QUICK SKILLS: Redbank Plains Bears player Samuel Dixon tries to fend of the Norths tacklers during last weekend's Rugby League Ipswich RLI A-Grade clash.
QUICK SKILLS: Redbank Plains Bears player Samuel Dixon tries to fend of the Norths tacklers during last weekend's Rugby League Ipswich RLI A-Grade clash. Rob Williams

Aussies on golden path to Olympics



THE World Swimming Championships are taking place in South Korea with some great performances by Aussie swimmers.

One of the best efforts was the awesome swim by 18-year-old Ariarne Titmus in winning the 400 metres freestyle.

She not only won the race but defeated a swimmer that is regarded as one of the greatest of all time in American Katie Ledecky.

Ledecky is the long distance swimming superstar who had not tasted defeat in the 400, 800 or 1500m for nearly seven years.

Titmus had a game plan and executed it to perfection by storming over the top of Ledecky.

This victory was the first by an Australian in this event since the great Tracey Wickham in 1978.

The Olympics are next year and with some more improvement from Titmus, we will be singing the national anthem when she collects the gold medal.

Another brilliant performance was put in by Hungarian Kristof Milak who broke the world record held by the greatest swimmer of all time in Michael Phelps. He touched the wall in 1.50.73 to win the 200m butterfly and smash the previous record held by Phelps.

RIP Peter

PETER McNamara was a brilliant tennis player who rose to number seven in the world in singles.

His greatest achievements however came in the doubles where he teamed with Paul McNamee to win the Australian Open (1979) and Wimbledon twice in 1980 and 1982.

After his playing days, he went on to become a successful coach with every player under his guidance making vast improvement to their game.

RLI preview Rd 18

REDBANK v Brothers (Saturday): Redbank suffered their first defeat since round six last week at the hands of the Tigers.

Brothers had the week off to refresh before their charge towards the minor premiership.

The Bears were without a few players last week but just didn't click into gear after they gave up a big start.

Passes that normally have been going to hand didn't and the Bears were simply outplayed on the day.

Brothers are building nicely into September action and will nearly be at full strength for this encounter.

The battle in the forwards will be the key, with the winner here to decide the victor.

Tip: Brothers.

Goodna v Norths (Sunday): Goodna have not been at their best in previous weeks but have been doing enough to win games, while the Tigers produced probably their best performance last week in their win of Redbank.

The Eagles must revert back to what had them as premiership favourites early in the year.

They won games by rumbling up the middle, quick play the balls and getting the ball as quick as possible to their speedy backs.

Ono So'oialo, a man with freakish talents, has finally hit his straps and this spells dangerous to not only the Tigers this weekend but the whole competition.

The Tigers would be on a high after defeating the Bears on their home ground but must now focus on probably the most daunting of away trips.

If Norths are to taste success they must continue to do what they did last week and that's play for each other.

Tip: Goodna.

Fassifern v West End (Sunday): This is basically the battle for the wooden spoon with the loser collecting this unwanted award.

The Bulldogs hold the upper hand with a win and draw while the Bombers have only the single win.

West End have been in reasonable form of late but find the second half and more importantly the last 20 minutes the major problem.

If they can play a solid 80 minutes they might get their second win of the year.

Fassifern have put in some good efforts but have let themselves down with sloppy ball handling.

Fassifern have the home ground advantage and must play basic football if they are to secure the three points.

Tip: West End.

A-Grade ladder: 1. Brothers 47, 2. Goodna 42, 3. Redbank 42, 4. Swifts 40, 5. Norths 35, 6. Fassifern 25, 7. West End 24.

Reserve Grade: 1. Brothers 49, 2. Goodna 48, 3. Fassifern 42, 4. Swifts 35, 5. Redbank 33, 6. Norths 27, 7. Rosewood 21, 8. West End 17.

Under 20: 1. Brothers 36, 2. Goodna 31, 3. Redbank 22, 4. Norths 21.

2nd Division: 1. Brothers 28, 2. Swifts 20, 3. Fassifern 19, 4. Goodna 19, 5. Norths 13.

Quick thoughts

SAINTS: 1. The QRL for again holding a successful Country Round. I am sure the people of Thursday Island, Wabag, Pittsworth, Cloncurry, Ilfracombe, Ingham and Nanango are grateful of witnessing some great rugby league action.

2. Rugby League Ipswich for holding their Masters event last Saturday at Redbank. To see some of the players of yesteryear strutting their stuff again was awesome. Most players were still quick between the ears but their bodies had other ideas. This concept will grow.

3. The New Zealand Silver Ferns. They came into the Netball World Cup with a plan to defeat the powerful Aussie team and they did it in a nail-biting final.

Sinners: 1. The Gold Coast Titans for the handling of coach Garth Brennan.

I know people like to blame the coach but several high profile players probably need to be moved on.

2. The England cricket side were skittled for 85 by Ireland.

Let's hope the Aussies can continue this when the Ashes start.

Did you know? 1. The Tour de France was first held in 1903 with Maurice Garin of France the winner.

2. Sylvain Chavanel holds the record for participating in the most tours with 18.

Bombers' best: I tipped the Roosters to return to form and they did in ruthless fashion by burying the Knights.

This week I am staying in the NRL with the desperate Sharks to defeat the Cowboys.