Bats & Balls Podcast

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.

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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

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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 121 – Avoiding Rants

Supercoach Beer

It’s episode 121 and Pies is back at the helm of the ship. Big Zacko and The Producer are in the studio and we’ve got a huge show. We try to avoid all the controversy from the NRL Finals, but Brendan can’t help himself. Plus we recap the AFL Finals which got off to a slow start but finished with a belter in Adelaide.
Plus we go through the first week of NFL Football, tip all of next weeks games and talk a little Fantasy Football.
Then right at the end, THAT photo of Malcolm Turnbull at the footy.
0:00:00 – NRL
0:38:00 – AFL
0:57:00 – NFL
1:55:00 – Football World Cup Qualifying
2:04:00 – Fake Political Outrage

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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”

2016 NFL Preview 6/8 Four teams on the up?

In the 6th chapter of Zac’s NFL Preview, four teams building on strong 2015 performances and some key roster additions this year.


Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

Coach: Gus Bradley (2013, 12-36) With over 26 years coaching experience at different levels, Bradley shot to NFL fame as the defensive co-ordinator of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” which was one of the most dominant defences of the modern era. Entering his 4th year in Jacksonville there are high expectations.
QB: Blake Bortles (2014) Third year man who had a breakout 2015, needs to work on accuracy and decision making as he makes the progression to bona fide young gun.

Key Rookies. Continue reading “2016 NFL Preview 6/8 Four teams on the up?”

2016 NFL Preview 5/8 Build From Within

Four sides that performed well last year, did very little in free agency but lost some key players. How will the young guys step up?

Green Bay Packers (10-6)

Coach: Mike McCarthy (2006, 104-55-1) Veteran coach who is one of the best offensive minds in the game.
QB: Aaron Rodgers (2008) Rodgers is currently arguably the best QB in the NFL.

Key Rookies. Continue reading “2016 NFL Preview 5/8 Build From Within”

2016 NFL Preview 4/8 Is The End Near?

Zac thinks the writing is on the wall for these four teams in his latest instalment of the NFL Preview.


Atlanta Falcons (8-8)

Coach: Dan Quinn (2015, 8-8) 2nd year coach looking to improve on last years record.
QB: Matt Ryan (2008) Would be wanting to bounce back from a down year last year. Previously was considered a premier QB in the league.

Key Rookies. Continue reading “2016 NFL Preview 4/8 Is The End Near?”

2016 NFL Preview 3/8 Great Expectations

In the latest round of his NFL Preview, Zac examines four teams who could be ready to take a giant leap.

Cleveland Browns (3-13)

Coach: Hue Jackson (2016) Second stint as a head coach. High quality offensive mind so the Browns offense should look much better this year.
QB: Robert Griffin III (2016) Looked like a superstar as a rookie but injuries and destructive coaching have derailed his career. Could be in line for a resurgent 2016 in Cleveland.

Key Rookies Continue reading “2016 NFL Preview 3/8 Great Expectations”

2016 NFL Preview 2/8 A New Sheriff in Town

In the second chapter of his NFL Preview, Zac focusses on four teams who have added first time Head Coaches to the mix.

Miami Dolphins (6-10)

Coach: Adam Gase (2016) Gase is a first year head coach who has spent the last three years as John Fox’s offensive co-ordinator (in Denver then Chicago) and at 38 is currently the youngest head coach in the NFL
QB: Ryan Tannehill (2012) It’s time for Tannehill to start to deliver on his promise.

Key Rookies Continue reading “2016 NFL Preview 2/8 A New Sheriff in Town”

2016 NFL Preview 1/8 Bounceback or Bust?

In his first instalment of the 2016 NFL preview, Big Zacko highlights four teams with veteran QBs that need to win this season or face imminent rebuilds.

San Diego Chargers (4-12)

Head Coach: Mike McCoy (2013 22-26)
Quarterback: Phillip Rivers (2004) – one of the most prolific passers in the last 10 plus years whose cool head will help what is now a young supporting cast.

Key Draft picks. Continue reading “2016 NFL Preview 1/8 Bounceback or Bust?”

NFL Preview Coming SOON

Big Zacko’s NFL Preview

Zac is poring over the 32 NFL teams ins, outs, draft picks, coaching changes and shady equipment guys to deliver our first series of blog posts. While Big Zacko is putting the finishing touches on his rankings, we thought we’d share this video of his favourite WR.



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

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