Adam Collins

Author's posts

Feb 28

Rested Australians out to boost successful away record against Proteas

Wins on tour in Test cricket are rare, but not when South Africa and Australia are involved“We’re winning away, we’re winning awaaay! How shit must you be? We’re winning away,” goes the familiar chant that rings out across football terraces when a pluc…

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Feb 18

New Zealand v England: Twenty20 tri-series – live!

Over-by-over report from the sixth match in the tri-seriesStokes will not be risked too early, says Eoin MorganFeel free to email your thoughts to Adam, or tweet @CollinsAdam 9.28am GMT Eoin Morgan up now on TV. “I thought we fought really well but it’…

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Feb 13

New Zealand beat England by 12 runs: Twenty20 tri-series – live!

Live updates from the Twenty20 tri-series match at Westpac StadiumEmail Adam or tweet: @collinsadamEngland prepare for New Zealand challenge after Australian long haul 10.13am GMT Related: England face tri-series elimination after 12-run defeat by New…

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Jan 07

Ashes 2017-18: Australia v England, fifth Test, day five – as it happened

Joe Root retired ill as Australia thrashed England by an innings and 123 runs to complete a thumping 4-0 win 3.36am GMT Steve Smith receives the Ashes trophy, beckons his team onto podium and holds it up in triumph. “Come on!” he shouts. Come on indeed…

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Dec 06

Josh Hazlewood’s dream spell allows Smith and Australia to sleep easy

Hazlewood was a surprise selection to open day five’s bowling, but he responded with pace, fuller pitch and rhythm Steve Smith decided to pop a sleeping tablet on Tuesday night following a rather stressful day at work. No judgment: we’ve all been there…

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Nov 27

Australia’s Cameron Bancroft takes strange Ashes day in his stride | Adam Collins

Amid the head-butt controversy and being target of jokes over bedroom wall posters, the batsman defied it all to help break an 87-year-old recordCameron Bancroft had quite the Monday morning. Waking up, the Australian batsman’s head was all over the ba…

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Nov 26

Lyon ensures Australia’s position infallible to cap off wonder year

Only a year ago, the off-spinner’s international career was near-terminal. Soon, he will become Australia’s sixth all-time wicket-takerA year ago at the Gabba, Nathan Lyon morphed into the least likely cult hero with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade’s ‘Nice G…

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Nov 18

Steve Smith: ‘I read everything. If I don’t agree I use it as motivation to do better’

In an extract from his exclusive Wisden Cricket Monthly interview, Steve Smith talks about his journey from chilled Bondi surfie to the Australia captaincy and his hopes of one day joining the greatsWhen England ram-raided the Australians in 2010-11, i…

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Sep 15

Geelong Cats beat Sydney Swans: AFL second semi-final – as it happened

  • Geelong Cats beat Sydney Swans 15.8 (98) to 5.9 (39) at the MCG
  • Cats move into preliminary final against Adelaide

1.27pm BST

What a performance. Defying the expectations of even their most passionate advocates, Geelong have made their way to the preliminary final. Their eighth time to the final four in 11 years. Sydney won 15 of 17, but couldn’t make that 16. They were as bad as Geelong good.

Six goals to one in an electric second quarter was enough to make the result a formality, confirmed with a further four majors in the third. Dangerfield’s four goals from the square in the first half will dominate the coverage. Brilliant move to pop him down there and he delivered in style when the game was on. Motlop was the talisman after half-time, lightning up the ‘G and burying the Swans.

Related: Geelong pummel Sydney to move within one win of AFL grand final

1.19pm BST

4th quarter, 2.00 left: Geelong 15.8.98 v Sydney 5.9.39

Oh, hasn’t had a look all night really. But Hawkins has draaaaaained one from 50m where the arc meets the boundary. Drop punt, inswing like Waqar Younis. His 50th major of season 2018. “This has been their best finals win since the 2011 Grand Final,” says Bruce of Geelong. “Their most commanding performance since.”

1.16pm BST

Not pretty. Menegola, who has had a cracking night, picks out Stanley on the lead. Gorgeous footy. But then the Geelong no. 1 – who came into the side tonight for Lonergan – sprays the set shot badly. That’ll annoy him, knowng Lonergan is a certainty to come back next week. All told, a good problem to have.

1.14pm BST

That feeling. “I know it’s over,” says Cameron Ling of how Sydney are going about it now, the game reduced to a glorified kick-to-kick. No. Second. Invitation. Required.

1.11pm BST

Speaking of injuries. Tom Stewart is still sitting there looking a bit rough on the bench. Did his left pinger in the third term. Put in a mighty effort in the middle of the Geelong surge in the second quarter, executing a multi-part tackle. Acts like Stewart’s, alongside magic from Dangerfield and Lotlop, made Geelong’s night when it mattered most.

The Swans’ fate is as assured as @CassiniSaturn tonight.#aflswanscats #AFLFinals

1.06pm BST

4th quarter, 12.20 left: Geelong 14.4.89 v Sydney 5.9.39

Well, it is not for nothing but it is not for much. Mills is there for Sydney to snaffle a tricky one off the ground. I remember Dermott Brereton once saying that as a park footballer the only time you could run out and compete is late in a final. Specifically, in a final term where a team has been thrashed, on the way to certain elimination. There is a bit of that here. No risk of injury for Geelong now. Sydney one foot on the plane.

1.01pm BST

4th quarter, 18.20 left: Geelong 14.4.88 v Sydney 4.9.33

Blicavs gets the first, pushing the lead into the 50s. Too easy. 55,555 the alleged attendance at the ‘G. I say alleged… surely someone at MCC HQ having a bit of a tweak there to get a quirky news line up? Fair play to them. Bit like the 2008 Grand Final with 100,008 there. Yeaaaah, sure.

12.55pm BST

More Buddy. “Never played a worse final has Buddy,” emails Richard Charles. “Thankfully in a Sydney jumper. No flag for Him. Beat it Sydney.” Can never remember the great man stinking it up in September at all, let alone like this.

Off to Adelaide for Geelong. Tom Stewart has gone off with a left hammy problem and won’t be back tonight. In other news, seems the TV commentary team have realised only tonight that professional sportspeople drink pickle juice. Keep up, gents.

12.50pm BST

Another goal on the cusp of the siren to finish off their term and push the lead back to 49 points as they stop for an orange. Menegola, who has been excellent, on the end of it. That’ll do nicely. Four goal to one quarter for the Cats. Dangerfield out of the game, but enter Motlop. One himself, set up a couple. Outstanding. After winning 15 of their last 17, Sydney have 30 minutes to go in their season. Who saw this coming?

12.47pm BST

3rd quarter, 1.00 left: Geelong 12.4.76 v Sydney 4.9.33

Sting completely out of this game. A quarter to go before Buddy has managed to do something helpful for his side, picking out Papley with a bullet pass. He kicks the set shot. Point made by the commentary team that Franklin has had quite a bit of it in this third term. But he’s having a shocker.

12.43pm BST

Buddy. Having a nightmare. Another set shot. “He’s gotta miss it,” predicts Bruce. He does. How about this…

STAT | Of Lance Franklin’s six kicks so far:
• 0 effective
• 4 ineffective
• 2 clangers#AFLCatsSwans

12.42pm BST

3rd quarter, 7.00 left: Geelong 12.4.76 v Sydney 3.9.27

Game over! Menzel has popped the goal through from point-blank-range, but it is Motlop again who made it happen with a relentless three-effort tackle. Once the Swans lost the ball, the goal was all but assured. He plays on to snap it through.

12.38pm BST

There weren’t many… but they did happen when he was a Hawk as well.

Swans getting ‘bad’ Franklin tonight. I remember those days, gotta take the good with the bad with Buddy #AFLCatsSwans

12.34pm BST

You cannot have a bad night when you finish outside the top four. Cameron Ling’s observation, not mine. But he’s bang on. Buddy gathers on the wing, but cannot run as he’s taken it with flat feet. Turns it over to a waiting Geelong defender. Sums up their night. Nothing going right. The TV commentary have started their post-mortem on the Sydney season. Motlop up the other end nearly jags another screamer from 45m, but a banana doesn’t have the legs. And again Buddy responsible for a loose turnover the next time Sydney surge. Grim footy.

Rohan: “Menzel back out there, Tom Stewart down the race with a left hamstring issue.” #AFLCatsSwans #AFLFinals

12.30pm BST

This hurts.

Sydney behind
Sydney behind
Sydney behind
Sydney behind
Geelong goal#AFLCatsSwans

12.29pm BST

3rd quarter, 14.00 left: Geelong 11.4.70 v Sydney 3.8.26

Goal of the night! Beautiful string of handballs across half-forward, Guthrie involved with the final one, over to Motlop who executes the perfect snap over his left shoulder, sneaking over the pack and just inside the post. 45 points the margin, this is sure over. Super footy.

North. Thy cheque book openth. #motlop

12.27pm BST

Post again! Sydney’ second into the woodwork tonight. Score review confirms that McVeigh hasn’t quite split the big ones with a banana. Buddy gets another set shot that he cannot convert. Kicks from just inside the arc, but it fades. They need all of these to fall their way. Instead, alongside a couple of rushed behinds, it’s four consecutive minor scores for the Swans.

7 goals. This isn’t going to be a comeback, it’s going to be a miracle if they can do it #AFLSwansCats

12.22pm BST

3rd quarter, 19.00 left: Geelong 10.4.64 v Sydney 3.4.22

Juggling, composed mark Menzel. Lovely, swinging set shot from 50. Oh yes, the Cat Attack continues! “In the context of this game that is enormous,” observes BT. Not wrong. It’s taken just over a minute to get them on the board again. The lead out to an even seven goals. The biggest semi-final comeback ever was 37-points in 1933! That was also the Swans. Thanks, Bruce. Bet he knew that off the top of his head. He adds what I was about to say: 42 points the lead Adelaide had over the Baby Bombers Mk II in 1993’s first semi-final before that went wild.

12.18pm BST

Siren! The second half. It is here. Can Geelong hold on?

12.04pm BST

Wow. There is only one story from the MCG: Patrick Dangerfield. What a masterstroke sending him to the square. This is Leigh Matthews from the 1985 Prelim stuff. More contested possessions than anyone on the field. Four majors from his seven shots on goal. Sure, some luck along the way, but clever to create the final of those free kicks. Had a chance to pop Geelong out to a seven-goal lead as well before Sydney got their steadier. Freeeeeak.

The hosts have 20 more contested possessions, which won’t be lost upon the Sydney coaching staff at the break. Nor will Buddy’s sub-par opening half, three kicks for one behind so far. That shot would have put Sydney back to four goals behind with two majors inside 45 seconds. Instead, down the other end Danger, of course, to make it seven of the last eight in the half. Sydney in big, big trouble.

11.58am BST

2nd quarter, 3.00 left: Geelong 9.4.58 v Sydney 3.4.22

“Danger, Danger! High voltage! When we touch… when we kiss!” Four goals in the opening half! Seven shots on goal from the square. What an individual hand. What a great decision to send a champion down to bolster a the hapless forward line of last weekend. The set shot made from a tight angle 30m out after another clutch grab.

This is already turning into a classic September individual performance and it’s not even half-time! #Danger #AFLCatsSwans #AFLFinals

11.55am BST

Oi, Frankie. Expectations are such that when he’s having a pop from 55m that he’ll drain it. He doesn’t here, dragging it to the near side. Would have made two in 45 seconds for the Swans leading into the long break. “At least he’s had a couple of shots on goal now” the take of Bruce. Fair. Will need to have a massive second half to keep Sydney’s season alive.

11.54am BST

2nd quarter, 3.00 left: Geelong 8.4.52 v Sydney 3.3.21

Big play from the 300-gamer, Jarrad McVeigh dragging one back with a set shot from 50m. “Some players in this moment want the ball in their hands,” Carey’s response on the telly.

You wouldn’t have wanted it in any other hands than McVeigh there. Cooly slotted. #aflcatsswans

11.52am BST

Turn up the volume! Tom Stewart a superb tackle of Parker on the outer wing and the response from the Geelong fans in the Great Southern Stand is immense. Symbolic of the quarter. Danger gets it again inside range, but misses. Oh, should have done better. How’s he getting a loose ball inside the arc at this stage? Maybe what Sydney really need now is the siren more than a shot on goal.

11.50am BST

2nd quarter, 6:00 left: Geelong 8.3.51 v Sydney 2.3.15

Make that a six goal lead! Zac Smith! Third man up, flying across the pack to take the contested mark. Another aerial effort from the Cats down that way. Slots it through with composure from 25m. Next goal vital for Sydney. Have to take something from this quarter. Running out of time.

#PaddysPaddock causing havoc amongst the Swans defence #AFLCatsSwans

11.48am BST

2nd quarter, 8:00 left: Geelong 7.3.45 v Sydney 2.3.15

Motlop fantastic from half-back, a driving kick between the arcs setting up a forward entry, Hawkins hands to Duncan who kicks another! Geelong on fire! Five on the spin for the Cats. Lead is five straight kicks. “There’s a little of the 2014 Grand Final here,” observes Bruce. Big call, but not far from the mark. Sydney drowning.

11.46am BST

Nearly! Buddy from 53 has his first shot at goal. It doesn’t quite get there, a snap from the Hewett just missing. Down the other end it is DANGER AGAIN! He’s giving Rampe a bath! Fantastic, clever grab. But he misses the set shot. Game not far from really breaking open here.

11.43am BST

2nd quarter, 12:00 left: Geelong 6.2.38 v Sydney 2.2.14

Look out, internet! Dangerfield has another through a free kick against Rampe. He pops it through from 20m. The superstar has three. The violation was for a push in the back. Carey notes how clever Danger was to pull the tacklers’ arms with him after hitting the ground, to make it look bad as possible. “He got sucked in,” he adds of the umpire. Geelong four goals up! And all of a sudden, Sydney need a steadier. And they need Buddy.

Dangerfield threw himself forward like a bloke trying to get hit by a car to get compo payments. #aflCatsSwans #AFLFinals

11.40am BST

2nd quarter, 13:00 left: Geelong 5.2.32 v Sydney 2.2.14

Stanley! Into the side for defender Lonergan at the last moment, now inside the forward 50 and taking a towering grab 20m out. Menzel’s delivery was spot on, and had to be with two defenders hanging off the Cat. The kick on goal isn’t the most compelling but it has snuck through. Geelong move to a three goal advantage. “Sydney are struggling,” says Bruce. “And we haven’t said that in a long while.”

11.35am BST

2nd quarter, 16:30 left: Geelong 4.2.26 v Sydney 2.2.14

50 metres! Duncan has been taken all of 60 though, and kicks truly from 30m. It’s Buddy’s first influence on this game, for all the wrong reasons. It’s a technical one. Franklin stood on the side of the mark rather than directly behind it, prompting the umpire to blow his whistle and bring Duncan forward. Geelong’s lead ot to a couple of goals.

So we agree the umps got that right under the rules, yeah?

So sing a new tune please… #aflCatsSwans

11.31am BST

Nearly brilliant from Dangerfield. Rapid exchange of handballs across half-forward, helped along by the steady head of Mackie. Lands with Danger, who snaps from the impossible angle and just misses. Shots from John Longmire at the break giving his Sydney charges a real spray. Old school.

11.28am BST

I said no major stats… but TV tells us that Geelong haven’t lost a game when leading at quarter-time this season, 1o-and-zip from here. Bruce adds that they haven’t lost a match leading at any change in the season. Handy.

11.25am BST

Cats close it down the term. Sydney twice come forward to have the surge stopped at the traditional CHF position. Taylor takes a strong mark, highlighting that his direct opponent Franklin hasn’t had a sniff in the opening stanza. Siren. Geelong will go into the break very happy with their early work. Dangerfield benefitted from some generous officiating, but two goals in the book to him after starting at full-forward the difference between the sides at the first change.

Not a lot to draw from the stats, much the same for both sides in the usual catagories. Kieran Jack has had it ten times though, kicking a goal himself along the way with a savvy bit of footwork close to the line. By finals standards, a relatively quiet start. Both sides know what they are doing.

Game being played between the arcs so far, with Cats intent on controlling possession where possible. Buddy frustrated by lack of supply.

11.19am BST

Post! Newman from long range hits the top of the post, our first behind after five straight on the night. A second minor score for the Swans comes via Parker, who misses from 45m. He kicked through a chorus of boos, winning the shot after the Geelong defender Lachie Henderson was penalised for deliberate. But, it happened in the act of spoiling. Come on, get serious. The Cats by four points with a couple of minutes to go in the term.

David Parkin “In difficult conditions we not only have a contest, we have a good game of footy” #aflcatsswans

11.12am BST

1st quarter, 8:20 left: Geelong 3.0.18 v Sydney 2.0.6

Menegola! The well-named cat marks inside 50 under no pressure at all. Turns around and keeps the clean sheet for both sides, splitting the middle.

Garry: “The Dangerfield move (to forward) is fantastic because Hawkins has been able to engage Grundy.” #AFLCatsSwans #AFLFinals

Kieren Jack gets crafty #AFLCatsSwans #AFLFinals

11.09am BST

Booooo! The Swans don’t like it when Dangerfield gets another free kick well inside range. Oh, that’s a shocker. Rampe barely touches his shoulder from behind. Had the rule been interpreted that way once upon a time, Jason Dunstall and Tony Lockett would have kicked 2000 each. Anyway, he misses! Out on the full. And the Sydney players race up to tell him all about it. That I like.

11.06am BST

1st quarter, 11:00 left: Geelong 2.0.12 v Sydney 2.0.6

“Jack in the box!” says Bruce, with Kieran Jack having the nous to get his left boot to a ball off the ground from the goalsqure. He soccers straight and the Swans have their second. Carey says the defenders panicked as the ball slipped through the net. Goodness me, Sydney supporters singing ‘Ole, ole, ole, ole… Sydney, Sydney.’ No. Don’t do that.

11.04am BST

Steady start. Geelong haven’t been blown away as they were the last couple of times these teams met. Doesn’t feel like a final quite yet. Both sides working into it, not many risks taken. So many experienced players out there, they know the drill.

Bruce declares it “colossal” five minutes in.
I’m going out to the shed. #AFLCatsSwans

10.59am BST

1st quarter, 15:30 left: Geelong 2.0.0 v Sydney 1.0.6

Danger again! Infringed from the marking contest at the very place he grabbed and goaled a moment before. He ran around and snapped a behind, but the ball was brought back to allow him to take a shot. He makes no mistake from 20m.

10.57am BST

1st quarter, 17:20 left: Geelong 1.0.0 v Sydney 1.0.6

Straight down the other end and Dangerfield, who has started forward tonight, marks over Rampe. Response within a minute. Wet all day, but no effect on the game so far. Some strong early grabs.

10.54am BST

1st quarter, 18.30 left: Geelong 0.0.0 v Sydney 1.0.6

Papley perfect in traffic, getting free from the contest and chipping over the top to Reid who takes the grab running back and converts the set shot from 25m. They’re away.

10.49am BST

Anthem! Craig Willis welcomes us formally to the MCG. That’s how you know it is a big deal. Do we have a live singer? Nup, it is play on the Julie Anthony tape. But no complaints. Moments like this I miss not being there in standing room watching Hawthorn go around. I know, I shouldn’t complain. But roaring over those last few bars? Phwoaaaar.

Toss. “What have we got? A dollar coin?” asks the umpire. Odd. Geelong to kick to the City End, Sydney to the Punt Road goals. Nearly there now!

10.40am BST

Cheer, cheer the red and the white! Out come Sydney. McVeigh has his daughter in his arms as they run through the banner.

Ground looks fantastic given the torrential rain in Melbourne earlier today. Gone the days of the late-season bog.

Fair bit of rain today, but the @MCG deck is in great nick. Here’s hoping the wet stuff stays away now.

10.38am BST

Huge night at the People’s Ground and I have some BIG news with you off the top. Tom Lonergan, Geelong’s champion defender is out. Retiring at season’s end, he may have played his final game, withdrawn with food poisoning. But the more immediate issue here is the fantastic record he has playing on Lance Franklin, keeping him to under a couple of goals a game in their stoushes over the better part of a decade. Wow.

As for food poisoning?! What happened to fish and chips the night before a game like KB in his pomp? Or a big bowl of pasta like every 1990s gun? Some questions to be asked of this at Corio Bay if it all doesn’t go to plan over the next few hours and the Cats are bundled out in straight sets for the second time in the space of four years.

5.40am BST

Adam will be along shortly. In the meantime, have a read of this beautiful story, about a pair of inseparable young Swans fans. Just make sure you have a box of tissues at the ready.

Related: The boy whose commentary for his blind friend inspired his sporting heroes

Continue reading…

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Sep 08

How Australia’s Warner and Lyon found patience to rescue Bangladesh series

The opener and spinner curbed instincts to smash or spin every ball and instead opted for more thoughtful approach suited to the subcontinentHow often does a Test series reach the end and demand another match? South Africa and Australia in 2011 is a st…

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Aug 31

Defeat to Bangladesh was painful but hardly Australian cricket’s lowest ebb | Adam Collins

The performance of Steve Smith’s side in the first Test was bog-standard but there is no disgrace in losing to this Bangladesh teamLet’s start by clarifying what Australia’s loss to Bangladesh is not. Firstly, it is no disgrace. There is a reason why t…

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Aug 30

Bangladesh beat Australia on day four of first Test – as it happened

Bangladesh 260 and 221; Australia 217 and 244Hosts win by 20 runs in first Test victory over Australia 8.52am BST On that note, I must run. Steve Smith is about to start his media conference. Thanks for your wonderful company this week. We’ve had a cla…

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Aug 18

Sydney Swans beat Adelaide Crows in AFL thriller – as it happened

  • Sydney beat Adelaide 13.5 (83) to 11.14 (80)
  • Swans move into fourth on ladder after frantic win

1.41pm BST

Buddy says it is one of the better wins he has been involved in. And there have been a few. A lot of criticism in the post-game on Adelaide bottling it, not least letting Sam Reid free for that goal out of nowhere to put the Swans within a kick. It was the moment, on reflection.

The implicatons on the ladder… if the Swans finish fifth, the loser of 1v4 will play the Swans. G’luck with that! They go to bed fourth tonight, mind. Adelaide, meanwhile, will still probably finish top. But will need to win next week against WCE in Perth.

1.33pm BST

Moment of the night.

You will see this a few times on highlights packages over the years, long after it has been forgotten who won tonight. It’s even better on the replay.

This was Buddy amazing! #AFLCrowsSwans

1.32pm BST

The scoreline tells it all, the Crows having every chance to win this but throwing it away with their kicking. Through the second half the home side controlled the ball out of the guts, but Sydney are the best defence in the comp for a reason. In the end, the losing side won the inside 50s by a margin of 62 to 42. Remarkable.

Of course, their win was set up by the jump they got early taking a 29-point lead early in the second quarter. But Adelaide hung on then pounced. The last quarter they were flying, three brisk goals giving them their biggest lead of the night, nine points. But goals to Reid and Papley – a gem to win it – shifted the dial to the Swans at the perfect time. All their vast experience was on display in the final moments, slowing the game to a crawl. What a game.

1.26pm BST

Precious seconds tick down. Adelaide aren’t able to penetrate, Sydney have thrown the proverbial kitchen sink here, numbers behind the ball to turn the last few minutes into a slog. Nothing doing at all for the hosts. Exhausted. Crouch can’t take it away clearly at the end, securing the Sydney Swans a famous victory! Sydney by three points!

1.23pm BST

Q4 4:30 remaining. Crows 11.14.80 v Swans 13.5.83. Sydney back in front! Two in a minute as Papley gets the ball at ground level and does what he does best. Kept composure when he could have gone to the deck as well, wasn’t expecting the ball as it landed with him. Adelaide crowd stunned into silence. They need at least one more, probably two.

1.21pm BST

Q4 5:10 remaining. Crows 11.14.80 v Swans 12.5.77. Sam Reid! Just as he did at the end of the third, the big man has popped up at a crtitical time for Sydney to keep them in the game. Surely this ends within a kick either way. That kind of night, that kind of season.

1.15pm BST

Q4 8:45 remaining. Crows 11.13.79 v Swans 11.4.70. Held! I was calling it from here, the umpire agreeing. McGovern at the traditional CHF position went long to the hot spot, the outnumbered Swans’ defence got all grabby, Jenkins pulled down in the contest. The experienced hand wasn’t going to allow another mistake from a set shot, slotting it straight through the middle from 25m. Adelaide extend their lead to nine, the most they have been in front by all night.

1.12pm BST

Buddy ferocious. Creates half a chance up the other end, but nothing comes from it. He’s in the game, winning another free at crntre half-forward. Inside 50, Heeney centres put cannot find hands. Nor can Papley, Betts for Adelaide engineering the clearance instead. Composed footy from Adelaide, Sydney should have scored in that surge. TALIA DOWN AGAIN BEHIND PLAY! It isn’t the ankle that he hurt before, reaching for his head as the trainers take a look. He’s pushing them away; wants to stay on. All happening!

1.10pm BST

Q4 12:00 remaining. Crows 10.13.73 v Swans 11.3.69. Walker has done it! McGovern puts him into space after a turnover, the big man playing his 150th has all the time in the world running towards the goal mouth, but bangs it on the boot. Goes along the ground but thankfully for the home side it doesn’t matter, just sneaking in. The Crows, at last, are in front!

1.09pm BST

Peppering the 50, but not the board. The Crows have it permanently in their arc. Must find a way through the big sticks. Kennedy sprays a clearance out on the full from the side of his boot, giving them another chance to go inside. Riley Knight has the chance to bring it back but elects to go himself from 52 where the arc meets the boundary. It’s a bold attempt, and he misses. In keeping with the theme. Two points the difference, 12 minutes left.

1.06pm BST

Adelaide dominating the clearances now. Jacobs the most important man on the field, giving fantastic service. They have won every clearance this quarter. And via one of those Jacobs hit outs, Sloane has got it out and an uncontested mark to Cameron! He has a set shot and… MISSES! It’s happened again! Hits the post. Oh what a mess for the Crows, that would have put them into the lead. Still a quarter of an hour to go, and three points behind, but they should be ahead times over by now. The crowd’s frustration palpable.

1.04pm BST

Q4 17:00 remaining. Crows 9.11.65 v Swans 11.3.69. Banged forward by Jacobs, McGovern finds the footy, snaps it true! He has four! Adelaide within a kick despite having kicked two fewer goals. That kind of night. And Talia is back on as well – that’s MASSIVE in the context of this game.

1.01pm BST

Rough and tumble opening minutes. Zak Jones can’t help himself, giving away a 50 to Brad Crouch but the Crow cannot convert. 1.5 from set shots! The Swans 7.2. Says it all.

12.55pm BST

In the Talia move, I missed a goal. That was via Sam Reid, who extended the margin to double-digits by the final change for the Swans. And at the end of that wild old quarter, we’re more or less where we started. Adelaide went bang-bang, Sydney did likewise, there were long chunks where neither side could get a clear shot on goal. Adelaide created more chances on the whole but struggled to convert. Sydney were precise when their opportunities came. That last major a real steadier. But we have a grandstand finish, that’s for sure. Don’t go anywhere!

12.50pm BST

Push/pull. Jerka Jenkins on the lead the old-fashioned way, found laces out. But he can’t slot it either. The lead narrows by one to four, just over three minutes remaining in the frenetic term. Oh, now Talia is in strife. He’s taken off straight away. In pain. A groin? Huge in the context of the game as it means Buddy could be let loose. Alternatively, Alex Keath: go make a name for yourself.

12.44pm BST

Post! Second time Sydney have hit the post – the only two behinds they have recorded. In stark contrast to the aforementioned problems of the hosts in kicking straight. As their former premiership coach Malcolm Blight might say at this time if he were on the commentary: Footy Gods. Don’t tempt them by missing your chances. Has there ever been a game where a team hasn’t actually kicked a non-post behind? Could we be heading towards one of the more obscure records in footy history? Is it even possible to find out such a thing?

12.42pm BST

Adelaide set shots. They’re within a kick after Douglas misses to the left, that’s the second they’re missed from a standing stard this term, Cameron having a chance earlier. Sprayed three in the second quarter as well. Should be in front, really. Sydney by five, now time-on, in the old speak.

12.40pm BST

Q3 9:00 remaining. Crows 8.6.54 v Swans 10.1.61. McVeigh, the champion, gets free inside 50 for an uncontested mark. Goes back with the Adelaide crowd doing their best to put him off, but they can’t, the Swan veteran going back and drilling it. Big response. Every twist and turn vital from here.

12.36pm BST

Q3 12:00 remaining. Crows 8.6.54 v Swans 9.1.55. Eddie’s turn! Was bound to influence this game again with all that is going on. It’s back to a point the difference when he bangs it home from point blank range in the old D-Com parlance. Cameron won the free, put him into space, and that was that. Goal for goal on the goal by goal!

12.34pm BST

Q3 13:00 remaining. Crows 7.6.48 v Swans 9.1.55. Two in a hurry for Sydney against the play. Rohan cops a whack from Lever but doesn’t miss.

this game #aflcrowsswans

12.29pm BST

Q3 16:00 remaining. Crows 7.6.48 v Swans 8.1.49. BUDDDDDDDYYYYYYYY!!! Sydney needed a Buddy special and he’s kicked one of the very best you will see! On the gallop from half back (!), he had the time to bounce and fumble and all the rest, then bounce again. Talia nearly reaching him with a Hooker-esque chase and dive, but Franklin was never missing once he set his eyes on the target from range. What a gem! What a game!

12.26pm BST

Q3 17:00 remaining. Crows 7.6.48 v Swans 7.1.43. What has happened to this game of footy?! 29 down half way through the second quarter, and within a couple of mintues in this new quarter the Crows have hit the front! “The Swans just can’t keep up,” says Bruce. Five in a row. McGovern gets the first after a Matt Crouch centre break within 30 seconds. Tom Lynch, after another crisp clearance, snaps around his body after Eddie put it on a plate for him.

12.04pm BST

That was a quarter befitting the blockbuster tag. Sydney had all the play to begin, two goals in a hurry extending their lead to five goals. Adelaide looked ready to roll over. Then, after missing a couple of set shots, their window to get back into it looked to be closing. From nowhere, they turned it around.

Well, not nowhere – from immense pressure and tackling. Already mentioned Sloane’s 11 grapples. Betts too inside the 50, throwing himself around and getting into the game. McGovern showed his class in the air and on the ground, involved in two of the three Adelaide majors registered in their burst of energy to narrow the margin to single digits. They were unlucky not to score again in the final minutes before the long break.

11.59am BST

A minute to go. It’s end to end. Adelaide running their guts out. Douglas pumps it long inside 50 again but it ends up out of bounds. Betts brilliant roving from the throw in, but the kick is smothered. Rory Sloane has ELEVEN tackles to half-time. Enjoy that, fantasy footballers. Huge points. Buddy has it on the wing with 15 seconds to go, but Adelaide tidy up at half-back and that’s the SIREN. Phew.

11.56am BST

Q2 3:00 remaining. Crows 5.5.35 v Swans 7.1.43. And another! Matt Crouch on the end of some rapid ball movement inside the arc, Betts involved in that too. He’s the outside man, able to settle and steer from 30. Game on. “All of a sudden Sydney are on the back foot,” says Bruce. Moments later Betts has another shot on goal, which would have been four majors in as many minutes. But he misses. What Sydney need is the siren. Adelaide have had 37 tackles in the quarter, Cameron Ling reports – they average 18 this season per term.

Here is the McGovern goal, the middle of the three. How about the pace?

McGovern puts the pedal to the metal. #AFLCrowsSwans

11.52am BST

Q2 7:00 remaining. Crows 4.4.28 v Swans 7.1.43. Two goals in a heartbeat for the hosts! Where that come from? Well, Eddie converts a set shot at close range. McGovern did the spade work there with a towering mark at half-forward. He’s having a decent time of it. Then, down to McGovern again from the restart who bananas Adelaide back into the game!

11.44am BST

Why is Brian Taylor calling McGovern a gecko? “He has the most gecko hands I have ever seen!” Well, whatever the case, he has missed a straightforward set shot here. That hurts, given how few opportiunities they have had to score in this quarter, as it hits half-way. Betts gets a rare sniff shortly thereafter, but his snap just misses as well. Eddie and Walker have five kicks between them.

11.42am BST

Structure. “The Swans have set up beautifully tonight,” says Cameron Ling. As Adelaide once again find Swans jumper coming out from the defensive 50. Has happened routinely.

11.39am BST

Q2 15:30 remaining. Crows 2.2.14 v Swans 7.1.43. Sydney are blowing this game right open. Any momentum Adelaide clawed back in the final moments of the opening term goes with Sydney’s second goal of the first five minutes in the second. Here, it is Zak Jones again. Two kicks, two goals. Easy business this. It required going upstairs for a review, but it is all clear.

Spud: Every disposal Adelaide get is under extreme pressure. #AFLCrowsSwans

11.33am BST

Q2 18:10 remaining. Crows 2.2.14 v Swans 6.1.37. Zak Jones kicks Sydney’s first of the quarter inside two minutes, Sydney able to rebound after a sloppy exit from Adelaide’s defensive 50. Jones coverts the set from from 35 and gives it the big ones with the celebration as well. Big fan of that.

11.29am BST

Siren. We’re back in the city of churches.

11.26am BST

The Swans kicked the first four in a burst, Franklin involved with a precise set shot from long-range then a brilliant bit of body work to engineer a snap for his second. The old firm are driving their early advantage, Kennedy with plenty of it, McVeigh instrumental in two majors as well from half-back. Adelaide took the better part of quarter of an hour to find their feet, but were far more competitive thereafter. Sloane’s goal inside the last minute, a clever take and bomb from outside the 50, has the margin about where it should be at the end of the term.

Buddy = #AFLCrowsSwans

11.22am BST

Q1 0:40 remaining. Crows 2.2.14 v Swans 5.1.31. Rory Sloane finds the the best through is over the top of them all. In the nick of time before the siren, runs around the back for a little handball receive from 52, kicks the journey and it is true. He’s been their best. They earned that one.

11.19am BST

Bad misses. The big man Jacobs the beneficiary of an inside 50 that does a leg-break and goes through everyone, but turning around from 20m he misses. Indeed, he hasn’t scored. Talia, the TV tells us, has been now moved back to Franklin. Meanwhile, Kennedy has ten touches already, fuelling Sydney with his work in the guts. The ball has been in Sydney’s half 63% of the time to date, but Adelaide should have done more to bridge the gap over the last five minutes. Another shot missed by close range as I say that, Jerka Jenkins snapping over his shoulder from the kick-off line but it is off-target. Under more pressure than Jacobs was, but should have done better. 23 points the margin, two minutes to go in the term.

11.15am BST

Q1 5:30 remaining. Crows 1.1.7 v Swans 5.1.31. Jack gets a gimme! He misses his initial set shot from 45m but Lever has overstepped the mark. 50m penalty paid, taking him to point blank range. Sydney have hit straight back.

Sydney’s first quarter intensity #aflcrowsswans

11.12am BST

Q1 6:45 remaining. Crows 1.1.7 v Swans 4.1.25. Lever to Betts out of the back half, who gets the burners on finding a target at half-forward, that’s McGovern who pumps it into the hot spot, Smith running onto the loose ball and having the composure under pressure to convert. Taken a while, but Adelaide are on the board. The crowd roar, in relief as much as anything.

11.10am BST

Q1 9:20 remaining. Crows 0.1.1 v Swans 4.1.25. FRANKLIN! He swerves and grooves his way at ground level, just shoves Keath out of the way, swings around to snap on his left from 30 and drills it! That’s the best of the genius, strength and style.

11.07am BST

Sydney are on. After conmceding 50m penalty, unclear for what. Cameron bangs it deep for the Crows. Eight times in ten they would find a way to score, but it is an avalanche of red and white jumpers then some classy hands again from McVeigh before Hannery finds Franklin by foot with a precise chip. 62-39 the possession count to Sydney. All over them.

11.04am BST

Q1 12:00 remaining. Crows 0.1.1 v Swans 3.1.19. Tippett! You know from the boos, it can only be him. Takes the strong overhead grab after smooth ball movement set up by McVeigh. Pops it through. “Adelaide are getting destroyed around the footy,” says Cameron Ling. 23 to 14 the contested possession count at this early stage in favour of the Swans.

11.00am BST

Excellent from Alex Keath. Sticking with Franklin who looked ready to run, executing the tackle and winning the free. The young man made the transition from professional cricket to footy and on the early evidence looks the goods. But moments later, Sam Reid gets a set shot form long range anyway. He misses, hitting the post. “A fast start here,” says Bruce. That it is. “Adelaide need an earlier steadier here.”

10.58am BST

Q1 15:30 remaining. Crows 0.1.1 v Swans 2.0.12. Kelly fumbles on the last line for Adelaide going with one hand instead of two, Rohan is there to collect the crumbs, taking two goes at it but soccering through for Sydney’s second in a couple of minutes.

10.57am BST

Q1 17:00 remaining. Crows 0.1.1 v Swans 1.0.6. Rapid couple of minutes to begin, bodies flying everywhere. Tippett from half-forward gets it into Buddy who does as he has for a dozen years or more, using his body to position defender Keath under the ball. Kicking from the arc, he drills it with a penetrative kick, straight through the middle. The visitors are away.

That sky though… #goswans #AFLCrowsSwans

10.51am BST

Neglected to mention. It is Taylor Walker’s 150th tonight. Looks a packed house at Adelaide. A bit of rain there this afternoon, the telly tells me, but dry enough now for a clean game. “The Crows have more to lose,” the assessment of Paul Roos. A bit of nonsense push and shove before the bounce, as is the custom. And with that, we’re away. SIREN.

10.43am BST

You know what…

Not always a bad thing to drop the second last round if you want to win the flag, Richmond stunning Hawthorn in 2008 comes to mind. But really, this is an excuse to post some of the best footy of my lifetime, Chris Grant ending Essendon’s perfect season in Rd 21, 2000. But they still went and won it all five weeks later.

10.39am BST

Stats and facts and all the rest.

I don’t feel like I talked enough about Adelaide in that opener. They’re pretty good at footy. Six of the last seven at the business end confirm as much. They cannot finish lower than second, so we’re back at the mighty Adelaide Oval in a fortnight no matter what. I was writing about that joint from Edgbaston the day-night Test at Edgbaston last night. What a place. But I digress. They kick a league-high 113 points a game. Have more inside 50s than anyone. More marks in the arc. All the stuff that makes it a joy to watch.

10.26am BST

Hello everyone. Welcome to the penultimate round of AFL season 2017, kicking off with a proper blockbuster at the Adelaide Oval between the Crows and Sydney. The Crows on top, the Swans the form team of the comp for the better part of three months, we could very well have ourselves the Grand Final preview over the next few hours.

Adam Collins with you here from the mean streets of Peckham in South London to give you the good oil over the next few hours. And there should be plenty of that, as this is a corker.

5.48am BST

Adam will be here shortly. In the meantime, why not have a read of this heartfelt tribute to the soon-to-be-departed Bob Murphy, written by Kate O’Halloran:

Related: Bob Murphy: the rapturous Bulldogs boy who embraced the club as his own | Kate O’Halloran

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 24

Demons, Roosters, Dogs win thrillers! Australia sportwatch – as it happened.

2.04pm BST

When I sat down with you the better part of eight hours ago I foreshadowed a packed day of action. Little did I know it would be one of the most intense days as well for the on-field results. Some absolutely brilliant finishes. Our codes at their best.

To start at the end. The Dees. Wow. Three goals in five minutes to win in Perth. Their third interstate win this year. Into the top four. Has a familiar ring to it. I wouldn’t be booking any September holidays if my heart was red and blue.

1.42pm BST

AFL: Bit more detail on the Doggies win by a point. A touch of controversy. via AAP:

The Western Bulldogs are back in the AFL top eight after a controversial one-point win over North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

The Kangaroos were denied a goal late in the match and also potentially at three-quarter time on Saturday night as the Bulldogs won 15.17 (107) to 16.10 (106).

Ben Brown marked and scored to put them ahead, but it was disallowed because a free kick was paid against the Kangaroos for a shepherd in the goalsquare.

The Bulldogs moved the ball down the other end of the ground and Jake Stringer marked.

He kicked a behind with about a minute left and the Bulldogs hung on grimly for the win, putting them back in the top eight.

1.28pm BST

Tom McDonald, five goals, two in the final term. Are we in an episode of Sliders on an alternative universe? Melbourne are three and zip interstate. And if their win in Adelaide last month was the price of admission for this young side in season 2017, beating the Eagles tonight earns them the right to be discussed as a serious top four contender. Your hearts should beat true tonight, Melbourne fans. That’s special.

1.25pm BST

MELBOURNE HAVE DONE IT! SING THE SONG! I’m singing the song and I hate this mob, they were that good. Three goals in five minutes to steal a thriller. First time they have beat the Eagles since 2009, and the first time they have been in the top four this deep into the season since, well, a VERY long time.

1.23pm BST

AFL Q4 0:24 remaining: WCE 14.10 (96) v Melbourne 15.9 (99). MCDONALD BLOODY GOES IT! HIS FIFTH! 11TH LEAD CHANGE! No idea how he got boot to ball. Special game, special winner. From a defender! 24 seconds to go, 17 men behind the ball! FOOTY!

1.21pm BST

AFL Q4 1:00 remaining: WCE 14.10 (96) v Melbourne 14.9 (93). BONE CRUNCHING TACKLES! Superb attack on the ball. In Melbourne’s forward pocket. A minute to go. Clear possession? Need one, somehow.

1.18pm BST

AFL Q4 3:00 remaining: WCE 14.10 (96) v Melbourne 14.9 (93). Huge hit! Shannon Hurn runs into a wall: Jack Viney. Looks bad, but both looked genuinely to be at the ball. He leaves the field with the trainers. They all take the time to slow the heart rate down a fraction. Three minutes to go, three points in it.

1.16pm BST

AFL Q4 4:00 remaining: WCE 14.10 (96) v Melbourne 14.9 (93). Pedersen again!
He’s everywhere! Contested mark, leans back on the set shot, but pops it across the face. Can’t say they didn’t have their chance. WCE need another goal. Oh how they will rue that Jetta miss from 20m – would have iced it. Talking point (as they say) if they get rolled here, that’s for sure.

1.14pm BST

AFL Q4 5:30 remaining: WCE 14.10 (96) v Melbourne 14.8 (92). LIQUID FOOTBALL! Pedersen moves it forward with the most precise kick to Tom McDonald running into the hot spot 20m out. Grab taken, set shot kicked, we’re inside a kick. They move the ball beautifully. Tons of time.

1.12pm BST

AFL Q4 6:30 remaining: WCE 14.10 (96) v Melbourne 13.8 (86). Take marks just like Cam Pedersen, Cam Pedersen’s what I need, whooah-oh! Big contested mark, clutch set shot goal. Game stillllll on.

1.11pm BST

AFL Q4 7:30 remaining: WCE 14.10 (96) v Melbourne 12.8 (80). Jetta, oh no! A wonderful tackle to ping Viney holding it. Goes back from 20m directly in front and sprays to the right. Moments before, Nathan Vardy (let’s go party) just misses from 50. They will need one more to be safe.

1.07pm BST

AFL Q4 11:30 remaining: WCE 14.10 (94) v Melbourne 12.8 (80). Tired boys out there now at Subi. But that doesn’t make McGovern any smaller. Fantastic contested mark deep in the 50. And after missing some earlier chances tonight, he does the job here from 30m. That pushes the lead back out to 14 points half way through the final term. Melbourne hit back but the Eagles have steadied.

No crowd do a hammy trying to get on TV like Subiaco. The simple things.

1.02pm BST

Heartstopper at the Docklands! Here I was thinking we had the close one at Subi, but the Dogs have got home my the smallest of margins via a Jake Stringer behind. Goodness me. All the best bits of that as it comes to hand (well, twitter).

Bit more detail from the ground. A touch of controversy! Via AAP:

1.00pm BST

NRL: How the Roosters did it. Not surprisingly: Mitchell Pearce in the middle of it all when it mattered. Via AAP:

Mitchell Pearce has recovered from Wednesday’s State of Origin heartbreak to kick the Sydney Roosters to a 25-24 golden-point win over Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval.

After the Roosters trailed by 12 points with eight minutes to play, Michael Gordon kicked a conversion from the sideline to send the match into golden point.

In front of 21,492 fans – the biggest NRL crowd in Adelaide since the Rams’ first game in 1997 – Pearce slotted an off-balance field goal from 35 metres out to claim the victory over an Origin-depleted Storm team on Saturday.

Pearce had earlier set up two tries, as the Roosters worked over Melbourne’s right-edge defence in the second half through Latrell Mitchell and Daniel Tupou.

12.57pm BST

AFL Q4 17:20 remaining: WCE 12.10 (82) v Melbourne 11.8 (74). Scampering down inside 50, Stretch to Petracca, into the open goal. All arms and legs; ugly but effective. Don’t strike me as a team about to give up. Salem don’t be back for the Dees tonight, done a hammy according to Ch 7. Viney’s shoulder has him resting too. So it’s huge job from here.

12.55pm BST

AFL Q4 19:00 remaining: WCE 12.10 (82) v Melbourne 10.8 (68). Super footy from Hutchings, taking the ball inside 50 by foot, taking a bounce, taking a shot and going just enough. Broke a tackle in the process. They have the last four of the game.

That’s a brilliant effort from Mark Hutchings! #AFLEaglesDees

12.52pm BST

AFL Three-quarter time: WCE 11.9 (75) v Melbourne 10.8 (68). Mitchell puts another brilliant handball through, a snaked kick from Sheed hits the post. Sammy still doing this at will (1:33).

12.43pm BST

AFL Q3 4:00 remaining: WCE 11.9 (75) v Melbourne 10.8 (68). Another free kick and goal, McGovern infringed close to goal and given a 50m penalty to ensure he kicks West Coast’s second in a minute. Their lead now swells beyond a single straight kick, which isn’t for nothing in the context of this oscillating evening. They have the last three!

12.39pm BST

AFL Q3 5:00 remaining: WCE 10.9 (69) v Melbourne 10.8 (68). Not the sort of game you can look away from for more than a minute or two. The tempo is finals-like. If this is an audition for September, Melbourne are ready for a part. But Hutchings from WCE is the beneficiary of Jordan Lewis being Jordan Lewis after the mark, a 50m penalty taking him to the kick-off line. That’s our tenth lead change!

12.29pm BST

The Roosters have done it! A converted try inside the last minute then the golden point victory over the top of the table Storm. Indeed, it was two tries inside the last seven minutes to get the draw to begin with. Have that!

From the ground (AAP):

Winners!#NRLRoostersStorm #NRL

12.28pm BST

AFL Q3 11:10 remaining: WCE 8.8 (56) v Melbourne 9.6 (60). Brillllllliant from Mitchell, wins the contested ball as he has done a thousand times before, dishing outa pristine handball to Karpany who kicks straight from 30. Important they got that one straight back. Margin back inside a kick. Jack Viney down the race for some medical treatment too. He’s been best on the ground, so that’s significant.

12.25pm BST

AFL Q3 11:30 remaining: WCE 7.8 (50) v Melbourne 9.6 (60). Two goals in a minute for Tom McDonald. It means another lead change, then extending it to ten points for the Dees. First, a set shot after a kicking in danger free at half back. The second, from a tighter angle on the 50 arc and drains it. Beautiful set shot kicking. Why they are the best in the comp on that measure. Noteworthy that the bounce from the middle wasn’t a good one – umpire should have called it back. Anyway, let’s get on with it.

12.22pm BST

AFL Q3 14:00 remaining: WCE 7.6 (48) v Melbourne 7.8 (50). Make that eight! Sloppy from Melbourne. Don’t see that with them often in 2017. Gawn gets the tap from a throw in close to goal, Dom Sheed roves it with easy, snapping truly.

12.20pm BST

AFL Q3 16:00 remaining: WCE 7.6 (48) v Melbourne 6.8 (44). Anoooother lead change at Subi, the seventh of the night, when Jake Melksham bangs home a conventional set shot.

12.17pm BST

NRL: Gordon kicks it! CLUTCH! We’re off to golden point land. Storm and Roosters 24-24 at the end of regulation. Top versus second. What a result!

Gordon slots it, we’re off to Golden Point!#NRLRoostersStorm #NRL

12.15pm BST

NRL: TRY! IN THE LAST MINUTE! That puts the Roosters within a conversion of equalling the game at 24 each. Stand by…

12.13pm BST

AFL Q3 19:15 remaining: WCE 6.7 (43) v Melbourne 6.6 (42). Carbon copy to the start of the first quarter, a bomb into the 50, taken well by Petrie, who turns around the does just enough to pop through his fourth. The Dish turning the clock back. The Eagles back in front!

12.09pm BST

NRL: Game on in Adelaide. Melbourne briefly looked home with a try to Jahrome Hughes, but the Roosters hit right back via Daniel Tupou. And they have converted it. So it’s a six point game (24-18) with six minutes remaining.

Short-side raid, Tupou scores!#NRLRoostersStorm 18-24 with 7 mins to go. #NRL

12.07pm BST

Netball: The Australian Netball Awards presentation taking place in Melbourne.

What we know:

Here we have it, the @SuperNetball Team of the Year!
Not a team you would want to face on the court. #AusNetballAwards

12.02pm BST

Old school from Leon Cameron. His Giants flogged Brisbane by ten goals but he’s given them a spray for not winning by more. Like this a lot.

“For three quarters we were good but we were really, really ordinary in the last quarter,” he said at the press conference. “It was concentration, not fatigue … and probably just some players getting ahead of themselves.” (via AAP).

12.01pm BST

Let’s go… around the grounds. What a hectic half of footy that was. Hope you’re enjoying it. Plenty else going on around the country.

NRL: Melbourne Storm maintain their lead, with a quarter hour to go up 20-12. But Sydney have the most recent score, a converted try by Latrell Mitchell.

11.54am BST

AFL Half-Time: WCE 5.7 (37) v Melbourne 6.6 (42). “His ruckwork over the last little while has been extraordinary,” says Peter Ball of Max Gawn who lands a picture-perfect pass in the hands of Hannan. A bad, unMelbourne-like miss from close range. Gawn earns another free at the traditional centre half-forward postion, to the hot spot. It ends up to Melbourne’s advantage. McGovern saves the day with a heaaaavy tackle. Siren! THEN IT BEGINS. They’re all at it. Clayton Oliver cops a whack to the chest after the siren by Schofield. He’s reported! Ha – barely touched him. Brilliant theatre at the end of a hotly contested half. And breathe.

Did Schofield make any contact with Oliver at all there? #afleaglesdees

11.47am BST

AFL Q2 4:00 remaining: WCE 5.7 (37) v Melbourne 6.5 (41). Petrie’s third! Nice set shot from 40m, makes no mistake after a strong contested grab. Melbourne come screaming out of the guts from the restart, but Neal-Bullen has jusssst missed from outside 50. A quarter of near-misses. Don’t look away, this is a cracker. Jack Viney has already had 23 stats, by the way. Most of them contested.

11.44am BST

AFL Q2 5:00 remaining: WCE 4.7 (31) v Melbourne 6.4 (40). Another brilliant defensive effort, Salem laying a perfectly timed and executed tackle, preventing Cripps of a shot on goal. Moments before, a late West Coast fist prevented Melbourne’s own certain goal. Tremendous defensive pressure on display from both sides. And now it’s Melbourne who need to make the most of the play they’ve largely controlled in this second term.

On the earlier sling. This is the twitter consensus.

Shocking decision, legitimate tackle from Yeo, holding ball every day of the week. #AFLEaglesDees

11.42am BST

AFL Q2 6:00 remaining: WCE 4.7 (31) v Melbourne 6.4 (40). Brilliant tackle from Frost to stunt a Melbourne surge. But they get it back eventually and… McGovern has spilled the easiest of marks directly in front! Reminiscent of Jack Darling in the 2014 Grand Final. Speaking of tackles: sling tackle paid! Yeo the man pinged, Tyson hits the deck. The Perth partisans hate it. Looked a bit harsh, but there was head-on-ground contact. No goals for a bit, but all happening.

11.36am BST

Women’s World Cup: A quick look next door, and one of the very best players to watch in the world, Smitri Mandhana, has a half-century. India flying after being sent in, 71-0 after 15.

Related: England v India: Women’s Cricket World Cup – live!

11.35am BST

AFL Q2 12:00 remaining: WCE 4.6 (30) v Melbourne 6.3 (39). Here’s the thing: Melbourne are really, really good. It hurts a bit to say that, I am big enough to admit that. The whole merger thing, you know. But the way they moved the ball along the way, through half-forward, inboard to the spare man 20m out. What a delight. Tom McDonald is on the end of it. He makes no mistake. They seldom do, the Dees are the straightest kicking team in the comp at the moment.

11.31am BST

AFL Q2 14:30 remaining: WCE 4.6 (30) v Melbourne 5.2 (32). Raining goals! Josh Hill got one back for the Eagles, but Mitch Hannan’s to put Melbourne back in front the more impressive, slamming it onto his boot with perhaps a tenth of a second reaction time (I’m making that up). 40+ out, and true! Up to five lead chnges now

11.28am BST

AFL Q2 16:00 remaining: WCE 3.6 (24) v Melbourne 4.2 (26). Jeremy McGovern steps back for his fourth shot at goal for the night and it’s coming back and coming back… but hits the post. Down the other end and Melbourne kick a coast-to-coast goal to again stunt the Eagles momentum! Jazzy Jeff Garlett involved as usual, on the end of the inside 50, finding Bugg who converts from point blank range. Lead changes with every goal. This is good stuff.

11.24am BST

NRL: Over at Adealide Oval, it’s half time in the top of the table stoush between the Storm and the Roosters. The Melbourne side lead 12-6 via converted tries to Addo-Carr and Croft.

11.23am BST

AFL: Dogs have started well at the Docklands, ahead of North by 15 points half way through the second term. Ten marks inside their F50 for five goals. Efficient.

11.20am BST

Lions: The All Blacks ran away with the opening Test in the end, 30-15 victors. Here’s the match report from Robert Kitson at Eden Park.

Related: New Zealand and Rieko Ioane run away with first Test against Lions

11.18am BST

Before going around the grounds. Prompted by hearing Luke Darcy’s voice, the funniest thing I’ve seen in footy for a while for your quarter time enjoyment (one swear word, if you don’t like those). Can’t. Stop. Watching.

11.16am BST

AFL Quarter Time: WCE 2.5 (17) v Melbourne 3.1 (19). A few wifi issues that quarter, my apologies for the silence. Resolved now. I did see West Coast spray a couple of late set shots adding to their sense of frustration. And Melbourne finally missed one too, Vince unable to convert from long-range after the siren.

11.05am BST

AFL Q1 5:00 remaining. WCE 2.2 (14) v Melbourne 3.1 (19). Steadier for WCE, reward for earlier effort. The Dish has both of them for the Eagles.

11.04am BST

AFL Q1 6:11 remaining. WCE 1.1 (7) v Melbourne 3.1 (19). Jack Viney brilliant on his opposite foot, and Melbourne are putting a dent in this early. Talk about making the most of limited chances. Here is the previous one. Class.

Q1 | Alex Neal-Bullen gets the perfect bounce, and cruises through the arc to his first. @melbournefc making it count. #AFLEaglesDees

11.02am BST

AFL Q1 8:30 remaining. WCE 1.1 (7) v Melbourne 2.0 (12). Melbourne have barely had a sniff, but they do have the leads! Clever punch back into the corridor, and Neal-Bullen gets the burners on inside 50 slamming it home. That’ll hurt the Eagles.

10.56am BST

AFL Q1 9:30 remaining. WCE 1.1 (7) v Melbourne 1.0 (6). Subdued start far as the board is concerned. All very end to end, but no penetration. Shuey misses a set shot from 50. They lead the inside 50 count 9-2 early. Then we hear on the call – and this is pretty gear – that Jordan Lewis had to leave the field to pop his contact lenses in. Ever heard of that before?

10.46am BST

AFL Q1 16:55 remaining. WCE 1.0 (6) v Melbourne 1.0 (6). Billy Stretch back in the senioors and straight into the book. Set shot converted after Gaff infringed deep inside the 50. Bit sloppy from the Eagle mainstay. A goal apiece it is.

10.42am BST

AFL Q1 19:16 remaining. WCE 1.0 (6) v Melbourne 0.0 (0). Baaaaaaaaaaaaah! Consider that my ‘Peeeeeeep’ equivalent for an AFL goal-by-goal siren. And there’s a goal inside a minute! The Big Dish, Drew Petrie, gets his hands onto a bomb inside 50. Nice grab, nice set shot. We’re away at Subiaco.

10.38am BST

Women’s Cricket World Cup: Heather Knight has won the toss at Derby and with a bit of cloud about, so England will have a jam roll first against India in their World Cup opener. Join our live blog with Vish, who is at the ground and watching closely. We went to Paris together this week for a little midsummer getaway. It was bloody lovely.

Related: England v India: Women’s Cricket World Cup – live!

10.35am BST

NRL: We are also away in the top of the table NRL clash between the Storm and Roosters in Adelaide. It’s a Sydney home game, where AFL was played just two nights ago. With tired Origin lads everywhere from the powerhouse sides, nine all up; five purple, four tricolour.

After a midseason stumble the Storm have won four on the trot and look top be the team to beat again, two games clear on top of the ladder. It will be a shootout though, Sydney the highest scoring team in the NRL. It is the first time they have played in 2017, the Storm smashing them twice last year.

10.32am BST

AFL: Then in about ten minute we have the West Coast hosting the Dees, both teams coming in with 7-5 records, jostling for a position in the eight. Melbourne haven’t played finals footy for 11 years, so they require no incentive. And they have been good on the road, beating Adelaide away last month. Better still: they have All-Australian ruck Max Gawn back from hamstring surgery.

On the other hand, the Eagles haven’t lost to the Demons since 2009. Last time they met it was by a kick in Rd 18 at Subiaco, the venue for tonight’s game too. They also put together a very accomplished victory against Geelong last week. Volatile to the extreme in season 2017. Anything is possible from the blue and golds.

10.29am BST

AFL: Next! Two games coming up this evening.

Starting now, the Doggies and North at Docklands. In the case of the Bulldogs, their premiership hangover is nearing Hawthorn 2009 levels. They’ve lost four of their last five, unable to kick a matchwinning score. They were easily beaten by Melbourne last week, which hurt.

10.25am BST

All over at the Gabba as well, an even ten-goal win for GWS over botton-of-the-ladder Brisbane Lions. They go to a game clear on the ladder. The perfect way to see in Heath Shaw’s 250th game. Jeremy Cameron and Jon Patton both slotted four, reinforcing why they are the clear premiership favourites.

Some additional detail from the ground, via AAP:

10.14am BST

Game over! Matt Gillett backs up from Origin in the best possible way, over the line in the final minute to seal the win for the Broncos. They sleep tonight happily inside the top four. Siren sounds. Conversion made. That’s a 30-20 win over the Green Machine, their season just about over now. Brisbane with three tries to one in that second half really turned up the pressure when it mattered after going in 12-12 at the break.

Jarrod Croker from the Raiders on the radio: “We are going to have to do it a lot better or it is going to be too late.” Not wrong.

Man or machine?

Definitely superhuman from @MattGillett12.#NRLRaidersBroncos#NRL

10.12am BST

NRL: Dying stages, but the Raiders can’t make it work. Ten metres out from their own line the Broncos are feeding the scrum after an infringement from the hosts. Inside two minutes left, Brisbane lead 24-20. Can they kill enough clock with clean possession? Let you know in a couple of minutes.

10.11am BST

Lions: A try and a penalty swells the All Blacks’ lead to 23-8 over the Lions in their First Test at Eden Park. A quarter hour to go, time running out for the visitors. Follow the final stages live with Gerard Meagher.

Related: New Zealand v Lions: first Test – live!

10.08am BST

The recap. A plug. This is excellent. New product from HQ each Friday, bringing together the best of the Guardian’s sport from the week that was. Free, easy, just sign up at the link.

Related: The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage

10.04am BST

AFL: 20 minutes into the final term, GWS weren’t able to put the foot down for a monster win – yet anyway – the margin still 67-points as it was at the final change. Their forward line though… scary. Going to win everything, aren’t they?

That’s a fairly handy forward line #AFLLionsGiants

10.03am BST

NRL: From nowhere, Canberra are back in this game, dragging a try back in the 68th minute. Joseph Leilua showed “amazing strength” according to the caller, dragging multiple tacklers across the line with him. The video ref green lights the try. But the conversion is missed. It’s Brisbane still in the lead, 24-20.


Too good from Leilua.#NRLRaidersBroncos#NRL

9.58am BST

Netball: I will be keeping an eye on the Australian Netball Awards ceremony that starts in the next hour in Melbourne.

Caitlin Bassett is expected to feature prominently on stage for her work in the national side then spearheading the Sunshine Coast Lightning’s premiership win last week.

9.52am BST

NRL: Try time! Broncs again, leading the Raiders 22-16. Rewarded for the immense pressure they have put the hosts under in this second half. It’s converted, so make that 24-16, in the 60th minute now.

Too easy to for big Joe Ofahengaue!#NRLRaidersBroncos#NRL

9.46am BST

Quickly round the grounds…

Eden Park: All Blacks still lead the Lions 13-8.

Hunt to @MattGillett12!#NRLRaidersBroncos#NRL

9.42am BST

Neglected to mention earlier. Russ did an excellent thing during the week on Nicky Winmar’s ongoing omission from the Australian Football Hall of Fame. My head nearly came off for I was nodding so much. Recency bias, as he describes, must go. Your thoughts? Hit me.

Related: An Australian football hall of fame without Nicky Winmar verges on farce | Russell Jackson

9.36am BST

Gorgeous shot from the Gabba.

Twilight games Photo: Jason O’Brien/AFL Media #AFLLionsGiants

9.35am BST

AFL: Back to back majors for the Giants deep into the third term, both from the boot of Big Jezza Cameron. They’re seven goals clear now, and this becomes a percentage booster.

Speaking of Jezza… this from Glasto Silent Disco night before last. To the song that makes the sporting world go round.

9.25am BST

Nathan Buckley. Some ambitious spin from the Collingwood coach in his press conference here, after his side were easily beaten by Port. Via AAP:

Collingwood’s AFL finals hopes are slipping away but coach Nathan Buckley insists their latest defeat isn’t a fatal blow.

The Magpies looked a long way off top-eight contention on Saturday in their 31-point loss to Port Adelaide at the MCG.

With just five wins and eight losses, the 13th-placed Magpies could fall into the bottom four, depending on other results over the weekend.

Buckley, however, isn’t giving up hope that the even nature of the competition this season might still work in the Pies’ favour.

“It’s pretty tight,” Buckley said.

“A loss is not fatal but it doesn’t help.

“If a side can go on a four or five-week winning run, you’re going to put a fair bit of a dint in it, especially as we play a lot of sides that are going to be through the middle or the higher part of the ladder.”

9.22am BST

AFL: Half way through the third term at the Gabba, GWS have added three goals to two against the Lions, leading by a comfortable 38-point buffer. Port easily accounted for Collingwood earlier today, a 31-point win at the ‘G.

LIONS: All Blacks lead 13-8 in the First Test at Auckland. Brilliant try by the locals just before the half, by the reading of the live blog.

9.16am BST

Steve Harmison is a lovely human being. And doing a great thing in a new book opening up in depth about his depression. Have a look at this interview, in the paper today. Well worth it.

Related: Steve Harmison: ‘I didn’t want the public to know about my depression’

9.09am BST

NRL: How about the wheels on Nick Cotrick? “He’s a 400m runner isn’t he?” says the radio call. Get in. He scores in the corner for Canberra five minutes from half-time. They lead Brisbane 16-12.

The All Blacks lead the Lions 10-0 at Eden Park. Remember you can keep following that on our live blog, too.

Nick Cotric is 18.


9.06am BST

Women’s Cricket World Cup: We’re not far away from the tournament opener at Derby, hosts England playing India. Had the good fortune to witness a pretty amazing exchange the other night at the official launch at Whitehall in London with the Indian skipper, Mithali Raj. A journo – who had spent most of her media conference chatting to one of his colleagues and over her – asked who her favourite Indian or Pakistani male player is. Her response was rolled gold. I wrote a few words about it, and Vish Ehantharajah has a bit more few more when Raj spoke again at the pre-match conference yesterday.

Going to be a brilliant tournament. We’ll have OBO coverage for all of England and Australia’s games then into the finals. Get on board. See a full team-by-team ready reckoner to put in your favourites. Also by Vish, who is travelling with the England team. Very good.

Related: Women’s Cricket World Cup: team-by-team guide to the tournament | Vithushan Ehantharajah

8.59am BST

AFL: Half-time at the Gabba. After sticking with the Giants for most of the opening two quarters, GWS kicked the last three of the half to open up a 9.8 (52) to 4.5 (29) lead at the long break.

8.57am BST

NRL: Free-flowing opening 25 minutes at Bruce Stadium, the the Raiders and Broncos level at 12 apiece.

The pass from Benji! #NRLRaidersBroncos#NRL

8.34am BST

AFL: At the Gabba, the Lions are keeping the Giants honest in what looks a mismatch on paper. Greater Western Sydney are 14 points to the good 20 minutes into the second term. Here’s a good ‘un from the hosts, Lewis Taylor slotting one home to narrow that margin.

Turbo Taylor #AFLLionsGiants

8.28am BST

NRL: Next up in our trio of Round 16 games in the Rugby League today is 11th placed Canberra hosting 4th on the ladder Brisbane. The Raiders have been down on their luck this year, losing six games by less than a converted try. But this is a great time for them to be getting the Broncos, the origin window traditionally when they battle; three Brisbane players were in the bruising encounter on Wednesday compared to one from Canberra. Brisbane’s record on the road this year isn’t great either, winning just three of seven away fixtures. But they have won their last four on the trot against the Green Machine. We’ll keep a close eye on it. Play starts shortly.

8.25am BST

Lions v All Blacks. It’s alllllll about to kick-off at Eden Park in their first Test Match. Be sure to open a new tab and follow along with Gerard Meagher. The Lions have won the toss. Anthems there shortly, which means GDNZ! What a treat.

Related: New Zealand v Lions: first Test – live!

8.23am BST

Ground report from the Wallabies win.

Related: Rugby union: Wallabies hold on for tight win over Italy

8.11am BST

Robbie Gray booted five goals as Port Adelaide cruised to a 31-point win over Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday.

Port led throughout and put the result beyond doubt with a commanding third quarter in which they booted five straight goals.

8.09am BST

A last-minute sideline conversion from second rower Ethan Lowe has helped North Queensland escape with a thrilling 14-12 victory over Penrith in Townsville on Saturday.

Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt handed his side a chance to steal a win after flying high to take a spectacular catch for a 78th minute try and part-time goal kicker Lowe made no mistake to hand his side a much-needed win days after the club lost star halfback Johnathan Thurston for the season.

Vision of the @nthqldcowboys Try decision in the 77th minute of #NRLCowboysPanthers.#NRL

8.02am BST

It was scrappy, and not a lot of fun for Australian fans, but the Wallabies retain their undefeated run against Italy, despite the tourists giving them a serious scare deep into the second half with two tries in as many minutes to narrow the margin to one. But two late Australian tries – with Bernard Foley the clutch play of the game – secured the result. But make no mistake, there will be furious criticism of the performance for the sheer volume of handling errors, and a scrum that struggled for penetration throughout. Forlau and Naivalu both got over the line twice when the going was better for the home side, but the latter also copped a knock to the knee that ended his day prematurely.

“It probably shows where we are at,” says the captain Moore, citing a lack of confidence in the team at the moment. “We are not the finished product by any stretch. But the effort has been there.” August 19 they next play, against the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup leg. As Moore acknowledged himself in that chat, they have some way to go if they are going to seriously to compete in that series.

Related: Rugby union: Wallabies hold on for tight win over Italy

7.56am BST

AUSTRALIA TRY! Rugby 79th minute: Australia 40 – Italy 27. Lovely! Taken a while, but the passing and running from deep in their own half, Hodge getting a look at the sideline and scampering down to the line. “It has been a performance riddled with errors, but Australia finishing on an outstanding note,” the assessment of Bray. Foley misses the conversion, but there is the final whistle!

7.52am BST

AUSTRALIA TRY! Rugby 79th minute: Australia 35 – Italy 27. Bernard Foley with the matchwinner! Brilliant little run from four metres, stretching his right arm and slamming the ball into the turf from the tackle. Nothing pretty about that, but exactly what was required. He converts the try – his fifth straight kick of the afternoon – to almost certainly seal the victory.

7.50am BST

Rugby 76th minute: Australia 28 – Italy 27. “You know you can’t do that from the ground,” says the referee to Steyn. He’s popped his hands in where they aren’t allowed and he’s off too! Both teams to finish this one man short.

7.48am BST

Rugby 75th minute: Australia 28 – Italy 27. Yellow card! Toby Smith had been warned three times, but he’s lost shape again in the scrum. He’s off! Australia will finish this one short. This is getting desperate for the Wallabies, defending their one point lead. Italy surely will get their chance.

7.47am BST

Rugby 72nd minute: Australia 28 – Italy 27. Frantic tempo now, with Australia needing a clean finish. Within a metre of the line Cooper is clobbered, the ball spilling forward in the process. The scrum will meet five out from Italy’s line. Australia with a chance to steady. “Can Australia produce a scrum to change momentum?” asks Bray. “Because this Italian scrum has changed the game completely in this second half.”

7.44am BST

ITALY TRY! Rugby 69th minute: Australia 28 – Italy 27. “Harikiri from the Wallabies!” says Gordon Bray. Too cute passing across goal, Rory Arnold the player at fault, unable to get the ball out wide. Tommaso Benvenuti over for his second. The try is converted. One point game. Italy’s highest score against the Wallabies… who they have never beaten in 41 years of trying. Blimey!

I’m at the point of hoping Italy wins. Then no more hollow excuses. Australian Rugby needs a total clean-out from the top down#AUSvITA

7.40am BST

ITALY TRY! Rugby 66th minute: Australia 28 – Italy 20. And they have! Crossfield kick is high, and Edoardo Padovani collects the deflection from Dane Haylett Petty and does the rest. The try is converted. An eight point game. Grandstand finish? Italy’s first win in Australia? Ample for it. They are dominating possession at the moment.

7.36am BST

Rugby 62nd minute: Australia 28 – Italy 13. The scrum has been won by Italy today. A yellow card is threatened by the official for Toby Smith for three times losing his shape, close to the Australian line. Talk a penalty try if the Wallabies cannot get their act together in close. Important period here. Italy deserve to cross.

7.33am BST

AFL: Collingwood defeated by 31 points at the MCG by Port. That will be, as they say, a talking point. Next in the footy: Brisbane and GWS. The Giants had the bye last week but were knocked off by Carlton two weeks ago – so need to get back on winners list to keep their top two standing. They have an average winning magin of 51 points over the Lions in their last three meetings, including a 79 point hiding at the Gabba last time the teams met in round 17 last year.

7.29am BST

Rugby 56th minute: Australia 28 – Italy 13. Steven Moore comes off after a decent afternoon of toil in the no. 2. Between times, Italy fluffed another promising approach to the line, dropping the ball from close range. Australia increasingly look to have this under control. But they missed their chance to seal the game after an interception, Genia’s pass was a shocker, way over the head of Foley out wide.

“[Genia] does not trust his pace anymore”@FOXRugbyLive @qantaswallabies #AUSvITA

7.18am BST

Rugby 49th minute: Australia 28 – Italy 13. Bit of desperation from the Italian passing here, they just can’t break through and ultimately drop the ball. But in and around that, Naivalu is copped a whack to his knee. The trainers are on the field and the replay doesn’t look great. But he’s back on his feet. Relief for all in Camp Australia as he gets off the field without assistance, albeit limping.

7.15am BST

AUSTRALIA TRY! Rugby 44th minute: Australia 28 – Italy 13. Sefanaia Naivalu’s turn for a double! Responding in the best possible way to the overturned try from just a minute earlier. Hunt in the middle of that with the crucial pass to open up the left. And some magic from Foley in there too, passing between his legs! As you do. Australia well on this after half-time. Foley converts for a fourth time.

Some razzle dazzle stuff from Foley helps to set up Naivalu’s second for the afternoon! @qantaswallabies lead 28-13 #AUSvITA

7.12am BST

NO TRY! Rugby 42nd minute: Australia 21 – Italy 13. Talk of atomic wedgies from the Australian support players get over line after the movement has concluded. That’s not what the TMO said, but it is what he thought.

7.06am BST

NRL: Around the grounds to Townsville as well. Attritional stuff by the looks, the visiting Panthers leading the Cowboys 6-0 at the half. Corey Harawira-Naera has the try for Penrith.

7.00am BST

AFL: Around the grounds, and Port are home at the MCG, leading Collingwood by 35 points with ten minutes to go in the final term. That will shatter the Magpies, who were still in touch with a tightly-bunched middle group of sides, but can’t afford to drop games at home in the run to September. Robbie Gray has five majors for the Power.

6.57am BST

HALF TIME: Rugby: Australia 21 – Italy 13. “I think we’ll be pretty disappointed,” says back Bernard Foley when interviewed on the way off the ground. Laments their inability to hold onto the ball at important times. That final try of the half to the Italians, the most exciting passage of play of the stanza, has the margin where it should be in single digits. Especially having an early try disallowed controversially by the TMO. That said, Forlau looked unstoppable when the line was in sight, moving his impressive tally to ten tries in his past six international appearances. He might need one or two more to secure the result for the Wallabies in the second half here. Thankfully, he’s being well supported by Foley’s boot, converting all three tries with a trio of pristine strikes.

6.50am BST

ITALY TRY! Rugby 37th minute: Australia 21 – Italy 13. “Campagnaro! He’s quick. Has he got the legs? He sure has!” Gordon Bray rolls his Rs with the best of them as the no. 13 slices his way through the middle of the field and isn’t stopped after Vendetti puts him through with some clean hands. They’ve earned the chance to go into the break within striking distance. The try is converted, and the margin is back to right.

6.45am BST

AUSTRALIA TRY! Rugby 32nd minute: Australia 21 – Italy 6. Izzzzzzy! Another double for the winger, he has the home side’s third try. Easy peasy, none of this diving business, Forlau getting on the end of a tidy string of passes out to the right, the final one from Hunt slamming into his chest from long-range. Foley again converts; his kicking has been supreme at each time of asking so far today.

Folau becomes the first Wallaby the score multiple tries in three consecutive Test matches. AUS 21-6 after 32 minutes. #AUSvITA

6.41am BST

Rugby 23rd minute: Australia 14 – Italy 6. “It is said that Italy had a link to rugby all the way to the vatican,” says Gordon Bray. But he immediately mythbusts himself: the Pontiff was a goalkeeper. Carry on. They do get their second penalty at close range, Tommaso Allan popping through the three-pointer. The Scott Sio violation in the ruck is against the flow of play, with Australia exerting plenty of pressure after flicking the switch ten minutes into this opening half.

6.31am BST


Who’s ready for some Italian?! #AUSvITA #ArvoRugby

6.29am BST

AUSTRALIA TRY! Rugby 18th minute: Australia 14 – Italy 3. Israel! Five tries in three Tests for the big number 15. Sharp hands out to the right, passes all hitting the mark before Forlau does the rest, taking the responsibility to force himself over in the corner. Foley converts again, straight through the uprights. Italy were nearly in double figures within a couple of minutes, and now find themselves 11 down with Australian tails up.

6.26am BST

AUSTRALIA TRY! Rugby 13th minute: Australia 7 – Italy 3. “He has the pace, he’s electric!” Sefa Naival down the left, too fast and over! Created after a scrum infringement, taken advantage of by the Australian backs. Their first real opportunity, with 97 per cent of play to this point in the host’s half. Foley does the rest to grab the extra couple of points on offer. Nice strike to get his day underway.

6.18am BST

TRY! OVERTURNED! Rugby 7th minute: Australia 0 – Italy 3 Dean Budd has gotten himself over the line after a kick that caught Australia sleeping and gave Giovambattista Venditti space down the right. He’s been desparately tackled before the pass – is the foot on the line? Upstairs we go! “Can we rock and roll it,” asks the TMO in classic cricket third umpire style. “A cigarette paper in this,” reckons Gordon Bray. The TMO: “The blue player still has his finger on the ball and the ball is in touch…” that’s all you need to know. NO TRY. Goodness me. The Wallabies have got away with one there. Rattled.

It really is a game of inches…anxious moments for the @qantaswallabies#AUSvITA

6.13am BST

Belated… but have some teams.

Australia: 1. Scott Sio 2. Stephen Moore 3. Allan Alaalatoa 4. Rory Arnold 5. Adam Coleman 6. Ned Hanigan 7. Michael Hooper 8. Lopeti Timani 9. Will Genia 10. Bernard Foley 11. Sefa Naivalu 12. Karmichael Hunt 13. Rob Horne 14. Dane Haylett Petty 15. Israel Folau

6.12am BST

Rugby 2nd minute: Italy 3 – Australia 0. An early penalty. “The Italians will be disappointed they didn’t get seven points there,” the assessment of the TV. An early error from the boys in gold, a fumble at the back. They mishandle themselves as they take the advantage, but take the kick from directly in front. Well then.

6.08am BST

Peeeeeep! We’re away.

And before we get into the real stuff, one error: “In joyful strains AND let us sing.” Nooo. Half a dozen changes for the Austrlaian team, and three confirmed for Italy. We’ll grab those from the authorities (err, twitter).

6.05am BST

Anthems! Okay. We’re ready to roll. Italy first, then the Luke Kennedy with the Australian Girls Choir for Advance Austalia Fair. Few things better in world sport than anthems at a rugby international, no?

5.36am BST

Welcome to an overflowing Saturday of action across this big, brown land of ours. I’m Adam Collins, and I look forward to riding shotgun with you a feast of footy, with plenty else to keep us cracking deep into the night.

Already underway are the Pies and Port at the ‘G. This was tipped to be the closest game of the round, but after two stonkers on Thursday and Friday night, they’ll take some beating. 13th placed Collingwood are on the improve, but still in need or urgent wins, playing catch-up in season 2017. But Port, in fourth spot currently conceding fewer points than anyway. The visitors currently lead by three goals half way through the second term.

6.17am BST

Adam will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s the latest on the debacle that is Australian rugby union at the moment:

Related: Status quo remains in Australian rugby after ARU emergency meeting – for now | Bret Harris

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 18

Demons and Eels the winners, Bulldogs season in the balance – as it happened.

9.33am BST

If we learned anything in 2016, it is that we can’t rule out a team like Melbourne winning it all in 2017. They certainly issued a statement at the Docklands, thrashing last year’s premiers. The pressure they generate, the polish they show with ball in hand, the accuracy in execution… it’s a good time to be a Demon. The Dogs, on the other hand, have a rubbish week ahead of them, their season now really in the balance. To say the least.

In Sydney, the Eels did the double over the fourth-placed Dragons, emphasising their own September credentials. A way to go yet, but not for nothing that they have been able to again beat a team inside the eight.

9.26am BST

AFL Match report – Dees 113 – Dogs 56

MELBOURNE, June 18 AAP – Melbourne have stamped their AFL premiership credentials, smashing reigning premiers Western Bulldogs by 57 points in a spiteful Etihad Stadium encounter.
Jack Watts booted three goals in a dominant performance as the Demons climbed to fifth on the AFL ladder with a 17.11 (113) to 8.8 (56) victory on Sunday afternoon.
The Dees could hardly have been more impressive, beating the Dogs at their own hard-running, transition offence game and repelling everything thrown at them on the defensive end.
It was a dire loss for the Bulldogs, who remain stranded in ninth place, made worse by a serious and potentially season-ending knee injury to key midfielder Lin Jong.
Jong went straight to the rooms and was later in tears on the interchange bench, having crumpled to the ground when his kick was smothered by Nathan Jones early in the first quarter.
The Dees had injury concerns of their own, with Watts, Jones, Neville Jetta and Jayden Hunt all spending extended time on the bench.
Tensions between the two sides were stoked before the game, with Melbourne enforcer Tomas Bugg using social media to taunt Bulldogs speedster Jason Johannisen.
The Norm Smith medallist had a shocker during their loss to Sydney, courtesy of a hard tag from George Hewett, and Bugg took to Instagram to make it clear he could expect the same treatment.
The Dogs made a beeline for Bugg before the opening bounce but it was one of the few shots they fired in an otherwise meek performance.
Luke Beveridge’s men were held goalless in the opening quarter for the first time this season as Melbourne’s phenomenal pressure proved far too much for them to handle.
Marcus Bontempelli and Lachie Hunter racked up plenty of touches but to little effect as the physical Demons tackled, smothered and muscled their way to a four-goal lead at quarter-time.
The Dogs looked to fight back during a fiery, old-school second term, with the umpires kept busy by spotfires across the ground.
But it was Melbourne who came out on top, extending their lead with consecutive goals after Bugg – again the chief provocateur – was laid out by a frustrated Easton Wood.
It was all one-way traffic after halftime, with Jordan Lewis (31 touches), Oscar McDonald (23 disposals, 12 marks) and Christian Salem (23 touches) among the standout performers for the Dees.

9.24am BST

NRL Match report – Eels 24 – Dragons 10.

SYDNEY, June 18 AAP – Brad Arthur shifted Clinton Gutherson to fullback with immediate success for Parramatta, as the Eels beat St George Illawarra 24-10 on Sunday.
The Eels’ Mr. Fix-it for the first half of the NRL season, Gutherson finally found a spot of his own at the back and celebrated with two first-half tries and 207 metres at ANZ Stadium.
But the win is likely to have come at a cost, with Parramatta hooker Kaysa Pritchard taken to hospital in an ambulance with a serious knee injury, while Beau Scott suffered an elbow complaint.
But after 14 weeks of injury reshuffles and the wait for Mitchell Moses’ arrival, Arthur looked to have finally found the Eels’ most potent backline combination.
Gutherson was faultless at the back, scoring the first try from a fortuitous rebound before blocking and scooping up a grubber to run 80 metres and score their second.
It helped built a 12-4 half-time lead that never looked in danger of being chased down.
His move to the back came after former NSW State of Origin centre Michael Jennings returned from a quad injury, while regular fullback Bevan French shifted to the right wing.
Jennings crossed for a try from a 55-metre break after a Dragons dropped ball and French scored after a perfectly placed cross-field chip kick from halfback Moses, as the hosts sealed the result in the second half.
French was also outstanding in defence, as he regularly pressured the Dragons’ attack with his speed and produced an intercept to save a try in his new-found position.
Moses had his best game for the Eels as he partnered Corey Norman in the halves for just the second time.
The pair forced four dropouts, as the Eels controlled the momentum of the match, despite only receiving their first penalty in the 71st minute.
Meanwhile, Nene Macdonald and Paul Vaughan scored tries for the Dragons, but they never looked in the hunt as their attack stuttered without Origin stars Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell.
Coach Paul McGregor took halfback Josh McCrone from the field with 13 minutes to play.

9.15am BST

NRL ladder afer round 15.

1 Melbourne 14 12 0 2 1 319 212 107 26
2 Sydney Roosters 14 10 0 4 1 310 228 82 22
3 Cronulla 14 10 0 4 1 264 194 70 22
4 Brisbane 14 9 0 5 1 301 225 76 20
5 Manly 13 8 0 5 2 299 237 62 20
6 St George Illawarra 14 8 0 6 1 297 235 62 18
7 North Queensland 14 8 0 6 1 287 259 28 18
8 Penrith 13 6 0 7 2 284 253 31 16
9 Parramatta 15 8 0 7 0 282 318 -36 16
10 Canberra 14 6 0 8 1 316 270 46 14
11 NZ Warriors 14 6 0 8 1 274 303 -29 14
12 Canterbury 14 6 0 8 1 194 247 -53 14
13 South Sydney 14 5 0 9 1 258 313 -55 12
14 Gold Coast 14 4 0 10 1 298 382 -84 10
15 Newcastle 13 2 0 11 2 210 351 -141 8
16 Wests Tigers 14 3 0 11 1 204 370 -166 8

9.12am BST

The AFL ladder after round 13.

P W L D For Agst PC Pts
Adelaide 12 9 3 – 1426 1006 141.8 36
Greater Western Sydney 12 9 3 – 1202 1033 116.4 36
Geelong 12 8 4 – 1234 1075 114.8 32
Port Adelaide 12 7 5 – 1262 939 134.4 28
Melbourne 12 7 5 – 1221 1055 115.7 28
Richmond 12 7 5 – 1051 958 109.7 28
West Coast 12 7 5 – 1066 1039 102.6 28
Essendon 12 6 6 – 1143 1111 102.9 24
Western Bulldogs 12 6 6 – 977 1012 96.5 24
St Kilda 12 6 6 – 1035 1090 95.0 24
Fremantle 12 6 6 – 919 1171 78.5 24
Sydney 12 5 7 – 1070 1014 105.5 20
Collingwood 12 5 7 – 1069 1051 101.7 20
Gold Coast 12 5 7 – 1078 1223 88.1 20
Carlton 12 5 7 – 882 1066 82.7 20
North Melbourne 12 4 8 – 1104 1189 92.8 16
Hawthorn 12 4 8 – 947 1231 76.9 16
Brisbane Lions 12 2 10 – 984 1407 69.9 8

9.06am BST

They can consult me, for a fee.

Dog fans can seek guidance from Hawk fans with how to deal with rubbish ‘flag was a fluke’ Barbs. #AFLDogsDees

9.03am BST

PARRAMATTA 24 (C Gutherson 2 B French M Jennings tries C Gutherson 3 M Moses goals) bt ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 10 (N MacDonald P Vaughan tries G Widdop goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Chris Sutton, Grant Atkins. Crowd: 13,559. (via AAP).

Brad Arthur shifted Clinton Gutherson to fullback with immediate success for Parramatta, as the Eels beat St George Illawarra 24-10 on Sunday.
The Eels’ Mr. Fix-it for the first half of the NRL season, Gutherson finally found a spot of his own at the back and celebrated with two first-half tries and 207 metres at ANZ Stadium.
But the win is likely to have come at a cost, with Parramatta hooker Kaysa Pritchard taken to hospital in an ambulance with a serious knee injury, while Beau Scott suffered an elbow complaint.
But after 14 weeks of injury reshuffles and the wait for Mitchell Moses’ arrival, Arthur looked to have finally found the Eels’ most potent backline combination.
Gutherson was faultless at the back, scoring the first try from a fortuitous rebound before blocking and scooping up a grubber to run 80 metres and score their second.

9.02am BST

You love singing the song after a win like that. The Melbourne faithful have copped it for a decade, a true laughing stock of the competition. But they are laughing now, all their way to September. It was a win built on the back of a relentless opening ten minutes, never letting the Dogs settle. Once they found their rhythm in front of goal, they came consistently – and disproportionately so from turnovers. That’ll will unsettle the Sons of the Scray as much as anything, just how loose they were. Premiership hangover or otherwise, the headaches are considerable at the kennel.

8.58am BST

NRL: The Dragons got a try back, but smooth sailing for the Eels who have got over the line 24-10 at the Olympic Stadium. Will have the full report with you shortly.

8.56am BST

AFL: Q4 3:30 remaining. Dogs 8.6.54 v Dees 17.11.113. Toooooo easy. Bugg an uncontested mark inside 50. Then finds Alex Neal-Bullen, also in there without opponent. A shot to the Doggie’s box, Luke Beveridge is understandably livid. Melbourne have been magnificent.

No side this year has played as well as Melbourne have played today. #AFLDogsDees

8.52am BST

AFL: Q4 7:00 remaining. Dogs 8.6.54 v Dees 16.10.106. Tom McDonald gets lucky, the bouncing into his arms as he strolls into goal. He’s had a big game. “Is there a chance the Dogs will miss the finals?” is the question on TV. A lot of Hawthorn 2009 about their campaign so far. What a brutal season that was.

8.47am BST

AFL: Q4 9:00 remaining. Dogs 8.6.54 v Dees 15.9.99. Loose ball gather by Tory Dickson allows him to kick his first of a very quiet day. Has plenty of friends who can say that, not least Tom Boyd. Mitch Honeychurch missed an earlier a set shot, which will set twitter off. An unpopular man today after a couple of bad blunders. “I think the Bulldogs have dropped off with their handball efficiency,” says Jonathan Brown. Brad Johnson agrees.

Looking forward to Melbourne knocking Richmond out of the finals #AFLDogsDees

8.40am BST

AFL: Q4 14:30 remaining. Dogs 7.5.47 v Dees 15.7.97. Cleeeever. Great grab from Pedersen, who looks up and sees Hannan, gives off the handball and he strolls into an open goal. Some tired boys out there now, a lot of arc-to-arc footy as the minutes drain from the clock. Not that the Dogs have any realistic hope at this stage. Jack Watts down the race, some ‘hamstring tightness’ the report from the boundary. Interesting debate about to begin about the Dogs. Getting beat in Sydney is one thing, but this will bring the back pages.

We all say Dogs premiership hangover. But they were 7th in 2016 + a great September, this year within their margin of error? #AFLDogsDees

8.33am BST

NRL: Another bad knee injury this Sunday. via AAP. Parra lead 24-4 after a Bevan French try, about 20 minutes to go at the Olympic Stadium.

Parramatta hooker Kaysa Pritchard has been taken to hospital in an ambulance with a serious knee injury.
Pritchard was stretchered off ANZ Stadium in a medicab for the Eels after he was hurt in a tackle midway through the first half of the Eels’ NRL clash with St George Illawarra on Sunday.
The Eels dummy-half has endured a horrid run with injuries in his five-year NRL career, including twin pectoral injuries in 2015.

In the blink of an eye, French was there!#NRLEelsDragons 24-4 after 58 minutes.#NRL

8.32am BST

AFL: Q4 18:30 remaining. Dogs 7.5.47 v Dees 14.7.91. Picken nearly has his head taken off in a marking contest inside 50. Rightly gets the free, and kicks truly for the first of the final quarter. Margin back to 44, for what it is worth.

A comment from… my brother, Ben, who predicts a Melbourne flag inside three years. “From the decade of chaos, they have built one of the most balanced and talented lists in the AFL.” Sounds about right. Good on ‘em. It’s been a terrible ten or more years for them.

8.26am BST

NRL: Ten minutes into the second half, Parra 18-4 over St George. Michael Jennings with the Eels third try, converted by Gutherson. Evidently a fair bit of excitement on TV about a kiss on the cheek.

Must have been a great tackle!#NRLEelsDragons #NRL

8.24am BST

AFL: Three Quater Time. Dogs 6.5.41 v Dees 14.7.91. Tom McDonald does exactly as Jack Watts did at half-time, draining a set shot after the hooter from long-range. That puts the lead out to 50 points. What a performance.

8.21am BST

AFL: Q3 2:00 remaining. Dogs 6.5.41 v Dees 13.7.85. The man who fired this game up, Tomas Bugg, gets another in the book from close range. Too easy.

8.17am BST

AFL: Q3 5:00 remaining. Dogs 6.5.41 v Dees 12.7.79. Roughead runs into what should have been a relatively simple open goal, but Jetta nearly chased him down. “That’s just the mindset of Melbourne today,” says Brad Johnson. Dogs’ first goal from a turnover today the TV tells me – Melbourne have six.

8.13am BST

AFL: Q3 7:00 remaining. Dogs 5.5.35 v Dees 12.7.79. Dees respond straight away! Margin straight back to 44 points. Jack Watts penetrates with his inside 50, a clever handball slips out to Jake Melksham who pops it on the boot and through the big sticks from 15m.

8.11am BST

AFL: Q3 7:00 remaining. Dogs 5.5.35 v Dees 11.7.73. Coast to coast from Melbourne through a string of precise handballs and short kicks, landing in the arms of Jazzy Jeff who bangs it home from the goalsquare. The Dogs in real strife, on the cusp of losing their first game at the Docklands this year. One more goal and they’re gone. Oh, and as I’m about to hit send, the Dogs do go and get one back. Libba is taken high from a hard ball get, converts the free kick from 30m.

Well done Dees. Too polished. We’re a mess.

8.08am BST

AFL: Q3 10:00 remaining. Dogs 4.4.28 v Dees 10.7.67. Melbourne, brilliant! Salem receives the handball at 55, steadies and drills it home, with Garlett shepherding it over the line. Again via a Dogs turnover, a long option taken and missed. “Time becoming an issue for them now,” says Huddo on the TV. 39 points the lead. Interesting from David King too, asking why Melbourne couldn’t legitimately challenge for the flag this year. Wouldn’t that be something.

8.04am BST

NRL: Half-time. Parramatta 12 v St George 4. Dragons get one back before the half, via Neve Macdonald.

The flick pass! Nailed it.

The @NRL_Dragons are on the board. #NRLEelsDragons 12-4 after 37 minutes.#NRL

7.58am BST

AFL: Q3 15:30 remaining. Dogs 4.4.28 v Dees 9.6.60. Tom Boyd has been nowhere today, but with his second kick of the encounter has his first goal from a 40m set shot. Cordy did well to chip with his non-referred left foot, Boyd getting into position nicely.

shocked about just how ragged @westernbulldogs use of the footy has been so far today. #afldogsdees

7.54am BST

AFL: Q3 19:00 remaining. Dogs 3.3.21 v Dees 9.6.60. What a deflating start for the Dogs. Jack Watts works his behind off to get into the hotspot, down from the wing. In the end, it is a relatively uncontested 2-on-1 grab that he takes in the square and bangs it home. Lead out to 39 points.

7.46am BST

NRL: Try time again for Parramatta (12-0). How about Gutherson’s wheels here? Wooot. His second try, converted. He has all 12 points in the game to his name so far.

King Clint scoots away! #NRLEelsDragons #NRL

7.40am BST

Below the line. “I’m at that stage of the year when I start barracking for teams based on how it affects my team’s position in the eight,” says MostlyGrey. “So GO Melbourne.”

As I mentioned earlier, it’s a proper eight point game this with both sides fighting for an elimination final spot in a couple of months from now.

STATS | The numbers at half-time #AFLDogsDees

7.35am BST

NRL: The Eels get the first try, Clinton Gutherson over the line then converting. At the midway point of the first half at the Olympic Stadium. Parra 6-0 ahead of St George.

7.33am BST

AFL: Half Time. Dogs 3.3.21 v Dees 8.6.54. Jack Watts! A shot after the siren from the car park, tucked up against the boundary needing to go right to left. Threads it through to get their fourth of the quarter; a nice little steadier to push the margin back beyond five goals at the long break. Predictably, a little push and shove before they walk off. Eight goals in the final ten minutes of that quarter. Margin a fraction deceptive relative to the flow of play and the Dogs will take something from that while sipping on an energy drink.

7.27am BST

AFL: Q2 1:00 remaining. Dogs 3.3.21 v Dees 7.6.48. Dogs bang, bang! Just as they looked on the cusp of being blown away the Dogs have slammed home two goals in a minute as the tempo of this game lifts dramatically. Bomtompelli utter class, a left foot snap from 50 moments after Daulhaus kicked his first of the afternoon. Back inside five goals. Expect more goals before the break, the game has opened up considerably in the last ten minutes. Could have came too through Mitch Honeychurch, who just misses to the near side are a frenetic passage of play through the middle.

How good is some genuine feeling in a game of footy?!

7.23am BST

AFL: Q2 5:00 remaining. Dogs 1.2.8 v Dees 7.6.48. Double goal! Oh what a mess for the Dogs, and no one to blame but premiership captain Easton Wood. To begin, Hannan snaps truly from a contest 20m from the big sticks. Nice finish. Man of the moment Tomas Bugg tells Wood. He returns the favour with a hit that The Pest wasn’t expecting. To ground he goes, a free kick given, a second goal kicked before the ball has returned to the middle.

7.19am BST

Rugby: the fall out from the Wallabies shocker last night. An AAP report from Will Genia’s press conference.

Putting his hand up for his own shocker, Will Genia admits the Wallabies need some serious soul searching if they’re to challenge the All Blacks in 2017.
Exasperated coach Michael Cheika is expected to wield the axe after the Wallabies slumped to a demoralising 24-19 loss to Scotland in Sydney on Saturday.
Accusing his team of being physically and mentally off the pace, Cheika singled out captain Michael Hooper, fullback Israel Folau and rookie inside centre Karmichael Hunt as among the few to have performed to Test standard.
The rest of the squad is on notice ahead of Saturday’s final Test of the June series, a seemingly easier assignment against Italy in Brisbane.
Cheika said physical intent would be the No.1 selection criteria for Australia’s last Test before back-to-back Bledisloe Cup battles in August with the world No.1 All Blacks, who thumped Samoa 78-0 on Friday.

7.17am BST

AFL: Q2 7:51 remaining. Dogs 1.2.8 v Dees 5.5.35. At last! Caleb Daniel gets on the end of a fast break, turns and slots it through from 40m. Only took the Dogs 23 entrances inside 50 to get a six pointer. 27 points now the margin. Meanwhile, the Tomas Bugg tweet generating plenty of chat on the world wide web. Thoughts?

How is that anything more than a bit of fun? It’s nothing more. Not a sledge, not disrespectful, not fuel on a fire. #AFLDogsDees

7.14am BST

AFL: Q2 8:55 remaining. Dogs 0.2.2 v Dees 5.5.35. Blimey, what’s going on there? Easton Wood is absolutely convinced he has got a finger on the Harmes snap, they prepare accordingly. But the TV umpire doesn’t agree and the goal is confirmed. “That will be a talking point during the week,” says Jonathan Brown. Not wrong. The lead could be a lot bigger, too. Moments earlier, Jazzy Jeff Garlett hits his low-percentage snap nicely, but it hits the post. That came after Jack Watts failed to score from a set shot 35m out. All Melbourne.

The McDonald brothers’ most productive day since the invention of the quarter pounder with cheese. #AFLDogsDees

7.07am BST

AFL: Q2 12:20 remaining. Dogs 0.2.2 v Dees 4.3.27. Plenty of unhappy Dogs fans. Unhappy at umpiring decisions. Unhappy with the opposition. Mostly unhappy that we’re nearly half way through the second quarter and they’re yet to kick a goal. A goalless half, anyone? In the NRL, we’re away at the Olympic Stadium, the Eels and the Dragons. I’ll keep an eye on it.

STAT | Inside 50s:
Dogs 18
Demons 13

But Melbourne leads 26 to 2. #AFLDogsDees

7.00am BST

AFL: Q2 17:44 remaining. Dogs 0.2.2 v Dees 4.2.26. We’re upstairs for a score review. Long snap from Daulhaus. It looks to be straight, but it has clipped the post according to the goal umpire and that can’t be overturned by the third umpire without conclusive proof. A behind registered, the Dogs still yet to put one through.

“We can put a man on the moon, surely we can get some camera’s that can actually a tell if a ball has hit the post” Nick Dal Santo

6.57am BST

The Jong injury. David King on TV saying that ACL is the talk on the boundary line. Let’s hope not.

Lin Jong was helped from the field after this incident. #AFLDogsDees

6.56am BST

I missed this before. About an hour before the game Tomas Bugg having a pop at JJ. Good from him, I think. Less good: Lin Jong. Nothing formal as yet, but all the boundary line reporting suggests he’s in real strife.

Luke Beveridge, says Jonathan Brown on the TV, spent the whole 1/4 time break addressing the players rather than them splitting off to line coaches. In other words, he’s probably given them a huge spray. Always have time for this.

Dees coach responds to Tomas Bugg’s Instagram post aimed at an opponent –>

6.53am BST

AFL: Quarter Time. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 4.2.26. The defending champs are in all sorts. They needed to bounce back badly urgently after their thrashing last week, but instead have registered their first goalless term for 15 months. Ouch. Not to take anything away from Melbourne, who are playing with the vigour of a side who know that they aren’t far away from a finals berth. Illustrated nicely by the fact that three of their four goals came from direct turnovers through excellent tackles.

Best Demons 1st quarter for 20+ years. #AFLDogsDees

6.47am BST

AFL: Q 2:08 remaining. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 4.2.26. And another! Bugg set up the previous goal, and does again here with a timely tackle on Matt Suckling, it’s boomed into the Melbourne 50 and last week’s hero Jack Watts takes the grab. Well, is paid the mark in any case. From 35m right in front, he kicks truly. Three goals in about 90 seconds. Boom.

Christian Petracca’s pressure sets the tone. #AFLDogsDees

6.45am BST

AFL: Q 3:00 remaining. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 3.2.20. Brilliant forward 50 pressure from Christian Petracca, stripping Shane Biggs of possession deep in the pocket and having the composure to collect the ball and bang it home from point blank range. On their way to a deserved handy lead at the quarter time break. Nearing a goalless quarter for the Dogs for the first time since Rd 3 last year. And another for Melbourne! From the clearance, Pedersen getting on the end of turnover inside 50, kicking over the top to Garlett in the squad, who gets Melbourne’s third of the quarter. Great footy.

6.40am BST

Bad news – Lin Jong. Helped off by the trainers with a knee injury. First signs: not good.

Mick Warner: “Lin Jong is in the back row of the bench. He appears to be in tears.” #AFLDogsDees

6.39am BST

AFL: Q 6:00 remaining. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 1.1.7. Turnovers, turnovers, turnoevers. Almost all going one way, Melbourne well on top here as the quarter ticks away with only three scoring shots so far. In turn, a post to denote a behind: James Harmes tried to thread a drop punt through from the pocket, but missed to the near side. At the other end, Bontempelli’s snap nearly gets over the line but bounces back the other way. Paul Roos on the TV: “What Melbourne have been able to do is taken the sting out of the Bulldog’s counter attack.”

Melbourne’s pressure has been superb in this first quarter. Dogs can’t catch a breath. #AFLDogsDees

6.31am BST

AFL: Q1 13:36 remaining. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 1.0.6. Opening major of the game after both sides took a while to settle with plenty of possessions around both 50m arcs, some big tackles made to prevent shots on goal. But Jeff Garlett weights an inside 50 perfectly to find Dom Tyson 30 out. He turns around and makes no mistake from the set shot.

“It’s a frantic pace early, they are almost going to quick for themselves though” Nick Dal Santo

6.21am BST

A lot of chat. Before this game about Norm Smith Medallist Jason Johannisen. Had nine touches against Sydney last night bringing loads of scrutiny. “The footy world watches JJ for his response,” former Dogs great Brad Johnson’s assessment. Nice little montage with all this on the telly as the siren sounds. We’re away at the Docklands.

6.06am BST

Welcome to a truncated version of sportwatch this midwinter Sunday. Only on the basis that we’ve reached that part of the season where the footy codes get a breather via bye rounds and the like, and the netball has wrapped up with yesterday’s Grand Final.

But never fear: we still have a couple of feature games coming up for you this afternoon. It’s Adam Collins to steer you through the action before I hotfoot it to The Oval in London for the India v Pakistan Champions Trophy Final.

5.33am BST

Adam will be with you shortly. While you’re waiting, here’s a reminder of what happened on a busy day yesterday:

Related: Lightning crowned Super Netball champions, Wallabies fall to Scotland – as it happened

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 03

Tigers, Giants and Roosters the big winners. Australia sportwatch – as it happened

  • AFL: Tigers 101 def North 66, Giants 117 def Bombers 101, Suns 80 def Eagles 77. Netball: Giants 52 Magpies 51. Lightning 56 def Vixens 55. NRL: Cowboys 20 def Titans 8, Roosters 18 def Broncos 16, Dragons 16 def Wests 12. Rugby: Brumbies 32 def Rebels 3, Chiefs 46 def Waratahs 31.

2.03pm BST

Okay. It being 11pm on the east coast, that’s where we’ll leave for Saturday Sportwatch. Thanks for your company through the course of the afternoon and evening. We’ll be back tomorrow from 2pm. Till next time. Adios.

This was The Day That Was – or how I saw it from behind the keyboard at least. And here are those scores and recaps one final time:

1.59pm BST

SUPER RUGBY. Half-time. Force 0 – Hurricanes 12. Not looking good for the lads out West, the Hurricanes converting two tries in the first half, the hosts yet to score. And that’s where we’ll leave this particular fixture for tonight.

1.58pm BST


The final term of the Giants and Magpies elimination final could probably fit into every category here. The Western Sydney hosts looked set for elimination from the post-season at the first time of asking after trailing by up to six goals in the concluding stanza.

1.32pm BST

CRICKET: Good fightback from Sri Lanka at The Oval. The Proteas were cruising, but a couple of quick wickets – including ABdV for four. They are currently 213-3 in the 38th. Still on track for 320+, which is only par in the 50-over game these days. Keep following it on the mighty OBO with Nick Miller now, and the doyen Rob Smyth later.

TENNIS: Live action from Roland-Garros as well, with Andy Murray in action today. Indeed, he’s a set and a break up at the moment. Follow it game-by-game.

1.26pm BST

AFL: More from the Docklands, where the Tigers ended up doing it easy over North, taking the win by 35 points to bounce into fourth place on the ladder at the half way mark of the season. Via AAP.

A Dustin Martin masterclass has propelled Richmond to a 35-point win over North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
The Tigers superstar was brilliant throughout but elevated his game even higher in a blistering six-goals-to-one third-quarter that set up the 14.17 (101) to 9.12 (66) win on Saturday night.
If Martin is the target of a North Melbourne free agency poaching raid, as has been widely reported, the Kangaroos will need to up their offer on the evidence of his 38-possession, two-goal game.
North couldn’t combat the bullocking midfielder’s trademark strength, but Martin also wowed the 36,100-strong crowd with breathtaking disposal by foot.
As good as the Tigers were in the pivotal third term, the Roos were equally bad.
Brad Scott’s side imploded with three 50m penalties and a free kick gifting Richmond scores as they turned a two-point half-time deficit into a decisive 28-point lead at three-quarter time.

1.23pm BST

SUPER RUGBY: 20 minutes. Force 0 Hurricanes 7. You thought it was all done, didn’t you? Well, nearly. In Perth, the final game of the evening is underway as the Western Storm host the Hurricanes I’ll keep an eye on it as we wrap up the day.

The Force are third in the Australian conference and will be encouraged by the Waratah’s loss earlier today; they can join them on points by winning this evening.

1.12pm BST

AFL: Tigers 101 def North 66, Giants 117 def Bombers 101, Suns 80 def Eagles 77.

SUPER NETBALL: Giants 52 Magpies 51, Lightning 56 def Vixens 55.

1.08pm BST

AFL: Final score Richmond 14.17 (101) def North 9.12 (66). Very impressive second half, from a two point deficit to a 35 point win for the Richmond Footy Club. Been a while since they had beaten the Kangaroos, but picked a good time for it. Dustin Martin, who North are trying to buy as well, spoke after the game. He said it was the quickest game he had played all year. Then joked that his Best On Ground performance wasn’t a bad outcome given clubs are after him. Brilliant subplot to season 2017, that one. But the main game is whether Richmond can not only make the final four, but win a final. Or a couple. Or a few. It’s been a while. But they were fast and furious when it mattered. Scarily so.

12.56pm BST

AFL: Q4 3:00 remaining. North 9.12 (66) Richmond 14.16 (100). Dan Butler kicks truly from a 48m set shot directly in front, extending the lead to 34 points. Are they contenders? It feels odd to say that. But turning at 7-4, kicking 100+ points tonight, coming back form a half-time deficit… all good signs. Especially from a side who have struggled to put games away.

12.53pm BST

NRL: And the Cowboys impressive comeback over the Titans in Townsville.

Maroons utility Michael Morgan helped put the disappointment of a State of Origin opening loss behind him by guiding North Queensland to a much-needed 20-8 home NRL win on Saturday night over Gold Coast.
With Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston still sidelined, Townsville junior Morgan played arguably his best game of the season, the halfback bagging a try and impressing with his kicking game all night.
Opposing Origin star Jarryd Hayne had a largely forgettable night, the Blues’ centre barely noticeable in a Titans side needing some attacking spark.
Outside of a 10-minute period up to halftime, the Titans struggled and were outscored 14-0 in the final term to slip to another listless loss.
North Queensland looked promising in attack and enjoyed 65 per cent of possession in the opening 20 minutes but couldn’t finish a number of half chances against resolute Gold Coast defence.
After a mountain of pressure and possession, the Cowboys were finally rewarded when Morgan powered over for a signature running try.
Winger Kyle Feldt missed an easy conversion attempt but, soon after, a penalty goal took North Queensland to 6-0 nearing halftime.
The Titans were then quick to pounce on a Cowboys error, as Dale Copley combined with Ash Taylor to send the Titans’ halfback over for an impressive 50-metre try.
While a stellar Lachlan Coote tackle stopped a certain Gold Coast try, a ruck penalty allowed Taylor to boot the Titans to an unlikely 8-6 halftime lead.
North Queensland started the second period with great attacking intent and were soon rewarded when standout rookie Coen Hess stormed over for his ninth try of the year to recapture the lead for the Cowboys.
Feldt added another penalty goal to extend the Cowboys’ lead to six and he added four more points shortly after with a smart finish from an inch-perfect Morgan cut-out pass.
The Cowboys went out further to 20-8 lead after the Titans gifted Feldt a penalty shot from in front when they failed to get a line dropout away in time.

12.53pm BST

SUPER RUGBY: Here is how the Brumbies got it done in the nation’s capital. Courtesy of AAP.

The Brumbies have clinched Super Rugby’s Australian conference with a 32-3 bonus-point thrashing of the hapless Melbourne Rebels in Canberra.
Saturday night’s four-tries-to-one victory means the Brumbies head into the June international break assured of playing finals for the fifth year running.
Heavy dew made things difficult for players on Saturday night with both sides making handling errors throughout the match.
Despite the slippery conditions, the Brumbies had no problem illustrating the gulf in class between Australia’s best and worst performed franchises this season in front of a 8,970 supporters at GIO Stadium.
The Brumbies controlled a scrappy first half and went to the break leading 11-3.
Winger Henry Speight took a quick tap from a penalty on the half hour mark and drew a slew of defenders as he attempted to dive over under the posts.
Two phases later Kyle Godwin found Jordan Smiler out wide, with the No. 8 breaking a 25-game try drought and scoring the only five-pointer of the first half.
The home side made a dream start to the second period with outside centre Tevita Kurindrani bullocking his way through the Rebels’ defence to score under the posts, and Wharenui Hawera added the points to extend the lead to 15.
A brilliant run from flanker Chris Alcock just before the hour mark gave halfback Joe Powell the chance to set up Hawera who crossed under the posts before converting his own try to take the Brumbies to a 25-3 lead.
A dashing break from winger Marika Koroibete late in the second half produced the Rebels best chance for a try, but he was denied by Tom Banks and Kyle Godwin metres from the line.
Nigel Ah Wong dived on a loose ball to score the final try of the game in the dying minutes to cap a dominant Brumbies performance.
Hawera notched both his penalty goal attempts while Reece Hodge scored the Rebels’ only points of the match with a long-range penalty goal mid way through the first half.

12.51pm BST

AFL: Q4 5:00 remaining. North 9.12 (66) Richmond 13.15 (94). Sorry, Tiges. I shouldn’t have said that thing about the bandwagon. A dated stereotype. You lot are thick and thin. Back to the Docklands, McDonald and Lloyd miss set shots for North and Richmond respectively as this game now looks certain to delivery four points to Punt Road.

12.45pm BST

AFL: Q4 10:00 remaining. North 9.12 (65) Richmond 13.15 (93). The steadier! Richmond under assault, but they aren’t giving this up. Kane Lambert slots it through and North need five goals in ten minutes. Richmond, if they get up, will be inside the top four overnight. Fire up that famous bandwagon.

12.43pm BST

NETBALL. The report from a ridiculous first-semi final in Western Sydney, the Giants getting over the line inside the final 12 seconds.

Giants Netball have produced an extraordinary final assault to overcome Collingwood Magpies 52-51 in a Super Netball minor semi-final nailbiter on Saturday night.
The Giants looked set for a season-ending loss when they trailed the Magpies by six goals with seven minutes remaining at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.
However, the team that have battled without injured captain Kim Green since round five staged a courageous rally to score seven of the last 10 goals of the game.
The decisive moment came with 17 seconds remaining and the scores locked at 51-51, when veteran Susan Pettitt threw a long pass into the circle where goal shooter Kristina Brice gained the ball and held her nerve to sink the winner.

12.40pm BST

SUPER RUGBY. All over, the Brumbies account for the hapless Rebels, 32 to 3.

Who did what, via AAP:

12.39pm BST

AFL: Q4 13.57 remaining. North 9.12 (65) Richmond 12.14 (86). Well. Castagna (CAN’T STAND YA) turns it over at half back, North go down the other end, the mark taken inside 50 by Hansen who turns around and knocks it in. So, we’re back inside four goals. Game on, yeah?

12.37pm BST

AFL: Q4 15:40 remaining. North 8.12 (60) Richmond 12.14 (86). Another moment of near-brilliance for North, this time Jarrad Waite getting through heavy traffic and snapping around his body. The goal umpire has said it has gone over the top of the post. Hmm. I reckon he’s still not to win the Bertochi Ham for goal of the week. North needed one of those to drop in order to have a realistic chance. But they do have the run of play since the final break. Oh dear: salt in the wounds here, a snap from big man Mason Wood from relatively close range popped out on the full. Brad Scott is laughing. Doubt the bloke in the cheer squad is who used to scare the life out of me when we played North as a kid. I bet he still sits there, too.

12.33pm BST

AFL: Q4 18:30 remaining. North 8.10 (58) Richmond 12.14 (86). Nearly one of the great AFL goals there from North’s McMillan, who collected the ball before half way, took a bounce and kicked an old-fashioned Malcolm Blight barrel from 90-odd metres. It took a leg break in the square and nearly rolled in, but the post got in the way.

12.26pm BST

CRICKET: South Africa have got their act together after a slow start at The Oval, sitting pretty at 129-1 in the 25th. Amal is 65. Naturally. Became the quickest man to 7000 ODI runs last week.

12.25pm BST

AFL: Three-quarter time. North 8.9 (57) Richmond 12.13 (85). Six goal to one quarter for the Tiges, and a 28 point lead. The highlight, this gem from Dusty. He’s having blinder. Again.

Absolute class from Dustin Martin. #AFLNorthTigers

12.23pm BST

SUPER RUGBY. 74 minutes. Brumbies 25 – Rebels 3. As expected, this is petering out. After scoring the initial field goal, the Rebels haven’t threatened the scoreboard again. With this win, the Canberrans stitch up top spot in the Australian conference. A big post-season awaits.

12.22pm BST

AFL: Q3 1:00 remaining. North 8.8 (56) Richmond 12.13 (85). “Guess who?” says BT on the call. Dustin Martin, of course. It’s a straightforward snap from close range after some clever hands close in. “He has to be firming for outright Brownlow favourite,” adds Luke Darcy. Sounds about right.

12.20pm BST

NRL: Full-time at Townsville, where North Queensland had comfortably held off the the Gold Coast 20-8 in the end courtesy of a 14-0 second half. Messy for the Titans.

12.19pm BST

AFL: Q3 3:00 remaining. North 8.7 (55) Richmond 11.13 (79). At last! Brilliant finish from Atlee, but they made hard work of that. Got out the back and they needed that desperately, North.

12.04pm BST

AFL: Q3 16:38 remaining. North 7.6 (48) Richmond 10.10 (70). Out of the blocks with four quicks goals to start the second half. On fire. Tiger Time. With the netball over, my attention will return to the Docklands to see this one through I think.

SUPER RUGBY: 56 minutes. Brumbies 18 – Rebels 3. A try in the minutes after the restart for the Brumbies to take control of this game. Built on the back of a solid scrum, Tevita Kuridrani over the line and Wharenui Hawera converts. Has a familiar, sinking feeling about it now for the battling Melbourne side.

11.57am BST

NRL: The Cowboys have turned around the earlier deficit to open up a commanding 10 point lead with 20 minutes to go at Townsville, ahead of the Titans 18-8.

11.55am BST


Congratulations to the @GIANTS_Netball! “What a performance.” – @AnnieSargeant. #SuncorpSuperNetball

11.50am BST

NETBALL: GIANTS WIN! Out of jail, down by four goals at one stage during the final term, but the hosts held their nerve. They progress to next week’s Preliminary Final at Melbourne against the Vixens. Detailed report coming soon.

Brice scores and the Giants win by 1! #GIAvMAG #SuncorpSuperNetball

11.47am BST

NETBALL: How about the GRANDSTAND FINISH coming up!

Brown scores to level! 58 secs left! #GIAvMAG #SuncorpSuperNetball

11.39am BST

NETBALL: Magpies early surge in the last! Can they knock of the Giants? The Sydney side were within a goal of a double chance, and might find themselves out of the comp altogether a week later.

We don’t know where to look! Magpies lead by three, 45-42 with just under 8.30 on the clock. #GIAvMAG #SuncorpSuperNetball

11.38am BST

AFL: Jumper punching. Who knew it was going to be the talking point of 2017? Anyway, Tomahawk’s in strife. And knows it, based on this AAP report from ABC earlier today.

Tom Hawkins can’t believe he jumper punched Adelaide’s Matt Crouch after the well-publicised AFL crack down, but the Geelong star remains hopeful he will escape suspension.
Hawkins admitted his angst over the second-quarter incident sat in the pit of his stomach after the Cats’ 22-point win over the Crows at Simonds Stadium.
The 28-year-old remonstrated with Matt and Brad Crouch after Geelong skipper Joel Selwood was taken to ground in a heavy tackle.
Hawkins’ 200-game milestone appears set to be marred by an AFL ban after he made contact with Crouch’s jaw – an observation he disputes.
“It was a bit of a funny one … on a night when there was a bit of push and shove I felt like I got him in the chest,” Hawkins said on ABC Radio.

11.36am BST

AFL: Half time also in the footy, North taking a two point advantage (48-46) to the long break over Richmond. I might flick over to that for the third quarter. Twitter suggests a tasty contest.

Richo: “There’s not much in this game, you look across stat sheet…”
Ch 7 show time in forward 1/2 stat: R 70%, NM 30% #AFLNorthTigers

11.34am BST

SUPER RUGBY. Half time. Brumbies 11 – Rebels 3. The try eventually came for the hosts in the 31st minute after getting the ball deep into Rebel territory but electing to tap rather than kick. Out to the left they went, Jordan Smller the try scorer. They did miss the chance to press home the advantage with a conversion. To the break with an eight point lead.

11.24am BST

NETBALL: All happening at Western Sydney! Collingwood, the visitors, are leading GWS 33-32 in the third term. All to play for, the lower eliminated.

AFL: Looks like a cracking game in Melbourne, but Richmond not kicking straight. 5.9 to North’s 5.4 about half way through the second term at Docklands.

11.14am BST

SUPER RUGBY: 27 minutes. Brumbies 6 – Rebels 3. Rebels on the board with a penalty goal via Hodge. Drained the kick from 50m. Nicely hit. But minutes later, the Rebels penalised for offside. Hawera gets it done. Two penalty goals to one.

I’ll swing around the other venues and get back to the ruggers before half-time.

11.09am BST

SUPER RUGBY: 17 minutes. Brumbies 3 – Rebels 0. It is top versus bottom of Australia conference, nine points clear for ACT at top of the table, where this game is being played.

The Rebels can take some hope though – the only game they have won for the year was against the Brumbies, back in round eight. Could the bottom ranked side do the double over the top? Strange times.

10.55am BST

NRL: Early try at Townsville.

The @nthqldcowboys finally crack the @GCTitans defence!#NRLCowboysTitans #NRL

10.46am BST

NETBALL: Q2, 11 minutes remaining. Giants 17 – Magpies 13. After the Lightning’s upset earlier in the second semi-final (don’t make me say major and minor, I can’t do it, Page & McIntyre won’t allow it) the winner of the Giants and Pies will take on the Vixens next week in the Prelim.

The Giants blew their double chance opportunity last week, losing by a single goal at home to the Lightning. They are tonight’s host.

10.41am BST

AFL: We’re already ten minutes into the North v Tigers match at Docklands, North leading 8-2. The Kangas come into the clash 13th on the ladder, while Richmond consolidated their top eight last week, currently sixth.

Last time they met was round 11 last year when North thrashed the Yellow and Black 70 in Tasmania. It’s the pattern of recent history between the teams, North winning seven of the last eight.

10.36am BST

NRL: Here’s the AAP report of the thriller at the SFS, the Roosters holding off the Broncos for an 18-16 triumph.

“Two tries from Boyd Cordner have inspired the Sydney Roosters to a thrilling 18-16 win over Brisbane which moves them into the NRL top four.

10.33am BST

Let’s keep whipping around. Sri Lanka have won the toss and will bat against South Africa at The Oval in the first pool game of Group B in the Champs Trophy. Pick up the OBO with Nick Miller.

At the French Open Andy Murray is up today. We have rolling coverage from Paris in the game-by-game (I think it is called) over here.

10.31am BST

NRL: The Roosters got over the line against the Broncos, but it was a close run thing. Sydney consolidated their top four standing with an 18-16 victory. More on that as it comes to hand.

Next up in a few minutes in that competition, Cowboys v Titans. They are coming into this game at Willows Sports Complex in Townsville 7th and 12th respectively.

10.21am BST

AFL: Full Time. Giants 18.9 (117) v Dons 15.11 (101). The Giants have done it, moving to the top of the ladder for the first time in their six season history. For the most part, Essendon stayed with league leaders. The visitors can take plenty of that, but not the four points. A lot expected from GWS after reaching the final four last year. With one more game before their bye (Carlton in Melbourne), they should be able to consolidate their position heading into the back half of the season. A lot to like. Josh Kelly was best afield, collecting 38 touches and 12 score involvements. Toby Greene was also fantastic, finishing with three goals for the winners. SING THE SONG.

10.17am BST

AFL: Q4 1:00 remaining. Giants 18.9 (117) v Dons 15.11 (101). Cameron hits the post from 40! Could have just about ran all the way in, he had a paddock. Greene has another chance, a set shot in an almost identical place on the field to where he missed earlier in the quarter. And he misses again. But it doesn’t go the distance, so the scrap continues, the ball ultimately ending up back in the GWS 50 after taking some time of the clock. Eventually Kennedy gets under a high bomb and he kicks the winner from close range. Bellchambers responds with one himself down the other end, but it’s all over now.

10.06am BST

AFL: Q4 9:00 remaining. Giants 17.8 (110) v Dons 14.11 (95). They’re a classy outfit, the GWS. Moments like this that the really good teams, the true contenders, find a way through. After the short break and the travel. In spite of the injuries and the most start. Irrespective of the baggage from last year and the expectations on their shoulders to go two better in 2017. That was all embodied in this clinical response to two Essendon goals in a minute to make it a single-digit game. Immediately from the restart the switch was flicked with bodies flung at the ball. Quick hands from Scully got the ball out, composure from Williams shown to take an extra second before having his shot. He made no mistake. Quality.

10.03am BST

AFL: Q4 9:00 remaining. Giants 16.8 (104) v Dons 14.11 (95). McDonald-Tipungwuti! Daniher takes his second strong mark at centre half forward in the space of a couple of minutes. He takes a shot but mishits it and the forward takes his second mark close to goal in the space of a minute. Taken on his chest in the end, poor defending from GWS. But he is, as Brown says on the call, rewarded for playing in front. Nine point margin, nine minutes left. Game on. Do the the hosts have the legs after their cross-continental journey? We’ll find out soon.

10.01am BST

AFL: Q4 12:30 remaining. Giants 16.8 (104) v Dons 13.11 (89). They won’t go away! Just when it looked like GWS were going to waltz away with this one, Essendon have a penetrative few minutes with a handful of inside 50s. At last, one goes to hand with McDonald-Tipungwuti taking a strong grab and converting from 20. Maybe?

9.58am BST

AFL: Q4 12:30 remaining. Giants 16.8 (104) v Dons 12.11 (83). James Stewart is gifted a set shot for a notional infringement in the contest. Had that been the application of the rule a generation ago Jason Dunstall would have kicked 1500. Anyway, he misses. I’m pleased. Essendon lament. That may have been their window. Down the other end again in a flash from the kick-off, Toby Greene is found on the chest inside 50. They’ve kicked so well tonight. But not so Greene here who misses out on what would have been his fourth.

9.55am BST

AFL: Q4 17:30 remaining. Giants 16.7 (103) v Dons 12.10 (82). GWS with everything to play for here, a chance to go top of the ladder for the first time in their history if they can get the points. They’ll lead the comp going into the half-way mark as well. Cameron has another chance to extend the lead, a set shot from where the 50 meets the boundary line, but can’t thread it through, missing – just – to the near side. The spearhead is now equal leader in the Coleman after his goal moments earlier. Kelly misses another shot, albeit a chancier swing from outside the 50. Still: they’re once again peppering. One more should do it.

9.52am BST

AFL: Q4 17:30 remaining. Giants 16.5 (101) v Dons 11.10 (82). Plenty of noise from the travelling Essendon fans, the Bombers chant audible around the ground. Giants have been good in close games with a string of single-digit victories, including an eight point triumph over the Eagles in Perth last week. But how much will that hurt now? (Nearly) the longest trip in footy, and all that, on a six day break. Oh, but Jeremy Cameron is having none of that! The star forward latches onto the contested ball in the pocket, composes himself and snaps truly. An old-fashioned steadier, right there.

9.48am BST

AFL: Q4 18:30 remaining. Giants 15.5 (95) v Dons 11.10 (82). Two in a minute for Essendon and they have got it back to 13 points! Josh Green has got the first. Merrett put the ball into the 50 and the small-who-plays-tall snaked it through. The second came through a succession of handballs and a clever Colyer snap after a turnover in the pocket. “I think they are a big chance,” says Jonathan Brown on the telly.

9.45am BST

Lions tour: I just saw we have a live blog going of their Barbarians tour match. Get on that if you fancy the minute by minute.

9.38am BST

AFL: Three-quarter time. Giants 15.5 (95) v Dons 10.10 (70). Another exchange of goals keeps the margin to 20 points, where it has bounced around through this quarter. The Giants aren’t able to quite kill off the Dons yet. They’ll still have some work to do when the final stanza comes. Oh but as I write, de Boer gets another on the stroke of the siren. So, 25 points it is into the final change.

9.30am BST

NETBALL: How it went down on Showcourt One, the Lightning getting over the Vixens by one goal. Brilliant start to the finals series. Here’s the AAP report.

“Sunshine Coach Lightning are through to the Super Netball grand final after they upset minor premiers Melbourne Vixens with a 56-55 win at Margaret Court Arena on Saturday.

9.26am BST

AFL: Q3 11.00 remaining Giants 13.5 (83) v Dons 9.8 62). Another opportunity for Derm to talk about hitting blokes, saying that his classic shirtfront on Paul van der Haar in the 1989 second semi final “paid for his pool” before going on to call the Flying Dutchman a “great bloke.” All I’d say is that it’s an absolute disgrace that isn’t on youtube. I was sitting just above it as a five year old lad. Formative memories.

On the field, the sides have exchanged goals, continuing the pattern of the game where goals have come on a flurry. Josh Green’s for Essendon was a good’un, racing onto an open ball and opting to take a shot rather than giving it off. Back yourself, lad.

9.21am BST

NRL: Across town, a second converted try for the Roosters gives them a 12-6 lead over the Broncos at half time at the Football Stadium.

9.19am BST

AFL: Q3 14:15 remaining Giants 12.5 (77) v Dons 8.8 (56). Bad missed shot from Hooker, 40 out and pulls it like Ricky Ponting. But then, not like him at all. Back to full-back, mate. GWS make them pay, racing it down from the kick in with a string of handballs, Williams pinpointing the inside 50 before Perryman in his third game collects and goals with poise. 21 points the margin, but you get the feeling they’re only a goal away from shutting this down.

9.15am BST

AFL: Q3 16:55 remaining Giants 11.5 (71) v Dons 8.7 (55). The definition of end to end stuff to start the second half. Fantasia collects and goals to get us underway and narrow the margin to ten. But within a minute Toby Greene busts through a tackle at the other end and collects his third major of the night. They’re talking about the strength of his hips on the call. They don’t lie, that much I know.

9.12am BST

AFL: Back for the second half. Derm has a cracking stat. GWS kicking efficiency is 83 percent so far tonight. That’s equal to Hawthorn of 2008, who had the best rating on that measure for the time that stat has been measured (about 20 years). What a time to be alive that was. Can I indulge? I’m going to.

“Franklin. To Dew. He might kick this… AND HE HAS! He’s had the best five minutes of his footy life, and that includes the ‘04 Grand Final!” Thanks, Bruce. And yes, I know that by heart.

9.07am BST

NRL: We’re half an hour into the Roosters (5th) v Broncos (4th) blockbuster at the SFS, with the teams level at six apiece.

Five Sydney and six Brisbane played Origin on Wednesday and all are backing up. Tough as. Four of last five times this clash has occurred in Sydney, the visiting Brons have got up. They also knocked them off 32-8 in round six.

9.00am BST

AFL: Whoa! Goddard, playing his 300th, has smashed over the lollies in the rooms at the half-time break. Proper tantrum. Given the milestone he can do what he wants, but his teammates will be quietly filthy at wasting the good stuff.

8.52am BST

NETBALL: Thrilling finish! The Lightning have come from behind the knock off the Vixens 56-55. Wow, two weeks in a row Sunshine Coast have won by a single goal away from home in the second semi. They’ve earned their Grand Final birth, that is for sure. More details as they come to hand. The Vixens have to do it the hard way with their double chance, taking on the winner of the Giants and Magpies who face off in the first semi shortly.

8.48am BST

NRL: The AAP report from the Dragons 16-12 win over Wests at the Olympic Stadium.

“NSW Origin lock Tyson Frizell was taken from the field with a rib injury as St George Illawarra held on for a 16-12 NRL win over the Wests Tigers.
The Blues starting forward was injured attempting a tackle on Tim Grant midway through the second half and played no further part in Saturday’s game at ANZ Stadium.
The blow comes just two-and-a-half weeks out from State of Origin II.
It’s the second time Frizell has had a rib problem this year.
He also failed to return against Manly in round six with a similar issue, but did not miss any matches.
In a further concern for the Blues, Josh Dugan appeared to suffer a knee injury late in the match and required attention from trainers, but stayed on the field as the Dragons survived a late scare.”

8.47am BST

AFL: Half Time. Giants 10.5 (65) v Dons 7.7 (49). Wonderful football, Josh Kelly launching a picture-perfect tackle in the GWS forward 50, rewarded with a holding the ball free kick. He makes no mistake. That’s two goals in the final minute of the half to extend their lead to 16 as the siren sounds, a 28 point turnaround in the second quarter.

8.42am BST

AFL: Q2 1:47 remaining Giants 9.5 (59) v Dons 7.7 (49). Time for GWS to go straight back up the other end. Beautifully set up by Patton, who find Whitfield on the lead, and smacks the set shot in from 55m. Some beautiful kicking from both sides tonight.

8.41am BST

AFL: Q2 2:45 remaining Giants 8.5 (53) v Dons 7.7 (49). Oh, such a strong mark from Toby Greene. He’s a gun. Goes back from 42 and swings it like Damien Fleming right to left and through the middle. Important too, as it came just after Essendon tucked one back via Josh Green. But Essendon aren’t giving anything up here, the big ruckman Tom Bellchambers converting a set shot from behind the arc, Essendon’s second major of the quarter to keep the margin within a straight kick. Good game of footy, this.

Illustrative of that, here’s that Tom Scully goal from earlier that I was carrying on about.

Tom Scully puts his foot down and kicks a terrific goal. #AFLGiantsDons

8.35am BST

My Dad has seen the GWS song story below and written in. “Their loss. Best jingle I ever wrote. Even had that “yellow and black” moment. Words even more relevant now they are a force. And thanks for remembering my birthday.” Call you later.

8.31am BST

AFL: Q2 8:16 remaining Giants 7.4 (46) v Dons 5.5 (36). And again! Scully has three. GWS on point with their tweet about it, too. In control now. Bad set shot miss from Jobe Watson up the other end to stop the bleeding.

Moves like Jagger? More like moves like Kelly!

His incredible footwork sets up Scully’s third goal of the night.#AFLGIANTSDons

8.29am BST

AFL: Q2 11:10 remaining Giants 6.4 (40) v Dons 5.4 (34). Back in business, the Giants have the first three goals of the second term to get back into the lead. The best of the three: some swift movement across the traditional centre half forward line, precise kicking finding Tom Scully who finishes from 49m with no fuss at all. His second of the night. Toby Greene gets the next. On the call, I just heard Dermie saying something about putting a knee into Greene to stop him. Never change, Kid. Never change.

8.18am BST

NETBALL: The Vixens have earned themselves some breathing room on Showcourt One. Can they lean on their home ground advantage and be the first team to quality for the competition’s first Grand Final?

(Yeah, Showcourt One. I know you can see what I am doing there.)

The Vixens take a four goal lead, with almost 5 mins gone in Q3. #VIXvLIG #SuncorpSuperNetball

8.14am BST

AFL: quarter time Giants 3.3 (21) v Dons 5.3 (33). Well, the Giants, who could go top of the pops tonight, were up by 14 deep into that opening term. But Essendon have gone to the break a couple go majors up. Fantasia and Daniher kicked goals in the final minute of the term. So that’s four goals to nothing in the final ten minutes, with eight inside 50s to nothing in that period. Leon Cameron has a mic popped underneath him as he walks back to the coach’s box, and judging by his tone, he’s just given the Giants an absolute bake at the breather.

8.08am BST

Note in from Chris Hill. Thanks Hilly.

“GWS theme song just about the best in the league #joininthechorus

8.03am BST

AFL: Q1 2:26 remaining Giants 3.3 (21) v Dons 3.2 (20). Two in a minute for the Dons! First, some total football, moving the ball through the guts with a series of precise handballs before Irishman Conor McKenna gets on the end of it and converts on the run from 50. Pretty stuff all round.

Straight back inside 50 from the bounce, Daniher tries to go himself taking on a defender, but when tackled he has the presence of mind to snap to the kick-off line. Josh Green takes the mark and kicks the set shot.

7.59am BST

NRL: Full-time at the Olympic Stadium, the Dragons withstanding a late surge from Wests, getting over the line 16-12.

And in the Super Rugby, the Chiefs have done enough to see off the Tahs in Waikato, winning 46-31.

7.55am BST

AFL: Q1 8:30 remaining Giants 3.2 (20) v Dons 1.1 (7). Another excellent finish for the G-Dubs. Contested ball won on centre wing and banged forward, some clever work at the bottom of the pack freeing up Zac Williams, who wheels around and drills it from 50. Loves a celebration too. As Dwayne and Derm say on the commentary, he’s on the way to an All Australian jumper come September.

7.50am BST

AFL: Q1 11:16 remaining Giants 2.0 (12) v Dons 1.1 (7). Classssss from Tom Scully, latching onto a free ball and running around the boundary, taking a bounce and bisecting the big sticks to get the Giants their second. Absolutely no room for error there. Will probably be the goals of the week. Not a bad time to tune in. But Essendon go back down the other end within a minute, creating a turnover that lands with Cale Hooker. He converts the set shot, and Essendon have their first.

7.42am BST

Netball: 13 each of two at quarter time in the major semi final between the Melbourne Vixens and Sunshine Coast Lightning. In other words, that’s first vs second, the winner progressing to the Grans Final.

The loser will play the winner of the Giants and Pies, who are up later tonight.

7.37am BST

AFL feature game: Giants v Bombers.

We’re about ten minutes away from kicking things off in Western Sydney where the hosts come in second, the visitors 11th.

7.29am BST

Round the grounds, shall we? For the first time today.

Righto. In the AFL, it has started with a thriller on the Gold Coast! They’ve gotten over the line against West Coast by three point, Peter Wright taking a grab and converting with a couple of minutes to go.

7.12am BST

Before we get into it, I should note that this always works better when we’re talking to one another. Do it on the email. Do it on the tweet. Want to do it on ICQ? I can probably arrange for that.

While you consider those options, here’s Andy Bull on what was a dreary old day at Edgbaston yesterday as Australia opened their Champs Trophy campaign with a washout against New Zealand. Never have I spent so long somewhere for so little payoff. Anyway, Andy explains it better.

Related: Australia’s pace bowling storm subdued by New Zealand and Edgbaston hoodoo | Andy Bull

1.55am BST

Afternoon. It’s your old friend Adam Collins here, ready and raring to nurse you through another heavily stacked Saturday of action from all the codes across all points of our big brown land. Welcome to Sportwatch.

They’re the two staples of Australian sport in winter: footy and netball. That’s what today is all about now that we’re formally ticked over to the coldest season. Of the former, we have all the codes coming up for you today. In the latter, two huge semi-finals.

5.25am BST

Adam will be here shortly. In the meantime, something big happened in Brisbane earlier in the week and Nick Tedeschi wrote about it:

Related: A new generation of Blues come of age in fast and furious win over Maroons | Nick Tedeschi

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