Shanas “20” and Dubai/1 “51” crowned champions in Dubai Traditional Rowing Race

Sport360 staff 29/09/2017

A total of 44 boats carrying almost 450 youth were competing for the first-round championship at the Palm Island. The race was divided into two halves, which were represented by the colour orange for the first half and green for the second half.

Boat No20 “Shanas”, owned by the Ministry of Sports Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman and skippered by Majid Amer Al Mu’amiri, won the first thanks to their good strategy in the race against rival boat No42 “Bin Majed” led by Nasser Hassan Al Kas.

On the second half, boat No51 “Dubai/1” owned and led by Ahmed Mohd. Ebrahim Al Mar’ei prevailed against boat No30 “Dubai Police” led by Mohamed Ismail Mashmoum Al Falasi. In third spot was boat No27 “Ras Al Khaimah/1” followed by the fourth spot taken by boat No2 “Wadi Saham”.

In the last spot was boat No41, “Sinyar”.

The rowing season is expected to run until the end of the year through two rounds in October and November in the Dubai Championship qualifiers for the most prestigious competitions, Al-Maktoum Cup No. 21, which is scheduled for mid-December.

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Lopsided finals series sends crowds to sleep and leaves AFL bosses scratching their heads

Alex Broun 25/09/2017
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Crows and Tigers fans may be in seventh heaven as their sides reached the AFL Grand Final next weekend – the Crows’ first decider since 1998, the Tigers’ first since 1982 – but they may have to wake up the rest of the Australian sporting public to tell them.

After one of the most thrilling AFL seasons in history, with three draws and no less than 28 games decided by a single kick or less, everyone was looking forward to a gasp-inducing run to the decider.

Unfortunately, the only response the finals series has induced is yawns.

Yes, there was the controversial elimination final in Adelaide where the Eagles knocked out Port by two points – but apart from that the score differences have been 36, 65, 51, 67, 59, 61 and 42. That’s an average of 54 points between the winners and losers of the other sevens finals matches – hardly showpieces stacked with excitement.

Certainly, the AFL can’t be blamed for these lopsided results and CEO Gillon McLachlan and the boys down at Docklands must be scratching their heads as much as the rest of us due to the huge gap between teams – and also the stunning turnarounds from week to week.

Sydney beat Essendon in week one of the finals by 65 points, then lost the following weekend to Geelong by 59 – a swing of 124.

Geelong, after their thrashing of Sydney, were themselves put to the sword 136-75 by Adelaide the following weekend – this after losing to Richmond by 51 points in the first week of the finals. So Geelong’s route through the finals was: lost by 51, won by 59, lost by 61, which gives you an idea of how haphazard and uncontested results have been. GWS had a similar finals journey: lost by 36 to Adelaide, defeated the Eagles by 67 and then lost to the Tigers by 42.

Richmond’s Dustin Martin (right) celebrates a goal with Josh Caddy against GSW.

Richmond’s Dustin Martin (right) celebrates a goal with Josh Caddy against GSW.

The crowds have suffered due to the one-sided scorelines and TV audiences have been switching off in their droves. One leading pundit likened crowds to those of World War I, where so many would-be spectators were overseas fighting for their country.

“The AFL has been embarrassed by a disgracefully-low crowd at the GWS-West Coast semifinal at Spotless Stadium,” wrote leading AFL pundit Tyson Otto on news.com.au.

“Just 14,865 fans watched on as the Giants blasted the Eagles by 67 points — the lowest since crowds were sparse because of World War I.”

Indeed the crowd was the lowest for a final since 1916, when just 9,960 watched the Fitzroy v Collingwood semi-final at a near empty MCG.

“The fifth lopsided result from six games in this year’s finals series only added to the underwhelming affair,” continued Otto.

“After only one close game in the first week of finals, fans endured two semi-final thumpings this weekend to continue the September snoozefest.”

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.

A similar turn-off factor has been seen in TV audiences with both AFL finals last weekend out-rated by the NRL equivalent. This again had a lot to do with the competitive nature of the matches themselves.

Both NRL Finals hung in the balance until near the very end unlike the AFL games which were decided well before half-time.

So people may have started off watching GWS v West Coast but as the score ballooned they would have quickly switched to the much closer Broncos and Panthers encounter.

This result is all the more damning for the AFL as the NRL finals match was shown live in just two major cities – Sydney and Brisbane, whereas the AFL match went to all five – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The AFL does have a blockbuster on their hands this week with the come-back Crows up against the home town favourites, Richmond.

But they will desperately be hoping that one side isn’t leading by 50 points at half-time resulting in another massive switch off.

Luckily for the AFL, this time they are not directly up against the NRL Grand Final, which is a day later on Sunday.

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AFL 2017 Report Card: Richmond, Essendon, Port Adelaide impress as Hawthorn, Collingwood, Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns flop

Alex Broun 4/09/2017
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With the AFL finals series about to begin, we look over all 18 clubs to assess their chances.

ADELAIDE CROWS

2016: 5th (SF); 2017: 1st (+4)

Anything but the title will be a huge disappointment, but their form has slipped with just two wins from last five.

RATING: A

BRISBANE LIONS

2016: 17th; 2017: 18th (-1)

The titles of 2001-03 are a distant memory and the AFL must be increasingly worried about the game up north.

RATING: F

CARLTON

2016: 14th; 2017: 16th (-2)

The once proud Blues look no closer to their first GF since 1999. Culture of failure is home to stay at Princes Park.

RATING: C

COLLINGWOOD

2016: 12th; 2017: 13th (-1)

Another bad season for the Pies making the decision to re-appoint Nathan Buckley even stranger. Painful for fans.

RATING: D-

ESSENDON

2016: 18th; 2017: 7th (+11)

Superb performance from the resurgent Bombers going from wooden spoon to finals in one season. WADA who?

RATING: A+

Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell.

Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell.

FREMANTLE

2016: 16th; 2017: 14th (+2)

Another depressing season for Ross Lyon’s team who seem a long way away from the glory years of 2012-15.

RATING: C

GWS GIANTS

2016: 4th (PF); 2017: 4th (-)

One kick away from the GF last year, GWS will be rueing two draws that could see them miss out again this year.

RATING: A-

GEELONG CATS

2016: 2nd (PF); 2017: 2nd (-)

So long the bench mark of the competition, the Cats will again go close. In impressive form coming in to the finals.

RATING: A

Patrick Dangerfield.

Patrick Dangerfield.

GOLD COAST SUNS

2016: 15th; 2017: 17th (-2)

Another poor year from the expansion club, who have the lowest supporter base in the AFL — Ablett or no Ablett.

RATING: E

HAWTHORN

2016: 3rd (SF); 2017: 12th (-9)

The mighty Hawks came down to earth with a thud in 2017 and will be interesting to see if they can bounce back.

RATING: D

Tom Mitchell.

Tom Mitchell.

MELBOURNE

2016: 11th; 2017: 9th (+2)

All set for finals footy for the first time since 2006 before a shock loss to the Pies in final round. Will hurt all summer.

RATING: B-

NORTH MELBOURNE

2016: 8th (EF); 2017: 15th (-7)

The over-achieveing Kangas had one to forget in 2017. The playing list isn’t great and may not be back for awhile.

RATING: C-

PORT ADELAIDE

2016: 10th; 2017: 5th (+5)

A good year for SA with both teams in the eight for first time since 2007. What price Showdown 44 in the GF?

RATING: A+

RICHMOND

2016: 13th; 2017: 3rd (+10)

One of the biggest improvers of the year and a strong chance to go all the way, No1 backline in the competition.

RATING: A+

Star man: Dustin Martin.

Star man: Dustin Martin.

ST KILDA

2016: 9th; 2017: 11th (-2)

Hopeful of playing finals footy for the first time since 2011 but faded badly. Recriminations go on at Moorabbin.

RATING: B

SYDNEY SWANS

2016: 1st (RU); 2017: 6th (-5)

Felt they should have won last year and sulked for the first six games of 2017. Will back themselves to do a Dogs.

RATING: B+

WEST COAST EAGLES

2016: 6th (EF); 2017: 8th (-2)

A morale boosting win over the Crows in the last round saw them sneak into the finals, but still flag outsiders.

RATING: B-

WESTERN BULLDOGS

2016: 7th (P); 2017: 10th (-3)

Surprise premiers last year the Doggies will be disappointed they did not do a better job defending the title.

RATING: C

Marcus Bontempelli.

Marcus Bontempelli.

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