Niall McVeigh

Author's posts

Nov 16

The Joy of Six: seasons from hell | Niall McVeigh

From Cleveland’s collapse to Ferrari’s lowest ebb and Doncaster Rovers’ destruction amid fire and fury, we look back on six calamitous campaigns Ten years before he made his name as the inscrutable, hooded overlord of the New England Patriots, Bill Bel…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/16/the-joy-of-six-seasons-from-hell

Nov 12

Roger Federer v Jack Sock: ATP World Tour Finals – live!

Surprise qualifier Jack Sock made Roger Federer work for a 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory, while world No1 Rafael Nadal confirmed he will take part in LondonRead the report from the O2 3.59pm GMT Time to wrap things up, but stay tuned for Kevin Mitchell’s match …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/nov/12/roger-federer-v-jack-sock-tennis-atp-tour-finals-live

Nov 12

England 36-6 France: Rugby League World Cup 2017 – as it happened

England raced to a 26-0 lead after half an hour to make sure of a quarter-final place before France rallied as England lost their early fluency in an error-strewn second half 12.10pm GMT That’s it from me, but stay tuned for our match report. Thanks fo…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/nov/12/england-v-france-rugby-league-world-cup-2017-live

Nov 11

Wales 21-29 Australia: autumn international – as it happened

Wales held their own in a ferocious Test match but struggled to make the most of opportunities and lost out to sucker-punch tries from Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale 7.17pm GMT That’s all from me, but our match report will be online shortly. That was…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/nov/11/wales-v-australia-autumn-international-live

Nov 06

Andrea Pirlo retires from football after leaving New York City FC

• Former World Cup and Champions League winner retires aged 38• Pirlo tweets statement after NYC FC are knocked out of play-offsThe former Juventus, Milan and Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo has announced his retirement from football at the age of 38.Pir…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/nov/06/andrea-pirlo-retires-new-york-city-fc-italy

Oct 31

Celtic 1-2 Bayern Munich: Champions League – as it happened

Celtic went toe-to-toe with Bayern but were undone by Javi Martinez’s winner, which came moments after Callum McGregor’s equaliser and sealed Celtic’s Champions League exit 10.42pm GMT Related: Celtic out of Champions League after Javi Martínez header…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/oct/31/celtic-v-bayern-munich-champions-league-live

Oct 27

Leeds United 1-2 Sheffield United: Championship – as it happened

Substitute David Brooks scored a fine late winner as Chris Wilder’s side deservedly won at Elland Road to go top of the Championship table 10.18pm BST Related: Leeds stunned after David Brooks seals superb win for Sheffield United 9.45pm BST That was…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/oct/27/leeds-united-v-sheffield-united-championship-live

Oct 22

Everton 2-5 Arsenal: Premier League – as it happened

Everton plunged into the relegation zone as Arsenal condemned the hosts to a heavy home defeat after Idrissa Gueye’s red cardMatch report: Everton 2-5 Arsenal 3.59pm BST Time to wrap this blog up, but be sure to join Rob Smyth for Spurs v Liverpool, wh…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/oct/22/everton-v-arsenal-premier-league-live

Oct 14

Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea, Man City 7-2 Stoke: clockwatch – as it happened

Crystal Palace stunned the champions to end their dismal start, Manchester City rattled in the goals to go clear at the top and Cristiano Ronaldo scored late to earn Real Madrid victory 5.19pm BST I’ll leave you with match reports from a dramatic day. …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/oct/14/manchester-city-v-stoke-crystal-palace-v-chelsea-and-more-clockwatch-live

Sep 23

Joseph Parker beats Hughie Fury to retain WBO world heavyweight title – as it happened

New Zealand’s Joseph Parker won a majority decision after a scrappy contest to retain his WBO world heavyweight belt at the Manchester Arena

12.11am BST

Related: Hughie Fury denied WBO heavyweight title but Joseph Parker flattered by score

11.58pm BST

Hughie Fury was going to be interviewed in the ring, but technical difficulties called a halt. Now, he’s changed his mind. It’s an underwhelming end to a fight that wasn’t a classic. Credit to Hughie Fury for taking a champion the distance, and fair play to Joseph Parker for getting the job done. We’ll have a report up shortly. Thanks for joining me. Bye!

11.54pm BST

Parker stopped short of calling out Anthony Joshua in that interview – hard to see who else he would target as a champion in the UK. On tonight’s evidence, Parker has very little in his locker that would bother AJ.

11.51pm BST

Joseph Parker speaks: “Fury moved well, he was awkward. I caught him with the harder punches, and feel I won the fight fairly. It’s a great result, but I want to go back to New Zealand and have a bit of a break now. I feel that this opens up big fights here, we can come back and set up another big fight.”

11.44pm BST

Joseph Parker wins on points! Two judges score it 118-110, the other 114-114. Curious scorecards – two giving 10 rounds to Parker, one calling it a draw – but that’s the right outcome.

11.41pm BST

Fury’s entourage, including a suited Tyson, storm the ring in celebration. That may be premature – my rudimentary scorecard has Parker 115-113 up, winning seven rounds to five. After a scrappy, slow-burning fight, who can say for sure?

11.39pm BST

Round 12: After Fury gets in first with a jab, Parker lands the cleanest shot of the fight with a fierce right hook. Another big right-hand from Parker, then an uppercut from Fury as his opponent looks to land a few more clean blows. Fury clings on until the final bell, and now we await the judges’ verdicts…

11.36pm BST

Round 11: The judges will have their work cut out to score some of these scrappy exchanges, particularly here, as a tired-looking Fury slows down, lingering on the ropes too long. Parker lands a couple of blows to the body late in the round. The champion is in the ascendancy…

11.32pm BST

Round 10: Three rounds left, and it’s been a close contest – but Parker seems to be the man with the momentum. Impressive, given that he looked puffed after about 30 seconds. Fury repels more hefty punches from Parker, and gets the crowd involved with a couple of nice combinations. Fury’s footwork has helped him to steady the ship. Can he do enough in the last two rounds to tip the balance his way?

11.26pm BST

Round nine: Fury’s corner are urging him to do a little more, and land a few more shots in these closing rounds. Parker unleashes a nifty combination and has Fury on the ropes, but the challenger regroups quickly. Two rights in quick succession from Parker, and the second lands. Fury absorbs it but he’s lost this round, and may be slipping behind overall.

11.22pm BST

Round eight: Fury lands another with his right, then keeps Parker chasing him around the ring. Parker is rocked as he tries to move forward, but regroups, lands a jab to the chest and launches another flurry. It’s ugly stuff, but it’s helping the champion keep his nose in front in these closer rounds.

11.19pm BST

Round seven: Fury reaches halfway level, at worst, on the scorecard, and with the cut clearing up – but he may need to offer a bit more than defence to get the job done. It’s a scrappy round that follows the pattern so far, Fury keeping his distance, Parker lunging in without much success.

11.15pm BST

Round six: “Don’t worry about the cut, it’s nothing,” says Peter Fury, convincing nobody. His son looks less nimble on his feet, but has his jab working again early in the round. Fury lands that uppercut again, and Parker responds with his right. The champion launches a right hook as he goes on the attack. Fury looks a little ragged, his pteruge riding up to his ribs, and Parker probably shaded that round too.

11.11pm BST

Round five: McDonnell informs the judges that the cut was caused by an accidental clash of heads, as both fighters grappled on the ropes. Fury is still bleeding as Parker goes on the offensive – and McDonnell warns both fighters as things get a little ugly in the middle of the round. Parker leans in and delivers a scruffy right-hander that lands. The champion takes that round, arguably his first of the contest.

11.06pm BST

Round four: Parker can’t get his feet moving, and Fury catches him again with an uppercut. He looks easily the more comfortable man in these opening rounds, but Parker does land a left hook late in the round – and Fury has a cut over his right eye…

11.03pm BST

Round three: Parker is getting closer, but Fury disrupts his rhythm with a sneaky right-hander, and the champion is back to swinging and missing. Fury’s jab is keeping his opponent at bay, and he’s right in this fight early on.

10.59pm BST

Round two: Parker’s corner urge their man to lead with the jab and think ahead, but he still looks sluggish and Fury lands a jab of his own to the body. The challenger is staying on the defensive, and not taking any risks.

10.55pm BST

Round 1/12: Fury has a height advantage and is moving well, meaning plenty of Parker’s flurries don’t land. He’s also innovating with his shorts – a black-and-gold tribute to a gladiatorial skirt is the best way I can describe it. Oh, and gold gloves.

10.53pm BST

Parker, in black shorts with red trim, is on the offensive early against Fury.

10.48pm BST

Marcus McDonnell from Twickenham might sound like a promising young welterweight, but he’s actually tonight’s referee. Parker’s ring walk also exposed a swathe of empty seats, previously kept out of shot.

10.46pm BST

A lot more fun from Parker, who sports a headband, flanked by what I can only describe as two well-built, middle-aged shirtless men. His entrance music starts with a haka, then slides into hip-hop. 8/10.

10.45pm BST

Fury is out first, in a black and gold outfit with a gladiatorial air to it. His backing music is a mournful classical number. Now it’s time for the champ…

Here’s Hughie. #ParkerFury pic.twitter.com/Xzrix03zRX

10.40pm BST

When Wilson switches it up from the Samoan anthem to ‘God Defend New Zealand’, a fair few in the crowd join in. So safe to say we have some Kiwis in attendance tonight.

All in all, the anthems last about 15 minutes, and they manage to miss out the Irish one that was announced at the start. Let’s press on…

10.36pm BST

A welcome spot of farce here as singer Benson Wilson arrives in the ring to perform the Samoan and New Zealand national anthems – but the tape’s not ready, so it’s ‘God Save the Queen’ first while he stands and waits. All a bit awkward. Here’s a song about boxing:

10.31pm BST

@niallmcveigh what’s the crowd looking like? Next to no promotion in nw that I saw.

There had been reports of slow ticket sales, but it looks pretty full on the night.

10.28pm BST

It’s Murray who gets the points decision, 96-93 – despite Fagan knocking him down in the second – and that means that next up, it’s the main event!

10.26pm BST

Hughie Fury has been speaking ahead of the fight:

“I’m very relaxed, I’m confident, everything’s gone to plan. It’s done me the world of good to be off, there’ll be no ring rust from me. I’m not really bothered about what Parker brings, I know I’ve got an answer.”

10.20pm BST

The final undercard fight is nearing a conclusion, with Joe Murray taking on Matty Fagan in a 10-round super-lightweight fight. Murray is the more experienced man but was on the back foot early on – he may have just done enough.

10.17pm BST

Hughie Fury is the more famous name on these shores, but what of the defending champion? Joseph Parker has honed his craft on the other side of the world, fighting outside New Zealand for the first time since 2014 – save for a quick jaunt to Samoa. Parker has made one successful defence of his belt, but has come to the UK in an effort to boost his profile:

“I feel like the UK is where the heavyweight scene is at, at the moment. We want to be a part of it. We feel it’s important to come here and make a statement.”

9.55pm BST

“You could add a (c) to the fact it’s being shown on YouTube, which is the Fury family having form for postponing and cancelling bouts,” says Peter Davis. “Definitely put off some of the mainstream broadcasters from showing it. It’s a real shame.”

It certainly has happened – in Hughie’s case, he has had some mitigating health concerns, including a blood disorder that’s kept him out of the ring for 18 months.

9.37pm BST

So far tonight, we’ve seen Ireland’s Peter McDonagh defeat Shayne Singleton on points. McDonagh has enjoyed a late renaissance in his career – now 39, he’s unbeaten in 11 fights after what had looked to be a journeyman career. Jimmy Kelly floored Stiliyan Kostov in the fourth to win the WBO inter-continental super-welterweight title and, while I’ve been typing this, Yorkshire’s Josh Wale has beaten Don Broadhurst to defend his British bantamweight title. Broadhurst was knocked down in the 10th and failed to beat the count.

6.36pm BST

The WBO world heavyweight belt is on the line but in truth, tonight is about earning a shot at Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, the division’s supreme fighters. It’s also being shown exclusively on YouTube, a sign of (a) the changing face of sport broadcasting and (b) this bout’s lack of pay-per-view punch.

Joseph Parker is the defending champion, edging out Andy Ruiz Jr to claim one of the belts that Tyson Fury vacated. Tyson’s cousin, Hughie, is the hometown challenger hoping to bring the title back into the family. Parker is ranked 5th among the world’s heavyweights by Ring magazine while Fury the younger does not feature in the top 10.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/sep/23/joseph-parker-v-hughie-fury-wbo-world-heavyweight-title-fight-live

Sep 09

Football League: Ward keeps Cardiff unbeaten, Shrewsbury top League One

Danny Ward leveller earns draw at Fulham, Harry Redknapp’s honeymoon is over at Birmingham and Shrewsbury are the surprise leaders in the third tier

Related: Sheffield United soar after Clayton Donaldson downs wretched Sunderland

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/football-league-blog/2017/sep/09/football-league-ward-keeps-cardiff-unbeaten-shrewsbury-top-league-one

Aug 22

Southampton maintain Van Dijk stance as Wesley Hoedt checks in at the club

• Saints claim £15m defender will ‘develop alongside’ Van Dijk
• Swansea City agree fee for Hull midfielder Sam Clucas

Southampton appear to be holding firm in their stance on the defender Virgil van Dijk, with an official statement announcing the arrival of Lazio centre-back Wesley Hoedt stating that their new signing will “develop alongside” his Dutch compatriot.

Hoedt, who joins on a five-year deal for a reported £15m, is the second centre-back signed by Mauricio Pellegrino this summer, following the arrival of Jan Bednarek for £5.7m in July.

Related: Transfer window 2017 – every deal in Europe’s top five leagues

Related: Crystal Palace set to bid for RB Leipzig winger Oliver Burke

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/aug/22/southampton-virgil-van-dijk-wesley-hoedt-transfers

Aug 04

Liverpool face Hoffenheim and Celtic draw Astana in Champions League play-offs

Liverpool face a tricky fixture against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, Celtic will travel 8,000 miles to play Astana in Kazakhstan, and Everton take on Hajduk Split in the Europa League

11.31am BST

Liverpool will face Hoffenheim, the fourth-placed side in last season’s Bundesliga, in their play-off match, while Celtic face a long trip to Kazakhstan to take on Astana in the final qualifiers before the group stage begins.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will start as favourites against Hoffenheim, but will be tested by a side who survived relegation under Julian Nagelsmann before pulling off a surprise top-four finish.

11.18am BST

Istanbul Basaksehir v Sevilla
Young Boys v CSKA Moscow
Napoli v Nice
Hoffenheim v Liverpool
Sporting Lisbon v Steaua Bucharest

11.16am BST

It’s a return to Germany for Jürgen Klopp, and former Hoffenheim striker Roberto Firmino. Hoffenheim will play at home in the first leg, as England and Germany’s fourth-placed teams are drawn against each other.

11.15am BST

Next, it’s Napoli v Nice! So Hoffenheim or Steaua for Liverpool…

11.14am BST

The second tie out is Young Boys v CSKA Moscow

11.13am BST

They’re not hanging about here – first up, it’s Istanbul Basaksehir v Sevilla!

11.12am BST

Brendan Rodgers’ boys are next out, and will face Kazakh champions Astana, who they faced in last season’s third round. The away leg will be second; that’s not a great draw, all things considered. Here’s the full Champions Route draw:

Qarabag v FC Copenhagen
APOEL v Slavia Prague
Olympiacos v Rijeka
Celtic v Astana
Hapoel Beer Sheva v Maribor

11.10am BST

Olympiacos v Rijeka, which leaves Astana or Hapoel Beer Sheva for Celtic…

11.09am BST

Next, it’s APOEL v Slavia Prague

11.09am BST

That was quick. First up, it’s Qarabag v FC Copenhagen…

11.07am BST

Next up, it’s none other than Uefa’s head of club competitions, Michael Heselschwerdt, with some technical information. The Champions route will be drawn first, and seeded teams aren’t certain to play at home second, as far as I’m aware – it depends which team is drawn first.

11.06am BST

I thought for one blissful moment that they were going to get straight on with the draw. But no, we’re getting a montage of last season’s final between Juventus and Real Madrid first. Another chance to enjoy that Mario Mandzukic goal, at least. Woof!

11.02am BST

Here we go! Giorgio Marchetti struts out to muted applause. “Welcome to the home of football” he chirps, then tells us that the Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin, can’t be here today.

10.58am BST

The draw should be coming up aaaaany minute now. I’m sure they won’t drag it out. These guys are professionals!

10.50am BST

Liverpool fan Neal Lynch knows what he wants. “Anyone but Hoffenheim please. Nice would not be especially nice either… let’s have some eastern European action.”

Hoffenheim, whose manager Julian Nagelsmann turned 30 last month, do look the most dangerous side of the five. If it’s Eastern Europe you’re after, Steaua Bucharest, who lost 6-0 on aggregate to Manchester City last season, look a safer bet than Basaksehir, who nearly ‘did a Leicester’ in Turkey last season and now come with added Emmanuel Adebayor.

10.46am BST

There are some familiar names lying in wait for Celtic – they played both Astana and Hapoel Beer Sheva on their way to the group stages last year, with a 5-4 aggregate win over the Israeli champions proving particularly taxing. Celtic also took on Qarabag, champions of Azerbaijan, two years ago – they rarely qualify the easy way.

3.59pm BST

Seeded teams: Olympiacos (Greece), Celtic (Scotland), FC Copenhagen (Denmark), APOEL (Cyprus), Maribor (Slovenia).
Unseeded teams: Qarabag (Azerbaijan), Astana (Kazakhstan), Rijeka (Croatia), Hapoel Beer Sheva (Israel), Slavia Prague (Czechia).

3.53pm BST

Scottish champions Celtic have already played four qualifying ties to reach this final hurdle, while Liverpool are the only one of five English qualifiers not to go straight into the group stages.

The Champions League is not a bastion of equality, but both sides are on similar footing at this stage. There are two routes forward, named Champions and League (see what they did there) – Celtic are seeded in the former, and Liverpool in the latter.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/aug/04/champions-league-play-off-draw-live

Jul 02

Transfer window: which European clubs have made the best signings so far?

The window officially opened on 1 July but most clubs have been busy for weeks, so catch up with the deals you may have missed from Europe’s top five leagues

The summer transfer window is now officially open and from Chelsea to Chievo and Real Madrid to RB Leipzig, every team is looking to strengthen. In reality, deals have been going through since the end of last season, with more than £1bn spent across Europe’s five biggest leagues in England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. Our transfer interactive covers all the latest deals but here are the biggest moves of the summer so far:

Related: Transfer window 2017 – every deal in Europe’s top five leagues

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jul/02/transfer-window-which-european-clubs-have-made-the-best-signings-so-far

Jun 26

WTF, FML and a brief history of sporting acronyms in the modern age

The World Taekwondo Federation has finally rebranded but it is far from the only sporting entity to cause controversy with an acronym or abbreviation

The World Taekwondo Federation did the inevitable last weekend, changing its name to escape the “negative connotations” of its acronym.

World Taekwondo, as it is now officially known, first considered changing its name in 2015, but decided to give it another 18 months before accepting that the ubiquitous online abbreviation was going nowhere. The new slogan? It’s “Taekwondo For All”. Thanks for asking.

Related: Forget dancing horses, surfing and BMX – the Olympic Games need eSports

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jun/26/world-taekwondo-federation-sporting-name-changes-wtf-fml

Jun 17

England beat Argentina 35-25 to win second Test and series – as it happened

Mike Brown set up tries for Piers Francis and Danny Care with dazzling breaks as England edged another high-scoring contest with Argentina to win the series 2-0

10.15pm BST

Related: Will Collier try seals confident win and series victory for England in Argentina

10.06pm BST

So, tries from Charlie Ewels and Will Collier, plus scores for Piers Francis and Danny Care – both set up by dazzling runs from Mike Brown – have earned a second straight win, and a series whitewash, in Argentina. George Ford, near-faultless through the two games, added the cherry on the icing with his late drop goal.

There were 132 points scored across a two-part feast of attacking, unpredictable rugby. England scored 73 of them, and won both Tests – finding a way to get it done, once again. They have won nine out of 10 away Tests under Eddie Jones, that defeat in Dublin still the only blot on his England record.

9.58pm BST

After some unnecessary faffing, a limping Hughes hoofs the ball into touch. England win the match, and the series!

9.57pm BST

79 mins: Hernandez kicks for touch, earning a lineout close to the try line. They collect the ball, but England turn it over! England scrum, but this one is done…

9.55pm BST

78 mins: Argentina steal the ball from an England line-out, and Lavanini hurls himself forward for the hundredth time. Lozowski, who has made a busy cameo here, gets a boot in to break up the attack.

9.53pm BST

76 mins: Argentina scrum, five metres out. The crowd have found their voices again. Bertranou feeds the scrum, and both packs are locked together, irresistible force vs immovable object. It’s England who prevail, and Care hooks the ball into touch.

9.52pm BST

75 mins: …an attack down the left is repelled, but play is switched to the right via Moroni, fresh on the pitch. Fellow replacement Bertranou lunges for the line, but Wilson and Lozowski combine to make a desperate block!

9.52pm BST

74 mins: Bertranou and Moroni on in place of Landajo and Boffelli for Argentina, who aren’t finished yet…

9.50pm BST

After good work from Lozowski, Care heaves the ball back to Ford, who adjusts in a heartbeat and lifts the ball through the posts! That has silenced the crowd. George Ford must be man of the series – he has been superb.

9.48pm BST

“When did the Pumas start with their change of style, to add a running and handling game to their traditional set piece focus?” asks David Wall.

“Was it motivated by their joining the (as then) Tri-Nations, and finding that they would get thumped if their backs could do no more than take contact to give it on to their forwards?”

9.46pm BST

70 mins: Juan Martin Hernandez sends a mediocre kick downfield, and England have a lineout close to halfway. They lose it, Tetaz Chaparro claiming it and barrelling forward, but Lezana is penalised for side entry. Ford eases the pressure with a clearance to touch.

9.44pm BST

67 mins: Eesh, this looks nasty for Nathan Hughes, impressive at No8 today. He’s cleaned out by Lavanini, who is penalised, and his knee gives way underneath him. He’s staying on, for now.

9.42pm BST

65 mins: Changes for England, with Alex Lozowski and Denny Solomona replacing Francis and Yarde.

9.42pm BST

There have been some lovely England tries across these two games, but this is ugly and Eddie Jones will like it. England collect the lineout and beat their hosts for power up front, replacement Will Collier the man to cross over. Ford makes it five kicks from six with the conversion.

9.39pm BST

63 mins: England respond with a burst of aggression, Nathan Hughes beginning the move before May powers down the left. The end result is a lineout, five metres from the line…

9.38pm BST

62 mins: Julian Montoya replaces Creevy at hooker, while Hernandez, whose drop goal last week ultimately played into England’s hands, replacing Sanchez.

9.37pm BST

61 mins: Changes for England, with Will Collier and Mark Wilson on for Williams and Underhill. I would put the Bath man behind Tom Curry in the flanker hierarchy after that, but what do I know?

9.35pm BST

Emiliano Boffelli scored the first try of this series and 13 scores later, he has the latest. England’s backs are caught napping, De La Fuente picking up Landajo’s pass and skipping past Yarde, before offloading to Boffelli, who has plenty of room down the left flank. Sanchez gets a welcome conversion and we’re level again!

9.32pm BST

England have done it again! Argentina are on the front foot, but a simple offload between De La Fuente and Orlando goes awry and the visitors pounce, Mike Brown collecting the turnover ball and sprinting down the left. Danny Care is the man in support this time, and he pulls away into the corner. England could use this conversion… and Ford nails it!

9.30pm BST

55 mins: First change for England, with Matt Mullan replacing Genge. For Argentina, Lezana replaces try scorer Matera.

9.29pm BST

54 mins: Argentina had looked close to being consumed by their own frustration, but not for the first time in this series, the momentum has swung.

“I’m loving these old skool scrums” says Robin Hazlehurst. “Never mind the ball, get on with the game! Two top packs giving it everything and nothing moving is a beautiful sight for the connoisseur.”

9.28pm BST

Piers Francis tries a speculative kick forward, but Pablo Matera charges it down, prods the ball down the touchline with his toe, and bursts in at the corner! Sanchez, somewhat predictably, misses an awkward conversion.

9.25pm BST

50 mins: Ford, kicking downwind but with the breeze dropping, sends his kick bobbling beyond the try-line. Sanchez restarts and England attack again, but Francis’ kick is charged down…

9.24pm BST

49 mins: Three replacements in Daniel Hourcade’s pack – Tetaz Chaparro, Herrera and Petti replace Noguera, Pieretto and Alemmano. No shortage of beef here in Argentina.

9.22pm BST

48 mins: Pieretto is also given a warning, after putting his knee down in the scrum. Argentina try to burst forward, but De La Fuente spills an ambitious pass.

9.21pm BST

46 mins: Another high tackle leads to more anger from the stands, and Hartley is told any more of that will mean a yellow card.

9.19pm BST

45 mins: Sanchez has the chance to cut the deficit – but he slices his kick wide! Cue whistles from the crowd. He’s not having a great afternoon.

9.17pm BST

44 mins: Just as Argentina appear to be out of ideas, they find some attacking rhythm, De La Fuente breaking the line before Orlando carries forward 20 yards, and offloads beautifully to Leguizamon. Yarde does well to smother Sanchez’s diagonal kick, but Brown is penalised for a high tackle.

9.15pm BST

42 mins: May, Henry Slade and Ford show good hands to switch the play, before Genge and Robshaw do their bit to repel the Argentinian forwards. A knock-on from Slade stalls the move.

9.14pm BST

41 mins: Sanchez takes a mark from Ford’s kick and shuffles forward. An errant pass stalls what little momentum they have, and England turn it over…

9.12pm BST

John Lacey has an issue with his earpiece, but after a brief pause, Sanchez gets the second half started.

9.11pm BST

So, England lead 18-13 at the half; they were 17-13 down last week. As in San Juan, they have been second-best in territory and possession, and had to put in twice the tackles, but have pounced on opportunities to shade the only stat that matters.

9.09pm BST

“I’m loving how Eddie Butler pronounces some of the Argentinian players like Landajo, Tuculet and Boffelli with a real lilt” says Robin Hazelhurst. “It’s like a quiz question: Pumas player or North Wales seaside resort?”

I’m a big fan of their No8, Leggy Salmon.

8.59pm BST

George Ford kicks the ball into – you’ll like this – the moat which surrounds the pitch. There’s still time for a line-out, but not much else. England lead, Piers Francis’ try after exceptional work from Mike Brown the difference.

8.57pm BST

39 mins: Argentina scrum, then a free kick. De La Fuente wriggles clear of Care in midfield, setting up a late burst for the line. Moyano looks to have found the gap, but Alemmano is correctly penalised for crossing. He’s 6’6”, Lacey was unlikely to miss him.

8.55pm BST

38 mins: They kick downfield, and Brown surges forward with another leggy run down the middle. Jonny May continues the advance, before Underhill turns the ball over under pressure from the Argentina pack.

8.54pm BST

37 mins: Argentina scrum, from which Orlando and Landajo swing the ball right. England hold firm, even the artful Creevy unable to gain ground…

8.53pm BST

36 mins: Noguera is getting treatment, so the front rowers engage in a bit of chatter with the referee. The camera hones in on a pigeon that’s landed on the pitch – this isn’t Wimbledon, you know.

8.52pm BST

35 mins: England keep the pressure on Sanchez, whose kick to touch presents them with a lineout. Harry Williams lumbers into space, offloading to Charlie Ewels – but Matera’s low tackle forces the ball out of his hands.

8.50pm BST

33 mins: Argentina look a little forlorn up against England’s forwards, with a grubber kick through always running away from De La Fuente.

8.48pm BST

Sanchez tries a change of tack with a diagonal kick. Suffice to say, it doesn’t work. Mike Brown steps up, snatches the ball and charges up the right flank. As he looks to be out of options, Piers Francis appears alongside him, collects the pass and breezes into the corner! The conversion from a tricky angle, is put wide by Ford.

8.45pm BST

It’s not straightforward on a breezy afternoon, but Ford adjusts accordingly and his kick sails between the posts.

8.45pm BST

27 mins: Tuculet takes a kick down, but Yarde is straight on him to prevent Argentina gaining yards. The full-back gets caught on the floor, fails to release and concedes a penalty. Ford can level things up…

8.43pm BST

25 mins: Danny Care’s kick is caught by Boffelli, who is tackled by Launchbury. Argentina clear, and Brown bursts towards the halfway line. The charge breaks down, and England are penalised, Creevy theatrically leaving Hartley on the floor. Sanchez’s penalty is not the best, dragged wide left of the posts.

8.40pm BST

23 mins: England have made 23 tackles – collectively, one per minute. This is already a fiercer forward test than last week. Care puts in as Argentina lower the scrum – but the hosts are penalised, Pieretto changing his body angle illegally.

8.38pm BST

21 mins: Argentina surge and turn the scrum, the ball popping loose and just out of Creevy’s reach. Genge dives on the ball, but England are being penned back…

8.37pm BST

20 mins: Sanchez finds touch, and Argentina have a line-out 15m from the try-line. Chris Robshaw, returning from injury, makes a crucial steal at the breakdown, and England get the scrum!

8.35pm BST

19 mins: Creevy makes headway before Tuculet breaks through with a couple of sidesteps. Lacey’s whistle sounds again, this time for a high tackle from Marland Yarde. Lacey has a word with Hartley about “unnecessary penalties”.

8.34pm BST

17 mins: Another technical penalty against England – two in fact, an offside and a side entry. Sanchez opts for the former, in a more central position. The fly-half kicks Argentina into the lead.

8.32pm BST

13 mins: England earned a scrum but after much faffing, referee John Lacey grows weary of warning the visitors. Argentina are presented with a gettable penalty. Sanchez sends it high – and wide! Or does he? We’re going to the TMO, who rules that it just went over.

8.28pm BST

10 mins: Plenty of big, bruising hits out there, with Leguizamon going through Danny Care, before Nathan Hughes stops him in his tracks.

8.27pm BST

8 mins: We go straight back down the other end, England forcing a turnover in opposition territory and winning a penalty, which Ford tucks away. He’s been a model of consistency on this tour.

8.24pm BST

We’ve picked up where we left off last week – Argentina’s backs in particular, who launch themselves headlong at the English defence. After Orlando is repelled, Hartley shoulders Pieretto. Penalty advantage, and Landajo sweeps the ball left, where Tuculet forces his way over. Sanchez slots away a tricky conversion from the left.

8.21pm BST

6 mins: Ewels is penalised after trying to stop the maul. Sanchez goes for the corner and sets up a lineout on England’s 22.

8.20pm BST

England kick for touch and win the lineout with ease. Launchbury barrels through his man and offloads to Charlie Ewels, who goes over! Ford converts, while Ewels looks a little pained after that heavy landing.

8.19pm BST

3 mins: Echoes of last Saturday, with an Argentina scrum reset twice before Leguizamon drives forward. Argentina opt to kick again, but England get the penalty in their own half as Moyano kicks the ball out from the side.

8.16pm BST

1 min: Nicolas Sanchez and George Ford trade long, looping kicks down the middle, before Mike Brown finds touch. Argentina are in their blue-and-white hoops, England in ‘dark sapphire’, or as it’s more commonly known, navy.

8.15pm BST

George Ford’s kick-off is collected, and Tuculet’s clearing kick finds touch through a thick breeze.

8.14pm BST

The teams are out on a sunny, soupy afternoon in Santa Fe. Anthems are being belted out, and we’ll be under way imminently.

8.07pm BST

Here’s Eddie Jones on today’s fixture: “It’s a different referee, different ground and conditions. The set piece is going to be important… I think Argentina might play some more old-school rugby today.”

On England players being overlooked in the latest Lions call-ups: “I’m disappointed for my players that haven’t been called up, but playing for England is a pretty decent second prize.”

8.05pm BST

In other news, this was released 20 years ago this week, and feels as relevant as it ever did. It was kept off No1 by Puff Daddy.

7.55pm BST

Twenty minutes until we have ourselves some 15-man, oval ball action.

On its iPlayer homepage, the Beeb describes its rugby coverage as “action from the world of the 15-player oval ball game”. The what?

7.43pm BST

As discussed, it’s been an excellent day for northern hemisphere sides. Scotland beat Australia 24-19 in Sydney, while jet-setting Ireland followed up a win in New Jersey last week by beating Japan in Shizuoka. The Lions got a morale-boosting win over the Maori All Blacks, but perhaps most impressive of all, England women beat New Zealand in their own backyard to become the world’s No1 team. Last but not least (OK, also least), Wales beat Tonga 24-6.

6.03pm BST

England: M Brown (Harlequins), M Yarde (Harlequins), H Slade (Exeter), P Francis (Northampton), J May (Gloucester), G Ford (Bath), D Care (Harlequins); E Genge (Leicester), D Hartley (c, Northampton), H Williams (Exeter), C Ewels (Bath), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins), S Underhill (Bath), N Hughes (Wasps).

Replacements: J Singleton (Worcester), M Mullan (Wasps), W Collier (Harlequins), N Isiekwe (Saracens), M Wilson (Newcastle), J Maunder (Exeter), A Lozowski, D Solomona (Sale).

11.07am BST

As the old saying goes: the more you practice, the luckier you get. England’s helter-skelter success in San Juan could have fallen either way, the lead changing hands six times as eight tries were scored. As has so often been the case under Eddie Jones, it fell England’s way.

Jones’ forward planning has reached forensic levels with this tour, with two new faces today taking his pool of capped players beyond 60. Sam Underhill and Piers Francis have both been monitored while playing in Wales and New Zealand, and get starts ahead of moves to the Premiership.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jun/17/argentina-v-england-international-test-match-live