In the NRL it was a banner night for Melbourne Storm who all but sealed the minor premiership with a last gasp victory over the nearest rivals. It was a thrilling game and would be a worthy grand final match-up later in the year. The Panthers enhanced their finals chances at the expense of the Cowboys while the Dragons heaped more misery on the Titans.
Thanks for your company, let’s do this all again tomorrow.
So there we have it, crucial hard fought wins in the AFL for Geelong and West Coast alongside some hidings dished out by Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. The Eagles are the big movers of the day, Climbing to seventh on the ladder in that logjam for the remaining couple of finals spots. The Cats’ win means the top four now looks reasonably set but Sydney are flying home with a wet sail.
FULL TIME: EAGLES WIN!
100 83 #AFLEaglesBlues pic.twitter.com/7TtRewWNi8
Now it IS all over. Redden with the sealer.
AFL: Q4 – 00:30 remaining – Eagles 15.10 (100) v Blues 12.11 (83)
Ok, maybe I spoke too soon (again!). Casboult curls a belter from the boundary 50m out to keep the Blues alive.
AFL: Q4 – 03:30 remaining – Eagles 14.8 (92) v Blues 12.11 (83)
Josh Kennedy’s sixth of the night extinguishes whatever Blues hopes remained and makes his move into the lead for the Coleman Medal in the process. A Potential banana skin has been avoided – but only just.
AFL: Q4 – 04:00 remaining – Eagles 14.8 (92) v Blues 11.11 (77)
Charlie Curnow is already some player and he’s going to be something special. He kicks Carlton back into contention but there’s not long left at Domain Stadium.
AFL: Q4 – 05:00 remaining – Eagles 13.8 (86) v Blues 11.11 (77)
Seven goals in the first Premier League match of the season, three already before half-time in the second!
Related: Watford v Liverpool: Premier League – live
West Coast have stretched the margin out to 16 with a couple of quick goals. Do the Blues have anything left?
AFL: Q4 – 08:00 remaining – Eagles 13.8 (86) v Blues 10.10 (70)
Levi Casboult has kicked a beauty to keep Carlton within three points of West Coast midway through the final quarter.
AFL: Q4 – 10:00 remaining – Eagles 11.7 (73) v Blues 10.10 (70)
Another big win for the Crows as they continue their march towards top spot on the ladder at the end of the home and away season.
FT: @Adelaide_FC 18.15 (123) defeated @EssendonFC 12.8 (80).
One step closer to the minor premiership for the Crows.#AFLDonsCrows pic.twitter.com/IaKPJ5IzaF
Last couple of AFL matches of the night in progress. Adelaide are coasting to victory over Essendon with not long to go at Etihad Stadium, while over in Perth West Coast are a couple of points up on Carlton early in the final quarter.
Watford have nabbed an early goal against Liverpool. More on that here:
Related: Watford v Liverpool: Premier League – live
This has become very very uncomfortable indeed for Adam Simpson. After leading Carlton by 31 at half-time West Coast are now level with the Blues at three-quarter time.
AFL: 3QT – Eagles 10.4 (64) v Blues 9.10 (64)
Carlton are piecing together a third-quarter comeback against West Coast. After failing to kick a goal in the second quarter they’ve landed four in the third to narrow the margin to seven points.
AFL: Q3 – 09:00 remaining – Eagles 9.4 (58) v Blues 7.9 (51)
All over at Pepper Stadium where the Panthers have secured a stunning topsy-turvy win over the Cowboys to reignite their season and leave North Queensland’s in the balance.
NRL: Panthers 24-16 Cowboys
Hear from Nathan Cleary after #NRLPanthersCowboys.#NRL pic.twitter.com/ldg5hujWKP
Essendon are not conceding defeat but whenever they land a punch Adelaide finds a counter or two. It’s been a tougher night than the scoreboard might suggest for the Crows though and they won’t be happy that Rory Sloane is currently off the ground nursing what looks like a calf injury.
AFL: 3QT – Bombers 9.7 (61) v Crows 14.9 (93)
Brilliant from Nathan Cleary and the Panthers who have dominated the second half against the Cowboys. The halfback crosses for a deserved try that surely seals things for Penrith and put their finals campaign back on track.
If things stay as they are, the Panthers climb to sixth, the Cowboys plummet to eighth.
Cleary grabs a double!
Sharp work from May.#NRLPanthersCowboys#NRL pic.twitter.com/xVnw9hNLYz
Adelaide are maintaining a comfortable cushion over Essendon despite the efforts of Joe Daniher whose three goals have him back in front in the Coleman Medal race.
AFL: Q3 – Bombers 8.5 (53) v Crows 12.7 (79)
The Panthers are back in front!
NRL: 64 mins – Panthers 18-16 Cowboys
Big James Tamou!#NRLPanthersCowboys #NRL pic.twitter.com/98AQG1ggrS
Vision of the @nthqldcowboys No Try decision in the 54th minute of #NRLPanthersCowboys.#NRL pic.twitter.com/pV197XzFf5
AFL: HT – Eagles 9.2 (56) v Blues 3.7 (25)
HALF TIME: Eagles get to work, to lead Carlton at the main break.
56 25 #AFLEaglesBlues pic.twitter.com/PsNwEtvxU2
But the Panthers are not giving up without a fight.
NRL: 52 mins – Panthers 12-16 Cowboys
Nathan Cleary just stays alive and gets rewarded!#NRLPanthersCowboys#NRL pic.twitter.com/ZdNGHXCCVU
The Cowboys are pulling away in the second half.
NRL: 50 mins – Panthers 6-16 Cowboys
Don’t even try and stop him! #NRLPanthersCowboys 6-16 after 47 minutes.#NRL pic.twitter.com/4zrT9pNOCu
After the Premier League returned in blistering fashion last night it falls to Watford and Liverpool to retain the momentum. Join the inimitable Rob Smyth for his liveblog and see if Philippe Coutinho’s contract stoush has impacted on Jurgen Klopp’s title challengers.
Related: Watford v Liverpool: Premier League – live
West Coast are gaining control of their clash with Carlton, upping the tempo in the second quarter.
AFL: Q2 – 6:00 remaining – Eagles 9.2 (56) v Blues 3.3 (21)
Sam Mitchell just broke an AFL record!!
Congrats, Mitch! #AFLEaglesBlues pic.twitter.com/PxtdPntWVi
Half-time at Etihad Stadium where Essendon sent a fright through Adelaide before the ladder leaders started hitting targets at will, kicking 33 unanswered points, despite one of the all-time great misses from Tom Lynch.
AFL: HT Bombers 5.4 (34) v Crows 10.6 (66)
Tom Lynch won’t want to watch this again! #AFLDonsCrows pic.twitter.com/kWuNM7gx7H
The World Athletics Championships are continuing in London and Usain Bolt has set up his farewell in the 4x100m relay.
Related: Usain Bolt steers Jamaica into 4x100m final as GB go close to record pace
Half-time between the Panthers and Cowboys and it’s looking good for North Queensland’s top-four push.
NRL: HT – Panthers 6-10 Cowboys
Quarter time at Domain Stadium and West Coast are not having things all their own way against Carlton.
AFL: QT – Eagles 4.0 (24) v Blues 3.3 (21)
But the Cowboys are back in front in no time.
NRL: 32 mins – Panthers 6-10 Cowboys
All class from the @nthqldcowboys!#NRLPanthersCowboys#NRL pic.twitter.com/vmwLI34cDi
Penrith have struck back against North Queensland as they battle to remain in the finals hunt.
NRL: 26 mins – Panthers 6-4 Cowboys
The @PenrithPanthers head left.
Then @Josh_Mansour turns inside and it opens up!#NRLPanthersCowboys#NRL pic.twitter.com/cTZEtUHVTE
QT: @Adelaide_FC 5.3 (33) leads @EssendonFC 2.2 (14).
A fast start to #AFLDonsCrows. pic.twitter.com/hoS59CDNcE
West Coast taking on Carlton is the final match of the night to concern us and it’s a must win for the Eagles in their bid to finish in the top-eight.
AFL: Q1 – 9.00 remaining Eagles 1.0 (6) v Blues 2.0 (12)
Back to the NRL and North Queensland have drawn first blood against Penrith.
NRL: 14 mins – Panthers 0-4 Cowboys
Pressure into points for the @nthqldcowboys!#NRLPanthersCowboys#NRL pic.twitter.com/8Hr2XMlrw3
Staying in the AFL, we’re underway at Etihad Stadium where Adelaide are looking to increase their lead at the top of the ladder against Essendon. Three early goals has them on their way but they won’t be pleased with the sight of captain Taylor Walker jogging into the rooms.
AFL: Q1 – 6.00 remaining Bombers 2.1 (13) v Crows 3.3 (21)
Time to go back around the grounds, and first to Brisbane, where the Lions have completed a resounding victory over neighbours the Suns. They remain at the foot of the ladder but now move level on points with Carlton and North Melbourne.
AFL: Lions 22.10 (142) v Suns 12.12 (84)
I’m exhausted. That was a belter, worthy of deciding the minor premiership. What a team Melbourne Storm are. Time after time they pull something out of the fire just when it’s needed.
Melbourne Storm 16-13 Sydney Roosters
Mitchell Pearce knocks on as the clock ticks towards full-time, ending any hopes of a last gasp comeback. Storm win an amazing game crammed full of incident, controversy and high quality rugby league.
NRL: H2 79:30 Melbourne Storm 16-13 Sydney Roosters
Ouch! A short kick-off sparks a contested marking contest that Addo-Carr claims spectacularly and while he’s in mid-air he’s clipped and lands awkwardly on his back. Thankfully he’s ok. Crucially for his side it earns a penalty that will go a long way to running out the clock. The set ends deep in Sydney territory. One last chance for the Roosters.
NRL: H2 77:30 Melbourne Storm 16-13 Sydney Roosters
Try! (Storm) Stimson
It’s not over until it’s over! The @storm go in and take the lead back.#NRLStormRoosters 16-13 with 2 minutes remaining.#NRL pic.twitter.com/ezGVpUN4sl
NRL: H2 75:00 Melbourne Storm 12-13 Sydney Roosters
Is that the game? Pearce shaped for the extra point on the third tackle but the lane was closed. He took the hit and allowed the ball to work to Keary who made no mistake. From the restart a short kick-off was claimed by the Roosters to deny Storm possession. Is there time for a comeback? Maybe! Ferguson kicks away possession in the corner to hand Storm seven tackles.
NRL: H2 74:00 Melbourne Storm 12-13 Sydney Roosters
Keary kicks the drop-goal!
Keary slots it perfectly and gets the @sydneyroosters in front!#NRLStormRoosters 12-13 with 6 minutes remaining.#NRL pic.twitter.com/qkUayc0UiN
NRL: H2 73:00 Melbourne Storm 12-12 Sydney Roosters
Huge moment! Melbourne brilliantly kept Sydney inside their own 30m for a set only for Slater to then grass a straightforward clearing punt from Pearce. What should have been Storm’s chance is suddenly Sydney’s! Can they convert it into a score – any score will do this late into the night.
NRL: H2 71:30 Melbourne Storm 12-12 Sydney Roosters
This is gripping. Both sides delivering precision rugby league under the most gruelling of circumstances. Set after completed set ending with flawless defensive work. It will take something special to break the deadlock.
NRL: H2 69:00 Melbourne Storm 12-12 Sydney Roosters
Superb collect from Slater, diving at speed in front of his posts, to repel another Keary kick. It sparks his side into finally dragging itself clear of its line after a long period under pressure.
NRL: H2 66:30 Melbourne Storm 12-12 Sydney Roosters
A rare mistake from the Storm with Asofa-Solomona fumbling a simple pass from Smith – just the third Melbourne handling error of a match played in pouring rain.
NRL: H2 63:00 Melbourne Storm 12-12 Sydney Roosters
What a finale we have in store. This has already been a high-quality football match full of controversy. Can either side find an edge?
NRL: H2 61:00 Melbourne Storm 12-12 Sydney Roosters
Try! (Roosters) Aubusson
Aubusson straight for the corner!#NRLStormRoosters #NRL pic.twitter.com/hn2dZ2ljHI
NRL: H2 58:30 Melbourne Storm 12-6 Sydney Roosters
The Roosters aren’t helping themselves at the moment. Jordan McLean concedes a poor turnover with a basic handling error. The error count is 9-2 against Sydney, but their defence has stood up superbly, offering little for the Storm to exploit.
NRL: H2 55:00 Melbourne Storm 12-6 Sydney Roosters
Storm turning the screw and it’s the kicking game from Smith again, weighting a grubber perfectly for Watson to have no option but accept a tackle in-goal.
NRL: H2 52:00 Melbourne Storm 12-6 Sydney Roosters
It’s an arm-wrestle between two efficient well-drilled sides in the wet at the moment. The Roosters running as much as they can, the Storm looking for the early boot of Smith and Cronk. From one thumping Smith boot and a powerful team chase they force the turnover. Can they make good field position count? Two points are on offer after Pearce hits Scott high. Smith accepts them to extend the lead to six points.
NRL: H2 47:00 Melbourne Storm 10-6 Sydney Roosters
Cordner almost breaks through on the 30m line but Cronk held on well in the tackle – held on too long in fact, conceding the first penalty of the half. The Roosters can’t capitalise though with the Storm regathering a loose ball in the left corner.
NRL: H2 45:00 Melbourne Storm 10-6 Sydney Roosters
Solid start to the half from both sides, exchanging completed sets. The highlight of some striahgt-line running the sight of Connor Watson almost going through Cooper Cronk in a bone-crunching charge.
NRL: H2 41:00 Melbourne Storm 10-6 Sydney Roosters
Second half underway at AAMI Park and it begins with a solid set from the Storm. Blake Ferguson fields a high ball at its conclusion, remarkable to see him out on the field after the sickening fall he endured in the first half.
Quickly over to the Q-Clash which has caught fire.
AFL: Q3 10:23 remaining Lions 14.6 (90) v Suns 9.9 (63)
It’s been all Brisbane since quarter time. They’ve kicked the last six goals of the game. #AFLLionsSuns pic.twitter.com/BqARIsvmGz
NRL – Melbourne Storm 10-6 Sydney Roosters
A long spell of Sydney pressure is finally relieved by an eighth penalty. Storm’s progression downfield is interrupted by a Mitchell shoulder charge on Chambers that sparks a melee on the right wing.
NRL H1 36:30 Melbourne Storm 10-6 Sydney Roosters
Melbourne think they’ve scored a 90m try but play was called back mid-break for a very debatable obstruction. From the resulting Roosters’ possession they almost go over in the left corner but some last-ditch defending denies a try. A very curious spell that seemed to go against the Storm.
NRL H1 34:00 Melbourne Storm 10-6 Sydney Roosters
A much more even contest again as half time approaches but it could have been much better for Melbourne. Chambers was quickly up into Watson following a long Cronk clearance and he strips the ball in the tackle, only to see it knock forward.
34′ Blake Ferguson down with a shoulder injury after trying to score in the corner – Roosters with a repeat set #purplepride
NRL H1 30:00 Melbourne Storm 10-6 Sydney Roosters
Try! (Roosters) Keary
Vision of the @sydneyroosters Try decision in the 29th minute of #NRLStormRoosters.#NRL pic.twitter.com/1FgqESOOEm
NRL H1 26:30 Melbourne Storm 10-0 Sydney Roosters
Try! – (Storm) Penalty Try
Vunivalu on the fly!#NRLStormRoosters 10-0 after 27 minutes.#NRL pic.twitter.com/ZjJYMJkns5
NRL H1 23:00 Melbourne Storm 4-0 Sydney Roosters
Yet another penalty – and another – the sixth and seventh of the half against the Roosters. The latest pair have brought about a warning from the officials to Boyd Cordner, delaying the inevitable two points to the boot of the prolific Cameron Smith.
NRL H1 22:45 Melbourne Storm 2-0 Sydney Roosters
Three sets of six in a row defended by the Roosters and they’re finally able to clear their lines, Aidan Guerra sending them downfield with a surging burst but he’s penalised at the play-the-ball for a non-existent infringement and Melbourne are back grinding through the middle of AAMI Park.
NRL H1 20:00 Melbourne Storm 2-0 Sydney Roosters
Melbourne camped in Sydney’s half now, working the ball through the forwards until there’s a possible overlap on the right wing that’s cut out by Mitchell’s fingertips.
NRL H1 16:45 Melbourne Storm 2-0 Sydney Roosters
Another penalty to Slater prolongs a good period for the Storm as the heavens open above AAMI Park. The rain helps a vicious grubber from Cronk skip off the turf towards an onrushing Slater but the Roosters claw it behind.
NRL H1 12:45 Melbourne Storm 2-0 Sydney Roosters
First blood to Melbourne. Storm use field position to their advantage, earning a penalty when Pearce bodychecks Slater as he chases a Cronk Garryowen. Smith makes no mistake from point blank range. The two points take Smith into equal third on the all-time point-scorer’s list.
NRL H1 11:00 Melbourne Storm 0-0 Sydney Roosters
Half-chances appearing for the Roosters but the Storm closing the door whenever a break seems on. Defensively they have been sound but going forward they remain sluggish. A better kick from Cronk sends them into Sydney’s half, but only just.
NRL H1 07:00 Melbourne Storm 0-0 Sydney Roosters
A poor pass from Slater coughs up possession early for the Storm who are yet to complete a set. The champion fullback redeems himself in defence but the Storm are pinned in their defensive territory. Another set is curtailed by an early kick and it’s a shocker from Cooper Cronk who fails to connect with a torpedo and the Roosters resume on halfway.
NRL H1 04:30 Melbourne Storm 0-0 Sydney Roosters
All Roosters still with Jake Friend sending through a probing grubber that Storm send behind for a drop out. After regaining possession another solid set ends with Pearce floating a kick towards the left corner that Vunivalu claims well in the air.
NRL H1 01:00 Melbourne Storm 0-0 Sydney Roosters
Solid opening set for the Roosters and they get a second set soon enough with Cameron Smith kicking on the third tackle. Connor Watson does superbly to run the ball from his own in-goal area to the 30m line. There’s a penalty at the breakdown and the Roosters are gifted territory.
NRL H1 00:00 Melbourne Storm 0-0 Sydney Roosters
Here we go!
Jahrome Hughes will start at five-eighth for the Storm. That is the only change to the side that defeated the Cowboys last week. Brodie Croft and Robbie Rochow drop out of the 19-man squad named on Friday evening.
Warm-up! Less than ten minutes until KICK OFF #IMAROOSTER #NRLStormRoosters pic.twitter.com/wjpFN8DLnU
Sharni Layton, the face of Australian netball, was forced to step aside from her commitments with the Diamonds after suffering from exhaustion. Erin Delahunty considers the weight of responsibility on the shoulders of the star goal keeper.
Related: Workload few could shoulder finally takes its toll on ‘exhausted’ Sharni Layton
It was a miserable week for FFA who failed to secure the required governance reform despite the presence of a Fifa delegation in Sydney. Here’s my attempt to explain a complex situation.
Related: Steven Lowy’s incendiary attack only serves to highlight FFA inactivity | Jonathan Howcroft
While we’re waiting for the Storm v Roosters clash, there’s time to check out some of the biggest features from this week.
An old face returned to The AFL Footy Show this week, but as Jonathan Horn writes, any attempt to revitalise the show is an exercise in futility.
Related: The Footy Show: rebooted but McGuire and Newman quickly revert to type | Jonathan Horn
Hear from @billyslater and Mitchell Pearce ahead of #NRLStormRoosters.#NRL pic.twitter.com/5N9yrx2kdf
There’s no let up in the AFL with the Q-Clash underway in Brisbane. And it’s the Suns that are on top early in interim coach Dean Solomon’s first game in charge.
AFL: QT Lions 3.2 (20) v Suns 6.5 (41)
In the NRL The Dragons ran in seven tries as they scorched past the Titans. Mann, Nightingale and McInnes all grabbed braces as the Dragons secured eighth spot on the ladder.
NRL: Dragons 41-16 Titans
In case you were wondering, Sydney’s final margin over Fremantle was 104 points.
AFL: Swans 22.11 (143) v Dockers 5.9 (39)
Enormous win for Geelong. Undermanned and under the pump but they dug deep to earn the win that secures their status in the top four, giving them a six-point buffer to Sydney and potentially Port Adelaide with two rounds remaining.
Harry Taylor was the star up forward, providing the goal threat in the absence of Hawkins but it was a team effort, especially from a miserly defence that time after time snuffed out threat and set up attacking opportunities. A very satisfying day for Chris Scott.
AFL: Cats 11.14 (80) v Tigers 9.12 (66)
They’ve fought to the last Richmond, winning a desperate clearance but can’t find the goal to start squeaky bum time. Geelong hold firm, clear their lines and see out their 13th consecutive win over the Tigers.
AFL: Q4 01:30 remaining Cats 11.13 (80) v Tigers 9.11 (65)
There’s still time for a miraculous Richmond goal, finished off by Edwards.
AFL: Q4 02:45 remaining Cats 11.13 (80) v Tigers 8.10 (58)
That must be it, surely. A brilliant one-handed mark from Taylor 10m out and the crowd erupts as Taylor’s fourth goal goes through. The underdogs have done it.
AFL: Q4 03:45 remaining Cats 10.13 (74) v Tigers 8.10 (58)
Geelong starting to run down the clock now, passing it around their back line and hugging the boundary. When the ball is propelled forward it nears Scott Selwood who is being manhandled around 35m out but his set shot doesn’t make the journey.
AFL: Q4 06:21 remaining Cats 10.12 (73) v Tigers 8.10 (58)
Almost as if he was provoked by Martin’s brilliance, Dangerfield responds in kind but Thurlow cannot honour the lead up play. The Cats doing well to keep the ball at Richmond’s end of Simonds Stadium though.
AFL: Q4 07:11 remaining Cats 10.12 (72) v Tigers 8.10 (58)
Don’t write the Tigers off just yet, Dustin Martin does what he does, sharking off the back of a stoppage to snap a powerful left-footed finish from 30m.
AFL: Q4 09:32 remaining Cats 10.12 (72) v Tigers 7.10 (52)
That could be it. Two in a minute – Menzel with the second and the lead out to 20 points. Again it originates with a defensive interception setting up a fast counter, Bews this time earning the plaudits.
AFL: Q4 10:32 remaining Cats 9.12 (66) v Tigers 7.10 (52)
There’s the goal! Finally a long spell of Geelong pressure tells through a Motlop snap. The Cats refused to allow Richmond to clear their lines, clamping down on a propensity to over-handball in tight.
I’m so close to yelling “KICK THE DAMN THING” at the TV here. Richmond, what are you doing? #AFLCatsTigers
AFL: Q4 12:01 remaining Cats 8.12 (60) v Tigers 7.10 (52)
Almost the reverse just happens! Richmond apply the press, Geelong look vulnerable but Motlop breaks from nowhere, feeds Taylor with a low fizzer but the contest’s dominant key forward can only kick a point.
AFL: Q4 14:11 remaining Cats 8.10 (58) v Tigers 7.10 (52)
Geelong enjoying a rare spell of territorial dominance but unable to execute inside-50. Richmond finally break and spread and hit a target – Prestia – but his long bomb only earns one point.
AFL: Q4 16:01 remaining Cats 8.10 (58) v Tigers 7.9 (51)
Geelong’s defence has got its midfield out of jail on so many occasions today and Tom Stewart is the latest to snuff out danger and then rebound a pace, setting up Taylor. A decent chance for Richmond ends in a point for the Cats.
AFL: Q4 18:20 remaining Cats 8.9 (57) v Tigers 7.9 (51)
Frantic start to the final term – with rain on the way now it seems. Richmond have the first bite but can’t turn home a couple of half-chances. Menegola wins a huge contest to send Geelong up the other end but Motlop can’t finish from a tight angle. This is magnificently intense.
Huge final quarter about to get underway.
That free-kick count by the way is now 23-14.
#aflcatstigers @sports_hounds Jack Riewoldt flies 3rd term #Tigers are coming ✌️⭐️ pic.twitter.com/ku5tsgwkZs
NRL: 49 mins – Dragons 28-0 Titans
And the Dragons are destroying the Titans.
AFL: Q3 – 3.31 remaining – Swans 20.11 (131) v Dockers 5.8 (38)
Meanwhile, Sydney’s rout is almost complete.
AFL: Q3 Cats 8.9 (57) v Tigers 7.9 (51)
Courageous stuff from Stewart, spoiling after charging back with the flight knowing Martin was flying in his direction. The Tigers keep the ball inside their attacking territory for what seems like an age though, recycling phases of play from throw-in to ball-up. Somehow the Cats survive with just the concession of a point.
AFL: Q3 03:20 remaining Cats 8.9 (57) v Tigers 7.8 (50)
Cotchin snaps another! 21-points in a row for Richmond.
AFL: Q3 05:15 remaining Cats 8.9 (57) v Tigers 6.8 (44)
Yes they can – a skittish Houli makes immediate reparations with a shocking mongrel that did enough to squeeze through. Game on!
AFL: Q3 05:47 remaining Cats 8.9 (57) v Tigers 5.8 (38)
Oh dear! A huge turning point in the game is butchered by Houli. Richmond have asphyxiated Geelong in the past few minutes and earned a turnover just outside 50, followed by a 50m penalty but Houli somehow hit the post when a goal seemed inevitable. While that was happening Jade Kolodjashnij was jogging off in the hands of trainers.
AFL: Q3 08:18 remaining Cats 8.9 (57) v Tigers 5.7 (37)
Good spell from Richmond since that goal, competing again in clearances and exploiting Martin’s strength in the goalsquare alongside Riewoldt. The latter has a sight of goal but can only send his set shot away for a point. The momentum is shifting back towards the Tigers though.
Domsy’s on the bench getting a leg injury checked out.#AFLCatsTigers
AFL: Q3 10:23 remaining Cats 8.9 (57) v Tigers 5.6 (36)
Excellent pressure from the Cats, pinning the ball in Richmond territory courtesy of six clearance wins in a row. When the Tigers eventually clear they find an inspired Geelong defence, expertly organised and clinical in the one-on-ones.
If I hadn’t been assured by Richmond supporters that umpires don’t influence results…I’d say they are being crucified.#AflCatsTigers
23-9 in Geelong’s favour at present.
AFL: Q3 13:46 remaining Cats 8.8 (56) v Tigers 4.5 (29)
The pattern of the second quarter is repeating in the third – Richmond seeing plenty of the ball but doing little with it and Geelong bursting forward dangerously at pace. The home side’s ground skills have been notable, rescuing some awkward situations with neat hands and strong hips.
AFL: Q3 17:36 remaining Cats 8.7 (55) v Tigers 4.5 (29)
Back underway at Kardinia Park and for the first time today the Tigers don’t get an early jump at the start of a quarter. Rhys Stanley has the first shot for goal but he can only snag a behind, and a similar result meets Dangerfield’s ambitious effort but the Cats will be pleased to settle into the half on their terms.
Our first match in the NRL is underway and it’s going well for the Dragons.
NRL: 32 mins – Dragons 16-0 Titans
Let’s get around the grounds and see what scale the carnage at the SCG is…
AFL: Q3 – 9.11 remaining – Swans 17.6 (108) v Dockers 2.3 (15)
Most of the stats are pretty even between these sides at half-time. A couple that stand out are:
We didn’t lock down their transition well enough, and panicked a bit once they got control through the umps. Deadly combo. #aflcatstigers
AFL: HT – Cats 8.5 (53) v Tigers 4.5 (29)
If Richmond enjoyed the better of the opening quarter but failed to make it count on the scoreboard, Geelong made them pay in a thrilling attacking second quarter display. Harry Taylor is starring up forward with three goals but it’s the speed and bravery of ball movement from back to front that’s setting it up. The undermanned Cats have bared their teeth and it’s up to the Tigers to respond.
AFL: Q2 00:47 remaining Cats 8.5 (53) v Tigers 4.5 (29)
Andrew Mackie runs to 50 and kicks the 100th goal of his career!#AFLCatsTigers
AFL: Q2 01:17 remaining Cats 7.5 (47) v Tigers 4.5 (29)
Motlop quite magnificently butchers a golden opportunity 60m out with options all around him. Clearly knackered he fails to hit a target and the chance goes begging. Where is he in his career? A once game-changing forward is now staring at trade bait.
I hate complaining about the umpires but bloody hell…..this is repeatedly atrocious #AFLCatsTigers
AFL: Q2 04:03 remaining Cats 7.5 (47) v Tigers 4.5 (29)
The home side is winning the free-kick count 16-6 and it works in their favour again when Riewoldt looked certain to be awarded a free at the top of the goal square. True to form for this quarter the Cats belt down the other end in no time and win a free-kick of their own 15m out that Menzel sends through to increase their margin to 18 points.
AFL: Q2 07:14 remaining Cats 6.5 (41) v Tigers 4.5 (29)
Geelong have been brave in possession and that dare has been rewarded on the scoreboard. Richmond have been more methodical but they’ve been unable to unpick the home defence on an oval they marshal so superbly.
An awkward bounce was all Harry Taylor needed to kick his third goal. #AFLCatsTigers pic.twitter.com/buVeafRFl8
AFL: Q2 09:14 remaining Cats 6.5 (41) v Tigers 4.5 (29)
A horribly soft 50m from Parfitt for overstepping the mark allows Houli a makable set shot but he drags it badly wide. Geelong clear their lines superbly and Guthrie’s burst buys territory before that man Taylor is again on hand to mop up and dribble home him third.
AFL: Q2 11:52 remaining Cats 5.5 (35) v Tigers 4.4 (28)
Geelong with their first period of repeat entries this quarter and it pays dividends with Sam Simpson profiting from more dominant forward play by Taylor. This arm-wrestle has evened up with the Cats’ speed of ball movement providing them a more incisive attacking threat despite the Tigers outperforming them around the ground.
AFL: Q2 13:42 remaining Cats 4.3 (27) v Tigers 4.4 (28)
Make that two collector’s items – Taylor again dominating Rance overhead! He can’t finish the job this time though, Geelong settling for a point.
AFL: Q2 16:42 remaining Cats 4.2 (26) v Tigers 4.4 (28)
Geelong hit straight back with a collector’s item – Alex Rance beaten one-on-one in a straight marking contest, Harry Taylor the victor. The swingman makes no mistake from the set shot.
AFL: Q2 18:36 remaining Cats 3.2 (20) v Tigers 4.4 (28)
Back at Simonds Stadium Richmond make another fast start to a quarter with Dan Butler slotting an early goal.
AFL: Q2 – 3.00 remaining – Swans 12.6 (78) v Dockers 1.3 (9)
Over in Sydney the Swans are in record-breaking territory in a demolition over the Dockers.
Richmond enjoyed the better of the early exchanges but Geelong scrapped hard to remain in touch. The wind is making ball handling difficult, as is the intense pressure of both sides. This is bubbling along very nicely indeed.
AFL: QT – Cats 3.2 (20) v Tigers 3.4 (22)
Menegola smacks one of the big posts from 30m straight in front after Trent Cotchin had conceded a 50m penalty. Costly miss approaching quarter-time.
AFL: Q1 01:36 remaining Cats 3.1 (19) v Tigers 3.4 (22)
Richmond’s ability to reshape after conceding possession is stifling any Geelong run and carry. Aside from that three-goal burst the Cats have been second best. Richmond leading inside-50s 16-9.
AFL: Q1 04:16 remaining Cats 3.1 (19) v Tigers 3.4 (22)
Dustin Martin shows the value of a midfielder who can rest forward. Pushing out of the goal square the Brownlow Medal favourite outmarks Lonergan one-on-one and nails the set shot to return the Tigers to a deserved lead.
If you’re not going to pay a deliberate rushed behind against Mackie in that situation, you may as well not have the rule. #AFLCatsTigers
AFL: Q1 06:16 remaining Cats 3.1 (19) v Tigers 2.4 (16)
This match is now being played at fierce intensity, both sides careering into contests and fighting at ground level in the unpredictable conditions. Jordan Murdoch is a casualty of the action, struggling in the rooms with a corked thigh.
AFL: Q1 09:31 remaining Cats 3.1 (19) v Tigers 2.0 (12)
Out of the blue the Cats are flying and they have three in a row. Cam Guthrie this time finishing off a flowing move that began with Motlop conceding territory but retaining possession before they worked their way back along the right boundary-line.
AFL: Q1 10:11 remaining Cats 2.1 (13) v Tigers 2.0 (12)
The Jekyll and Hyde of Patrick Dangerfield in the blink of an eye. First the strength and speed to break into space but streaking inside-50 he fails to either hit a target or find the big sticks conceding a cheap turnover.
AFL: Q1 12:38 remaining Cats 0.1 (1) v Tigers 2.0 (12)
Richmond’s pressure is denying Geelong any meaningful possession but the Cats finally string some passes down the corridor. Stanley should be awarded a gimme free-kick but it’s denied and from the crumbs Menzel kicks Geelong’s first point.
AFL: Q1 16:38 remaining Cats 0.0 (0) v Tigers 2.0 (12)
Two in no-time at all for Richmond who have sprinted out of the blocks. Fierce without the ball, precise with it, and Jack Riewoldt makes no mistake with the difficult set shot. Geelong have yet to turn up.
AFL: Q1 18:08 remaining Cats 0.0 (0) v Tigers 1.0 (6)
Richmond have enjoyed the better of some scrappy opening exchanges and it leads to the first goal of the day to Josh Caddy – the only Tiger who has tasted victory on this ground – albeit in Geelong hoops.
A capacity crowd of 34,000 in full voice at a blustery but dry Simonds Stadium for the big game of the round.
Q1 – Sydney 7.2 (44) v Fremantle 0.1 (1)
Before play gets underway in our feature match, a quick chance to update from the SCG where the Swans have made a blistering start at home to the Dockers. Towards the end of the opening quarter Luke Parker and Gary Rohan both have two goals apiece.
Plenty of sub-plots out there today.
Both teams go in as listed on Thursday.
For the Cats that means Patrick Dangerfield returns following his controversial suspension and he will need to be at his brilliant best in the absence of the injured Joel Selwood and the suspended pair of Tom Hawkins and Mitch Duncan. There are also recalls for a tri of players with points to prove in Steven Motlop, Rhys Stanley and Daniel Menzel.
No late changes to either side for today’s #AFLCatsTigers clash #gotiges pic.twitter.com/Ae5NKUOxrR
Down at Kardinia Park there was a good old fashioned curtain-raiser between Geelong and Richmond’s VFL sides. In what the Cats would hope is an omen, the home side prevailed in a nail-biter.
Our @GeelongVFL side is cheered from Simonds Stadium victorious in a one-point thriller! #WeAreGeelong pic.twitter.com/vRzbtiDug1
What happened overnight?
Arsenal began the Premier League season in style, snatching a last gasp 4-3 victory at home to Leicester City.
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Good afternoon everybody and welcome to the latest instalment of Sportwatch.
As you’d expect from an August Saturday there’s plenty going on, with each major footy code offering its own back page lead.
Jonathan will be here shortly. In the meantime, it’s been a torrid, “embarrassing” even, week in the world of football in Australia. Catch up on what’s happening here:
Related: Australian football’s future put into Fifa’s hands after talks derailed