Australian Sport on the way downhill?

Just 3 years ago, Australia had an unquestionable lead in the world of rugby and cricket, as well as many other sports including swimming and tennis.

But now?

I caught the All Blacks doing a number on the Australian rugby team. Not knowing a thing about rugby, I was very impressed. So, are the All Blacks like say the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan in the 90s were to basketball?

Rugby, who cares but as for the others.

  1. Cricket, we are still number 1 in the world in both forms of the game. Sure, the Poms are giving us a run at the moment but we should win the series, or at least draw it and retain the Ashes. Nobody else comes close to pushing us.
  2. Swimming, the States and Aus were always neck and neck with the U.S. a little stronger. I don’t think this has changed. U.S. beat us medal wise in the pool at the last Olympics and the one before, only just but that hardly justifies ‘on the decline’.
  3. Tennis. Well Aussie tennis hasn’t been strong since the 70’s. Hewitt was at the top for a while, but so was Roddick. Don’t expect anyone to replace Federer in a hurry. As for womens tennis, 3 years ago we were terrible, today we’re bad.

[quote=“amos”]Rugby, who cares but as for the others.

72000 people at Tetstra last week. :wink:

YC, the All Blacks are not in the “unbeatable” category, but they are pretty close. Without a doubt they are the most exciting team to watch at the moment (I hate to admit), even if they do not win 100% of the time. Although South Africa beat them at home 2 weeks ago, I fear SA will receive their come-uppance in 2 weeks’ time.

The one good thing about rugby (despite its generall dismal worldwide position) at the moment is that there’s no real telling who is better: Australia, NZ or SA. The problem for Australia at the moment is that they have the “oldest” team of the 3, which means that their decline will continue unless rapid innovation occurs within the next 2 years or so.

And actually, Amos, the article is not saying Australian sport is awful, just that it has come off its peak. Three months ago people were talking about a whitewash in the Ashes, as well as in the one-day series. Considering England are the number 2 team in the world and people STILL thought it would be a walk-over, the fact that no one dares to speak like this today is a monumental change.

For the size of the population it draws its swimmers from, Australia has kicked American butt for years, but the point of my comment was that, once again, this lead seems to be shrinking.

As regards tennis, there were the Woodies, basically unstoppable in the tennis world 10 years ago. It’s odd that you say the state of Australian women’s tennis is bad; it’s certainly better than the state of the men. Check out and scroll downfor details. Looking at the top 5 (ie the ones with any chance of making it into worthwhile tournaments) men’s and women’s players’ rankings, it is clear that the women’s game is in the healthier position (add the rankings - the lower total is better).