Bats & Balls Podcast



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

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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Episode 147 – Triumphant Return


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

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Episode 146 – Big Zacko and The Boss Episode 1


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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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


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


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Episode 139 – Happy New Year


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

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


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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

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


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Episode 134 – Crazy Canadian

Water Jug

In a very special episode, we’re joined via satellite by our favourite Canadian listener Ben from online and Nova Scotia to talk about the NFL, last weeks big games and the playoff picture as a whole.

We also recap the 3rd Ashes Test in Perth which saw Australia return the urn. Australia were so dominant, even Mitch Marsh made runs.

The Roosters have set tongues wagging again with a big money signing of Angus Crichton, 16 months before he pulls on a tricolours jersey.

And Pies has been watching some NBA. Including Australia’s own Ben Simmons in Rookie of the Year form as well as the New York Knicks looking like a proper NBA team.

0:00:00 – The Ashes
0:34:00 – NRL
0:44:00 – NBA
0:55:00 – NFL and Fantasy Football


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BONUS Episode 7 – Remastered


We’ve spoken about this episode on the show a lot lately. So The Producer has done his best to clean up the audio and re-release it as a bonus episode.

In this first of our classic episodes, Craig Bobby White makes his first appearance on the show. The Eagle is back to keep us all in check and Pies drinks half a dozen long necks of homebrew.

Some of the classic moments you can look forward to are: Speculation over Roger Tuivasa-Sheck moving to the Warriors. What do you have to do to get sent off in Rugby League? Recapping Jordan Spieth’s first Masters triumph. Pies Stat Attack and his obsession with the 2015 Dragons defence. The origin of the Christmas Tree bet. And a heartfelt tribute to the great Richie Benaud.

Perhaps one day we’ll release the outtakes. There’s even more gold in there.

We’ll be back next week after the Perth Test.


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Episode 133 – Pink Ball Victory

Cristmas Tree 2017

Big Zacko is a late scratching, but The Producer and Pies are here to recap another thumping win the 2nd Ashes Test. Shaun Marsh is making the most of his 9th recall. Nathan Lyon is spinning England out of it and they can’t handle Starc and Cummins. Why not give them a fighting chance and bring in Mitch Marsh for Perth?

The Rugby League World Cup came to a close with the Final. Australia beat England in the Final. We discuss the tournament as a whole and the future of RLWC.

FIFA made the World Cup Draw during the week. Australia have an okay draw and the entire thing is pretty balanced.

Plus we flum our way through the NFL without Big Zacko.

0:00:00 – Rugby League World Cup
0:20:00 – The Ashes
0:57:00 – Football World Cup Draw
1:04:00 – NFL & Fantasy


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Episode 132 – Stranded on Third

Home Plate

The Producer and Big Zacko have been left to their own devices. Pies has had no input and does not endorse anything said on this show. Feel liks a stitch up is coming up.

0:00:00 – The Ashes 1st Test
0:21:00 – Rugby League World Cup
0:44:00 – Waratahs Masters Presentation Night
0:50:00 – V8 Supercars and Formula 1
0:55:00 – NFL


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Episode 131 – Two Mediocre Teams Enter

The Ashes

Sports historian and newlywed Erik Nielsen joins us to preview The Ashes which kicks off tomorrow morning in Brisbane. We debate the selection nightmare that was the Australian team. The unknown English bats. And the possibility of the weather affecting the outcome of the series.

Then we introduce the Australian Baseball League to the podcast after Brendan and Erik spent an afternoon and night at the Sydney Blue Sox vs Adelaide Bite Double Header.

And the Rugby League World Cup just got a bit more interesting with Fiji and Tonga into the Semi Finals.

0:00:00 – The Ashes Preview
0:49:00 – ABL
1:00:00 – Rugby League World Cup
1:29:00 – NFL & Football World Cup Playoffs

The Ashes Predictions
Most Runs
Erik – Joe Root
Brendan – David Warner
Josh – Cameron Bancroft

Most Wickets
Erik – Josh Hazlewood
Brendan – Mitchell Starc
Josh – Nathan Lyon

Series Result
Erik – Australia 2-1
Brendan – Australia 5-0
Josh – Australia 4-1

The HOME of the ABL

The Full ABL Schedule

ABL on YouTube

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Episode 130 – Do or Die

The International game of Rugby League is alive and kicking. Tonga have been a breath of fresh air in this tournament. Can they sustain it moving forward? The Quarter Finals are set, can we predict any upsets on the horizon?

The NFL season is past the halfway point. Are the Rams the real deal? Or is their 7-2 record a myth?

Football World Cup Qualifying is hotting up with only 3 spots still up for grabs at time of recording. Can Australia beat Honduras in the 2nd leg? Can New Zealand pull off a famous victory in Peru? Are Sweden the giant killers of the World Cup?

And The Bats and Balls Cup Fantasy NFL competition is set for a shake up after the clash between Team Smith and Big Zacko’s Bullies. Two teams enter, one leaves as the second favourite to win it all behind the St Clair Lone Rangers who just keep winning.

0:00:00 – Rugby League World Cup
0:42:00 – NFL
1:18:00 – Football World Cup Playoffs
1:37:00 – Bats and Balls Cup Fantasy NFL

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Episode 129 – Winner Tippers

Fresh off Big Zacko tipping the exacta in the Melbourne Cup, we recap the race that stops a nation. Plus the Rugby League World Cup has played its second week of games.
At the halfway point of the NFL season we have a look at the top teams, the surprise packets and the disappointments in the NFL half yearly report card.
And we finish off with a bit of EPL and A-League football.
0:00:00 – Melbourne Cup Review
0:11:00 – Rugby League World Cup
0:32:00 – NFL Mid Year Report Card
1:29:00 – Football

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Episode 128 – Melbourne Cup Preview Show – Educated Guessing

Big Zacko has pored over the form guides, Pies has watched a few replays and The Producer has looked at the jockeys silks. Here’s this year’s instalment of the Melbourne Cup Preview Show.
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Episode 127 – Trade Deadline


The trade deadline passed and we kept Big Zacko on for another week. Not content with coming off the bench, Big Zacko has demanded more snaps and management have acquiesced to his demands.
Heaps on offer including the Rugby League World Cup, MLB World Series, NFL and the latest horse racing news.
0:00:00 – Rugby League World Cup
0:23:00 – A-League
0:28:00 – Formula 1 / V8 Supercars
0:31:00 – MLB World Series
0:42:00 – NBA
0:47:00 – EPL
0:53:00 – NFL
1:33:00 – Derby Day

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Episode 126 – Wallabies Are Number One

Tonga RL

Swainy is back after a few weeks and what a week to be back! The Wallabies defeated The All Blacks to claim the Rugby Championship Belt.
The Rugby League World Cup is just around the corner and Pies has no idea what’s going on. And the Tonga team is going to the final.
Big Zacko has been watching A-League.
Plus all your NFL reviews and news.

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Episode 125 – On The Farm


With The Producer out of action again, we thought we’d try something a bit different and record a short episode (well short for us!) out at Big Zacko’s farm. Zac’s been tipping up a storm in the NFL lately. You could do worse than following along with his tips this week.

We recap Week 6 NFL games. Tip you the winners of Week 7. Then quickly talk about opening night of the NBA. Plus there’s a bit on the Socceroos road to Russia 2018.

Apologies if the audio isn’t the best. It was our first time recording as a video.

Brought to you by

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Episode 123 – It Is Written

Love Bats and Balls

After 29 and 26 weeks of NRL and AFL it’s all come down to this. The final game of the season. The ultimate sudden death game. It’s Grand Final weekend and it promises to be massive. Storylines aplenty. Cooper Cronk in his last game for Melbourne. Cameron Smith putting another stamp on his stellar career. Michael Morgan emerging from the shadow of Johnathan Thurston. The Richmond Tigers and their long suffering fans. New Brownlow medallist Dusty Martin. The great Adelaide Crows. Eddie Betts. Rory Sloane. What a weekend!

Plus we recap a couple of Masters of Rugby League modules at Belmont and Minchinbury.

And we dissect the week in NFL, and the Carmelo Anthony trade. Pies’ NY Knicks have finally rid themselves of Melo.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:35:00 – AFL
0:59:00 – Masters of Rugby League
1:12:00 – NFL
1:48:00 – NBA

Brought to you by

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Episode 122 – Morning Glory


An abnormal Wednesday morning recording this week. So The Producer and Pies discuss the NRL and AFL Semi Finals and predict the winners of the Prelim Finals. Then Big Zacko joins us on the phone for the NFL wrap. Plus Formula 1 and the Sandown 500 V8 Supercars.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:18:00 – AFL
0:31:00 – NFL
1:10:00 – Motorsport

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Episode 120 – Black Shorts Zacko

Aus v Tha
Big Zacko was out shopping for black shorts and socks, so Pies is back in the driver’s seat for the first time in 2 months. Colbee calls in to talk about the upcoming Masters of Rugby League module at Newcastle. We get Swainy on to talk about the Shute Shield Grand Final and the heartbreaking loss for the Wallabies. Plus we preview the footy finals in NRL and AFL. All while Pies watches Australia v Thailand.

0:00:00 – Masters
0:12:00 – Rugby
0:42:00 – NRL
1:12:00 – AFL
1:23:00 – Football
1:28:00 – Formula 1
1:33:00 – Supercoach

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Episode 119 – NFL Preview Show: Let’s Play Football

one yard short
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Baer Tirkel)

We’ve given the NFL Preview Show stand alone status this year. No more sifting through the rest of our gibber to get to the real football analysis.
Steve is crook this year, so it’s left to Big Zacko to carry most of the workload with Pies coming in on 3rd down to help out. Brendan does his best as a change of pace type back.

0:00:00 – NFC East
0:20:00 – NFC North
0:36:00 – NFC South
0:43:00 – NFC West
1:00:00 – AFC East
1:15:00 – AFC North
1:22:00 – AFC South
1:28:00 – AFC West
1:37:00 – Stat Attack & Predictions

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Episode 118 – Weigh In Stiffy

Pies is hiding his face after weighing in with a stiffy, so it’s just Brendan and Zacko again this week. Alternate facts are that Pies was out with flu like symptoms.

The boys cover all the games of NRL and AFL and the Finals repercussions.
Australia were chasing down Bangladesh in the 1st test. Plus the latest news from the NFL and the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix recap.
And the AFL Supercoach GF has been played, and the NRL Supercoach GF is set for next week.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:40:00 – AFL
1:00:00 – Test Cricket
1:04:00 – NFL
1:17:00 – Formula 1
1:22:00 – Supercoach

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117 – NRL, Rugby, AFL, Horse Racing, NFL, Supercoach

We miss the start by 7 lengths, but Big Zacko doesn’t panic and has us humming along just right in the final furlong for a famous victory. Or something like that.
Two weeks out from the NRL Finals and there’s still a couple of spots up for grabs. And all appears sewn up in the AFL, but is it?!
Swainy goes above and beyond by taking some time out between the main course and dessert to discuss everything going on in the world of Rugby including the Western Force, Shute Shield Final and the Bledisloe Cup.
Plus there’s discussion about the great mare Winx, Hartnell avoiding her and winning, in bizarre circumstances, Nick Kyrgios seems to have his head on right again, plus Big Zacko goes through some of the news from the NFL and we’re almost over Supercoach.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:44:00 – Rugby
1:01:00 – AFL
1:23:00 – Horse Racing
1:28:00 – NFL
1:39:00 – Supercoach

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116 – NRL, Masters, Rugby, AFL, Supercoach

No Pies no worries it seems. After Brendan almost got decapitated at work, he’s risen from his death bed to record with Big Zacko behind Pies’ back. This should be good….

0:00:00 – NRL
1:05:00 – Masters of Rugby League
1:19:00 – Rugby
1:24:00 – AFL
1:46:00 – Supercoach

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Episode 114 – Rants R Us

Quick show tonight but that just means our rant to minute ratio is up. Pies rants about the Daily Telegraph, Big Zacko rants about the footy in general and Brendan has more ref rants.
We cover the latest round of AFL and put in our tips for the coming round.
And Supercoach is hotting up with AFL finals starting and the last week of the NRL season.

0:00:00 – Daily Telegaph, NRL
0:47:00 – AFL
1:15:00 – Other Sport
1:19:00 – Supercoach

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Episode 113 – Zac’s Second Year Project

Seeing as Pies and Brendan haven’t been past 112 before, Big Zacko takes over and runs the show as part of his Second Year Project.
Robbo joins us in the studio and Seamus is on the phone to recap the Bats and Balls Cup Masters game. Pies rates the Waratahs food offerings in the latest segment of Masters Chef.
Robbo and Zac recap the Tour de France.
Plus all the results and tips from the NRL and AFL.
And among all the injuries and suspensions, we have to get ready for the Supercoach finals with very few trades left.

0:00:00 – Bats and Balls Cup
0:28:00 – Tour de France
0:47:00 – NRL
1:39:00 – AFL
2:00:00 – Other Sport
2:09:00 – Supercoach

AFL Championship Belt page not available as suggested in the show

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Episode 112 – Bats and Balls Cup Preview

It’s the show before the big Bats and Balls Masters of Rugby League Cup and Brendan drops a bombshell. We get Colbee and Seamus on the line to preview the Masters module.
Plus Swainy catches us up with everything going on in the world of Rugby.
Plus all your NRL, AFL and Tour de France news.
And Brendan and Pies had huge weekends in Supercoach.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:33:00 – Rugby
1:01:00 – Masters of Rugby League
1:35:00 – AFL
2:22:00 – Supercoach
3:04:00 – Tour de France

Wallabies Indigenous Jersey

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Episode 111 – The Producer and The Apprentice

It’s episode 111 and we’re podcasting on one leg. Pies is on location deep inside the Blues camp.
Brendan and Big Zacko are alone in the studio discussing everything going on in the world of sport. There’s plenty on the NRL and AFL including more ladder debate and finals predictions.
Plus Big Zacko recaps another crazy week in the Tour de France.
And Brendan once again lets us know just how good he is at Supercoach.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:52:00 – AFL
1:22:00 – Tour de France
1:34:00 – Supercoach


Last 1km of TdF Stage 4 (Cavendish crash, Sagan expelled)

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Episode 110 – The Game They Podcast About in Heaven

It’s Swainy and Rugby from the top of the show!
Followed by NRL talk and Big Zacko has done Pies’ homework from a few weeks ago.
Plus Tour de France, AFL, and Supercoach talk.

0:00:00 – Rugby
0:26:00 – NRL
1:46:00 – Tour de France
1:56:00 – AFL
2:16:00 – Supercoach


The try from the end of the world. France v All Blacks, Eden Park 1994.

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Episode 109 – Games I Didn’t Watch

Masters coach and cycling enthusiast Robbo joins Big Zacko to preview the Tour de France.
Colbee calls in to cover the latest Masters of Rugby League module at Toukley and Katoomba.
Brendan watched most of the footy and recaps the crazy Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Pies went camping and brings nothing to the table this week.

0:00:00 – Masters of Rugby League
0:23:00 – NRL
1:27:00 – AFL
2:02:00 – AFL
2:03:00 – Formula 1
2:18:00 – Tour de France Preview

Get the SBS Skoda Tour Tracker App

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Episode 108 – A Touch of Class

Published author and historian Erik Nielsen raises the braininess of the pod this week. The lack of Big Zacko means Swainy goes uninterrupted discussing the troubles at the ARU and we devise a ploy to get him to the Rugby World Cup in 2019. Erik enlightens us to the Australian Society for Sports History Conference and the 19th annual Tom Brock Lecture featuring Raelene Castle.
Plus all your NRL, AFL and Supercoach news.
0:00:00 – NRL
0:44:00 – Rugby
1:13:00 – Masters
1:17:00 – AFL
2:18:00 – Sport History and Tom Brock Lecture
2:23:00 – Supercoach

19th annual Tom Brock lecture – Raelene Castle
Australian Society for Sports History
ASSH 2017 Conference

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Episode 107 – Apprentice Producer

Big Zacko is back to his best as we bring in NRL expert Craig to pump up his Panthers and the transition of Matt Moylan from fullback to five eighth and captain.
We get Swainy on the line to discuss the Wallabies win over Fiji, the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand and Swainy’s debut Super Rugby call #SwainyRWC2019.
Plus Big Zacko and Pies recap the NRL Masters event at St Marys over the weekend.

0:00:00 – NRL
1:01:00 – Rugby
1:24:00 – AFL
1:45:00 – Masters and Football
2:03:00 – Supercoach
Big Zacko Moment 1:43:00

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Episode 106 – Greater Than The Rest

We had grand plans for a few special guests, but instead, thanks to the Big Wet, we’ve got Big Zacko.
Pretty quick show this week. Just the NRL, AFL and Supercoach with a quick preview of the St Marys NRL Masters day on Saturday.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:46:00 – AFL
1:13:00 – NRL Masters
1:25:00 – Supercoach

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Episode 105 – Get Control of the Game

Pies and Big Zacko are backing up after backing up at the Cabramatta Masters of Rugby League Module. Colbee gets on the phone to wrap it up. Plus we recap the NRL and AFL rounds, give our tips for Origin 1 and the upcoming round of footy and talk a little Formula 1, Cycling and NBA Finals. Plus we’re in the chaos that is Supercoach bye rounds.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:46:00 – AFL
1:10:00 – Masters of Rugby League
1:46:30 – The Man Shake
1:52:00 – NBA Finals
2:01:30 – Monaco F1
2:04:40 – Giro d’Italia
2:10:30 – Supercoach

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Episode 104 – Attitude Adjustment

Swainy and Colbee on the phone to talk Rugby and Masters respectively. Plus Pies isn’t working tomorrow and decides to tie one on at the podcast. Things don’t get too out of hand, most of the best stuff happened in the ad breaks and the producer didn’t record them.
0:00:00 – NRL
1:08:00 – Masters of Rugby League
1:30:00 – Rugby
1:53:00 – AFL
2:24:00 – Supercoach
Big Zacko Moment – Late in the show

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Episode 103 – List Management

Brendan and Josh are left alone again and are now contemplating The Apprentice’s position in the team. Spoilers, he’s not sacked.
Brendan has plenty to say on the NRL plus we recap the latest AFL round and give our tips for next weekend. Plus F1 and Supercoach.
0:00:00 – NRL
1:15:00 – AFL
1:51:00 – Formula 1
2:03:00 – Supercoach
Big Zacko Moment – None this week


Kimi Raikkonen meets a young Ferrari fan after crashing out

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Episode 102 – An Act of Bastardry

Glebe Dirty Reds Vice President Mark Paixao joins us to recap the Glebe relaunch and preview the return to Rugby League of the Dirty Reds jersey at Leichhardt. We review the round of upsets in the AFL and in Rep Round. The A-League Grand Final was a cracker. Brendan tells us how good he is at Supercoach and Pies likes a long shot at Eurovision.
0:00:00 – Glebe Dirty Reds
0:20:00 – AFL
0:51:00 – V8 Supercars & Cricket
1:01:00 – Rep Round & NRL Round 10
1:34:00 – Supercoach
1:52:00 – A-League GF
1:58:00 – Eurovision

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Episode 101 – Anonymous

Robbo has joined us again plus we have Colbee on the line to discuss the last module of Masters of Rugby League at Quakers Hill. Including the first ever Masters Chef 8/10.
Shock horror! Brendan has something nice to say about the NRL referees.
We sprint through the AFL segment this week, but there’s still enough time to hear from Swansational.
Plus Big Zacko gives us the big news from the NFL Draft and all the latest from Supercoach.
0:00:00 – NRL
1:15:00 – Rugby
1:38:00 – Masters of Rugby League
2:09:00 – AFL
2:20:00 – NFL Draft
2:35:00 – Supercoach
No Big Zacko Moment Continue reading “Episode 101 – Anonymous”

Episode 100 – Centurions

Somehow we cracked the century! Celebrate episode 100 with Brendan, Josh, Colbee, Hunter and Big Zacko via satellite.
We catch up on all the latest NRL talk. Colbee previews the Masters of Rugby League module this weekend and Quakers Hill and Merrylands. Big Zacko has been researching the NFL Draft and some potential picks. We recap the AFL round. And Brendan gives us the V8 Supercars and EFL Championship wrap.
0:00:00 – The Century
0:06:15 – NRL
1:27:10 – Masters of Rugby League
1:44:30 – BIg Zacko NFL Draft
2:10:30 – AFL
2:27:50 – V8 Supercars
2:32:50 – EFL Championship
Big Zacko Moment – None this week Continue reading “Episode 100 – Centurions”

Episode 99

It’s just the three of us again as we get back to what we do best. Talking nonsense for long periods. In amongst the dribble you’ll find NRL, AFL, NBA Playoffs, a debate over Russell Westbrook and James Harden for MVP, Brighton & Hove Albion promoted to the English Premier League, we touch on the NFL Draft, Star Wars Episode VIII and Supercoach.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:57:00 – AFL
1:34:00 – NBA Playoffs
1:50:00 – Brighton & Hove Albion Promoted
2:15:00 – NFL Draft
2:21:00 – Star Wars
2:30:00 – Supercoach
Big Zacko Moment – 1:31:00 Continue reading “Episode 99”

Episode 98

We’re joined by Darren Flynn from the first club in Rugby League, the Glebe Dirty Reds to discuss their return to the fold.
Swainy returns to discuss the latest developments in Super Rugby as well as Shute Shield and World Sevens.
Big Zacko is on location with scoops the size of a McDonalds soft serve,
Plus a bunch of other sport including Davis Cup, V8 Supercars and the abandoned Sydney Cup.
0:00:00 – Glebe Dirty Reds
0:22:00 – AFL
0:41:00 – Rugby with Swainy
1:27:00 – NRL
2:04:00 – Other Sport
2:21:00 – Supercoach
Big Zacko Moment – None this week Continue reading “Episode 98”

Episode 97

Sorry it’s late, computer problems. Forget everything we said about Mitchell Moses and Tony Romo.

Swainy joins us for an in depth discussion about the future of Super Rugby, SANZAR and competition. Plus we recap the NRL and AFL rounds and tip next weeks games. Plus get your AFL Supercoach teams right before the rookies rise up. And there’s some NRL Supercoach cows you need too. Note: This show was recorded before Tony Romo retired to the announcers box.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:50:00 – AFL
1:08:00 – Rugby with Swainy
1:36:00 – AFL Tips
1:48:00 – Masters of Rugby League
1:51:00 – Supercoach
2:18:00 – NFL Continue reading “Episode 97”

Episode 96


It’s just Pies and Brendan this week as Big Zacko is still reeling after the first week of the AFL. We keep it pretty simple seeing Pies had Masters training before the show. Topics for discussion are NRL scheduling, The New Zealand Warriors form, AFL Round 1 of boilovers, India finished off Australia in the 4th test, and Liam from One Direction had a baby!

0:00:00 – NRL
0:45:00 – AFL
1:00:00 – Cricket
1:17:00 – Supercoach Continue reading “Episode 96”

Episode 95


We’re joined by a very special guest, our favourite listener and AFL expert Swansational to preview the 2017 AFL Season (0:58) and give us some well needed tips on AFL Supercoach. And before he arrived we went through Round 3 of the NRL and tipped all the winners for Round 4, and previewed the first week of the Bats and Balls Cup in Supercoach.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:51:00 – NRL Supercoach
0:58:00 – AFL 2017 Season Preview
2:04:00 – AFL Supercoach Continue reading “Episode 95”

Episode 94


After two rounds of the NRL a few of us are ready to make some big statements. Outlandish or otherwise, it’s a fun show with a lot of NRL talk. Plus Masters, No Ma’am Basketball, Australia in India Test Cricket, NFL and Supercoach.

0:00:00 – NRL
0:50:00 – Masters of Rugby League
1:03:15 – Basketball
1:11:00 – Test Cricket
1:28:00 – NFL Free Agency
1:45:30 – Supercoach Continue reading “Episode 94”

Episode 93

Robbo, coach of Penrith Waratahs Masters of Rugby League joins us to recap the Selectors Cup and also talk NRL Round 1, Supercoach and Australia’s 2nd test in India.
0:00:00 – NRL
1:20:00 – Supercoach
1:48:00 – Masters of Rugby League
2:14:00 – Cricket
2:17:00 – Basketball
2:30:00 – V8 Supercars
2:31:00 – Cycling Continue reading “Episode 93”

Episode 92

The NRL is back and we couldn’t be more pumped. To preview the season and predict the fortunes of all 16 teams we’re joined by Craig Bobby White.
We go through each team and then give our rankings from 16-1. Plus all the major awards and we predict the Grand Final result.
0:00:00 – All the teams in alphabetic order
1:33:00 – Top 16 Predictions
2:01:40 – Grand Final Predictions
2:07:50 – Award Winners
2:40:00 – Masters of Rugby League, Cricket, Basketball

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2017 NRL Season Preview

By Brendan Smith

Brisbane Broncos

Ins – Moses Pangai (Townsville Blackhawks), David Mead (Titans), Tautau Moga (Cowboys), Benji Marshall (Dragons), Mitchell Dodds (Warrington), Korbin Sims (Knights)

Outs – Greg Eden (Castleford), Brett Greinke (Rabbitohs), Corey Parker (Retired), Jarrod Wallace (Titans), Jack Reed (Retired), Darren Nicholls (Panthers), Lachlan Maranta (Rugby)

Best 17 – Continue reading “2017 NRL Season Preview”

Episode 91


Big Zacko is back in the fold and our favourite correspondent Swainy is back from Brisbane with all the latest Rugby news. We talk about the NBA trade deadline and Panathinaikos win in the Greek Cup. Josh is in awe of a bloke eating pies on the bench during the FA Cup and Brighton & Hove Albion are still destined for the Premier League. Plus we cast an eye over Big Zacko’s current NRL Supercoach team. And Continue reading “Episode 91”

Episode 90


Big Zacko brushed us after a basketball “incident” on Monday night. With any luck he’ll be back next week. Pies was playing Fifa all weekend, so we’re lucky Brendan watched sport and can carry the show.

Facebook Live – 0:00:00

NRL All Stars – 0:34:00

Rugby 10s – 0:58:00

Winx, Pleas, Brighton & Hove Albion – 1:03:00

Supercoach – 1:14:00
Continue reading “Episode 90”

Episode 89

All three of us were back in the one location and it made for a fun show. There was an interactive Facebook Live session with some good questions asked. Then we recapped the NRL Auckland 9s, the Sydney Rugby 7s and the Atlanta Falcons capitulation at the hands of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Plus heaps more.

Facebook Live – 0:00:00

NRL, AFLW, Bathurst 12hr, Boxing, Rugby 7s – 0:31:00

Super Bowl LI – 1:11:00

NBA, A-League, Supercoach – 1:43:00

Big Zacko Moment – None this week Continue reading “Episode 89”

Episode 88


We took all of January off so it’s time to get back in the studio for another go round. Only problem is, we forgot to tell Big Zacko.
In this episode we recap most of the talking points from the start of 2017 including the last two tests between Australia and Pakistan, the Big Bash League including Mitchell Johnson’s BBL Semi Final and Final heroics. The Australian Open tennis wound back the clock with a couple of classic final match ups. Did they live up to the hype? Ben Barba is trying to pull a swifty over the NRL. And we get Swainy on to talk about Rugby Sevens and the upcoming season.
0:00:00 – Facebook LIVE Continue reading “Episode 88”

Episode 87

The year of 2016 is drawing to a close so we decided to bring on all of the friends of the show to do a recap of the year that was. All your favourites are here as we remember the highs and lows of 2016. Continue reading “Episode 87”

Episode 86

Quick show this week. Colbee stops in to defend his position as Masters of Rugby League correspondent. We discussed the cricket schedule for next Summer on Facebook Live.
Colbee and Josh recap the Penrith Waratah Masters presentation night.
Then we discuss the NFL. Both Zac and Josh’s teams are in the hunt for the playoffs. Brendan’s just sacked their coach.
And Josh catches up with some NBA news. Continue reading “Episode 86”

Episode 85

It’s been a looong time since we had published author Erik Nielsen on the show. As a historian, Erik helps the boys discuss cricket history.
And we also welcome back Swainy to talk Rugby around the world. It’s been a few weeks and a couple of Wallabies losses since we spoke to Swainy. And he is more than happy to go on a BS style Ref Rant!
Plus the V8 Supercars wrapped up on the weekend and we talk NFL. Continue reading “Episode 85”

Episode 84

Special thanks to Robbo from Penrith Waratahs Masters for joining us in the sweltering heat to record the show.
We discussed the Australian cricket team rebuild. How the new bats will handle test cricket. And wondered if chatty keepers were the answer. Robbo and Pies reminisce about playing Car Cricket.
Our own version of the Macho Man returned Continue reading “Episode 84”

Episode 83

We recorded Episode 83 last night in the sauna that is the BS Studio. Thankfully we finished in just over 90 minutes. Continue reading “Episode 83”

Episode 82

A big week of sport even if the only Rugby League is the 4 Nations and the only AFL is Jobe Watson returning his Brownlow medal.

We have more than enough sport to talk about and leading the charge is the poor showing by the Australian cricket team for the second straight test against South Africa. There’s been plenty of talk of mass sackings and heads rolling. Rod Marsh has already stepped down. And we discuss the article naming 11 potential new bats for Australia.

The 4 Nations is down to an Australia vs New Zealand final Continue reading “Episode 82”

Episode 81

It was looking unlikely we’d get a show out this week. But

Swainy got on the phone and recapped a big weekend of Rugby including Ireland’s historic win over the All Blacks in Chicago. Plus Australia put the cleaners through Wales. And Swainy had a big Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Brendan is not impressed Continue reading “Episode 81”

Episode 80

So while Brendan works a second job to make up the money he lost on the Melbourne Cup, Josh and Zac recorded a show. We recap the win of Almandin in the Melbourne Cup. Discuss how all of our selections went. And muse over the futures ofsome of the runners.

Josh is excited to see South Africa’s pace attack this Summer. Especially young Continue reading “Episode 80”

Our Web Page

Welcome to the new Bats & Balls Podcast webpage. From Twitter to Facebook to even the occasional blog this page will have everything Bats and Balls.

A brief history of Bats & Balls Podcast

During a hot Western Sydney Summer Josh Button midway through a cricket game had an idea of doing a Sports Podcast. Josh is a regular on Inebriation Nation (a beer podcast) and wanted his own sports show. Josh asked a few friends and Brendan Smith was the one who answered the call. After finding a name & logo the Bats and Balls Podcast was born.

Wednesday 4th March 2015 was the 1st show of Bats and Balls Podcast. It was the night before the 2015 NRL season and the episode was the NRL Preview. With only 1 poor microphone the boys did episode 1. From this point on the show has only got better and the team has added some new technology which has helped greatly. For a laugh go and listen to Episode 1 then listen to one of the latest episodes and hear the difference for yourself.

The Bats and Balls team love banter so if you are on twitter or facebook feel free to heckle the boys.

Brendan Smith

Blog at

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