Tommy Raudonikis. Picture: Lachie Millard
Tommy Raudonikis. Picture: Lachie Millard

What a week: Tommy’s massive loss to game he loved


Anthony Breeze

THE rugby league world was sent into mourning on Wednesday morning when news came through that Tommy Raudonikis had lost his battle to cancer.

Tommy was tough, a larrikin and wasn't afraid to say what he thought on any rugby league matter that was in the headlines.

Raudonikis had a wonderful playing career including 239 games (202 Wests, 37 Newtown), representing his country on 29 occasions and his state NSW 21 times.

Tommy was awarded the Rothmans Medal as best player in the NSWRL competition in 1972 and was inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame in 2008 and NSWRL Hall of Fame in 2019.

He also had a great coaching career, guiding his beloved Magpies for 115 games and his state in two Origin series, winning in 1997.

Tommy was at the helm of the Ipswich Jets from 1985-88, taking them to their first grand final in 1988 where they lost to Valleys.

He was a guiding light in the early careers of Alfie Langer and the Walters boys, instrumental in them heading to the Broncos.

Everyone has a Tommy story but something is always the same in these stories. That is that he played the game tough, loved his state and country, was a character and was a great leader.

Tommy you will be missed by many. RIP.

Record-breaking Aussies

THE Australian women's cricket team defeated New Zealand earlier this week but it was no ordinary victory.

The win over the Kiwis enabled them to set a world record of 22 consecutive one day international victories, breaking the record set by Ricky Ponting's 2003 side.

The streak started on March 12, 2018 with a win over India and continued with success over Pakistan, England, West Indies and Sri Lanka over this four-year period.

During this unbeaten run, the side underwent a few changes. However, Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardiner and Rachael Haynes got the privilege of playing in all 22 victories.

The team added victory number 23 overnight in Game 2 of the Rose Bowl Series - a series the Aussies have dominated for over two decades.

Quick thoughts

WINNERS: 1. The Sydney Swans who knocked over current premiers, the Richmond Tigers, and showed the rest of the league that they are contenders if they keep this form up.

2. The Queensland Sheffield Shield side that outplayed NSW. Queensland will host the final. In a difficult season they have performed admirably.

3. Sam Kerr again has shown the world that she is the best female soccer player with another hat-trick for Chelsea.

LOSERS: 1. The North Melbourne Kangaroos are sitting at the bottom of the ladder. After last week's terrible performance, I can't see them moving any higher.

2. The Brisbane Bullets started the season on fire but that fire has been put out recently with some poor performances. Lets hope they get back to their best shortly.

NRL upwards

1. The two teams from the Golden West of Sydney in Parramatta and Penrith who remain the only two undefeated teams.

2. The St George Dragons, who most tipped to win the wooden spoon, are flying. They currently sit inside the top eight.

3. Ageless Roosters winger Brett Morris who still knows how to sniff out a try. This bloke is in stunning form.

4. Stunning form can also describe Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen who produced an awesome game against the Broncos scoring four tries.

NRL downwards

1. The Cowboys, Sea Eagles and Bulldogs who remain winless and are all in terrible form.

2. Cody Walker may have guided his Bunnies to victory but he let them down with his undisciplined performance. They will now sit this week's game out through suspension.

Sporting birthdays April 8

1. 1912: Sonya Henie - Norwegian figure skater who is still regarded as one of the greatest of all time. She won gold at the 1928, 32 and 36 Olympics.

2. 1982: Gennady Golovkin - Kazakhstan boxer who is the undisputed world middleweight champion.

On this day

1. 1972: West Indian cricketer Alvin Kallicharran scores 100 in his Test debut against New Zealand.

2. 1974: Hank Aaron hits his 715th home run breaking Babe Ruth's record.

3. 2001: Tiger Woods wins his second Masters and sixth Major with a two-stroke win.

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