got the job done but their current defence will not see them go far come semi-final time.

8. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (7th) Holding. Guts, grit, determination, resilience. All these things are great but they had every opportunity to ice this match and didn’t. They’ll pay for it later in the season.

9. New Zealand Warriors. (9th) Up 1 spot. Got the job done but remain as inconsistent as the Titans and, similarly, their defence is highly questionable.

10. North Qld Cowboys. (10th) Up 1 spot. Good job and on the improve.

11. Newcastle Knights. (12th) Down 2 spots. Every time I see them play the worse they get. Frizell must be wondering why he ditched the Dragons captaincy to go to a “better” team.

12. Canberra Raiders. (11th) Holding. Still sliding badly and only a massive improvement can save their season. Worlds away from the club that has been a regular feature in the finals of recent years.

13. Brisbane Broncos. (15th) Up 2 spots. What an awesome win. Only the second side this season to knock off a “big 5” club (before Manly made it 3 on Sunday). Their next match against the Storm will show how much they’ve improved.

14. Wests Tigers. (14th) Down 1 spot. Another inconsistent side. Let’s see if they can back up their recent good wins with another against the Dragons this week. Hopefully not.

15. Cronulla Sharks. (13th) Down 1 spot. Have only won 3 games this year, 2 against the Dragons. I don’t think they’ll be able to lift again.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Holding. Another spoon coming their way. 4 points adrift plus a huge difference in for and against means only a miracle will save that unwanted award.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

Episode 269 – On Report

269 – NRL, AFL, Motorsport, Soccer

Pies was placed on report last week for high contact. So while Pies is at the judiciary The Producer had to go to the bench again and Colbee joins the show.

The Producer and Colbee discuss the all the drama from Round 11. Players still have not learnt to tackle lower which saw 24 players on report, however how long is too long to penalise a player? Brad Arthur has selected Waqa Blake to start again and Colbee is not happy about it.

In AFL the GWS Giants had a great win agaist the West Coast Eagles in a tight game. The Lions got under Dusty’s skin in their game and Colbee is happy with how his Bulldogs are going.

In Motorsport Max Verstappen won the Monaco GP in the F1, the Moto GP and Supercars return this weekend and Indy Cars saw former Supercar driver Scott McLaughlin has qualified well for the Indy 500.

The EPL season is now over and Man City are the Champions. This means #PiesKnows survives. Liverpool finished 3rd and Brighton 16th.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:06:00 – AFL
1:20:00 – Motorsport & EPL

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 10

Round 10 NRL Ladder predictions: Not so Magic Round. I’ve commented little on each team given the craziness produced by the NRL’s latest experiment.

(NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (3rd) Holding. Send offs and sin-bins ruined what might have been an interesting contest. Didn’t miss their stars.

2. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Holding. Another game ruined by a send off. Crazy times.

3. Parramatta Eels. (2nd) Holding. Easy win, nice debut by Jakob Arthur.

4. Sydney Roosters. (5th) Holding. A sin-bin apiece cancelled out the advantages, led by heaps early and were never going to be run down.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (4th) Holding. Decent half time lead despite another sin-binning, and another side who weren’t ever going to get run down.

6. Manly Sea Eagles. (7th) Up 1 spot. Really on a roll now, looking good for a bottom 4 semi spot if Turbo stays fit.

7. Gold Coast Titans. (9th) Down 1 spot. Fifita missing and a send off certainly didn’t help in a game they were going to lose anyway.

8. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (6th) Up 2 spots. Played with 12 men for 68min and 11 men for 6min. Not good when playing the Storm. Not many sides would have bagged 4 tries though. Pity they let in 9. Should have led at half time.

9. Newcastle Knights. (11th) Down 1 spot. No Ponga, no win. Ruined most tippers for the round.

10. New Zealand Warriors. (10th) Down 1 spot. A game where it was 13 on 13 for 80min. Amazing. Just not good enough to match it with the top 5.

11. North Qld Cowboys. (12th) Holding. Another side who won’t match it with the top 5 this season.

12. Canberra Raiders. (8th) Up 1 spot. A gutsy performance given they were also down to 11 men for a period in the 2nd half. Questionable opposition but a crucial win if they are any hope this year. In the 8 but down on my ladder given their upcoming draw.

13. Wests Tigers. (13th) Up 1 spot. Did enough in the first half to secure a comprehensive win. Starting to turn things around but need to turn up each week.

14. Cronulla Sharks. (14th) Down 2 spots. A better performance but their season is already gone.

15. Brisbane Broncos. (15th) Holding. Ouch. If it weren’t for Canterbury they’d be pocketing another spoon. Struggling for a decent halves combination.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Holding. Had a huge opportunity to take down a 2020 finalist who were on struggle street but just can’t get it done.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

Episode 268 – Tackle Lower

268 – NRL, AFL, Other Sport

The Producer has a bee in his bonnet. And it’s not because the NRL have had enough with high shots. For as long as this podcast has existed he’s been advocating for refereeing the rules and you stamp out foul play. Finally the NRL have listened. But it seems the NRL media in general are a bit slow on the uptake. A few too many hits to the head?

We wrap up all the NRL games and give our tips for next week. Plus throw in a little Supercoach.

In the AFL GWS Giants let one slip against Richmond while Melbourne look like the real deal. Plus the West Coast forward line are firing.

We rattle home with some short shorts on Motorsport and NBA.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:04:00 – AFL
1:27:00 – Short Shorts – Motorsport, NBA

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 9

Round 9 NRL Ladder predictions: Dragons partially forgiven, Roosters injuries slide, Raiders in a hole, Many on the rise.

(NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (3rd) Holding. Just awesome in destroying Souths who were missing some key players. Never looked like losing and continue their defence of their premiership in great style.

2. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Up 1 spot. Finally had a comprehensive win, albeit against a side in a world of trouble. Continue their perfect record and it’s difficult to see where their first loss will be.

3. Parramatta Eels. (2nd) Up 1 spot. The round 5 home loss to the Dragons is still the only blemish on their record and did well to beat a side who never give up. Will be missing some players in the coming weeks due to poor displine.

4. Sydney Roosters. (5th) Down 2 spots. Injuries finally caught up with them, although they were always in it. When back to full strength, or close to it, they will be very hard to beat.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (4th) Holding. Comprehensively flogged. Had nothing in attack, showing how important Reynolds is to the team and equally confusing why they want to let him go. Mitchell still missing has not helped their cause.

6. Gold Coast Titans. (7th) Holding. Did enough to win against a spirited opposition. My tipping record in games involving this club is horrible.

7. Manly Sea Eagles. (9th) Up 2 spots. Have truly turned their season around and Turbo Tom is playing freakishly.

8. Newcastle Knights. (10th) Down 1 spot only due to Manly’s great form. Great comeback insipid by Ponga and should string a few in a row now.

9. New Zealand Warriors. (8th) Down 1 spot. So inconsistent but to be fair, the opposition – well their fullback at least, was on fire. Saab continues to be brilliant and horrible at the same time.

10. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (6th) Up 6 spots. A much better performance, but the opposition are very ordinary and the Dragons mistake rate is still high. A few on debut along with some inexperienced backs but got the job done. A top 5 team would have won by 50, especially given a Dogs Sin Binning, where the Dragons scored 3 tries.

11. North Qld Cowboys. (11th) Down 1 spot. Not the first time they’ve pulled off a 1 point thriller against the Broncos. Val Holmes really starting to prove his worth and I still remain confused as to why he started the season on the wing.

12. Cronulla Sharks. (13th) Holding. Woeful, terrible, a night to forget. Perhaps already looking to next season which is strange given so many off contract. Last year’s top 8 spot is a distant memory.

13. Canberra Raiders. (12th) Down 2 spots. They a really in a massive hole. Papalii stood up but he was the only one. It’s hard for any club to drop players in the current NRL climate but they need to do something radical, fast.

14. Wests Tigers. (15th) Holding. Couldn’t back up their great win last week. Probably scored enough points but unfortunately the opposition scored more.

15. Brisbane Broncos. (14th) Holding. Looking a lot better but when it mattered, they lost. Playing better and still losing won’t make you happy come seasons end.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Down 3 spots. Showed nothing in attack, their only points coming from a strip and an intercept. Back to the bottom 3 for them.

Episode 266 – The Curse of Ricky

266 – NRL, AFL, EPL, Motorsport, Masters of Rugby League

Pies didn’t handle the pressure of the double show last week and needed a rest so The Producer had to go to the bench and Colbee joins the show again.

The Producer and Colbee discuss the Top 5 and how they are breaking away from the pack. The Raiders are in the news for all the wrong reasons, could it be the return of The Curse of Ricky? Also Round 9 will see a crackdown by the NRL and it’s referees on rules that have always been there.

Before they take on the AFL and the EPL. Brighton are one Fulham loss away from survival.

In Motorsport Lewis Hamilton keeps dominating, An Aussie wins the Moto GP, Indy Cars saw former Supercar driver Scott McLaughlin have 2 great races at his first appearance on the oval tracks and Supercars return this week from The Bend.

Colbee then finishes off with a bit of Masters. Is Colbee cleaning the whistle to come out of retirement?

0:00:00 – NRL
1:07:00 – AFL
1:19:00 – EPL
1:22:00 – Motorsport
1:34:00 – Masters

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 8

Round 8 NRL Ladder predictions: Dragons crash, top 5 holding, everybody else up 1 spot.

(NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (5th) Holding. Made a few first half errors and maybe had a few tippers wondering why they hadn’t taken the Sharks great record at Melbourne into account. All fears laid to rest in the second stanza, laying on 7 tries and not many goals. When they click they look unstoppable.

2. Sydney Roosters. (4th) Holding. One positive from the Roosters growing injury toll is the emergence of Sam Walker. A dead set superstar at just 18. Suaalii should definitely get a debut next week given the loss of Morris. They are ruthless when on top right now and look to do things easy. As I said in the pre-season, always find a way to cover for loss of players.

3. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Holding. A closer game than the scoreline showed, as has been the case a few times this year. Their 5th game this season against a non top 8 side from last year hence why they’re not rising to the top yet on my ladder. 2 potentially easy games coming up.

4. Parramatta Eels. (2nd) Holding. Took their foot off the pedal for only 10 min early in the 2nd half but were otherwise pretty clinical. Their last try showed how good their spine is with Mahoney to Brown to Moses, bat on by Gutherson to the ultimate finisher in Sivo. Chugging along very nicely.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. Holding. (3rd) Hopping along well, 7 wins on the trot now. Seem to be only playing one half of footy each week but still getting the job done. Storm, Panthers and Eels amongst the next 4 games so that will really show where they are at. Benji loving the faster game and even managed to fool the bunker. Reynolds out for 4 to 6 weeks along with Mitchell will show if they’ve got depth.

6. Gold Coast Titans. (8th) Up 1 spot. If you score a stack of points early you’ll usually beat your opposition, but defence will win you premierships. It’s a bit like “Drive for show, putt for dough”. Clocked off after the first quarter and Fifita went missing in the first half. Perhaps too much on this 21yo shoulders but when he performs, so do they. Mitch Rein had his best game for a long time. Conceded 10 points thanks to a very questionable sin-binning.

7. Newcastle Knights. (11th) Up 1 spot. Best they could do was force back to back drop outs but aside from that had nothing in attack despite a huge advantage in “tackled in opposition 20” stats. Just got flogged by a hungrier team and they just lack intensity in key minutes. Stuck in a logjam with a stack of teams on 6 points, none of whom deserve to be in the 8 at the end of the season based on what we’ve seen so far.

8. New Zealand Warriors. (7th) Up 1 spot. Did enough in the first half to win. Thanks to this mob and the Titans, I’m done doing 8 leg multis.

9. Manly Sea Eagles. (10th) Up 1 spot. This is not the same team that lay down for the first 3 rounds of the competition. They can be forgiven for letting the last try in as the clock was against them. The half time rev up from Des certainly had some effect. Turbo Tom continues to eat metres, though a long range intercept try helped this stat. Couple of very winnable games coming up.

10. North Qld Cowboys. (12th) Up 1 spot. Mounted a mini comeback but 24-4 at halftime was too big a hurdle. Can look fantastic in attack but like most teams outside the top 5, too inconsistent.

11. Canberra Raiders. (9th) Up 1 spot. Pretty good in the first half and went into the break with a slim lead. 3 second half tries put them to bed though and couldn’t match it with the smarts of Souths when they had a 12 man opposition and a chance to snatch it in the last 8min. Again they conceded 30 plus points but it was against a top 5 team this time. They really must win against the Knights next week and then it gets a little easier. For a week.

12. Cronulla Sharks. (13th) Up 1 spot. Great first half, absolutely destroyed in the 2nd. Had more possession, couldn’t use it. More pain to come next week.

13. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Up 1 spot. Playing a lot better than they were a few weeks back but a world away from the class of the top 5. Playing well and losing by 22 says a lot about where they are, and that is deep in the bottom 3.

14. Wests Tigers. (14th) Up 1 spot. Clearly showed they had something to play for and wanted it more than the Dragons. Big Kudos to them. Zac Cini looked really good on debut and completely outplayed his opposite number.

15. Brisbane Broncos. (15th) Up 1 spot. Looked like they were going to concede a cricket score for a while there. Did very well to grab only their 3rd win in 27 games and come back from a nightmare opening 15 min where they conceded 22 points. Another QLD derby next v Cowboys.

16. St.George Illawarra Dragons. Down 10 spots. (6th) A disgraceful performance. 44 missed tackles while only completing 67%. Scoreboard flattered them and basically soundly beaten by one of the worst teams in the comp. Ravalawa being rubbed out for 2 weeks is disastrous and it clearly showed today. The defence that had them 4 and 1 has gone missing and have now lost 2 games we shouldn’t have in the last 3 weeks.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

Episodes 264 and 265

Voice of Treason / Sensational

There was so much to talk about this week, so we’ve split the show into two episodes.


264 – NRL

Pies is back from HIA and joins The Producer. This week we’ve changed up the format. Just 1 hour of NRL for this episode.

Balls to the wall Rugby League and nothing else.

The top 5 are starting to gap the rest of the field with the Dragons the only consistent chasers. But can Manly be the next best with the return of Turbo? The Bulldogs had a gutsy win and the Raiders are really struggling.

Let us know what you think of the split episodes.

0:00:00 – NRL

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.


265 – AFL

We welcome back our old mate Craig aka Swansational to talk about the young gun Swans and the rest of the AFL landscape.

The Bulldogs and Demons are absolutely flying. Both teams are stacked and balanced. And look to be the popular pick for the Grand Final. Port Adelaide continue to impress. And what is going on at Collingwood? Plus there’s been some major injuries in the AFL this week.

Then we finish up with some Supercoach talk for those trying to navigate injuries to your teams. This week Pies has to deal with the loss of Dunkley, Neale and Martin. Perhaps a quick trip across the ditch will help Dusty when he returns from his enforced concussion stand down.

0:00:00 – AFL

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 7

Round 7 NRL Ladder predictions: Top 5 starting to gap the rest. Sharks crash, Broncos and Tigers down 3. Sea Eagles and Cowboys up 4.

Stat of the week: Raiders averaging over 30 points conceded in their last 3 games.

(NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (4th) Holding. Too much class, still the best team in the comp and will go a long way defending their premiership. Let in some late tries but they were celebrating the win very early in this one.

2. Sydney Roosters. (5th) Holding. Again found the ability to cover for missing players. Once they built a 10 point lead they were impossible to stop. Continue to impress and nearly wiped out the Dragons positive for and against in one hit. Still my tip to play the Storm in the big dance.

3. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Holding. Standard win. Held the opposition at bay for 65min before the scoreline unfairly blew out. Back 3 really good this week. Still, 7 and 0, can’t do much better than that. First of 3 consecutive home games and they shouldn’t really be tested until round 11.

4. Parramatta Eels. (2nd) Up 1 spot. Highlighted the fact that the gap between the top and bottom teams is as wide as the Sydney Heads and then some. Sivo back to his best, Cartwright really arrived and the Opacic try early in the 2nd half was beautiful to watch. Dogs next then Roosters.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (3rd) Down 1 spot. Again they were under the pump early but do what Souths always do and sailed home with a near faultless 2nd half, shoring up their competition rate. Benji had a blinder, winding back the clock 15 years. Raiders next and they should continue along their merry way. Still conceded 30 points, hence the drop.

6. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (6th) Holding. Lost the game at the back end of the 1st half when they let in 2 tries while down to 12 men. Once the Roosters found their rhythm the Dragons defence had no answers. Failed to capitalise when playing 13 on 12 themselves. Still at the top of the chasing pack, highlighting the gap between the top 5 and the rest.

7. Gold Coast Titans. (7th) Up 2 spots because they put 30 on a top 5 side and others deserved to slide. Another explosive first half from Fifita and, after leading by 14, really should have gone on with it in the 2nd half. Instead they leaked 30 points and have now conceded 76 points in 2 games, a very worrying trend for the coach and supporters. Perhaps this is the consistency that has been missing and may slide until they match it with a top 4 side.

8. Newcastle Knights. (10th) Up 2 spots despite the loss. Stuck with the Panthers for a long time before losing by 18. Scoreline not really indicative of how the game went and would have gone close to beating most teams based on their performance. Did well to keep Kikau quiet and they fought hard all game.

9. New Zealand Warriors. (9th) Down 2 spots. Yes they copped a dubious sin-binning but 26-4 at half time meant they were gonski. A couple of late tries but is still a thrashing in anyone’s book and again the Warriors remain in a ding-dong battle with the Titans as the most inconsistent team in the comp. Good luck tipping next week’s game against the Cowboys.

10. Manly Sea Eagles. (11th) Up 4 spots. A completely different team from a few weeks ago. Just tore the Tigers apart with brilliant attack. As a wise man recently said, the best way to stop leaking points is to score plenty yourself. An average competition rate (sic) didn’t stop them racking up another huge win.

11. North Qld Cowboys. (12th) Up 4 spots. 3 in a row now and this was an impressive come from behind win at home after being 18 points down. 2 winnable games coming up so they could be making a charge after a less than impressive start to the season.

12. Canberra Raiders. (8th) Down 1 spot. Blew a 24-6 lead and have now conceded 91 points in their last 3 games as well as losing 4 from their last 5. Their next 5 include Rabbits, Knights, Storm and Roosters so they could be out of contention for the 8 after that, if they aren’t already.

13. Cronulla Sharks. (13th) Down 5 spots. Maybe took the Dogs a little lightly but deserved to be down at half time. A shoulder charge sin-binning didn’t help their cause, although they didn’t leak any points during this time. Had around 10 try scoring opportunities and a mountain of 6 agains but couldn’t get the job done. This team is in trouble on and off the field.

14. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Up 2 spots. A fantastic opening 20 where they built an 18 point lead and then did really well to repel the Sharks again and again, stopping at least 3 try scoring opportunities in the first half. Their 2nd half defensive effort was outstanding despite a weight of possession against them. An outstanding win.

15. Wests Tigers. (14th) Down 3 spots. After establishing an early lead they were simply flogged, as Manly ran in 40 unanswered points. Conceded 35 tackle breaks and just looked awful. Had a better completion rate and less errors than the opposition, but obviously these stats mean nothing. Dragons next in Wollongong.

16. Brisbane Broncos. (15th) Down 3 spots. Didn’t handle the humidity as well as their opposition and it took it’s toll after staying with Parra for the first 25min. Dropping the kickoff didn’t help and they were punished for it straight away. Just not good enough to match it with the top teams yet.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

Episode 263 – Hammer Time

263 – NRL, AFL, Soccer, Motorsport, Cricket

Pies is in high powered talks to get the Warriors back to New Zealand. So we welcome our only blogger and good mate Hammer into the studio.

The Producer and Hammer discuss the Dragons, Eels and the rest of the NRL in detail.

Before they take on the AFL, EPL, Motorsport and Cricket including the NDCA Player Awards.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:59:00 – AFL
1:07:00 – Soccer
1:12:00 – Motorsport
1:22:00 – Cricket

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Rounds 6 and 5

NRL Ladder predictions: Top 6 unchanged, Warriors up to 7th.

Stat of the week: In the first half against the Titans, Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic ran for 166m compared with 171m for the entire Titans forward pack.

Round 6 (NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (4th) Holding. A little clunky early until about the 50min mark when they came into their own and the weight of possession proved too much for a brave Roosters who again had to deal with some injuries. Still look really good and are still the team to beat.

2. Sydney Roosters. (5th) Holding.Not really a game worthy of a Grand Final preview but it’s still early days. Roosters are beginning to struggle with player losses and their ability to cover for what’s missing is starting to become a bit strained. The annual Anzac day clash against an in form Dragons next week may show how resilient they are but we will have to wait and see.

3. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Holding. Found a way to win on the back of a great 2nd half by Cleary in a game where stats were mostly even. It was glaringly obvious they had not had to travel in well over 18 months and for this reason they need to finish first because if they end up playing the Storm in Melbourne in a semi, they won’t be there for the big dance. Both wingers had an ordinary night with their hands.

4. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (2nd) Holding. Really off their game early but sealed it late with a very controversial golden point try. So much for downward pressure these days. Muffed more than a few opportunities to ice the game after a great comeback which is very unlike them.

5. Parramatta Eels. (3rd) Holding. A very patient and professional performance, and they reaped the rewards at the end. Excised any demons lingering after last week and now appear to be back on track. Well done to the loyal supporters who made the long trek south.

6. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (6th) Holding. Too many missed tackles and struggled to keep a rampaging opposition from making metres. A good start to the season was critical and while they’ve done that, this would be a game they expected to win. A depleted Roosters next in the traditional ANZAC day match, which will be a truer indication of where they are at, however the better team won today.

7. New Zealand Warriors. (8th) Up 3 spots. RTS had a blinder in his 100th for the Warriors and, along with Nikorima, kept the Dragons guessing all day. Their forwards were relentless and kept punching holes in the advantage line all day. A ridiculous team to try and tip given their 3 wins have been all against teams probably expected to make the 8, while their 2 of their 3 losses have been against sides who won’t.

8. Cronulla Sharks. (11th) Down 1 spot. Nearly got the win in a game where both sides were desperate. Unfortunately pipped at the post to cap off a tumultuous week and are now seriously starting to lose touch with the leaders. Will continue their slide down my ladder until they can put a top 8 side to bed and play for 80min.

9. Gold Coast Titans. (7th) Down 1 spot. Didn’t really play that badly, just blown off the park in the first half. Fifita given no room to run and their errors really started to build towards the end of the game. Challenging the Warriors as the biggest nightmare to tip. Need to find some consistency if they are seriously going to challenge around the back end of the season.

10. Newcastle Knights. (10th) Up 1 spot. A huge 80min effort from Frizell and a couple of individual pieces of brilliance from Ponga were the difference against a desperate Sharks. This much needed win keeps them in touch with the 8, although not necessarily my 8.

11. Canberra Raiders. (9th) Down 2 spots. Not good enough. Conceded 30 points for the second week running. I’m prepared to say not only can’t win the premiership they just about can’t make the 8 unless something dramatic happens because from what I’ve seen, they’ve been ordinary all season.

12. Wests Tigers. (14th) Holding. What a difference a week makes. So unlucky not to win and put their supporters through a real rollercoaster ride. As long as their heads don’t go down they’ll be better for the experience.

13. Brisbane Broncos. (14th) Up 1 spot. An outstanding performance really considering most experts had them on the wrong end of a cricket score. Perhaps they’ve now set a blueprint on how to beat the Panthers by maybe taking a leaf out of the Dragons playbook. Have every right to be proud of their effort in a so far dismal season.

14. Manly Sea Eagles. (12th) Up 1 spot. Absolutely scintillating with Tommy Turbo running rampant in the first half, along with a near perfect completion rate. Once they got a roll on they simply looked unstoppable. Went on with it in the 2nd half and really valued their line to keep their first clean sheet in 7 years.

15. North Qld Cowboys. (13th) Down 2 spots. An ordinary win against an ordinary team. Did what was required. Can’t rate anybody properly who plays the Dogs. Tougher gig next week.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Holding and only a miracle will see them off bottom spot. Ordinary. Playing with 12 didn’t seem to help their cause either although their best attack came when a man down. Should give the Sharks a much needed win next week.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11


NRL Ladder predictions: Dragons continue to rise, Roosters the big movers, GF prediction still Storm/Roosters.

Stat of the week: 0 days since the Dragons finished a round in the top 4 after a 966 day drought. Mikaele Ravalawa has not dropped a ball all season.

Round 5 (NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (6th) Holding. First team to crack the 50 mark this season albeit against a struggling side. Perhaps once the dogs came back to 18-36 it was the spark the premiers needed, but they were always going to win. A preview of this year’s Grand Final next week perhaps when they take on the Roosters at home.

2. Sydney Roosters. (2nd) Up 3 spots. For 60 minutes it looked like their injuries were going to hurt them. However, as I said in the season preview, they always find a way to cover what is missing. They just went bang, bang, bang, bang and goodnight Cronulla. Big game next week before Anzac Day.

3. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Down 1 spot until they learn the meaning of humility. Once they stopped being show ponies and trying for the miracle every play and were prepared to work hard for it, they looked a lot better. Gifted a crucial 6-again call on the Raiders line with 15 to go that resulted in a try that sealed the game with a 14 point lead. Home ground advantage again like most of their matches against last years top 8 and an easy away game next.

4. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (3rd) Holding. A bit of a yawn fest really against a side in a world of trouble. Did what they needed to do without over-exerting themselves and managed a few field goals just to break up the boredom. Could have won by a lot more really, but they did score some great tries.

5. Parramatta Eels. (5th) Down 2 spots. The first of my top 5 to fall to a team outside my top 5. Stop Parramatta’s offloads and you will stop the Eels. Surprised they didn’t see it coming, as the Dragons knocked them over at Bankwest late last year. The opposition forwards got on top early and were relentless, while bombing the Dragons also proved ineffective. Maybe it’s the wake up call they need and they should win at least 2 of their next 3.

6. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (4th) Up 1 spot. Dragons coach must have read my spiel last week as the Eels barely got an offload away in the first 60min. Discipline, or at least the referees interpretation of it, is a bit of a concern, but that’s the “in your face” defensive style they’ve adopted and they seem to be coping. Another outstanding win. They were paying $3.50 v the Knights last week and $4 tonight so I expect the bookies will be changing their tune, along with a lot of doubters.

7. Cronulla Sharks. (9th) Down 1 spot. Had a huge chance to be the first team outside my top 5 to knock over a team inside my top 5. Looked brilliant for most of the game and then just collapsed and looked shell shocked by the end. If they put together a solid 80min performance they’ll match and even beat most teams. It just didn’t happen this match and not for the first time this season.

8. Gold Coast Titans. (7th) Up 2 spots. A really dominant performance. I’d like to see some consistency and a good performance against 1 of my top 5 before I rate them any higher. Fifita just about unstoppable.

9. Canberra Raiders. (8th) Down 1 spot. Too many mistakes blew a golden chance to match it with last year’s Grand Finalists who were really off their game early. The coach says that Penrith are simply just a better football team than them. Interesting comment given that they will need to beat them if they expect to move forward at the end of the season. Everybody has the Raiders as 1 of the “big 6” but I don’t.

10. New Zealand Warriors. (10th) Down 1 spot. Don’t deserve to in my top 10 but neither does anybody below them. Their lack of intensity early allowed Manly into a mistake riddled game. They paid very dearly for this and it’s not the first game they’ve thrown away in a season that’s yet to really get started for them. Most teams in the comp would have won this diabolical display of football.

11. Newcastle Knights. (11th) Holding (luckily). Just terrible. Blame injuries all you like but every team in the comp has to deal with adversity and who deals with it best while managing their top 30 roster will always come out on top. Ponga looked good in patches but putting the kickoff out on the full was the catalyst of things to come.

12. Wests Tigers. (13th) Holding. Just. Booed off at half time by their own home crowd on a day where they had everything to play for. Maybe in front of a packed house remembering Tommy they expected it all to just happen for them verses an opposition that has struggled to beat time this season. Not in 2021, and not in this competition. Came back in the end but the Cowboys simply played better and deserved to win.

13. North Qld Cowboys. (14th) Up 2 spots. Scored some brilliant individual 1st half tries and just grew in confidence as the game wore on. Wests came back towards the end but a 22 point lead always seemed enough, despite a 3 try burst in 10min during the 2nd half. Holmes at home at fullback and JT still to return.

14. Brisbane Broncos. (12th) Down 1 spot. Standard 2021 performance against another heavyweight. Looked OK for 15-20 minutes but were never going to match it for 80min. Another disastrous week looms for them with Penrith next up at Suncorp.

15. Manly Sea Eagles. (15th) Down 1 spot despite the win. Got the job done at the death against a side who were equally as bad as they were. Despite the errors it was a more enjoyable match to watch than a 48-0 flogging we’ve seen a few times so far. They are a long long way off being a top 12 team at this stage.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Holding. Well done to them for putting on 18 points against the premiers. Unfortunately, this sprung the opposition into action and destroyed the Dogs late inflicting another flogging. Firming as spoon favourites given the other winless sides snagged victories and 2022 can’t come quick enough, which shows where they are as we’re only 5 games into 2021.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

Episode 262 – Winning Tactics

262 – NRL, AFL, EPL, Motorsport, Questions

Pies and The Producer back in the studio after BS went to the Easter Show and Pies jacked up a heap of threes at Basketball on Monday night.

In the NRL the Broncos continue to be embarrassed, the Panthers keep winning. The Dragons keep winning and The Producer goes on a fair ref rant regarding the Dragons winning tactics. Plus the Bulldogs finally scored some points. Just a shame the Storm scored heaps more.

The Swans kept up their winning ways, Port beat Richmond in a possible Grand Final Preview and the Giants won at the MCG over Collingwood.

Brighton are flirting with the drop zone but could be safe while the VAR continues to mystify football fans.

Plus we answer your questions from social media.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:55:00 – AFL
1:10:00 – EPL
1:16:00 – Motorsport
1:19:00 – Listener Questions

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 4

NRL Ladder predictions: Warriors on the slide, a clear top 5

Stat of the week: Had the Dragons lost to the Knights, the NRL top 8 would currently contain the same final 8 from last year. The average score this round was 35 to 9. Is this an indication that the salary cap is no longer working or is it poor management from the bottom half? Or does it come down to better coaching and training techniques from the top half? Will revisit this question at the halfway mark of the season.

Round 4 (NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (7th) Up 2 spots. Very similar to the earlier Souths games where the opposition looked good for 25min (and even led – albeit off a Storm error) before a 12min 24 point Papenhuyzen blitz put the Broncos away. The longer the game went, the more relaxed and clinical they looked. Still the team to beat for the premiership.

2. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Holding. Defence is awesome. Attack looked clunky early but decided to play touch footy in the 2nd half and carved Manly up badly. Yet to put a foot wrong. Great early season form usually means plenty picked for origin but Penrith are blessed with a stack of Islanders so shouldn’t affect their run too much.

3. Parramatta Eels. (2nd) Down 2 spots. Note to opposition – wrap up the ball. Parramatta’s offloads killed the Tigers in the first half and their forwards are all so mobile. Bomb diffusal let the Tigers back into the contest with early tries coming off the high ball but Parra always had the class and strength to get a lucky win this round. Dragons next who actually beat the Eels at Bankwest late last season, which sparked the Eels decline.

4. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (4th) Up 1 spot. Faultless really. I think they were paying $1.08 but that was too generous. Definite top 4 side and the longer the comp goes on the clearer it is that there are 3 tiers playing footy. Top 5, next 6, bottom 5. The race for spots 6 to 8 will be very interesting.

5. Sydney Roosters. (3rd) Down 1 spot. They always find a way to cover their missing players and round 4 was no different. Down 12-4 early, the come back was always on and this team looks like they’ll beat anybody outside the top 4 everytime. I’m yet to change my mind about a Storm/Roosters GF.

6. Cronulla Sharks. (8th) Up 1 spot. Did what they were expected to do against a terrible opposition. Missing a stack of players with injury and suspension, while also having to deal with game day injuries and having to reshuffle. Still looking pretty good but a tough one next week v Roosters.

7. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (6th) Up 1 spot. An outstanding win in a great game of footy. Just bashed the Knights into submission. The bunker clearly hates them and the lop sided six again/set restart count went against them again but the Dragons showed they are a way different footy team than last year.

8. Canberra Raiders. (5th) Up 2 spots. Didn’t make the same mistake as last week and really locked it down once they hit a 10 point lead against a side who are becoming a tipsters nightmare. Just much better than their opposition on the night. Play Panthers at Panthers next Friday night followed by Parramatta so that will sort out where they are.

9. New Zealand Warriors. (11th) Down 3 spots. Started well and led by a healthy enough margin but were always going to struggle holding an in form Roosters side that always play for 80. Offloads hurt them a bit but there are some sides in this comp that would take a 20 point loss against the top 5. They need to take care of Manly next week before they face the Dragons.

10. Gold Coast Titans. (9th) Down 1 spot. They played good for a while but lost all their structure once the lead against them got out to more than a try. So difficult to rate properly yet.

11. Newcastle Knights. (10th) Holding. A much improved performance however it’s back to back home losses despite 10-0 set restarts and a 12 point turnaround following a very questionable Dragons no-try. You could say their forced spine reshuffle due to injuries may have played a factor but the Dragons just refused to lose a brutal game.

12. Wests Tigers. (13th) Holding. Really soft defence at times. Took advantage of a 10min lapse by Parra in the first half and gave them a big scare in the 2nd half with a bit of a comeback. Inconsistent from game to game and minute to minute. Can’t see them beating any of my top 5 this season unless they firm up their errors and stop giving away big leads.

13. Brisbane Broncos. (12th) Holding. Looked ok for a while. Certainly not in the top half of the teams in the comp and will struggle all season to get out of the bottom 5. Difficult to be too hard on them given they played the Storm in Melbourne but facts are facts, they got flogged.

14. Manly Sea Eagles. (16th) Holding. Never in it. Led most attacking stats for a while but still found themselves 22-0 down. Tommy Turbo’s return is imminent but he won’t stop the dropped balls and teams putting cricket scores on them. Jason Saab is a long way off being a first grader and will lose his spot when Taufua comes back from injury.

15. North Qld Cowboys. (14th) Up 1 spot. Not willing to work hard for points and clearly just not good enough. Aren’t playing as a team. Need to aim up against Tigers next week. Thrashed for the second week in a row.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs. (15th) Down 1 spot. The victory they were looking for was actually scoring a point. The game went pretty much how I thought, competed well for 20, then dropped their heads a bit. Were always going to get flogged in the last 20. The good news is they are playing the Cowboys in 2 weeks. The bad news is next up are the Storm.

Follow Hammer on Twitter https://twitter.com/notbatting11

Episode 261 – Top Heavy

261 – NRL, AFL, Soccer, Cricket

Pies has turned over a new leaf, Mrs Pies is angry, and The Producer is fired up.

In the NRL there’s some really good teams, some teams who may or may not be fake good and then there’s a few who are well off the pace. Is buying one more high priced player the answer?

In the AFL the Lions snatched one after the siren, the Swans continued their winning ways with a demolition of the reigning premiers Tigers. The Western Bulldogs look sensational. And the Giants are busted up after a tough loss to Melbourne.

Plus in other sport, Man City are cruising, Liverpool bounced back at The Emirates and Brighton squandered a lead at Old Trafford. Plus the Doncaster Mile is on this weekend and QLD host NSW in the Sheffield Shield.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:55:00 – AFL
1:17:00 – Soccer
1:21:00 – Doncaster, Sheffield Shield

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 260 – More is More

260 – NRL, AFL, F1, Other Sport

Pies was away all weekend so we brought in Maybo to make it a three way with The Producer.

In the NRL the Panthers and Eels have started like they did in 2020. What can stop this Western Sydney NRL juggernaut? The Roosters are in an injury crisis and Manly are just terrible. Also the Broncos are above the Storm on the ladder. Should they be favourites this week?

In the AFL Western Bulldogs and West Coast Eagles played a great game. The Swans kids have started the season on fire. Brisbane were a little unlucky against Geelong and the Saints and Giants had heavy legs, Plus Pies finally has a good Supercoach team.

The F1 season revved up on the weekend with the Bahrain GP. Lewis Hamilton outlasting Max Verstappen for the win. Pies is watching Drive to Survive.

In other sport the Waratahs are getting thumped every week, Europe played 3 World Cup Qualifiers in the space of a week, the EPL is back this week and the Brooklyn Nets look unbeatable with the Lakers injuries.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:56:00 – AFL
1:23:00 – F1
1:30:00 – Rugby, Soccer, NBA

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 3

NRL Ladder predictions: Newcastle and Wests Tigers the big movers this week.

Stat of the week: 685 days since the Dragons found themselves inside the 8 at ANY stage of any round and 966 days since they last touched the top 4. Time to reset the counter on both of those numbers.

Round 3 (NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Parramatta Eels. (2nd) Up 3 spots. Only put away an injury ravaged Sharks in the last 10, although they lost Moses early themselves. They’ve done what they’ve needed to do so far and their next 5 games are against non top 8 teams from last year. A very favourable home and away draw is going to help this team that doesn’t really need it.

2. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Up 2 spots. Finally played a decent opposition and were just relentless all night. Never gave up and that got them the win despite ultimately losing 3 of their first choice spine, proving they have outstanding depth. Have a very favourable short term draw with the harder games at home.

3. Melbourne Storm. (11th) Down 1 spot. Fantastic contest worthy of a Grand Final rematch. Very unlucky not to win and I think the result would have been reversed had it been played in Melbourne. Very rare back-to back losses but they’ve had no easy games and have had to travel to probably the two biggest fortresses in the NRL, Bankwest and Penrith Park.

4. Sydney Roosters. (3rdt) Down 3 spots. Losing Keary is massive and I can’t see them winning the comp with Hutchison/Lam as the halves combo. Did well to win the 2nd half but the game was gone at 24-0.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (7th) Down 2 spots only due to Parra and Penrith. On fire against the ladder leaders going into the round and just blew them away early. Always a traditional grudge match and the Roosters weren’t quite up to it in front of Russell Crowe and his mates. There seems to be a clear top 5 at the moment proving very difficult working out who’s who in the pecking order.

6. New Zealand Warriors. (9th) Up 3 spots. A great comeback win but need to watch out giving big leads to better teams. Can’t fault their start to the season too much, unlucky not to be 3 from 3.

7. Cronulla Sharks. (12th) Up 1 spot despite the loss. Looked good for 70min dealing with adversity but looking good while not winning won’t get you up the ladder and the Sharks need to start doing that soon or they’ll lose touch with the front runners. Should win at least 2 of their next 4.

8. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (5th) Up 2 spots. Time will tell how they go against the better teams, starting with the Knights next week. All their games so far have been winnable, and to pull 4 points from a tough roadtrip/short turnaround shows they’ve found some resilience. Trying hard not to get too excited about them too early but they deserve their spot in my 8.

9. Gold Coast Titans. (4th) Up 1 spot. Their much talked about forwards really stood up and the offloads really killed the Cowboys. Most experts have them in their 8 but I’d rather see how they perform against the top teams first. Helped by some woeful defence.

10. Canberra Raiders. (6th) Down 3 spots. They can complain all they like about forward passes, which actually looked ok to me, the fact remains they blew a 21 point lead, at home, against a side they should beat most days. Not good enough and will struggle win the premiership.

11. Newcastle Knights. (8th) Down 5 spots. Played well for about 5 mins. Ordinary completion rate but led most of the distance stats. Not a top 8 side at the moment and certainly not premiership contenders. Can’t lose games like that at home and expect to play finals footy. Terrible performance.

12. Wests Tigers. (13th) Up 4 spots. A really tough win but they let in some really soft tries and made some shocking errors. Kudos to them for ruining Pearce’s 300th and winning an important away game. Still a long way from matching it with the top teams.

13. Brisbane Broncos. (10th) Up 1 spot. Had a much needed win but it was only due to 2 individual efforts from Isaako with about 20 to go in a disgraceful game of football before the floodgates opened. They can’t win for another month and are likely to be 1 and 6, and in a red hot fight for the spoon.

14. Manly Sea Eagles. (16th) Up 1 spot. Simply got thrashed. Although the coach remains positive if I were a supporter I wouldn’t be. Should of conceded 50 and the scoreline of 38-12 made them look better than they were.

15. Canterbury Bulldogs. (15th) Down 3 spots. Their discipline is terrible as is their finishing highlighted by their complete inability to score points, which is surprising given that Barrett was lauded for the Panthers great attack last year. Need to turn it around quickly but they won’t win for at least a couple of weeks.

16. North Qld Cowboys. (14th) Down 3 spots. Just terrible. Todd Payten will be looking for a new job soon. Handling and defence not good enough and let the Titans run all over them. Missed Morgan and Taumalolo badly.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 2

Better late than never (our fault, not Hammer’s), here are Hammer’s Power Rankings following the 2nd week of action.

Stat of the week: Brett Morris the first player to score back to back hattricks in the opening 2 rounds of the comp in the wettest round of rugby league since 1961.

Round 2 (NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Sydney Roosters. (1st) Up one spot. Way too classy for Wests and are the early form team of the competition. Look unbeatable at this stage of the season.

2. Melbourne Storm. (9th) Down one spot. Some dummy-half deficiencies highlighted and possibly underrated their opposition but I still think they are the real deal.

3. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (8th) Holding 3rd in my eyes. Quality of the opposition left a lot to be desired but got the win and their spine looks superb. Have a bit of an injury toll at the moment.

4. Parramatta Eels. (5th) Up 4 spots. Outstanding upset win against the defending premiers. Bankwest is truly a fortress. Big wraps to the few supporters who had the balls to tip them. Sivo the difference in the end.

5. Penrith Panthers. (2nd) Down 1 spot. Again had a massive amount of possession in the opposition’s 20 with the score only blowing out after a questionable sin-binning. Some Kudos for their great defence but next Thursday night will tell the tale of where they are really at. Yet to play a decent side.

6. Newcastle Knights. (4th) Like Penrith, down 1 spot more due to Parra’s great win than their own form. Poor handling from the Warriors gifted them another win and it will be a few week’s before they play a decent side so I just can’t put them in the top 4 yet. Having said that, you can only play what’s in front of you.

7. Canberra Raiders. (3rd) Holding 7th at the moment. Don’t look like premiership material at this point. Maybe Croker will make a difference when he is back in a week or two. Far from their 2019 form when they made the GF.

8. Cronulla Sharks. (6th) Down 2 spots. Had ample opportunity to win the game but Townsend’s kicking resembled me off the first tee, although his general play looks really good. They do have Johnson back in a month.

9. New Zealand Warriors. (7th) Lucky to hold 9th, only because of what’s below them. Let a great opportunity slip and time will tell how badly that costs them later in the season.

10. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (11th) Up 2 spots due to Brisbane’s poor form and Bulldogs inability to play for 80. Diabolical start, plenty of mistakes by both sides. Hunt had a blinder and brilliant defence in the last 15 sealed a critical away win. Only conceded 1 line break.

11. Gold Coast Titans. (10th) Up 2 spots. Looked a lot more organised this week against a very questionable opposition. Time may improve their low position.

12. Canterbury Bulldogs. (14th) Down 1 spot. Not getting any favours from the refs. Their defence looks pretty sound to me despite the flogging from Penrith helped by ill-discipline.

13. North Qld Cowboys. (13th) Up 1 spot by default despite losing at home. Struggled in attack. Missed Taumalolo while Val Holmes is wasted on the wing. Probably should have gone on with it after scoring early.

14. Brisbane Broncos. (12th) Down 4 spots. Completely forgotten how to win. Massive problems and the coach will be desperate to get Payne Hass back.

15. Manly Sea Eagles. (16th) Holding. All in all pretty poor in disgraceful conditions. The form of their spine is a big worry, particularly DCE.

16. Wests Tigers. (15th) Holding. Showed glimpses in attack but gave up way too early and were ripped to shreds by one of the premiership favourites. Can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

259 – Unlikely To Return

259 – NRL, AFL, EPL, Motorsport, Golden Slipper, Cricket, Rugby

Maybo joins The Producer in this episode after Pies failed his HIA test after poor tipping last week. NRL was mostly played in wet conditions and saw Parramatta get a big win against the Storm. Maybo’s Broncos were handed another defeat. Head knocks and how Sin Bin should be used are still issues the game needs to fix.

Supercoach is back for the NRL. Round 1 of the season starts this week in the Bats and Balls Cup & Bats and Balls Mug competition. The Producer runs through the games and makes an executive decision on the two leagues. Can the DWS Fleshpuppets go back to back? I’m sure he will tell us.

The AFL Round 1 saw some upsets with Pies’ GWS and Maybo’s Lions both losing. The Producer’s West Coast Eagles starting the year with a win. Are Richmond the team to beat AGAIN?!!!

In the EPL Brighton got a big win against Newcastle pushing them 6 points clear of the relegation zone. No EPL this week as the World Cup Qualifiers matches are being played.

Supercars were at Sandown and a broken and beaten up Shane Van Gisbergen wins all three races even with a broken collar bone. F1 is back starting the year with the Bahrain GP

In other sport the Queensland Reds are winning the Super Rugby AU and are up against the Waratahs this week. In Sheffield Shield Cricket the Blues look like a park cricket team after being rolled for 32.
Lastly after the rain in Sydney washed out the Golden Slipper it is being run this weekend. Golden Slipper tips;

Pies – Anamoe
Producer – Rocket Tiger
Maybo – Stay Inside

0:00:00 – NRL
0:30:00 – AFL
0:42:00 – Soccer
0:47:00 – Motorsport
0:52:00 – Other Sport (Golden Slipper, Rugby, Cricket)

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings Round 1

Welcome to the first edition of Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings. Hopefully we can make this a regular fixture.

Stat of the week: Anthony Griffin used the phrase “you know” 49 times in the presser.

Round 1 (NRL ladder position in brackets)
1. Melbourne Storm. (8th) I tipped them to play Roosters in this year’s GF and have seen nothing to change my mind.
2. Sydney Roosters. (1st) Lack of a goal kicker may cost them later in the season when it counts but otherwise red hot.
3. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (9th) Did well to come back and stop the pain against the Storm. Difficult to rate properly at this stage of the season.
4. Penrith Panthers. (2nd) Kept a mistake riddled Cowboys to zero but given the huge number of tackles in the opposition 20 early should have won by a lot more.
5. Newcastle Knights. (4th) Got ambushed early by the Dogs but got the win assisted by the ref’s interpretation of the ridiculous 6 again rule.
6. Cronulla Sharks. (5th) Great competition rate and looked sharp in attack. Defence under the bomb a little worrying.
7. Canberra Raiders. (3rd) Difficult to rate given the oppositions poor ball handling in their own 20. Got the rub of the green from the ref.
8. Parramatta Eels. (7th) Found a way to win after being down early against a much-improved Broncos.
9. New Zealand Warriors. (6th) Great start for them but time will tell what side turns up each week.
10. Brisbane Broncos. (10th) Much improved from last season despite the loss.
11. Canterbury Bulldogs. (13th) Another side that looked much improved.
12. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (12th) Woeful first half. Comeback cruelled by the bunker. Need to be a lot better.
13. Gold Coast Titans. (11th) Completely failed to live up to the hype. A couple of good signings does not always transform an average team into a good one.
14. North Qld Cowboys. (15th) The only highlight was some desperate defence against a Penrith side permanently camped inside their 20. Handling was diabolical.
15. Manly Sea Eagles. (16th) Another side difficult to rate given the form of the opposition. Mistake rate terrible and lucky not to concede 60.
16. Wests Tigers. (14th) Threw away a great start and looked terrible from that point onwards.

257 – The Greatest Game of All

257 – NRL 2021 Season Preview

Pies has suffered a training setback and will miss the last hit out before the season starts. In his place is the super sub Maybo. The Producer is also on deck. With the help of a few friends of the podcast we cast an eye over every NRL team for season 2021.

Each team segment is time stamped in the show description so you can skip straight to your team if you like.

Thanks to Maybo, Hammer, Erik, and Lobby & Pedro from League by the Fireplace for having a chat about your teams.

0:15:00 – Brisbane Broncos
0:19:00 – Canterbury Bulldogs
0:21:00 – North Queensland Cowboys
0:24:00 – Manly Sea Eagles
0:28:00 – St George Illawarra Dragons
0:39:00 – Wests Tigers
0:43:00 – New Zealand Warriors
0:47:00 – Gold Coast Titans
0:51:00 – Cronulla Sharks
0:54:00 – Newcastle Knights
0:57:00 – South Sydney Rabbitohs
1:02:00 – Canberra Raiders
1:07:00 – Sydney Roosters
1:11:00 – Parramatta Eels
1:19:00 – Melbourne Storm
1:25:00 – Penrith Panthers
1:29:00 – Predictions

Part of the No Phony Podcast Network nophonynetwork.com
Twitter – @batsandballspod
Brendan – @brendansmith05
Josh – @PiesJosh
Mendy – @BigMendy180
Maybo – @maybo83
Erik – @ErikNielsen2759
Lobby – @LobbyLBTF
League by the Fireplace – @leaguebythefire
No Phony Network – @NoPhonyNetwork
Email – batsandballspodcast@gmail.com
facebook.com/batsandballspodcast
https://batsandballspodcast.com/

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 256 – Spin Doctored

256 – Cricket, EPL, Supercars, Questions

Pies and BS in the studio to discuss another week of sport.

India prepared a spinner’s paradise for the 3rd test which was over on Day 2. The Producer is not happy about it.

Brighton copped one of the howlers of the season and proceeded to miss 2 penalties in a shocking loss to West Brom.

SVG kicked off the Supercars season in style at Bathurst.

And we answer all your questions and have a chat about Supercoach NRL & AFL.

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:30:00 – EPL
0:37:00 – Supercars
0:42:00 – Other Sport and Questions

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Listen Here

Episode 255 – Best of the Best

255 – Cricket, NFL, Soccer, NBA

Australia aren’t touring South Africa but we do have India vs England and Bangladesh vs West Indies to talk about. Test cricket might be on the way back to relevance.

Tampa Bay Bucaneers dominated Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. The Chiefs couldn’t keep the Bucs away from Mahomes and he was running for his life most of the game. On the other side of the ball, Brady was measured and protected the ball. And he also hit Gronk for two TDs.

In soccer Manchester City are almost home in the Premier League. While PSG put the cleaners through Barcelona.

Utah Jazz are on fire in the NBA. New York are a proper NBA team. And AD is out for a few weeks, leaving LeBron to carry the load for the Lakers.

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:28:00 – NFL
0:59:00 – Soccer
1:05:00 – NBA

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 254 – Cap Relief

254 – Cricket, NFL Super Bowl LV, EPL, NBA, NRL

We’ve sat Mendy out for another 12 weeks for a bit of cap relief so it’s just Pies and The Producer in the studio.

Australia have cancelled the tour of South Africa due to the threat of the coronairus. The Aussies were concerned about the South African strain of COVID-19 and have pulled the pin. A shame for world cricket, but as a result New Zealand are through to the World Championship Final. In the BBL Brisbane Heat are in form leading into the Challenger Final against Perth Scorchers. A single COVID-19 case in Perth meant the Scorchers will now host that game at Manuka with the victors facing the Sydney 6ers at the SCG.

The NFL is down to the big dance. The final showdown. That’s right it’s Super Bowl LV featuring the Tampa Bay Bucaneers and Kansas City Chiefs. Tom Brady vs Patrick Mahomes. The GOAT vs the best player in the NFL right now. We’re looking forward to a great game.

In the EPL Manchester City are on top with games in hand. Mancheter United are on fire and Tettenham have saved #PiesKnows for the time being with defeat at the hands of Brighton.

The NBA has been great. The Brooklyn Nets are going out and just scoring more points than their opposition. Can it work in the playoffs? Plus there were some buzzer beaters this week.

Rugby League is back in the media and we discuss the big stories around the NRL. Israel Folau testing the waters with St George Illawarra Dragons who have become the NRL version of a wrestling heel. Roosters have received $350k in cap relief by keeping Boyd Cordner out of the game for 12 weeks. Raiders players DUI and Bryce Cartwright training the house down at the Eels.

And we finish off the show with a bunch of listener questions. Keep em coming!

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:23:00 – NFL
0:37:00 – Soccer
0:40:00 – NBA
0:45:30 – NRL
1:22:30 – Parramatta Eels
1:46:30 – Listener Questions

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 253 – Happy New Year

253 – Cricket, NFL, Soccer, Basketball

We’re back for another year of Bats and Balls Podcast.

Pies and BS in the studio a day after India pulled off one of the great run chases in test cricket history. We dissect the Australian failures and try to find a solution. While Pies is a little more positive about how India played against the odds and came out on top.

The NFL Playoffs are down to the Championship games. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs. Can Tom Brady keep the fairytale going for another week? Can the Bills go back to the Super Bowl for the first time in decades?

In the EPL Manchester City are poised as Liverpool, Tottenham and the rest of the league falter.

James Harden was finally traded to Brooklyn. We discuss the trade and how the NBA is going. As well as the NBL tip off last week.

Then we rattle home with some other sports. Some tennis players want more, others are just happy to be here. And others just can’t stop complaining. BS has been watching the ABL.

And we answer some listener questions.

0:00:00: – Cricket
0:57:00 – NFL
1:06:00 – EPL
1:10:00 – NBA
1:18:00 – Other Sport & Listener Questions

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 252 – A Year to Forget… or Remember?

252 – 2020 Wrap, 2021 Predictions, Cricket, NFL, EPL, Rugby, AFL Draft, NRL Rules, NBA, F1

It’s the last show of the year and we’ve got a Christmas cracker to finish with a bang.

In the early bits we talk about Cricket, NFL and Premier League.

Swainy joins us via NBN from his new digs at Channel 9. We recap a rebuilding year for the Wallabies. Lament what might have been after those early rounds of the Super Rugby and look toward a brighter future for Australian Rugby.

Shaun McMeeken joins us for the first time. Shaun is a Carlton Blues fan, which makes two in a month. We talk about a difficult AFL Draft year in which the Victorian kids barely played and a lot more stock was placed in recruits that we actually saw play this year.

Not for the first time this year, the NRL have outdone themselves with their rule changes for 2021. Not only have they introduced a 2 point field goal, but in a revolutionary move, referees will be expected to actually police rules that were already in the rule book!

No Nathan to catch us up on Surfing and Darts. But Pies is hopeful the NBA season can be a good one. And the F1 finished with a win for Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi.

Then we recap all of our 2020 predictions. As you can imagine, noone had a global pandemic bringing the world to its knees. Then we get most of the friends of the show back to give their sporting highlights, lowlights and predictions for 2021.

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:10:00 – NFL
0:17:00 – Soccer
0:20:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:37:00 – AFL Draft with Shaun
1:03:00 – Other Sport
1:18:00 – 2020 wrap up and 2021 Predictions.

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 251 – Red Bull Olympic X-Games

251 – Darts, Surfing, Motorsport, Olympics, Cricket, NFL, Soccer

Mendy joins Pies and The Producer in studio. We haven’t talked darts in a while so it’s back. Who are the best going around at the moment? Is there a dearth of talent at the top? Plus Mendy has been keeping up to date with the surfing from Hawaii and is poised to tackle the Dakar Rally.

The Olympic Games have included Break Dancing to the schedule for Paris 2028. And Pies is not happy.

The Wallabies had another draw with Argentina.

In the cricket, Australia and India split the 6 limited overs matches with India taking out the Dettol T20 Series 2-1. Hardik Pandya hit some long bombs and Glenn Maxwell has been in good form for Australia. But how good are the bowlers really?

All of a sudden the NFC East is looking decent with wins away for the Giants and Washington. Can they keep up the form this week? Plus the Rams moved into first place courtesy of the Seattle loss to NY.

In the Premier League, crowds were welcomed back but nothing has changed at the top with Tottenham continuing to dominate. Son and Kane bagged a couple of scintillating goals against Arsenal. Meanwhile Manchester City and United are lurking just outside the top 4.

All that and more from the newly streamlined Bats and Balls Podcast.

0:00:00 – Darts, Surfing, Motorsport
0:15:00 – Olympic Breakdancing & Speed Climbing
0:33:00 – Rugby
0:36:00 – Cricket
1:01:00 – NFL
1:10:00 – Soccer

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Featured post

Episode 249 – Long Time Listener, First Time Caller

249 – Rugby, State of Origin, NFL, EPL, Cricket, Lawn Bowls, Travel

Pies and The Producer in studio this week with a couple of calls via mobile telephone.

Swainy kicks off the show with Rugby. Swainy was the caller for the epic Argentina win over the All Blacks. Plus we recap the Wallabies draw with the Pumas. And we look ahead to an exciting last two weeks of the Tri Nations.

Then we recap a disappointing State of Origin series for NSW. Freddy Fittler was clearly outcoached by Wayne Bennett. But does it run deeper than that? Is Cleary the half to lead them? Are the forwards that good? And how good was it to see DCE lift the trophy?!

Tottenham are gonna win the Premier League.

Australia and India kick off their Summer of Cricket this Friday with the ODI series. Then we get into the T20 and Test series. It could be a cracking Summer.

Just as we were preparing to call it an early night we get a first time call from Jason. Pies and Jason travelled South East Asia together 23 years ago and played an International Australian Rules game for Malaysia in Jakarta. We talk Lawn Bowls, Test Cricket and the Carlton Football Club.

0:00:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:19:50 – State of Origin
0:38:45 – NFL
0:48:40 – EPL
0:55:00 – Cricket
1:06:00 – Other Sport with Jason

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 248 – The Let Down

State of Origin, NFL, EPL, Horse Racing, Rugby, AFL, Cricket

After a double Grand Final weekend, there’s always a let down. And no amount of rep Rugby League can get us out of it.

In any case Pies and The Producer are back with a special call in from Swainy to discuss game 1 of the State of Origin, recap the Melbourne Cup and the rest of the Spring Carnival and the last two Bledisloe Cup games.

Plus heaps more including the AFL Trade Period, the upcoming cricket season, NFL and EPL.

0:00:00 – State of Origin
0:41:00 – NFL
0:46:00 – EPL
0:50:00 – Horse Racing
0:58:00 – Rugby with Swainy
1:27:00 – AFL & Cricket

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 247 – Mortal Enemies

Pies and the Producer are joined by a very special guest Astro. He’s taken NRL Twitter by storm this year. Alienating Broncos and Eels fans and joining in the conversation in a big way.

We recap the NRL Grand Final in which Melbourne were far too good for Penrith and the AFL Grand Final in which Geelong led early but Richmond came out on top, going away in the final quarter.

We also talk hoops and dive into the world of the USAFL, Australian Rules played in the USA. It was a growth sport in the US before COVID-19 hit. Hopefully Astro can get another kick shortly.

All that and more on a very special episode of Bats and Balls.

0:00:00 – NRL Grand Final
1:10:00 – AFL Grand Final
2:16:00 – Other Sport

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 246 – That 4th Weekend in October

Pies and The Producer in studio with a bumper, but yet streamlined show. We’ve been out of action for a couple of weeks after The Producer had a COVID-19 scare. In reality, he had one too many trips to Guzman y Gomez.

We catch up on the eliminated NRL teams. Where did it go wrong for the Eels, Raiders and Rabbitohs. And why do the Roosters continue to be such a shit club? Then we preview the NRL Grand Final and pick a winner between the Panthers and Storm.

The AFL has been barely watchable for one of the team. But it’s still going and we lament the departures of the eliminated teams and preview Geelong vs Richmond AFL Grand Final.

Swainy is back to review the two tests between the Wallabies and All Blacks in New Zealand. Australia secured a famous draw in Wellington and could well have won the game. And then the All Blacks did what the All Blacks do at Eden Park. Plus we take a look at the Shute Shield ahead of the Elimination Finals this week at Pittwater Park.

Erik is on the line to talk about the MLB Playoffs and the upcoming World Series between Texas’ own LA Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa quietly going about becoming Title Town USA.

Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander won the Bathurst 1000. BS was uncontrollable at Mendy’s barbecue Sunday afternoon. It’s been a long time coming but the Giz has finally scaled The Mountain. Scott McLaughlin won the driver’s championship and celebrated in style tearing up the victory lap in what could be a farewell to Australian racing as he takes up a drive in IndyCar next week.

And BS had a great day on the punt so we talk a little horse racing after Caulfield Cup and Everest Day. Pies is probably backing another 3yo in the Cox Plate.

0:00:00 – NRL Grand Final
0:32:50 – AFL Grand Final
0:43:00 – Rugby with Swainy
1:01:00 – MLB World Series
1:20:00 – Bathurst 1000
1:34:00 – Horse Racing

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 245 – Macho Man and The Fleshpuppets

The great man Macho Man, coach of the DWS Fleshpuppets is in studio for the first time. You might remember him from his innuendo laden Supercoach rants. But the Fleshpuppet is so much more. He’s also a mad Raiders fan. And he is hoping for a fairytale revenge for the 1991 Grand Final loss to Penrith.

Also joining us is Hunter. Wearing his 1991 Dah Dah Uniforms Retro jersey for good measure.

We recap the last round of the NRL before tipping the first week of NRL Finals.

We gaze into the crystal ball and tip the first week of AFL Finals. Can Brisbane recover from going out in straight sets last season? Can Port continue their golden run?

Macho Man’s 49ers gave Pies’ Giants a Football lesson in Week 3 of the NFL. And The Producer’s Rams nearly came from a mile back to snatch victory.

In the Premier League Hunter’s Everton have started the season on fire, Manchester City were blown off the park by Leicester City and there’s more penalty controversy.

NBA Finals tip off this week. Can LeBron James win a 4th title from 10 appearances? Or will the Miami Heat spoil the LA Lakers party?

0:00:00 – NRL
1:01:00 – Supercoach
1:03:00 – AFL
1:18:00 – NFL
1:22:00 – Premier League
1:33:00 – NBA Finals

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Episode 244 Part 2 – Take The Week Off

Maybo is back in the studio as we cover our core sports in Part 2 of Episode 244.

First up and the Panthers continue to roll on. The Eels continue to limp to the Finals and the Storm and Raiders are resting everyone.

The DWS Fleshpuppets are into the Supercoach Grand Final and we have a couple of ripper voice mails from the great Supercoach.

Swainy comes on to recap a great Super Rugby AU Final between the Brumbies and Reds.

In the AFL Port Adelaide capped off their fine season by topping the ladder every Round. The Giants surrendered. And Richmond are looking ominous.

And in the EPL Crystal Palace shocked Manchester United, Liverpool won at Stamford Bridge and Brighton are playing exciting football.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:40:00 – Supercoach
1:03:00 – Rugby with Swainy
1:22:00 – AFL
1:38:00 – Soccer

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Episode 244 Part 1 – Bubbles Everywhere

It’s a four man weave this week as The Producer and Pies are joined by Erik and Mendy to discuss all the sports that are in addition to our core range.

Major League Baseball is close to the playoff stage. Erik breaks down the structure of the playoffs and where the series will be played. We’ve got California Bubbles and Texas Bubbles. And a surprise host of the World Series.

Australia concluded the T20 & ODI tour of England winning the ODI series 2-1 after going down 1-2 in the T20 matches. Both series were a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Plus we have a very cursory glance at the upcoming tests with Afghanistan and India supposedly touring this Summer. More bubbles and quarantine in play, and a test series less than 24 months removed from the last in Australia.

The NFL kicked off and has had two weeks of action. Tom Brady and the Bucs are taking a little while to acquaint themselves. While the NFC West looks like a murderer’s row of the NFL.

NBA Conference Finals are under way. Boston vs Miami and LA Lakers vs Denver. Both series are intriguing considering the Disney Bubble has been in effect for a couple of months now. Who can hold on to take out the title?

Tadej Pogacar won the Tour de France after a scintillating Time Trial. Fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic led going into the penultimate stage but lost 2 minutes on the time trial. Richie Porte fulfilled his wife’s wish and he finished on the podium.

Pies has backed a winner in the Horse Racing. It might be too late to find some value but follow along with Rothfire’s Spring,

Plus there’s heaps of motorsport to cover. F1, Supercars, MotoGP, Superbikes, NASCAR and World Rally. Mendy has been watching it all.

Finally we whip around the world of sport with some Darts, US Open Golf, NHL, Super Netball, Tennis and UFC.

It’s a bumper edition of the extra sports we watch. NRL, AFL and Rugby will follow in the next few days.

0:00:00 – MLB
0:33:00 – Cricket
0:55:00 – NFL
1:12:00 – NBA
1:24:00 – Tour de France
1:33:00 – Horse Racing
1:38:00 – Motorsport
2:01:00 – Other Sports

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Episode 243 – Last Gasp Rugby

We’re back for another week of sporting action and after the weekend of Rugby we had to give Swainy top billing. Melbourne Rebels clinched their first Super Rugby AU finals appearance with a last gasp try against the brave Western Force. That was followed by a ball tearer of a contest and another last ditch try in the New Zealand North vs South Game.

In the NRL Penrith extended their winning streak to 12 with victory over the Broncos. SBW returned to the Roosters and in Pies opinion, they can have him. The Producer thinks Kalyn Ponga is unfairly targeted. And the Eels are back in the winners circle.

The AFL Festival of Footy 2 keeps rolling on. We try and stay abreast of what’s happening. Geelong and Port Adelaide keep winning. And Melbourne have severely affected their finals hopes in the last week.

Motorsport and the Italian Grand Prix was a win for exciting racing with plenty of lead changes. Actual safety cars and strategy were back in vogue and it was Pierre Gasly winning his first F1 race. In the Supercars it was a similar situation where safety cars and tyre selection were vitally important.

Plus the NBA Playoffs are hotting up, and the EPL and NFL seasons are back next weekend.

0:00:00 – Rugby
0:35:00 – NRL
1:18:00 – Supercoach
1:24:00 – AFL
1:38:00 – Motorsport
1:53:00 – NBA, EPL, NFL

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Episode 242 – The Winner is Brisbane

Pies and The Producer are back and ready to tackle another week of sport. Pies was away all weekend so much like QLD in the AFL, BS has to the bulk of the heavy lifting this week. Pies recounts his experience at the Yak Hunters Kayak Fishing Series Round 3 at Woy Woy.

Then we’re into the NRL recap and tips. Penrith continue to fire. While the Parramatta bubble has well and truly burst. Can they even beat the Warriors without George Jennings and Daniel Alvaro?

Swainy is back as we near the pointy end of the Suiper Rugby AU competition. It’s been really competitive rugby from the Aussie sides and this week should be no different. Can the Western Force spring an upset and keep the Waratahs season alive? Plus there’s heaps going in the Shute Shield and the North vs South game from New Zealand should be a belter also.

The AFL Festival of Footy 2 is under way. There’s pretty much footy every day for another two weeks. How can anyone keep up? We’ll catch up on the games and look into our crystal balls and come up with a Grand Final. Which this year will be played at The Gabba.

Then we rattle home with F1 and Supercars, NBA and heaps more.

0:00:00 – Fishing
0:10:30 – NRL
0:50:00 – Supercoach
1:00:00 – Rugby
1:22:00 – AFL
1:58:00 – Motorsport
2:16:00 – NBA & More

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Episode 241 – Run To The NRL Finals

Bankwest Stadium Corner

We’re back after a long hiatus and have heaps of NRL to cover.

We recap the last round of NRL and tip this week’s games.

And then we have a look at each team’s run to the Finals. Can Penrith maintain their form? Can the Roosters stay in the Top 4? Is the Top 8 set?

Then we answer a few more pressing NRL questions.

We have a look at the Bats and Balls Cup Supercoach League with one round remaining, 10 teams can still win it.

Then we have a quick look at the AFL and tip this week’s games.

And we finish off with some Motorsport, A-League and NBA.

0:00:00 – NRL
2:06:00 – Supercoach
2:27:00 – AFL
2:59:00 – Supercars & F1
3:02:00 – A-League & NBA

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Episode 240 – Reed It And Weep

Maybo Reed it and Weep

Pies is back in the studio and we’re joined by Sydney’s favourite Broncos fan Maybo. The man behind the famous Reed it and Weep banner.

We talk all things NRL including the Roosters impending SBW signing. The difference between Wayne Bennett and Ricky Stuart. And where the Broncos go to from here.

Plus the AFL is about to embark on wall to wall games for the next three weeks. Who will emerge on top? Does Brodie Grundy need a rest?

Maybo isn’t only a mad Broncos fan. His heart also belongs to Anfield. Liverpool finished on 99 points and collected the Premier League trophy for the first time in decades. It’s time to celebrate. Can #PiesKnows go back to back? Can Pies game the system to prove Pies does indeed know?

Plus heaps more. F1 are in Great Britain, the NBA is coming back. And the MLB has returned to a lukewarm reception.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:11:00 – Supercoach
1:18:00 – AFL
1:51:00 – EPL & FA Cup Final
2:04:00 – Rugby
2:06:00 – Motorsport & Other Sport

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JaVale McGee Life in the Bubble


Troy Daniels Inside the Bubble


Matisse Thybulle Welcome to the Bubble

Episode 239 – Rev It Up

Giants Lions Round 7 2020

Mendy is back on the show which means heaps of variety from the sporting world. The Producer is in studio to bring you all the action.

It wouldn’t be a Mendy show without some darts talk and the boys deliver in bucket loads.

There’s also heaps for the rev heads this week. Moto GP, Formula 1 and Supercars.

Plus all the regulars, NRL, Rugby & AFL.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:57:00 – Supercoach
1:05:00 – Darts
1:14:00 – Moto GP
1:26:00 – Rugby
1:57:00 – AFL
2:06:00 – Soccer
2:09:00 – F1 & Supercars

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Episode 238 – St Clair Hunters

Scomo Footy Coronavirus

Our old mate Hunter is back from the UK to grace us with his presence. This podcast needed an injection of another footy team and Hunter’s Panthers could be just the trick to balance the show out.

On this week’s show we cover all the latest from the NRL including the Panthers blow out of Scomo’s beloved Cronulla Sharks.

Swainy is back to talk all things Super Rugby.

In the AFL are Port Adelaide the real deal? And could the Brisbane or GWS bubble burst?

Plus we talk English Premier League, Formula 1 and Supercars, NBA and the West Indies first test victory over England in the cricket.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:15:00 – Supercoach
1:20:00 – Rugby
1:42:00 – AFL
2:14:00 – Soccer
2:18:00 – Motorsport
2:20:00 – NBA and Cricket

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Episode 237 – Send Offs and Sin Bins

Eels Cowboys Round 8 2020

Colbee is filling in with The Producer for the sick Pies.

Pies is publishing this without listening to the show. Who knows what stitch ups the boys have lined up.

Apparently there’s NRL talk including send off and sin bins.

Also AFL, tips at the end of the show, Rugby, English Premier League, Formula 1 and more!

0:00:00 – NRL & Tipping
0:59:00 – Supercoach
1:04:00 – AFL
1:11:00 – Rugby
1:13:00 – Soccer
1:18:00 – F1
1:22:00 – Other Sports

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Episode 236 – Going Global

GWS Liverpool Horsburgh SherAndLil

We’ve got guests coming out the proverbial this week. Pies and The Producer discuss the latest round of NRL.

Then we welcome first time guests to the show Sher and Lil. They are Canadian Rugby League fans, season ticket holders at the Toronto Wolfpack and are spreading the word of Rugby League around North America.

Our old mate Swainy is back! Rugby is back! And we couldn’t be happier. Super Rugby AU kicks off this weekend with a QLD Reds vs NSW Waratahs blockbuster. Catch all of the action plus Super Rugby Aotearoa on Foxsports.

Pies made it to Giants Stadium for the GWS vs Collingwood game. The crowd was limited to the bars around the ground. But it’s better than nothing. And the Giants seem to have the measure of the Magpies. In other AFL news, West Coast still don’t want to be there. And Port Adelaide appear to have embraced getting out of Adelaide.

We’ve buried the lead but Liverpool won the English Premier League. It’s been a long time coming and not even the curse of #PiesKnows could stop the Reds. #PiesNo is no longer!

In other sport, Supercars were back in Sydney on the weekend. And the NBA somehow still think they’re good to go in Orlando.

0:00:00 – NRL, Tipping, Supercoach
0:46:00 – Toronto Wolfpack with Sher and Lil
1:36:00 – Rugby with Swainy
2:03:00 – AFL, Tipping, Supercoach
2:26:00 – Soccer
2:32:00 – NBA & Motorsport

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Episode 235 – Balls By The Fireplace II – A Million Marys

Brown DWZ Turbo Birthday

Pies and The Producer were getting a bit too cocky so we invited Lobby from League by the Fireplace under the false pretence that he could pour cold water on the Eels start to the 2020 season. But 14 point losses don’t come much better than that Roosters game. And the Raiders couldn’t beat Manly with their 2 best players injured. Anything could happen this week.

In other news, the Roosters are clearly the benchmark. Penrith continue their good form. And Mary has flummed his way onto a winning* formula.

In Supercoach the Lone Rangers keep winning, and Producers keep failing to produce. Can 16th beat 1st this week?

West Coast look like they don’t want to be there and GWS look as disjointed as a team that hasn’t trained together all year. But everyone is in the same boat and they need to turn it around quickly. At the other end of the ladder, Gold Coast might have had all the breaks. But they may have worked out the formula. Draft the next champion.

EPL is back, and other sports may or may not be back soon also.

0:00:00 – NRL & Tipping
1:54:00 – Supercoach
2:04:00 – AFL
2:24:00 – Soccer
2:33:00 – Other Sports

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Episode 234 – Supercoach Colbee

Colbee

Pies is off sick so The Producer is joined in studio by the Supercoach himself Colbee. It looks like the Colbinators used an entire jar of vaseline on their knees this week as they pulverised Producers in Supercoach.

The boys catch up on all the latest NRL and AFL news. And Colbee has some information on the Eastern Creek Speedway track, a new Motorcross track near Luddenham and inside info on Camaros replacing Holden in the Supercars.

0:00:00 – NRL & Tipping
0:58:20 – Supercoach
1:09:00 – AFL & Tipping
1:18:00 – Motorsport & Other Sports

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Episode 233 – Out Of The Hands

Tuala Turbo Disney Goodell

The Producer and Pies in studio with Erik on the phone are back for another episode of Bats and Balls.

In the NRL the Roosters put the cleaners through the Broncos, the Knights and Panthers franked the form of their draw and the Eels may or may not have gotten away with one over Manly.

Refereeing gets a small once over, but on the whole they’ve been pretty good after two rounds back from the enforced layoff.

BS is up to 7th overall in ESPN FootyTips. Can the juggernaut roll on? Can anyone catch the Lone Rangers in Supercoach? First coach sacked, DWS Fleshpuppets or Mary?

The AFL balls up from Thursday night with a blockbuster at the MCG. Port Adelaide and Adelaide will have 2000 fans at the showdown. GWS will have 350 fans vs North Melbourne while QLD and VIC teams wait a few more weeks before their fans can attend games.

The NBA has a plan in place to bring back 22 teams to Disney World in Orlando Florida. Pies runs us through the scenarios in play there.

Roger Goodell made a video denouncing racism, apologising to NFL players who made peaceful protests and supporting their rights in the future.

And soccer is coming back in some European leagues while others have been cancelled.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:33:00 – AFL
1:59:00 – NBA, NFL, Soccer

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Episode 232 – What a Cracking Weekend

Studio1

Pies, Erik and The Producer are back to recap the return of the NRL. The Eels and Sea Eagles look good and have very few injuries. The Raiders look like premiership favourites after a third straight win in Melbourne. And the Red V goes from bad to worse with a shutout against the Warriors.

Pies Supercoach team The Lone Rangers is flying topping the league this week with 1212 points.

While in the Tipping Comp, you might as well give up now as Brendan has tipped 22.5 of the 24 games to be equal first in the entire ESPN Footy Tips app! Can The Producer hang on for the next 17 rounds?

Plus we answer all of your questions from our social media. Thanks for the feedback and if you ask the questions, we’ll answer them.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:57:00 – Supercoach & Tipping
2:08:00 – Listener Questions & Other Sport

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Episode 231 – Asterisk or Gold Star?

VLandys Messiah

Pies is back in studio for the first time in months. Erik is still on the line via mobile telephone.

The NRL is back and the rest of the sporting world are looking on in wonder at the magnificent leader of men Peter V’Landys and what he has accomplished in such a short time. Alternatively, Australia is doing so well, anyone would have had Rugby League back by now.

Pies is locked in on Parramatta premiership glory, meanwhile The Producer is a little more reserved in his enthusiasm. Plus we answer all of your questions regarding coronavirus / Covid-19 return, the immortal Terry Lamb and home ground advantage.

In other sport the AFL are hot on the heels of NRL in their return to our TVs. Motorsports have modified schedules with Supercars on track for a return to action soon. And the NBA are looking at a Disney World Bubble.

0:00:00 – NRL Return
2:40:00 – Supercoach
2:48:00 – Other Sports

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Episode 230 – 1983 Parra, Martina & Australia II

1983 Year in Review

The Producer chose 1983 and it was a huge year for Australian sport. Locally and abroad.

It all came to a head in September when in the space of three days newly appointed Prime Minister Bob Hawke attended the VFL Grand Final at the MCG, NSWRL Grand Final at the SCG and the America’s Cup in Fremantle.

Parramatta were way too good in the NSWRL Grand Final despite the marketing from Tooheys in 1984.

In the VFL Grand Final Hawthorn hammered Essendon despite North Melbourne being the 1983 Minor Premiers.

And then in the America’s Cup, Australia II came back from tactical errors, nerves, mechanical malfunctions and a 3-1 deficit to win the most elusive trophy in world sport.

Also Martina Navratilova won 3 slams, and Kiwi came from last on the turn to win the Melbourne Cup.

Podium
Gold – Australia II
Silver – Parramatta Eels
Bronze – Martina Navratilova
Bronze – Kiwi
Bronze – Bob Hawke

0:00:00 – NSWRFL
1:08:00 – VFL
1:22:00 – America’s Cup
1:42:00 – Other Sports
2:11:00 – Pop Culture

Next Week – 1964

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Episode 229 – 2000 Cathy, Thorpey & Smashed Guitars

2000 Year in Review

We brought out the big guns this week. It was Pies’ choice to remember the year 2000.

Before we get into the year in review we kick off by taking a look at the current state of play.

The NRL title was taken out by the Broncos. Lote Tuqiri and Wendell Sailor were the wingers and Luke Phillips played a blinder in a losing GF side.

Essendon were one of the best sides to ever play AFL. They won 21 of 22 during the home and away season and romped through the Finals to win the flag.

But the Sydney Olympics were the big story of 2000. We remember Cathy Freeman, Ian Thorpe, the 4 x 100m Freestyle relay, Tatiana Grigorieva and Jai Taurima. It was a golden Olympic Games for Australia and the best games ever.

Then we rattle home with the rest of the sporting world including 3/4 of the Tiger Slam.

Podium
Gold – Cathy Freeman
Gold – Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Team
Bronze – Venus Williams

0:00:00 – Current Sports
0:22:00 – NRL
0:47:00 – AFL
1:10:00 – Sydney Olympic Games
2:02:00 – Other Sports
2:12:00 – Pop Culture

Next Week – 1983

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The Games

The Dream – Americans

The Dream – Fatso The Fat Arsed Wombat

Cathy Freeman 400m

4 x 100m Freestyle Relay

Episode 228 – 2005 Benji, Makybe Diva & Tiger’s Chip

2005 Year in Review

It was Erik’s choice this week and not surprisingly he chose 2005.

In the NRL Parramatta won the minor premiership, but Wests Tigers won the title and Benji Marshall became the most replayed player in NRL history.

In the AFL Sydney Swans beat West Coast in the first of two epic Grand Finals. But it took some Nick Davis magic two weeks earlier for the Swans to even make the big one.

England regained The Ashes and consigned Australia to 15 years of searching for the all-rounder to match Freddie Flintoff. Shane Warne took 40 wickets to keep Australia close.

And headlining the other sports. Tiger Woods chipped in on the 16th hole at Augusta to break the hearts of Chris Dimarco and Pies. Tiger eventually won The Masters on the first playoff hole and created the only image that gets replayed more often than Benji’s flick. That Nike Swoosh dangling above the hole.

Makybe Diva won her third straight Melbourne Cup and completed the Cox Plate – Melbourne Cup double capturing the hearts and minds of a nation along the way.

Podium – Public vote

0:00:00 – NRL
0:51:00 – AFL
1:25:00 – The Ashes
1:50:00 – Other Sports
2:40:00 – Pop Culture

Next week – 2000

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Episode 227 – NRL in 2020 and Beyond

Fix NRL

Erik, The Producer and Pies are back with a slightly different show this week. We tackle the NRL from a current perspective of getting the games back on. And then we come up with some solutions to problems that exist or otherwise.

COVID-19 has Australia and the various states in virtual lockdown. Since Coronavirus first hit our shores, there’s been no sport played around the country. We examine Peter V’Landys’ timeframe of a 28 May return and Pies has a solution that can get the footy back on by then.

The second half of this show will be a bit more timeless than the first half. We tackle the big picture of the NRL moving forward. Team numbers, broadcast rights, rules and refereeing, promotion and relegation and jersey numbers. Not all the ideas get past the spitballing stage. But at least we’re considering them.

0:00:00 – NRL in 2020
0:55:00 – NRL in the Future

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Episode 226 – 1996 – Kalu, Kieren & Plugga’s Point

1996 Year in Review

Pies, Erik and The Producer are back to review 1996.

Manly beat St George in the ARL Grand Final after one of the bigger blunders in GF history. Dragons fans will tell you it was the turning point. But did they really look like threatening Manly coming from 7th against the minor premiers?

Sydney Swans gathered huge momentum in the AFL. Tony Lockett won the Coleman medal and the Swans made the Grand Final, ultimately losing to North Melbourne.

Sri Lanka won the Cricket World Cup hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Australia made the final but they were no match for the co-hosts. Your memory may be of Kaluwitharana and Jayasuriya throwing the bat at everything. But was that actually the case?

Atlanta hosted to Olympics. There were quite a few great performances. Michael Johnson and Marie-Jose Perec won 200m 400m doubles. Donovan Bailey won the 100m and in the pool Kieren Perkins overcame lane 8 to stun the swimming world.

Plus the Chicago Bulls won 72 games and a title and Aussie Graeme Lloyd pitched in a World Series Championship won by the NY Yankees.

Podium
Gold – Tony Lockett
Silver – Kieren Perkins
Bronze – Aravinder de Silva

0:00:00 – ARL
0:27:00 – AFL
0:44:00 – Cricket World Cup
1:02:00 – Atlanta Olympic Games
1:18:00 – Other Sports and Pop Culture

Next week – 2005

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Episode 225 – 2003 – Ponting, Priddis & Jonny’s Boot

2003 Year in Review

Now that sport is on hold globally, we have decided to review years in sport. First year on the block is 2003.

Resident historian Erik Nielsen is back with The Producer and Pies to rediscover some of the gems from 2003.

Penrith Panthers won the 2003 NRL Premiership defeating the Sydney Roosters in the Grand Final.

Brisbane Lions defeated Collingwood Magpies in the AFL Grand Final to complete their Back to Back to Back.

And Ricky Ponting made mountains of runs in test cricket and one day internationals capped off with a master class in the World Cup Final.

Australia hosted the Rugby World Cup. England won the final with Jonny Wilkinson’s boot the difference.

And there was an eventful Kangaroo Tour of the UK and France.

Podium
Gold – Ricky Ponting
Silver – Jonny Wilkinson
Bronze – Brisbane Lions

0:00:00 – NRL
0:31:00 – AFL
0:51:00 – Cricket World Cup
1:15:00 – Rugby World Cup
1:28:00 – Other Sports
1:39:00 – Pop Cultrure

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 224 – Lockdown

Bats and Balls Press Conference

The coronavirus has shut down all major sports. Pies and The Producer are in isolation. But thanks to the wonders of the NBN, we’re still pumping out shows.

We recap the first two weeks of the NRL. Celebrate the Eels being on top for at least the next two months and probably longer.

The AFL only managed to play one round in front of no fans before shutting down. Richmond and the Giants looked good. Port Adelaide lead on percentage going into hibernation.

We touch on the A-League, EPL and the NBL decision to award the title to Perth Wildcats.

And then we look ahead to the future. Covid-19 won’t stop us bringing out shows. So we’re going into history mode and reviewing years through a sporting lense. Stay tuned to our social media for updates. And if you have a favourite year you’d like reviewed, hit us up.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:02:00 – AFL
1:33:00 – Soccer
1:36:00 – Supercoach
1:49:00 – Other Sport
2:09:00 – The Future is The Past

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 223 – Balls On The Line

Katy Moses Manly Latrell Albert Park

It’s the 2020 NRL Season Preview show. Pies and BS in studio to discuss each team in the NRL. How they line up for week 1. We pick our Top 8’s including a very controversial non-selection. Then tell you why Parramatta will win it all. And we discuss NRL Supercoach.

First up we recap the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Australia smashed India in the Final. Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney were on fire and the Aussie bowlers strangled India out of it.

And we finish off with a bit of Motorsport. Formula 1 and Supercars descend upon Albert Park, Melbourne for Round 1 of the F1 season.

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:22:00 – NRL Season Preview
2:30:00 – Supercoach
2:38:00 – Motorsport

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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It appears the NRL don’t care much for the great Thomas Keneally commercial. Controversial at the time, it’s now been scrubbed from YouTube. What has the world become? – Pies

Episode 222 – Up In The Air

Sunwolves Coronavirus India Women T20 Holden

Pies and The Producer in the studio for a last short sharp episode before the footy seasons kick off in a few weeks.

Swainy is on the line to catch up with all the Rugby news. The Brumbies are on a roll after a big win in New Zealand. We discuss Swainy’s efforts on the Fox Rugby Podcast and try to predict the fate of the Sunwolves season. How SANZAAR deal with coronavirus in Japan and the threat to players and officials as well as broadcasters may be a pointer to the biggest sporting event of the next four years. The Olympics coming up in Tokyo later this year.

The Women’s T20 World Cup is underway in Australia. BS has caught a bit of it. Australia went down in their first game but are back on track. Meanwhile India appear to be headed to the Semis with two strong wins.

In soccer and the EPL is pretty much over. Liverpool eked out another couple of wins over Norwich and West Ham. While in the battle for second, Man City beat Leicester. Champions League knockout stage kicked off last week and after this mornings games we’re ready for the return legs in a few weeks.

Supercars revved for 2020 with the Adelaide 500. Jamie Whincup won the first race with Scott McLaughlin taking out race 2 to lead the championship early doors.

In the NRL, trial games have kicked off with a number of in-game and also training injuries so far this season. The All Stars game went down on the Gold Coast with the Maori All Stars taking it out over the Indigenous All Stars. Pies’ favourite player Brandon Smith was huge in the Maori win.

0:00:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:30:00 – Women’s T20 World Cup
0:39:00 – Soccer
0:45:00 – Supercars
1:00:00 – NRL

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Episode 221 – A Strong Year

Warner Perry Reid Origi

Pies and The Producer are back with a late recap of Super Bowl LIV. The Chiefs were too potent for the 49ers to handle.

The Summer of cricket wrapped up this week with David Warner winning the AB Medal. There’s been debate and outrage over Warner’s victory. But perhaps it was just a really good year for Australian cricket.

Super Rugby and the World Rugby 7’s have kicked off. And the TV rights are up in the air. Our mate Swainy has filled in on the Fox Rugby Podcast. Check him out there.

The true test of #PiesKnows faces Liverpool as Pies has annointed them champions of England. Can the Reds hold on, with the weight of Pies hanging around their necks?

And the NRL continue to balls up simple things. The latest weirdness is courtesy of the 9’s tournament in Perth.

0:15:00 – NFL
0:25:00 – Cricket
0:45:00 – Rugby
0:56:00 – Soccer
1:01:00 – NRL 9’s

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Episode 220 – New Year New We

New Year 2020

Happy New Year! Even though January is almost over, holidays, sickness and apathy have meant this is our first show back for 2020. Welcome back to our long time listeners and if you’re new to our audience we hope you enjoy the show.

After holiday pleasantries we’re back into it with a recap of how much Australia pumped New Zealand in the Test Series. It turns out they aren’t that good on big boy grounds eh?

We catch up on the NFL Playoffs and look ahead to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. We tip the winner of one of the more intriguing big games in a while.

The Summer of Tennis has been fantastic. Plenty of Aussie heroes and one major redemption story in Nick Kyrgios. Who can win it from here and can Ash Barty keep the party going for two more matches?

After Pies departs, The Producer and Big Mendy talk about the new season of Rugby 7s, Soccer and Basketball.

Then Mendy wows us with his Other Sports segment. Featured sports this week include: WWE Royal Rumble, Darts, Youth Winter Olympics, Downhill Skiing, Rally Motorsport, Field Hockey, Water Polo, Bathurst 12 hour, UFC, Boxing, NRL and possibly our first time talking about Sumo!

0:00:00 – Happy 2020
0:15:00 – Cricket
0:33:00 – NFL Super Bowl LIV
1:07:00 – Tennis
1:22:00 – Rugby 7s
1:32:00 – Soccer
1:42:00 – Basketball
1:52:00 – Other Sports

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 219 – 2019 Year in Review

2019 Wrap Up

Mendy is back with Pies and The Producer to wrap up 2019, to look ahead to 2020 and to catch up with more random sports.

In the NFL the 49ers dropping a game means there’s a 4-way tie at the top of the NFC. In the AFC the Patriots stopped the slide with a win over the lowly Bengals. While in the AFC South match up, the Texans beat the Titans to take the advantage in that division. And three NFC East teams won!

Australia thumped New Zealand in the first test. Brendan thinks it was over at the toss. But surely if NZ played better, they’d have got closer.

Swainy laments another terrible year for the Wallabies. Hopefully they can turn it around with another reset in 2020.

Lobby’s Canberra Raiders made it all the way to the NRL Grand Final before finally succumbing to the best team money can buy, the Sydney Roosters. So we recap the year, plus the Chris Sandow signing and medical retirements.

Liverpool are rolling in the EPL. Norwich did them a huge favour taking a point out of Leicester City. This week while the Reds prepare for the World Club Cup, Leicester and Manchester City face off in the battle for second.

Nathan’s random sports is back. Heaps of Darts with the World Championship. Plus loads more. Next year – Downhill Kayaking!

Plus all our favourite guests in our Highlights, Lowlights and Predictions package.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. We can’t wait to be back, bigger and better in 2020.

0:00:00 – NFL
0:19:00 – Cricket
0:36:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:56:00 – NRL with Lobby
1:30:00 – Soccer
1:40:00 – Nathan’s Random Sports
2:02:00 – 2019 Review and 2020 Predictions

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Episode 218 – Politics With Dummies AU

Kittle Rashford Lyon Politics

Pies and BS in the studio for the second last show of the year.

In the NFL there’s still life in the Rams season after a stirring win against Seattle. The 49ers and Saints played a classic with San Francisco coming out on top. Both teams look primed for the playoffs. And the Chiefs beat the Patriots.

The three test series between Australia and New Zealand kicks off this week with the day/night test in Perth. Can New Zealand bat well enough for long enough to challenge Australia?

Liverpool and Leicester keep winning while Manchester United did Liverpool a huge favour beating City in the Manchester Derby.

Valvoline Raceway are trying to get relocated sooner rather than later. Hopefully dirt track racing in Sydney doesn’t disappear while they find a new home.

In Rugby League Pies tried to have a Latrell free week, but The Producer had other ideas. Not only do we cover the latest in the Latrell saga. We get political and cover everything from the national anthem at the all stars game, to Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd and ScoMo.

0:00:00 – NFL
0:30:00 – Cricket
1:04:00 – Soccer
1:14:00 – Motorsport
1:22:00 – NRL
1:35:00 – Politics

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Episode 217 – No Caveats

Warner Brady Messi James

Pies and The Producer are back with a more concise show this week. With Pies powered by Beer Cartel Advent Calendar, there’s still heaps of sport going on during the holiday season.

The NFL has had some blockbuster games. We previewed the 49ers v Ravens last week and it didn’t disappoint with defence dominating for most of the game. The Ravens got the win, but the 49ers aren’t losing many admirers. The Patriots are in danger and Pies still likes the Seahawks.

Australia wrapped up the two test series against Pakistan with another innings victory. David Warner’s 335* was the main talking point. Did Australia declare too early, too late? Can’t we just admire great accomplishments? Here’s hoping New Zealand fresh off the series victory over England can put up more of a fight.

In the EPL Man City gave up points at Newcastle while Leicester and Liverpool won again. City made up for it with a mid-week beat down of Burnley.

BS went to Parramatta Raceway on the weekend and reports on motorsport from Australia and around the world including some changes to Supercars and Formula 1.

Plus we rattle through some of the other sports including Parramatta re-signing Dylan Brown and the latest on Latrell Mitchell exercising his rights under the NRL rules.

0:00:00 – NFL
0:25:00 – Cricket
0:45:00 – Soccer
0:55:00 – Motorsport
1:00:00 – Other Sport

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Photographer run over by horse

Episode 216 – Bat at the Gabba

Lamar Marnus Hawks

Pies and The Producer are back after another week off and they catch up like it’s been two months. No Ma’am Basketball, Kayak Fishing and great cricket victories are on the agenda early before the real sport gets a going over.

Australia beat Pakistan by an innings and 5 runs in the first test. Steve Smith proved that he is in fact mortal. While the best? bat in the team made his maiden ton. In the end it was a comfortable beat down, but Pakistan could be headed in the right direction.

The NFL season is heating up with some influential games last week and also coming on the weekend. The highlights of week 12 were the 49ers and Ravens stamping their authority over pretty good teams. This brings us to the epic 49ers at Ravens game this weekend. The Bills at Cowboys game also has the potential to serve as a pointer to the playoffs.

In the EPL Liverpool keep winning late. All eyes will be on Anfield this weekend and The Producers’ Brighton take on the might of Liverpool.

Scott McLaughlin* wrapped up the Supercars title in Newcastle and DJR Penske* came out on top in the teams championship also. Plenty to be said about all of this moving forward.

The Latrell Mitchell saga continues with the news that Valentine Holmes, cut by the New York Jets, signed with the North Queensland Cowboys. It appears to be down to the Gold Coast and West Tigers. Who will blink first? Can the Titans be the making of Latrell? And vice versa perhaps…

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:42:00 – NFL
1:02:00 – EPL
1:07:00 – Motorsport
1:20:00 – NRL
1:42:00 – AFL Draft

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Episode 215 – Frankie Does It Again

South Africa Melbourne Cup Fabinho Derrick Henry

The Producer’s laptop update was only slightly slower than the Melbourne Cup but we got there. We’re a week late, but better late than never eh?

A week after the fact we recap the Rugby World Cup Final and the Melbourne Cup. And find out how Never Listen, as tipped on Episode 214, fared in the Oaks.

Take stock of how the NFL season is going. Including yet another team running it straight through the middle of the Chiefs Defence. And the Seahawks and 49ers played a classic on Monday Night Football.

Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 and are 8 points clear at the top after 12 games. Can anyone stop the Reds this year?

Controversy continues as the fall out from Bathurst rages on. Scott McLaughlin stripped of Pole, but what does that even mean weeks after he won the race?!

Australia contemplate a bunch of out of form batsmen for the test series vs Pakistan.

And November 1 came and went and very big names have signed on for 2021. Pies and BS debate the merits of Latrell Mitchell and whether they’d want him at the Eels.

0:00:00 – Rugby World Cup Final
0:12:00 – Melbourne Cup and Horse Racing
0:43:00 – NFL
1:03:00 – Soccer
1:10:00 – Motorsport
1:31:00 – Cricket
1:50:00 – Rugby League

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2019 Melbourne Cup Tips

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No preview show this year. In the past Big Zacko has tipped us the Exacta. So pay attention.

Flemington

Race 7 – Melbourne Cup 3200m

Big Zacko
1 Cross Counter
2 Mer De Glace
3 Master of Reality
20 Il Paradiso

Mendy
23 Vow and Declare
12 Prince of Arran
9 Rostropovich

The Producer
3 Master of Reality
18 Surprise Baby
19 Constantinople
20 Il Paradiso
Best Roughie – 5 Southern France

Master of Reality 3rd back in June when competing against Stradivarius (Frankie Dettori ride) was enough for Frankie Dettori to ask for the ride on this horse. It will need a slow paced race but with a good barrier should be a chance. Surprise Baby’s win in the Bart Cummings was outstanding. A run like that again should see it near the top. Constantinople. Unlucky 4th in the Caulfield Cup should see this horse near the top with a clear run. Il Paradiso hasn’t raced much but from what I have seen has a bit of ticker and should stay the distance. Light weight can help to see it fighting in the finish.

Pies
5 Southern France
23 Vow And Declare
8 Mustajeer
3 Master Of Reality
20 Il Paradiso

The Stradivarius form looks the best overseas form this year. Southern France finished close up to that horse in May and has outstayed Master Of Reality at their last two meetings. Vow And Declare beat all bar the winner in the Caulfield Cup. Should get the journey, has won over 3000m in Brisbane. Mustajeer was very good at Caulfield and was a strong winner in the Ebor before coming to Australia. Il Paradiso blinkers first time, pushed Stradivarius over 2 miles two starts back.

Colbee
23 Vow And Declare
11 Finche
2 Mer De Glace

Race 1 – Darley Ottawa Stakes 1000m

Pies
14 Unblushing

Race 3 – TAB Trophy 1700m

Big Zacko
1 Etana

Race 4 – The Macca’s Run 2800m

Big Zacko
13 Kentucky Diva

Race 5 – Schweppervescence Plate 1000m

Big Zacko
15 Hearty Lass

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Episode 214 – Rugby World Cup Final Eve

England Lakers Horses

Swainy is on the the phone as he and The Producer preview the Rugby World Cup Final.

Pies is a late inclusion and we discuss NFL, the big races on Cox Plate Day and try to find a winner on Derby Day.

Plus heaps more sport including Scott McLaughlin’s big crash on the Gold Coast.

0:00:00 – Rugby World Cup Final
0:20:30 – NFL
0:37:00 – Horse Racing
1:01:00 – Soccer
1:09:00 – Motorsport
1:30:00 – Cricket
1:32:00 – NBA & NBL
1:47:00 – Rugby League

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Episode 213 – Doing a Bert Hinkler

Kyrie Wallabies Yes Yes Yes Moses

Pies worked all weekend and with Mendy back in arbitration The Producer is stuck on his own as the only person who watched any sport.

Lucky we have Swainy to bail us out. And bailing out is exactly what Australian Rugby needs as the Wallabies limped to a disappointing Quarter Final exit at the hands of England. In the other quarters New Zealand flexed their muscles over Ireland, South Africa were too strong for plucky Japan and Wales were a tad lucky to get over the top of France.

In Horse Racing we recap Yes Yes Yes’ win in The Everest and Mer De Glace’s powerful win in the Caulfield Cup and we look ahead to the Cox Plate.

The NBA kicked off with a win for the defending champions Toronto Raptors and a loss to the LA Lakers. Pies wonders whether #LakersDeathRide is a tad harsh. For now it stays but if you have a better idea, let us know.

Plus heaps more.

0:00:00 – Rugby World Cup
0:43:00 – Horse Racing
1:04:00 – Basketball
1:22:00 – NFL
1:30:00 – Soccer
1:36:00 – Motorsport
1:54:00 – Other Sport

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Episode 212 – Team Orders

Rugby NBA Bathurst

Mendy has followed Team Orders and joined us in the studio following his latest pay dispute.

Joining us via satellite is Swainy to discuss the Rugby World Cup. Everyone’s second team Japan have made it to the Quarter Finals and they are a live chance to beat South Africa. The Wallabies are up against it with a match up with England but anything can happen when Eddie Jones is coaching in a big game.

Then a second satellite hook up as we welcome Mark Townsend for the first time. Mark is on the line to preview the NBA Season. Mark is a long time Washington fan so he can empathise with Pies over his New York Knicks struggles. But this is about the rest of the league. Pies and Mark discuss the Battle for LA, how the Warriors will rebound from the loss of Durant and Thompson and if the Raptors can sustain a title defence. Plus Pies drops a bombshell by tipping a big name to miss the playoffs.

In the NFL the Rams are losing touch with the NFC West leaders, The Saints may be the real deal and Pies drops his second bombshell of the episode.

Bathurst 1000 wasn’t without its own controversy. BS and Mendy go head to head over Team Orders.

We cast our eyes over The Everest barrier draw, The Producer tips us a winner in the Caulfield Cup, Victoria produced a road in the first round of the Sheffield Shield.

Plus all of the random sports Mendy has watched including darts, volleyball, snooker, surfing and India having a curling team!

0:00:00 – Rugby World Cup
0:29:00 – NBA Season Preview
1:35:00 – MLB Postseason
1:41:00 – NFL
1:54:00 – Horse Racing
2:03:00 – EPL & A-League
2:09:00 – Bathurst & Formula 1
2:30:00 – Cricket
2:39:00 – NBL
2:46:00 – Darts, Volleyball, Tennis, Snooker, Motor Bikes, Canoe Slalom, Surfing, Curling, Beach Olympics, NRL
2:56:00 – Pies Rant – LeBron James & China

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Episode 211 – Six Again

2019 GF Review Balter Young Henrys

The Roosters have gone back to back after one of the most gripping and controversial grand finals in recent memory. The refs, the tactics, the Churchill medal, the interviews. Everywhere you look there’s controversy. And after it’s all said and done. Sydney Roosters are still the premiers and Bats and Balls Championship belt holders.

Swainy joins us via satellite to discuss the Rugby World Cup. Japan have done it again. Can they finish it off and make the quarter finals? The Wallabies are taking some chances and looking a bit better. Plus heaps more.

The NFL is about as confusing as it’s ever been. The 49ers and Patriots are the only undefeated teams. There’s a chasing pack, but no great form.

In the EPL Liverpool are now 8 points clear at the top after Man City gave up two goals at home. Kicking off the weekend was Brighton putting 3 past Tottenham after Hugo Lloris dislocated his elbow.

Plus The Producer revs up our engines for the Bathurst 1000 Supercars. It’s setting up for another intriguing race.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:00:00 – Rugby World Cup
1:25:00 – NFL
1:47:00 – EPL
1:55:00 – Bathurst 1000
2:04:00 – Other Sport

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Episode 210 – Yellow and Black

2019 AFL GF Tiger Army

We kick off with an NRL Grand Final preview. Everyone’s? second team the Canberra Raiders have made it all the way to the decider to take on the best team money can buy Sydney Roosters.

We’re joined via satellite by Swainy to catch up on all the latest in Rugby World Cup. Japan have once again rocked the Rugby World. Can they keep it up? The Wallabies suffered a loss at the hands of Wales. Can they bounce back?

Richmond dominated GWS in the AFL Grand Final. After a tight first quarter, Richmond tightened the screws and the Giants couldn’t go with them. Dustin Martin was the runaway Norm Smith medallist. But the biggest story had to be Marlion Pickett. On debut in a GF. What a story!

Plus we catch up with NFL, EPL and F1.

0:00:00 – NRL Grand Final
0:33:00 – Rugby World Cup
0:58:00 – AFL Grand Final
1:32:00 – NFL
1:38:00 – EPL
1:42:00 – Formula 1

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Episode 209 – Never Surrender

Holidays USA Lake Macquarie

We chose the busiest time in the sporting calendar to take holidays. But we’re back just in time for the biggest games. The Producer has been touring Las Vegas and Los Angeles and Pies has been fishing on Lake Macquarie. But we’re back for the pointy end of the season.

In the last month hell has frozen over as BS goes into bat for the NRL referees. While we were gone Parra beat Manly to get into 5th. Played their GF in the first week of the finals against the Broncos. And then went out without a whimper in Melbourne. The Storm, Roosters, Raiders and Rabbitohs are left standing, as it should be.

In the AFL Pies almost burst a valve watching the last quarter of the Preliminary Final between GWS and Collingwood. The Giants are into their first ever Grand Final and BS is on board with the local team too. Come down to the AFL GF live site at Cathy Freeman Park, Olympic Park this Saturday!

The Rugby World Cup has kicked off in Japan with some fairly predictable results.

The NFL is three weeks in. The Daniel Jones era has begun in New York. And the Rams are winning, but could look better.

Plus we catch up on some of the other sports we missed including EPL, F1, FIBA World Cup and The Ashes Cricket.

0:00:00 – NRL Finals
1:07:00 – AFL Finals
1:51:00 – Rugby World Cup
2:03:00 – NFL
2:21:00 – Soccer
2:26:00 – Formula 1
2:32:00 – FIBA World Cup
2:36:00 – Ashes

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Episode 208 – Ready Hut Hut Hut

Las Vegas Stadium

Pies is joined via satellite by Big Zacko to discuss the upcoming NFL season and predict all the Division winners, as well as the Championship Games and Super Bowl winner.

There’s a couple of favourites selected. But stay tuned for Big Zacko’s Hot Tip for a nice long shot selection.

0:04:00 – FIBA World Cup
0:08:00 – NFL Preview
0:10:00 – AFC East
0:18:00 – AFC North
0:28:00 – AFC South
0:43:00 – AFC West
0:50:00 – NFC East
1:01:00 – NFC North
1:04:00 – NFC South
1:10:00 – NFC West
1:18:00 – Championship Games and Super Bowl
1:26:00 – AFL Finals

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Episode 207 – Father’s Day

Fathers Day

It’s Father’s Day so Pies gets his Dad on the phone to talk about the Panthers season fizzling out. Rod also stayed up to watch Ben Stokes carry England to victory in the third Ashes test.

Then Pies has Lobby from League By The Fireplace on the phone to talk about the run to the NRL Finals. Lobby is a Raiders fan and with Canberra currently sitting in third he has reason to be excited.

0:00:00 – Penrith Panthers
0:18:30 – The Ashes
0:32:35 – Paul Gallen
0:35:30 – NRL with Lobby
1:12:15 – FIBA World Cup

Join our AFL Tipping Comp HERE.
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Episode 206 – Big Zacko Returns

Tuvalu Funafuti Atoll Beach

Big Mendy is driving around Western USA so Pies felt compelled to come back. And not only that, Big Zacko has returned following a successful soccer coaching season.

Not only do we discuss NRL and AFL, But The Producer pre-recorded segments with Swainy on Rugby and Mendy on the Darts International in Melbourne.

Plus it’s the first episode of Politics With Dummies Australia.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:51:00 – Rugby
1:13:00 – Darts
1:36:00 – AFL
1:55:00 – The Ashes Cricket
2:18:00 – EPL
2:23:00 – Politics With Dummies Australia

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Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 205 – Predictions Review

Mendy 4 Trump

This week on Bats and Balls we bring in the reserve team AGAIN as the Captain Josh is away. Nathan and The Producer go through the latest round of the NRL. NRL Refs were again in the spotlight after a few crazy Sin Bins and an obstruction call. The Producer also gives a big Hell No to Gus looking after the refs after his claim he could fix them in 6 months during his lunch breaks. The Producer fixes them in 1 episode.

In the AFL St Kilda kept the boys in the game with their bet. The Pride of Queensland the Brisbane Lions are now in a 3 way tie at the top of the ladder and should lock in a top 4 finish. GWS was very disappointing in the first ever Snow Game in Canberra.

Rugby Championships in Perth has Swainy all pumped up. Can the Wallabies win again this week? Shute Shield are into the Finals after some heated Semi Finals last week. Catch the double header on 7two this Saturday from 1pm.

Australia lead the Ashes 1-0 and day 1 of the second test is washed out. The Aussies will have some team changes.

We play back a few of our guest predictions for 2019 and see how they are going. Some are not far off the mark!

Lastly the Producer goes through the EPL and Brighton gets a massive away win to start the season.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:58:00 – Rugby with Swainy
1:19:00 – AFL
1:36:00 – Predictions Review
1:44:00 – Ashes
1:45:00 – EPL

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Episode 204 – Challenge Accepted

Robbie Farah 300

This week on Bats and Balls we bring in the reserve team as the Captain Josh is away. Nathan and The Producer go through the latest round of the NRL. Head Trauma was the topic. Does the NRL even care after Sam Burgess is cleared of a nasty high tackle. The Producer gives his opinion on the Ivan Cleary Tunnel drama.

In the AFL St Kilda let the boys down with their bet last week. The Pride of Queensland the Brisbane Lions are now in a 3 way tie at the top of the ladder and should lock in a top 4 finish.

Rugby Championships finish this weekend in Perth with the Aussies against New Zealand. Shute Shield are into the Semi Finals and Nathan is backing Northen Suburbs for the win.

Australia takes a 1-0 lead in the Ashes with Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon dominating.

F1 has a great race at the Hungarian GP and the Moto GP was covered by Nathan.

Nathan’s Random Sports was back. Nathan covered the World Championships Basketball, Darts, UFC, Cycling plus more. The Producer went over week 1 of the EPL. Will Brighton survive this season?

Lastly we accepted the open challenge by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for a Handball challenge. The boys get off topic which leads to a new sports idea.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:44:00 – AFL
1:02:00 – Supercoach
1:09:00 – Rugby
1:13:00 – Ashes Cricket
1:22:00 – Motorsport F1, Moto GP, Rally Cars
1:34:00 – Nathan’s Random Sports
2:00:00 – Kevin Rudd Handball Challenge

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Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 203 – Beer and Food / Media Refs Fault

Henson Park Beer Footy Food 2019

Pies and The Producer in the studio recapping the latest round of NRL. Referees are in the spotlight and hell freezes over when BS goes into bat for the refs. Media outrage goes into overdrive after the Warriors apparently got hosed by the referees. The Rabbitohs got out of jail and the Manly bandwagon gathered a few more fans. Pies has plenty more space if you want to get on with him.

Swainy joins us to recap the 2nd week of The Rugby Championship. Australia beat Argentina and South Africa came from behind with a spectacular try to draw with New Zealand.

In the AFL BS floats a smoky for the Top 8 and after assessing the fixtures, we get on immediately. GWS hung on at the Adelaide Oval against Port, Geelong got a much needed win in Sydney and Brisbane confirmed their status as premiership threats with a win in Tasmania over Hawthorn. The Hawks inaccuracy didn’t help them.

In Cricket Justin Langer has confirmed Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson will start the first test of The Ashes. We try and pick the rest of the side. They can’t bring Bancroft straight back in can they?

Pies reviews one of the great editions of the Tour de France Cycling race with Egan Bernal proving too strong in the last two climbs amid landslides and glacial shifts. Aussie Caleb Ewan won 3 stages including the final stage down the Champs Elysees.

And Pies gives us a couple of stories from the Henson Park Beer Footy & Food Festival.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:49:00 – Rugby with Swainy
1:16:00 – AFL
1:53:00 – The Ashes preview
1:58:00 – Tour de France review
2:07:00 – Motorsport Supercars & Formula 1
2:14:00 – Beer Footy Food
2:17:00 – Masters of Rugby League

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Episode 202 – Run To The Finals

Henson Park

Pies and The Producer in studio with Swainy via Satellite.

First up is a catch up on the NRL. Who’s in form, who has bottomed out. And what are everyone’s run to the finals like? What’s the team that can emerge from the pack and cause a headache for the top 3 sides?

Then we have our old mate Swainy back to discuss all that’s been going on in the world of Rugby. The Crusaders were too good in the Super Rugby Final. South Africa and New Zealand were first up winners in the Rugby Championship.

We have a look into the crystal ball and try to figure out this AFL season. Consistency has been hard to come by. Who can hit form leading into the finals and win the flag? Can anyone from outside the 8 be consistent enough to sneak in?

Plus we catch up on the stuff we missed during our little break. Hope you didn’t miss us too much.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:56:00 – Rugby with Swainy
1:23:00 – AFL
2:00:00 – What We Missed

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Episode 201 – Lycra Time

Top Of The Tourmalet

Pies continues the tradition with the Tour de France preview show.

We discuss the latest round of the NRL. The Bankwest Stadium is apparently an ice skating rink. The Raiders can’t handle the heat. And the Sharks forgot how to play.

In the AFL GWS might not have been hosed. The defending premiers are flying under the radar. And the Swans are coming, but might not get past the Kangaroos.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Cricket World Cup are getting close to the semi finals.

Pies and Erik are starting a weight loss challenge. Plus heaps of other sports.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:03:20 – Weight Loss Challenge
1:10:00 – AFL
1:40:00 – Rugby
1:44:00 – FIFA Women’s World Cup
1:48:00 – Cricket World Cup
2:03:00 – Tour de France Preview
2:29:00 – Motorsport
2:34:00 – Tennis & Other Sports

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Photo: Top Of The Tourmalet by Bruce Baker CC 2.0

Episode 200 – Another Milestone

200

Light up the sky with fireworks we’ve reached another milestone. 200 episodes! Who thought we’d get this far? Pies and BS are joined in studio by Colbee and via satellite by our old mates Big Zacko and Swainy to reminisce about the last 200 episodes and talk a little sport.

It’s been a really fun 200 shows and we thank everyone who has helped us out either by appearing on the show, interacting with us on social media or sending us emails to help improve the show. Most of all we thank our families for tolerating us doing this weekly for the last 4+ years.

Cheers Josh, Brendan and the rest of the team.

0:00:00 – Big Zacko
0:19:00 – Masters of Rugby League
0:26:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:53:00 – NRL
1:27:00 – AFL
1:47:00 – FIFA Women’s World Cup
1:53:00 – Cricket World Cup
2:08:00 – Motorsport
2:09:00 – Other Sport

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Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 199 – Locked In

Eels Broncos Round 14 2019

Pies, The Producer and Mendy are back to dissect another week of wall to wall sport.

We discuss the latest NRL news and the most puzzling of NSW Origin selections. The Eels beat up the Broncos at Bankwest Stadium, The Storm dismantled the hottest team in the NRL and the Sea Eagles are looking ominous.

In the AFL the second of the bye rounds took place with one lucky tipster picking the round. Richmond once again got run down and gapped after leading at the first term. St Kilda came back from the death against Gold Coast… again. And the Giants outlasted a tough North Melbourne.

Amelia is back to catch up on the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA machine rolled on with another strong showing against Chile. Can they keep it up against arch-rivals Sweden? The Matildas appear to be coming good. And China and Spain played out a beneficial 0-0 draw.

In the Cricket World Cup could the top 4 already be set? One of the crew certainly thinks so. Perhaps there’s still a surprise or two left in the Cup though.

Plus there’s Rugby, Supercars and NBA Finals and trades to finish off the show.

0:00:00 – NRL / Politics With Dummies Australia
1:16:00 – AFL
1:43:00 – FIFA Women’s World Cup
2:08:00 – Cricket World Cup
2:18:00 – Rugby
2:21:00 – Motorsport
2:27:00 – NBA

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Episode 197 – Dare To Shine

FIFA Women's World Cup 2019

BS and Pies are joined in studio by very special guest and future soccer star Amelia to preview the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

We recap the split NRL round 12, AFL round 11 and tip this weeks games.

Plus we finish with Rugby, NBA and more.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:39:00 – AFL
1:11:00 – State of Origin
1:27:00 – FIFA Women’s World Cup
1:55:00 – Cricket World Cup
2:09:00 – Rugby, NBA Finals, Champions League

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Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 196 – Favourable Conditions

Eels Panthers Round 11 2019a

Pies and BS are back after a week off. No Mendy who is working on being mobile again.

In the NRL the Broncos retained the belt and are on a winning streak. The Roosters are on a losing streak. And the Eels are in freefall. Albeit, still in the 8 for another week.

In the AFL Freo and Brisbane played a cracking game on Sunday evening. The Giants thumped Melbourne and West Coast came from behind in Adelaide.

We have a look at the Cricket World Cup in England. Tip you the Semis, Finals and Winners.

No Swainy this week as he’s rubbing shoulders with the powerbrokers in Japan.

Plus BS wraps up the latest in Motorsport including Supercars from Winton and Formula 1 from the famously tight Monaco.

Stay tuned next week for our Womens Football World Cup Preview show with a special guest.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:52:00 – AFL
1:28:00 – Cricket World Cup Preview
1:47:00 – Motorsport

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Episode 195 – Not Good Enough

Shin kicking at the Olimpicks

The Producer and Mendy recap all the sports action from the weekend.

Swainy calls in to discuss the latest Rugby news.

Magic Round in the NRL created more questions than answers.

In the AFL the Giants turned in a stinker and the Demons rose from the ashes to jag a win.

Plus there’s heaps more. Literally every other sport that happened, Mendy watched.

0:00:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:33:00 – NRL Magic Round
1:45:00 – AFL
2:12:00 – Soccer
2:16:00 – Motorsport
2:20:00 – Random Sports
2:39:00 – Shin Kicking

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Image credit: David Stowell / Shin Kicking at the Cotswold Olympicks / CC BY-SA 2.0

Episode 194 – Magic Round

Eels Dragons Round 8 2019

Brendan is back to make it a twosome. And Pies couldn’t be happier.

It’s NRL Magic Round all weekend long up at Suncorp Stadium. Can the surface handle 8 straight games? Can Brisvegas handle a city full of NRL fans?

In the AFL and the Cats are still leading the way. While the Swans are running 18th.

In Soccer and what an amazing win to Liverpool in the first Champions League Semi Final. This show was recorded before the heroics of Tottenham. But now it’ll be an all England Final in Madrid. In the EPL all eyes will be on Brighton to see if The Producer is right and they get unleashed on Manchester City this week.

Plus there’s Rugby and Motorsport chat including night racing from Perth.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:13:00 – AFL
1:43:00 – Rugby
1:53:00 – Soccer
2:04:00 – Motorsport

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Episode 193 – All By Myself

Pies Left Foot Checkside

Scheduling issues all week meant we almost didn’t get a show out. But instead of leaving you hanging for a week. Pies took it upon himself to carry the load one out. The jury is still out as to whether it was a good move or not…

NRL and the Panthers appear to be back to close to their best. A tight loss to Souths isn’t terrible form. The Roosters and Storm got wins on Anzac Day. And the Knights outplayed Parramatta in Newcastle.

In the AFL Geelong are alone on top of the ladder with a wall of chasers a game away. Collingwood beat Essendon in a competitive Anzac Day clash, Brisbane won the Q Clash and GWS won the Battle of the Bridge convincingly.

In Soccer and Tottenham and Liverpool are both behind heading into the second leg of the Champions League. While Manchester City are still a point clear at the top of the EPL ladder.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:21:30 – AFL
0:45:00 – Soccer

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Episode 192 – Welcome Home

Bankwest Stadium Opening Eels Tigers

Wedged between two long weekends and The Producer trekking all over the state we managed to record on Wednesday morning.

Lots of NRL discussion including the transparency offered by the Graham Annesley NRL press conferences. The Producer isn’t convinced about the refereeing but Pies is very hopeful moving forward. But let’s not bury the lead. Parramatta returned home to the new Bankwest Stadium. BS was up the coast but Pies was flying the flag and soaking up the atmosphere of a huge win over the Wests Tigers. #PARRAdise indeed.

In the AFL the Eagles and Giants had disappointing losses at home. Geelong stamped their superiority with a rousing victory over Hawthorn and St Kilda just may be the real deal.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:38:00 – AFL

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Episode 191 – Permanent Rest

Masters Narrabeen Waratahs

Pies and The Producer in the studio with an appearance from Swainy via satellite.

First up it’s NRL where Parra tackled their butts off but dropped enough ball to lose three games. Luckily for Canberra they only needed to win one! Plus the Storm machine rolls on and the Roosters are building.

In the AFL the Giants won at the Cattery for the first time. While the Suns continue to play nailbiters.

Swainy joins us for Rugby. Super Rugby has been fantastic this season. We discuss World Cup players being rested and we dip our toes into the Israel Folau employee relations wading pool. #SwainyRWC2019 #OlympicSwainy

Plus there’s heaps more including soccer, motorsport and basketball.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:41:00 – AFL
1:00:00 – Rugby
1:28:00 – Soccer
1:35:00 – Motorsport
1:42:00 – Cricket
1:48:00 – Other Sports

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Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 190 – Double Vision

Eels Sharks Eagles Magpies

A big weekend for Pies and The Producer as their teams both got up on Saturday night including a rousing victory by the Eels in their last home game at ANZ Stadium.

Pies is off sick. So the show is carried by BS and Mendy. No Swainy this week so the boys do Rugby on their own. Don’t forget #SwainyRWC2019

Plus heaps of other sports including the upcoming Marblelympics!

0:00:00 – NRL
0:51:00 – AFL
1:22:00 – Rugby
1:32:00 – Soccer
1:40:00 – Motorsport
2:00:00 – Other Sports

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Mendy’s Weekend Update – 8 April 2019

01BB_NP_Mendys_Weekend_Update

If you’re not following Mendy on Twitter @BigMendy180 here’s what you’re missing out on #MendysWeekendUpdate
—–
Well another weekend of sport done and it was huge. If sport was junk food Id be well on my way to Type 2 Diabetes,
NRL, AFL, Curling, Darts, FA Cup, V8s, WSBK, Rugby7’s, Cycling, Weight Lifting and Surfing from D-Bar on the Gold Coast(still ongoing)
@batsandballspod
—–
NRL- 3 games decided by Field goals in one round. Is that some sort of record?Roosters to strong over the Broncs, Warriors blitz the Titans with 90% completion rate GC had way to many errors in their game and poor kicks from Roberts didnt find space
—–
Penny Panthers scrape home at the death after the Tigers lead 8-2 early, Manly who had 20 errors and less possession cause the upset of the round over Souths in a game that saw the usually solid kicker in Reynolds have a shocker which cost them the win,
—–
Canberra hand Cowboys their 3rd loss with Croker and Rapana running circles around Nth Qld, Parra bring home the bacon over the Sharks in a back and forth game and the Storm win 4in a row over Canterbury who scored a late try but missed the conversion by 3 postcodes
—–
AFL- Swans picked up their 1st win of 2019, GWS put the hurt on Richmond with Cameron kicking 7goals, West Coast sent Collingwood fans home sad, Suns Hawthorn and Freo also picking up wins in tight clashes with my prediction of StKilda being blow out of the water
—–
Curling-Hard luck for the olympic gold medalists with USA bowing out to Japan 7-6 and Switzerland losing to Canada 5-6, Japan played the Swiss in the bronze medal game unfortunately losing 8-4 with the Swiss picking up 4 shots in the 7th end. Sweden v Canada for the gold today
—–
Darts- Players Championship 9&10 were held, no joy for the Aussies with Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson out early with PC9 going to James Wade over Michael Smith 8-2 and PC10 saw Jonny Clayton win 8-4 over Gabriel Clemens
—–
FA Cup- Man City beat Brighton 1-0 with Gabriel Jesus scoring in the 4th minute. Theyll be singing his praises, Man City dominated possession giving little away and Watford beat The Wolves 3-2 in extra time after leading 2-0 with Deulofue bagging a double
—–
V8s headed to Tassy with DJR 1,2 finish in race1, SVG the best Holden in 3rd and standout performance from Mark Winterbottom in his new team unlucky to not hang onto 3rd. Race2 saw SVG win by 5seconds with Coultard 2nd and Reynolds 3rd, point leader McLaughlin in 4th
—–
WSBK saw hometown hero Alvaro Bautista claim both races in Aragon Spain by 6second margin who currently leads by 39 points overall
—–
Rugby7’s from Hong Kong, what an absolute pleasure this was to watch with Fiji winning over France 21-7 which saw a few yellow cards thrown at players and a penalty try for a high tackle. This win has put Fiji in the record books winning 5 7s comps in a row
—–
Cycling- Took to the streets of Belgium with Aussie Michael Matthews crossing the line in 6th after 270km which saw Italian Alberto Bettiol win in by 14seconds in an overall time of 6h18m49s
—–
Weight lifting was held in Georgia, I caught snippets of this via youtube in bed and Im no expert on this or the competitors but its just amazing to see people lifting close to double their body weight I know I cant do it
—–
Surfing (its still going)- Steph Gilmore went out to USA Caroline Marks in the 1/4 finals, Sally Fitzgibbons beat Sage Erickson to go through to the semis and is on now. In the men Aussie Wade Carmichael went down in the 1/4 final as well as Champ Gabriel Medina, semis up next
—–
That my weekend with some sport still yet to be finished, Ill be putting in the hard yards watching them.
—–

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Episode 189 – Throw The Book At You

Eels Roosters Round 3 2019

The Producer, Pies and Mendy are back with another action packed episode.

Australia wrapped up the ODI series in UAE with a 5-0 drubbing of Pakistan. Seriously, how do you fit Warner and Smith back in? Plus Brendan brings back one of our favourite segments.

The cream is rising to the top of the NRL with the Storm, Rabbitohs and Roosters all winning. And the poop is sinking in Penrith.

In the AFL and the Bats and Balls battle for supremacy was a one sided affair with West Coast demolishing GWS. Can they repeat the dose in the Grand Final replay this weekend? Collingwood are flying after systematically dismantling Richmond.

Plus heaps of other sports including Rugby, Soccer, Motorsport, Darts, Surfing, Curling, Baseball, Basketball and Tennis.

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:18:00 – NRL
1:10:00 – AFL
1:40:00 – Other Sport

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Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Mendy’s Weekend Update – 1 April 2019

01BB_NP_Mendys_Weekend_Update

If you’re not following Mendy on Twitter @BigMendy180 here’s what you’re missing out on #MendysWeekendUpdate
—–
Well thats another sleepless coffee beer and pain killer fuelled weekend of sport over with a sigh of disapointment for some fans. NRL AFL F1 Darts UFC Cricket Cycling WRC and I lose Drone racing virginity. its all covered
@batsandballspod
—–
The Dragons pipped the Broncos in rnd3 opener. The Broncs didnt complete sets well in a back and forth game sealed by a field goal to Norman. Gareth Widdop suffered a big shoulder injury to add to their list of woes
—–
Raiders beat the Knights 17-10 and Parra suffered their fisrt loss to the Roosters 32-18 which was neck and neck until the 62nd minute. the scoreline doesnt reflect how good of effort Parra put in. Again Fergo killing it for the Eels
—–
Manly picked up their first win roasting the Warriors 46-12 with DCE and Turbo Tommy running riot. Sharkies did the same to the Cowboys as did the Storm over the Penny Panthers who took their game to Bathurst in a dismal display. The only thing worse than Penrith was the weather
—–
Tigers suffered their first loss to Canterbury. The Bulldogs controlled every minute of that game with only 4 errors and 89% completion rate.
Bunnies beat Titans 28-20 in a hard game that saw GC hang around on the scoreboard like that annoying cousin at a wedding
—–
AFL- Big margins were all the rage in rnd2 with West Coast bouncing back over GWS, Collingwood cleaning up against Richmond and Geelong pumping the Dees by 80. AFLW Adelaide Crows destroyed Carlton 63-18 in the GF in a game that saw an unexpected huge crowd turn out
—–
Daniel Ricciardo again suffered in Bahrain GP with his car Renault failing again with then fears of being electrocuted when getting out. I know Renault have a black and yellow theme going but thats also the colour of rotting lemons. Hamilton claimed victory
—–
Darts- Euro tour 2 was taken out by Daryl Gurney 8-6 over Ricky Evans. Superchin rocketed to a 5-1 lead early only to see Evans claw some legs back in a tight finishing game
—–
UFC- saw a couple of big KOs but stand out for me was Michelle Watersons strawweight fight. Her leg speed and kicking technique was outrageously good which she won on decision in a dominant performance
—–
Aussies wound up the series 5-0 against the Pakis in Dubai with Glen Maxwell putting on a masterclass belting 70 of 33 balls. Finch, Khawaja and S Marsh also had big scores though the Pakis bowling attack is a little lacking
—–
Cycling from Belgium was taken out by Norwegian Alexander Kristoff with the 4 Aussies in the race failing to finish the 251km race
—–
WRC- Hit the tarmac hills in France which was overall taken out by German Thierry Neuville in his Hyundai i20 by 40seconds. He also leads the championship by 2 points over Citroens Sebastien Ogier.
—–
Drone Racing hit the snow fields in Laax, Switzerland. Its a bit like redbull air race twisting through tight course gates at 130kmph controlled via remote person wearing a VR headset with Veloce Racing from Korea taking maximum points. Its different Ill put it that way
—–

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Episode 188 – Glory Beckons

Giants Bombers Round 1 2019

Swainy joins us first up to discuss Super Rugby and the fact that Foxsports have secured the rights to the World Cup. #SwainyRWC2019

In the NRL the Wests Tigers and Parramatta Eels are the top 2. Who expected this?

Speaking of unexpected. The Aussie ODI side have now won 5 in a row and Aaron Finch has gone huge back to back.

The AFL season kicked off with a big win for the GWS Giants and a big loss for defending premiers West Coast Eagles.

0:00:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:25:00 – NRL
1:38:00 – Cricket
1:49:00 – AFL
2:36:00 – Soccer

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Episode 187 – Play Ball

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Erik signed on for 13 years in the off-season. Unfortunately for Erik he’s not getting $330m! He joins Pies for a season preview of the Major League Baseball Season. The NL looks very competitive this season. And there seems to be a few highly rated teams in the AL.

The NRL season kicked off on the weekend. We kept Big Zacko away from the show as everyone else on the mics had a win. Souths opened up with a win over arch rivals Sydney Roosters. Wests Tigers beat Manly at Leichhardt and the mighty Parramatta Eels beat Penrith at their home.

AFL balls up this weekend and we pick our Round 1 selections after previewing the season last week.

Australia moves to UAE for the ODI series with Pakistan and there’s moves afoot for numbers on Test shirts. Good or bad?

Motorsport in the form of Formula 1 and Supercars revved up in Melbourne. Plus heaps more sports in the last hour.

Join our AFL Tipping Comp HERE.
Join our NRL Tipping Comp HERE.
Supercoach AFL League code 233899

0:00:00 – MLB Preview
0:43:00 – NRL
1:39:00 – AFL
1:50:00 – Cricket
2:03:00 – Rugby
2:07:00 – Soccer
2:15:00 – Supercars & Formula 1
2:27:00 – Other Sports

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 186 – Swansational Return

Sydney Swans Eau de Toilette

Our old mate Craig Swansational made the big trek from the East to join us in studio for the AFL Season Preview. There’s some big clubs in Melbourne looking to make waves in 2019. Can the battlers from Sydney and GWS stay in the top 8 this season?
Join our AFL Tipping Comp HERE.
Join our NRL Tipping Comp HERE.

Game 5 of the ODI series in India was being played as we recorded. Recap games 3 and 4 and marvel at Usman Khawaja making another big score. How can they possibly leave him out of the World Cup team?

Plus heaps of other sports including Rugby, NRL Round 1 tips and Formula 1 revving up again in Melbourne this weekend.

Supercoach NRL League code 680780
Supercoach AFL League code 233899

0:00:00 – AFL Preview
2:25:00 – Cricket
2:47:00 – Rugby
2:55:00 – Soccer
3:02:00 – NRL
3:14:00 – Basketball & Motorsport

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 185 – Old School

Kings Playoff

Old school show with The Producer and Pies in the studio. Not a lot of games on at the moment but plenty going on.

We’re gearing up for the Cricket World Cup. Aaron Finch is working hard to keep his spot. Can he turn it around in the remaining ODI vs India? With Warner and Smith waltzing straight back in, someone has to make way.

The NRL has been in the news a lot lately. But BS gushes over the latest Panthers Anthem. And we discuss a few of the trial games. Of course, this week, trials matter.

Brendan has been watching a bit of Super Rugby lately. It’s taken 4 years, but Swainy’s influence is wearing us down. That and the Rugby being played at the moment is very entertaining.

Manchester City have finally assumed their place at the top of the Premier League. Can Liverpool mount another challenge? And there’s been some major upsets in the Champions League. Little Man Utd are through to the last 8.

Supercars are back and it looks like the Ford Mustangs are going to be very hard to beat. They dominated the Adelaide 500 and this season already looks very tough for the Holdens. Plus we look forward to the F1 starting up again in a couple of weeks.

0:00:00 – Basketball
0:19:00 – Cricket
0:42:00 – NRL
1:01:00 – Supercoach
1:12:00 – Rugby
1:22:00 – Soccer
1:33:00 – Motorsport

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 184 -NRL Preview – Balls By The Fireplace

Penrith Round 1 2018

We’ve got a very special guest this week. For the first time we welcome Lobby from League By The Fireplace to help us preview the 2019 NRL season. If you’re into a lighter look at Rugby League check out League By The Fireplace.

Plus The Producer catches up with Swainy to talk about Super Rugby. The Waratahs went to Japan and beat the Sunwolves in a thriller, And there were heaps of other good games.

Plus BS gives his take on Soccer and Cricket.

Open the document below to read along with us during the season preview.
Bats and Balls Podcast 2019 NRL Preview

0:00:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:35:00 – Cricket
0:39:00 – Soccer
0:44:00 – NRL Season Preview

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 183 – Trials Mean Nothing

Kayo and Beer

The Producer, Mendy and Pies in studio this week. And we’ve got Swainy on the telephone hook up to talk about the first round of Super Rugby. There were a lot of close games and this could be one of the better Super Rugby seasons we’ve seen. #SwainyRWC2019

The Melbourne Renegades won the BBL Final, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat over the Melbourne Stars. Hot shots Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney 6ers were bundled out in the Semis.

Australia are putting the design of their 2019-20 ODI kit in the fans hands. You can vote on your favourite design at cricket.com.au.

NRL Trials have kicked off with a comeback win for Mounties over Wenty, aka Canberra beat Parramatta at St Marys Stadium. The All Stars game was played on the same night. The highlight was undoubtedly Blake Ferguson’s backflip.

In Soccer we’re down the final 8 of the FA Cup and Brighton Hove Albion are still a shot at getting to Wembley. Can these plucky upstarts go all the way?

Plus there’s heaps of other sports thrown in along the way.

0:00:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:25:00 – Cricket
0:49:00 – NRL Trials
1:15:00 – Soccer
1:20:00 – Other Sport

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 182 – Busted

Stubby Holders

Pies is out and about getting the big guests so The Producer is on his Pat Malone with Big Zacko joining him via telephone hook up.

Short and sweet show this week. The boys whip around the grounds to catch up on BBL, Soccer, Rugby and NRL Trials.

Then Pies is on location with Glebe Dirty Reds President Darren Flynn to discuss the upcoming Return to Wentworth Park Festival of Footy. Get out to Wenty Park this Sunday to check out some great Rugby League and see the Dirty Reds, Norths, Sydney University and Newtown jerseys all in the same place, possibly for the first time in 90 years!

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:16:00 – Soccer
0:27:00 – Rugby
0:29:00 – NRL
0:31:00 – Glebe Dirty Reds

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Wentworth Park Festival of Footy

Wentworth Park Festival of Footy

Pies caught up with Glebe Dirty Reds President Darren Flynn to discuss the upcoming Return to Wentworth Park Festival of Footy.

Wentworth Park
Sunday 17 February 2019.
Gates open 12:30pm $10 entry. Kids under 16 free.

1:15pm Sydney University vs Ryde Eastwood (Sydney Shield)
3:00pm Glebe – Burwood (Ron Massey Cup) vs North Sydney (Jersey Flegg)
5:00pm Newtown vs North Sydney (Intrust Super Premiership)
NSWRL

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Episode 181 – Mixed Bag

Centiennial Park SBLIII

Mixed bag this episode with the satellite working overtime.

Colbee joins us to discuss the whitewash of Sri Lanka in the two test series.

Swainy is on the line to recap the World Rugby Sevens Series round in Sydney.

Then Big Zacko gets on the audio link to discuss Super Bowl LIII. It was a defensive struggle. But not every big game can be the points fest that SBLII was. According to MyTopSportsbooks.com the Patriots are favoured in opening Super Bowl Odds for 2020.

Then we finish up with soccer, EPL and Asian Cup on the agenda. Qatar are coming good. Just in time for their World Cup.

0:00:00 – Cricket with Colbee
0:18:50 – Rugby with Swainy
0:44:00 – NFL Super Bowl LIII
1:28:00 – Soccer

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 180 – Hitting Our Maximum

darts 180

Three jam packed segments. Much like our show title, we’ve hit our Maximum this week.

First treble 20 is Cricket. We recap the shortened first test between Australia and Sri Lanka. Give Cummins another Pat on the back. And lament two butchered centuries. Plus recap some of the BBL games from the past week. Including the brilliant innings from Callum Ferguson in response to Shaun Marsh’s gem from last weeks show.

In the second treble Liverpool are still riding high at the top of the EPL. Brighton are looking good to stay up, as long as they get their Australian keeper back sooner rather than later. And the boys watched a few A-League games over the weekend. Oh and Australia were bundled out of the Asian Cup in the Quarters.

For the third treble we preview the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots have been the gold standard for 17 years now. There’s some nice symmetry with the Pats taking on the Rams just like their first title in 2002. The only problem is, Tom Brady isn’t quitting just yet.

And during the NFL talk we have a call from a VERY special guest.

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:45:00 – Soccer
1:13:00 – Super Bowl LIII Preview

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 179 – Stitched Up

Mariano Rivera

The Producer and his two apprentices had half an hour to stitch up Pies before he turned up.

We catch up on all the NFL Playoff talk.

Recap the first day of the pink ball test between Australia and Sri Lanka.

Live watch a Shaun Marsh gem in the BBL.

And we go streaking with James Harden who dropped 61 at MSG.

0:00:00 – NFL Playoffs
1:08:00 – Cricket
1:21:00 – NBA
1:35:00 – Soccer

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 178 – Australian Invasion of Europe

biathlon

Fourth year apprentice Big Zacko joins us via satellite from the quarry while first year apprentice Mendy is in the studio. Mendy brings a European flavour to the show with darts, soccer and heaps of other sports.

We kick off the show with the NFL Playoffs. It’s down to the Championship Games and it’s 1v2 in both conferences.

Then we catch up with the ODI and BBL in cricket. And we throw in some live commentary of the Heat v Thunder game that was abandoned for bad light. Sabotage from the Brisbane Heat?

All that and heaps more.

0:00:00 – NFL Playoffs
0:49:00 – Cricket
1:12:00 – Soccer
1:20:00 – Darts with Nathan
1:30:00 – Other Sports

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 176 – Press Record

Roll On Summer

The Producer is out so it’s just Pies and Big Zacko via teleconference this week. Apologies if the audio sucks, but the content is pretty good.

First we discuss a few of the Week 17 games in the NFL. The virtual playoff game between the Colts and Titans is high on the list.

Then we preview the NFL Playoffs. There’s 12 teams left and virtually any of them could win it this year. The wildcard games are all interesting and should throw up some exciting football.

And we finish up with the last of the India tests in Sydney. Australia’s selectors have pulled another fast one naming a very part time legspinning all rounder as the number 3 bat. What’s going on at Cricket Australia?

0:00:00 – NFL Week 17
0:32:15 – NFL Playoffs
1:52:40 – Test Cricket

Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 175 – Highlights, Lowlights, Predictions

2018 Wrap Up

Episode 175 – Highlights, Lowlights, Predictions

Another big year in sport has come to an end. It’s time for the Podcast Christmas Party. Which means too much beer, not enough finger food and telling the boss where to go.

We catch up on the NFL and look ahead to the last two weeks of the regular season. There’s some interesting jostling going on for the last few playoff spots. The Rams are in, but faltering. While the Titans and Colts are in good form, but both can’t make it.

Australia bounced back from the Adelaide loss to level the test series with India 1-1. The pitch at the new Perth Stadium was excellent offering something for everyone. Virat Kohli showed his class with a very good century. But it was the Aussie bowlers who won the game. The BBL has kicked off. And we look ahead to Boxing Day in Melbourne.

Erik is on the phone to discuss the Wests Tigers salary cap, Justin Pascoe and Robbie Farah situation. And then talk a little baseball.

And from 2:05:00 we wrap up the 2018 year in sport and make a few bold predictions.

0:00:00 – NFL
0:37:00 – Cricket
1:21:00 – NRL & Baseball with Erik
1:58:00 – EPL
2:05:00 – 2018 Wrap Up and 2019 Predictions

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 174 – Our New/Old Team Member

Army Navy Trump

Pies is in Moore Park paying his respects to the Sydney Football Stadium before it gets demolished. So in his place is new/old team member Nathan. Nathan has been watching every sport in the world lately so he’ll fit right in.

First up is Big Zacko via satellite talking NFL. The Rams got stopped by the Bears. And the Giants can’t even tank right. The scene is set for the big clash between the Giants and Titans this weekend.

We have Swainy on the line to recap the Spring tour of Europe and to talk up the future of Rugby in this country.

We recap an eventful first test in Adelaide. The Aussies almost pulled off the miracle win. But it probably didn’t deserve it and the final margin flattered the top 6.

Nathan brings back some much needed Darts talk. Plus heaps more with NBA, NBL, EPL and more.

0:00:00 – NFL
0:31:00 – Rugby
1:11:00 – Cricket
1:36:00 – Darts
1:44:00 – Basketball
1:49:00 – Premier League
1:52:00 – Other Sport

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 173 – Pulling The Team

Geelong Korea Walkoff

The Sydney Storm has kept Big Zacko stranded on dry land for another week. And Pies was a late arrival. But we managed to get through it all.

Zacko and The Producer recap the last couple of weeks in the NFL. Cover the big stories. Then Pies turns up to tip a big upset.

The Producer and Pies then take over and discuss the touring Indian side and the upcoming test series vs Australia. Australia have selected an interesting squad and there should be at least one debutant for the first test.

Pies and The Producer joined Erik at the ballpark for one of the Sydney Blue Sox vs Geelong Korea baseball games. Hilarity ensued. Hear our recap here.

And the final round of the Supercars was held in Newcastle. The Producer was watching all of the action and controversy.

0:00:00 – NFL
0:45:00 – Cricket
1:22:00 – ABL
1:34:00 – Supercars

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 172 – Darl The Rains Are Here

Oriole Park

Big Zacko is stuck on the farm with the bridges to the boondocks washed out. So it’s Pies and The Producer in studio and Big Zacko via carrier pigeon.

The NFL season is shaking out with the cream rising to the top of most divisions. There’s still some interesting races going on though. Week 11 should give some clarity to those divisional battles. Or will it?

Australia and South Africa completed their 3 game ODI series with South Africa winning 2-1. Perhaps Australian cricket isn’t completely dead. Can the Marsh Brothers dig us out of the hole? Or is there another saviour on the horizon?

Pies and The Producer are off to the baseball on Friday night to see Sydney Blue Sox play Geelong Korea. Should we spend more time talking about the ABL?

Plus we whip around the other sports including Soccer, Motorsport and the weird NBA season.

0:00:00 – NFL
0:54:00 – Cricket
1:07:00 – ABL
1:17:00 – Soccer, Motorsport, NBA

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 171 – Only As Good As Your Last Race

Berrigan Cricket Nets

Melbourne Cup was a tough race. For a few of the imported and horses. And for most of our tips. Good thing we only bet what we can afford eh?

Cricket Australia is going through a major reshuffle. Pies and The Producer try and get to the bottom of all the upheaval. Where to from here for Australian cricket? And should kids bowl more?

Pies and Big Zacko watched a few games of NFL. And the cream is slowly rising to the top. Who is the under the radar team of the NFL right now? A team that may actually go deep into the playoffs.

The NRL is back into preseason. Looking forward to all the posts about teams training the house down.

And there’s a real rivalry going on in the Supercars. Scott McLaughlin vs Shane van Gisbergen.

0:00:00 – Cricket Australia
0:31:00 – Melbourne Cup
0:38:00 – NFL
1:12:00 – NRL
1:18:00 – Supercars

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 170 – Melbourne Cup Preview Show – Form On The Board

2010 Melbourne Cup

Hot on the heels of Big Zacko picking the eyes out of the 2017 Melbourne Cup we’re back to preview the great race for another year.

Zac tipped us the Exacta last season and he reckons he’s got the first 5 in order in the 2018 Melbourne Cup.

Pies and The Producer have got some thoughts on the race as well. So have a listen and then make your own mind up.

And as we always say, don’t bet what you can’t afford.

0:00:00 – The Field and Lead Up Races
0:41:00 – Tips

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Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 169 – Freestyle Thoughts

Pacific Dunes

Big Zacko and The Producer Episode 5. With Pies down at Flemington checking out the form, The Producer and Big Zacko decide to give Swainy more rein than he’s used to. And the big man doesn’t disappoint swaying away from Rugby into uncharted territory.

The boys then break down all the action from the NFL. The Producer’s Rams keep winning. Big Zacko’s Titans had the bye and Pies’ Giants had another underwhelming loss.

Winx, the mighty mare won an unprecedented 4th straight WS Cox Plate. Big Zacko breaks down all the action from Mooney Valley.

Then we’re joined by Pies via satellite from an undisclosed location. Review the Cricket Australia review. As well as catching up with Brighton and how they’re doing in the English Premier League.

0:00:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:36:00 – NFL
1:18:00 – No Phony Stewpit Tweet of the Week
1:24:00 – Horse Racing
1:42:00 – Pies

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 168 – Leading Into The Straight

Jaguars Browns

Well Mad Monday lasted longer than anticipated. The photos haven’t emerged yet. But when they do…

International Rugby League has been happening. We saw a bit of it. There’s been a bit of action off the field and we’re not really across much of it. But we do have time for one of the great Stewpit Tweets of the Week.

The NFL has returned order to the world. The Rams & Saints, Chiefs and Patriots look like the Championship games already. But NFL post seasons rarely go to script.

Caulfield Cup Day came and went. Racing expert Big Zacko runs his eye over a few of the big winners from Saturday. And he has a warning for those who like Thinkin Big in the Derby.

Plus we catch up with a few of the stories in AFL, EPL, NBA and more.

0:00:00 – Rugby League
0:10:31 – No Phony Stewpit Tweet of the Week
0:39:00 – AFL
0:45:00 – NFL
1:45:00 – Cricket
2:03:00 – Premier League
2:07:00 – Basketball
2:16:00 – Horse Racing

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 167 -To The Victors Go The Spoils

GF Day 2018

Another footy season done and dusted. Two of the more memorable Grand Finals played out over the weekend.

West Coast outwitted Collingwood but it took all 4 quarters. An absolute belter of an AFL Grand Final. The Eagles finally winning 11.13.79 – 11.8.74.

In the NRL Grand Final the Sydney Roosters apparently played with 12 men but still completely outplayed the Melbourne Storm. It was a huge performance from the Roosters, eventually winning the game 21-6.

In the NFL Big Zacko outlasted the rest of us on a public holiday Monday taking in all 3 games on FTA TV. The Rams are better than Big Zacko thought. The Patriots still have a lot of questions to be answered after their beat down of Miami. The Steelers may be finished. And the Giants are a loss away from tanking for a decent O-Line.

0:00:00 – AFL Grand Final
0:36:00 – NRL Grand Final
2:00:00 – NFL
2:44:00 – No Phony Stewpit Tweet of the Week

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Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 166 – The Deciders

GF 2018

Pies is back to preview the two big games this weekend. On Saturday it’s the AFL Grand Final between West Coast and Collingwood. And on Sunday it’s the NRL Grand Final between Sydney Roosters and Melbourne. It should be a massive weekend of sport.

But first cab off the rank, and the only sport with an international flavour is Rugby. Our favourite guest Swainy is back to talk The Rugby Championship and the NRC. Swainy is calling a game on Sunday afternoon so catch that game during your Grand Final barbecues!

Finally we wrap up with the NFL. All our teams won on the weekend. The Producer is glowing with the form of the Rams. Pies is relieved the Giants got off the donut. And Big Zacko is sceptical of the Titans record under coach Vrabel.

0:00:00 – Rugby
0:26:00 – NRL
1:09:00 – AFL
1:29:00 – Stewpit Tweet of the Week
1:40:00 – NFL
2:09:00 – EPL

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 165 – Two Jibberers

Vontae Davis

No Pies this week so it’s up to the comedy duo of Big Zacko and The Producer to carry the show this week. Nothing much has changed then…

They discuss the NRL finals and are fully opposed on their selections for the Grand Final.
We have a very special guest Coach Blake Campbell Defensive Co-Ordinator for the Revere Minutemen HS who comes in to help Zacko cover all the weeks NFL news. We discuss retiring at halftime, the greatness of the Rams and Jaguars, Miami’s hot start, placekicking woes all that and more…

0:00:00 – NRL Finals
0:25:00 – NFL
1:40:00 – AFL Finals

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 164 – Is This The End?

Greene SCG

Is Episode 164 the last ever? What could happen to force one member of the team to walk out? Can the other two members carry the show without him? Will he ever come back? All those questions and more will be answered in this explosive episode of Bats and Balls.

The NRL threw up a few surprises forcing Pies to eat a big piece of humble pie and apologise, not for the last time, to the Panthers and Dragons. Can they keep the roll on going next weekend? And can anyone stop the Roosters and Storm from the inevitible Grand Final?

In the AFL Pies and The Producer are happy as their teams won. Can the Giants head to the MCG and win three straight to claim the flag? Can West Coast remain fit and win a Prelim Final at home and book their place in the GF?

The NFL finally kicked off and we have a very special guest on the line. Our Crazy Canadian mate Cookie calls in to discuss the match up of the week Tennessee at Miami! Can the Browns build on their strong start to the season? Are the Rams really the best team in the NFL? Can Tom Brady survive the season?

So many questions. Only one place to find most of the answers.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:44:00 – AFL
1:12:00 – NFL

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 163 – Week Three of NFL Previews

Minchinbury Module

In the third and final NFL Preview show we’re joined by Ben Sudderth III of BS3 Sports. Ben is a Cowboys fan but we won’t hold that against him. Have a listen to Ben’s thoughts here, and then check out his own show at http://www.spreaker.com/user/bs3sports.

Then we’re on the phone with Big Zacko to round out the NFL Previews and give our own Super Bowl LIII picks.

Keeping up with the NFL theme there’s some debate in the studio over the #StewpitTweetOfTheWeek.

To kick off the show we cover the final round of NRL, Mad Monday celebrations got a little out of hand for one club and we pick the winners of the NRL Finals.

At the end we rattle home with AFL Finals selections, Soccer, Motorsport and the NRL Supercoach winner in an absolute nailbiter.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:37:00 – NFL with Ben Sudderth III
1:20:00 – NFL with Big Zacko
2:04:00 – Stewpit Tweet of the Week
2:20:00 – AFL Finals
2:28:00 – EPL
2:33:00 – Supercars & Formula 1
2:40:00 – NRL Supercoach

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 162 – Week Two of NFL Previews

Colbee in Studio

We’re joined by a very special guest. All the way from the USA it’s Zach Bahner of Auctionable Offense Podcast to talk all things NFL. Zach lives and breathes NFL and it’s great to have him on to preview the NFL season.

Our old mate Swainy is back and it’s hard times for the Wallabies. Another crushing defeat at the hands of the All Blacks. Can we see a silver lining to this cloud?

Colbee opens the show previewing the last Masters of Rugby League module at Minchinbury this weekend. Should be a cracking afternoon down at Federation Forest with the first game of the Indigenous Masters team.

NRL, AFL and Soccer are on at the back end of this episode and by then we’d had a few beers. The Producer has another rant of sorts and Pies unleashes on Dragons fans.

0:00:00 – Masters of Rugby League with Colbee
0:27:00 – Rugby with Swainy
0:51:00 – NFL Preview with Zach Bahner
2:11:00 – NRL
3:08:00 – AFL
3:19:00 – Soccer

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 161 – Week One of NFL Previews

Rams Board

The NFL season is just around the corner and we’re joined by our favourite Crazy Canadian Cookie for the first of our NFL preview shows. Changing it up a bit this year and giving our guests more rope during the NFL previews. Have a listen to Cookie and the next few guests to have some idea about the upcoming NFL season.

The NRL and AFL Finals are just around the corner. We recap the last round and preview the final round in AFL and the penultimate round of NRL.

Swainy is back to recap the All Blacks second half demolition of the Wallabies in Bledisloe Cup game 1. It’s hard to see the tables turning at Fortress Eden Park in the next game.

Brighton & Hove Albion beat Manchester United in the English Premier League. The Producer can’t be more happy. Meanwhile Liverpool might actually have the team to challenge City at the top.

Plus we have our second Stewpit Tweet of the Week. It’s a massive show with something for everyone.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:38:00 – NFL with Ben Cook
1:49:00 – No Phony Stewpit Tweet of the Week
2:08:00 – AFL
2:20:00 – Rugby with Swainy
2:40:00 – Soccer
2:46:00 – Supercoach Finals

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 160 – The Run To The Finals

Budgewoi

After putting the finishing touches on a very exciting project (stay tuned for more info) we thought it’d be a very short one. But there’s just so much going on in the world of NRL and AFL.

We don’t have any answers to the mess that is the Panthers saga. And we have even less of a clue why the Dragons have fallen off a cliff. One thing we do know. The race for the wooden spoon has never been hotter!

In the AFL there’s a log jam at the bottom end of the top 8. Teams that aren’t the Tigers, Eagles or Giants can’t string even a few wins together. It’s shaping up as one of the better races to the finals.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:58:00 – AFL
1:18:00 – Stewpit Tweet of the Week

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 159 – PPPPPP

Flags Up

The Producer has outdone himself. Or at least turned back the clock to when we were organised! Show notes, scores, ladders. It’s almost like we’re a proper podcast again haha.

Kicking off the show is Swainy recapping the Super Rugby Finals. The Crusaders won their 9th Super Rugby title. Confirming their status as the Real Madrid of provincial Rugby.

Heaps going on in the NRL including the Rabbitohs looking real good. The Raiders blowing another lead and the Bulldogs holding onto the championship belt for another week!

In the AFL on Friday and Saturday we had 5 games decided by less than a kick. Then on Sunday 3 games decided by 260 points.

Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France. Shane van Gisbergen won the Sydney night enduro at Eastern Creek in the Supercars. And Daniel Ricciardo is off to Renault.

And we finally look at our Supercoach side. We’ve limped into the bottom playoffs. But will struggle to place from here. Good luck to the top 8 teams in NRL and AFL. Don’t forget our NRL winner gets a great prize from the guys at The Dressing Shed.

0:00:00 – Rugby
0:28:00 – NRL
1:04:00 – AFL
1:32:00 – Tour de France
1:36:00 – Supercoach

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 158 – Less Is More

Retro Round

NSFW. Due to popular demand, Pies is back in the studio. Things get a little heated as we discuss the latest round of NRL. Robust discussion covers the Parramatta dominance over Canterbury, how many people are in the ears of the refs, and whether we want to hear from the referees coach directly after the games.

The Giants continue to Never Surrender as they surge into the AFL Top 8. The Eagles are flying high in the top 2, and the Swans continue to lose at home. This time to the Gold Coast.

Mayhem at Le Tour de France as Philippe Gilbert goes over the edge. Quintana attacks, but is it too little too late? And Chris Froome has all but conceded the yellow jersey to Sky Teammate Geraint Thomas.

And finally we are joined by our number 1 supporter and mad Eels fan Ally. We conduct a post mortem into the Parra season and try to find a silver lining in this dark cloud that is 2018.

Note: There’s plenty of swearing in this one, so don’t listen around the kids, or sensitive workmates.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:52:00 – AFL
2:21:00 – Tour de France
2:40:00 – Special Guest Ally

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 157 – Champions of the World

Colouring

Pies is stuck at home but calls in to give Big Zacko someone to talk to on this episode while The Producer doodles.

We recap the World Cup and the Final won by France over Croatia 4-2.

Le Tour de France has gone over the cobblestones and the expected carnage came to fruition. Unfortunately Australias leading hope Richie Porte was the main casualty. The tour hots up this week in The Alps.

Pies and The Producer discuss a few of the good AFL games this weekend. Including the West Coast Eagles proving their MCG credentials and the GWS Giants overcoming the defending champs Richmond. And Pies claims ownership of the Brisbane Lions bandwagon, long before anyone else was on.

And in the NRL we preview the battle for the spoon in Canterbury vs Parramatta. What a spectacle!

0:00:00 – World Cup
0:22:00 – Tour de France
0:37:00 – AFL
0:58:00 – NRL

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 156 – Stat Hack

Mug of Coke

We’re down to the business end of the World Cup. Recorded before the semi finals, but encountered technical difficulty in uploading. Have a listen to see how close the boys were to predicting the Final. And can we pick the winner of the whole thing with only 4 contenders? Also stay tuned for one of the best or worst Stat Attacks in history depending on where you stand.

The NRL sucks.

We put out some feelers on social media and received a few questions. Have a listen to what is burning up the listeners of Bats and Balls Podcast.

Pies played his first Masters module of the season at Merrylands Oval on the weekend. Recap the game vs Katoomba Austral and relive the delights of Masters Chef.
The Tour de France has begun. There’s been some small carnage already and a debutant taking on the sprint kings.

0:00:00 – World Cup
0:33:30 – NRL
0:59:20 – Questions and Masters
1:20:30 – Tour de France
1:27:20 – AFL

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 155 – Silence Is Golden

Team Sky

Episode 155 – Silence Is Golden

In a cruel twist of fate, The Producer has a lot to say and no voice to say it. Pies and Big Zacko manage to get through the show with ease with The Producer merely pushing buttons.

Colbee joins us to present Pies his Black Shorts and to preview the upcoming split Masters of Rugby League module at Mittagong and Merrylands.

The World Cup is into the Quarter Finals. The draw appears a little lopsided, but it’s the World Cup and we never know what will happen in the knockout phase. Can England actually win it?

The Tour de France departs on the weekend and the boys are looking forward to 3 more weeks of sleepless nights. All the big names and a few stages to keep your eyes on over the course of the race.

Plus the NRL, AFL and basketball. Including the all in brawl betweek Philippines and Australia.

0:00:00 Masters of Rugby League
0:15:40 – World Cup Football
0:44:20 – Tour de France Preview
1:12:10 – NRL
1:35:30 – AFL
1:44:00 – Basketball

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 154 – Late Note

Origin2

Big Zacko and The Producer recorded Thursday night. First up is Swainy on Rugby.

Followed by NRL and World Cup news.

0:00:00 – Rugby
0:32:00 – NRL
1:08:00 – World Cup

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 153 – Be Brave, Be Bold

Russia 2018b

It’s our first World Cup Finals and we’ve brought in the A-Team to preview the greatest tournament in the world – Russia 2018.

Former referee and current junior coach Big Zacko is our soccer expert. Aussie Dane Erik has the best of both worlds with Denmark and Australia drawn in the group stage. Pies is a night owl and will probably watch every match. And The Producer has his own flair for the dramatic.

We run through every group, suggest some outsiders who have a chance to get to the knockout stage, and settle on an eventual winner.

Plus we run through the NRL, AFL and finish up the NBA Finals which was a 4-0 sweep to the Golden State Warriors.

0:00:00 – World Cup Preview
1:27:00 – NRL
2:05:00 – AFL
2:09:00 – NBA

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 152 – No Brain No Game

Maloney Pass

Rugby off the top with our favourite guest Swainy. There’s been heaps going on including the Waratahs exciting victory over the Reds in Super Rugby. Fiji have hit their straps in the World Sevens. And Ireland are in Australian for three tests vs the Wallabies.

Most importantly Swainy has joined forces with the Queensland Brain Institute to help us understand concussions and how best to manage brain injuries in sport. If you live in SE Queensland and would like to help, Please find the Queensland Brain Institute website for more details https://qbi.uq.edu.au/

State of Origin is back and New South Wales once again are on top of the Rugby League world. Of course this was only game 1 and we all remember last years capitulation after dominating game 1. But still, we should smash them in game 2 and regain the shield.

In other NRL news, Souths are good and Parra are bad.

In the AFL the West Coast Eagles extended their winning streak to 10. Melbourne had their consecutive quraters won run snapped at 18. And GWS showed the first bit of pressure in years. Is this the turning point of their season?

Golden State Warriors are about to be crowned World (NBA) Champions. LeBron James has carried his team, but they just never got over the missed opportunity in game 1.

0:00:00 – Rugby
0:32:00 – State of Origin & NRL
0:56:00 – AFL
1:13:00 – NBA Finals

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 151 – Panther Power

Giants Bombers

Craig Bobby White is back to spruik the Panthers and their claims as the best team in the NRL. Their demolition of the Dragons was highly impressive. State of Origin teams are in and NSW could be about to embark on their own dynasty.

The NBA Finals are upon us. The greatest player of a generation, LeBron James has put the Cavs on his back and taken them back to the Finals. Facing the Cavs are perhaps the best team of a generation in the Golden State Warriors.

The West Coast Eagles are flying high and The Producer can’t be happier. Pies is equally unimpressed by the GWS Giants.

Big weekend for Aussie motorsport with Daniel Ricciardo and Will Power winning the biggest races on their calendars in the space of a few hours.

0:00:00 – NRL & Origin
1:31:00 – NBA
2:10:00 – AFL
2:24:00 – Motorsport
2:26:00 – Football

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 150 – Raise The Bats

Manchester 150

Just another milestone reached and we’re here to raise the bats and kiss the emblem again. We welcome back Friend of the Show, Wests Tigers, Sydney Swans and LA Dodgers fan Dr Erik Nielsen. And we have our favourite international fan Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Dolphins fan Ben.

We tackle some of the stories of the last few weeks in Major League Baseball including the Yankees and Red Sox, Houston Astros and the injury woes of the Dodgers. Speaking of injuries, Yadier Molina is singing a few octaves higher after his traumatic hematoma.

The Wests Tigers are riding high in the NRL and Erik can’t be happier about the Black, White and oranges. The Producer is less impressed about the NRL gameday experience.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:44:00 – AFL
0:53:00 – MLB

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 149 – I’ve Got Nothing

Henson Park

The Producer and Pies are back with another exciting episode. Relive the action from Pies’ first appearance as ground announcer at the famous Henson Park.

We chat to Swainy about all things Rugby including the Australian Super Rugby teams inability to beat their New Zealand rivals. And we lament the loss of Penrith Rugby and the Emu Burger from the Shute Shield.

Recap all the action from the NRL. Are the Warriors and Dragons the real deal? Pies tipped a perfect round in the AFL including North Melbourne upsetting Sydney at the SCG. We ponder the question are Brisbane the best 0-7 team of all time? And we tip all of this weeks games.

Plus some very exciting news from the English Premier League, and some less exciting news from the Championship.

0:00:00 – Rugby
0:21:00 – NSWRL & Henson Park
0:36:00 – NRL
1:07:00 – AFL
1:18:00 – Football

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 148 – Gameday Experience

2008 League TV Sideline Eye

Pies and The Producer are back and you know what they say, you’re only as good as your last two games. Wins for the Eels, Giants and Eagles have the boys in a good mood for this wrap of the weekend.

Joining us for a chat about the Glebe Dirty Reds, Ron Massey Cup and NSW Cup is Glebe President Darren Flynn. We preview the big celebration of NSWRL at Henson Park on Saturday. Kicking off proceedings is the Newtown vs North Sydney Frank Hyde Cup at 1pm. Followed by the main game Glebe-Burwood vs Hills District at 3pm.

Recap all the action from ANZAC Round in the NRL and AFL Round 6. And we tip the games coming up.

Plus Brendan has been watching the A-League Finals. Newcastle play Melbourne Victory in the Grand Final this weekend.

The Bats and Balls teams are hanging in there in Supercoach. We make more adjustments to both NRL and AFL Supercoach teams.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:25:00 – Glebe Dirty Reds, NSWRL
0:42:00 – AFL
1:01:00 – Other Sport
1:08:00 – Supercoach

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 147 – Triumphant Return

Cruise

It’s been a long time but the Parramatta Eels finally won a game. And that means we’re back!

Not only are we back, but our old mate Swainy is back to catch us up on all the latest Rugby news #SwainyRWC2019.

Pies has been sailing one of the seven seas and survived to tell the tale. And The Producer has been rubbing shoulders with Commonwealth Games athletes. Big Zacko is still MIA, much like the Bulldogs.

And after three weeks, we finally have a look at our Supercoach side to discover our AFL captain and vice captain have been out for two weeks.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:27:00 – AFL
0:44:00 – Rugby with Swainy
1:16:00 – F1, Supercars & Comm Games
1:32:00 – Supercoach

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 146 – Big Zacko and The Boss Episode 1

tigers-eels.jpg

The Producer and Pies have had enough. They’ve decided not to record again until The Parramatta Eels win another game.

Thankfully we have Big Zacko and The Boss ready to take over with their own renegade podcast.

Topics up for discussion are NRL. What’s the matter Parramatta? And how good are the Tigers and Warriors going?

Round 2 of AFL is complete. Wrap up all the big games.

And we tip the next few weeks of games.

Then we finish off the Australian Cricket Team ball tampering debate. Who came out unscathed, who has some rebuilding to do, and is there to soak up the more open positions.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:45:00 – AFL
1:00:00 – Cricket

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 145 – Outrageous

Episode 145

If you’re an athletics fan here for the Beki Smith chat about the Commonwealth Games, skip ahead to 1:27:00. We’ve tacked it on at the end of the show.

There were plenty of woeful performances over the weekend. But because a bloke used some dirt attached to some tape to scuff up a cricket ball, we never heard about any of them.

While the rest of Australia were outraged by the ball tampering issue, The Producer and Pies were watching the rest of the poor performances on the sporting field.

If the Parramatta Eels, Western Bulldogs, Ashley Klein, Bats and Balls NRL Supercoach side and many others thought they got off scot free, they should think again.

We’re here to add balance to the rest of the terrible weekends taken off the back pages by the Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and the Australian cricket team leadership group.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:26:00 – AFL
0:36:00 – F1 & Supercars
0:42:00 – NRL & AFL Supercoach
1:27:00 – Beki Smith Commonwealth Games

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 144 – Dripping With Talent

AFL Preview

Big Zacko was ousted from the Podcast Board even though he had more votes.

Here’s the 2018 AFL Preview Show. Complete with published author and Swans fan Dr Erik Nielsen. We discuss each team and give our Top 8, Premiership, Brownlow and Coleman predictions. No surprises, GWS are in the thick of it.

Then we lament just how bad the Eels are. How they can’t possibly turn it around inside a week. And how the rest of the NRL are performing.

And we make some much needed changes to our Supercoach team ahead of the First Head 2 Head game against our arch nemesis BJ.

0:00:00 – AFL Preview
1:00:00 – NRL
1:40:00 – Supercoach

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
Find us on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio or click on the player below.

Episode 143 – Easy For You To Say

Flame Thrower

Big Zacko and Pies have cracked it after one game and couldn’t be bothered turning up. Colbee fills the void and returns with a whole new set of names to mangle. If it wasn’t bad enough for Sione Katoa to have a broken jaw, now he gets to hear Colbee talk about him all episode. Join us on this rollercoaster of pronunciation which includes such greats as Andrew McCullough and Viliame Kikau.

Plus Brendan and Colbee discuss this season of Masters of Rugby League, Supercars, Test Cricket in South Africa and of course how bad Colbee is at Supercoach.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:42:00 – Masters
0:52:00 – Supercars & Cricket
1:07:00 – Supercoach

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Bats and Balls is part of the No Phony Podcast Network
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Episode 142 – 2018 NRL Season Preview

NRL Preview

What you get is what you see. Ain’t nothing more to it. This show is a complete preview of all 16 NRL teams. Broken down into four shorter segments.

Followed by our predictions for the Top 8, Premiers, Dally M medal winner and a few sneaky categories thrown in for good measure.

Then right at the end we finalise our Round 1 NRL Supercoach team.

0:00:00 – Intro
0:04:00 – Dragons, Broncos, Knights, Sea Eagles
0:26:30 – Cowboys, Sharks, Tigers, Roosters
0:56:00 – Rabbitohs, Warriors, Bulldogs, Storm
1:31:00 – Panthers, Eels, Titans, Raiders
2:02:00 – Predictions
2:25:00 – Supercoach

Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
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BigZacko’s Racing Wrap

March brings us well into the Autumn Carnival and yesterdays racing did not disappoint. Four Group One races were dished up with some superb racing;

Canterbury Stakes – Happy Clapper (click for replays)
The Race.
Our new ageless wonder, Happy Clapper made very light work of a strong field. Settling off the hot speed set by Global Glamour Blake Shinn was able to present at the top of the straight and the horse with a superior turn of foot than any other in the race ambled up and pulled away easily.

The Follow.
Early G1’s prove to be great form races and this one will be no different, Happy Clapper will progress as last year towards another Doncaster and Queen Elizabeth where he will challenge Winx. Global Glamour was a great display of speed and will likely be highly competitive in mares races moving forward when getting up to the mile.

Of the rest most will head towards the Doncaster as such the runs of Invincible Gem and Clearly Innocent (who couldn’t keep up early) were solid for a progression.

Randwick Guineas – Kementari

The Race.
Trapeze Artist took up the running and set a solid tempo whilst Kementari was able to settle back in the field with cover, given clear running from the turn he let down like a very good horse and stretched out well to easily cover this group 1 field.

The Follow.
Kementari will progress towards the Doncaster where he will be very competitive with a light weight, with the likely progression to the Rosehill Guineas for most of the field the run of Ace High (VRC Derby winner) was very good. D’Argento looks like a very talented horse who is lacking maturity, right now he is running on raw ability, once he learns to stride out and balance himself he will be a superb racehorse, this Autumn may have come a bit early for him though, that said if the “penny drops” watch out!

Newmarket Handicap – Redkirk Warrior

The Race.
Straight racing can be very misleading, with Redkirk Warrior showing a superior sustained speed to lead from start to finish down the outside (the side on angle is VERY misleading) in the process becoming only the 5th horse to go back-to-back in the Newmarket. As is typical of G1 racing there were some great runs behind the winner also with Brave Smash proving the step back to the 1200m was no problem just missing flashing from well back on the inside and the 3YO Merchant Navy lost no admirers in third.

The Follow.
The first two will likely head to Sydney to challenge Redzel in the TJ Smith which is setting up to be a cracking race whilst Merchant Navy is likely to head overseas for a crack at international riches in June.

Australian Cup – Harlem
The Race.
This was a very classy field of stayers and the speed was right on from the start with The Taj Mahal setting a very solid tempo which really strung the field out. The big striding Gailo Chop was forced to work hard the whole way and delivered the run of the race being beaten into second, hopefully a trip to Sydney is not off the cards. The Hayes trained Harlem settled off the hot speed and took a great inside run to drive through and win comfortably, delivering on the promise he showed in the spring now that he is gelded and has his “mind on the job”.

The Follow.
Where to look?!? This contest will be a great form race moving forward, the absolute class of the staying fraternity was on display with a number of these horses heading to Sydney to progress towards the 2000m and 2400m weight for age “heavyweight championships”. The “Williams crew” will also likely head towards the Sydney Cup, Homesman in particular looked very good for the progression.

Episode 141 – Selection Committee

Selection Committee

It’s the week before the big NRL Preview Show. Time to finalise the Bats and Balls Supercoach team.

First up we talk random sports for a half hour. Winter Olympics Highlights and the NFL Off-season get a run.

Then we discuss the latest NRL trials with mostly full strength line ups. Although Canterbury played a bunch of reserve graders and still wiped a nearly full strength Panthers side.

And then settle in for an insight into how 3 Supercoaches with vastly different strategies try and build a composite team. The end result is almost as competitive as the selection process.

And noone watched AFLX.

0:00:00 – Winter Olympics and NFL Off-season
0:31:00 – NRL Pre-season
1:01:00 – NRL Supercoach

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Episode 140 – Trick Plays

Foles

We’re back to recap one of the best Super Bowls we’ve seen. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots to win their first Super Bowl. How did they do it? And where to now for the Patriots, Eagles and the rest of the NFL?

The Big Bash League concluded on Sunday with Adelaide Strikers defeating Hobart Hurricanes.

And we continue to select our Bats and Balls Cup NRL Supercoach team. This week is halfbacks and five-eighths.

0:00:00 – NFL Super Bowl LII
1:15:00 – BBL Final
1:44:00 – NRL Supercoach

Links




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Episode 139 – Happy New Year

Avoman
#Avoman

It’s been a long time coming, but we finally wish Swainy a Happy New Year as we catch up with our favourite Rugby analyst. We’ve got all the news from the Sydney edition of the World Rugby Sevens. And we renew our push to get Swainy on the plane to Japan in 2019. #SwainyRWC2019

The BBL Finals are upon us. And what better way to celebrate than have half the good players unavailable through International selection.

We have a look at the Super Bowl LII match up between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. Big Zacko and Pies make educated guesses as to who will win the game.

And we’ve decided that three heads are better than one. So for this years Bats and Balls Cup, we’ll be pooling our collective thoughts into one Supercoach behemoth. Surely nothing can stop us. Stay tuned for the NRL Supercoach code at the end of the show.

And the long awaited Big Zacko Moment makes a triumphant return 1:44:00.

0:00:00 – World Rugby Sevens
0:23:00 – BBL Finals ODIs
0:59:00 – NFL Super Bowl LII
1:44:00 – NRL Supercoach

Links
Emma Tonegato’s try vs Spain as described by Swainy

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Episode 138 – Big Zacko Knows

Meat Pie

Bats and Balls was unAustralian and had no Pies for Australia Day. So Big Zacko was left to talk to the wall about the NFL Championship games. Nick Foles was great, and Tom Brady, when it counted was Tom Brady.

Heaps of limited over cricket going on. BBL gets another run as the tournament finals approach. BS blows up about Big Show missing ODI selection (again).

Supercoach is open. The boys have a quick look at the opening prices. With the possibility of a Bats and Balls composite team to take on in the Bats and Balls Cup.

0:00:00 – Cricket
0:33:00 – NFL Playoffs
1:20:00 – Supercoach

Links

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Episode 137 – Don’t Believe The Hype

Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings

After one of the best Divisional rounds in years, Brendan reminds us all not to believe the hype. And Pies calls up Big Zacko to claim his prize after backing the Jaguars over the Steelers.

Heading into the Conference Championship games this week and we predict the winners. Can the Jags get to Tom Brady and beat the Patriots? Or are they just the best team and going all the way once again? Plus the Vikings and Eagles games looks like a cracker too.

We’ve watched a few good run chases in the BBL, D’Arcy Short can’t stop making runs. And the Sixers have made it too little too late.

The Australian Open is under way. This could be a good couple of weeks for Australian tennis. Especially the redemption story of the Summer, Nick Kyrgios.

0:00:00 – NFL Playoffs
0:55:00 – BBL
0:59:00 – Aus Open

Links
Ben Roethlisberger’s 5TD passes vs Jacksonville
Watch on YouTube
Minnesota’s last gasp play
Watch on YouTube

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Episode 136 – Four Fingers

Ashes Presentation

Australia wrapped up the 5th Ashes test in style with an innings defeat of England. The victory was so comprehensive, even Cricket Australia put the slipper in with their podium design.
The Producer went to the Big Bash this week. Usman Khawaja is back in form following his big ton at the SCG and making runs for the Thunder. We discuss Maxwell’s continued non-selection and where to now for the Big Show.
Big Zacko’s Tennessee Titans are into the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Can they go into Foxborough and beat the Patriots? Plus we talk about the rest of the playoff games from the weekend including the Rams choke job against Atlanta.
0:00:00 – The Ashes
0:33:00 – BBL T20
0:56:00 – NFL Playoffs

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Episode 135 – Champion Smith

Baggy Green Cap
Photo: George Serras/National Museum of Australia

The Producer is the champion of the Bats and Balls Cup. It’s amazing how good you can be at fantasy when all you do is pick your own players and they jag 10 wins in a season. We’ll dissect the errors Big Zacko made in gifting this nuffie a title.

Plus the MCG pitch was a disgrace. What do you expect from a two bit stadium that should be called the Melbourne Football Ground instead of masquerading as a cricket ground.

Onwards to the SCG. Can Australia beat the might of England with two spinners?

0:00:00 – Fantasy Football
0:05:00 – The Ashes
0:51:00 – NFL Playoffs and Awards

Links
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Brought to you by MarkEagleston.com.au
Find us on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or click on the player below.

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