Cheap Seats Episode 85: Salary cap relief

Ryan O’Connell and I have been given permission to negotiate with other clubs in Episode 85 of the Cheap Seats podcast.

#AskTheCheapSeats tackles a heavy backlog of cracking questions, on topics including 4-day Tests, Robert Craddock, Wallabies Rugby World Cup selection, and NRL favouritism.

It's been a far from fairytale end to Test cricket for Michael Clarke...

It’s been far from a fairytale end to Test cricket for Michael Clarke…

The major sporting development in the last little bit is the surprise NRL news that Wests Tigers have given favourite son, Robbie Farah, “permission to negotiate with other clubs”, despite having two years to run on a contract. We again ponder Who’s This Week’s Premiership Favourites – but now with double the fanfare.

In other news, we wrap up the ill-fated Ashes series, worry about a lack of Wallabies hookers, and declare the AFL top 8 done and dusted.

Get us on Twitter at @CheapSeatsPod, on Soundcloud, iTunes, and the TuneIn radio app, and get your questions in for next week using the tag #AskTheCheapSeats. And stay cheap!

Cheap Seats Episode 84: the Bledisloe post-mortem edition

Ryan O’Connell and I are nursing sorrow-drowning hangovers in Episode 84 of the Cheap Seats podcast.

#AskTheCheapSeats takes a distinctly Bledisloe flavour, as Wallabies fans still come to grips with the 41-13 loss in Auckland last Saturday.

The Bledisloe Cup is gone for another year, alas, and questions remain as ever as to just what is the first choice Wallabies side, and indeed, the questions about certain players and combinations just will not go away. And the Rugby World Cup is a month away.

News Ltd Godfather Rupert Murdoch at the AFL TV Rights announcement on Tuesday: "We've always preferred Aussie rules and we've always believed this is the premium code in Australia.."

News Ltd Godfather Rupert Murdoch at the AFL TV Rights announcement on Tuesday: “We’ve always preferred Aussie rules and we’ve always believed this is the premium code in Australia..”

The ‘Who’s This Week’s Premiership Favourite?’ question is again becoming difficult to pick, Manly have the football gods smile on them, while the NRL had their massive TV deal trumped by the AFL’s massive TV deal. And copped a spray from Uncle Rupert in the process. And rounding out a big weekend, the Diamonds won the Netball World Cup, and Jason Day took out the PGA Championship golf major. Plus the weekly wrap up of the Cheap Seats Tipping League, which you can join now for the Rugby World Cup.

Get us on Twitter at @CheapSeatsPod, on Soundcloud, iTunes, and the TuneIn radio app, and get your questions in for next week using the tag #AskTheCheapSeats. And stay cheap!

Second Test, Brisbane: Day 2 – Rogers breaks the drought

Josh Hazlewood and Chris Rogers have put Australia in a good spot on Day 2 in Brisbane. Images: ABC Grandstand

Josh Hazlewood and Chris Rogers have put Australia in a good spot on Day 2 in Brisbane. Images: ABC Grandstand

The New Daily: Maligned Australian opener Chris Rogers issued a timely reminder of his value to the top order, compiling a fighting 55 in the middle session on Day 2 in Brisbane.

Australia finished the day on 4/221 when bad light stopped play. Steven Smith’s unbeaten run in this series continues, his tally now sitting at 279 runs scored and the Indian bowlers no closer to removing him.

In the morning session, Josh Hazlewood had capped a memorable debut with the ball, becoming the first Australian quick to take five wickets on debut since James Pattinson three seasons ago. He finished with 5/68, and bowled superbly to spearhead the attack, as India were all out for 408 on Lunch.

Much had been made of Rogers’ run of form coming into the Test, and with the national selectors choosing to look to the future in naming Smith the new Australian Captain, many wondered whether the push for youth might extend to other players in the side.

The Ashes – Second Test Day 1 wrap with @testmatchsofa

George Bailey goes long for one of three 6s in the his maiden Test 50, on Day 1 in Adelaide. Image: ABC Grandstand

George Bailey goes long for one of three 6s in the his maiden Test 50, on Day 1 in Adelaide. Image: ABC Grandstand

Test Match Sofa: The boys on the couch in London, calling cricket into the early hours of the morning, have very kindly invited me back for the Adelaide test – despite my enthusiasm during and after the match. Our Day 1 wrap is below.

It was a very different situation on Day 1 in Adelaide, though. Australia have finished the day 5/273, thanks mainly to fifties from Chris Rogers (72), Shane Watson (51), and George Bailey (53 – his maiden Test fifty). Michael Clarke went to Stumps 48*, and Brad Haddin 7*, though Haddin should’ve been out in the second last over of the day when Michael Carberry dropped a sitter at backward point.

England spinner Monty Panesar (centre) celebrates bowling Australia's Steve Smith, in the middle of the pre-Tea carnage on Day 1 in Adelaide. Image: ABC Grandstand

England spinner Monty Panesar (centre) celebrates bowling Australia’s Steve Smith, in the middle of the pre-Tea carnage on Day 1 in Adelaide. Image: ABC Grandstand

Though honours are even, and though they did bring some carnage on the Australia middle order just before Tea, England will disappointed that they twice allowed Australia to get away to partnerships.

They dropped three catches for the day, and on the whole, I think their length was a touch too short on ground that has very short square boundaries. All four of the Australian bats to get starts play very well square of the wicket.

As always, the Sofa guys will be back on deck for the Day 2 in Adelaide tomorrow, and you can find them via the Tune In radio app, at their online home of thecricketer.com, and also on sportstonightlive.com. On Twitter, you’ll find them @testmatchsofa.