HEROES & GOATS: Vidosic wins where it counts, Jenkins speaks his mind while Tomic admits he didn't try his best
Matt Scott (Australia)
Scott was justifiably named man of the match as Australia proved too strong for New Zealand at Townsville's Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night. The Cowboys enforcer did the home crowd proud, racking up 180m with 16 hit-ups and constantly causing problems for the Kiwi defence. Scott helped the Aussies consolidate and get themselves back into the arm-wrestle after a forgettable first 10 minutes, in which they made fundamental errors and allowed the Kiwis to score an early try. Scott's penetration of the NZ line enabled Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk the time and space to put the finishing touches on the victory. An honourable mention goes to Kiwi-turned-Aussie James Tamou, who acted as Scott's partner-in-crime in grinding NZ out of the game.
Rado Vidosic (Brisbane Roar)
In the lead-up to Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou's clash with his former club, Brisbane aimed a volley of verbal fire at their one-time mentor. Led by Thomas Broich and Besart Berisha, the Roar provided plenty of ammunition for Postecoglou and the Victory by saying they would send him home a loser and that new Brisbane coach Rado Vidosic had been the brains behind Brisbane's past title wins. Vidosic, for his part, played all the pre-game shenanigans with a very straight bat, preferring to concentrate on his own coaching performance and the game at hand. But his preparations showed as his players blew Melbourne off the park, and Vidosic was humble enough to still chastise his players in his post-match comments.
Josh Jenkins (Adelaide)
Jenkins gave a voice to frustrated Adelaide supporters with a cutting op-ed in The Advertiser, in which he accused Kurt Tippett of dudding the Crows and burning his bridges by requesting a trade to the Swans. "Last I checked Sydney wasn't in Queensland" he quips, before going on to obliquely warn Tippett to expect a cold reunion next season. In doing so, Jenkins provides the strongest hint yet that his ex-teammate's departure is not being received well at West Lakes. It's mildly ironic that Tippett is prepared to hold his old club over a barrel to get to the Swans, whose famed "no dickheads" policy seems totally at odds with the 25-year-old's behaviour. Well done to Jenkins for telling it like it is and giving fans a glimpse of the anger behind the curtain.
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
Vettel, who had one race win in the first 13 grands prix of the season, now leads the championship by six points after picking up his third straight chequered flag in Korea. The German wunderkind was nerveless at Yeongam, leading from first corner to finish line as the rest of the field battled tyre and track degradation issues. At 25 years of age, Vettel is now in the box seat for an incredible third straight Formula 1 title, a feat achieved only by Juan-Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher. Red Bull, meanwhile, are almost certainly on the way to their fourth straight constructers' trophy.
Heath Scotland (Carlton)
When Scotland told the Albury Local Court this week that his chances of becoming a firefighter post-football would be ruined by a conviction for his part in a brawl in January, he either failed to check his facts or hoped no one else would. Comically, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade later revealed the charge meant he would never be considered for the job anyway, conviction or not. What made things worse was that Scotland had used the same appeal for leniency six years earlier, after allegedly striking a woman in a nightclub. A special mention goes to the magistrate who failed to convict Scotland despite the footballer's history.
You know you've got problems when even your opponent thinks you're not giving 100 per cent. That was the assessment Germany's Florian Mayer had of Tomic after their first-round clash at the Shanghai Masters, one Mayer comfortably won 6-4 6-0. Rather than take the easy option and defend Tomic after the match, Mayer hinted that his opposite wasn't applying himself to the best of his abilities. "Of course, second set we don't have to talk about it, he probably didn't try his best …" he said. Tomic confirmed Mayer's suspicions, saying: "Today I gave about 85 per cent." The Australian's latest non-showing comes after tennis legend John McEnroe suggested Tomic didn't try in his second-round straight-sets loss to Andy Roddick at the US Open.
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Bryant coldly re-opened his beef with ex-teammate Smush Parker last Wednesday, bagging the former Lakers guard while entertaining journalists at an open practice. Prompted by an unrelated question about Steve Nash, the five-time NBA champion chose to rip Parker, saying: "[He] was the worst. He shouldn’t have been in the NBA, but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard." Kobe's feelings towards Parker apparently stem from a 2009 interview in which Parker said playing with Bryant was overrated. Why the Lakers star decided that now, three years on, was the right time to respond we'll never know. Parker, who plays basketball in China these days, fired back at Kobe the following day, but Bryant laughed him off: "I gave him his little 30 minutes of fame again. He's playing in China now, right? I wish him the best of luck." Cold-blooded.
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