Category Archive: Rugby

Rugby News

Aug 20

REPORT: Scarlets bring on big guns to shoot down Bristol

The Scarlets’ used their second half reinforcements to notch a 33-26 win at the death over Bristol at Clifton RFC as they continued the build-up to the opening of their defence of the Guinness PRO14 title on 2 September.

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Aug 20

Australian rugby looks dysfunctional and delusional – is there any hope left? | Bret Harris

The Wallabies plumbed new depths in their record defeat to the All Blacks on Saturday night , but a new high performance model may offer a glimmer of hope

Quo vadis rugby union? Where on earth is the game going in this country? Just when you thought things could not get any worse, they did on Saturday night and the Wallabies’ record 54-34 loss to the All Blacks in Sydney may have been the last nail in the coffin of Australian rugby, which has been on life-support for at least two years.

Related: Ruthless All Blacks teach Wallabies lesson in Bledisloe Cup opener

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Aug 20

Canterbury Bulldogs’ upset of Manly fails to mask club’s listless NRL season | Matt Cleary

Des Hasler’s charges finally played like their roster suggests they should at the weekend but the club’s malaise this season has shortchanged their diehard fans

Josh Morris leapt in the air and punched an imaginary giant in the face. He’d just scored a try under the posts that would take his team to a 14-point lead, and when he landed back on earth he was mobbed by happy team-mates who knew: we are going to win. And in Dog Land in 2017, such things are celebrated like Monopoly bank errors in your favour: as surprising as they are enjoyable.

Earlier winger Marcelo Montoya had twice profited from fine cut-out passes by Will Hopoate, who won the plaudits of the pundits. Yet it was Josh Jackson’s hard, incisive, and most importantly convincing decoy runs that twice sucked Manly in and exposed their flank. Jackson ran like he meant it.

Related: Melbourne Storm secure NRL minor premiership with hammering of Knights

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Aug 20

REPORT: Summerhill hat-trick steers Blues home

Cardiff Blues warmed-up for their tilt at the English Champions Exeter Chiefs at the Arms Park this week with a 34-23 win over London Scottish.

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Aug 20

Townsend wants fringe players to challenge Scottish stars

Gregor Townsend is confident he can create depth in his Scotland squad as he looks to build on a promising start in charge of the national side.

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Aug 20

REPORT: Bath too hot for Ospreys

Ospreys got more valuable minutes under their belts but could not stop Bath Rugby from claiming a 28-14 pre-season triumph at the Liberty Stadium.

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Aug 20

Murray McCallum and Matt Scott join Scotland training camp

Injuries to Gordon Reid and Phil Burleigh lead to call-ups for Murray McCallum and Matt Scott to Scotland’s training camp in St Andrews.

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Aug 20

Wallabies wing Ioane re-signs with Crusaders

Former Wallabies and Reds winger Digby Ioane will play Super Rugby for current champions the Crusaders again in 2018. Ioane made just three appearances for the Crusaders in 2017 due to a hand injury but is hoping to get more game time in 2018. Thirty-two-year-old Ioane says that while he has no desire of playing […]

The post Wallabies wing Ioane re-signs with Crusaders appeared first on Super Rugby | Super 18 Rugby and Rugby Championship News,Results and Fixtures from Super XV Rugby.

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Aug 20

South Africa v Argentina Rd.1 Rugby Championship Wrap

Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett reviews the South Africa’s victory over Argentina’s Pumas in the opening 2017 Rugby Championship round.

The post South Africa v Argentina Rd.1 Rugby Championship Wrap appeared first on Super Rugby | Super 18 Rugby and Rugby Championship News,Results and Fixtures from Super XV Rugby.

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Aug 20

South Africa v Argentina Rugby Championship Round 1 2017 Video Highlights

South Africa v Argentina Rugby Championship Round 1 2017 Video Highlights, South Africa ,Argentina ,Rugby Championship ,Video Highlights
The post South Africa v Argentina Rugby Championship Round 1 2017 Video Highlights appeared first on Super Rugby | …

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Aug 20

Panthers pip Raiders, Demons march on, Whincup wins, Fremantle v Richmond and more: sportwatch – live!

10.51am BST

Considering it’s been 36 years since Richmond won the flag it seems fair to start the day’s wrap with the news that Richmond are in the top 4 with one round to go. What’s more, they’re playing the kind of footy that sings and puts foolish dreams in a long suffering fan’s head. The unlikely star of their 104-demolition of Fremantle was Jacob Townsend who kicked six, but it’s the classy touches of Jack Reiwoldt and Dustin Martin that will have Tigers fans thinking big despite themselves.

In the NRL the Canberra Raiders’ season is over after they lost a thrilling match against the Panthers. Considering they were so close to winning a preliminary final last year today’s 22-26 loss underlines a season of disappointment for Ricky Stuart’s men. Penrith, meantime, are on a roll of form at just the right time. With two matches remaining in the regular season the top 4 is within reach.

10.35am BST

AFL: After today’s matches the AFL ladder looks like this with just one round of matches to play:

P W L D For Agst PC Pts
Adelaide 21 15 5 1 2344 1676 139.9 62
Greater Western Sydney 21 14 5 2 2022 1709 118.3 60
Geelong 21 14 6 1 2031 1759 115.5 58
Richmond 21 14 7 – 1870 1603 116.7 56
Port Adelaide 21 13 8 – 2033 1651 123.1 52
Sydney 21 13 8 – 1955 1594 122.6 52
Melbourne 21 12 9 – 1952 1835 106.4 48
Essendon 21 11 10 – 2028 1912 106.1 44

West Coast 21 11 10 – 1864 1787 104.3 44
St Kilda 21 11 10 – 1844 1864 98.9 44
Western Bulldogs 21 11 10 – 1767 1814 97.4 44
Hawthorn 21 9 11 1 1765 1965 89.8 38
Collingwood 21 8 12 1 1845 1880 98.1 34
Fremantle 21 8 13 – 1515 2053 73.8 32
Carlton 21 6 15 – 1537 1900 80.9 24
Gold Coast 21 6 15 – 1736 2176 79.8 24
North Melbourne 21 5 16 – 1853 2185 84.8 20
Brisbane Lions 21 5 16 – 1798 2396 75.0 20

10.32am BST

Darts: I won’t be around for the end of it but the semis of the Melbourne Darts Masters are underway. Scot Peter Wright (he of the coloured plumage) current leads Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney 5-2 in their best of 11 match-up.

THE LAST DAY! An exciting night of darts ahead as someone will be crowned the Melbourne Masters Champion! #darts # #MelbourneDartsMasters

10.24am BST

The Tigers are in the top 4 at least until next week when they play St Kilda in the final game of the home and away season.

10.23am BST

AFL Q4 0:00 remaining. Freo 7.9 (51) v Richmond 25.5 (155). A 50m free to Richmond gifts Butler a goal on the siren. And, wouldn’t you know it, that makes the margin 104.

10.19am BST

AFL Q4 0:58 remaining. Freo 7.9 (51) v Richmond 24.5 (149). Or will they? Townsend kicks his sixth goal, making this by some measure the best day of his footy career.

10.17am BST

AFL Q4 1:40 remaining. Freo 7.9 (51) v Richmond 23.5 (143). It looks like Freo might escape consecutive 100-point losses after all as Crozier marks and kicks his second. Fair play to the Dockers fans, they are now on their feet chanting ‘Freeeeeo’ and waving flags and scarves to mark this final game at the venue.

10.15am BST

AFL Q4 2:25 remaining. Freo 6.9 (45) v Richmond 23.5 (143). The commentators are suggesting a Freo win next week would give them some momentum going into next season. Yep, I’m sure that’s what they’d be thinking during the off-season.

10.13am BST

See you in September!
I just hope it lasts more than a week #AFLDockersTigers

10.07am BST

AFL Q4 8:25 remaining. Freo 6.8 (44) v Richmond 23.5 (143). After a 50m penalty Ballantyne reduces the margin to double figures. Which is something.

10.06am BST

AFL Q4 9:30 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 23.5 (143). What a day out for Townsend who now has five. Bear in mind, folks, that Freo lost by 100+ last week to Sydney. Another 100+ loss appears on the cards.

10.04am BST

AFL Q4 13:00 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 22.5 (137). A 60m bomb from Martin sets up Reiwoldt’s fourth second-half goal.

His cousin, meanwhile, had an emotional day during his final match at Etihad:

An emotional moment for Nick Riewoldt #AFLSaintsNorth

9.59am BST

AFL Q4 15:10 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 21.5 (131). Reiwoldt gets his third. It’s one goal after another after another. This is ridiculous. No sooner do I look up from my screen than I realise I’m behind the pace and have another goal to register.

9.57am BST

AFL Q4 16:40 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 20.5 (125). He’s leading the tackle count and now he has a goal on debut. Jack Graham slots one!

9.55am BST

AFL Q4 17:50 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 19.5 (119). Tough work by Reiwoldt in traffic and a timely run by Rioli sees the little bloke kick deep to Martin, unmarked in the goal square. Indeed there was no-one within 30m of him —apart from the fans on the fence. Martin ambles towards the goal and boots it to next Wednesday. That was like a double exclamation mark. AFTER A SENTENCE WRITTEN IN CAPS!!

9.52am BST

NRL: And the account of that NRL upset, Canterbury over Manly:

Bulldogs upset Manly NRL finals ambitions

SYDNEY, Aug 20 AAP – Manly are walking an NRL finals tightrope after they were beaten 30-16 by Canterbury on Sunday.
The Bulldogs put in their best attacking performance of the year to snap a four-game losing streak, effectively sending Manly’s finals ambitions into a tailspin.
The Sea Eagles, who were third a month ago, have now lost four of their past five games to fall to eighth on the ladder.
Their only saving grace could come from both the Dragons and 10th-placed Canberra who suffered defeats this weekend, meaning one more win could still be enough to make the playoffs.
Manly face the Warriors in Auckland next Sunday before playing Penrith at Lottoland in round 26.
But they would still need to improve if they are to have any impact come September, given they have now conceded 170 points in their past five games.
They were again caught lacking in defence on their own line, while their attack didn’t have the impetus it has had for most of the season.
Captain Daly Cherry-Evans battled a flu in the lead-up to the game.
It showed as the Sea Eagles’ second-half points came through Lewis Brown in the final minute, despite completing at 82 per cent for the match.
In comparison, the often-clunky Bulldogs scored 30 points for the first time this season.
Will Hopoate produced the last pass for three tries, as the Bulldogs worked the same play twice for Marcelo Montoya to score a first-half double.

Brett Morris also crossed closed to half-time to get Canterbury past 10 points in the opening half for the first time this season, before he and brother Josh both scored after the break.

9.48am BST

AFL. Here’s the AAP match report from St Kilda’s pulverising win over North, one that keeps them alive, if only just:

AFL:Riewoldt tribute inspires St Kilda AFL win MELBOURNE, Aug 20 AAP ­

St Kilda honoured retiring legend Nick Riewoldt and kept their slim AFL finals hopes alive with a thumping 49­-point win over North Melbourne.

9.46am BST

AFL Three-quarter time: Fremantle 5.8 (38) v Richmond 18.5 (113).

Cancel the demolition contract of domain stadium. Tigers destroying the joint. #gotigers #AFLDockersTigers

9.44am BST

AFL Q3 2:30 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 18.5 (113). Rance scores his first goal since round 21, 2013. It’s THAT kind of day for Richmond.

9.42am BST

AFL Q3 4:50 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 17.5 (107). Reiwoldt gets his second with some sweet skill.

How about the fancy foot skills from Jack Riewoldt? #AFLFreoTigers

9.38am BST

AFL Q3 4:50 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 16.5 (101). Shaun Grieg mucks up a set shot from right in front; a shame since there was some lovely lead-up work by Martin before it. Pinned against the boundary he dummied past Nyhuis with the AFL equivalent of a Cruyff turn.

Candy. #Dusty

9.33am BST

AFL Q3 8:10 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 16.4 (100). Martin breaks free inside 50m and such is Richmond’s momentum you don’t expect him to mess things up. He doesn’t, and the Tigers raise their bats; the ton’s up.

9.31am BST

AFL Q3 9:40 remaining. Freo 5.8 (38) v Richmond 15.3 (93). A Jsh Deluca snap reduces the deficit to a mere 55. You could hear a pin drop at Domain.

9.30am BST

AFL Q3 11:40 remaining. Freo 4.8 (32) v Richmond 15.3 (93). Great work from Butler with a chase-down tackle that wins the Tigers a free. He scores from the set shot, the Tigers’ third in succession.

9.28am BST

AFL Q3 12:20 remaining. Freo 4.8 (32) v Richmond 14.3 (87). A powerful grab from Nankervis who then converts to become the Tigers’ ninth different goal-scorer.

9.25am BST

AFL Q3 12:20 remaining. Freo 4.8 (32) v Richmond 13.2 (80). Richmond goal after a howling mongrel of a Martin punt floats and wobbles to the goal square where it goes through the hands of two Dockers and into the path of Reiwoldt. A few metres from goal he lifts his left boot to volleys home.

9.22am BST

AFL Q3 13:20 remaining. Freo 4.8 (32) v Richmond 12.2 (74). Richmond’s run of nine-straight goals is finally interrupted, Crozier with a goal for Freo after good lead-up work by Fyfe. Nothing we’ve seen so far this quarter suggests a miracle comeback is on the cards.

9.19am BST

I also love this new tactic from Richmond: kicking straight.

It’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off #AFLDockersTigers

9.17am BST

AFL Q3 17:00 remaining. Freo 3.7 (25) v Richmond 12.2 (74). Townsend won’t score an easier goal in his career. After a boundary throw Nankervis taps the ball forward to Townsend while the Dockers players freeze, waiting for a whistle that, like Godot, doesn’t come. From a few metres out Townsend kicks his fourth, doubling his career tally in one game that still has an age left in it.

9.09am BST

9.01am BST

Wow, what an upset and a massive blow to Manly’s top-four hopes. In fact, the loss puts in them in danger of missing the eight altogether.

A match report to come but, in the meantime, here’s the latest NRL ladder which shows how precarious things are now for Manly:





Here’s the #NRL Ladder

RT this, tag a mate

8.55am BST

Meanwhile, back at stately Wayne manor, St Kilda have pulled away from North like a V8 from a Massey Ferguson.

AFL Q4 17:00 gone. St Kilda 17.18 (120) v North Melbourne 10.6 (66)

8.52am BST

AFL Half-time: Freo 3.5 (23) v Richmond 11.2 (68). Did someone slip something into the Freo waterbottles at quarter-time? Were they blowing their noses on hankies soaked in chloroform? They’ve been utterly unable to halt a rampaging Richmond. Top four is looking good for the Tigers.

8.49am BST

AFL Q2 1:20 remaining. Freo 3.5 (23) v Richmond 11.2 (68). I can barely keep up with this. Another Richmond major. A lovely Rioli handball leads to a Butler conversion. That’s eight unanswered goals to Richmond to all but end this game.

8.47am BST

AFL Q2 2:50 remaining. Freo 3.5 (23) v Richmond 10.2 (62). Lambert has three for the quarter and Richmond supporters everywhere try but fail to smother visions of September glory. Reiwoldt was the architect of that goal, outleaping two Dockers to knock down to Lambert who snapped home.

8.43am BST

AFL Q2 4:10 remaining. Freo 3.5 (23) v Richmond 9.2 (56). Houli drives through the middle and sends a razor sharp kick over the head of a floundering McCarthy and into the path of Lambert who steadies and shoots from close in.

A perfect bump from Jack Riewoldt allowed Kane Lambert to kick his second goal. #AFLFreoTigers

8.41am BST

#AFLFreoTigers Nick sporting the Tormund look.

8.38am BST

AFL Q2 8:10 remaining. Freo 3.5 (23) v Richmond 7.0 (50). Oh well, it had to end sometime. The run of Tigers goals is over with two behinds from set shots. First Dan Butler, then Castagna.

8.35am BST

AFL Q2 12:10 remaining. Freo 3.5 (23) v Richmond 8.0 (48). And another! After Freo came out of the blocks with real intensity Richmond weathered the storm and, since the first break, have stepped on the gas. This time it was McIntosh with a long bomb. Eight straight goals!

8.33am BST

AFL Q2 13:00 remaining. Freo 3.5 (23) v Richmond 7.0 (42). Blimey, Richmond are on the tear! They win a free on the boundary line at the left foward pocket. Edwards, thinking of possibilities, has a peek at the goal then banana kicks the blighter right through the goal.

8.29am BST

AFL Q2 14:50 remaining. Freo 3.5 (23) v Richmond 6.0 (30). That’s three straight goals to the Tigers after Dustin Martin and Edwards set up Houli.

8.26am BST

AFL Q2 17:30 remaining. Freo 3.5 (23) v Richmond 5.0 (30). A cracking two-goal start to the second quarter by the Tigers who aren’t bothering with behinds today. The first was by Lambert benefitting from Prestia’s 5th handball of the match. Then Townsend kicked his 3rd of the match after sitting in behind Michael Johnson then slipping in front of him to take a mark.

8.21am BST

Back to Domain in a second, but just a heads up in case you missed a couple of excellent reads this week.

The first a thoughtful piece by Simon Orchard, former Australian hockey player, on the mental toll of retirement after an elite sporting career:

Related: Transitioning from elite sport to the ‘real world’ can take its toll on mental health | Simon Orchard

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

8.16am BST

It’s quarter-time at Domain, which is hosting its final game. So an opportune time to update some scores:

AFL Q3 16:32 gone. St Kilda 12.14 (86) v North Melbourne 8.5 (53)

8.10am BST

AFL Q1 00:30 remaining. Freo 3.4 (22) v Richmond 3.0 (18). Bennell again! From 45m out he fields the scraps, takes a few stutter steps then snaps truly with his right boot from just inside the arc.

8.06am BST

AFL Q1 03:32 remaining. Freo 2.3 (15) v Richmond 2.0 (18). Great work by Townsend to find a hand pass to Castagna who then smartly lofted a hand pass to Daniel Rioli. From close in he drills it and the Tigers are in front for the first time.

Moments earlier Taberner had a chance to make up for his early set-shot miss but he again sprayed a good goal chance.

8.00am BST

AFL Q1 07:23 remaining. Freo 2.2 (14) v Richmond 2.0 (12). A 50m penalty to Townsend sees him line one up. And he kicks straight to score his, and Richmond’s, second.

7.57am BST

AFL Q1 10:13 remaining. Freo 2.2 (14) v Richmond 1.0 (6). In his first game in two years Harley Bennell converts a set shot from 40m out, left of centre. Cool as you like.

The purple army get right around him! Harley Bennell slots a goal in his return game. #AFLFreoTigers

7.54am BST

AFL Q1 11:33 remaining. Freo 1.2 (8) v Richmond 1.0 (6). Richmond are finally on the board after a snapshot by Townsend that followed up good work by Reiwoldt in traffic. That was Richmond’s first inside 50, and Townsend’s first goal for the Tigers.

7.50am BST

AFL Q1 13:39 remaining. Freo 1.2 (8) v Richmond 0.0 (0). Fremantle are playing with real intensity at the moment; man-on-man muscling up. Richmond, in their alternate bee-yellow guernseys, are seemingly running up hill. Could it be that the knowledge that a win will cement them a top-four spot is weighing heavy?

7.46am BST

AFL Q1 17:10 remaining. Freo 1.2 (8) v Richmond 0.0 (0). An early goal to Fyfe has got the Dockers on their way. Taberner then had a set shot not far off centre but his kick finds the post.

7.43am BST

Before I focus on our second feature match of the afternoon, Freo v Richmond, a quick update on the AFL and NRL matches in progress:

AFL Half-time. St Kilda 8.14 (62) v North Melbourne 6.3 (39). Despite kicking more behinds than a professional bum kicker on the professional bum kicking circuit (it’s big in the US), St Kilda are pulling away from North who appear to have stalled.

7.37am BST

AFL: As it stands both Melbourne and the Tigers are in the eight. If it stays that way it will be the first time since 1941 that both teams have played in the same finals series. Makes you nostalgic, don’t it? Well, it would if you could remember 1941.

7.34am BST

Rugby: I haven’t had a chance to address the result of last night’s opening Bledisloe Cup encounter between the Wallabies and the All Blacks in Sydney. Suffice to say that were the game a movie it would be the kind sold in a brown paper bag. Or only available on the dark web. The Wallabies will take some solace in scoring the last four tries but prior to that the All Blacks took them apart so easily it was embarrassing. Former Wallaby great Michael Lynagh wasn’t impressed, as this AAP report makes clear:

Lynagh savages woeful Wallabies

Australian rugby legend Michael Lynagh has savaged the Wallabies’ “schoolboy” skills and revealed how his offers to help have fallen on deaf ears. Commentating on Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup opener for Sky Sports in Britain, Lynagh pulled no punches after the Wallabies slumped to a humiliating 54­-34 loss at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

7.30am BST

AFL Q2 20:30 gone. St Kilda 6.9 (45) v North Melbourne 6.3 (39). St Kilda are now leading at Etihad.

NRL 1st half 11:50 gone. Canterbury 4-6 Manly. In Sydney, meanwhile, Manly have hit back after an early try to the Bulldogs’ Montoya. A Jake Trbojevic try and Wright conversion have the Sea Eagles leading narrowly.

7.14am BST

In Sydney, meanwhile, Jamie Whincup has taken out race 18 of the Supercar series. Here’s the AAP report:

Supercars star Whincup surges in Sydney Jamie Whincup has claimed the record for all­time Supercars wins after running away with Sunday’s race at Sydney Motorsport Park.

His 106th victory, achieved in a largely strategic race, pushed the six­-time series winner ahead of long­term teammate and sparring partner Craig Lowndes.

7.10am BST

AFL Q2 04:30 gone. St Kilda 4.4 (23) v North Melbourne 5.3 (32). In the opening minute of the second quarter it’s North with a narrow lead over the Saints. Concerns for Dan Nielson after a head knock but he seems to be ok:

from Dan Nielson #aflsaintsnorth

7.04am BST

Six goals to Jesse Hogan have helped the Demons overcome a late rally by Brisbane. Here’s the rub from AAP:

AFL:Demons hold off Brisbane in AFL thriller
MELBOURNE, Aug 20 AAP – Melbourne are poised to play AFL finals for the first time since 2006 after a six-goal haul from Jesse Hogan propelled them to a 13-point win over Brisbane on Sunday.
The Lions trailed by just seven points with under two minutes remaining, but the Demons held their nerve to record a 16.8 (104) to 14.7 (91) win in front of 30,422 fans at the MCG.
The Demons led the hotly contested match by 15 points at three-quarter time and Simon Goodwin’s men looked home when they booted the first three goals of the final term to open up a 32-point lead.
But brave Brisbane hit back with four unanswered majors to set up a thrilling finale.
Josh Walker goaled to make it a seven-point game with just under two minutes left, but Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw converted a late set shot to secure a hard-fought win.
The victory was Melbourne’s 12th of the season and means it will take a huge loss to Collingwood next week and other results to go against them for them to miss out on a finals berth.
In his first game since breaking a collarbone in round 19, Hogan was the dominant forward on the ground in his 50th AFL match.
Demons skipper Nathan Jones (32 possessions) and Clayton Oliver (30) were also key factors in the win.
Dayne Beams led the Lions superbly with 33 touches and three goals, with Dayne Zorko (26 disposals and a goal) and Daniel Rich (25 disposals) also important.
On a sour note for the Demons, Bernie Vince will come under scrutiny for his high hit on Beams in the second quarter.

Vince floored the Brisbane skipper when his forearm made high contact in a desperate spoiling attempt.

6.55am BST

It’s all over in Canberra! Despite a valiant comeback the Raiders’ finals hopes are over. Penrith, meanwhile, push on in their quest for a top-four finish. That’s their seventh-straight win. They always looked the most likely winners this afternoon but Canberra clung on like barnacles and almost got there after going ahead in the 56th minute. But a late try to Tyrone May was enough to seal it for Penrith.

6.50am BST

NRL 79:50 gone. Raiders 22-26 Panthers. So close! On the last Austin bombs across field. Rapana climbs over Mansour to catch the ball above his head. As he falls to ground he attempts to dish to Dave Taylor but, with Mansour’s arms around him, he can’t get any height on his offload and Dave Taylor can only get a finger tip to the ball. Had he caught it he would have scored.

6.47am BST

NRL 77:05 gone. Raiders 22-26 Panthers. Cotric catches a bomb on his own 10m and chews up another 15m. But the Raiders are still 60m short of the Panthers’ line. A move to the left sees Crocker poke his head through the Panthers’ line but there is no-one backing him up. It doesn’t matter. A late high shot by Fisher-Harris moments later gives the Raiders a fresh set of six 30m out.

6.44am BST

NRL 75:43 gone. Raiders 22-26 Panthers. So it comes to this for Canberra. Four minutes to overhaul this deficit otherwise they’ll be playing for pride only in the final two rounds.

6.43am BST

NRL Converted try! Raiders 22-26 Panthers (May 73min). No they can’t! The Panthers keep the ball alive with some ad-lib footy. Then, from a play-the-ball under the posts, Tyrone May picks up from dummy half and angles between two defenders while wearing a third like a cape. He then finds a way to snake out an arm and place the ball adjacent to the left upright! Pennies back in front!

6.39am BST

NRL 70:50 gone. Raiders 22-20 Panthers. The Raiders again hold out the Panthers despite some threatening runs by Cleary. On the last Peachey’s pass is knocked into touch by the Raiders so it will be six more tackles to Penrith. Can the Raiders hold on?

6.37am BST

NRL 68:40 gone. Raiders 22-20 Panthers. Tyrone Peachey is held up over the Raiders’ line on the 4th! Sezer then knocks down a Moylan pass as the Panthers lined up on the left with the tryline open.

6.35am BST

NRL 65:05 gone. Raiders 22-20 Panthers. A great defensive effort by the Panthers keeps the Raiders out. But the Raiders made a hash of the sixth tackle, prop Shannon Boyd finding himself with the ball on the last. To add insult to injury his shorts went south in the tackle and his mighty buttocks were exposed to the bright afternoon sun. Somewhere in space an astronaut was momentarily blinded by the sun reflecting off Boyd’s derriere.

6.31am BST

NRL 63:20 gone. Raiders 22-20 Panthers. On his own 20m line Tamou makes a hash of a play-the-ball, gifting the Raiders possession. What an error at this stage of the game.

6.29am BST

NRL 60:40 gone. Raiders 22-20 Panthers. A penalty to the Raiders beside the Panthers’ posts. Not much point going for the extra two so they play on and, after a few ordinary plays, they receive another penalty in front after Leilua comes up with a late tackle. Again the Raiders take the tap. Oh dear, Papalii spills the ball letting the Panthers off the hook.

6.27am BST

NRL 58:10 gone. Raiders 22-20 Panthers. What a game this has turned out to be. These two teams have a great recent history and we can now add this game to the list. Canberra lifting with everything on the line… and here’s Sezer kicking a 40/20 to send the crowd into raptures!

6.23am BST

NRL Converted try! Raiders 22-20 Panthers (Tapine 56min). But it doesn’t matter as Tapine makes up for error! Moments after he bombed a try Tapine is on the end of a smart pass by Sezer which puts him into a hole 10m out from the Raiders’ line. Tapine holds off the defence to crash over and level the scores. Crocker, 10m from the outside of the right upright, converts to put the Raiders ahead!

6.21am BST

NRL 53:00 gone. Raiders 16-20 Panthers. Cleary grubbers in behind the Raiders’ defensive line and Wighton cleans up on his own line. He then sees the seas open before him and he pins his ears back and races 60m down the left wing — until Tamou comes across in cover! What an effort by the big lunk. The Raiders go right to take advantage of the skinny Panthers defence and it goes through the hands to Joseph Tapine who should pass to his winger but he comes inside instead. And is wrapped up! Tapine bombed that!

6.15am BST

NRL 47:26 gone. Raiders 16-20 Panthers. A repeat set of six to the Raiders who are on a roll — and on the Panthers’ 20m. And the Raiders come within inches when Taylor bulldozes his way towards the line — but then gets pinged for a double movement when he couldn’t resist reaching out for the line when tackled short.

Dragons fans will join Raiders fans in sweating on the result of this game. Should the Raiders win today the Dragons, on 26 points to the Panthers’ 28, will still consider themselves a chance of playing semi-final footy. It’ll be a real log-jam at the tail of the 8 with Manly and the Cowboys also on 28 points as it stands.

6.11am BST

NRL Converted try! Raiders 16-20 Panthers (Wighton 45min). The Raiders make a great start to the second-half scoring through Jack Wighton. From a play-the-ball in the shadows of the Panthers’ posts Hodgson passed right to Sezer who passed to Wighton who dummied to his right, stepped inside the defence, and made a powerful angled run to score just inside the right corner post. Crocker then converted from the right touchline. Game on!

6.07am BST

As the Raiders v Panthers game resumes a quick check of the Supercar race in Sydney today. Some 38 laps into the 52-lap race it’s currently one-two to Red Bull Racing teammates Gisbergen and Whincup.

6.01am BST

As Ricky Stuart takes this opportunity to burst a valve I’ll take the opportunity to update you on a couple of things.

AFL: We’re deep into the third-quarter at the MCG, and it’s the Melbourne Demons leading the Brisbane Lions 10.7 (67) to 7.4 (46). It’s Jesse Hogan leading the way for the Demons with four majors.

5.53am BST

NRL Half-time: Raiders 10-20 Panthers. That’s oranges. Ten points down, the Raiders’ season is on the line. The Panthers have looked very slick, but a 10-point lead is hardly enough. Much work to be done yet.

5.51am BST

NRL Converted try! Raiders 10-20 Panthers (Mansour 39min) Coach killer! On the stroke of half-time Mansour picks up the ball from dummy half, 10m out from the Raiders’ line. He crabs across field and the Raiders hold off awaiting the pass. But Mansour doesn’t pass. He suddenly veers towards the line and holds off Austin to crash over! That was a big few minutes from Mansour; his run after the Edwards bomb drop put the Panthers in position, and he then had the nous and strength to get the try.

5.47am BST

NRL 37:00 gone. Raiders 10-14 Panthers. Edwards spills a bomb with Raiders all over him like bush ticks. Though NRL refs are inclined to call a knock-on for any kind of drop it’s play on and Mansour picks up the loose ball and eats up 40m.

5.44am BST

NRL Converted try! Raiders 10-14 Panthers (Papalii 34 min) What a try to Papalii! From inside the Panthers’ 20m Hodgson found Austin on his left and he held up the ball before finding Taylor running a hole. Taylor sucked in defenders from all corners and was falling to ground but he somehow found a way to offload to the man backing up on his outside, Papalii. He didn’t catch it cleanly first time but Papalii snaffled the ball as he fell over the line and then slammed it down for the four-pointer.

5.39am BST

NRL 28:15 gone. Raiders 4-14 Panthers. Hodgson boots the ball down field and we’re looking at a 40/20 — until Dylan Edwards chases down the bobbling ball and, with a millimetre to spare, prevents the ball from rolling over the sideline. He’s then set upon by an eclipse by the name of Dave Taylor. Taylor proceeds to drag Edwards by the jersey in the manner of a mobster dragging a dead body towards the boot of his car. Taylor drags Edwards into the Panthers’ in-goal but he’s penalised, the ref saying the tackle had been completed in the field of play.

5.35am BST

NRL Converted try! Raiders 4-14 Panthers (Cleary 26min). On their own 30m line Hodgson passes right to Cleary who keeps the movement going by passing to Blake. The flyer seems well guarded by Crocker but he puts a move on and palms off Crocker and runs into space. Racing downfield Blake has teammates on both sides but he passes inside to Cleary who races 30m to score under the posts. He then converts his own try.

5.32am BST

NRL 23:07 gone. Raiders 4-8 Panthers. The Raiders come very close to a game-tying try. Leilua on the right slipped a ball as he fell to ground with Peachey on his back. But as the Raiders looked to score from the recycled ball the whistle blew, the ref claiming Leilua’s offload went forward.

5.27am BST

NRL 20:00 gone. Raiders 4-8 Panthers. If you need reminding Cotric is just 18. He’s had a brilliant season. So too has the Panthers’ Nathan Cleary, another youngster giving NSW hope that one day they will crawl out from under Queensland’s boot.

5.24am BST

NRL: TRY! Raiders 4-8 Panthers (Cotric 15min). After Boyd is tackled centre field a few metres out, Hodgson spins the ball left to Blake Austin. He holds the ball up for a moment and finds Wighton in the line. Though Wighton is corralled he manages to loft a ball out to Cotric on the wing. With no room to work in Cotric spins out of the cover tackle and dives over in the corner. That’s his 13th try to 13 games.

5.21am BST

NRL 13:30 gone. Raiders 0-8 Panthers. Penalty to the Raiders after Tamou flops on Papalii. It followed a bullish Papalii charge that left Cleary on the deck.

5.18am BST

NRL: PENALTY! Raiders 0-8 Panthers (Cleary 12min) On the Panthers’ last tackle the Raiders give Ricky Stuart angina by giving away a penalty. Cleary, who has an 89% success rate this year, guides it over. Good start, Penrith.

5.16am BST

NRL 7: 20 gone. Raiders 0-6 Panthers. The Raiders have a chance to strike straight back but the move breaks down on the left with a knock-on. The Panthers look to catch Canberra napping, Moylan sparking a downfield raid with a lovely around the back pass to Tamou. A few plays later Moylan gets it back and kicks… and it’s knocked-on on the Raiders’ 20m line giving the Pennies a fresh set of six.

5.12am BST

NRL: CONVERTED TRY! Raiders 0-6 Panthers (Blake 3min) On their first attacking raid the Panthers come up with the early score. From midfield, inside Canberra’s 20, Katoa passed out to Moylan who tapped on to Edwards who found Blake running an inside line. He still had some work to do but he bumped off three tacklers to crash over. Cleary converts.

5.07am BST

NRL: Peeeeeep! We’re off an running in Canberra, the Panthers running right to left on my screen. And they have an early attack on the Raiders’ line.

5.06am BST

NRL: In Canberra, after Glenn Lazarus blew an enormous horn erected on the hill (speaking of Rodney Rude), the locals are performing the ‘viking clap’ (not, note, suffering through the viking clap, which has no known cure as far as I know). It’s very Iceland Euro 2016 but so what? Sounds good.

5.04am BST

Afternoon folks, welcome to another bumper day of sport, one with the smell of finals about it. What do finals smell like? A blend of bbq sausages and cut grass. I should make a cologne out of that. Look out Lynx.

Anyway, we’ll be diving straight into the NRL match between the Raiders and Panthers in Canberra where the sky is as blue as a Rodney Rude stand-up set. A must-win game for the Raiders, and a must-win for the Panthers too if they want to avoid an anxious final two rounds.

1.57pm BST

A busy day of sport coming up today, starting with the Raiders and Panthers in our nation’s capital. It’s pretty simple: if Canberra lose they can kiss goodbye to their NRL finals hopes this year. Win, and they’re still in with a shot. For the Panthers, the top four is still tantalising attainable and victory over the Raiders would be a welcome boost to that end. Then the Bulldogs take on the Sea Eagles at ANZ, where it’s all about Manly, who will be looking for a victory that could add some weight to their own top four aspirations.

In the AFL, the Melbourne and Brisbane game is already underway – we’ll catch up on that shortly – while St Kilda take on North Melbourne with the Saints’ chances of extending their season already slim, but not slim enough to rule them out just yet. Then, we’ll focus on Fremantle v Richmond, the latter who will be desperate to end the weekend in the top four, having been bumped out by the Swans and Port Adelaide, who both secured wins previously this round, the former thrillingly so against the Crows on Friday night.

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

6.50am BST

Paul will be here shortly. In the meantime, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, your 2017 NRL minor premiers are…

Related: Melbourne Storm secure NRL minor premiership with hammering of Knights

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Aug 20

All Blacks rugby union legend Colin Meads dies aged 81

Meads, who has died of pancreatic cancer, played 133 games for the All Blacks, including 55 tests, from 1957 to 1971.

Colin Meads, the famously tough All Blacks captain hailed as New Zealand’s greatest rugby player of the 20th century, has died after suffering from cancer. He was 81.

Meads played 55 tests among 133 games for New Zealand between 1957 and 1971 – a prodigious number in an era in which the All Blacks seldom played more than four tests a year.

Related: Remembering the Lions tour of 1971: the great awakening of British rugby | Paul Rees

A sad day for NZ rugby and for NZ. Sir Colin was not only a great All Black but also a genuinely good Kiwi bloke. He will be missed.

RIP Sir Colin Meads. #legend

Related: Ruthless All Blacks teach Wallabies lesson in Bledisloe Cup opener

saddened to hear that one of the great men in rugby has passed away . rest well Colin Meads

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Aug 19

PREVIEW: Hook’s Ospreys hopes

James Hook is delighted to be back in Ospreylia and believes his home region can challenge on all fronts this season.

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Aug 19

REPORT: Dragons score four tries at home of English champions

The Dragons scored four tries at the home of the English champions, and cut the gap to a mere four points 10 minutes into the second half, before finally falling 50-24.

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Aug 19

Superb Springboks too strong for Argentina

South Africa overpowered Argentina 37-15 in Port Elizabeth at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and continue their unbeaten run this year as they get their Rugby Championship off to a winning start. The Springboks dominated from start to finish, scoring four tries to two, though Courtnall Skosan, Raymond Rhule, Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit. Elton Jantjies was flawless from […]

The post Superb Springboks too strong for Argentina appeared first on Super Rugby | Super 18 Rugby and Rugby Championship News,Results and Fixtures from Super XV Rugby.

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Aug 19

Australia v New Zealand Rugby Championship Round 1 2017 Video Highlights

Australia v New Zealand Rugby Championship Round 1 2017 Video Highlights , Australia ,New Zealand ,Rugby Championship ,Video Highlights
The post Australia v New Zealand Rugby Championship Round 1 2017 Video Highlights appeared first on Super Rugby | Su…

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