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After 15 International Test matches in 2013 for the Qantas Wallabies the Rugby season has come to an end. It was always going to be a tough year for the Wallabies facing the top three teams in the world but then again if they want to be the best they have to compete against the best.
First up was the British and Irish Lions Tour in June and July. This was the first time the Lions would be in Australia since 2001 and having lost that series 2-1 to the Wallabies they would have been out for revenge. The Lions went into the first match in red hot form having only narrowly lost one out of six games prior to the test series against the super rugby franchise teams in Australia. The Wallabies had the chance to win the first game with a penalty kick on the siren however Kurtley Beale slipped over and the ball went dead much to the satisfaction of the tourists and their fans. The second test was very similar to the first however the situation was reversed and it was the Lions who had the chance to win it after the siren with Leigh Halfpenny coming up short with his penalty kick leaving it to the third and final game to identify the winner.
The Lions put the Wallabies in their place in the final game and finally lifted the Tom Richards Trophy for the first time since 1997 with a convincing win in Sydney. Unfortunately for the home fans it was the same boring rugby that was seen game after game, year after year. This was the end of the road for Coach Robbie Deans who had been in charge of the Wallabies for 6 years, of which included only winning one trophy, a poor winning rate of 58% and an embarrassing record against the neighbours across the Tasman, 3-15.
In came Ewen McKenzie, the former coach of the QLD Reds, the Super Rugby Champions in 2011. Without much time to work with the team before The Rugby Championship, McKenzie had a tough job ahead of him to pick the team let alone coach them to play attacking and exciting rugby. McKenzie was the right man for the job to get Quade Cooper delivering his magic that had escaped him for the national team having worked together at the Reds for many years but was Cooper the man for the no. 10 jersey.
The Wallabies’ miserable form continued having lost the first three tests to the New Zealand All Blacks and the South African Springboks and almost choked against the Argentinian Pumas holding onto a one point win. The Springboks then gave the Australians a hiding again by 20 points in South Africa which ensured the Aussies would have to wait another year to challenge for the trophy. Australia finished the tournament with a win in the return leg against Argentina with new boy Israel Folau grabbing three tries.
The Wallabies had a lot of work to do with McKenzie before the European Spring Tour and a great opportunity for some redemption and gain some reputation before the 2014 International fixtures. Firstly, a loss to England ruined their chances of completing the grand slam since 1984 but four wins on the trot was much needed and was the first in five seasons.
After a miserable year, victory against Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales showed the fans a sign of exciting times ahead. A total of 36 tries scored in 2013 compared to 15 in 2012 are markings that McKenzie is providing progress and improving the attacking style of the Wallabies however without any wins against the Springboks and the All Blacks there is a lot of work and discipline on and off the field that needs to improve before Australia can mix with the best.
Coming into the season, fans saw the Heat as clear favorites to win their third straight title. But that was before the Pacers started their season with an 18-2 record. The Heat (15-5), stand in second place in the Eastern Conference with the Pacers holding the top spot. Sparks will fly when these two powerhouses meet for the first time Tuesday night in Indiana.
Bull’s fans were hoping this would be a good year for Chicago as the former MVP Derrick Rose returned from his injury that he sustained during the 2012 playoffs that kept him sidelined all of last season. However, after just 10 games, Rose reinjured himself and is out for the season with a torn right meniscus. With their star player gone, the Bulls are looking to possibly trade their small forward Luol Deng for the Rockets Center Omer Asik.
After the Net’s blockbuster trade this past summer that sent Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn, fans were hopeful that their team could contend for a championship. Expectations are falling short as the Nets are 6-14 and have dropped seven of their last ten games including a 30 point loss at home to the Knicks Thursday night.
After winning 54 games a season ago, the Knicks (5-12) are experiencing their own issues but recently broke a nine game losing streak with their win over the Nets. After their win Friday night over the Magic, the Knicks have won back to back games by an average margin of 34 points and shot 54 percent from downtown.
Things look good in Laker Land as Kobe Bryant makes his return from his Achilles injury tonight against Toronto as his quest for a sixth ring continues. On Nov 25, the 35-year-old point guard signed a two-year $48.5 million contract extension making him the first player in NBA history to play 20 seasons with one team.
There’s 5 months left in the NBA season and anything can happen. Stay tuned for more posts from 365Scores!
Just 3 more sleepless nights left until we finally find out the draw for next year’s World Cup! Two years worth of qualifying rounds have led us to this point and the wait is almost over. Costa do Sauipe in Brazil’s Bahia region is the location of the draw, and it begins at 13:00 local time. Set your alarms. The 32 teams that have qualified for the tournament will now find out their path to the final in Rio de Janeiro.
Keeping track of the draw, who and when your country is playing can be tough. So 365Scores has made it easy for the world’s football fans by launching our own World Cup 2014 site on the 6th December with the tournament schedule and the drawn teams! We also have a calendar with all the dates and times of the matches which is downloadable in one-click onto any device, making sure you don’t miss any World Cup action.
These are the pots from which the teams will be drawn:
Pot 1: Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland, Brazil
Pot 2: Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras
Pot 3: Chile, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, France
Pot 4: Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Russia
Check out our World Cup Site.