Monday Crumbs - Delly

You've got to feel for Frank Lowy, Football Federation Australia head hauncho who took a tumble off the podium during the post match ceremony for the A-League final. Hope you're alright Frank, if only you had as much class and panache as the victorious Melbourne Victory who celebrated victory over Sydney FC.

There's a few thoughts that came to mind whilst watching the final. The Victory were far superior that Sydney in all departments, I was sitting there with the score at 1-0 hoping that Sydney would just knock one in somehow and make it a humdinger of a finish. To say that it would have been against the run of play would be an understatement, but I was hoping. 

Instead, the Victory were far too good. 

What made it even more beautiful, besides admiring a team playing at their peak was that kiwi Kosta got on the scoreboard. Kosta Barbarouses as he's more formally known, scored six goals this season and his performance in the final was a quintessential Kosta effort with plenty of pace on the right. Shane Smeltz also got on the pitch for Sydney FC, that might be the first time two kiwi lads have played on opposite teams in a final? Hmmm.

There was a wee bit of drama with the venue of the final, with the A-League having to play second fiddle to AFL which resulted in the final being played at AAMI Park which is a much smaller venue. But to be honest, I loved it. The Victory fans were out in force as you would imagine while there were also plenty of Sydney fans who made the trip. The smaller stadium kept the energy in the stadium and it was a pretty good result given all the drama before.

All in all, it's another example that the A-League and football in Australia and Aotearoa of course is in a healthy position. 

We've been graced with plenty of football action as the leagues wind down and the international schedule heats up. We must take a moment to salute Stevie G though, who bid farewell to his Anfield faithful and his beloved Kop. They lost to Crystal Palace which was a bit of a bummer I guess, but hearing Gerrard speak after the game did nothing but give you a few goosebumps. Whether you hate Liverpool or somehow find Gerrard the most annoying weasel on the planet, you still have to appreciate a man who has such a connection with his club and their fans.

Could Gerrard be one of the last players to have such a career? A career which started with Gerrard being born a local lad, coming up through Liverpool's system and then having a long career with his beloved club. I'm not sure we'll see someone who shares such a relationship with his club and community as Gerrard in a while, I'd love to be proved wrong though.

Oh and this guy got a reasonably swift hatty...

Ricardo Christie, take a bow bro. The kiwi World Surfing League rookie made it through to the quarter finals where he ended up loosing to Brazilian Filipe Toledo who then went on to win the Rio Pro. Christie slid up 7 spots in the rankings and his 5th spot in the Rio Pro is his best result to date, given that he finished 25th, 25th and 13th in the previous three events, this is a great result for Christie. 

The tour now heads to Fiji for the Fiji Pro which will start on June 7, until then watch how Christie finished his time in Brazil...

The Black Sticks men's squad for their upcoming World Hockey League semi finals has been named by Colin Batch. Notable inclusions are the experienced Shea McAleese and Phil Burrows, but young Southern Dog Kane Russell has also been given the call up. That's a nice benefit of having a pool of 25 or so players to pick from, with the likes of Shay Neal, Nick Wilson and James Coughlin all out injured, Batch can call on players who have done the job before.

The World Hockey League semi's are going down in Argentina with the first game for the Black Sticks taking on Egypt in their first game on June 4. A top three finish will see the Black Sticks automatically qualify for the Rio Olympics which is always a nice little motivator. 

Poor Manu Tuilagi and poor ol' English rugby with the midfielder set to miss the Rugby World Cup thanks to some off-field issues, mainly assaulting a copper. Tuilagi has been one of England's more potent attacking weapon and was set to return from injury and straight back into the mix for a World Cup spot. The Australian media continue to love Sam Burgess with all their headline grabbing hearts and he looks set to be included in England's training squad but expect him to be selected as a forward. 

The United States sprint team had to give back their gold medals from London but sprinter Justin Gatlin registered the fastest 100m time of the year in Qatar over the weekend. The 33 year old ran a personal best which was also the 9th fastest time ever recorded and somehow he's getting better with age? Hmm.

Ouch...

This dude, Gennady Golovkin who is from Kazakistan, recorded his 20th straight knockout against Willie Monroe Jr. Golovkin is currently being avoided by his middleweight rivals Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez, remember that this is boxing where you pick who you want to fight, not fight who you're told to fight. Everyone spent years shouting from the rooftops that Floyd Mayweather needs to take on Manny Paquiao, how about we build the same buzz around Golovkin and either Cotto or Alvarez?

With Mathew Delladova going pretty nicely in the NBA playoffs for the Cleveland Cavaliers, I thought we'd finish with some of the interweb's best funnies regarded 'Delly'...