Belfast Telegraph

Bikers get in a bit of a flap Down Under

By Billy Weir

It may have been a good weekend for rugby wildlife from Down Under but for our feathered friends it wasn't such a happy ending.

As a childhood member of the RSPB I was a man in turmoil on Sunday morning as the Australian MotoGP turned out to be possibly the best race of all time but at quite a cost to one seagull that paid the ultimate price for a trackside view.

I take no pleasure in seeing a bird being killed or wounded in the name of sport, I'm not even a member of the Royal Family, but it did provide one of the greatest ever 'what happened next?' moments.

A procession of riders came hurtling around a blind bend to find our avian interloper in their path and I'll let BT Sport commentator Keith Huewen take up the story.

"Ohhhhh, a seagull has just been nutted by Andrea Iannone. That seagull has just found out who was boss. Two kilos of seabird straight in the face, believe me, I've done it with a smaller bird when I've been riding my bike," he said, and we were all thankful that emus weren't prevalent on Phillip Island.

There was more indigenous wildlife to come though, Huewen's partner in the commentary box, Julian Ryder, voicing after a fortunate Valentino Rossi overtake that he shouldn't 'look a gift kangaroo in the mouth'.

Huewen was at it again later too, the race won by Marc Marquez in thrilling fashion in the wee small hours, prompting a conclusion that 'he's even woken up the koalas, they looked a bit sleepy at this time of the day with a mouthful of eucalyptus'.

Better than a mouthful of feathers, I suppose, but now just two rounds to go and Rossi just ahead of Jorge Lorenzo in the race for the title.

Next up, Sepang in Malaysia, where they have elephants. Could turn nasty.

The good, the bad and the ugly

The good: You may not have noticed but Liverpool have a new manager, Jurgen Klopp, making an understated debut in the English game with Fletch and Sav on Saturday morning introducing us to the Klopp-ometer, a device that measured how many Tweets the German had been mentioned in that morning. It finished at 27, 289, just four million short of how many times Robbie Savage mentioned himself.

The bad: Old Clippity’s brother wasn’t universally welcomed with Harry Redknapp on BT Sport’s coverage of the game letting him vent his spleen. “Foreign managers didn’t re-invent the wheel, you know. We were playing football long before they arrived,” he said just stopping short of saying they take our jobs and our women. Harry is expected to be UKIP’s next leader.

The ugly: After last week’s thrilling duel on the ever-bizarre Eternal Glory where we had grabbing a stick, this week Liz McColgan and Gail Emms’ fate was decided by catching a ball. Liz has started the long run home but at least she’ll be spared next week’s decider, which will probably be chasing a cat or having their belly rubbed.

Belfast Telegraph


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