Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/apr/08/sportwatch-afl-nrl-a-league
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/feb/03/australia-v-new-zealand-twenty20-tri-series-game-one-live
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/dec/23/melbourne-city-v-melbourne-victory-a-league-live
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/nov/24/australia-v-fiji-rugby-league-world-cup-2017-semi-final-live
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/oct/28/wallabies-v-barbarians-a-league-the-cox-plate-and-more-sportwatch-live
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/oct/14/diamonds-v-silver-ferns-a-league-and-more-sportwatch-live
- Wallabies fight back in second half for convincing win in Canberra
- All Blacks irresistible in remarkable 57-0 drubbing of South Africa
“I didn’t have to say anything,” Michael Cheika said about his half-time team talk. “I asked them what was going on and they told me lack of urgency…. they sorted themselves in the second half and that was better rugby from us.”
Well the Wallabies have done what was expected of them just in an unexpected way. The final score was probably about right by the end, but at the end of the first half it looked like Australia were in serious trouble. Just how much their improvement in the second half was due to their own ability and how much was due to Argentina tiring badly is up for debate. I strongly suspect it was a combination of both.
For my money the key passage of play was early in the second half when the Pumas threw everything at the Wallabies line only to come up short. They looked dead on their feet after that, and the late try fest was no surprise.
Foley adds the extra points and the whistle blows. That’s all she wrote – the Wallabies were as clinical in the second half as they were off the pace in the first.
80 min: Australia ignore the siren, charge towards the line and Uelese bundles the ball over. There’s the icing on the cake.
78 min: Sanchez hits it home from the edge.
77 min: Moroni with a perfect chip and chase to get the scoreline more respectable. Great skill.
76 min: Foley adds the cherry. This has been a Jekyll and Hyde performance by the Wallabies.
75 min: McMahon with the pass to Phipps who’s brought down just short of the line but pops it over with an outstretched hand
74 min: Foley kicks the Wallabies further ahead, in off the post.
73 min: Well it’s been a long time coming but the Wallabies are finally over the line again. The line was wide open from the scrum, Genia saw the opening and hurled himself through it.
Terrific captaincy by Michael Hooper to keep the pressure on with a dominant scrum and draw the yellow card. #AUSVARG
71 min: A card for Argentina. It’s been coming. Pieretto marches off after more pressure on the Pumas scrum.
69 min: Oof. The Wallabies get it away from the scrum, charge to the line but get held up again. Kerevi this time. Back we go.
68 min: The ref is getting impatient with the Argentina scrum. The Wallabies have piled on the pressure. The latest infringement sparks a bin warning. Hooper asks about a penalty try … doesn’t get much of a response.
66 min: McMahon is held up over the line and the Wallabies get the scrum. That would have been a kick in the teeth for the Pumas after all that pressure. The momentum has swung back to Australia.
65 min: The Wallabies finally get some possession and run it deep into the Argentina half. Eventually it’s turned over but play is brought back for an an earlier penalty and Foley boots it into touch about 5m out from the Argentina line.
64 min: A poor lineout and, here we go again, the Pumas bolt forward. It’s been all Argentina for the last five minutes.
63 min: Finally, the Wallabies get a penalty and the pressure evaporates. That’s heartbreaking stuff for the Pumas who threw everything at the line and came up short. Great defence.
61 min: The Pumas can practically smell the try line but the Wallabies have defended admirably, repelling everything that’s been thrown at them. So far.
60 min: More excellent defence from the Wallabies. Just when it looked like the Pumas had dived over in the corner, the Wallabies throw their bodies underneath to keep it out. Still in the danger zone though.
58 min: Heart-in-mouth time for the Wallabies. They defend brilliantly on the line to keep the Pumas out originally, then Folau gets a fingertip to a pass that would have led to a certain try. Then a stab forward causes confusion and the Wallabies defence scrambles to get it down.
56 min: Lord knows what Cheika
said to the Wallabies during the break but it seems to have done the trick. They can’t afford to take their foot off the gas though. The Pumas are on the attack, looking for an immediate reply.
54 min: Foley with a textbook kick from the edge to add the extras.
52 min: And suddenly the game looks a lot more comfortable for the Wallabies. Genia with a long pass out to Folau who slides home. Good spell of pressure from the hosts.
50 min: Foley makes no mistake from the kick. Better from the Wallabies, who now have a bit of breathing space.
49 min: The Wallabies batter their way to the line with a hat-trick of pick-and-gos. Kepu is the man who finally gets it over the line.
“No urgency… I don’t think we realised we were in a Test match,” Cheika says of the first half during a break for the scrum. Nail meet head.
48 min: The Wallabies take a quick tap penalty, hoping to keep the pressure up on the Pumas line, but Argentina soak up the attack and the hosts are lucky to win a scrum.
47 min: It’s actually been a good bit of play by the Wallabies, but the Pumas have tackled well to deny them an opening. Plenty of phases. This will tire Argentina, but Australia need the points.
45 min: A lot of phases from both teams… but no points at the end of it. The Wallabies get a lineout and try to run the phases again… until a loose pass slips out of Folau’s grasp. They start again.
43 min: Forget I said anything. Another poor decision and it’s the Pumas who suddenly have the ball again. They’re battering the Aussie line too, fighting for every metre.
41 min: Peeeep! Off we go again. Surely the Wallabies have to step it up a gear in this half? Argentina have tended to die off a little towards the back end of games but are Australia capable of making them pay? They’ve already made numerous errors themselves this game. They’ve started this half well though. Moving the ball from right to left to right again.
A few boos ring out from the sparse crowd as the Wallabies boot it into touch. The Pumas have had plenty of possession and possibly should be further ahead. Would love to hear what Cheika says to the Wallabies during the break. See you in the second half.
39 min: Not long to the buzzer and the Wallabies will be glad to hear it. The way it’s been going the Pumas are the more likely side to score.
37 min: Hats off to the Pumas, they’ve been the better side and but for that brief moment of excellence from the Wallabies for the try, they’d be well in front. The visitors win yet another penalty about 45m out. Sanchez goes for it but it sails wide.
35 min: The Pumas pile on the pressure from the restart and earn another penalty, Kuridrani giving it away this time. This one’s much closer though and Sanchez boots it home easily.
32 min: The big boot of Boffelli comes into play as McMahon gives away a penalty. Elementary error. Offside. It looks like the kick is sailing between the posts… but then it slices just wide.
30 min: And the conversion from Foley is straight through the middle. We’re all square again. Cheika can breathe.
29 min: The Wallabies hit back. Great ball movement and once it reached Folau on the right, there was only one outcome. He brushes off a stretching hand from the nearest defender to touch down.
26 min: Good metres from a Foley kick but the Pumas have got their tails up and charge again at the Wallabies line. Argentina are good for their lead, the Wallabies are struggling to get out of second gear.
Sanchez with the conversion. Pressure on the Wallabies.
24 min: Well it’s given by John Lacey and Argentina are in front. Debatable but that’s the call.
24 min: Landajo over the line … but is it legal? The ref goes to the TMO. Strong suggestion of offside.
22 min: Well it’s not exactly been the spectacle the ARU would have hoped for so far – more of an arm wrestle really with some errors thrown in. Some good offloads from the Pumas keep the ball alive and they begin to build pressure close to the Wallabies line.
20 min: Just as the Pumas look like they’re about to make the break, they’re brought back for a forward pass from Sanchez. Boffelli was in a very dangerous position then too. Warning signs for the Wallabies.
17 min: Well this isn’t going according to plan for Australia. It’s been the Pumas in control for the last 10 minutes, pushing and probing without really threatening to break the line. Eventually it’s booted high and Beale takes the mark.
15 min: Well after that initial dominance the Wallabies have been on the back foot for the last five minutes, literally, as the Pumas charge up the field with a rolling maul. It’s finally halted but it comes at the cost of a penalty, which is duly booted between the posts to level things up.
12 min: Some, shall we say, ‘scrappy’ defence from the Wallabies to finally halt a Pumas attack down the right flank. Argentina also struggle to hold on to the ball with the try line in sight and the Wallabies get a scrum out of it to ease the pressure. It’s booted into touch and the physio immediately races onto the pitch to check on Sanchez, who hurt himself in a solid tackle on Kuridrani.
10 min: The referee loses patience with the Pumas and hands it over to the Wallabies who go long, kicking deep into the Pumas half. A looping kick comes flying back and it’s as you were – with the Pumas on the attack.
9 min: Well it’s been a solid start from the Wallabies, and they’ve deservedly edged in front… although there are a few signs of the Pumas fighting back. They have a scrum in the Aussie half after almost breaking the line.
6 min: Foley with a simple kick from between the posts after one too many infractions from the visitors.
5 min: Early stoppage as Alemanno goes down with a knock from a lineout. He takes about a minute, then hops up as healthy as you like. Wallabies back on the attack but the Pumas’ defence has held up well. So far.
4 min: The Wallabies attack the left corner but Beale can’t find a way through and the Wallabies concede a penalty. Good defence from the Pumas.
3 min: And that leads to a penalty which Foley boots into the corner. Early pressure from the Wallabies.
1 min: Peeeeep! And we’re off. Can the Pumas spring a surprise tonight? They’ll fancy their chances after such a good showing in New Zealand… although there’s a mistake right from the off, a knock-on from Argentina as they try to pick up the Aussie kick. Australia scrum.
That’s the anthems over. You could see the players’ breath frosting over in the cool Canberra air. It’s almost go time.
#AUSvARG Can anyone explain to me the logic of this test being played at same time as everyone’s attention is on AFL and NRL finals?
A wealth of options tonight for code-hungry Aussies. Despite that – and the chilly conditions – there’s a “decent” crowd shaping up in Canberra. Reports earlier in the week that it had sold out (when it hadn’t) didn’t help ticket sales either.
Selection questions. Michael Cheika must live in a rough area because he’s changed his lock combination yet again. It’s Rob Simmons in the second row at the expense of Rory Arnold, who isn’t even in the 23. Earlier in the week, Cheika said it was to prove a point about the consistency needed from players at Test level, but surely consistent set-piece combinations is just as crucial for building success. There are plenty of question marks over Hanigan’s form too but he’s been backed for another week, possibly because no one is really pushing for his position. Marika Koroibete is poised for his debut.
Argentina have made four changes. Tomas Lezana replaces Benjamin Macone at No.8. Martin Landajo, Ramiro Moyano and Matias Orlando start in the backs instead of Tomas Cubelli, Joaquin Tuculet and Santiago Cordero.
Australia (15-1): Israel Folau, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Sean McMahon, Michael Hooper (c), Ned Hanigan, Adam Coleman, Rob Simmons, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio
Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Jack Dempsey, Nick Phipps, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete
Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Ramiro Moyano, Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo, Tomas Lezana, Javier Ortega Desio, Pablo Matera, Matias Alemanno, Guido Petti, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy (c), Lucas Noguera
Reserves: Julian Montoya, Santiago Garcia Botta, Enrique Pieretto, Marcos Kremer, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Tomas Cubelli, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Manuel Montero
Stat blast. There are plenty of other reasons for the Wallabies to feel optimistic going into this clash, and let’s face it, Aussie rugby fans need something to cheer about this year. The statistics paint a pretty one-sided picture.
Evening everyone and thanks for ignoring all that football finals nonsense going on elsewhere to join me as the Wallabies look for their first win of the Rugby Championship campaign – if you’re reading this, you’re truly a diehard fan. But before I go any further, they may have struggled recently against the Wallabies and Argentina, but reports of the All Blacks’ imminent demise seem to have been greatly exaggerated. They have just absolutely shpadonked the Springboks 57-0 – a victory so emphatic it’s forced me to invent a new word to describe it.
So I guess that’s this season’s Rugby Championship title race over then. Over to the battle to avoid the wooden spoon. And while it’s all too easy to be cynical (see my intro) in this post-truth, post-Super Rugby-season world, at least Wallabies fans have cause for optimism tonight. They may have been frustrating to watch in their last two outings against South Africa and New Zealand, but there were also signs that they can be as good as anyone when it all clicks together. Michael Cheika certainly seems to think he’s onto something good and, with the exception of one tweak, has backed the team that battled to a stalemate against South Africa last week.
Richard will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Bret Harris on how the Wallabies have finally turned up to the party, only to find out the other revellers have moved on:
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/sep/16/wallabies-v-argentina-rugby-championship-live
Swans beat Giants, Arsenal outclass Wanderers, Collingwood overcome Suns, Geelong win nailbiter and more: Australia sportwatch – live!
- AFL: Swans beat Giants, Crows beat Demons, Cats beat Hawks, Port beat North Melbourne, Magpies beat Suns
- Football: Arsenal beat Wanderers
- NRL: Broncos beat Knights, Titans beat Sharks
- Rugby: Chiefs beat Brumbies, Force beat Waratahs
And I’m spent.
Well that was another rip-roaring day of sport – there were thrills and spills in the rain, milestone moments for Luke Hodge and Matt Hodgson and, most importantly, the Swans won to keep my dream of winning $2000 alive. That’s enough to retire on, right? If it is, I promise my final Sportwatch will be full of bitter, expletive-ridden diatribes aimed at settling old scores with people I think have slighted me in some way. You know who you are. *Shakes fist at cloud*
Cycling: Then again, there’s always the Tour de France
Cricket: Well it’s not long before I sign off but for those of you with more stamina than me, why not follow the women’s cricket. Australia have set South Africa 270 to win – a very defendable total.
AAP: The Western Force bid farewell to retiring flanker Matt Hodgson in grand style, thumping the NSW Waratahs 40-11 in Saturday night’s clash in Perth. The Force ran in five tries to one in the bonus-point blitz, with Hodgson joining in on the fun with a 44th-minute try.
Hodgson put the icing on the cake by kicking a penalty on the final siren to send the 10,384 crowd into raptures. NSW simply had no answers to an emotion-charged Force in the wet conditions. The result was a sad end to the career of Waratahs lock Dean Mumm, who made a low-key exit to little fanfare in the 55th minute.
From AAP – Gold Coast halfback Ash Taylor orchestrated a 30-10 victory over defending NRL premiers Cronulla, mastering atrociously wet conditions at CBus Super Stadium. The 22-year-old crossed twice and laid on two more tries in Saturday night’s rout of the second-placed Sharks, making light of the conditions while others around him struggled to adapt.
Heavy rain fell all afternoon on the Gold Coast and continued as the game began, creating large pools of water that made conventional rugby league near-impossible. But Taylor rose above it, grubbering with composure for Konrad Hurrell to score in the ninth minute.
A great day for the Crows who cement their place at the top of the ladder with a win that was never really in doubt from the end of the first quarter. They took their foot off the gas towards the end of the 3rd quarter but, frankly, they could afford to.
And as a bonus for fans, Taylor Walker gave away free tickets to the gun show…
AFL: Full-time Giants (83) Swans (96)
That’s it, the Swans have done it. A big, big win that shakes up the ladder yet again. How long can they keep up this run, and how high can they rise? They were the better side tonight against one of the best in the competition.
AFL: Q4 Giants (83) Swans (96) – 0:30 remaining
This is a huge result for the Swans and sends a message to the rest of the competition. They’re back. Smith pulls one back for the Giants but it’s too little too late. They’ve lacked a little composure if not class.
AFL: Q4 Giants (77) Swans (96) – 1:40 remaining
That’s it surely! Papley with a simple kick after being put clean through by Franklin. The Giants are up against it now.
AFL: Q4 Giants (77) Swans (90) – 4:20 remaining
The Swans chewing up time, hoping to frustrate the Giants who are close but not close enough. It’s turning into a melee around the ball, desperate players diving everywhere.
AFL: Q4 Giants (77) Swans (90) – 5:40 remaining
Big call as the Giants get a kick in front of goal, possibly for a block. The Swans are seething. The kick is good and the Giants cling on. Is there enough time for them to turn this around?
And there we go, a convincing win for Arsenal and an entertaining night for the Wanderers at a packed out ANZ Stadium. Mission accomplished for all concerned.
Football: Arsenal 3-1 Wanderers – 90+1mins
Arsenal put on a late flurry of attacks, Walcott having a shot tipped around the post, another shot cracking the upright. The Wanderers just starting to tire.
Football: Arsenal 3-1 Wanderers – 88 mins
There’s a slight feeling of going through the motions now… although you could possibly argue that Arsenal have been doing that since kick-off, such is their languid style. The fans at ANZ can’t say they haven’t been entertained though.
AFL: Q4 Giants (64) Swans (82) – 13:30 remaining
The Swans are starting to turn the screw, another goal just edging them further ahead and demoralising the Giants – who seem to be losing their cool a little. That’s been the difference between the sides tonight – experience. The Swans have used every bit they have to get into this position. There’s still just enough time, and the Giants have the talent to turn things around. The clock’s ticking though.
Football: Arsenal 3-1 Wanderers – 80 mins
Cornthwaite seems to have hurt his head while challenging for a corner – and it looks like Janjetovic was the guilty party, flying out to claim a corner and clocking his teammate on the bonce. He’s up and running after a few moments though. Arsenal just getting on top again, a few more openings being created.
Football: Arsenal 3-1 Wanderers – 77 mins
The game has turned a little scrappy, which in a backhanded way is praise for the Wanderers who have managed to upset Arsenal’s rhythm. There have been far fewer flowing passing moves around the Wanderers’ box and far more direct runs towards goal by the Wanderers attack.
Football: Arsenal 3-1 Wanderers – 74 mins
Hats off to the Wanderers, they’ve made a real fist of it in this half. The gulf in class is obvious but they’ve worked harder than the Gunners to stay in touch. Walcott shows a couple of brilliant little touches to get away from three markers – but his final ball lets him down.
AFL: Q3T Giants (55) Swans (69)
That’s it for the quarter and the Swans still have their noses in front, pulling out every bit of experience and skill they have to keep the talented Giants at arm’s length. Can they do it for one last quarter though? No idea – but it’ll be fun finding out.
AFL: Q3 Giants (55) Swans (69) – 1:55 remaining
What a kick from Johnson; the tightest of angles with the Giants under pressure and he conjures a goal from nowhere. They’re still in with a shout but the Swans are in the driving seat as we head towards the final break.
Football: Arsenal 3-1 Wanderers – 61 mins
Arsenal guilty of switching off a little, clearly getting too comfortable as the Wanderers try and hit on the break after a soft pass from Arsenal in midfield is pounced on. Fair play to the Wanderers, they haven’t let their heads drop and are determined to make a game of it – and in the last few minutes, Arsenal have allowed them to.
Football: Arsenal 3-1 Wanderers – 57 mins
Lustica pulls one back for the Wanderers, firing a free-kick from six yards out (it was for a pass-back) into the wall, then driving the rebound into the roof of the net. A little glimmer for the hosts.
Football: Arsenal 3-0 Wanderers – 54 mins
Unless Arsene Wenger makes some major changes and substitutions in the next few minutes, it’s only a matter of time before Arsenal grab another goal. That said, the Wanderers have had their first real chance – Clisby striking the crossbar from close-range.
Football: Arsenal 3-0 Wanderers – 50 mins
The Gunners pick up where they left off, Elneny clearly buoyed by his “goal” cracks one off the crossbar that somehow stays out. Giroud puts the rebound wide.
AFL: Q3 Giants (43) Swans (62) – 11:45 remaining
Hanneberry puts it through the posts to boost the Swans’ buffer again. It must be frustrating for the Giants, every time they get within touching distance the Swans eek out another goal. Great to watch though, two different styles clashing head to head.
AFL: Q3 Giants (43) Swans (56) – 13:01 remaining
I was about to say it’s been intense without being dirty so far – although a little kick by Newman on Patton looked, for a moment, like a line had been crossed. Replays suggest it was accidental though. Either way, it seems to distract the Giants player enough to skew his kick wide. He gets another shot moments later though and nails it.
AFL: Q3 Giants (36) Swans (56) – 16:00 remaining
It’s a real scrap out there, neither side giving an inch. How different is this Swans side from the team that lost to the Giants earlier in the season? It’s all about confidence. The Swans kick another one to extend the lead – they’ve come out fired up.
AFL: Halftime – Melbourne (33) Crows (72)
The Crows continue to march on at the top of the ladder. It’ll take something remarkable for this one to turn around.
Time for a quick catch-up on the rest of the games in progress at the minute.
NRL: Titans 26-0 Sharks – 60 mins
The Sharks’ flawless away record is in serious danger at Cbus Super Stadium – Roberts the latest to go over the try line for the hosts.
Football: Half-time – Arsenal 3-0 Wanderers
And that’s it, Arsenal on cruise control as they walk off the pitch having barely broken a sweat.
Football: Arsenal 3-0 Wanderers – 44mins
A deflection off Hamill from an Elneny shot and Arsenal are three goals to the good. Unfortunate for the hosts – Janjetovic had no chance – but probably a fair reflection of just how dominant Arsenal have been.
Football: Arsenal 2-0 Wanderers – 43 mins
It’s pretty subdued around Spotless, if not exactly quiet – more like the fans are trying to entertain themselves. Giroud with a sharp turn and shot that’s turned away by the keeper.
Football: Arsenal 2-0 Wanderers – 39 mins
Ramsey doubles the Gunners’ lead with a lob and this has all the hallmarks of a cakewalk for Arsene Wenger’s men. The Wanderers are energetic enough but the difference in class is too much, even with Arsenal playing at 80 per cent.
AFL: Q2T Giants (36) Swans (47)
A damaging last few minutes for the Swans, and a couple of priceless goals for the Giants as we head into the main break.
Football: Arsenal 1-0 Wanderers – 36 mins
Clisby with a good cross into the box that’s defended well by Arsenal. It had to be though, it was a dangerous ball. Good response from the Wanderers although they’ve still barely had a sniff of goal.
Football: Arsenal 1-0 Wanderers – 31 mins
Giroud comes up with a fantastic finish to put Arsenal ahead. It was always coming, just not in any particular rush.
AFL: Q2 Giants (36) Swans (47) – 0:30 remaining
Shows what I know. The Swans throw themselves a little too far forward in the hunt for more goals and they get hit on the break, Scully with a confident kick to bring the Giants back into it. A couple of minutes later and Kelly kicks from the sideline to bring the difference back to 11.
AFL: Q2 Giants (24) Swans (47) – 2:30 remaining
Buddy with a kick to extend the Swans’ lead to 23. The visitors are asking all the questions at the minute. The first signs of nerves from the Giants and the Swans smell blood. They want to make the most of this, the Giants are too good to be on the backfoot for long.
Football: Arsenal 0-0 Wanderers – 26 mins
Giroud with a free header from a cross six yards out … but it goes straight to the keeper. The linesman had his flag up anyway.
Football: Arsenal 0-0 Wanderers – 23 mins
The Wanderers are sitting very far back, Arsenal content to play it around and wait for some space to appear. Baccus tries to spring a counter-attack but it comes to nothing. It’s Majok next with some possession around the Arsenal box, but the ball never gets past the first man. It’s the first suggestion of danger for Arsenal but the Gunners deal with it very comfortably.
Football: Arsenal 0-0 Wanderers – 19 mins
Still that patient passing play from Arsenal that can be as mesmerising as it is frustrating. They don’t seem in any rush to score. Fair play, it’s hardly a crucial tie. No need to strain something. Ramsay with a cross into the box but Janjetovic flings himself at it to cut out the danger.
AFL: Q2 – Giants (23) Swans (34) – 10:30 remaining
Egads it’s fierce out there – it’s energy-sapping just watching it. Despite some impressive stats for the Giants, the Swans are the side in front. They’ve been shrewd with their possession and tough in defence.
AFL: Q2 – Giants (23) Swans (28) 12:10 remaining
It’s taken a while but we have our first goal of the second quarter, the Giants kicking a long one to get within five points. The goals might not be there but the intensity is. There’s a crackle in the air at Spotless.
Football: Arsenal 0-0 Wanderers – 11mins
A scything tackle and Arsenal get a free-kick on the left of the box. It’s swung in and cleared easily enough, but the pressure continues until Giroud skews one wide under pressure and with the ball behind him. Not sure what he was trying to achieve with that. Neither does he by the sheepish look on his face.
Football: Arsenal 0-0 Wanderers – 8mins
There’s no real urgency from Arsenal, just patient build-up play – but you sense they’re just one cutting move away from opening the scoring. The Wanderers are much more direct with their few rare forays forward, nothing the Arsenal defence can’t handle.
Football: Arsenal 0-0 Wanderers – 3mins
Early chance for Lacazette but Janjetovic is equal to it, diving low to keep the shot out. Some good forward play for Arsenal, creating space and passing well, although they’re still in second gear.
Football: Over to Sydney where Arsenal are preparing to take on the Wanderers. Lacazette makes his first start for the Gunners.
AFL: Q1T Giants (16) Swans (28)
The Giants get one last shot at goal – but Shiel takes it too far to the left. After withstanding that early assault, the Swans have bounced back to take a healthy lead into the break.
AFL: Q1 Giants (15) Swans (28) – 1:58 remaining
And the Swans are in front. Great kick by Kennedy as the Swans take the lead for the first time. The Giants are getting a bit of battering, physically speaking at least, with de Boer the latest player to take a bashing. He hobbles off just as the Swans boot another one to go further ahead.
AFL: Q1 Giants (15) Swans (15) – 3:10 remaining
Not only have the Swans soaked up that pressure, they’ve struck back to go level. Frustrating for the Giants but battling stuff from the Swans. Both sides playing well and we could be in for a cracker if this intensity continues.
AFL: Q1 Giants (14) Swans (8) – 6:50 remaining
Despite the Giants’ dominance so far there’s still only six points in it, earlier in the season they would have run over the Swans but the visitors biding their time and soaking up the pressure, waiting for a chance to hit back. You’d still prefer to be in the Giants’ shoes though, they’re looking strong.
I suddenly have a hankering for a chocolate orange.
AFL: Q1 Giants (8) Swans (0) 15:20 remaining
Solid start from the Giants who are making all the early running. My dreams of early retirement are starting to fade already ($20 at 101-1 odds is $2million in winnings right?) Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. The Swans struggling to get out of their own end at the moment.
OK people, it’s almost time for the Sydney derby. It’s a game of huge significance – not just because it pits one of the competition favourites against a side in red-hot form in a fierce derby rivalry (although there is that), but because in a fit of madness earlier in the season I bet $20 on the Swans to make the top four after they lost their first six games. The odds? 101-1… and they’re so close now I can almost taste it. Alas, this clash marks the start of a very tough run-in – which is why I’m making this shameless plug about my predictive powers while I still can.
It’s all over in the Hunter too. That Broncos blitz at the start of the second half was decisive in the end, the Knights paying the price for a sloppy 10 minutes – but that’s all it takes at this level.
That’s all she wrote. A late flurry from the Pies has relieved some of the pressure on Nathan Buckley after four defeats. It was tight right up until the last 15 minutes. The weather didn’t help matters for either side. It looks atrocious out there.
NRL: 75 mins – Knights 22-30 Broncos
Time running out for the Knights. They need something fast but the Broncos are looking in stingy mood.
That reminds me. Can’t wait for the new season of Bojack Horseman.
AFL: Q4 Gold Coast (82) Collingwood (97) – 4:04 remaining
We may have a winner in sight. There’s finally some daylight (no pun intended) between the Suns and the Magpies, and with Gold Coast down a couple of players, it’s a big ask for them to come back again. Another goal from Collingwood seems more likely than a comeback by the Suns.
NRL: 66 mins – Knights 22-24 Broncos
We’ve got a game on our hands now. Hats off (again) to the Knights, they’re battling for everything out there – although they’re still two points behind purely because of that sluggish start to the half. The Broncos are up for the fight too, some big hits going in from both sides as we head towards end-game.
NRL: 60 mins – Knights 18-24 Broncos
Newcastle not out of this, a much-needed try stopping the rot and they’re battling for every inch out there. They may be eyeing up the wooden spoon but it’s not due to a lack of effort – just silly spells where they seem to switch off.
AFL: Q4 Gold Coast (76) Collingwood (83) – 12:20 remaining
Still tight at Metricon with both teams making mistakes as they look to build a decisive bit of momentum. Kicks being fluffed, catches being fumbled, although the weather is more to blame than the pressure.
NRL: 52 mins – Knights 12-24 Broncos
And the Broncos are in again. A terrible spell for the Knights, ruthless stuff from the Broncos. It’s Milford this time, and this is getting out of hand fast for the side from the Hunter. A blistering start to the second half from Brisbane.
NRL: 48 mins – Knights 12-18 Broncos
Moga in the corner and, just like that, the Broncos are back in front. They’ve caught the Knights cold at the start of this half – not the first time that’s happened to Newcastle. Someone needs to wake the Knights up.
NRL: 44 mins – Knights 12-12 Broncos
Different code, similar story at Newcastle – with things as tight as possible. As expected the Broncos have come out for the second half fired up and have already squared the scoreboard. I wonder what Wayne Bennett said to them at the break. Probably unprintable here.
AFL: 3QT – Gold Coast (68) Collingwood (69)
Players slipping and sliding all over the place, it’s really chucking it down out there. And that’s it for the quarter, with only one point in it. You’d have to be brave to call this one – braver than me anyway (insert joke here).
AFL: Q3 Gold Coast (61) Collingwood (62) – 6:30 remaining
Someone grab an oil can because the hinges on this see-saw match are getting a thorough workout. Collingwood in front now when just 10 minutes ago it was the Suns who had all the momentum.
NRL: Half-time – Knights 12-6 Broncos
Thar she blows. The Knights head into the sheds in the lead… although they’ve done that a few times this season only to blow it after the break. The Knights fans are lapping this up, quite rightly cheering off the players. Can they keep it up for another 40 minutes? I suspect the Broncos will get an earful off Wayne Bennett. Expect them to step it up a notch.
NRL: 37mins – Knights 12-6 Broncos
Fair play to the Knights. After the season they’ve had they could have crumbled mentally but they’ve hit back with aplomb – two tries shooting them into the lead in response to the Broncos’ opener.
AFL: Q3 Gold Coast (53) Collingwood (47) 16:30 remaining
We’re under way again at Metricon Stadium and the Suns have picked up where they left off, with a goal from their skipper to put them back in front. As we’ve already seen, though, the momentum in this game can swing in a moment. The hosts looking good though. For now.
NRL: 28 mins – Knights 0-6 Broncos
Jordan Kahu with a beauty of a catch from a kick into the corner to dive over the line. The conversion is good too. Terrific stuff to open the scoring. Hard on the Knights but something had to give.
NRL: 24 mins – Knights 0-0 Broncos
The Knights start to build a bit of pressure of their own, but the Broncos escape with a tight offside call – just when it looked like they’d knocked on from their own 10m line. The Knights fans are in fine voice, and well they might be. They’re frustrating the Broncos and just starting to show signs of attacking football themselves.
NRL: 20mins – Knights 0-0 Broncos
Still nothing on the scoreboard, although Brisbane have been pushing hard. The Knights have held up well – so far – but they won’t be able to hold them off forever. Credit where credit’s due though, they’ve defended bravely, holding them up on the line and scurrying back to collect kicks in danger areas. They just need a bit of a breather.
Cricket: From AAP. Australian cricket’s pay stoush will continue on Monday, with a marathon round of talks unable to break the revenue-sharing deadlock.
Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association are attempting to thrash out a new Memorandum of Understanding. The previous MoU expired at the end of the financial year on June 30, leaving 230 players unemployed and prompting the cancellation of this month’s Australia A tour to South Africa.
AFL: Q2 Gold Coast (47) Collingwood (47)
All level at half-time – although lord knows how. The Suns were very close to going into the main break in the lead after looking down the barrel about 15 minutes earlier. Still, it sets up an intriguing clash when they come back out. Pressure on both teams to get a result – who will crack first?
AFL: Q2 Gold Coast (47) Collingwood (46) – 2:40 remaining
My, my, my how the tables have turned. Well it’s been a hell of response from the Gold Coast. After looking shot about five minutes into this quarter, they’re now – remarkably – ahead. The Magpies are struggling for answers in the rain. Jekyll and Hyde doesn’t even begin to describe it. For both sides.
NRL: 4 mins – Knights 0-0 Broncos
And we’re under way in Newcastle. Man it must be tough to be a sports fan in Newcastle these days, whether it’s football or rugby league, it’s slim pickings. Can the Knights spring a surprise here? They’ve made a decent start to be fair, pinning Brisbane back in their own half. Early days yet though.
AFL: Q2 Gold Coast (34) Collingwood (46) – 8:06 remaining
You turn away for two seconds and this is what happens. Gold Coast have shot back into contention, blitzing the Pies to get back within six points after a flurry of goals. Collingwood stop the rot with a goal of their own but it’s game on again.
NRL: Some overdue housekeeping from last night’s games. This from AAP.
Compensating for the likely injury-enforced absence of Warriors star Shaun Johnson is a near-impossible task, his halves partner has admitted.
AFL: Q2 Gold Coast (13) Collingwood (40) – 16:05 remaining
Collingwood have picked up where they left off at the end of the first quarter. It’s been one-way traffic since after the first five minutes. The Suns just need a spark before this game runs away from them, they look pretty miserable in the rain.
And that’s all she wrote. The Brumbies showed plenty of grit but they were just outclassed by the better side, who could’ve won by more if they’d been a bit more clinical. No bonus point for you. Finals ahoy.
AFL: Q1 Gold Coast (13) Collingwood (34) – 2:49 remaining
Well it’s gone downhill fast for the Suns since we last checked in on them. Collingwood are, dare I cliche it, eclipsing the Suns on the Gold Coast, racing out to to a 20-point lead as we close in on the end of the first quarter. Lyons, who opened the scoring, has hobbled back onto the field after some time off with a knock. Maybe that will boost the hosts.
Super Rugby: 74 mins – Chiefs 28-10 Brumbies
Michael Leitch scores in the corner to bump the Chiefs further ahead, and McKenzie kicks the conversion. The Brumbies have never been in this but they’ve battled hard throughout. It’d be a shame if they went down to a big score. Just another six minutes to go.
Well the final whistle has blown but this game was over some time ago. Brutal stuff from Port Adelaide.
NRL: Before I go any further, time to tip the hat to a NSW Blues star who has called time on his representative career. This from AAP…
AFL: Gold Coast (6) Collingwood (0) – 17:46 remaining
The Suns have got things under way on the Gold Coast – with Jarryd Lyons kicking a corker for the game’s opening goal. Here come the Suns…
Super Rugby: 58mins – Chiefs 21-10 Brumbies
Well they were within touching distance for a long while but the Brumbies are just starting to slip further behind against the Chiefs. Hardly unexpected – and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the score blows out to a big one. Chins up Brumbies, chins up.
AFL: Q4 Port Adelaide (111) North Melbourne (55) – 13:08 remaining
Well that’s a hell of a way to start a shift. Well done to the Cats, commiserations to the Hawks. Can Port Adelaide and North Melbourne replicate that same amount of drama? The short answer is no. Port Adelaide are cruising to victory. As expected.
My word. Well the Cats made it in the end but it was so much tighter than they would have liked. After pulling it back to within four points with 20 seconds to go, the Hawks had a chance right at the death but just skewed the final kick wide. And that’s it. The Cats take home the chocolates.
AFL: Geelong (88) Hawthorn (78) 01:10 remaining
It’s straight to Geelong where time is running out for the Hawks who are giving the Cats a big scare. Things were neck and neck heading into the final quarter but it looks like Geelong are juuuust starting to pull away at the death… although they’ve just missed a sitter that would have killed the game.
Afternoon everyone, I hope you’ve powered up your devices with a Tesla battery because we’re in for a long, long night of sport. There’s more juicy stuff rammed in tonight than a Trump Jnr email, and with a Sydney derby thrown into the mix it could be just as explosive. Here’s a rundown of all the action.
AFL: With a quintet of clashes, it’s all about AFL today. The Geelong and Hawthorn match is already in the final quarter (and is proving tighter than expected). The Port v North Melbourne game isn’t far behind – but is going much more predictably. More on those two clashes in a couple of minutes. There are another 30 minutes or so before the Suns versus Collingwood clash kicks off, then it’s off to Sydney for the big derby – the Swans v Giants, which promises to be a belter. I’m already salivating, although apparently that’s a glandular issue. I’ll be blogging throughout that match. Riding on its coattails is the intriguing clash between Melbourne and the all-conquering Crows.
Richard will be here shortly. In the meantime, what to do about the sorry state of Australian Super Rugby? Here’s an idea:
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/15/gold-coast-v-collingwood-knights-v-broncos-and-more-australia-sportwatch-live