The new year has come and both Michael ‘Speedy’ Stratton and The Area News sports journalist Ben Jaffrey have survived the celebrations.
The pair are kicking off 2017 with an At The Bar full of predictions for the coming year in sport.
Ben: Mate, our predictions were average last year.
Speedy: Very average. I started off in a blaze of glory but fell in a heap.
Ben: This year, I say we stick to some major competitions and we can see who goes better at the end of the year. First up, NRL – who wins?
Speedy: Cronulla. They’re the defending champions but Canberra aren’t far behind.
Ben: I love your confidence in my Sharkies but the loss of Michael Ennis will be too hard to overcome. I think it’ll be Canberra raising the trophy.
Speedy: They were unlucky last year, that was it.
Ben: Moving right along, who will take out the flag in the aussie rules.
Speedy: I think the Swans.
Ben: That’s my tip, too. They’ll be hungry after last year’s loss.
Speedy: Hawthorn will be right up there again and GWS will give it a shake, too.
Ben: Neither would surprise. It’s exciting times at GWS – a lot of young guns in there who keep getting better.
Speedy: There’s not many bad players amongst them.
Ben: Let’s venture into unknown waters, if you will, with the Super Rugby. My knowledge isn’t that great so I’ll run with the local side in the Waratahs.
Speedy: They’ve had too many chances for mind. I’m going to throw in a roughie. Melbourne Rebels are a side on the up but the Hurricanes are going to be hard to beat.
Ben: I can’t argue as I simply just don’t know enough. Something I know a bit about is the Big Bash League.
Speedy: I’ve been following it as well. I think Hobart can get there. I like the way they play.
Ben: Tim Paine leads them. He’s been killing it.
Speedy: In saying that, it’s hit and giggle isn’t it? A lot is based on luck.
Ben: It doesn’t take much to swing a game. I’m on the Brisbane Heat.
Speedy: They were my second choice.
Ben: Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum are devastating when they’re on.
Speedy: We all know what they can do.
Ben: Will Sydney FC win the A-League?
Speedy: Melbourne Victory are next best but Sydney are favourites. Quickly, did you see Andy Murray was knighted? If only I was a pom. I’d be next in line.
Ben: You’ve had a lot of nights out. Does that count?
Speedy: I don’t know, I might have to write a letter to the Queen.
Ben: She’ll be writing one to you in a couple of years, won’t she?
Speedy: I’m not that old.
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