AFTER millions of dollars, 13 top-level games, (probably) less than 50 possessions and just two goals, Israel Folau has given up on the Aussie Rules experiment.
It’s okay, Izzy, we all knew this was on the cards but well done for following your heart.
The Giants and the AFL have put on brave faces in the wake of the announcement and have stuck by their “it was no failed experiment” line. But make no mistake, this was a big victory for the NRL and it couldn’t have come at a better time for rugby league.
He may have looked completely lost at times on the field but Folau was the Giants’ crown jewel and every bit of publicity he created for GWS was a kick in the pants for rugby league.
The NRL has returned fire and realistically, they didn’t have to lift a finger to do so.
Just when thousands of Islander kids in Sydney’s west may have considered picking up a Sherrin instead of a Steeden, their reason for taking up Australia’s indigenous game has walked the other way.
But it’s not just that, the hype of big Izzy returning (along with that other Sonny Bill bloke) will certainly rob GWS of precious column inches and air time in the lead-up to their second season.
I would have given any sum of money to have had the privilege to see the looks on the faces of Andrew Demetriou and Eddie Maguire when the announcement was made official.
With the Eels certainties to win Folau’s signature, he’ll become the first man to win an AFL wooden spoon and a NRL one in consecutive seasons.
GUNNERS THE NEW COMEBACK KINGS
I’m still struggling to believe what I witnessed last Wednesday morning in the fourth round of the English League Cup.
Premier League big guns Arsenal trailed Reading 4-nil after 30 minutes and seemed dead and buried.
However the Gunners pulled one back on the stroke of half-time and that proved to be the catalyst for one of the most amazing comebacks in history.
Three second-half goals, two of which came in the final five minutes, drew Arsenal level at 4-all to send the tie into extra-time.
Four more goals in extra-time led to a final score of 7-5 in Arsenal’s favour. The result meant Reading became the first team in Cup history to score five goals in a match and lose.
One Arsenal fan copped a lot of stick on internet forums when the cameras captured what appeared to be footage of him leaving the ground early in disgust.
However, it was later revealed on Twitter that the poor bloke was simply ducking out of his seat for a quick toilet break!
AUGUSTA CALLING FOR TEENAGE MASTER
At 14 years old, I was trying to stay awake while studying Shakespeare and my biggest sporting achievement was making it to the king’s square on the school handball court.
Well, compare that to Chinese wunderkind Guan Tianlang, who on Monday morning qualified for next year’s US Masters golf tournament by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand.
Guan will be just 14 years, five months and 17 days old when he tees off at Augusta next April, which will make him the tournament’s youngest ever player. Simply incredible!