Tonight’s A-League game sees the Melbourne Victory up against the Central Coast Mariners.
Victory is already assured a home semi-final, but hasn’t won a match in its last three starts.
Victory coach Kevin Muscat wants to hit form, especially after the home defeat to Wellington Phoenix in round 25.
“We want to perform well. Obviously after that there’s a weekend off so this is the last opportunity before it gets to sudden death. We certainly owe our members and fans at least a performance because the last one was nowhere near good enough here.”
And that game will be on SBS Viceland tonight from 7.30 in the East.
On Saturday afternoon Sydney FC meets the Newcastle Jets having already wrapped up the Premiers Plate.
The team will receive the trophy after the match.
Sydney won’t have to play in the first round of finals action as the teams ranked 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th battle it out for the right to meet the top two.
The format of the finals series is something Sydney FC Coach Graham Arnold has had to explain to some of his foreign players such as Brazilian import Bobo and Dutch defender Jordi Buijs.
“Bobo didn’t understand the Australian way, and Jordi. They thought everything was around obviously first past the post is the champion. But we’ve had to explain we need to keep going. Finals weeks are big here in Australia, so it’s getting them to understand that as well.”
The AFL this weekend takes place in the aftermath of the Eddie Betts racism storm.
The sport has tried to deal with several instances of fan abuse aimed at Indigenous players in recent years but last weekend Adelaide’s Betts was targeted in an online attack by a women who labelled him an ‘ape’.
She’s since been charged by police but, despite that, Betts told Adelaide Radio station 5AA the issue isn’t simply wrecking his enjoyment of the sport.
“It affects me but it affects people around me more, you know: my wife, our kids are Indigenous and they’ll have to grow up with this stuff as well. Enough is enough, you know, they’ve got fighting on the hill, it’s not kid-friendly, there’s kids on the hill watching that and there’s people yelling racist abuse; it’s just not a good place to be.”
Adelaide takes on Essendon on Saturday evening.
North Melbourne takes on the reigning Premier Western Bulldogs.
In the National Rugby League tonight, the Newcastle Knights and Roosters play in the early evening fixture, while there’s a Queesland derby when the Brisbane Broncos take on the Gold Coast Titans.
This week the NRL confirmed it will aim to stamp out slapping in the game.
Referees have been instructed to issue players with 10 minutes in the sin-bin if they are guilty of slapping an opponent.
Titans coach Neil Henry is in full agreement with the move.
“I think it’s about time that they did something because it was getting a bit ridiculous about what you could hold a shirt and slap someone or sort of nearly punch them. I mean it’s not a good look, so we’ll see how they police it.”
The Easter Monday match sees the Parramatta Eels take on the Tigers at 4pm.
This weekend’s Super Rugby action has been overshadowed somewhat by the decision to cull an Australian team and two South African franchises from next season, as part of a cost-cutting measure.
The Melbourne Rebels are one of the two Australian teams facing the axe, and they play the ACT Brumbies on Saturday night.
The other side in the firing line is the Western Force, which has a bye this weekend.
In Formula One this weekend British driver Lewis Hamilton will look to make it two wins from two Grand Prix in the early hours on Monday morning.
The Mercedes driver is locked at the top of the drivers’ standings with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel on 43 points each.
The Netball season has reached the halfway point and so far the return to an all-Australian competition has been seen as a success.
Of the 28 matches played almost half have been decided by five goals or less.
The teams are enjoying a mid-season bye-round over the Easter weekend.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants are on top of the ladder after the first 8 rounds.
The league returns on April 22.