What men like to do in free time

Australian SportsSport is a national passion in Australia. Summer is the season of sport around the country and the tennis tournament is held in this season. Below are favourite sports of men in Australia.

Football

Australia’s football has four codes which might be a bit confusing. Depending on different states, this could mean rugby league, rugby union, Australian football league and soccer which is referred to as football by most Europeans. All these four codes call for a strong and loyal fan base. The codes are played the same season from March to September. When you see men leaping in shorts playing on a large arena with an oval ball, then you are watching Australian football. The Australian football league is the leading spectator sport developed in Melbourne and it is the most attended sporting league in the country. This sport is high in terms of popularity in Victoria. Perth, Brisbane and Sydney have also been passionate supporters of this sport.

National Rugby League abbreviated as NRL

This is a full contact ball sport which is deemed to be the third most popular sport in the country. The NRL is mostly played in the eastern states of Australia. Most of the sixteen teams which form the league are based in and around Sydney. The season starts in early March and it ends with a grand final on the first Sunday of October. The competition attracts large crowds and television audiences as well. There are also annual international games.
Wallabies is a rugby union in the country and each year, they compete with South Africa and New Zealand in tri nations series. The battle with New Zealand is refered to as Beldisole cup while games with South Africa are part of the Mandela Challenge Plate.
The first national soccer team of the country was formed in 1922. Today, the national team Socceroos has had several world cup behind it and this team is gaining a lot of success on the international platform. The Socceroos qualified for the 2010 world cup in South Africa and did not lose any match.

Tennis

Every year in January, Australia being the headquarter, it hosts international tennis tournament in the lead up to the Australian open. Perths Hopman commences in with eight top ranking double teams usually compete for a tennis ball trophy that is covered in Kimberly diamonds. At Brisbane international, top male tennis stars usually warm up for the Australian open in the first week of January. Other tournaments are the French open, Wimbledon and Grand slam tournament.

Cricket

Australians have been playing cricket for more than two hundred years. This is one of the most well known sports in the country. During summer, they play sports at barbecues, picnics, beaches and parks. The cricket team is one of the world’s leading teams with their trademark the baggy green caps. The team won the ICC world cup four times and this is the biggest cricket world records. The most famous match is the one day Boxing Day text that was held at Melbourne. Some of the heroes for cricket in the country are the Chappell brothers, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and Donald Bradman.
There are more than one thousand five hundred golf courses across Australia. Golf is known to be a leisure sport and there are both public and private courses. Some of the courses are championed designed with spectacular views. The best part of the course is that most are connected with luxurious resorts. These resorts provide a stay and play package. Some of the best resorts are located in southern Queensland. The best world class tennis stars are Adam Scott, Greg Norman, Karrie Webb and Geoff Ogilvy.

Golf

Playing golf is ideal as it serves as a physical exercise. Walking around gets the golfers heart pumping. It is a stimulating if not a rigorous activity. People who play golf three to four times a week are getting a bit of workout. It also helps to improve concentration. Players need to learn how to focus on the shot. If they will be thinking of what to do that night or where to go for holiday, they will not be successful.
As seen above, those are some of the sports that men like to take part in or even watch.

The best wedding anniversary gift

aniversary giftsWedding anniversary is a special time for all married couples. It is a time to celebrate the anniversary of their reunion. Everyone wants to use this chance to show the other person how much they love them. One of the best ways you can express how much you adore your partner is by presenting them with a wedding anniversary gift. When it comes to looking for golden anniversary gifts, you are going to come across a lot of things which include creative, traditional and even sentimental gift ideas. Traditional gifts include stuffed animals, photographs and jewelers. Below are ideal present for a wife.

Gift basket

You can get an artistic gift basket and then fill it with the items that she loves. You can present your wife with a box of chocolates or even a bunch of beautiful flowers. Fill the basket with a customary anniversary flowers. A bouquet of red rose is a good choice. An alternative would be to pack the basket with DVD of romantic songs, bath set, make up set, voucher for shopping at her best store and movie tickets. Decorate the basket with attractive papers. If she loves reading, you can buy her books of her best author. She is going to appreciate you for all the effort that you will have put in collecting the items.

Photo frame

This is one of the oldest anniversary gift idea. When it comes to a photo frame, you can create your own personalized gift by including your best memories. Have a photo frame with the pictures of the both of you. Present a booklet with all memorable activities of you and your partner. This is the best way to re live those moments again.

A Letter

Write your loved one a love letter. Poetry or a love letter is one of the best thing you can do for the anniversary. This is how you can show or express your true feelings for her. Include the things that you have cherished for the duration you have been together and she will be happy. Write the letter with colorful glitters and decorate it with pictures. You can then roll down the letter and pack it with a gift paper. An alternative would be to write her a love song and sing it to her.
If it is your first anniversary, you should opt for a clock. This is the modern equivalent of the traditional first gift. There are different types of clocks available. You can choose to personalize your clock by engraving a special message. Opt to engrave the anniversary date as it will memorialize your wedding day.
If your loved one likes arts and crafts and you want to value her interests, you can opt for an origami flower. It is not an easy thing to get perfect the very first time. You have to spend some time to get the practice. If you select based on your skill level, it is going to be easy for you. As a beginner, making origami blossoms is not hard. If you want to be creative, you can try to make a lily. Your wife is going to be impressed by your efforts and the time that you will have spent on this gift.
Women love jewelry. There is not better gift to give a woman than nice jewelry. The anniversary gift is not going to be fulfilled if you do not have this one in it. Things such as bracelets, necklace and earnings are the best gifts that will remind her of you. You can also choose to give her a voucher of her best shop to buy the jewelry that she likes. Keep in mind that a ring is a symbol of engagement and marriage hence try and avoid presenting this to her as the anniversary gift. Another idea would be to buy a pendant chain and then personalize it with her name.
Besides buying gifts, you can treat her to a date. This is going to be unforgettable. Plan a romantic dinner at her favorite restaurant or even arrange a tour to the place that she has always wanted to visit. Book tickets for a concert or even an event that she would enjoy. Present her with a movie ticket of her best actor or actress.

NRL 2011 round 22 tips

Last week I agreed with Peter Peters. It was an unsettling moment that had me in a strange place. Until today when I read that he reckons Darren Lockyer is not worthy of being an “Immortal.” Peters can’t make that call. And neither can I. It is a decision that needs to be made outside of parochial concerns. While Lockyer’s status in the game will be based on his achievements in Origin and with the Broncos, to rank him along side other Queenslanders it wrong. His peers are those who he played the game with, and against, since 1995 regardless of where they reside.

I never saw most of the Immortals play other than Beetson (who I only vaguely remember) and Wally Lewis who I remember well. Does Lockyer deserve to be up their? Time will tell. But one thing is for sure. When the great players of the game are accounted for in decades time, Lockyer’s name will be among them when Peter Peters will have long faded into obscurity.

Tigers v Dragons, Friday 7:45pm, SFS

This games holds a lot of promise. The Dragons are faltering whilst the Tigers are, in fits and starts, starting to get a move on. But St Benny will have words, , space age words most likley, to get his team back on track. I’m loathe to pick either side but will stick with the Tigers.

Bulldogs v Cowboys, Friday 7:45pm, ANZ Stadium

The Cowboys are leaning how to win without JT which could make them one of the most dangerous teams in the comp when he returns. The Bulldogs’ hopes are fading. They’ll try but the Cowboys will get this one.

Storm v Panthers, Saturday 5:30pm, AAMI Stadium

The Panthers still have a change to make they eight but they must win this game. They may turn to Parra to see what to do (and not to do) to get the upper hand over the Storm. The trouble is that when Smith, Slater and Cronk set their minds to the task they are formidable. And that may be too much for the Panthers to overcome.

Sharks v Titans, Saturday 7:30pm, Toyota Park

The Sharks are suffering without Gallen so much that there is word that they will risk his season to play him thereby risking their season if his injury doesn’t hold up. The Titans will need to win sometime. This is as good as game as any.

Broncos v Warriors, Saturday 7:30pm, Suncorp Stadium

This should be one of the games of the round but parochial programming has consigned this game to the nothing time slot. The Warriors are lingering as a fair dinkum contender. This game will sort them out and I think anyone expecting a Brisbane win may be surprised.

Knights v Raiders, Sunday 2:00pm, Ausgrid Stadium

The Knights have the semis to play for. The Raiders, nothing really. The Knights should get home if they are serious for September.

Sea Eagles v Roosters, Sunday 3:00pm, Brookvale Oval

Almost a cock fight. Even though Manly lost and the Roosters have Carney I don’t think he can do a Benji. Manly at home are too good.

Bunsbuns v Eels, Monday 7:00pm, ANZ Stadium

The way the Eels are going they will be heard 22 nil with 5 minutes to go and end up losing 23-22 in extra time. But the tide must turn and the Eels will finally get that win they do deserve.

The Sure Thing: Manly

The Roughy: The Panthers

NRL 2011 round 20 tips

Hopefully, an outcome of the new television rights deal will be the humbling of Channel 9. For some years now, 9 has not had the best interests of the NRL at heart. That lack of live Storm games into Melbourne, so called live games on delay, the absurdity of the Sunday game on delay, etc reveal a dark heart to 9′s coverage of the footy. Now David Gyngell is suggesting the game be change to incorporate more ad breaks. Obviously he is not content with Ray Warren, Sterlo and Gus constantly (and embarrassingly) spruiking betting agencies and cross promos during the broadcasts.

Gyngell also talks down the billion dollar price tag for the rights but he would. He’d love to get it cheaper as they did last time the rights were up. I hope this the NRL is not so naive and extracts the full dollars from the networks.

One that that the NRL must insist on is all games live. The delay for the Sunday game exist solely to serve Channel 9. There is no other need for it. The coverage is night unwatchable due to the number of ads and little analysis pre and post game. It is a mockery of what modern sports broadcasting should be.

A change is needed that benefits the NRL and not the arrogance of TV stations.

Onto to the tips.

Bulldogs v Parramatta, Friday 7:45pm, ANZ Stadium

Their first meeting this year was a monumental game with the now infamous moment when Hayne showed Payne where exactly his forearm hit Hayne’s head. Alas this game Hindy won’t get some revenge on Ennis (out the through injury) but he will get the win denied last week.

Storm v Broncos, Friday 7:45pm, AAMI Stadium

The Storm are one of the big three; The teams that seem to be a few steps ahead of every one else. The question is if the Broncos are to join them as the big four. I’m not sure on the Queenslanders’ credentials but this could be a fascinating game.

Titans v Cowboys, Saturday 5:30pm, Skilled Stadium

The Cowboys seemed to suffer a case of No Thurstonitis. The Titans however are suffering from everyone else. And may they suffer some more as their season winds down. The Cowboys have a top eight spot to play for and even without JT will get home.

Wests v Easts, Saturday 7:30pm, Leichhardt Oval

Another game where one side has a real crack at the top eight and the other is looking at Mad Monday and the end of season trip. With Lawrence and Tuquri back and Benji starting to look interested the Tigers should be too much for the Chooks especially at Leichhardt.

Sharks v Knights, Saturday 7:30pm, Toyota Park

Hard to get an idea on both sides as their opponents last week were simply a class above. But the Sharks are proving quite a handful at home and should be too much for the Knights.

Panthers v Sea Eagles, Sunday 3:00pm, Mug Punters Stadium

Get yer radars out for this game. Manly have been pretty impressive the past few months (regardless of the loss to the Saints) where the Panthers have been a little up and down. If the Panthers are a contender this then this game is the one to show it. On form Manly are the team but the Panthers will be buoyed by last week’s escape. The game of the round for mine.

Canberra v Dragons, Monday 7:00pm, Canberra Stadium

10 years since the Dragons won in Canberra. But on form, this year suggests that the Dragons may finally over come the hoodoo. All good things come to an end and if the Dragons minds are sound then they will break the curse. Unlike other years, Canberra have nothing to play for. This will do their heads in.

The Sure Thing: The Dragons

The Roughy: Penrith

NRL 2011 Round 15 tips

Just a few weeks ago Petero Civoniceva’s game against Titan’s was lauded as a great example of how a front rower can inspire a team. After New South Wales’ display last night, some are saying the game has moved past such a role. Gallen’s performance as a makeshift prop was tremendous. But not every side has a Paul Gallen like player who can move easily from the second row to the front and provide such an impact. But even your average prop is more mobile than those of yesteryear. Ricky Stuart’s tactics worked but new tactics often do. Once coaches wise up to it they’ll learn. The traditional prop position is dying. It is just undergoing evolution as all positions do.

And was it just me but did Queensland and New South Wales have essentially the same game plan last night? That is make sure Jarrdy Hayne saw little of the ball in space as much as possible?

Tipping time.

Broncos v Dragons, Friday 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium

Both teams are going to be a bit battered and tired. The Dragons do seem to be finding it tough at the moment and they will be missing a few players from Origin it seems. But I’m still reticent to tip against the Master as he comes up against his Apprentice. But I am going to do it anyway. The Broncos Origin players will be wanting to make a few points.

Rabbitohs v Titans, Friday 7:45pm, ANZ Stadium

If the Bunnies are going to make the eight then they need to win this one. But they are a side that just can’t seem to land a killer blow when required. The Titans will have some confidence after their win over the Dragons last week. If Isaac Luke starts turning up then the Bunnies will start to improve. They get one last tip but a loss and I’m giving up on them.

Knights v Panthers, Saturday 5:30pm, Tinkler Stadium

This could be one of the best games of the round. Both teams need to win to keep their finals hopes on track. Newcastle won’t be flogging the Panthers like they did last time. It will be a more even contest. In fact I believe the scale tilt just so every slightly towards Penrith.

Cowboys v Warriors, Saturday 7:30pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium

The Cowboys played quite well last week. Their forwards were quite good against Manly. The only trouble was no Jonathan Thurston. But that is resolved this week and after his quiet Wednesday night he’ll be up for the game. The Warriors recent good form is fading and they will find this game tough.

Bulldogs v Sharks, Sunday 2:00pm, ANZ Stadium

Cracks are appearing at the Bulldogs close knit so called family club. Idris doesn’t turn up for training, Andrew Ryan is on the way out. Not good sign. Is this something the Sharks can exploit? Who knows given their talent for finding adversity when confronted with favourable circumstances. Paul Gallen is the key. Is he really Superman?

Tigers v Storm, Sunday 3:00pm, Leichhardt Oval

If I had better foresight I’d be at this game as Leichhard on a Sunday arvo is a tremendous experience. The Tigers haven’t been really convincing the past few weeks just doing allowing Benji and Robbie to do what they need to win. The Storm are in with a chance but they have only ever won one game from seven at the famous old ground. The heaving, seething mass of orange, black and white will see the Tigers home.

Manly v Parramatta, Monday 7:00pm, Brookvale Oval

For those wanting a real tip, stick with the home side. For the others, you know we are up against the old enemy. Nothing more needs to be said.

The Sure Thing: The Cowboys

The Roughy: The Titans

Power Balance scam hits the NRL

A most amusing piece in the paper on the weekend titled NRL to investigate the game’s latest craze. The ‘craze’ is the Power Balance band, a piece of plastic with a holographic disk, that can to improve balance, core strength and flexibility just by wearing it. It is all to do with bodily electro frequency vibes it seems.

The idea of the Power Balance has been pretty much and truly debunked.

You’d think that NRL clubs and players would had learned a collective lesson after the Firepower debacle.

No wonder the player agent who wants them banned did not want to reveal his name. If it was known that he is so gullible, clubs would love dealing with him.

As for the players themselves, beware when negotiating a new deal and the CEO says something like “Look, we’ll only give you $200,000 but with this application of a special holographic pen to the cheque it will appear as $300,000 in your bank account is you turn around three time in an anti-clockwise direction.” You may just want to think about it for a while. Too good to be true if often that.

NRL 2009 Finals week 1 preview and tips

And then there were eight. Three of the contenders got walloped last weekend, a reminder that just a little off your game can mean a shellacking. But going on what has happened this season, that means nothing as teams have bounced back from some humiliating defeats. The cliché that claims the finals are a new comp is true as anything could happen over the next four weeks. And I bet it will!

The weather this weekend promises the best of spring and the best of the NRL. Bring it on!

Melbourne v Manly, Friday 7:45pm, Etihad Stadium

Last year’s grand finalists meet up with the loser likely to be feeling a little nervous as they await to other games to confirm they through.

Both teams turned it on last weekend after a few weeks of indifferent form. Manly got the points last time in Melbourne but I’m not sure if they can do it again. Sure Stewart is back and that adds a lot to the Manly attack but I wondering if Manly played themselves out last weekend. I have a theory that a few teams really put in last weekend and this week could be a return to reality.

Inglis has been in dominant form since his return and there signs that Slater is starting to step up as well after a relatively quiet season. Blair is free to play meaning the Storm have their best side.

It is going to be a great clash with Stewart v Slater and two hard forwards packs crashing into each other. I can’t really split the sides but leaning slightly to Melbourne

Gold Coast v Brisbane, Saturday 6:30pm, Skilled Park

Congrats to the Titans on their first finals campaign. But it may be a real short one if they don’t get their act together. But with Rogers fit to play (at time of writing) and Preston resigning for another two years, there will be a positive mood in the camp.

Titans’ fans will be hoping that last week was that with third spot sown up, the mental pressure valve was released. And they may not be a bad thing in having the rest before girding their loins for the finals. But the problem with the Titans is that for most of the season, they rarely have put sides away often just doing enough to win. Yes, that means they can grind out wins but it reminds me of the Sharks last season. They need to show that they can put sides away.

The Broncos maintained their run of appearing the finals after September footy looked almost lost for them a month or so ago. The experience of Lockyer along with Hodges and Carrol will be invaluable for the younger Broncos. I’m not prepared to write the Broncos off as when I do, they tend to make me regret my words. But without Bennett’s steadying hand, this campaign may be one of the more difficult ones.

Another really hard game to tip. The Titans have a really good record at home and I expect they will be up and not wanting to disappoint their fans in their first finals appearance. Though if Rogers does succumb to his hamstring injury, then the Broncos should be favourites.

Canterbury-Bankstown v Newcastle, Saturday 8:30pm, ANZ Stadium

Like most league pundits, I ask can the Bulldogs do it without Noddy? The Dogs should have been up against a Tigers side with nothing to play for last week but they blew their chance at the minor premiership. Yes, they had quite a few players in the Dally M team of the year (not without some controversy) but you need to wonder about their mental toughness and ability to hold it together without Noddy’s experience to guide them.

Still, they have a good forward pack and Ennis’ work from dummy half will be vital to the Dogs attack. Idris will be wanting to put in a big game after winning Rookie of the Year even with a seemingly quiet end to the season. And then there is motivation of the perfect send off for Hazem. The Dogs have plenty to play for.
As do the Knights. They will want to prove that they aren’t making up the numbers this season. They may not win the comp but they are capable of causing some damage to the aspirations of other teams over the next few weeks.

The Knights have a slight edge in the halves even if Durea has spent plenty of time out injured. With Kimmorely out, the pressure on Roberts and Holdsworth to make the plays may tell on them. Mad Dog is playing with the energy of an excited puppy at the moment and Idris will need to be careful that his defensive lapses are not exposed.

The Bulldogs forward pack can match the Knights and with De Gois out, the Knights aren’t as good on paper up front. But I’m not convinced they have the ability to take full advantage of the Dogs forwards get on top of the Knights. The Knights are really in with a real chance in this game and can spring an upset.

St George-Illawarra Dragons v Parramatta, Sunday 4:00pm WIN Jubilee Stadium

There has been some speculation that Parra foxed it a little last week. With the pressure making the finals now off them, they relaxed a little. Probably a little too much as the final score indicated.

The Dragons tactics against the Eels were obvious last week. Anderson will have a counter for those and Bennett will likely have a counter for Anderson’s counter. Meaning Anderson will have a counter for the counter of the counter and then Benett will have…you get the idea. A great battle of the coaches this will be.

The Dragons have the momentum and home ground advantage but a few things favour the Eels. First is the bounce back factor. During the season, teams that have been hammered tend to respond in the best possible way the following week. Second is that it will be a late afternoon game on a warm day. Those conditions will suit the Eels. The third and most importantly, Hindmarsh will be playing. As much as Hayne is hogging the headlines, the influence of Hindmarsh on the Eels cannot be underestimated. He holds the team together.

The Dragons are deserved favourites but Eels have nothing to lose. They will demand redemption and the Dragons will be the ones suffering for it.

My NSW SOO side

The main criteria is form. No favours to “those who have done the job before.” Hasn’t done much good over the past three years and test incumbency should mean nothing. The side I’d pick is:

1. Jarryd Hayne
2. Joel Monaghan
3. Jamie Lyon
4. Michael Jennings
5. James McManus
6. Kurt Gidley
7. Peter Wallace
8. Justin Poore
9. Robbie Farah
10. Luke Bailey
11. Ben Creagh
12. Luke O’Donnell
13 Anthony Laffranchi.

14.Craig Wing
15.Glenn Stewart
16. Chris Houston
17. Michael Weyman

NRL 2009 Trials

The weather may be stinking hot and humid and the cricket season still going on but it is that time of year. With just under two months to the start of the 2009 NRL season, the trial games are about to begin. Over the fold, the schedule of trial games for 2009 taken from League Unlimited.

Ooh yeah. March 13. Bring it on.

Saturday 24th January
Raiders v Sharks @ Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan NSW

Sunday 8th February
Rabbitohs v Tigers @ Redfern Oval, Sydney NSW

Thursday 12th February
Warriors v Storm @ Waikato Stadium, Hamilton NZ

Saturday 14th February
Rabbitohs v Panthers @ BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour NSW
Roosters v Dragons @ Members Equity Stadium, Perth WA
Eels v Panthers @ Exies Oval, Griffith NSW
Titans v Broncos @ Kougari Oval, Wynnum QLD
Cowboys v Sharks @ Brothers RL Ground, Mackay QLD
Broncos NYC v QRL Central Comets @ Browne Park, Rockhampton QLD

Friday 20th February
Storm v Knights @ VISY Park (formerly MC Labour/Princes Park), Melbourne VIC

Saturday 21st February
Dragons v Bulldogs @ WIN Stadium, Wollongong NSW Mercury Challenge
Raiders v Broncos @ Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe QLD
Broncos NYC v Toowoomba @ Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba QLD
Panthers v Eels @ CUA Stadium, Penrith NSW
Titans v Sharks @ Richardson Park, Darwin NT
Roosters v Tigers @ SFS, Moore Park NSW Foundation Cup

Sunday 22nd February
Warriors v Cowboys @ North Harbour Stadium, Auckland NZ
Harlequins RL vs Sea Eagles at The Stoop, London UK – 3pm GMT

Saturday 28th February
Rabbitohs v Dragons @ ANZ Charity Shield
Raiders v Bulldogs @ Meakin Park, Logan QLD
Broncos v Storm @ Quad Park, Kawana Waters QLD
Broncos NYC v QRL Easts Tigers @ Langlands Park, Coorparoo QLD
Knights v Sharks @ Baddeley Park, Cessnock NSW
Eels v Roosters @ Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford NSW
Cowboys v Panthers @ Barlow Park, Cairns QLD
Titans v Warriors @ Oaks Oval, Lismore NSW

Sunday March 1 – World Club Challenge
Leeds Rhinos v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles @ Elland Road

Coming to grips with the grapple

The NRL had no choice but the find Cameron Smith guilty of a grapple tackle. Smith will miss out on the Grand Final providing Melbourne make it which is a hard punishment.

It sure will generate controversy but it is better that a finding of “not guilty.” That would have opened the game up to be a grapplethon. But the fact that it got to the finals before a strong message was sent is an example of the NRL’s poor management of this issue.

Early in the season, the NRL did try and crack down on the grapple tackle. A few players fronted the judiciary but that was about it. The rest of the season saw a consistent lack of consistency that only aggravated the problem.

In an excellent discussion on NRL on Fox earlier this evening, Warren Smith (a vocal opponent of the grapple) applauded the NRL but issued a warning. That if the example of Smith is not followed up next season then the NRL will lose all credibility.

It is an accurate assesment and I agree with Scott Sattler’s suggestion that anyone using the grapple should be sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes. Further to that, I’d add in the player being automatically placed on report with a default 2 match ban. Enforcement of such an edict (which is the NRL’s weak point) would soon rid the game of this blight.

Cameron Smith is not a bad bloke but he has paid the price for pushing the rules of the game. Let’s hope that the NRL has the moral consistency to make the grapple tackle a relic of the past next season.