Category Archive: NRL Rugby

NRL Rugby News

Aug 10

Anger flares over Jack Bird to add spice to Sharks’ clash with Broncos

  • Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan bristles at Brisbane counterpart Wayne Bennett
  • ‘None of it’s true,’ says Flanagan of talk of backflip over move to Broncos

Furious Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has taken aim at Wayne Bennett and slammed suggestions the NRL premiers are trying to talk Jack Bird out of defecting to Brisbane.

In a spicy precursor to Friday night’s high-stakes top-four clash with the Broncos, Flanagan said the Sharks had no plans to stand in Bird’s way and rubbished reports the club had been bullying the NSW State of Origin star since his lucrative signing in May.

Related: Frank Winterstein leads charge but the jury is still out on Manly | Matt Cleary

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Aug 06

Crows hammer Power in Showdown, Manly get back on track: sportwatch – as it happened

10.27am BST

So, the Crows’ utter annihilation of the Power in the 43rd Showdown headlines the day’s AFL action, although Richmond’s 29-point win over in-form Hawthorn was equally impressive and keeps alive their top four hopes. Earlier, St Kilda roared back from 14 points down early in the final quarter to edge West Coast by eight at the final reckoning, keeping alive their finals hopes in the process.

In the NRL, Manly bounced back from two consecutive defeats with victory over the second-placed Roosters to give their season the shot in the arm it needed. For the Roosters, it’s now going to difficult to win the minor premiership; they meet ladder leaders Melbourne Storm next Saturday night in a must-win game. Tom Trbojevic was the standout performer for the Sea Eagles, with two tries, 171 running metres, four tackle breaks, a linebreak, a linebreak assist and a try assist to Brad Parker. In the day’s other NRL game, the Panthers moved into the eight with a nervy 28-14 win over Wests Tigers at Pepper Stadium.

10.22am BST

There goes the siren and it’s all over at Adelaide Oval! It’s a record winning margin for the Crows in a Showdown and that’s now five straight wins over the Power for the Crows – the first time they’ve managed to do that in this game’s history.

10.20am BST

AFL: Q4 2 mins remaning – Adelaide 18.22 (130) v Port Adelaide 6.4 (40)

Cameron finds Betts and Eddie will have a chance for a fourth. He nails it, to the delight of the crowd, and this is on course to be a record Showdown shellacking.

10.17am BST

AFL: Q4 4 mins remaning – Adelaide 17.22 (124) v Port Adelaide 6.4 (40)

They’re not letting up – there’s no mercy in local derbies. Walker rises to pluck the ball out of the night sky and he’ll have a chance to kick a third. He does so, apparently with utter ease.

10.13am BST

AFL: Q4 7 mins remaning – Adelaide 15.22 (112) v Port Adelaide 6.4 (40)

Sloane slots another goal for the Crows – his first of the night – and the camera pans over to a sign, held aloft in the stands of Adelaide Oval. “It’s a murder,” it reads. One wonders how confident Crows fans must have been before this match, to bring such a sign into the stadium? Anyway, it turns out that confidence was entirely justified.

10.06am BST

AFL: Q4 12 mins remaning – Adelaide 14.21 (105) v Port Adelaide 5.4 (34)

The Crows are playing with Port now, as Tex Walker pretends he’s not going to kick to Betts, despite the latter’s insistence he does so, but then he does find him in the end, only for Betts to disappoint pretty much everyone in the crowd with a poor kick. Despite his brilliance, he’s only booted three goals from nine shots at goal.

9.58am BST

AFL: Q4 15 mins remaning – Adelaide 14.18 (102) v Port Adelaide 4.4 (28)

How to stop this Crows side at the moment? Collingwood came might close last weekend, but this has been some way to come back from that draw. Indeed, it feels like the Crows have made a big statement against their local rivals tonight. Goals by Jenkins and Cameron extend their lead further as the clock ticks down.

9.52am BST

AFL: Q4 19 mins remaning – Adelaide 12.18 (90) v Port Adelaide 4.4 (28)

Here we go then, the final quarter is under way at the Adelaide Oval. How bad is this shellacking going to get for the Power? And just how good for the Crows? We’re about to find out.

9.45am BST

AFL: end of Q3 – Adelaide 12.18 (90) v Port Adelaide 4.4 (28)

Jenkins has time to kick another goal just before the siren sounds at the end of the third quarter and this is now getting ugly for the Power. The Crows lead by 62 (sixty-two) points and the margin is likely to only get even bigger in the final quarter. While we’re waiting for that to happen, please enjoy that Eddie Betts wonder goal from earlier:

Eddie Betts you are a genius!!! Simply miraculous! #AFLCrowsPower

9.40am BST

AFL: Q3 1 min remaining – Adelaide 11.18 (84) v Port Adelaide 4.4 (28)

Charlie Dixon grabs another for the Power before Betts links up well with Cameron before striking a post! The Crows do get another one soon after though when Betts finds Jenkins in acres of space and he slots home without fuss.

9.31am BST

AFL: Q3 8 mins remaining – Adelaide 10.17 (77) v Port Adelaide 3.3 (21)

Rory Laird and Jared Polec trade goals but the intensity of this game has disappeared since the Crows started to pull away. As a contest, there’s not much left in it.

9.27am BST

Super Rugby: Rebels deal put pressure on ARU

Here’s more on that big story in Australian rugby union:

Related: Rebels confirm transfer of Super Rugby licence to complicate ARU cull

9.22am BST

AFL: Q3 14 mins remaining – Adelaide 9.16 (70) v Port Adelaide 2.3 (15)

The Fox commentators are going nuts for Eddie Betts, with good reason here – he somehow manages to squirm a kick on goal through, from a seemingly impossible angle, to take his tally to three for the night. Soon after, there’s a “runner” on the field, and play is interrupted. No indication of the person’s state of dress, but heres a gratuitous piece on streaking anyway:

Related: A few laps and maybe a cartwheel: inside the mind of the serial streaker

9.18am BST

AFL: Q3 16 mins remaining – Adelaide 6.15 (51) v Port Adelaide 2.3 (15)

This is in real danger of turning into an absolute blood bath for the Power but, against the run of play, they end the Crows’ run of seven consecutive goals thanks to Robbie Gray. Charlie Cameron, meanwhile, is off the pitch with a serious-looking problem with his arm.

9.09am BST

AFL: Q3 19 mins remaining – Adelaide 6.15 (51) v Port Adelaide 1.3 (9)

Much less than the expected 50,000 at the Adelaide Oval today, by the way. The weather might have had something to do with that. Anyway, we’re back underway, and Betts is up and running straight away, kicking his second almost immediately after the restart.

9.02am BST

All over at Pepper Stadium, where the Panthers put the accelerator down after the half-time break to win by 14 points. There was another try for Watene Zelezniak in the second half, plus tries to Edwards and May, as the Panthers move into the top eight at the end of round 22.

8.55am BST

So, no worries for the Tigers at the MCG, who have despatched with the Hawks quite comfortably and will finish the round in third place on the ladder. Josh Caddy with four goals was impressive. He says: We got the win which at this stage of the year is important. I missed the hard ones, but I got on the end of some easy ones. Hopefully we can finish off the year strongly.”

8.49am BST

AFL: half-time – Adelaide 5.15 (45) v Port Adelaide 1.3 (9)

McGovern slices an easy kick on goal wide of the mark after the siren but the Crows still head into the sheds in complete control after a dominant midfield showing so far. The conditions are awful, and the scoreline has been affected by that, but equally, it’s making for plenty of unpredictability and that makes for entertainment.

8.45am BST

AFL: Q2 2 mins remaining – Adelaide 5.14 (44) v Port Adelaide 1.3 (9)

The Power finally manage to end their drought, with a behind from Amon, but the scoreline still makes for pretty sorry reading for Port fans as half-time approaches.

8.40am BST

AFL: Q2 6 mins remaining – Adelaide 5.13 (43) v Port Adelaide 1.2 (8)

Boos ring out among the crowd after Eddie Betts – with a real contender for goal of the season – is thwarted by the umpires, who saw a touch on its way through from an impossible angle.

8.37am BST

AFL: Q2 7 mins remaining – Adelaide 5.13 (43) v Port Adelaide 1.2 (8)

OK, back to Adelaide, and the Crows have kicked the last five goals in a row to extend their lead and finally begin to assert their dominance.

8.36am BST

Super Rugby: Rebels secure future in competition

And some huge news in rugby union: the Melbourne Rebels have confirmed they have transferred their licence from the club’s private owners to the Victorian Rugby Union. That means the ARU cannot buy the club and shut them down, ensuring their future in the competition. Now everything is hanging on the Western Force’s arbitration case with the ARU, which is expected to reach a conclusion this coming week. More to come on this story.

8.30am BST

AFL: Q2 11 mins remaining – Adelaide 4.11 (35) v Port Adelaide 1.2 (8)

Tex Walker steps up when needed, booting two goals in quick succession as the Crows begin to pull away. In between, it all kicks off with Jackson, Jenkins and Trengove all invloved. The Showdown is firing up!

No love lost between these two sides. #AFLCrowsPower

8.30am BST

AFL: Selwood to have surgery

We interrupt this broadcast with some important news: Geelong star Joel Selwood will undergo surgery on his ankle and not play until the AFL finals. “Selwood will not be available for the remaining three home and away games but is expected to be able to return for the finals series,” the Cats said.

8.24am BST

AFL: Q2 17 mins remaining – Adelaide 2.9 (21) v Port Adelaide 1.2 (8)

Back to the Adelaide Oval, where the rain has begun to fall again and the conditions continue to make the game look like an episode of Keystone Cops. Enter Eddie Betts who marks inside 50, his third so far, and kicks the Crows’ second goal of the day.

8.20am BST

AFL: end of Q3 – Richmond 9.10 (64) v Hawthorn 4.8 (32)

There’s a glimmer of hope for the Hawks at the MCG, but it’s faint heading into the final quarter. It would have to take something mighty spectacular for them to turn this one around.

8.17am BST

NRL: half-time – Panthers 10-8 Tigers

It’s close at the break at Pepper Stadium in the final NRL match of the week – two tries apiece, with Peachey and Watene Zelezniak going over for the Panthers and Nofoaluma twice for the Tigers so far.

8.11am BST

AFL: end of Q1 – Adelaide 1.9 (15) v Port Adelaide 1.1 (7)

There goes the siren and the Crows lead by eight, although it should really be more. They’re dominated in every statistic, apart from goals scored. On that count it’s one each, and for that, the Power are still in this one.

8.09am BST

AFL: Q1 2 mins remaining – Adelaide 1.9 (15) v Port Adelaide 1.1 (7)

With another chance to translate their dominance into goals, Adelaide blow it again. They’re now winning the inside 50 count 20-5, yet they lead by just eight points.

8.07am BST

AFL: Q1 4 mins remaining – Adelaide 1.8 (14) v Port Adelaide 1.1 (7)

What a mark by Tex Walker! It’s nearly a no-look effort to pluck Cameron’s kick forward out of the air – he glances back just at the critical moment and, after a shove to the defender’s chest, catches the ball. But he’s off target and again the Crows fail to hammer home their ascendency with a goal.

8.04am BST

AFL: Q1 5 mins remaining – Adelaide 1.7 (13) v Port Adelaide 1.1 (7)

Eddie Betts! But even he can’t muster a goal and has to settle for a behind. The weather’s certainly not helping and the wind could well be the reason for the lack of accurate kicking so far.

8.01am BST

AFL: Q1 8 mins remaining – Adelaide 1.6 (12) v Port Adelaide 1.1 (7)

Fifteen inside 50s to one, in favour of the Crows, but they haven’t been able to capitalise on those numbers so far.

7.56am BST

AFL: Q1 10 mins remaining – Adelaide 1.4 (10) v Port Adelaide 1.0 (6)

Jacobs takes the mark all too easily for Port’s liking and gets the Crows up and running, much to the delight of the majority of the crowd.

7.50am BST

AFL: Q1 18 mins remaining – Adelaide 0.3 (3) v Port Adelaide 1.0 (6)

Westhoff boots the first goal of the day, kicking forwards to one one at all, but racing after it himself, getting there first and slotting through the posts! Unconventional, but effective.

7.44am BST

AFL: Q1 17 mins remaining – Adelaide 0.3 (3) v Port Adelaide 0.0 (0)

So, it’s first versus fifth today; there have been 42 previous meetings between these two clubs – and it’s 21-21 to date. And with the great leveller of inclement weather, this one couldn’t really be more evenly matched, on paper at least. Of course, the Crows are favourites though, such has been their form this year, but really, anything can happen today.

7.41am BST

AFL: Q1 – Adelaide v Port Adelaide

Some pretty ordinary weather has greeted the players aon the pitch at Adelaide Oval – it’s raining and apparently the wind will kick up even more as the Showdown 43 progresses in the evening. Anyway, it’s the big one, and we’re up and running in Adelaide!

It’s a Gray old day in Adelaide ☔️ #AFLCrowsPower

7.36am BST

Football: Kewell off to losing start

Harry Kewell’s managerial career didn’t get off to the start he wanted as Crawley Town lost 3-1 to Port Vale in England’s League Two overnight. The former Socceroo, who took the reins of the unfashionable outfit before last night’s opening match, spoke to John Davidson before his debut:

Related: Harry Kewell: ‘I want to bring something different to the game’ | John Davidson

7.31am BST

AFL: Half-time – Richmond 6.8 (44) v Hawthorn 2.5 (17)

The Tigers are in complete control of this one and are in the sheds 27 points to the good. The Hawks have a lot to do in the second half if they’re to get back into this one. It’s a very long shot.

7.28am BST

Triathlon: Gentle wins in Canada

Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle has pulled off a remarkable victory in the World Triathlon Series round in Montreal, dragging herself out of her sick bed to claim her first ever win. This from our friends at AAP:

The 26-year-old Rio Olympian ran away from defending world champion and Commonwealth Games favourite, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy in the 10km run to finish the olympic distance race that started with the 1.5km swim followed by a 40km bike. Gentle finally turned five silvers into a spectacular gold in the greatest moment of her career.

The Gold Coaster, who has already earned early nomination for next year’s Commonwealth Games, arrived into Montreal from her Spanish training base yesterday feeling under the weather and far from convinced she would be able to race.

7.22am BST

Football: Ibrahimović to Melbourne City

Don’t be silly. This is never going to happen. Despite a certain amount of internet buzz earlier today, clearly there’s more chance of Ibra coming to the A-League than Matt Simon securing a move to Paris Saint-Germain to take up a role as Neymar’s foil. All it takes for people to get excited these days, it seems, is for someone to make up a rumour and post in on Twitter. Matt Simon to PSG, anyone?

7.16am BST

Football: Saha treads unusual post-career path

What’s that, you say? A footballer with a brain? A player who is doing something ‘a bit different’ post-retirement? Step forward the former Everton and Manchester United striker, Louis Saha, a man with an interesting story to tell.

Related: Louis Saha: ‘I really liked playing football but this is a real challenge’

7.13am BST

Tennis: Kokkinakis beaten in maiden ATP Tour final

So close for Thanasi Kokkinakis but a maiden ATP Tour title remains elusive for the moment – the 21-year-old pushed Sam Querrey all the way in Los Cabos, but eventually fell in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to the American second seed. Nevertheless, his run in Mexico is set to boost his world ranking from 454 to 225 when they’re next published.

7.04am BST

AFL: end of Q1 – Richmond 5.4 (34) v Hawthorn 1.5 (10)

The Tigers have raced out of the blocks at the MCG and are up by 24 points against the Hawks as the second quarter starts up, Corey Ellis having booted two of their goals.

6.59am BST

Down in Melbourne, Saint Kilda have edged a real thriller in the AFL. It could easily have gone the other way, with West Coast chasing victory late on and down by just two points with time running out, but Saints’ Jack Billings kept his cool under intense pressure to ice the victory with just 24 seconds left. A thrilling end to a game that was up for grabs from start to finish, and quite some way for Nick Reiwoldt to celebrate his impending retirement.

6.55am BST

Well, what a way to bounce back from two disappointing defeats. It’s official, Manly are back and very much in the top four mix once again. What a fantastic performance this second half, albeit against a Roosters side barely recognisable to the one which did so well to build a lead in the first half.

6.54am BST

NRL: 80 mins – Sea Eagles 36-18 Roosters

It is a party now! Cherry-Evans puts an, um, cherry on the result after Walker flips the ball out of the back of his hand to Uate, who in turn flings it back inside to DCE, who gleefully accepts the invitation to run in! The conversion is good and that’s that at Lottoland.

6.49am BST

NRL: 76 mins – Sea Eagles 30-18 Roosters

This is turning into a party now! No wait, it’s not, Watson impeded Lawrence in the buildup to Winterstein’s “try” and it will be ruled out by the Bunker.

6.47am BST

NRL: 74 mins – Sea Eagles 30-18 Roosters

Manly extend their lead to 12 points after Cherry-Evans is held back and the home side opt to take the two points. This one seems to be heading Manly’s way now. They’ve done terrifically well to bounce back.

6.42am BST

NRL: 69 mins – Sea Eagles 28-18 Roosters

Bradley Parker’s over, thanks to a lovely soft pass by Trbojevic, and Manly are eight up! Wright grimaces while holding his shoulder before taking the resulting kick, but he doesn’t let the pain put him off and he nails it. Manly by 10 points with 10 minutes to go.

6.40am BST

NRL: 67 mins – Sea Eagles 22-18 Roosters

What an effort from Lane and Uate, who hold up Manu and carry him all the way back into the Roosters’ in-goal! The locals love that! And Manly have another set of six here.

6.36am BST

NRL: 65 mins – Sea Eagles 22-18 Roosters

Oh dear, this isn’t good for the Roosters – Tupou clearly “does his groin” on a Roosters break, pulling up before meeting Wright head on. And it’s not exactly great news for Manly either as, in making the tackle on a slowing Tupou, Wright seems to do some damage to his shoulder.

6.33am BST

NRL: 62 mins – Sea Eagles 22-18 Roosters

Impossible to predict which way this one is going to go now. Since the last score went in it’s been pretty much end to end stuff.

6.27am BST

NRL: 58 mins – Sea Eagles 22-18 Roosters

Talk about laying it on the line for your team! Trbojevic dives to collect a Pearce kick through, but in doing so he takes a hefty knee in the ribs from Mitchell! A try-saving moment, for sure, but one he’ll feel in the morning. Nevertheless, he sucks in some air and gets back up again, ready to continue. These men of league are tough, that’s for sure.

6.21am BST

NRL: 54 mins – Sea Eagles 22-18 Roosters (Brown)

There it is! Manly take the lead as Brown crashes over with a posse of Roosters players hanging off him. It initially appears he has managed to get the ball down, but it goes upstairs and there’s suddenly some consternation over whether he did. But there’s “insufficient evidence” to prove overturn Matt Cechin’s on-field decision and the try stands! Wright boots firm and true and this game is Manly’s to lose now!

6.18am BST

NRL: 52 mins – Sea Eagles 16-18 Roosters

Parker has a great chance to put Manly into the lead but he can’t quite get control of the ball as it bounces up off his head a couple of times – not too dissimilar to that old Brazilian footballer, Kerlon, and his seal dribble – before hitting the deck.

6.15am BST

NRL: 49 mins – Sea Eagles 16-18 Roosters

Blake Ferguson does very well to take a high ball which falls out of the sky with the sun in his eyes, but not too long after, Manly get another set of six thanks to Cherry-Evans, and the home side can press for the lead now.

6.12am BST

NRL: 47 mins – Sea Eagles 16-18 Roosters (Trbojevic)

Trbojevic gets another! And it’s a classic Manly set play that the Roosters simply don’t know how to deal it. Wright adds the kick and it’s a two-point game and nicely poised for an entertaining second half.

A double for Tom Trbojevic!#NRLManlyRoosters 16-18 after 48 minutes. #NRL

6.11am BST

NRL: 45 mins – Sea Eagles 10-18 Roosters

Mitchell, clearly with confidence running high, attempts a flick pass inside his own in-goal that takes everyone by surprise. It’s suicidal but he’s bailed out by the referee’s whistle. Whatever happened to playing it simple?

6.08am BST

AFL: end of Q3 – St Kilda 10.7 (67) v West Coast 10.10 (70)

And as we get back under way in the NRL, the early AFL match has reached the end of the third quarter. And, that three-point Eagles’ lead is STILL a three-point lead, kind of typifying this evenly-matched, thrilling AFL season.

6.06am BST

NRL: 40 mins – Sea Eagles 10-18 Roosters

Here we go then, back under way at Lottoland, where the sun is still shining, making writers of blogs who are stuck inside an office pine for the outdoors.

6.05am BST

Super Rugby: Crusaders crowned champions

In case you missed it earlier, New Zealand has further stamped its authority on the Super Rugby competition after the Crusaders beat the Lions in Johannesburg, 25-17.

Related: Crusaders’ first title since 2008 creates Super Rugby history

5.57am BST

Football: Cahill really, really likes this product

You can just imagine Tim Cahill tapping out this post on his phone without any prompting or influence from the tape-makers. No siree, none at all.

@dynamictape DYNAMIC TAPE ® A multi-tiered approach to Biomechanical Taping Dynamic Tape is not a kinesiology or athletic tape. It is the “Original” Biomechanical Tape ®, an entirely new category of sports and therapeutic taping. These innovative, 4-way stretching tapes with strong elastic resistance and recoil of varying grades, absorb and inject force to reduce the workload on the body. Our taping methodology aims to directly manage load, modify movement patterns and assist function. Dynamic Tape does all this with a soft, breathable tape that is of such high quality and strength that professional athletes around the world trust our product everyday. From rehabilitation to the World Cup, Dynamic Tape is changing the way we look at sports and therapeutic taping.

5.51am BST

NRL: half-time – Sea Eagles 10-18 Roosters

And that’s that for the first half, which Manly ended as they started – on top. It was just the middle bit that let them down, when an inspired Latrell Mitchell did much to undo the hosts. Still, all to play for in the second half, which is coming up shortly.

5.50am BST

NRL: 40 mins – Sea Eagles 10-18 Roosters

And very nearly another for Manly as Cherry-Evans breaks away right at the death, but his final pass is poor and to no one in particular, and the move breaks down. That could have turned this match on its head just before the break.

5.48am BST

NRL: 38 mins – Sea Eagles 10-18 Roosters (Trbojevic)

Here we go, just what the Sea Eagles needed before half-time! There’s life in this one yet. It’s all about Winterstein though, who busts through a big hit before offloaded to Trbojevic, and there’s no stopping Turbo Tom as he hares off to celebrate his 50th appearance with a try. The conversion is good and it’s an eight-point game.

5.40am BST

NRL: 30 mins – Sea Eagles 4-18 Roosters (Keary)

Another one! Mitchell is again the architect, somehow flipping the ball to Tupou as he tumbled to the floor. Tupou hares off before finding Keary, who does the rest to give the Chooks a healthy-looking lead. The main man of the moment adds the extra two and it’s now a 14-point lead.

5.33am BST

NRL: 24 mins – Sea Eagles 4-12 Roosters

Ooh, the Roosters so nearly get in again thanks to some devastatingly quick Mitchell hands, but Tupou eventually runs into a wall out on the left-hand side before Cherry-Evans saves Manly with an out-stretched hand which collects a dangerous kick through. Manly find themselves under the cosh now, with about a quarter of an hour remaining of this first half.

5.30am BST

NRL: 21 mins – Sea Eagles 4-12 Roosters (Mitchell)

Pearce kicks high, but there’s no real chase by the Roosters, and Cherry-Evans takes it, just outside the in-goal. He escapes one tackle but when he comes up against Mitchell, the Roosters player simply strips him of the ball, takes a stride or two forward and touches down! He then adds the extras and the Chooks lead by eight after falling behind early on.

5.26am BST

NRL: 18 mins – Sea Eagles 4-6 Roosters (Tupou)

The Roosters hit back through Tupou who touches down after latching onto a superb pass. He bursts over the line, before running all the way through to touch down under the posts, making Latrell Mitchell’s job with the conversion an easy one.

A blindside bullet from Radley #NRLManlyRoosters #NRL

5.19am BST

NRL: 13 mins – Sea Eagles 4-0 Roosters

Pearce looks to find something special in a bid to inspire the Roosters, but his attempted grubber really doesn’t come off. That said, the Chooks hold onto the ball and come again with another set of six.

5.18am BST

AFL: Half-time – Saint Kilda 7.5 (47) v West Coast 7.8 (50)

There’s still nothing to separate these two at Etihad. Well, that’s not true, there are three points separating these two at the main break, the Eagles still with their beaks just about in front. It’s shaping up nicely.

5.16am BST

NRL: 8 mins – Sea Eagles 4-0 Roosters (Wright)

And there it is! A slick, smooth Manly attack sees quick hands deliver the ball to Matthew Wright who goes over in the corner. The conversion is well to the right of the posts and it’s just the four for now.

5.13am BST

NRL: 7 mins – Sea Eagles 0-0 Roosters

It’s been all Manly so far and you get the feeling a breakthrough isn’t far away. Their third repeat set of six doesn’t come to anything though, with another grubber coming to nothing.

5.11am BST

NRL: 5 mins – Sea Eagles 0-0 Roosters

Manly are on the front foot early on. Taupau manages to rumble closest to the Roosters’ tryline, but not cigar for the big man this time. The Roosters hold firm but Manly get another set straight away, and then another one soon after.

5.08am BST

NRL: 2 mins – Sea Eagles 0-0 Roosters

The Sea Eagles were, of course, sitting pretty in third just behind the Roosters two weeks ago. But two weeks in rugby league can be a long time, as someone might have said once, and two defeats – heavy ones at that, conceding a total of 92 points – have seen them tumble to seventh and in danger of dropping out of the eight. Big game, this one today.

5.05am BST

NRL: Sea Eagles 0-0 Roosters

The bell tolls for 2pm at Lottoland and in bright northern beaches of Sydney sunshine, the teams run out onto the pitch. We’re nearly good to go – stay with us as we’ll be focusing on this match for the time being.

5.02am BST

Dog surfing: It’s a thing

Apologies, but I’m not massively up on the ins and outs of the world dog surfing championship, but it’s real is currently in play in Pacifica, California. Here’s proof, if you don’t believe me.

5.00am BST

Cricket: Warner hopeful management still like him

Shop steward and sometime explosive batsman David Warner reckons the recent pay dispute, during which he spoke his brains on a regular basis, will not have an adverse affect on any hopes he harbours of captaining Australia in the future. Now the stoush is finally over, Warner will wait and see how his role over the past few months has gone down with in the corridors of power at Cricket Australia, although he’s not too concerned about being forced into a spell on the naughty step. Asked whether that was the case, Warner told Nine Network’s Sports Sunday: “I highly doubt that … from where I sit I was doing just what I had to do to be in the frontline for all the players.”

4.51am BST

Athletics: Gatlin rains on Bolt’s parade

In case you missed it earlier, Usain Bolt bowed out of sprinting at the world championships in London with defeat to Justin Gatlin, not that a third-placed finish did much to dampen his opinion of himself.

“I’ve proved to the world I’m one of the greatest athletes. I don’t think this changes anything. I’ve done my part as an athlete, to uplift the sport and show it’s getting better. I can’t be too disappointed. I did my best. It’s hard to be sad with the energy that the crowd was giving me. They stayed and they shouted and they cheered.”

Related: Bolt’s time finally runs out, but he departs as the greatest champion of all

4.45am BST

AFL: end of Q1 St Kilda 3.2 (20) v West Coast 3.5 (23)

So, first up, an update from Etihad where the Saints lead the Eagles by three at the end of the opening quarter. West Coast are, of course, just outside the top eight as of this afternoon, while St Kilda’s finals aspirations are very much still alive – for them today victory would be invaluable to their post-season hopes.

4.35am BST

Hello and welcome one and all to this, another instalment of Guardian Australia’s sportwatch on what promises to be a fascinating day. Already up and running in the AFL are St Kilda and West Coast (more on that in a tick), with Richmond v Hawthorn later on this afternoon and the big one in the evening – Adelaide v Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in a fixture that has more Adelaides in it than you can shake a stick at. In the NRL, we’ll be focusing on the Manly v Roosters game first up, with the Sea Eagles hoping to steady their ship after two consecutive defeats have left them in seventh spot. The Panthers play the Titans at 4pm AEST. There’s also some UFC going on in Mexico, the small matter of a ridiculous rumour involving Zlatan Ibrahimović and Melbourne City to get to address and the world dog surfing championship, apparently. Strap yourselves in.

6.07am BST

Mike will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s how things went down yesterday:

Related: GWS smash Melbourne, Raiders win big over Sharks and more: Australia sportwatch – as it happened

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Jul 29

Roosters stun Cowboys, Power win thriller over Saints and more: Australia sportwatch – as it happened

1.24pm BST


I’m going to sign off here tonight, after a huge day of AFL and NRL action. First up I stayed with the end of the Kangaroos v Demons match, which ended in a big upset in the form of a North Melbourne win. It was a really disappointing loss for the Demons, who were fighting for a top 4 spot and now find themselves just hanging on to a spot in the top 8. Congratulations to the Roos – who have been accused of tanking all week, despite having lost five games by less than a goal this season. Surely they get some heat taken off this week. While that game was happening, the Giants managed to get over the Dockers, despite a huge challenge from Fremantle. I’ve seen vision of Heath Shaw after the game giving everything to Aiden Corr – they seem to be a disgruntled bunch at the moment, the Giants, but will be relieved to get the win in the end after a rough last month.

1.09pm BST

Geelong have scored a big victory over Carlton – Tom Hawkins returning to form with a bag of 6 (including the final goal of the match), while Cockatoo and Murdoch also kicked 3 each. Hawkins played further up the ground than usual, finishing with 27 possessions. Nonetheless – the talk of the night was Patrick Dangerfield’s tackle on Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer – which resulted in Kreuzer playing no further part in the game. I haven’t seen the vision – but would be keen on your thoughts! The win puts the Cats back in 2nd, just above GWS (2 points ahead of the Giants).

1.03pm BST

It’s all over on the Gold Coast – and Richmond in the end cruise to victory over the Gold Coast – a team they’ve surprisingly had trouble beating in the past. Aaron Hall did his best to haul his side over the line, with 40 disposals (11 contested possessions, 6 tackles, 10 inside 50s) but it was always going to be tough with three injuries during the game. In that sense they did well to get as close as they did.

Dustin Martin continued his hot streak of form, this time with 34 disposals (16 contested possessions, 7 clearances, 7 inside 50s and a goal) and seems set to win his first-ever Brownlow at the end of the season. Importantly, the Tigers are now back inside the top 4, dislodging Port Adelaide.

12.57pm BST

AFL Q4 00:01 remaining Gold Coast 10.5 (65) v Richmond 14.14 (98)

Head-high free kick to Castagna, who can make it 3.3 for the game – he didn’t have a goal until right on three-quarter-time. He kicks his third with a second remaining on the clock.

12.55pm BST

AFL Q4 01:13 remaining Gold Coast 10.5 (65) v Richmond 13.14 (92)

Despite being four goals in front, the Tigers are running down the clock in their own backline with some kick-to-kick. Down the other end, David Swallow is penalised for a deliberate rushed behind – he was under pressure, but outside the 5m square – which is the technical rule. Lambert fails to convert, however.

12.51pm BST

AFL Q4 04:52 remaining Gold Coast 10.4 (64) v Richmond 13.13 (91)

Nice, contested pack mark to Tom Lynch who boots his third after Peter Wright missed one from 55m (nonetheless easily making the distance – how good will he be?) They’ve fought on the Suns.

12.47pm BST

AFL Q4 07:51 remaining Gold Coast 9.4 (58) v Richmond 13.13 (91)

Fair effort from the Suns this quarter – Aaron Hall alone is up to 39 disposals – but Corey Ellis gets his first goal for 2017, despite a few Gold Coast forays forward.

12.41pm BST

AFL Q4 11:49 remaining Gold Coast 9.4 (58) v Richmond 12.13 (85)

Opportunity for Castagna to kick his second goal (after he wound a banana through on three-quarter-time) with a set shot from 40m out. It’s through. Richmond will be looking for percentage after Port’s win earlier today.

12.38pm BST

AFL Q4 13:27 remaining Gold Coast 9.4 (58) v Richmond 11.13 (79)

Don’t think there’s much doubt who will win the Brownlow this year. Dangerfield will be right in it – but Martin seems to be clearly best-on-ground more often (Geelong probably have more players taking votes off Dangerfield, you’d think).

12.34pm BST

AFL Q4 16:12 remaining Gold Coast 8.4 (52) v Richmond 11.13 (79)

I’ve decided to stick with the closer of the two night AFL games – this one between the Suns and Tigers being the better contest. The Tigers have had 38 inside 50s to 28, and 57 tackles to 44. The Suns have been hit badly with injury, and are down three rotations – Ben Ainsworth, Alex Sexton and Callum Ah Chee are all off the ground. Leading the way for the Suns in Gary Ablett’s absence (a late withdrawal) is Aaron Hall – with 33 disposals (10 contested possessions, 8 marks and 9 inside 50s). For the Tigers, the usual suspects – Martin and Cotchin – are dominating, Martin again up to 27 disposals (13 contested possessions, 6 clearances, 5 inside 50s).

12.24pm BST

Big right-hand play by the Cowboys takes them within 40m, but they have too much to make up on the final tackle, and Lowe drops the ball. The Roosters win it with a huge second-half comeback.

Thought Taukeiaho was huge for the Roosters – he ran 214 metres in the end, beaten only by fullback Watson with 248. In the end he almost had the same impact as Jason Taumalolo in the first half – who finished with 236m. For the Cowboys, Feldt had 2 line breaks (to go with his 182 run metres). Keary had a try and an assist for the Roosters and was influential in the end in the absence of Cordner and Friend. Also loved the game of Victor Radley who made 51 tackles, including the big tackle on Asiata. Unbelievably, Keary reports after the game that Radley broke his hand in the first 10 minutes.

12.13pm BST

NRL H2 78:51 Roosters 22-16 Cowboys

Final two minutes – the Roosters make it to15m out and take the conservative play, finding the sideline and forcing a scrum. There’s 80m to make up for the Cowboys.

12.11pm BST

NRL H2 77:16 Roosters 22-16 Cowboys

Penalty to the Cowboys – that will help – they play-the-ball quickly and Morgan makes up plenty of ground. They’re inside 30m on play one. Taumalolo tries to skip through the tackle and sets up Cooper. They go back inside, Feldt slips over and Tupou grabs the intercept. Penalty to the Roosters. The Cowboys are in trouble now.

12.09pm BST

NRL H2 75:16 Roosters 22-16 Cowboys

Tupou hit and stuck a big tackle to stop the Cowboys in their tracks. Cooper almost took the kick from Coote but lost it in the air. That might be one of their last chances.

12.07pm BST

NRL H2 73:16 Roosters 22-16 Cowboys

Here’s that Victor Radley tackle – amazing stuff.

Big defence from Radley!#NRLRoostersCowboys#NRL

12.05pm BST

NRL H2 72:03 Roosters 22-16 Cowboys

Asiata drops the ball! Big, potentially game-saving tackle from new boy Radley. Wow. Scrum.

12.04pm BST

NRL H2 70:00 Roosters 22-16 Cowboys

Napa’s back on – no respite for the Cowboys. The Roosters play it safe and complete their set at the half-way line. Reckon the Cowboys will be happy to at least have some field position back.

12.01pm BST

NRL H2 67:43 Roosters 22-16 Cowboys

Things are looking dire for the Cowboys, with the Roosters running all over the top of them. The Roosters choose to take the 2 after a penalty a few metres out. Strange choice – I think the Cowboys would be happy to concede the 2. Mitchell converts.

11.59am BST

NRL H2 65:42 Roosters 20-16 Cowboys

Great attacking set again from the Roosters, but Feldt saves the day for the Cowboys on the last-line of defence. Their set ends at 30m, with a flat kick finding Ferguson 60m out for the Roosters. Tupou carries the ball 20m against a tired-looking Cowboys defense. Keary with the kick on the last tackle, and Feldt knocks the ball on.

11.55am BST

NRL H2 61:42 Roosters 20-16 Cowboys

That man again is almost through, and Keary boots the ball to Coote. The Cowboys are struggling to gain any field position, and Taukeiaho breaks another tackle. On the final tackle, Keary takes on the defence and backs himself all the way to the line. The Roosters are back in front!




11.51am BST

NRL H2 58:12 Roosters 16-16 Cowboys

Penalty goes against Coote for holding onto Pearce too long and stopping the quick play-the-ball. They’ll need to take this opportunity, the Roosters. Taukeiaho does just that and bulldozes over the line – grounding the ball clearly. The try call goes to the Bunker, who review with “insufficient evidence” to overturn, again.

Sio Siua Taukeiaho just wanted the try-line!#NRLRoostersCowboys#NRL

11.47am BST

NRL H2 54:43 Roosters 10-16 Cowboys

Guerra goes close but the Roosters are forced to retreat again. They go back inside on the last tackle and Keary’s kick rebounds off the upright, but Coote completes an excellent intercept to halt another 6.

11.45am BST

NRL H2 53:05 Roosters 10-16 Cowboys

Massive kickout from Feldt – it went over 60m on the full. The Roosters make their way to 10m out for another penalty and they tap and go. The Cowboys defense holds up well and after 3 they’re back to 20m out. On the fourth, Coote saves a try on the right-hand side, and on the final tackle, the Cowboys come away with the ball after they intercept the kick. Great defensive effort by the Cowboys.

11.41am BST

NRL H2 50:16 Roosters 10-16 Cowboys

Te Maire Martin’s tackle hits Aubusson high for a Roosters penalty and they have another 6, 20m out. Taukeiaho has made a difference since coming on – and steamrolls a few defenders on their way to a forced dropout and another 6.

11.39am BST

NRL H2 48:00 Roosters 10-16 Cowboys

Bit of a shift in momentum here since that off-side against the Cowboys – who were looking strong after the Watson drop. The Roosters at least sense their opening and have the ball back through Watson.

11.37am BST

NRL H2 46:19 Roosters 10-16 Cowboys

Watson is almost through but for a Hess tackle – but they can’t stop the Roosters on the left-hand side, who are through with a try to Tupou. Big mistake from Feldt who committed too early in the centre and left a big space for the Roosters.

Just tip-toes down the sideline!#NRLRoostersCowboys#NRL

11.34am BST

NRL H2 43:13 Roosters 6-16 Cowboys

A nice up and down kick from the Morgan and Watson can’t handle it. Luckily for them there’s an off-side penalty against the Cowboys.

11.33am BST

NRL H2 41:53 Roosters 6-16 Cowboys

Back on at Allianz Stadium, with the home team looking to start much stronger than they finished. They’ve won 9 of their last 10 at this venue, and a win today would make it five-straight. They’ve got plenty of ground to make up for that to happen.

11.30am BST

This is in from AAP on the semi-final between the Crusaders and Chiefs in Christchurch, with the offensively ruthless and defensively brilliant Crusaders wrapping up their place in next week’s Super Rugby final, beating the Chiefs 27-13.

With their backs against the wall for much of Saturday’s match, and barely one-third of possession, the Crusaders seized on every chance. Midfielder-cum-winger Seta Tamanivalu bagged a clinical double, after earlier efforts by halfback Bryn Hall and Test stalwart Israel Dagg.

11.28am BST

AFL Q2 03:40 remaining Carlton 4.2 (26) v Geelong 9.10 (64)

Likewise, the Cats are well on top against the Blues. In a welcome return to form, Tom Hawkins has 3 goals and 14 disposals. For the Blues, Casboult has 3, while Docherty and Murphy are topping the disposals.

11.25am BST

AFL Q2 06:43 remaining Gold Coast Suns 4.3 (27) v Richmond 7.5 (47)

No surprises in this match with the Tigers easily up against the Suns. Exciting youngster Daniel Rioli has 3 goals for his side, while Dustin Martin has continued on his merry way with 17 disposals (7 contested possessions, 4 clearances, 3 inside 50s).

11.19am BST

NRL half-time Roosters 6-16 Cowboys

Penalty to the Roosters just before half-time and time for a full set of six. Big tackle from Morgan sends them backwards and a forward pass is paid against Pearce (it didn’t look forward on the replay). The ball should end with the Cowboys – and does. Coote goes for a field goal from 40m but it drops short.

11.12am BST

NRL H1 37:51 Roosters 6-16 Cowboys

Penalty for a high tackle on Coote – disappointing for the Roosters after Pearce produced a perfect kick to put the Cowboys under all sorts of pressure.

11.10am BST

NRL H1 36:16 Roosters 6-16 Cowboys

Michael Morgan kicks the ball straight up in the air to complete the set – but the Roosters leave Morgan to catch his own ball, who kicks it again and gains another 30+ metres. Bizarre – not sure why no Roosters contested that.

11.08am BST

NRL H1 34:26 Roosters 6-16 Cowboys

Coen Hess in for his 12th try this season, and Lowe converts.

Just too strong!

Coen Hess #NRLRoostersCowboys#NRL

11.05am BST

NRL H1 31:09 Roosters 6-14 Cowboys

Penalty to the Roosters, they’ll breathe a sigh of relief with that one after the Cowboys were well on top. Isaac Liu broke the line to take the Roosters right up to 5m out, but they lose the ball.

11.00am BST

NRL H1 27:39 Roosters 6-10 Cowboys

Brilliant hands again by Coote sets up Feldt with a long pass on the right-hand side. The Cowboys are taking the ball deep to the line and their passing game is superb.

Feldt is over in the corner and the Cowboys take the lead!

LIVE: #NRLRoostersCowboys

10.58am BST

NRL H1 24:59 Roosters 6-4 Cowboys

Big gain by the Cowboys but a penalty for contact to Taumalolo takes them 30m backwards and denies play on. That same man almost takes the Cowboys over the line after steamrolling the defense, and sets up a kick for his team that’s taken out of play by the Roosters. Another dropout.

10.54am BST

NRL H1 22:30 Roosters 6-4 Cowboys

Cowboys gain only 33m and the Roosters are back in attack with a big run from Watson. Brilliant spin from Liu to evade the Cowboys’ defence, and the Roosters almost set up a try before Manu is forced to throw the ball forward after running out of space on the right-hand side.

10.50am BST

NRL H1 19:02 Roosters 6-4 Cowboys

Great hands from Coote – he finds Linnett in space for a try! Te Maire Martin set up that try by going right to the Roosters’ defensive line, which started a string of impressive passes.

The @nthqldcowboys find plenty of space on the left edge!#NRLRoostersCowboys#NRL

10.47am BST

NRL H1 16:10 Roosters 6-0 Cowboys

Napa gives away a penalty to Winterstein. Taumalolo is crashing in with intent. The Cowboys force a dropout for another 6.

10.45am BST

NRL H1 14:12 Roosters 6-0 Cowboys

Here’s some vision of the first try to Mitchell.

Latrell Mitchell making the hard look easy!#NRLRoostersCowboys 6-0 after 4 minutes.#NRL

10.44am BST

NRL H1 13:03 Roosters 6-0 Cowboys

The Cowboys are making plenty of mistakes – and Winterstein loses the ball 30m out to continue that trend. Full set coming for the Roosters. Penalty against Morgan for holding on to Pearce too long. He looks to be hurting. 10m out they go again. Aubusson almost makes it all the way through. The Roosters keep attacking Morgan with that bung shoulder.

10.41am BST

NRL H1 06:29 Roosters 6-0 Cowboys

Another sharp pass from Keary out to Tupou on the left who goes back inside to Matterson. 30m out, Pearce kicks nicely for Ferguson but it’s another knock-on to the Roosters.

10.39am BST

NRL H1 06:29 Roosters 6-0 Cowboys

Potential injury to Morgan whose arm is hanging by his side after a big hit from Ryan Matterson.

10.35am BST

NRL H1 04:27 Roosters 6-0 Cowboys

Good opening set from the Roosters and Cowboys, and the two fullbacks go head-to-head in a big tackle by Coote.

10.30am BST

NRL Roosters 0-0 Cowboys

We’re just about to kick off here – in case you missed it, here’s my preview from earlier.

10.29am BST

Our feature game between the Roosters and Cowboys is just about to start, but before that a quick re-cap to let you know that the Raider have scored five tries to three to keep their finals hopes alive. Johnston scored a consolation try for the Rabbitohs in teh 80th minute, but the game was decided earlier, with a couple of crucial tries to Bateman and Oldfield after the Rabbitohs scored their second through Fuimaono in the 50th minute.

Whitehead had 37 tackles for the Raiders, and Jack Wighton ran 188 metres. Croker had 1 line break and 5/5 conversions, as well as a penalty goal. For the Rabbitohs, Crichton ran 152 metres, and Burgess and Cook had 35 tackles each. Another disappointing loss for the Rabbitohs.

10.18am BST

What an unbelievable finish. Fitting that the game ended with a huge goal to Robbie Gray, who had nine disposals in the last quarter. It was a perfect tap down from Ryder to win the game for their team after all looked lost completely (certainly many Power fans had given up, and had left the ground).

The Saints will be devastated – not sure how they lost it 2 goals up with a minute and 18 left. I thought they’d won a crucial ‘8-pointer’ to put them into the eight and ahead of the pack of contenders who have stumbled this week (Melbourne and Sydney in particular). Carlisle was huge for them, and did everything he could to win the game for his side. SO did Luke Dunstan, who had 27 disposals (9 contested, 7 inside 50s, 6 clearances, and a big goal). Seb Ross racked up another 31, with 14 contested, 6 tackles and 6 clearances – but he was Gray’s direct opponent when he slipped away, onto Ryder’s tap and steered the winning goal through.

10.09am BST

AFL Q4 00:07 remaining Port Adelaide 9.9 (63) v St Kilda Saints 8.13 (61)

Carlisle bangs the ball on his boot to clear the 50 – looked deliberate as any but they don’t pay it. Ryder finds Robbie Gray with an incredible tap and Gray kicks the goal from 50 out – just over Carlisle’s head. Unbelievable. They’ve won it.

10.07am BST

AFL Q4 00:54 remaining Port Adelaide 8.9 (57) v St Kilda Saints 8.13 (61)

Port get one back with 55 seconds left! A large number of their supporters have left. Quality snap from Young who made something out of nothing.

10.05am BST

AFL Q4 02:00 remaining Port Adelaide 7.9 (51) v St Kilda Saints 8.13 (61)

Polec takes a big contested mark deep in defence and finds Amon 50m out. He turns the ball over, however, and the Saints have a shot inside 50 with Membrey lining up on a sharp angle. He’s taking his full 30 seconds. He kicks it, I can’t believe it.

10.03am BST

AFL Q4 03:16 remaining Port Adelaide 7.9 (51) v St Kilda Saints 7.13 (55)

The Saints are outnumbering the Power at the contest, and the ball is deep in their 50 with 3 minutes remaining.

10.02am BST

AFL Q4 04:07 remaining Port Adelaide 7.9 (51) v St Kilda Saints 7.13 (55)

Steele’s snap is off to the right and there’s still four points in it. The Power fans aren’t happy about the umpiring – admittedly Sam Gray looked like he was held with that last soccer on goal. They’ve won the majority of the frees today interstate – that’s rare!

10.00am BST

AFL Q4 06:36 remaining Port Adelaide 7.9 (51) v St Kilda Saints 7.12 (54)

Jasper Pittard dodges not one but four Saints forwards, and follows up his own ball into the centre. They find some overlap in Boak, ball spills to Sam Gray who tries to soccer a goal and it’s touched.

9.58am BST

AFL Q4 06:36 remaining Port Adelaide 7.8 (50) v St Kilda Saints 7.12 (54)

Telling contested possession by Ryder picks out Robbie Gray who bombs it long – and Carlisle intercepts again. He might be the difference in the end.

9.57am BST

AFL Q4 07:16 remaining Port Adelaide 7.8 (50) v St Kilda Saints 7.12 (54)

Saints are in front! Dunstan snaps a brilliant goal to cap off a wonderful day for him – they bullocked their way to that goal, forcing Robbie Gray of all people to drop the ball in the middle.

9.56am BST

AFL Q4 07:54 remaining Port Adelaide 7.8 (50) v St Kilda Saints 6.12 (48)

Sinclair snaps a massive goal for the Saints – the ball went out the back of the defenders to Gresham, who appeared to drop the ball (they never pay that any more, do they?) Sinclair swooped and showed composure to kick the goal. 2 points in it!

9.54am BST

AFL Q4 09:06 remaining Port Adelaide 7.8 (50) v St Kilda Saints 5.12 (42)

Robbie Gray’s dominance in the centre is telling – he’s jumped up to 23 possessions, 10 contested possessions, 12 kicks and 3 clearances. He finds Dixon inside 50 but he misses the set shot completely. Westhoff now has an opportunity on a tight angle, 50m out. He can’t make the distance, and the Saints try to clear but are penalised for deliberate.

9.52am BST

AFL Q4 10:46 remaining Port Adelaide 7.8 (50) v St Kilda Saints 5.12 (42)

Gresham finally gets one back – he ran to about 7m out to make sure of it this time. This game has fired right up!

9.50am BST

AFL Q4 11:30 remaining Port Adelaide 7.9 (50) v St Kilda Saints 4.12 (36)

Westhoff’s snap at goal is touched on the line by Sinclair – but his kickout goes straight to Ebert, who boots a massive goal for the Power. Unfortunately that’s a huge, telling mistake for Sinclair – right after he appeared to save a crucial one.

9.47am BST

AFL Q4 13:41 remaining Port Adelaide 6.7 (43) v St Kilda Saints 4.12 (36)

Saints are pressing but Josh Bruce lets an important mark slip through his fingers. The ball is inside the Saints’ 50, to be thrown in.

You’ve got to hold onto those, Paul Rizonico. #AFLPowerSaints

9.44am BST

AFL Q4 15:25 remaining Port Adelaide 6.7 (43) v St Kilda Saints 4.12 (36)

Tim Membrey lines up from outside 50 to get the Saints one back against the flow of play. He makes the distance and the kick is accurate to boot. That’s big.

9.42am BST

AFL Q4 16:45 remaining Port Adelaide 6.7 (43) v St Kilda Saints 3.12 (30)

Port are picking holes through the St Kilda defence, and Charlie Dixon manages an uncontested mark at the top of the square. Nathan Brown, for whatever reason, didn’t jump with him and the Saints defenders look at each other in dismay. Goal for Dixon and a big one for the Power.

9.40am BST

Super Rugby Crusaders H2 45:59 10-6 Chiefs

The Chiefs are creeping ever closer, but no change to the score here since half time. McKenzie scored two penalty goes for the Chiefs in the 26th and 37th minutes to peg back the 6 points. I have to jump back to the AFL but will update you on the conclusion of this one once it’s done.

9.36am BST

NRL H2 41:07 South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-20 Canberra Raiders

Second half has just started at ANZ stadium. The Raiders had the last say in the first half, with a try to Cotric and conversion following from Croker. Joseph Tapine is causing headaches for the Rabbitohs, with 114 run metres (Jack Wighton also has 104), while Elliot Whitehead leads the way with 29 tackles for the Raiders. Damien Cook is working hard for the Souths, with 23 tackles (equal with Sam Burgess who also has 23 tackles, and has run 101 metres).

#NRLsoucan From right to left! Cotric seals the deal.#NRLSouthsRaiders 6-20 after 35 minutes.#NRL From Nationa…

9.32am BST

AFL three-quarter-time Port Adelaide 5.7 (37) v St Kilda Saints 3.12 (30)

Blake Acres takes a crucial contested grab just on the siren, and finally drills the goal for the Saints. That changes the look of this one – with only 7 points in it now. Power will be disappointed to let that one slip just before the break, after they dominated that quarter.

9.27am BST

AFL Q3 03:07 remaining Port Adelaide 5.7 (37) v St Kilda Saints 2.12 (24)

One man who has played well today is Jake Carlisle, regularly picking off intercept marks in the back 50. He’s had only the 9 disposals, but he’s taken 6 marks, and had 5 contested possessions. Mark Riccuito wonders if the Saints should shift him up forward, but I don’t know that they can afford to move him.

9.23am BST

AFL Q3 05:24 remaining Port Adelaide 4.7 (31) v St Kilda Saints 2.12 (24)

There’s a bit of feeling in this one. The Saints miss yet another opportunity on goal after choosing to play on when they had another set-shot free kick. Not sure why you’d do that in these conditions.

9.18am BST

AFL Q3 08:14 remaining Port Adelaide 4.6 (30) v St Kilda Saints 2.10 (22)

Al Paton reckons the Saints can’t kick straight – and it makes a difference when they do.

St Kilda scorelines this year:

2.10 (so far)

(v Tigers 21.12)#AFLPowerSaints

9.16am BST

AFL Q3 09:52 remaining Port Adelaide 4.6 (30) v St Kilda Saints 2.10 (22)

Power fans have lost the plot after some 50-50s go against them. Impey seemed to pick out Westhoff but it didn’t travel 15. Westhoff then looked to get a high tackle but instead had holding the ball given against him.

9.12am BST

AFL Q3 12:05 remaining Port Adelaide 4.6 (30) v St Kilda Saints 2.9 (21)

The Power are increasing their inside 50 dominance with 36 entries to 28. Ryder has 26 hit-outs now.

9.07am BST

AFL Q3 15:47 remaining Port Adelaide 4.5 (29) v St Kilda Saints 2.8 (20)

Port open the scoring through Polec. They’ve hit the ground running in the second quarter, while the Saints are less clean with the ball. They’ve butchered a few chances to go forward through ineffective disposal.

9.02am BST

Super Rugby H1 24:59 Crusaders 10-0 Chiefs

Very disappointing crowd for this game – don’t know the official count, but it isn’t looking good. In any event, Newman has just been denied a try for a knock-on after the Chiefs looked to get one back against the Crusaders (Jackson had called a try). Controversial.

8.55am BST

NRL H1 21:19 South Sydney Rabbitohs 0-12 Canberra Raiders

Plenty of action here – first Croker takes the 2 from a penalty, before the Green Machine score another try through Joe Tapine.

Sweet kick, unusual bounce, spin and a grounding! Making it look good @RaidersCanberra!#NRLSouthsRaiders 0-14 after 20 minutes.#NRL

8.50am BST


Australian teen golfer Ryan Ruffels is just two shots off the lead in the Canadian Open – the US PGA Tour event in Toronto – after Friday’s second round. Ruffels said he felt his 324-yard average off tee gave him a good chance of winning Australia’s ninth Candian Open title.

8.47am BST


While we’re at half-time in our feature game, I’ll re-cap some more sports news. Thanks to Wires (AAP), Australia’s Opals team have created history by advancing to the final of the women’s Asia Cup after defeating South Korea by 17 points. This is Australia’s first appearance in the tournament – and are the first non-East Asian nation to make the final. The Opals won 81-64, and led at every break in the match which was held in Bangalore, India. Kelsey Griffin scored 16 points, and US college star Alanna Smith also added 12.

8.44am BST

NRL H1 10:01 South Sydney Rabbitohs 0-6 Canberra Raiders

Just 10 minutes in, and already a converted try to the favourites the Raiders.

Can’t stop him! @JarrodCroker falls over the line and then converts his own Try!#NRLSouthsRaiders 0-6 after 10 minutes.#NRL

8.42am BST

AFL half-time Port Adelaide 3.5 (23) v St Kilda Saints 2.8 (20)

Suddenly the Saints are reinvigorated, but Bruce misses a contested mark and another opportunity for a goal when he fumbled one off the (wet) deck. This time he looked to finally outbody his opponent before giving away a free-kick. He’s had a rough day at the office – and is particularly unhappy with the umpires. Just 3 points in it at half-time.

8.40am BST

AFL Q2 01:34 remaining Port Adelaide 3.5 (23) v St Kilda Saints 2.8 (20)

Josh Bruce almost knocks himself out cold trying to mark the ball just before the point post. It’s unclear if the ball has hit the post before Membrey picked it up and snapped a goal. Plenty of replays ensue. A goal is paid – that was the umpire’s original call – because Bruce’s hands were between the post and the ball, which equates to play on.

Ohh that had to hurt… #AFLPowerSaints

8.37am BST

AFL Q2 02:12 remaining Port Adelaide 3.5 (23) v St Kilda Saints 1.8 (14)

Billings misses a golden opportunity for the Saints. Bruce brought the ball to ground for Billings to pounce – he had plenty of space and time, for no return. He’s missed a couple now – and the Saints have eight points.

8.35am BST

AFL Q2 03:40 remaining Port Adelaide 3.5 (23) v St Kilda Saints 1.7 (13)

Trengove picks out Robbie Gray in the pocket, who cleverly outbodies his opponent. His snap misses.

#truebelievers #portpower #cathaypacificpower #AFLPowerSaints

8.33am BST

AFL Q2 05:39 remaining Port Adelaide 3.4 (22) v St Kilda Saints 1.7 (13)

Billings has a rare set shot for goal and can’t convert. The Saints have had 8 shots on goal, to Port’s 7, but are 10 points behind. Power are still dominating inside 50s 25-19 and contested possessions 71-57. Ryder still dominates the hit-outs with 19 (Power are winning hit-outs 22-12). Speaking of Ryder he has 7 contested possessions and 5 clearances, 4 inside 50s. Not bad for a ruckman.

8.26am BST

AFL Q2 10:35 remaining Port Adelaide 3.4 (22) v St Kilda Saints 1.4 (10)

The Saints can’t seem to stop bombing it away inside 50. This time Membrey makes it look good with a big contested mark. Billings nearly takes a spectacular pack mark in the square, but can’t complete it and the ball is back with the Power after a rushed behind.

8.24am BST

AFL Q2 11:51 remaining Port Adelaide 3.4 (22) v St Kilda Saints 1.3 (9)

More stalemate after Josh Bruce was crunched by two Power defenders deep inside forward 50. Unlucky not to get the free after a nice pass by Seb Ross.

In trying conditions, this was an excellent finish from Karl Amon! #AFLPowerSaints

8.19am BST

AFL Q2 14:54 remaining Port Adelaide 2.4 (16) v St Kilda Saints 1.3 (9)

Some conjecture over deliberate out of bounds at Adelaide Oval – the umpires are showing leniency in the conditions, but of two close calls, paid the one that looked far less deliberate. I am not suggesting they were influenced by the home crowd. But maybe they were.

8.15am BST

AFL Q2 17:28 remaining Port Adelaide 2.3 (15) v St Kilda Saints 1.3 (9)

The Power are dominating general play – they have 15 inside 50s to 9, 47 contested possessions to 31, and Ryder is dominating the ruck with 17 hit-outs to 7. Clearances, however, are even – at 10-11 the Saints’ way.

8.08am BST


That Knights win, though. Here’s the moment McDonald Jones Stadium erupted after Saifiti’s try.

#NRLnewsgi McDonald Jones Stadium just went wild! #NRLKnightsDragons #NRL

8.05am BST

AFL Q1 quarter-time Port Adelaide 2.3 (15) v St Kilda 1.3 (9)

Couple of late goals to the Power after a bad error from the Saints let Amon in (his first game since Round 10) for an impressive snap in the wet. A small melee breaks out on the verge of quarter-time, which gifts a free to Ebert. Siren sounds. Just a goal in it to the Power, who turned the heat up in those final minutes.

8.03am BST

I see it but I don’t quite believe it. The Knights finally break through for a win. Jacob Saifiti broke the deadlock with a 72nd minute try, converted by Trent Hodkinson. Hodkinson then took the field goal in the 78th minute to stretch the lead to 5, the winning margin.

Try-scorer Saifiti had 176 run metres for the Knights, eclipsed by Jack de Belin for the Dragons who had 196 (Nene McDonald also ran 190m, but will rue the spilled opportunity for a try). Most tackles went to Cameron McInness, with 66 for the Dragons, while Jamie Buhrer had 40 for the Knights. Dugan and Nightingale had a line break each for the Dragons, and Saifiti and Gagai had one each for Newcastle.

WINNERS #NRLKnightsDragons #goKnights

7.59am BST

AFL Q1 03:05 remaining Port Adelaide 0.2 (2) v St Kilda 1.3 (9)

Still no goal to the Power despite some opportunities – Ollie Wines just missed a set shot after winning an over-the-shoulder free, and down the other end Mav Weller missed a very similar one for the Saints. Both sides have been guilty of bombing away – the Power to Jake Carlisle in the long-sleeves down back, and the Saints to a raft of Power defenders like Jasper Pittard. We have something of a stalemate brewing.

7.57am BST

The Giants have held on for an important win for the fledgling club, after their season has stuttered and stalled in the last month or so of football. Josh Kelly kicked the sealer after the Dockers got within 4 points. He was important for his side, finishing with 27 disposals (11 contested possessions, 6 clearances and the game-winning goal). Dylan Shiel was huge in the final quarter, and finished with 26 disposals (11 contested possesions, 7 inside 50s and 8 clearances). All-in-all, the Giants dominated the clearances 45-32, especially at stoppages (33-19).

For the Dockers, Nat Fyfe tried his heart out (as always) with 31 disposals, 19 contested possessions, and 2 goals. How good is it to see him somewhere back near his best? Unheralded Luke Ryan also had 25 disposals – at 88% disposal efficiency, and a huge 14 marks to go with 8 rebound 50s and 6 tackles. He looks a player for the Dockers’ future.

7.48am BST

AFL Q1 11:18 remaining Port Adelaide 0.1 (1) v St Kilda 1.1 (7)

First goal goes to the Saints through Jack Lonie after a questionable free kick for high contact against Sam Powell-Pepper. Lonie looked to throw the head back, so SPP will consider himself unlucky. How good is he, by the way? Genuine Rising Star chance.

7.46am BST

AFL Q1 12:20 remaining Port Adelaide 0.1 (1) v St Kilda 0.1 (1)

Alright I’ll return to the feature game but tell you if anything out of the ordinary happens in the GWS game (I’m calling a much-needed win for them). Just a single point each here so far in difficult conditions. The Power are dominating contested possessions (17-11) and hit-outs (6-2) both which will be all-important in the wet.

7.43am BST

AFL Q4 02:06 remaining GWS Giants 12.19 (91) v 13.8 (86)

Josh Kelly kicks the sealer (surely) for the Dockers with a couple of minutes left. Nice composure from young Kelly – that was thanks to yet another Devon Smith clearance and possession (he’s had 11 possessions this quarter).

7.42am BST

AFL Q4 02:51 remaining GWS Giants 12.19 (91) v 13.8 (86)

Stephen Hill drives the Dockers into forward 50 and the ball goes out of bounds off Mundy’s hands. Nat Fyfe wins another clearance but the Dockers can’t get a clean possession and Devon Smith hands it off to Patton who loads up from 50m and misses everything. He was pushed as he kicked, however, and they’ve paid a downfield free-kick. That’s a questionable decision given he pushed him AS he kicked it, which usually results in a free where the ball was. Jeremy Cameron takes it on a very tight angle, and misses.

7.39am BST

AFL Q1 17:44 remaining Port Adelaide 0.0 (0) v St Kilda 0.1 (1)

It’s pouring rain at the Adelaide Oval – and the forecast is no better. Ponchos abound. First foray forward goes to Josh Bruce who takes a great contested mark considering the weather. His snap goes wide.

7.34am BST


Just before this one starts – how good was David Squires’ take on the AFL Footy Show earlier this week? He had five suggestions for saving the Footy Show. Hint: anything that isn’t white, male, and heterosexual (in case you’re wondering, Eddie McGuire doesn’t qualify).

7.33am BST

AFL Q4 08:00 remaining GWS Giants 12.15 (87) v Fremantle 12.8 (80)

The Dockers FINALLY get one back through Ballantyne (after a fantastic handpass by Mayne to keep the ball inside the boundary line) after four consecutive goals to Lobb, Scully, Smith and Patton. What can the Dockers conjure with 8 minutes remaining?

7.30am BST

NRL H2 62:08 Newcastle Knights 14-14 St George Illawarra Dragons

Could Newcastle finally hold on for a win? It’s all square at McDonald Jones Stadium. They’ve made some questionable decisions on the fifth tackle – and almost gifted the Dragons a try just before, if not for a nice chase by Nathan Ross to force the error by Nene. This one looks set to go to the wire – and I’ll check back in with it when I can get away from our feature game (Port Adelaide v St Kilda in the AFL – followed by Roosters v Cowboys in the NRL)

7.25am BST

Jayden Hunt looked to have the best chance to win it for the Dees – and sought to centre it to Lewis, but the kick was poor. The Roos find a free man in Nathan Hrovat, who bombs it inside 50 and the Roos WIN IT! Surely that emphatically answers the tanking claims that have unfairly been directed their way this week. They have lost plenty of close ones this season (five games under a goal!) and are unlucky to be as low as they are in my opinion.

For the Demons, it was a very Melbourne-like stumble after such a good month of football, and with a top four spot on the line. I’ll back them in for this to be a one-off. Credit to the Roos – they came with hunger, passion and pride for their club today.

7.20am BST

AFL Q4 01:05 remaining North Melbourne 11.10 (76) v Melbourne 10.12 (72)

BIG mark to Majak Daw. He delivers after that epic spray from Scott last week. Another big man, Ben Brown, gets a free for in the back and Higgins – who was in plenty of space – chose not to take the advantage and instead backs his side in to milk the last minute. Brown finds the line.

7.18am BST

AFL Q4 01:55 remaining North Melbourne 11.10 (76) v Melbourne 10.12 (72)

A point to Melbourne through Christian Petracca. Could this be a one-point heartbreak for the Roos? Hibberd unloads but misses after Tom McDonald took another telling mark.

7.15am BST

AFL Q4 03:49 remaining North Melbourne 11.10 (76) v Melbourne 10.10 (70)

Higgins plays on to Andrew Swallow who fumbles and (seemingly) plays for a high free. Thought he was pinged for holding the ball, but got one in the back. Point to North to make it an even goal lead.

7.14am BST


I’ll keep you updated on the final moments of the North Melbourne v Melbourne AFL game, but in the meantime, do yourselves a favour and have a read of Barney Ronay on the likely transfer of Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe – otherwise known as the most coveted young football talent in the world. It looks, unsurprisingly, like he might end up at Real Madrid – for a world-record £160m fee, in a move that would qualify as not only the largest but also the most extraordinary football transfer of all time. Loved Ronay’s take on the hyperbole that often accompanies football transfers. As he puts it, “for all Mbappé’s vast social media imprint, his status as a kind of Snapchat footballer, a viral skill-meme made flesh, it is worth remembering that he really hasn’t done anything yet.” Unbelievably, the proposed transfer fee would exceed the combined fees Madrid paid for Cristinao Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane – when both were world player of the year winners, and in their 20s.

7.10am BST

AFL Q4 07:35 remaining North Melbourne 11.9 (75) v Melbourne 10.10 (70)

Big final seven minutes or so left in this game – the Demons hit the lead again through the reborn forward Tom McDonald, who has stepped up and saved them in more than a few games this year. Down the other end, Ben Brown completely misfires and Jy Simpkin takes a mark 25m out. He goals to put the underdogs back in front. What tanking?

7.07am BST


England v South Africa third Test

7.01am BST

F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo has finished fastest in practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix, to give a timely reminder that a rejuvenated Red Bull can be a force to reckon with. Riccardio finished in one minute and 18.455 seconds in the afternoon session, and also led the morning session, recording two times inside Michael Schumacher’s lap record for Ferrari in 2004. Riccardio sits fourth in the championship overall, 60 points behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the mid-point of the season. He has had five podium finishes this year, and won in Azerbaijan last month. If he is successful in taking pole, it will be a record-equalling 68th time he has done so in his career.

6.57am BST

World Swimming Championships

Australia’s horror run in the World Swimming Championships in Budapest has continued, with Bronte Campbell failing to defend her 100m freestyle title. Campbell became the third woman in history to win the 50m-100m double at the last world titles, in Kazan, in 2015. In yesterday’s final, however, she faded to second last, finishing with a time of 53.18 seconds (more than half a second shy of her 2015 winning time). In the lead-up, Campbell had struggled with illness in the days before her title defence, and has also had chronic shoulder issues since the titles in Kazan. Nonetheless, she’ll be disappointed to have finished a full second behind winner Simone Manuel, who finished in 52.27, setting a new US record and becoming the first American to win the 100m title since Jenny Thompson in 1998.

6.54am BST

AFL Q4 17:25 remaining North Melbourne 10.8 (68) v Melbourne 9.8 (62)

Another unexpectedly close one – and potential huge upset – is brewing here at Blundstone Arena in Tasmania. Cult hero Ben Brown has 4 goals for the Roos – while Luke McDonald (18 disposals, 5 contested possessions, 13 kicks, 3 clearances, 6 inside 50s, 1 goal) and Andrew Swallow (20 possessions, 8 contested possessions, 85% disposal efficiency, 1 goal) are leading the way for their team at their home-away-from-home.

6.49am BST

NRL half-time Newcastle 14-12 St George Illawarra

Unfortunately for the Knights, they’ve let a Dragons try slip with just a few seconds remaining on the clock until half-time. That brings the Dragons right back within 2 points, in an ominous sign for Newcastle. The Dragons, however, will be relieved after they had not one but two tries overturned.

Vision of the @NRL_Dragons No Try decision in the 30th minute of #NRLKnightsDragons.#NRL

6.46am BST

Tournament of Nations (Women’s football)

While we’re waiting for the Port v St Kilda game to start, I’ll do a quick round-up of news launching overnight.

6.44am BST

AFL half-time GWS Giants 6.7 (43) v Fremantle Dockers 6.6 (42)

An unexpectedly close one is unfolding at Spotless Stadium, with the Giants just one point in front of the Dockers at half-time. Nat Fyfe is leading the way for his team with 17 disposals, at 76.5% disposal efficiency, 4 clearances, a goal, 3 tackles, 9 contested possessions and 7 score involvements. Almost a complete game at half time. Another unlikely suspect – Luke Ryan – is also going at 93% diposal efficiency for his 14 disposals, and 5 rebound 50s. Shane Kersten also has three goals for the half, to be the unlikely top-scorer.

6.37am BST

NRL H1 32:15 Newcastle Knights 12-6 St George Illawarra Dragons

The Knights are at it again – tantalising in the early stages of their NRL matches (ordinarily this ends in horror second-half fade outs). They raced away to the first two tries in this match – the first in the sixth minute to Brock Lamb, and the second in the 11th minute to former Rooster Shaun Kenny-Dowall. Both were converted by Trent Hodkinson. However, the Dragons got one back through Paul Vaughan in the 23rd, which was converted by Gareth Widdop.

#NRLnewsgi Big man knows his way to the line! Paul Vaughan. #NRLKnightsDragons #NRL

6.31am BST

Hello and welcome to Saturday’s Guardian Australia Sportwatch blog. I’m Kate O’Halloran, and here we keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of Australian sport, whatever your preferred shape of ball, with our rolling liveblog. Don’t forget to tweet us @GdnAusSport with the hashtag #sportwatch.

I’ll be liveblogging two feature matches for you today – the first being the AFL clash between Port Adelaide and St Kilda. This shapes as a crucial match for both teams – albeit for different reasons. The Saints will be hoping that that a win keeps their stumbling season alive while those teams above them do their best to allow others a chance to take their place in the eight (see: The West Coast Eagles’ capitulation to Collingwood last week). Just above them, the reigning premiers the Bulldogs will face Essendon tomorrow in a do-or-die clash for both finals aspirants. We should know a lot more about the composition of the final eight after this round. The Saints, will, however, be without spiritual leader Nick Riewoldt (one of many ‘managed’ this round), as well as veteran Leigh Montagna (will he go on?) and Koby Stevens. Tim Membrey gets another chance to stake his claim for a permanent spot in the forward line, while Weller and White also make their way back into the side. I’m looking forward to seeing how the much-improved Seb Ross plays this week – after a career-high 37 possessions against the Swans last week.

6.52am BST

Kate will be here shortly. In the meantime, check out this extract of Joe Gorman’s book, on Socceroos great Mark Viduka and his time at Melbourne Knights.

Related: Mark Viduka: the Socceroos great whose Croatian roots ran deep | Joe Gorman

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jul 24

Losing control: outrage at non-send off highlights core problem with NRL referees | Nick Tedeschi

As long as there have been referees, there have been complaints about them but it is apparent the head official no longer controls on-field action

To label the standard of current NRL refereeing a crisis would be to undersell through cliché just how damaging poor officiating has been to rugby league – the standard at which officials are operating is having a more negative impact than nearly anything else in the sport.

Getting universal agreement on any matter in rugby league is about as likely as spotting the Loch Ness monster in Sydney Harbour but almost to a man there was agreement that Sia Soliola should have been sent off for his tackle that was both late and high, and left Billy Slater splayed motionless on the Canberra Stadium turf.

Related: ‘It’s the feeling of Origin’: clamour for women’s State of Origin intensifies | Joe Gorman

Referees today are crippled by a combination of fear of creating imbalance and a misguided sense of superiority

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jul 23

NSW win women’s Interstate Challenge, Pies upset Eagles and more – Australian Sportwatch, as it happened

9.16am BST


That’s all from me here after an early start to Australian Sportwatch. To begin the day, I live blogged all the action from the women’s Interstate Challenge between New South Wales and Queensland. It was a big day for women’s rugby league, with the game televised and sponsored for the first time, and many women paid for the first time also. The Blues put on a show for their home crowd, with debutant Jess Sergies scoring a hattrick for her home state as her team won 22-6. Player of the match went to her teammate Kezie Apps, who was instrumental in setting up several of their tries. The game ended in some carnage for existing and prospective Jillaroos – the most high-profile of those being NSW fullback Sam Bremner with an ankle. I hope she’s OK and back out there soon. Tough day at the office for the Maroons – if you read my preview pieces on the game, you’ll know how much this loss will sting.

FIELD GOAL for @TheParraEels! #NRLTigersEels 16-17 77′ #9WWOS

9.01am BST

HUGE loss for the Eagles – they were up by 24 points up in the final quarter, vying for a spot in the top eight and let it slip. That said, the Pies showed plenty of heart, especially without skipper Pendlebury, and during the game, Moore and Varcoe, to win it from that far behind. That’s what their supporters have been waiting for.

Adam Treloar is emotional after the game in his interview with Daisy Pearce – it seems the season and the scrutiny has taken a toll on the players as much as coach Buckley. He finished with 34 disposals – including 12 contested possessions and 5 clearances (still, his efficiency let him down at 59%). Best on ground for the Pies was ruckman Grundy. He had 19 disposals, but 42 hitouts, 8 contested possessions, and 3 marks. He dominated Petrie in the ruck. Jordan de Goey was also huge, especially in the second half, with 4 goals as a makeshift forward.

8.53am BST

AFL Q4 00:40 remaining Collingwood 13.15 (93) v West Coast 13.7 (85)

Fasolo kicks it – think they’ve won it from here. Pies in a big upset.

8.52am BST

AFL Q4 00:56 remaining Collingwood 12.15 (87) v West Coast 13.7 (85)

Treloar wins the clearance, and it’s held up inside the Pies’ 50. Treloar again, gets it inside 50, the Eagles try to clear and Fasolo gets a holding the ball after he chases down an Eagles’ defender.

8.50am BST

AFL Q4 02:06 remaining Collingwood 12.15 (87) v West Coast 13.7 (85)

Huge tackle by de Goey, who has had an enormous second half. He wins the free for holding the ball, and hits up Jamie Elliot in the 50. I sense multiple clubs behind Collingwood (aka those vying for a spot in the 8).

8.48am BST

AFL Q4 03:52 remaining Collingwood 11.15 (81) v West Coast 13.7 (85)

Collingwood are running all over the top of the Eagles here- all the momentum is going their way with the crowd behind them. An upset is on the cards.

8.46am BST

AFL Q4 05:46 remaining Collingwood 11.15 (81) v West Coast 13.7 (85)

Free kick to de Goey for a hold from Will Schofield. He kicks his fourth – for 4.2 for the afternoon. Only 4 points in it. Exciting stuff from the Pies – who have so had so many more shots on goal. This is a crucial match that will shape finals – the Eagles can’t afford to drop it.

8.45am BST

AFL Q4 06:19 remaining Collingwood 10.15 (75) v West Coast 13.7 (85)

Brayden Maynard was unlucky not to get 50m, after he was held up after taking the mark. He tried to bomb the ball in long – but hit the man on the mark. Down the other end, Elliot Yeo has the chance to kick the sealer – and hits the post.

8.41am BST

AFL Q4 10:07 remaining Collingwood 9.15 (69) v West Coast 13.6 (84)

Guess who – Josh Kennedy is lining up for his sixth. This one uncharacteristically goes out on the full.

8.38am BST

AFL Q4 11:10 remaining Collingwood 9.15 (69) v West Coast 13.6 (84)

Almost a massive goal from Treloar, who burst through the middle and hit the post from outside 50m. They’ve kicked 15 points now – and would rue their lack of accuracy.

Q4 | It’s Jordan De Goey providing the once again. @CollingwoodFC is not done with yet. #AFLPiesEagles

8.36am BST

AFL Q4 12:43 remaining Collingwood 9.14 (68) v West Coast 13.6 (84)

Leigh Matthews says the difference between the two sides is the presence of the two key forwards in Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling. We all know how highly-publicised the Pies’ woes up forward are. It hasn’t helped that Darcy Moore has been off for most of the game, but they have had good return from de Goey and Reid.

8.34am BST

AFL Q4 14:11 remaining Collingwood 9.13 (67) v West Coast 13.6 (84)

Ben Reid can’t convert – that’s a big miss in the context of the game. That would have given him three for the day, and taken the Pies within a couple of goals.

8.31am BST

AFL Q4 16:20 remaining Collingwood 9.12 (66) v West Coast 13.5 (83)

Another goal to de Goey! That’s his third – he simply threw his boot at that one, after it floated awkwardly into the 50 – he’s at his opportunistic best today.

8.26am BST

AFL Q4 19:12 remaining Collingwood 8.11 (59) v West Coast 13.5 (83)

First goal of the quarter goes to Jack Darling (2 goals) after he was gifted a 50m for a push in the back after he marked. Undisciplined from Collingwood.

8.25am BST

AFL Q2 15:57 remaining Brisbane 8.2 (50) v Carlton 1.4 (10)

Over at the Gabba, the home side are well on top of Carlton. Dayne Zorko has 13 disposals, with 6 contested possessions and 2 goals. Meanwhile, for the Blues, captain Marc Murphy leads the way with 9 disposals (3 clearances).

8.21am BST

NRL H2 48:54 Wests Tigers 8-10 Parramatta Eels

Here’s the Semi Radafara try in the 31st minute which put the Eels in front. Scores remain as they did then – with the Eels 2 points ahead. Gutherson missed the resultant conversion.

The Semi Trailer at full speed!#NRLTigersEels 8-10 after 32 minutes.#NRL

8.18am BST

AFL three-quarter-time Collingwood 8.11 (59) v West Coast 12.5 (77)

Yeo runs into an open goal to stretch the lead back out to three goals- that’s a killer for the Pies (and Buckley) as it came with only three seconds to go after a much-improved Collingwood quarter. The Eagles had plenty of overlap out the back and made them pay for the turnover.

8.14am BST

AFL Q3 02:54 remaining Collingwood 8.10 (58) v West Coast 11.5 (71)

A panic kick from Treloar just outside 50 falls to Hurn, who takes a high tackle from Sidebottom. He passes off to Shuey about 10m closer to goal – a strange decision given how far Hurn can kick. Shuey, however, rewards the decision and kicks straight. That’s two back for the Eagles after a Collingwood onslaught.

8.09am BST

AFL Q3 06:10 remaining Collingwood 8.9 (57) v West Coast 10.4 (64)

Travis Varcoe hasn’t returned for the Pies – they might be two down for the rest of the match at this rate. Jordan de Goey had a golden opportunity to put the Pies in front with his third goal in a row, but hit the post. That’s scores level.

8.03am BST

AFL Q3 09:08 remaining Collingwood 8.7 (55) v West Coast 9.3 (57)

Pressure has really lifted here from the Pies.

Travis Varcoe was helped from the ground following this incident. #AFLPiesEagles

8.01am BST

AFL Q3 10:58 remaining Collingwood 8.7 (55) v West Coast 9.3 (57)

Some vision is being shown of Mick Malthouse sitting with Eddie McGuire – Brian Taylor wonders if he’s there “for an interview”.

7.57am BST

AFL Q3 11:52 remaining Collingwood 7.7 (49) v West Coast 9.3 (57)

Travis Varcoe looks to be concussed after a nasty fall onto his head. Not dissimilar to the Dale Morris fall that broke his forearm last night. For the record, Luke Beveridge said that could be the end of his career, which would be very sad indeed.

7.54am BST

AFL Q3 14:16 remaining Collingwood 6.7 (43) v West Coast 9.3 (57)

Taylor Adams gets one back for Collingwood – after a Wells fresh air shot left the ball behind. Adams swooped opportunistically to cut the lead back to 14 (the same margin the Pies led by in the first quarter).

7.51am BST

AFL Q3 15:17 remaining Collingwood 5.6 (36) v West Coast 9.3 (57)

Kennedy juggles a contested mark with one hand – he was far too strong for Goldsack. That’s his sixth – maybe Franklin’s record is under threat after all.

7.47am BST

AFL Q3 18:45 remaining Collingwood 5.6 (36) v West Coast 8.3 (51)

Another nice contested mark to Kennedy, who technically took the free for chopping the arms. That’s 5.1 for him in his milestone game.

7.46am BST

AFL Q3 19:50 remaining Collingwood 5.6 (36) v West Coast 7.3 (45)

News coming through that Darcy Moore is off to hospital with neck soreness – the Pies stress that they are being cautious more than anything. That means the Pies will be one dow for the rest of this game.

7.42am BST

NRL H1 26:30 Wests Tigers 8-6 Parramatta Eels

The Tigers hit the lead at ANZ Stadium, with a penalty goal converted by Tuimoala Lolohea. Both sides have one try each. The Eels opened the scoring with a try to Bevan French in the third minute, which Clint Gutherson converted. The Tigers then returned fire through James Tedesco in the 12th minute, and Lolohea followed with a conversion.

Was this a high tackle? #NRLTigersEels #9WWOS

7.36am BST

Ninja Warrior

Anyone been watching Ninja Warrior? I admit that I haven’t – but it seems the nation has, with Erin Riley reporting that its ratings have already eclipsed our major sports (with only State of Origin games and Australian Open men’s tennis final out-rating Warrior so far). In her piece on the Japanese franchise, Riley argues that the course gifts an unfair advantage to men and the able-bodied, making it anything but the ‘great equaliser’ it promises to be.

7.33am BST


There’s a couple of football stories emerging. The first is that West Ham have announced a record club signing – welcoming Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City on a five-year deal for a club-record fee of up to £25m, with a guaranteed £20m plus an additional £5m in potential add-ons. Arnautovic said he felt “special” to be a West Ham player:

7.26am BST

AFL half-time Collingwood 5.6 (36) v West Coast 7.3 (45)

Reid can’t convert his third and is well left in his attempt at goal. He seems to be the Pies’ primary target at the moment, with Darcy Moore off the ground with an injury concern.

7.21am BST

AFL Q2 03:49 remaining Collingwood 5.5 (35) v West Coast 7.3 (45)

There’s a trio of Eagles milestones today – the man I was just talking about, Josh Kennedy is playing his 200th game, Luke Shuey his150th and Elliot Yeo his 100th. The Eagles have plenty to play for given they desperately need a win to keep clubs level and below them at bay – including the Bombers, and fast-finishing reigning premiers the Bulldogs. They have had an inconsistent season, however, and have not won two games in a row since round eight – and have won three of their last eight games. I’m backing them in to win today, with a big bag from Kennedy (he might not beat the record for most goals in your 200th though – that sits with Buddy Franklin who kicked 9).

7.15am BST

AFL Q2 05:58 remaining Collingwood 5.5 (35) v West Coast 7.3 (45)

That man Josh Kennedy kicks a brilliant set shot goal from 45m out on a tight angle – that’s his fourth – he’s got 4.1. Has been an unbelievable acquisition for the Eagles since he came over all that time ago from Carlton.

7.12am BST

AFL Q2 07:56 remaining Collingwood 5.5 (35) v West Coast 6.3 (39)

Nice set shot from Ben Reid gets the score back to 4 points the difference. That’s his second goal for the day.

7.11am BST

AFL Q2 10:03 remaining Collingwood 4.5 (29) v West Coast 6.3 (39)

Fairly tight game here at Etihad as Josh Kennedy soccers through his third. Same old story for Collingwood – plenty of inside 50s and possession, but some questionable ball skills.

7.06am BST

This game is over at WIN Stadium, with a thumping 52-22 upset victory to the Dragons. The Sea Eagles scored four second-half tries – to Walker (42m), Lussick (48m), Trobjevic (51m) and Uate (54m) to put a scare through the Dragons’ camp, but they responded with four of their own – to Vaughan (59m), Nightingale (62m), Aitken (67m) and the impressive debutant Dufty (79m). Widdop converted well at 8 of 9 attempts.

Dufty also had two line breaks and two try assists for the Dragons, while Jack de Belin ran 251 metres and had 30 tackles (McInness had 39). For the Sea Eagles, Jake Trbojevic had 45 tackles, and ran 159 metres – while his brother Tom ran 233 metres.

On debut! Makes it a half century for the @NRL_Dragons.#NRLDragonsManly #NRL

6.50am BST

I’ll have a very short break and come back with the rest of the Collingwood v West Coast clash (after some other round-the-ground updates).

6.49am BST

Great win for the Tigers, who, as Anthony Hudson aptly puts it, went from “no hopers” last year to top 4 this year. Who knows what this side can achieve. I say that both sincerely and with some cynicism given we all know how up and down this side can be (remember the first half against St Kilda a couple of weeks ago?) Still, they looked back to their best today, and there’s no stopping Dustin Martin as far as I can tell. They’ve got Gold Coast next week, and a fairly soft run towards the finals. I’m backing them in to stay top 4.

For GWS – it was a disappointing day that told the story of their last month of football, during which they’ve had just the single win over the Lions (and draws against Geelong and Hawthorn). Toby Greene looks likely to spend a couple of weeks on the sidelines, and Shiel looked in plenty of pain when he left the ground in the final quarter, not to return. They’ve got Fremantle at home next week – they should surely bounce back then, or there’ll be much more scrutiny.

6.41am BST

AFL Q4 00:08 remaining Richmond 9.10 (64) v GWS 6.9 (45)

Josh Kelly misses an easy shot at goal to cap off a miserable day for his team. Kelly has been well down by his lofty standards with 21 disposals, but only 66% efficiency and just the one clearance.

6.38am BST

AFL Q4 02:33 remaining Richmond 9.10 (64) v GWS 6.7 (43)

That’s the sealer – Castagna kicks a scrubber to make a certainty of the Tigers’ victory. Well done to the Tigers – they’ve defended their lead much better after that run of close losses earlier in the season.

6.34am BST

AFL Q4 04:55 remaining Richmond 8.9 (57) v GWS 6.7 (43)

Consolation goal to Jon Patton with just under five minutes remaining. Don’t think they’re close enough to challenge, but they’ve kept pushing, the Giants.

6.30am BST

AFL Q4 07:25 remaining Richmond 8.9 (57) v GWS 5.7 (37)

Dylan Shiel is down again – this time it looks like a right shoulder. Again – there was no opposition contact, he merely slipped and thumped into the turf. The ball is locked up inside the Tigers’ 50 with only 7 minutes or so to go.

6.26am BST

AFL Q4 10:04 remaining Richmond 8.9 (57) v GWS 5.7 (37)

Deliberate out of bounds goes against Phil Davis to gift the ball back to Richmond. GWS have dominated possession this quarter but can’t make any meaningful inroads on the scoreboard. Brandon Ellis takes crucial seconds off the clock before setting the ball up to the top of the square. Another ball-up takes yet more seconds off the clock. The ball eventually lands with Kane Lambert who again milks the clock.

6.20am BST

AFL Q4 14:10 remaining Richmond 8.9 (57) v GWS 5.7 (37)

Very nice work by Jonathan Patton to find Steve Johnson on the boundary line – he showed some incredible agility and poise in pouring rain. Still, even Johnson can’t kick a miracle goal and it is rushed through for one behind.

6.18am BST

AFL Q4 15:23 remaining Richmond 8.9 (57) v GWS 5.6 (36)

Jack Riewoldt looked to kick one for the Tigers but upon review it seems to have hit the point post. GWS couldn’t pull off another come-from-behind victory in the last quarter, could they? I’m going with no in these conditions.

6.15am BST

AFL Q4 16:45 remaining Richmond 8.8 (56) v GWS 5.6 (36)

The Giants get one back through Kelly – the Richmond crowd don’t like it after a deliberate out of bounds call went against Rance. Nice roving goal by Kelly who has struggled to get into the game after quarter-time.

6.11am BST

AFL Q4 19:00 remaining Richmond 8.8 (56) v GWS 4.6 (30)

Nice work from Toby Greene, who drew a high tackle and picked out Will Setterfield. He misses to the left – that would have been his first goal in the AFL. Let’s see if there’s any fight left in the Giants.

6.09am BST

NRL H2 42:44 St George-Illawarra 30-6 Manly Sea Eagles

It took until the 42nd minute, but Manly have finally got a try back thorugh Dylan Walker. Cherry-Evans makes no mistake with the conversion.

The @SeaEagles hit back with a 4 pointer in the first minute of the second half.#NRLDragonsManly 30-6 after 43 minutes.#NRL

6.04am BST

AFL three-quarter-time Richmond 8.8 (56) v GWS 4.5 (29)

Miserable quarter from GWS to the scene of some miserable-looking rain at the MCG. Looks like the Tigers will hold onto their top-4 spot after this game, while the Giants’ premiership favouritism is no question in doubt.

5.59am BST

AFL Q3 02:52 remaining Richmond 8.7 (55) v GWS 4.5 (29)

An unlikely goal to ruckman Toby Nankervis to put the Tigers up by 26. He awkwardly lumbered towards goal (in typical ruck style) before producing a beautiful snap.

How good was the tap here? #AFLTigersGiants

5.56am BST

AFL Q3 05:07 remaining Richmond 7.7 (49) v GWS 4.5 (29)

Another goal to the Tigers – a beautiful team effort results in a Caddy goal. Another goal assist to Dustin Martin. I’ll be sharing some footage of that once I get it.

5.53am BST

AFL Q3 06:20 remaining Richmond 6.7 (43) v GWS 4.5 (29)

The unthinkable happens and Dustin Martin is caught holding the ball after trying a triple-fend off. Still he’s up to 23 disposals, 14 contested possessions, 9 clearances and 9 inside 50s (and a goal). You can understand why he still hasn’t signed his contract.

5.49am BST

AFL Q3 08:43 remaining Richmond 6.7 (43) v GWS 4.5 (29)

The Giants finally hit a target inside 50 through Toby Greene who has been pushed onto the ball. Good move by Cameron – he couldn’t get into the game at all, and needs an outlet for that aggression. Haynes has an important shot at goal – and the defender kicks it.

5.45am BST

AFL Q3 11:44 remaining Richmond 6.7 (43) v GWS 3.5 (23)

The Tigers have had several opportunities to put the Giants away but have kicked two shots at goal out on the full – the latest just then to Shaun Grigg. However, the Giants boot one out on the full through Wilson – Kennedy punches it away in frustration and gives away 50m. This is a comedy of coach killers. Kamdyn McIntosh makes them pay with a goal.

5.42am BST

AFL Q3 12:53 remaining Richmond 5.7 (37) v GWS 3.5 (23)

Further signs of frustration from the Giants here, with Jon Patton losing patience with his teammates after a few ignored leads and miskicks.

5.40am BST

AFL Q3 15:55 remaining Richmond 5.7 (37) v GWS 3.5 (23)

It’s all unravelling for the Giants – they can’t seem to find any momentum whatsoever and have given away several unnecessary free kicks. They look like a very frustrated team – and like a team that has only won one game from their last five. Let’s see what they have in them – but their last goal was the 22nd minute mark of the first quarter.

5.34am BST

AFL Q3 19:15 remaining Richmond 5.6 (36) v GWS 3.5 (23)

Questionable choice from Mumford to centre the ball there, it allowed Martin to intercept and hand off an easy goal to Jack Riewoldt. This quarter has started as the last finished, with Dustin Martin taking another free kick in the centre for yet another clearance.

5.27am BST

I’ll be back shortly with the 3rd quarter of the AFL clash between Richmond and GWS.

5.23am BST

NRL H1 16:00 St George Illawarra 12-0 Manly Sea Eagles

It’s another try to the Dragons after yet another set-up kick by McCrone. Tim Lafai fumbled it but put it down for the Dragons. Widdop strikes the conversion nicely to put them 12-0 up early. Manly fans wanted obstruction for an early jump by Nightingale but the bunker cleared the try.

5.19am BST

NRL H1 12:39 St George Illawarra 6-0 Manly Sea Eagles

Just going quickly around the grounds while we’re at half time. An early try here to the Dragons through Jason Nightingale. Nice pass by McCrone, who picks him out across the field. Widdop converts to give them the six points.

Straight into Nightingale’s lap! Can we smell a hat-trick coming on?#NRLDragonsManly 6-0 after 9 minutes.#NRL

5.15am BST

AFL half-time Richmond 4.6 (29) v GWS 3.5 (23)

18 inside 50s to 6 for the Tigers that quarter, for 4.4. Both Dustin Martin and Brandon Ellis are up to 15 disposals each, with 9 contested possessions and 5 clearances for Martin, as well as a goal and 5 inside 50s. They’ll need to do something about him if they’re any chance, the Giants.

5.11am BST

AFL Q2 00:26 remaining Richmond 4.5 (29) v GWS 3.5 (23)

Mark to Edwards after a big contested mark by Martin and bomb inside forward which looked to be touched by Lobb before he marked it. He misses, which might be some kind of justice after he seemed to play on.

5.08am BST

AFL Q2 03:00 remaining Richmond 4.5 (29) v GWS 3.5 (23)

The Giants accidentally concede a behind after an awful clanger from Phil Davis. He’s on top of Riewoldt at the moment but his team are under intense pressure – which, so far, they’re failing to handle whatsoever.

5.05am BST

AFL Q2 05:30 remaining Richmond 4.4 (28) v GWS 3.5 (23)

Goal to Jack Riewoldt – the Tigers are all over the Giants at the moment – largely thanks to their leaders in Martin and Cotchin, but Riewoldt is now also finding his way into the game. Heath Shaw can’t get anywhere near him – he’s only had the one possession this quarter.

5.02am BST

AFL Q2 07:30 remaining Richmond 3.4 (22) v GWS 3.5 (23)

The Tigers get another one despite Martin’s pass to Rioli bouncing straight off his chest. The ball luckily bounced into Lambert’s hands, who goals.

4.57am BST

AFL Q2 10:09 remaining Richmond 2.4 (16) v GWS 3.5 (23)

A real stalemate ensuing here with plenty of ball-ups. Jack Riewoldt finally gets a possession, hitting up Grigg just outside 50 who in turn hits up Dustin Martin for an easy shot at goal. He kicks truly to get some momentum going for the Tigers.

4.54am BST

AFL Q2 12:15 remaining Richmond 1.4 (10) v GWS 3.5 (23)

Shiel is back on in good news for the Giants. The game has slowed right up after the Giants dominated the first quarter. Richmond however, have blazed away a couple of times at goal. This time Scully misses for GWS.

4.52am BST

AFL Q2 14:00 remaining Richmond 1.4 (10) v GWS 3.4 (22)

Rory Lobb is tackled after what looked like a clear mark – did his teammate Patton have some of the ball? Play on was the call in an unlucky turn of events for the Giants.

4.49am BST

AFL Q2 16:23 remaining Richmond 1.4 (10) v GWS 3.4 (22)

Dylan Shiel is limping off with what looks like a right ankle. Meanwhile the Tigers are pressing with another point to Edwards.

4.46am BST

AFL Q2 18:15 remaining Richmond 1.3 (9) v GWS 3.4 (22)

Back on at the MCG with a single point to Richmond through their star Dustin Martin.

4.43am BST

Tour de France

In Tour de France news, Chris Froome is starting to look unbeatable, cruising to a 54 second lead after the stage 20 time trial. In an interesting quirk, Froome looks set to become the third rider in Tour history to win the race overall without taking any of the individual stages (as Oscar Pereiro did in 2006 and Greg LeMond in 1990). Romain Bardet – who trailed by 23 seconds at the beginning of the time trial now appears unable to challenge Froome, and faces a fight to retain third place from Mikel Landa (Bardet remains in third, but is only a second ahead of Landa). Bardet was overtaken by Rigoberto Uran, who now moves into second overall, while Maciej Bodnar enjoyed his fourth Tour de France victory with the stage win. Froome came in third, and came within six seconds of taking the stage from Bodnar.

4.40am BST

AFL quarter-time Richmond 0.2 (2) v GWS 3.4 (22)

Patton misses narrowly to the right. He’s having a huge month, though. Great comeback for someone with perennially dodgy knees.

4.33am BST

AFL Richmond Q1 03:22 remaining 0.2 (2) v GWS 3.3 (21)

I’m going to jump straight into the Richmond v GWS game now, which is almost at quarter-time. It seems the Tigers are struggling, with just the two points on the board.

4.25am BST

The Blues have won their second Interstate Challenge, to go back-to-back after an incredible run of 17 losses to their opponents (followed by a draw).

Kezie Apps tells Fox Footy that she’s feeling “fantastic” after breaking her leg back in February. “I love my Blues family, and the Blues girls. To nearly play 80 minutes, I’m stoked.” She’s won player of the match for the second year in a row – Jess Sergies might feel somewhat hard done by after her hattrick.

4.19am BST

Rugby League H2 77:40 NSW 22-6 QLD

Another penalty goes the way of the Blues to thwart the Maroons’ push forward. NSW coach Ben Cross had come down to ground level, confident his job is done.

4.17am BST

Rugby League H2 76:11 NSW 22-6 QLD

Yet another injury time-out here. I’m not sure there’s going to be any Jillaroos left at the conclusion of this game.

4.14am BST

Rugby League H2 73:11 NSW 22-6 QLD

This has been a brutal (and impressive) game of hard tackles. NSW are penalised for an illegal tackle which sets QLD up for another shot at a consolation try. Hancock falls just short of the line thanks to a nice defensive effort from the Blues – but the Maroons have got two tackles to go in this set.

4.10am BST

Rugby League H2 70:00 NSW 22-6 QLD

Ballinger’s pass goes out on the full, a really disappointing result as she tried to find Amelia Kuk. The Maroons look rattled with under 10 minutes to go.

4.08am BST

Rugby League H2 64:40 NSW 22-6 QLD

Finally some luck for the Maroons as the Blues drop the ball. It has all unravelled somewhat for QLD, with a kick out on the full following Sergis’ hattrick. Despite Hancock’s bullocking run they can’t find the try line. They do, however, get a penalty against the Blues 25m out to restart their set.

4.04am BST

Rugby League H2 64:40 NSW 22-6 QLD

Moran’s ball lands just short of the cross bar. Some photos are finally coming through so I’ll add those now!

4.01am BST

Rugby League H2 61:53 NSW 22-6 QLD

Caitlin Moran is fired up and is dodging and weaving her way through the QLD defence with some inside-out passes that are bamboozling the Maroons. The Blues take a penalty only 10m out. A dummy run from captain Ruan Simms works out perfectly and results in a hattrick for Jess Sergis!

Keeping @QLDMaroons at bay! Lead extended.@NSWRL lead 18-6 after 57 minutes.#WomenInLeague #NRL

3.58am BST

Rugby League H2 58:00 NSW 18-6 QLD

Have loved the boot of Studdon today – but this time QLD captain Brown takes the ball nicely from the air. The Maroons have been hit hard with injury – with Kody House off with another ankle injury.

3.56am BST

Rugby League H2 56:22 NSW 18-6 QLD

Foliaki – the QLD resident who argued successfully for the opportunity to represent her state of origin – finds the line again for the Blues. Smart backhanded offload from Moran set that up.

Studdon sends it high, straight into the bread basket for McGregor!@NSWRL lead 14-6 after 53 minutes.#WomenInLeague #NRL

3.54am BST

Rugby League H2 53:29 NSW 14-6 QLD

Moran takes a very difficult conversion, with the ball falling short.

3.52am BST

Rugby League H2 52:00 NSW 14-6 QLD

Penalty to the Blues sees them only 3 metres out with a full set to go. Elianna Walton draws four QLD defenders in a big, bullocking run toward the line but falls just short. Weight of numbers eventually tells with a perfect kick from Maddie Studdon to find Corban McGregor in space for a nice double-handed overhead take.

3.49am BST

Rugby League H2 49:19 NSW 10-6 QLD

Confirmation that Sam Bremner won’t be back with a sprained ankle. She also suffered a head knock in the captain’s run before the game in a horrid run of injuries. That’s a big blow to her personal hopes of representing the Jillaroos later this year.

Sammy Bremner is down and taken from the field. Caitlin Moran shifts to fullback#uptheblues

3.47am BST

Rugby League H2 47:09 NSW 10-6 QLD

Really nice suburban feel at the ground with crowds milling on the hills.

Not a bad crowd at @WINSportsEnt for the Women’s Interstate Challenge. Half time 10-6 @NSWRL leading the @QLDmaroons. #WomenInLeague

3.45am BST

Rugby League H2 45:25 NSW 10-6 QLD

Bad news here with Sam Bremner collapsing onto that troublesome right ankle. There was no contact involved that time, which makes the prognosis much worse. She’s helped from the ground by a couple of trainers. Big loss after she’s already had 1 try assist for her team.

3.44am BST

Rugby League H2 44:12 NSW 10-6 QLD

The sides trading sets at the moment after those early errors.

Hear from Jess Sergis at HT.#WomenInLeague #NRL

3.42am BST

Rugby League H2 41:00 NSW 10-6 QLD

Error from Foliaki gifts the ball to the Maroons to resume play, but House drops the ball to give it back to the Blues. The sides are trading errors at the moment, with Apps then dropping the ball for the Blues. It’s back with the Maroons – ping pong league!

3.39am BST


Just while we’re waiting for the second half to resume, here’s some golfing news. Branden Grace has become the first man in history to post a 62 in a major championship (par at Royal Birkdale is 70). Grace achieved the feat at at 3:16pm on Saturday – but the South African was unaware that he had broken the all-time major record. Grace is well-known in South Africa for his philanthropy – earlier in the year, he donated a significant sum to help victims of devastating forest fires in Knysa, where he first played golf.

3.35am BST

Rugby League half-time NSW 10-6 QLD

Some beautiful pictures coming through showing the stadium’s ocean views. Seems the crowds are really filing in now.

WIN Stadium has to be my favourite stadium at half time- ❤️ the ocean ⛵️ views! #womeninleague #interstatechallenge

3.34am BST

Rugby League half-time NSW 10-6 QLD

Jess Sergis’ teammates are happy with her after her double in the first half.

When you score a double on debut for your state… In 11 minutes! #uptheblues

3.27am BST

Rugby League half-time NSW 10-6 QLD

Maroons tried a big raking kick to test the NSW defence but they come down with the ball – great work from the Blues.

3.21am BST

Rugby League H1 35:00 NSW 10-6 QLD

Some big gains being made by both teams at the moment – around 80m per set. The game looks to have opened up with both teams running out of puff pre half-time.

3.20am BST

Rugby League H1 33:44 NSW 10-6 QLD

Poor bass from Bremner – she’s back out there but seems affected by that ankle injury. Missed her teammate in plenty of space just short of the try line.

3.18am BST

Rugby League H1 31:23 NSW 10-6 QLD

Great work from Karina Brown to dive back into play out of the QLD in-goal. She’s relishing the opportunity both to captain her state and also play in the fullback position – a position she’s eyeing off for the Jillaroos.

3.16am BST

Rugby League H1 29:32 NSW 10-6 QLD

Here’s the last try from Jenni-Sue Hoepper in her ‘welcome back’ game from maternity leave.

Welcome back to rep footy!@NSWRL lead 10-6 after 23 minutes.#WomenInLeague

3.15am BST

Rugby League H1 28:41 NSW 10-6 QLD

Really nice offload from Hancock drives her side forward, that’s a 41m gain for the Maroons, and Caitlin Moran manages to keep the Blues just in play after the kick on the 5th. The Blues get the relieving penalty, but Sam Bremner appears to have a serious ankle injury, perhaps accidentally stomped on in the last tackle. This will be a massive loss to the Blues if she can’t get back on.

3.12am BST

Rugby League H1 25:29 NSW 10-6 QLD

Here’s what everyone’s playing for today – the Nellie Doherty Cup.

.@NSWRL & @QLDmaroons play for the Nellie Doherty Cup in the #InterstateChallenge. Action on @abcgrandstand. LISTEN:

3.10am BST

Rugby League H1 22:17 NSW 10-6 QLD

Penalty to the Maroons for a high-tackle and QLD have another good chance to advance on the scoreboard. Kunst almost dives over but runs into a NSW brick wall. Jenni-Sue Hoepper, however, finds a gap inside and dives over. She’s just returned to representative league, after the birth of her 19-month-old child. The Maroons are on the board!

3.07am BST

Rugby League H1 19:00 NSW 10-0 QLD

Here’s the earlier double for Sergis while we’re waiting for play to resume.

Rinse and repeat! Sergis gets a double.@NSWRL lead 10-0 after 13 minutes.#WomenInLeague #NRL

3.06am BST

Rugby League H1 19:00 NSW 10-0 QLD

Studdon kicks the ball out on the full, in the first big error made by the Blues. Time-out here for some medical assistance to Heather Ballinger. The women are going in as hard as you can imagine.

3.03am BST

Rugby League H1 17:16 NSW 10-0

Karina Brown (QLD captain) runs into a massive Ruan Sims (NSW tackle) – that looked dangerous, as she speared her into the ground and onto the flat of her back. The penalty goes to the Maroons to give them their best chance yet of a try.

2.59am BST

Rugby League H1 12:12 NSW 10-0 QLD

HUGE try-saving tackle by Ballinger after yet another 74m gain by the Blues with a massive run and line break by Nakia Davis-Welsh. But they can’t hold the Blues at bay, with Sergis in for another try after a beautiful kick pass from Maddie Studdon. This time Caitlin Moran converts to send the Blues to a 10-0 lead.

An early Try saver thanks to @SammyBremner!#WomenInLeague #NRL

2.56am BST

Rugby League H1 09:30 NSW 4-0 QLD

What a start by the Blues – Kezie Apps broke through the QLD defence for a huge 80m gain for her team in that set. The ball is back with the Maroons, however.

2.54am BST

Rugby League H1 07:16 NSW 4-0 QLD

The Blues are over for the first try of the match through Jessica Sergis! That was set up by a fantastic run from Isabelle Kelly who broke the line. Bremner was involved again with a deft pass by foot. Caitlin Moran, a Jillaroo and Indigenous All Star, misses the conversion narrowly.

Hard to pick a side when theres so many Indigenous Women’s All Stars playing in the Interstate Challenge! #NRLIndigenous #WomeninLeague

2.50am BST

Rugby League H1 03:09 NSW v QLD

Ballinger dives over but is stopped by Sam Bremner! She has started on fire – and kicks the ball away from her QLD opponents for a dropout.

2.48am BST

Rugby League H1 01:35 NSW v QLD

Here we go! QLD finish their opening set with a kick forward, NSW fullback Sam Bremner takes a huge grab, all courage in a huge collision with that woman, Steph Hancock, from QLD.

2.43am BST

Rugby League – Women’s Interstate Challenge

Some are complaining that the game isn’t on free to air – but apparently you can also stream it live on – good news!

Such a shame it’s not on Free to Air, until it does #WomenInLeague will remain a second tier game #InterstateChallenge

2.40am BST

Rugby League – Women’s Interstate Challenge

And here’s NSW player Sam Bremner talking to the media ahead of today’s history-making clash. We’ve just gone to a break in the TV coverage and will be under way very shortly.

Hear from @SammyBremner ahead of the Women’s Interstate Challenge.#WomenInLeague #NRL

2.38am BST

Rugby League – Women’s Interstate Challenge

Karina Brown’s captaincy has started well, winning the toss for her team in today’s Interstate Challenge. For those following the game on twitter, try the hashtags #interstatechallenge and #womeninleague

#QLDER Women’s captain Karina Brown wins the toss before today’s Interstate Challenge match. #womeninleague

2.36am BST

Rugby League – Women’s Interstate Challenge

Who wins?

2.34am BST

Rugby League – Women’s Interstate Challenge

As I said there are plenty of firsts for this game – and it’s the first time ever that the Interstate Challenge will be televised live on Fox Sports – as a double-header with the St George-Illawarra Dragons clash against Manly. It’s also the first time in the history of women’s Rugby League that the Bunker will be used, which should make for good viewing, and accurate decision-making. We hope.

Hear from Renae Kunst ahead of the Women’s Interstate Challenge.#WomenInLeague #NRL

2.33am BST

NRL – Women’s Interstate Challenge

There’s plenty of fantastic individual stories out here today. One person to watch is Talesha Quinn, who grew up in NSW, and when she enlisted in the Australian Army, asked to be stationed in Townsville, because she knew a strong women’s rugby league competition was in place there. However, once she arrived, the competition folded, forcing her to play rugby union for four years. During that time she played through a dislocated hip, and has refused to give sport up despite several major injuries.

2.30am BST

Rugby League – Women’s Interstate Challenge

Here are our final teams, thanks to NSW Rugby League.


The final line-ups have been set for today’s Harvey Norman Interstate Challenge.

2.26am BST

Rugby League – Women’s Interstate Challenge

Steph Hancock

2.20am BST

Rugby League – Women’s Interstate Challenge

The changing face of the women’s game

2.15am BST

Hello and welcome to today’s (early) Guardian Australia Sportwatch blog. I’m Kate O’Halloran, and here we keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of Australian sport, whatever your preferred shape of ball, with our rolling liveblog. Don’t forget to tweet us @GdnAusSport with the hashtag #sportwatch.

I’m here early today so I can cover the women’s rugby league Interstate Challenge between New South Wales and Queensland, otherwise known as the ‘Nellie Doherty Cup’ from 11:45am at WIN Stadium in Wollongong. In case you’re wondering, it’s televised on Fox League (for the first time ever!) and will also be covered by ABC Grandstand. The cup is so named because Nellie Doherty was instrumental in the staging of the first ever female league game in 1921. This is not, however, technically a ‘State of Origin’ since in the women’s game players are selected based on the state they live in currently, rather than their state of ‘origin’.

Can @NSWRL Women’s team win two straight or will @QLDmaroons Women dominate the #interstatechallenge? #NRL #womeninleague

4.17am BST

Kate will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Joe Gorman on the Nellie Doherty Cup and the clamour for a women’s State of Origin:

Related: ‘It’s the feeling of Origin’: clamour for women’s State of Origin intensifies | Joe Gorman

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Jul 22

Swans win AFL Pride Game, Storm lose Slater and Smith, and more: sportwatch – as it happened

  • NRL: Storm stars Billy Slater and Cameron Smith injured in tough win
  • AFL: Swans surge toward top four with Pride Game win over Saints
  • AFL: Demons beat Power, Hawks beat Dockers, Bulldogs beat Suns, Bombers beat Roos
  • NRL: Panthers beat Titans, Cowboys beat Warriors, Storm beat Raiders

1.26pm BST

Mostly comfortable wins today, Essendon taking care of North despite Ben Brown’s good work, Melbourne in a tough game over Port, the Bulldogs easily doing over Gold Coast despite playing in Queensland, Sydney boshing St Kilda in Pride Round, and Hawthorn taking care of Freo.

In league, much closer contests even though the final scores all had a little bit of oxygen in them. Penrith got over Gold Coast, the Storm handled the Raiders despite having backs against the wall, and the Cowboys stayed ahead of the Warriors.

1.20pm BST

AFL – two teams playing today started the season looking like they were finished, and are now have momentum behind them. Sydney have surged to 5th, though Richmond could knock them back to 6th by beating GWS tomorrow. Tough ask, because GWS can get second spot back from Geelong if they win. West Coast could also push Essendon back out of 8th spot by beating Collingwood. Finally, the Demons have consolidated their spot in 6th, level on points with the Swans and Power above them, so a top-four spot is still possible for the red and the blue. Keep your eye on ‘em.

NRL – The Storm get a bugger at the top, but at the cost of two of their star trio of players. The Cowboys go up to 5th, but Manly could push them back to 6th by beating the Dragons tomorrow. That would suit Penrith, currently in 9th but level on points with the Dragons.

1.10pm BST

Ben McEvoy with a late goal, and Hawthorn raise the ton at the last gasp. A comprehensive display over a fairly limited team. Alastair Clarkson’s 300th game as coach is a happy one.

1.06pm BST

Over in Perth, the margin grows – Hawthorn slam on four in a row before Cam McCarthy gets one back for Fremantle. It’s now 48-94.

1.03pm BST

And that remains the score at the final siren. Callum Sinclair a little nervous being interviewed on TV, probably hasn’t happened before, and you can hear the frog in his throat. But he digs deep and rolls out the perfect cliches about being lucky to get on the end of a few from the midfield, and all the forwards working for each other. Kicked five today, he can be pleased with his work.

The context adds a whole extra layer to this match, of course, and more important than the result might well be this message.

Everyone is welcome! #PrideGame #ProudlySydney

12.56pm BST

Well, scrap that idea. Giving away two 50-metre penalties in a row doesn’t help. Rohan kicks the gift. Luke Dunstan gets one back, the set shot just creeping over the line, then the comeback kid McVeigh snaps one more for the Swans. 101-59.

12.44pm BST

St Kilda not quite going away. Gresham marks 48 out after a good attack on the ball from Bruce won a 50-50 contest. Gresham hands it off to Newnes running past, and with momentum from 50, the ball goes soaring through. It’s 88-53. Saints would love to get a couple more back and limit any percentage damage.

12.43pm BST

Back to the Swans, it’s Franklin. Another monster. A set shot, this one, but still such a huge kick. Goes so high. Grazes the underside of a passing comet. From well outside 50. Nails it, and has 50 for the season so far. This after Bruce kicked his third for the night for the Saints. It’s 88-47 to Sydney.

Q4 | @Buddy_Franklin doing what he does best by launching this one from outside 50! His 50th goal for 2017. #AFLSwansSaints #PrideGame

12.39pm BST

Swan Lake.

12.35pm BST

Ricky Henderson wins a free kick for a challenge that wasn’t facing the ball, and slots a tough kick from the pocket. At the last change it’s 35-63. Long way back for Fremantle in the circumstances.

12.27pm BST

AFL – scrappy sort of game between Hawthorn and Freo, with the Hawks still 23 points up as we get towards the end of the third quarter. Not a huge lead but neither team has found it easy to score tonight, so it could already be enough. Fremantle need to find a way to open things up through this congested style of play. A long series of possessions for the purple mob, Ballantyne marks on 50, and finds Kersten with a chip. Very accurate shot at goal, Shane Kersten, but this time he laser-guides it onto the right-hand post. 35-57 to the visiting Hawks.

12.24pm BST

NRL – a comfortable lead in the end for the NQ team, or at least it looks comfortable, as Javid Bowen goes over in the last minute and Lowe makes no mistake with the conversion this time. In fact the game wasn’t that comfortable at all, it was close throughout.

12.20pm BST

Callum Sinclair with his fifth, just before three-quarter time. He came in for Sam Reid tonight as an injury replacement, and has more than compensated for the loss of a senior player. He’s taken eight marks tonight, seven of them contested. At 3QT, it’s 34-80. St Kilda cannot afford a blowout, percentage will be vital in this year’s finals race.

12.12pm BST

Sums up the night for the Saints – Jack Billings gets a free, downfield after Savage was dumped. 30 out, slight angle, and Billings isn’t even close. He’s missed a lot of goals this year. Billy Longer hits the post with a snap a minute later, and Montagna is coming off with a hamstring injury. Signs suddenly bad, very bad, worse. In all that mayhem, the ball rebounds, Dean Towers marks inside 50, and kicks another. 71-34 now. With the emphasis on the “ow”.

Dean Towers and Blake Acres leading tonight’s list of players who sound more like real estate listings.

12.08pm BST

BUDDY! There’s a reason why they paid 10 million bucks for him. All St Kilda’s work for naught. Sinclair marks again outside 50, a chain of possessions follows, Franklin gets a second handball receive in that chain. He’s at least 55 out, running lateral to the goal face, towards the boundary line, with his left side further from goal. Somehow he just sizes up the scenario, thunks across his body, and pulls the ball back while also finding the power to send it through the goals halfway up the post. What a player. It’s 65-32.

12.03pm BST

A fierce couple of minutes from the Saints, trying to charge back into the contest. Running players down, holding the ball decisions, shovelling the ball forward. Sydney’s defence outstanding, a couple of times it looked like the loose ball would make its way to a Saints player in the clear, but the Swans keep shutting those options down, smothering kicks, forcing the ball back out. 59-32.

12.00pm BST

NRL – Ethan Lowe doing it all himself up in Townsville. Scores a try to make it 18-12 over New Zealand, but then the solo job becomes too much and he misses the conversion.

11.58am BST

And straight back for the Saints! Quick entry, puts the defence under pressure, and despite the protestations there was a clear hand in the middle of Josh Bruce’s lower back as he led toward the ball. Free kick, and he slots it. 59-32, the margin is back to 27.

11.57am BST

Straight back for the Swans though. And it’s Sinclair making up for his earlier miss. Steams out on the lead to a clearance and clunks the mark. He’s looked very good tonight. Played 57 games, this is his best. Four goals so far. 59-26.

11.55am BST

AFL – Goal for the Saints! They’ve had some let-offs already this half, geez. The Swans have missed a couple of easy ones. The latest of those a dribbled shot from Sinclair that runs across the face. The kick-in goes coast to coast, there’s no one forward for St Kilda, and so Riewoldt has a paddock to run into as the long ball forward goes toward goal. He gathers it and pops it through from 15 metres. 53-26.

11.47am BST

NRL – Ethan Lowe pops over a penalty goal, and the Cowboys lead the Warriors 14-12.

“Stop! In the name of love!”

11.45am BST

AFL – Hawthorn leading by 21 after ambushing Fremantle out west. Conor Glass, an Irish international rookie on debut, has made a couple of impressive runs for the Hawks out of defence. A couple of minutes to half time, and it’s intense in the Hawks’ back 50. Fremantle locking it in, but can’t find a way through. James Sicily cops the worst falcon I’ve ever seen, bending to pick up the ball as it was kicked off the ground, and it slams straight into his face. Sicily is down for a good few seconds, then once he recovers he gives the umpire a gobful for not calling kicking in danger, even though the foot wasn’t that close to his head. Taylor Duryea tells Sicily to focus on the ball, and Sicily bakes his own teammate into the bargain. It’s 22-42 going into the long break.

11.40am BST

NRL – it’s a cracker over in the Cowboys-Warriors game in Townsville, though I’m loath to endorse anything at a stadium named after a phone number. Trading tries, all converted, and the teams are 12-12 just after the half.

11.32am BST

Half time at the SCG. A couple of let-offs for St Kilda, with Hannebery missing a snap and Franklin fading a set shot that he’d normally get, left foot on the boundary side just the way he likes it. But no dice. Saints still just in touch, five goals down, but they’ll need an end-of-the-rainbow kind of performance to take the Pride Game this year.

11.26am BST

Awff, horrible tackle from Heeney. He has a rugby league background, but he’d be doing weeks in the NRL with that speak tackle. Lifts up Jarryn Geary in the tackle and rams him into the ground. Geary managed to twist a touch, get half an arm down that partly broke his fall, otherwise that could have been really ugly. A free kick, but the tribunal should be looking at that – holding a player up mid-air and then driving him into the ground, almost headfirst. No control from either player in that situation.

11.23am BST

The Saints do claw back. Sensational bit of work by Nick Riewoldt! The ball coming in towards 50, he works his man under the drop, doubles back, sees it spilling free in front. Casually as eating a handful of Maltesers, he reaches out a foot, flicks the bobbling ball up into his hands, dishes off the handpass, and Shane Savage snaps the goal. Ex-Hawks trading goals for opposing teams. It’s 48-20.

11.16am BST

Danger signs flashing red, sirens blaring for St Kilda. Sinclair is in form, he takes a relatively simple grab and kicks goal number three. Then he’s steaming out from full forward a minute later, on track to mark again, but Josh Kennedy doesn’t know and is backing into the path of that ball. Sinclair’s teammate takes the mark and kicks that goal, as Sinclair narrowly avoids crashing straight through him like a derailed train. It’s 46-14, and the Saints have to claw back.

11.11am BST

Great commitment to a contest from Lewis Melican, who attacks the ball in the centre and rushes it past about four players for a long kick inside 50. There’s the Franklin effect – Buddy makes defenders nervous, so even though he’s two-on-one and probably covered, they crowd him too much and give away a free for a hold. He and Tony Locket are the only two players to kick 250+ goals for two different clubs, apparently, and Franklin adds another.

Other end of the ground, Josh Bruce makes great contact with a 60-metre roost and sends it through, a big thump as the ball hit the boot, audible round the ground. But in traffic a few moments later, Heeney quickly snaps in traffic and kicks another for the Swans. 34-14.

10.53am BST

Not much change by quarter time, it’s 22-8.

10.50am BST

Swans working their ascendancy now, moving players around until they can find marks inside 50. George Hewett gets one, Sinclair gets his second, and throws haymakers at thin air in celebration. It’s 22-7 Down the other end, Dylan Roberton runs down a player inside 50, has a free kick and strikes it horribly. Hits the point post on the full. Big missed opportunity.

10.41am BST

AFL – Swans dominated the inside 50s, but the Saints are staying with them a bit more than halfway through the first quarter. Goals to Callum Sinclair and Koby Stevens, and it’s 8-6 in favour of the Swans.

Great to see @sydneyswans playing so well Tonight, Me & Mahi are proudly supporting equality for all #PrideGame #ProudlySydney

10.40am BST

The Pride Game is played between Sydney and St Kilda, starting last year, as a way to promote the idea that football should be a safe and welcoming place for LGBTIQ people. Which it certainly hasn’t always been.

These two clubs have been outspoken about it, so they’ve got involved with the symbolism. The Swans have rainbow stripes on their socks, St Kilda rainbow numbers on their backs, and there are plenty of scarves with rainbow swatches on display, as well as other signage around the SCG.

10.28am BST

A hugely significant win for Melbourne, doing it after losing Smith and Slater to injury. “We had to dig deep there, eh,” gasps Will Chambers, still puffed. “It was a very tough ask. but to the boys’ credit, they all bought in to what we needed to do.”

But also perhaps a Pyrrhic victory, if those two are gone for an extended period. Smith with a pectoral strain, Slater knocked out in a tackle. There’ll be plenty more reporting on both, no doubt.

10.22am BST

Cronk kicks, Sezer gets it, passes, a kick downfield… and the ball goes dead. That, at last, is the game.

10.21am BST

NRL – all the Raiders stars combining to try to find a score. Sezer, Croker, Wighton, Cotric. Still can’t get through. A depleted Storm holding firm. Finally Croker gets a break, gets within 11 metres, and they’re penalised for a double tackle. Munster in the sin bin. Won’t matter, less than a minute to play. The tap is taken, Soliola is taken in the tackle too. Baptiste trying. Blake Austin gets a kick away, and Sezer scores a late one. Leaping on the ball. Five seconds left, so it won’t be enough for even the faintest hope of a win. Or is there? They elect not to kick for goal, the Raiders, in favour of a kick-off. Hmmmmmm for a third time… It’s 14-20.

10.16am BST

AFL – Smashed, in the end. Picken kicked 6 goals. The last quarter, goals to Redpath, Murphy, Liberatore, Wallis, the whole Doggies cast of favourites. Added 41 points in the last quarter. Gold Coast are nowhere, after years of being nowhere. The Suns must look at the Giants, an even newer team about 11 times better, and vomit with envy.

10.09am BST

10-20. Then suddenly Melbourne gets away again. A knock-on from Junior Paulo, ball bobbles around, and Storm forward Finucane lands on the ball to score his second try. Munster lands the kick.

Finucane has a double!#NRLRaidersStorm 10-20 with 9 minutes to go. #NRL

10.05am BST

Try! Canberra back in the game, as Cotric gets over on this attempt. He forced the repeat set with that previous play, then this time, Soliola was hanging out wide, there was space to the left, and Cotric comes through for the wide try. Conversion kick from the sideline, Croker dropping it back a bit to try to open up his angle. Doesn’t get good purchase, it sprays away. “You wouldn’t like to be standing next to him at the urinal,” is the pithy radio comment. Suggestions of a forward pass in the lead-up though. 10-14, Raiders within touch.

10.00am BST

Then an equally near thing at the other end – a good break, Cotric kicked the ball through into the in-goal and went after it, Munster sprinting back got a toe to it before Cotric could get a finger. Munster has been immense since the big names went off.

9.59am BST

A repeat set for Melbourne here, a line drop-out after Wighton is caught in the in-goal after Munster’s little kick through. Melbourne battling hard minus their stars, Cronk the last one left tonight.

Try? There was a play-the-ball, Canberra player pushed Vunivalu into the contest, then he picked up the loose ball and got over. The referee likes it, but the video ref says Canberra players were being blocked by Kaufusi who was offside. So, overruled. No try.

Vision of the @storm No Try Decision in the 62nd minute of #NRLRaidersStorm.#NRL

9.54am BST

A couple of penalties to the Raiders, but they can’t force a repeat set. Storm get it back five metres from their line, then Munster gets them some ground. Some backchat from Storm players, and “Not copping that,” says the referee on the background microphone. Raiders push forward again, a few metres from the line. Hodson brought down even close to the line. To Boyd, who stands up in the tackle. Hodson again, Sezer, Wighton, but he’s caught. Tries again. Sezer to Hodson again, Soliola passes, but eventually it’s turned over to Cronk. Defensive clearing effort from the Storm, trying to get to halfway. Stimson brought down, Bromwich to Bromwich, played back to Bromwich. To Bromwich. What day is it? I’m confused. It becomes a Canberra ball around halfway.

9.48am BST

Soliola comes across to pat Slater on the shoulder as he’s loaded onto the medical golf cart. Eventually the referee comes across, and Soliola is put on report. But not sent off. “Is that enough?” asks Cooper Cronk. Slater is talking to the trainers as the cart leaves the field. Munster kicks the penalty goal for right in front, but there will be questions about what constitutes a send-off in rugby league if that wasn’t one. The last send-off was in 2015 for a headbutt, says ABC radio. Another hmm. The score is 6-14.

9.43am BST

Billy Slater is knocked out. Shocking scenes here. Cameron Smith already off with an arm injury. Now Slater is waiting for a stretcher. He’s moving his hands and arms, but being put into a brace. It was Iosia Soliola who collected him – Slater was falling in a tackle, so was a bit low, but Soliola came in late and with a swinging arm. The arm has smashed Slater in the head, probably not deliberate but easily defined as reckless, and his night could well be over too. No decision on that as yet, as we wait for Slater to be taken off by the medical staff. Slater conscious and communicating as he’s loaded onto the stretcher.

9.38am BST

NRL – back to Canberra, and the Raiders have been stretching the Storm, working them hard, pulling their lines awry, but just can’t get through for that final score. And then, as can happen so easily, a team as good as Melbourne can punish you if you haven’t punished them first. Will Chambers over for four points, though the kick hits the upright and squanders the conversion. Smith off the field, which could be costly. The gap is now 6-12 in favour of the visitors.

The @storm extend their lead!#NRLRaidersStorm 6-12 after 49 minutes. #NRL

9.35am BST

It swings, it surges. Small forwards the order of the day, Bulldogs with the breeze, and Picken nails his fifth, then Dale his third. Suddenly at three quarter time the Doggies are up by 14.

9.19am BST

AFL – another good contest brewing in the other code. With the third quarter, the Gold Coast Suns have the wind at their backs, and have figured out how to use it. Dahlhaus has kicked one for the Dogs, but the Suns have nailed four goals. They’ve carved that deficit back to three points with seven minutes left in the third quarter. Hmm.

9.13am BST

Smith kicks it. Of course he does. And that’s the break.

9.12am BST

Smith kicks downfield, the Raiders charge back. Hodson, through Tapine, then Sezer brought down only a couple of metres out from the try line. Really pushing for this. But at the end, the ball goes dead in the in-goal. Restart 20 metres out from the Storm’s line. Bromwich pushing towards halfway for Melbourne. Smith and Slater combine, Slater almost through but not quite. Involved in the next play, but brought down short of the line. Then a penalty for lying on the tackled player. Melbourne will have a shot from straight in front.

9.08am BST

Storm get the ball back, but Cronk kicks early again. Raiders pushing hard. Hodson, Austin, but caught 30 out. Eventually Austin kicks across field, Sezer kicks a high ball and Josh Addo-Carr is pushed back into his own in-goal.

9.05am BST

Another knock-on from the Storm, Raiders get the scrum feed 30 metres out, but again can’t take advantage. Cameron Smith seems to be struggling a bit. Not moving very well. Still able to lay some tackles though. Cronk has to kick very close to his defensive line, just to clear some territory. Wighton reloads from the halfway line, good position.

9.00am BST

Raiders get a penalty just out from their own line, but don’t find touch with the kick. Slater and Smith bringing it back up, then Munster, but they’re repelled again. Dead ball in-goal from Smith in the end, though Slater was threatening to catch up with it. Jack Wighton needing some medical help as play goes on. Last tackle of the set, but Austin loses the ball forward from Sezer’s pass for the Raiders. But the Storm produce another error, a knock-on from the play-the-ball. Scrum feed. The arm wrestle continues in midfield.

8.53am BST

Oof! A fumble from Cronk, as Slater passed back, and there’s a scrum feed for Canberra. Blake Austin on a good run, 10 metres out from the Storm line. Whiteman can’t quite get over. Baptiste very nearly does. Sezer trying to set up Rapana for the corner, but again the defence stands firm. Storm besieged, but hold. Raiders really let an opportunity slip there.

8.50am BST

NRL – alright, let’s switch our attention to the Melbourne Storm for a minute. They’re in Canberra, trying to put themselves two points clear at the top of the ladder with a win over the Raiders.

They’re off to the right start, Finucane over after just four minutes, and Cameron Smith as ever converting. But after a few more minutes, the Raiders strike back through Aidan Sezer. Sezer, sees a ball, seize a ball, seize the moment. Almost loses it as he goes over, but just maintains control. “The players maintains control between his left hand and forearm,” says the video ref. Who, amusingly, is Brian Norrie, who was a solid if somewhat stolid servant for the Storm until 2014 as a prop. Rules against them here. Croker pops over the goal.

Vision of the @RaidersCanberra Try Decision in the 15th minute of #NRLRaidersStorm.#NRL

8.42am BST

Things continue as we mentioned below – no one can really spot up a target with accuracy, so there’s a long scoreless period. Bailey Dale breaks it shortly before the break, picking up on the wing, running to 50, and while there are passing options inside 50, perhaps the safest option is to launch for the biggest target – the goalface. He does so, and the storm does the rest, carrying the goal home.

It’s 48-28 to the Dogs at half time.

8.29am BST

The wind in Cairns is amazing. If Ben Gale was still playing, there’d be two of them out there. Kicks going one way have to be low and compact and drilled. Going the other way, they soar. It’s not always an advantage, the Dogs are finding it hard to hit targets sometimes as the ball zooms away to an opponent. Nonetheless, Liam Picken and Bailey Dale float a couple of kite-goals through, while Jack Martin burrows one under the breeze at the other end. Good open game of football here so far. 40 plays 28.

8.12am BST

AFL – from one crappy underperforming Gold Coast team to another, the variant of sport’s Bermuda Triangle in the Aussie Rules code is hanging in the contest at quarter time. Largely thanks to a ferocious breeze blowing directly away from the Bulldogs’ goals. Marcus Bontompelli marks about 35 out just before the quarter-time siren, gives it everything he has, strikes the line just right, and the ball still holds up and then drops short, pushed back into play by the elements. The margin is 28-20 at Cazaly’s Stadium, in what is nominally a Bulldogs home game. Need those dollars.

8.03am BST

NRL: The Panthers seal their win, despite a late try and conversion from Gold Coast. Draw level with the 8th-placed Raiders on points. Interesting little tussle there.

The @GCTitans aren’t done with yet!#NRLPanthersTitans 24-16 with 4 minutes to go. #NRL

7.58am BST

Speaking of Essendon… up into 8th spot with that win. St Kilda or West Coast could level them on points by winning a game in hand, but the Bombers would likely still be up on percentage.

7.57am BST

Scrappy sort of thing really, but Melbourne will take those wins. Trying to build that sort of pragmatism and ruthlessness as they challenge for a top-four finish. Who’d have thought we’d be writing that… ever again. They’ve been so much fun this year, the Dees.

Huge notes for them: Jack Trengove finally getting back to football after what seems like about a dozen consecutive injury layoffs, and Jesse Hogan kicking three goals today as his development and recovery continues. Melksham three as well, and 36 stats for Michael Hibberd, the ex-Essendon pair starring in their new environment. Clayton Oliver had 30 after a controversial few weeks for him, and laid 10 tackles. Big game.

7.47am BST

“A bit industrial”, is the pithy line on commentary, as Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn crashes into an opponent in Melbourne’s forward 50. He plays a similar wrecking-ball role in the centre square a moment later, flying through before landing in a heap, like a giraffe fired out of a novelty cannon.

7.44am BST

Goal again, for Petracca, who marks for Melbourne just inside 50 on the other side of the ground, taking advantage of an errant kick-in. He runs around the mark a bit and thumps it high through the sticks. But then straight down the other end, and Westhoff gets one back. Also an error from a clearing kick from fullback, which is punched back in, the Port forward picks it up near the boundary, and produces a hell of a finish on the run. 88-65.

7.41am BST

Goal! My Melksham brings all the boys to the yard. What a kick from Jake, the Essendon refugee who sought a fresh start at the Dees. Not many times in the last 20 years when you could say that was a great choice, but it’s looking good in 2017. A scrambled kick for territory, Melksham somehow marks the rainmaker just inside 50 by the boundary line, and decides to take a set shot. It looks like he just wants to bleed the maximum time off the clock, but then he strikes it beautifully and sails it through on the angle. It was indeed better than yours. He could teach you… Game over. 82-59.

7.38am BST

AFL – again it was Impey who was nearly out. Sprinting down the wing, loose ball to gather just on 50. It was ex-Hawk Jordan Lewis who stopped him, showing real desperation. Sprawled on the ground, he saw Impey trying to pick up the loose ball and grabbed at it himself. Couldn’t drag it under his body or he’d be penalised, so he held on with his fingertips. They squabbled over it for several seconds, and it was long enough for Melbourne to get a couple of fellow defenders back. By the time Impey got the ball away, he had to snap hurriedly from 40 out, and missed. It’s still 16 points, 75 to 59, with 6 minutes left on the clock.

7.35am BST

NRL – the Titans threatened to close the gap for a second, with a try to make it 14-10, but miss the conversion, and Penrith quickly adds another two tries via Moylan and Zelezniak.

7.33am BST

Real scrappy affair this now, both sides out on their feet. Struggling for metres rather than looking to find targets. Very little clean disposal, lots of quick kicks down the line, tackles, throw-ins, ball-ups. Melbourne don’t mind, it suits them. Five inclusions this week, so they might be struggling a bit more for match fitness. No score at either end for 10 minutes.

7.28am BST

Jarman Impey for Port comes flying down the ground, three bounces, then four, runs into traffic just inside 50, handballs sideways to Dixon, but the big forward’s attempted chip for a mark inside 50 is a shocker. Turns it straight over. Ball locked back in midfield. Neither side can break through.

7.27am BST

Some daring defensive work from Jeff Garlett running the ball out. Jack Watts competing desperately through the midfield and up forward. But Melbourne can’t get clean delivery into their forward line. Port swarming. This is a great contest.

7.24am BST

AFL – another game that is still in the balance is Melbourne v Port at the MCG. It’s only 17 points the difference now, after Port Adelaide have kicked the first couple of goals in the last quarter. Dixon and Boak got them. About 9 minutes gone.

7.21am BST

AFL – but the Bombers aren’t too worried. North wins the individual battle with Brown and Hurley, but not too many others. Zaharakis snaps another poacher’s goal, as he has so many times, then James Stewart (not the guy from Rear Window) marks in the pocket but misses. 126 plays 98.

7.19am BST

AFL – The game’s all but gone for North, but Ben Brown is still competing hard. Takes a mark in the forward pocket, but misses on the tight angle. Nearly clunks another in the opposite pocket a minute later, then contests hard at full forward on the 50, and finally it comes back through the centre and he marks it 25 out straight in front. Up against Michael Hurley, one of the best defenders in the land, and Brown slots his sixth for the day from the set shot. Equals Buddy Franklin for top spot on the Coleman Medal tally. He has a 32-step run-up, and on that first shot from the pocket, had to cut it short because the fence was right behind him. “Would have had to start in the car park,” comes the classic line from the TV crew. 119 plays 98.

Meantime, this photo of him lining up is incredible. How’s this for Tracey Nearmy getting close to the action?

7.11am BST

Right, let’s get into some ball sports. In the NRL, the Panthers are up by 8 over the Titans in the second half. In the AFL, Essendon leading North Melbourne by 22, Melbourne 28 points over Port in the third, and Gold Coast v Western Bulldogs is about to fire off the first siren.

7.08am BST

Yes, I will be he shortly. Am here shortly. Am not even here shortly, because I’m already here. And don’t call me Shortly.

Good morning, afternoon, or evening, depending where you are around the world, but let’s assume that it’s mostly afternoon in the wide brown and sometimes other mottled colours land that is Australia.

Moonlighting on writing about AFL football from next to this London canal at 6:45am. No, I don’t know what’s going on either.

4.17am BST

Geoff will be here shortly.

Continue reading…

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Jul 16

Eagles take W.A. AFL derby, Manly overrun Wests in NRL and more: Australia sportwatch – as it happened

10.31am BST


That’s all from me for this edition of Sunday Sportwatch – I hope you enjoyed following my live commentary on our feature match, the underwhelming derby between Fremantle and West Coast. I’m not sure I’ve seen such a frustrating game in a long time, and imagine Dockers fans in particular will be feeling let down after their team’s inability to hit a target inside 50 in particular. Still, I’m sure I speak for most supporters when I say it’s nice to see Nat Fyfe back to somewhere near his best. The Eagles, meanwhile, were at their intercepting best, and found a way to weather an erratic Fremantle storm. No surprises that their best intercept mark – Shannon Hurn – takes the Glendinning medal for best on ground. That’s five derby wins for the Eagles in a row now as they take the final clash at Domain stadium.

10.15am BST

Good win for the Eagles in the end, their fifth-straight against the Dockers in the W.A. derbies. Fremantle had plenty of opportunities, plenty of the run and patches of high possession, but simply couldn’t find targets inside 50 and turned the ball over far too consistently. The Dockers finished with 57% disposal efficiency as a team, to West Coast’s 70%. Fremantle simply played into the Eagles’ hands, resulting in the high number of intercept marks taken by Eagles defenders, none better than captain Shannon Hurn who had 5 intercept marks and 34 disposals. The only person with more disposals on the ground was his teammate Andrew Gaff, with 35.

No surprises that Shannon Hurn takes away the Ross Glendinning medal – with 3 votes from each of the judges.

10.06am BST

AFL Q4 01:07 remaining Fremantle 5.14 (44) v West Coast 11.8 (74)

Amongst the casualties for Fremantle today is Ross Lyon’s coke.

Just when you thought your day couldn’t get any worse Poor Rossy #AFLFreoEagles

10.04am BST

AFL Q4 03:23 remaining Fremantle 5.14 (44) v West Coast 11.7 (73)

Another goal to the Eagles through Dom Sheed as Fremantle fans begin to leave Domain Stadium for the last derby at this venue.

10.00am BST

AFL Q4 04:48 remaining Fremantle 5.14 (44) v West Coast 10.7 (67)

That will be the sealer for the Eagles – Josh Kennedy shows the composure Fremantle have lacked all game to pick out Jack Darling just outside the square. I don’t think there’s enough time left for Fremantle – but they’ll rue their many missed opportunities.

9.57am BST

AFL Q4 07:30 remaining Fremantle 5.14 (44) v West Coast 9.7 (61)

I can’t say this enough but the Dockers just can’t hit a target inside 50. They’re playing right into the Eagles’ intercept game.

9.54am BST

AFL Q4 09:18 remaining Fremantle 5.13 (44) v West Coast 9.6 (60)

The Dockers are pushing but excruciatingly (for their fans more than anyone, I’d guess) keep missing targets. That said, they have all the momentum. Is there enough time? The Eagles need some more cool heads like Andrew Gaff – whose composure managed to take a couple of minutes off the clock.

9.50am BST

AFL Q4 12:52 remaining Fremantle 5.13 (44) v West Coast 9.6 (60)

Walters for another -Darcy was free in the goalsquare – all on his own, decided to let it drop and it almost hit the post! Imagine that. If Freo keep hitting their targets this game might be back on.

9.46am BST

AFL Q4 15:00 remaining Fremantle 4.13 (37) v West Coast 9.6 (60)

The Dockers finally get one back through Hayden Ballantyne after just their seventh mark inside 50.

9.43am BST

AFL Q4 18:19 remaining Fremantle 3.13 (31) v West Coast 9.6 (60)

Looks like Stephen Hill has popped a shoulder in a melee with LeCras, that’s bad news for the Dockers who failed to capitalise on another promising push forward inside 50.

9.34am BST

AFL three-quarter-time Fremantle 3.13 (31) v West Coast 9.6 (60)

Walters has GOALED! I can confirm, that is six points to the Dockers. That was the result of a Dom Sheed clanger which gifted the ball to Nat Fyfe.

9.28am BST

AFL Q3 03:03 remaining Fremantle 2.13 (25) v West Coast 8.6 (54)

This is truly an ugly game of football. The ‘FREEEEO’ chant has just gone up, I assume more in hope and irony than anything else.

9.23am BST

AFL Q3 06:46 remaining Fremantle 2.13 (25) v West Coast 7.6 (48)

It must be contagious, because even Josh Kennedy has missed.

#AFLFreoEagles “he can’t miss this”

9.18am BST

AFL Q3 10:15 remaining Fremantle 2.12 (24) v West Coast 7.5 (47)

And again.

This is excruciating #AFLFreoeagles

9.15am BST

AFL Q3 12:00 remaining Fremantle 2.11 (23) v West Coast 7.5 (47)

Some great play from the Dockers leads to yet another behind – the Dockers are going at 5% conversion from inside 50s. Wow.

The standard of #AFLFreoEagles is improving at half-time.

9.11am BST

AFL Q3 15:14 remaining Fremantle 2.9 (21) v West Coast 7.5 (47)

The Dockers finally manage to hit a target inside 50 thanks to the clean ball use of Fyfe, who finds Cox on the lead. He can’t convert, however.

9.09am BST

AFL Q3 16:40 remaining Fremantle 2.8 (20) v West Coast 7.5 (47)

Very impressive goal to Jeremy McGovern from outside 50 after an intercept mark inside 50. He loves getting forward – and wouldn’t the Crows love to have him alongside his brother Mitch?

9.07am BST

AFL Q3 18:00 remaining Fremantle 2.8 (20) v West Coast 5.5 (35)

The third-quarter starts as the rest of the game has proceeded, with poor ball use from the Dockers and Jack Darling with a shot on goal to make them pay. He misses.

9.04am BST

It’s all over at Barlow Park, with the Cowboys running away with the win 23-10. They had four different try-scorers, with Taumalolo, Feldt, Hess and Granville all crossing over. Taumalolo had 2 line breaks, and also had the most metres run, with 173 in total (Sam Burgess had 152 for the Rabbitohs). Granville also led the way for the Cowboys with 2 line breaks and 29 tackles, while Angus Crichton had 33 tackles for the Rabbitohs. The single point came from a Lachlan Coote field goal in the 78th minute, while Ethan Lowe converted 3/4 conversions.

The win takes the Cowboys to sixth, just behind the Roosters and just above the Dragons with 24 points. Meanwhile, the Dragons languish in 13th in what has been a disappointing season.

8.55am BST

The reigning premiers finally break through for a win against the Blues. Both teams have been hit hard with injuries – the Blues had just the single rotation in the end, with all of Alex Silvagni, Ciaran Byrne and Dylan Buckley on the bench with injuries. As posted earlier, Jake Stringer is also out with a hamstring. In more promising news, Lewis Young played very well in his debut game for the Dogs, leading all others in intercept possessions (8), intercept marks (5) and the most marks for the Dogs (9). The Dogs will also welcome Jason Johannisen’s return to form; he had 23 possessions, 8 contested, and 74% disposal efficiency. Funny what signing your contract extension can do.

For the Blues, Bryce Gibbs continued his hot run of form with 32 disposals, including 10 contested possessions and 8 clearances. Second to him were Sam Docherty (29 disposals, 9 marks and 9 contested possessions) and Sam Kerridge (29 disposals, 12 contested possessions).

8.45am BST

AFL half-time Fremantle 2.8 (20) v West Coast 5.4 (34)

Fremantle butcher another forward 50 entry and lose a good opportunity to score just before half-time. If they can fix up their disposal efficiency they’ll be right in this one.

8.42am BST

AFL Q2 01:45 remaining Fremantle 2.7 (19) v West Coast 5.4 (34)

Finally the Dockers kick truly with a goal to Suban in his milestone match. He still managed to fumble it before it went through. Ferocious tackle from David Mundy set that up.

8.36am BST

AFL Q2 05:36 remaining Fremantle 1.7 (13) v West Coast 5.4 (34)

Thankfully for the Dockers, Drew Petrie misses down the other end and fails to make Fremantle pay.

8.34am BST

AFL Q2 07:00 remaining Fremantle 1.7 (13) v West Coast 5.3 (33)

Would you believe it, Michael Walters hits the post from 10m out on the run. Nyhuis was all on his own just before he gave the assist to Walters, but the ball delivery to him gave the defenders a chance. Fremantle’s disposal efficiency is their biggest enemy.

8.31am BST

AFL Q2 09:05 remaining Fremantle 1.6 (12) v West Coast 5.2 (32)

Finally! Kersten kicks truly for the Dockers after a snap shot around the body. Phew. Dockers fans breathe a sigh of relief.

8.30am BST

AFL Q2 09:50 remaining Fremantle 0.6 (6) v West Coast 5.2 (32)

Stephen Hill misses a very easy shot at goal – he had plenty of time and lacked composure with the finish.

8.28am BST

AFL Q2 11:24 remaining Fremantle 0.4 (4) v West Coast 5.2 (32)

Fremantle have 14% disposal efficiency in their forward half this term. Unbelievably bad.

8.25am BST

AFL Q2 13:00 remaining Fremantle 0.4 (4) v West Coast 5.2 (32)

Things are getting ugly for the Dockers here. They’ve only managed 4 points in a quarter and a half of football.

8.22am BST

AFL Q2 15:26 remaining Fremantle 0.3 (3) v West Coast 5.2 (32)

Lachie Neale gives away a 50m penalty to Matt Priddis after stepping off the line (he also avoided giving Priddis the ball in the first instance, so was lucky not to give it away at first). Still, Priddis can’t capitalise, but the ball is back with Josh Kennedy who was in too much space inside the Eagles’ forward 50. He makes no such mistake.

8.19am BST

AFL Q2 17:41 remaining Fremantle 0.3 (3) v West Coast 4.1 (25)

Fox Footy’s commentators point out that Fyfe is now up to 11/39 contested possessions for his team – the next best is Lachie Neale on 3. Fremantle can’t afford such reliance on one man, as brilliant as he may be.

8.16am BST

AFL three-quarter-time Carlton 6.6 (42) v Western Bulldogs 10.8 (68)

26-point lead to the Bulldogs after a 3 goal to 2 quarter. Bontempelli, Wallis and McLean scored for the Dogs, while it was Wright and Graham for the Blues.

8.11am BST

NRL half-time South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-16 North Queensland Cowboys

Quarter-time in our feature match, and it’s half-time in the NRL. Here’s the most recent try to Coen Hess. Looks like the Rabbitohs might live to rue selling their home game to the state of their opponents…

Granville starts it. Hess finishes it!#NRLSouthsCowboys 6-16 after 34 minutes.#NRL

8.09am BST

AFL Q1 00:22 remaining Fremantle 0.3 (3) v West Coast 4.1 (25)

Nat Fyfe has had 10 contested possessions – a third of Fremantle’s 30 total. It might be cliche, but he can’t do it all alone. He’s leading all-comers with 12 disposals and 5 clearances.

8.07am BST

AFL Q1 01:50 remaining Fremantle 0.3 (3) v West Coast 4.1 (25)

Hayden Crozier nearly takes mark of the year before the Eagles clear the ball to again deflect Fremantle’s attack on the 50. Will get you some vision of that when I can!

8.04am BST

AFL Q1 03:49 remaining Fremantle 0.3 (3) v West Coast 4.1 (25)

Great goal to Priddis off one step on the left. He was all alone in the 50 after a panic clearance from the Dockers. That’s four goals to none in this term for the Eagles.

8.00am BST

AFL Q1 06:23 remaining Fremantle 0.1 (1) v West Coast 3.1 (19)

Nearly a miracle goal to Stephen Hill after a nice assist from Lachie Neale, who has seemingly recovered from an elbow to the head by Matt Priddis (he tried to fend off the tackle, rather than deliberately elbowing him).

We see you Jack Darling #AFLFreoEagles

7.56am BST

AFL Q1 09:22 remaining Fremantle 0.1 (1) v West Coast 3.1 (19)

Fremantle couldn’t convert through captain Nat Fyfe despite a 50m penalty gifting him a set shot at goal. Darling outmarks his opponent again to set up Drew Petrie in the square. How good has Petrie been off the North Melbourne scrap heap?

7.51am BST

AFL Q1 12:46 remaining Fremantle 0.0 (0) v West Coast 2.1 (13)

Congratulations to Nick Suban on his 150th game today. No love for the Dockers in this match so far, though. Eagles are dominating possession, with Kennedy and Darling looming dangerously in the forward line. Last week’s hero Nyhuis is already back defending, currently on Jeremy McGovern.

7.48am BST

AFL Q1 14:25 remaining Fremantle 0.0 (0) v West Coast 2.0 (12)

Absolutely HUGE mark from Jack Darling, and he follows it up with a nice set-shot goal from about 45m out, on a much tighter angle than Kennedy’s last shot.

7.45am BST

AFL Q1 16:40 remaining Fremantle 0.0 (0) v West Coast 1.0 (6)

Guess who? Josh Kennedy with a big 45m set shot goal for the Eagles. Great kick inside 50m from McGovern set him up. How glad are the Eagles that this man is back?

7.43am BST

AFL Q1 17:54 remaining Fremantle 0.0 (0) v West Coast 0.0 (0)

Big late out here, with Elliot Yeo missing from the Eagles’ side (while this might be devastating to Eagles fans, I am raging because he’s in my Supercoach team) That man Michael Walters gets the opening free kick off the match to push the Dockers forward.

7.40am BST

NRL H1 24:56 South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-6 North Queensland Cowboys

Our AFL feature match is about to start, but it’s all square in this game at Barlow Park. Here’s the first try of the afternoon to Cody Walker.

The @SSFCRABBITOHS get the first points of the afternoon thanks to Cody Walker!#NRLSouthsCowboys #NRL

7.34am BST

A quick shout-out to my friends at Chicks Talkin’ Footy on JOY FM 94.9. They’ve tweeted to promote my live blog today and interviewed me on Wednesday night about all things AFL, and my writing for The Guardian and The Footy Almanac’s season 2017 AFLW book. Look out for the podcast of that interview when their website is back online!

The Magic Unicorn Fairy has to finish fixing @JOY949 site but you can join guest @Kate_ohalloran at @GdnAusSport this arvo. Podcast soon!

7.30am BST


Are you wondering why Carlton are wearing orange socks today? It’s to promote awareness of violence against women – and to support its prevention. Orange is often the colour used by UN women to invest and mobilise against the fact that 1 in 3 women globally experience violence in their lifetime, often at the hands of someone they know. As reported by UN women, “of all women who were victims of homicide globally in 2012, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members”.

7.22am BST

AFL Q2 02:28 remaining Carlton 4.4 (28) v Western Bulldogs 7.7 (49)

Thankyou, Regan Phelps, I would like to concur.

Just turned on the footy. Then heard BT dribble this. Just turned off the footy. #AFLBluesDogs #Netflix

7.20am BST

AFL Q2 02:28 remaining Carlton 4.3 (27) v Western Bulldogs 7.7 (49)

One man who has looked very impressive is the Bulldogs’ debutant in Lewis Young who is playing in defence for the Dogs. Has picked off several intercept marks and looks composed, even shouting instructions to his much older teammates.

7.17am BST

AFL Q2 04:02 remaining Carlton 4.3 (27) v Western Bulldogs 7.7 (49)

Five goals to one to the Bulldogs this quarter, as Picken capitalises on the 75% of possession the Dogs have managed leading into half-time.

7.15am BST

AFL Q2 05:10 remaining Carlton 4.3 (27) v Western Bulldogs 6.7 (43)

Speak of the devil, Jones cuts off an impressive foray forward from the Dogs, after a misdirected kick from Caleb Daniel. Charlie Curnow now lines up for a goal down the other end. He hits the post.

7.12am BST


Some news relevant to this game from Wires (AAP): the former Western Bulldog Liam Jones has been offered a new two-year deal with the Blues, after his stunning rejuvenation as a defender. Jones spent seven seasons (including five with the Bulldogs) as an often-frustrating forward, capable of taking huge contested marks but marred by inconsistency.

7.08am BST

AFL Q2 11:17 remaining Carlton 4.2 (26) v Western Bulldogs 6.6 (42)

The Blues get their fourth goal, after they kicked three in the first 10 minutes of this game. That one went to Bryce Gibbs who was alone in the square, and kicked it into the top level of the ‘G.

7.05am BST

AFL Q2 12:43 remaining Carlton 3.2 (20) v Western Bulldogs 5.6 (36)

Brilliant snap goal from Bontempelli and the Dogs have 5 of the last goals in a row.

7.01am BST

AFL Q2 12:43 remaining Carlton 3.2 (20) v Western Bulldogs 4.6 (30)

The Bulldogs look to have some momentum in this game, finally stringing together some good form after such a disappointing season. They haven’t, however, capitalised on their opportunities – having kicked 6 behinds for their 4 goals.

6.57am BST

The sometimes spiteful clash between the Tigers and Lions is over at Ethiad Stadium, with Dustin Martin surging to 40 disposals, including 14 clearances, 18 contested possessions and 2 goals. He’s a star, but might be in trouble with the Match Review Panel after seeming to poke Nick Robertson in the eye (who was also reported for headbutting). Captain Trent Cotchin also led from the front with the Tigers, with 28 disposals, including 15 contested possessions and 1 goal.

For Brisbane, young gun Alex Witherden had 28 disposals, including 8 contested possessions and four inside 50s. He’s just one of an impressive bunch of young Lions, including Eric Hipwood (who said earlier in the week that he wants to be a Lion for life), Josh Schache (who is staying) and Hugh McCluggage. I don’t think it’ll be too long before the Lions turn things around.

6.51am BST

A lopsided second half sees Wests drop a 16-8 lead, to go down 16-28 to the Manly Sea Eagles. There was a noticeable shift in momentum after that knock-on was paid against Brooks (when Kelly appeared to wrest it from his hands).

Man of the match goes to Tom Trbojevic who had 2 line breaks, and 191 metres run (Woods had 196 for the Tigers). He set up his brother for a try in the 71st minute, and was influential in getting his side across the line.

6.43am BST

NRL H2 76:30 Manly Sea Eagles 28-16 Wests Tigers

Tom Trbojevic decides that the Sea Eagles will take the 2 points for the penalty, and Cherry-Evans makes no mistake.

6.39am BST

NRL H2 71:12 Manly Sea Eagles 26-16 Wests Tigers

Another dropout for the Tigers – Sea Eagles are dominating possession now. Here’s that last Trbojevic assist and try.

Trbojevic to Trbojevic!#NRLManlyTigers #NRL

6.37am BST

NRL H2 71:12 Manly Sea Eagles 26-16 Wests Tigers

I think it’s all over here at Lottoland, after a Cherry-Evans pass sets up the Trbojevic brothers – this time Tom feeding Jake (how often have we seen Jake feeding Tom?) Cherry-Evans converts for a 10 point lead with only 8 minutes to go. That’s three consecutive tries for the Sea Eagles.

6.33am BST

NRL H2 68:01 Manly Sea Eagles 20-16 Wests Tigers

Dropout for the Tigers after a deft Cherry-Evans pass forces the Tigers behind their try-line. The Tigers give away a penalty and the Sea Eagles have another six, but it’s intercepted by Nofoaluma. Tigers back on the attack.

6.28am BST

NRL H2 63:44 Manly Sea Eagles 20-16 Wests Tigers

Great effort from DCE to step back into play off his own try-line, with Lolohea charging towards him after the kick. It saves the Sea Eagles a dropout, and they proceed with some big metre gains.

6.24am BST

NRL H2 60:44 Manly Sea Eagles 20-16 Wests Tigers

A brilliant try from Akuila Uate – he ran straight through the centre of the Tigers’ defence -past Woods and Tedesco no less with a wonderful burst of speed. That gives the home side back the lead. An easy conversion follows to DCE. I feel for the Tigers – that knock-on decision has really changed the momentum of the game.

6.20am BST

NRL H2 54:41 Manly Sea Eagles 12-16 Wests Tigers

That set of 6 went absolutely nowhere for the Sea Eagles – and I was going to commend the Tigers’ defence, but a penalty for a knock-on is paid against Luke Brooks (even though it appeared Ryan Kelly punched the ball from his hands?!). The resultant scrum delivers an immediate Matthew Wright try. A conversion follows.

Through the hands, Wright has a double!#NRLManlyTigers #NRL

6.12am BST

NRL H2 46:48 Manly Sea Eagles 8-16 West Tigers

Signs of desperation here from the Sea Eagles with Darcy Lussick tackling Woods by the hair… and giving away a penalty in turn.

Ricochet!#NRLManlyTigers 8-16 after 47 minutes. #NRL

6.09am BST

NRL H2 42:48 Manly Sea Eagles 8-16 Wests Tigers

Were back on at Lottoland and Wests have scored a lucky goal from a dual ricochet – Brooks’ kick first hit Shaun Lane, and then the post, before he took the ball back for a try. And Lolohea converts for an 8-point lead to the Tigers.

6.06am BST


In case you missed it in my opening post, Greg Jericho argued in his piece today that the Australian cricketers have demonstrated the effectiveness of union organising in negotiating for fair share of their pay and power, tied to their revenue. Were the players operating individually, he says, “they would be stuffed”.

6.00am BST


Romelu Lukaku has made his debut for Manchester United as they saw off LA Galaxy, 5-2. Manchester United’s post-Wayne Rooney era began with Jose Mourinho fielding a rarely deployed 3-5-1-1, while Lukaku had to wait until the second half for his debut. He didn’t score, but didn’t look out of place either.

5.55am BST

AFL Q3 05:36 remaining Richmond 8.13 (61) v Brisbane 6.7 (43)

No surprises here with the Tigers leading the Lions at Etihad stadium. Brownlow favourite Dustin Martin looks to be free of the tag, racking up 13 possessions this quarter alone. He’s had 27 so far, although is only going at 55% disposal efficiency. He’s had 10 clearances though, including 6 centre clearances.

5.51am BST

NRL half-time Manly Sea Eagles 8-10 West Tigers

Lolohea intercepts a risky Matthew Wright pass on the verge of half-time. Lolohea speaks to the media at half-time and can hardly get a word in he’s puffing that hard. Says the Tigers started slowly, and is happy to take the lead into half-time. Apisai Koroisau denies that the Sea Eagles are struggling after a tough match last week; he says they started well and they won’t use fatigue as an excuse.

5.47am BST

NRL H1 37:27 Manly Sea Eagles 8-10 West Tigers

Tedesco takes the dropout for the Tigers after Manly pressed hard with a penalty, quick tap and Trbojevic dash that almost delivered. It’s almost half-time here, at which point I’ll go around the grounds for some AFL updates.

5.43am BST

F1 – British Grand Prix

In F1 news, Lewis Hamilton has emphatically answered his critics with a brilliant drive to pole position for this Sunday’s British Grand Prix. This is Hamilton’s fifth British GP pole, and matches Jim Clark’s record at Silverstone. He came in at more than half a second clear of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. If he should also win the race, he will match Clark and Alain Prost’s record of five wins in this race.

5.38am BST

NRL H1 29:03 Manly Sea Eagles 8-10 West Tigers

The kick from Luke Brooks goes over the hands Brian Kelly and Esan Marsters pounces. Some great work from Woods (via an offload) and a big, daring run from Lolohea set that try up.

The luck of the bounce!#NRLManlyTigers #NRL

5.32am BST

NRL H1 24:18 Manly Sea Eagles 8-6 Wests Tigers

The Tigers finally get one back! Joel Edwards is the unlikely hero after a Woods assist. He fumbled and weaved through a row of defenders for his first try since 2013 (when he was a Raider!)

5.28am BST

NRL H1 19:47 Manly Sea Eagles 8-0 West Tigers

James Tedesco down the inside for what looked like a try, but Woods is penalised for obstructing Trbojevic from tackling Tedesco.

Long ball from Tom Trbojevic #NRLManlyTigers 8-0 after 12 minutes. #NRL

5.25am BST

Tour de France

In Tour de France news, Chris Froome is back in yellow, after finishing 25 seconds ahead of Fabio Aru, who ceded the race lead by 19 seconds. Aru was poorly placed at the back of the group on the final ascent, while Froome finished 7th behind stage winner, Australian Michael Matthews. Froome also gained key seconds ahead of rivals Romain Bardet, Simon Yates, Nario Quintana and teammate Mikel Landa. Still, only 29 seconds separate the top four of Froome, Aru, Bardet and Rigoberto Uran. Froome said he would “regard all of the riders within a minute as a threat,” and at this stage, “we are fighting for every second”.

5.18am BST

NRL H1 11:47 Manly Sea Eagles 8-0 Wests Tigers

And now a try to Matthew Wright after an assist from Tom Trbojevic. Below is the 40/20 from DCE that set it up.

What a 40/20 from DCE! #NRLManlyTigers #NRL

5.15am BST

NRL H1 08:57 Manly Sea Eagles 4-0 Wests Tigers

It’s just his third game this season, but Shaun Lane has dived over for Manly’s opening try after another try assist from Daly Cherry-Evans.

5.12am BST


Australia have advanced to the semi-final against India in the Women’s World Cricket Cup, after easily accounting for South Africa. You can follow the live action as it happened here, with this link to Will Macpherson’s live blog.

5.07am BST


Overnight, 23-year-old Gabriñe Muguruza became only the second Spaniard – after Chonchita Martínez in 1994 – to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon. Martínez was fittingly in attendance, cheering Muguruza on from the coaches’ box. Muguruza won 7-5, 6-0 in an emphatic victory over five-times champion Venus Williams. The 6-0 scoreline of the second set was telling; it is the first time Williams has lost a set to love in 20 years at Wimbledon.

5.03am BST

Before we get going with today’s action, I’ll update you on some of the emerging sports news from overnight. Then I’ll take us to the NRL clash between Manly and Wests, and update you on the score between the Tigers and the Lions in the AFL.

5.01am BST

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Sunday edition of Guardian Sportwatch. I’m Kate O’Halloran, and here we keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of Australian sport, whatever your preferred shape of ball, with our rolling liveblog. Don’t forget to tweet us @GdnAusSport with the hashtag #sportwatch.

Today’s feature match is the 4:40pm clash between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers – otherwise known as the W.A. derby. Today’s clash is the 46th instalment of the derby, likely to be the last ever at Domain Stadium. The W.A. derby gives new meaning to the term ‘bitter rivalry’ – much akin to its S.A. cousin. Crowds for the game average 39,908, with the biggest crowd 43,527 in 2006 (when the teams were first and fourth). They sit at 12th and 10th today, but the game is likely to be as close as ever. West Coast have been hot and cold all season, and have lost three out of their last four at home – unbelievable considering they were accused so vehemently of relying on a home-town advantage. Many would have tipped the Eagles to topple the Power at home last week, but they looked the inferior team from the first bounce. They do, however, welcome back their spearhead Josh Kennedy, who has booted no less than 13 goals in the last two derbies between these teams. For that reason alone, I’m tipping a narrow West Coast victory.

2.57am BST

Kate will be here shortly. In the meantime, we recommend reading this piece from Greg Jericho on how Australian cricket’s pay dispute is a wonderful ad for joining a union.

Related: The cricket pay dispute is a wonderful advertisement for joining a union | Greg Jericho

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jul 15

Swans beat Giants, Arsenal outclass Wanderers, Collingwood overcome Suns, Geelong win nailbiter and more: Australia sportwatch – live!

2.15pm BST

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*

2.04pm BST

Cycling: Then again, there’s always the Tour de France

Related: Tour de France 2017: stage 14 – live!

Related: Venus Williams v Garbiñe Muguruza: Wimbledon 2017 final – live!

1.59pm BST

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.

Related: South Africa chasing 270 against Australia: Women’s World Cup – live!

1.47pm BST

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.

1.32pm BST

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.

1.27pm BST

1.25pm BST

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…

1.09pm BST

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.

1.06pm BST

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.

1.03pm BST

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.

12.58pm BST

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.

12.56pm BST

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?

12.52pm BST

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.

Related: Olivier Giroud helps Arsenal breeze past Western Sydney Wanderers

12.50pm BST

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.

12.46pm BST

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.

12.45pm BST

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.

12.39pm BST

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.

12.37pm BST

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.

12.33pm BST

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.

12.28pm BST

12.27pm BST

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.

12.23pm BST

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.

12.20pm BST

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.

12.17pm BST

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.

12.15pm BST

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.

12.10pm BST

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.

12.07pm BST

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.

12.04pm BST

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.

12.00pm BST

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.

11.57am BST

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.

11.54am BST

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.

11.48am BST

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.

11.47am BST

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.

11.44am BST

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.

11.42am BST

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.

11.39am BST

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.

11.37am BST

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.

11.35am BST

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.

11.33am BST

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.

11.29am BST

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.

11.27am BST

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.

11.25am BST

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.

11.22am BST

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.

11.18am BST

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.

11.15am BST

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.

11.12am BST

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.

11.09am BST

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.

11.06am BST

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.

11.00am BST

Football: Over to Sydney where Arsenal are preparing to take on the Wanderers. Lacazette makes his first start for the Gunners.

10.58am BST

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.

10.56am BST

10.55am BST

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.

10.51am BST

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.

10.45am BST

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.

10.35am BST

I suddenly have a hankering for a chocolate orange.

10.34am BST

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.

10.24am BST

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.

10.18am BST

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.

10.14am BST

10.13am BST

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.

10.10am BST

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.

10.09am BST

That reminds me. Can’t wait for the new season of Bojack Horseman.

10.06am BST

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.

10.03am BST

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.

9.56am BST

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.

9.51am BST

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.

9.47am BST

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.

9.44am BST

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.

9.39am BST

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.

9.36am BST

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).

9.30am BST

9.24am BST

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.

9.19am BST

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.

9.13am BST

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.

9.09am BST

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.

9.05am BST

9.03am BST

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.

9.01am BST

8.58am BST

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.

8.54am BST

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.

8.50am BST

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.

8.48am BST

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?

8.42am BST

8.40am BST

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.

8.35am BST

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.

8.31am BST

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.

8.27am BST

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.

8.18am BST

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.

8.06am BST

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.

8.02am BST

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.

7.55am BST

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.

7.48am BST

Well the final whistle has blown but this game was over some time ago. Brutal stuff from Port Adelaide.

7.46am BST

7.43am BST

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…

7.39am BST

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…

7.34am BST

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.

7.30am BST

7.28am BST

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.

7.19am BST

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.

7.14am BST

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.

7.11am BST

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.

Related: Alexandre Lacazette scores for Arsenal in friendly win over Sydney FC

6.35am BST

Richard will be here shortly. In the meantime, what to do about the sorry state of Australian Super Rugby? Here’s an idea:

Related: Move an Australian Super Rugby club to Japan and solve ARU problems | Bret Harris

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Jul 12

State of Origin 2017 Game 3: Maroons clinch series after Valentine Holmes hat-trick

  • Queensland Maroons 22-6 NSW Blues in series decider in Brisbane
  • Valentine Holmes scores hat-trick of tries as Maroons run riot
  • Dane Gagai named player of the series for Queensland

The stage was set for Queensland: a parochial full house at Suncorp Stadium, Bernard Fanning singing Wish You Well to an injured Johnathan Thurston before kick-off, and of course a decider: the stage in which the Maroons so often thrive. And so it was on Wednesday night, as a three tries to rookie winger Valentine Holmes and a captain’s performance from veteran Cameron Smith delivered Queensland a 22—6 victory that will go down in Origin folklore.

Before kick-off the odds were with NSW. For all but two minutes of Game I and II, NSW led. Egged on by an ever-excitable Sydney press, this series was theirs to win. Unfortunately for the Blues, Queensland love being the underdog.

Related: State of Origin 2017: Queensland clinch the series – in pictures

Related: State of Origin 2017 Game 3: Queensland Maroons beat NSW Blues 22-6 – live!

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Jul 12

State of Origin 2017 Game 3: Queensland Maroons beat NSW Blues 22-6 – as it happened

  • Queensland Maroons 22-6 NSW Blues at Suncorp Stadium
  • Valentine Holmes hat-trick gets Queensland home in series decider

1.28pm BST

Whoops, forgot my coat. And to link to Joe Gorman’s match report. Enjoy:

Related: State of Origin 2017 Game 3: Maroons clinch series after Valentine Holmes hat-trick

1.24pm BST

Dane Gagai has just been awarded the man of the series; the first time in Origin history a winger has claimed such a prize.

Boyd Cordner takes to the dais to congratulate Qld (“Youse were too good”) and Johnathan Thurston “on a great rep career. You’re a legend of a bloke and a legend of the game.”

1.15pm BST

Final thoughts

Queensland have emphatically held off NSW to win their 11th Origin series in 12 years. In doing so they’ve not only maintained the great Maroon dynasty but also given NSW reason to believe that, despite the transition taking place in Queensland’s ranks, things aren’t about to get any easier for NSW. Munster, Holmes, Wallace, Hess et al showed NSW that they’ll have to wrest the Origin shield from their cold dead hands. That said, the difference between the teams tonight, if not attitude, belief and application, was Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater. They were all devastating and led the Maroons to a near faultless performance, the standout performance of the series. What a turn around after NSW dominated game 1.

1.06pm BST

Fittler speaks with a gravel-voiced James Maloney who is as dark as a lonely paddock on a moonless night. “As a team to put a performance like that in on an occasion like this is horrible You’ll never win a game of footy playing like that… NSW deserve better. Laurie, the coaching staff, deserve better. We haven’t leaked 22 points all series… We completed just 65%. We need to be better.”

1.02pm BST

Darren Lockyer collars a jubilant Billy Slater: “It was a pretty big win,” says Slater. “We’ve had so many injuries, not just coming into the series but during the series. That was one helluva game.”

Will he be back? “It’s hard [to walk away].”

1.00pm BST

We’ve seen this before, ladies and gents, Qld whooping it up and group hugging on the field while NSW drop to their haunches and wish the ground swallowed them up.

12.58pm BST

80 min: Despite taking an age over it —an age during which the crowd danced and cheered in the aisles— Smith misses to the left.

12.56pm BST

78 min: A penalty to Qld, 30m out. Smith will kick for goal.

12.55pm BST

76 min: Dugan is busting a gut out on the right but getting little reward. Fifita, who’s been kept in Qld’s pockets tonight, knocks on. Huzzah! says the crowd.

NSW have turned into the Washington Generals. It’s time to stop Origin. It was good while it lasted.

12.54pm BST

75 min: NSW make little headway due to Qld’s rush defence. On the last, Maloney tries Cronk’s 50m cross field kick but it sails over the touchline — and straight into the arms of Qld’s water carrier: Alfie Langer! Langer catches it and throws it into the air raising a laugh from the crowd!

12.51pm BST

74 min: NSW throwing it about now and Morgan almost takes an intercept on Qld’s 40m, but the Qld centre knocks on. NSW on the attack from the scrum…

12.50pm BST

71 min: NSW awarded a penalty and they start a set of six 20m out. Woods lumbers forward… has he ever broken the line? On the last, Pearce kicks wide, NSW bat it backwards, and Dugan does his best to muscle 5m to the line. But he’s pulled down by Smith.

NSW’s attack has more or less involved a kick and a prayer on the last. Shows what happens when you lose the ruck.

12.47pm BST

Smith adds the extras and the 52,540 in the crowd (barring a smattering of Blues fans) are delirious. And there’s still 10m to go.

12.46pm BST

And that’s the game! Within NSW’s 20m, Qld stretch NSW right, then left. From centre field Smith finds Munster who angles left before stepping back inside. Cordner wraps him up but Munster lobs an inside pass to Wallace and, without a Blue near him, he runs 3m to the line to score under the posts! Where was the defence?!

12.43pm BST

64 min: Qld now working the ball out from their line. On their own 30m Cronk puts Slater into space and he banks left, then right, then left again before finding Cronk —who’s smashed by Pearce. But Cronk plays it quickly and Munster kicks inside for his chasers with NSW looking ragged. It sits up in the NSW in-goal but Pearce cleans up, Drop out.

12.40pm BST

63 min: It remains 16-6 after Smith misses the conversion from the left touchline. The same score NSW led by in Game 2 before the wheels fell off.

12.39pm BST

Queensland race downfield against a tiring defence, getting quick play the balls.

Deep in the count Munster wriggles through three tacklers, including Cordner, before running into open space. With Tedsco ahead of him he floats one out to Holmes who has to reach behind him to claim it. He doesn’t do so cleanly but juggles it in one hand, his outstretched right, dragging it forward with him. He finally gets his hands on it cleanly before he’s hit 1m short. But he’s not held and he gets up to plant the ball for his third try of the night!

12.35pm BST

59 min: A near identical set from NSW ends with another bomb, but Hayne is bumped from challenging for the ball by Cronk. No penalty is forthcoming.

12.34pm BST

58 min: Slater snaffles a Pearce bomb 10m out. NSW try to keep Qld pinned down but a few tough charges get Qld out of the danger zone. Cronk bombs to Tedesco from the NSW 40m.

12.32pm BST

56 min: 15m out from NSW’s line Gagai is hauled into touch by Morris, Maloney and Hayne. Likes bouncers ejecting a bothersome patron from a nightclub.

12.31pm BST

54 min: A penalty to Qld offers them relief from some intense NSW pressure. Now they’re on the attack again.

12.30pm BST

52 min: Qld pinged for offside right in front of their posts. NSW decline the easy two points and run it. A set play nearly gets Ferguson is space on the right wing. NSW spin it left but Qld’s goal-line defence does the trick. Another last tackle bomb. This time it’s Ferguson leaping high but even though NSW come up with it their hot-potato passing winds up in the arms of Cameron Smith.

12.27pm BST

51 min: NSW with momentum now, buoyed by that try. Graham nearly slips away 35m out. Then a bomb which Slater takes brilliantly above his head. NSW throw the kitchen sink at them and it pays off! NSW force a mistake and they’re 10m out!

12.25pm BST

Easy as you like.

12.25pm BST

Out of nothing NSW give themselves a chance! Having lumbered downfield Pearce kicked on the last, a cross-field bomb to NSW’s right edge. Dugan, on the run, leapt above Holmes, just held on to the ball in his fingertips, and then had the presence of mind to run it around to score under the posts.

12.22pm BST

46 min: Qld work the ball out from their own line and, again, they make easy metres, helped by quick play the balls. Slater wraps around Cronk and again tries to find Chambers but NSW snuff out the danger.

12.20pm BST

44 min: After Papalii offloads, Slater runs like a Stanley knife down a sheet of cardboard. He gets on the outside of Hayne and sidearms a ball to Chambers. If he catches he’ll have a 10m run to the line, cover defence notwithstanding. But he drops it.

12.18pm BST

43 min: Another error from NSW. Pearce tries to slip Cordner through a narrow hole 40m out from NSW’s line but Cordner puts it down.

12.17pm BST

41 min: NSW show a modicum of adventure in attack but are forced to kick from the half. Pearce bombs down Gagai’s throat before Hess crunches him.

12.15pm BST

41 min: Smith restarts the game and Klemmer hits the Maroon line with gusto.

12.14pm BST

Laurie Daley admits the game should be dead but NSW still have an opportunity as 12-0. “We’ve got to start with plenty of energy and go set to set. If we can do that I’m still confident we can win. But it’s going to take a huge effort.”

Depressing fact for Blues fans: 27 times Qld have led at halftime at Suncorp. They’ve lost one of them.

12.12pm BST

If Qld go on to win this game, as they are in a good position to do, NSW will forever rue that second half showing in Sydney three weeks ago, and Jarryd Hayne’s failure to pass to an open Brett Morris when NSW led 16-6 will be apportioned even greater impact. NSW were all over Qld at that point. It makes the current situation hard to understand.

Phil Withall has had similar thoughts. “It would appear that the failure of NSW to capitalise on their first half showing in the second game is continuing to haunt them,” he writes. “Combined with the difficulty of facing Queensland at Suncorp things don’t look good. They seem to be lacking in intensity in the tackle and have limited imagination in attack. Could be another 12 months of navel gazing and in-fighting ahead.”

12.03pm BST

What a half from Qld, and they’re unlucky not to be ahead by more. They have dominated every facet of this game. Smith and Cronk have been magnificent. It’s not over but boy do NSW need something special to win it from here.

Tim Griffiths, in Swindon, speaks for all NSW fans when he writes: “It’s not the despair, the despair I can cope with… It’s the hope that kills you…”

12.01pm BST

40 min: As the hooter sounds, Cronk attempts a 40m drop-out that falls short.

12.00pm BST

39 min: NSW almost find a way to salvage something from the half but Dugan drops the ball as he’s hit by two defenders 5m out. Qld counter …

11.59am BST

37 min: What the heck?! Chaos! Pearce passes into Gillett’s face on the half. NSW stop, thinking it was a knock on. Glasby picks it up and has clear space ahead of him, 40m to the line. Galloping like a giraffe he sets off. Maloney chases him then pulls him down just short. Qld had numbers on the left but Smith ducked inside when he should have kept the movement going. He tried to do so once he was tackled but his pass to Holmes was called forward just as Holmes crashed over the line!

11.55am BST

36 min: Cronk finds touch now, close to the NSW line. Up in the coaches box Daley has his head in a hand as he jots something down on a piece of paper. SOS?

11.54am BST

34 min: Qld’s defence is swarming NSW and NSW look a little directionless. On the fourth, Maloney waits for a Tedesco run but it’s telegraphed and Tedesco is wrapped up easily. Then Hayne has the ball with nothing on and his attempt to grubber ahead on the last comes to naught.

11.52am BST

33 min: NSW again working the ball out from their own line. This will help. A penalty for Qld holding the tackled player down. They restart play from the 50m.

11.51am BST

32 min: Pearce bombs to Holmes from the 50m. Pearce has rarely found the grass with his kicks so far this series.

11.50am BST

31 min: NSW are so deep in defence, letting Qld run at them. Why? Fatigue from all the defence they’ve been doing? Whatever the reason it’s allowing Qld to maintain momentum. Smith has the ball, and the game, on a string.

11.49am BST

29 min: On the attack once again Qld bomb – but Ferguson takes it safely 15m out. NSW cannot afford to concede again this half or this could get ugly.

11.48am BST

He’s not exactly a dead-eye, Smith, but he lands another from the left wing.

11.47am BST

That really was an amazing try and a snapshot of why Qld have been so good for so long no matter what NSW throw at them. They’ve got Smith, Slater and Cronk (not to mention JT, Inglis etc).

11.45am BST

26 min: Qld, on the half, keeping the ball alive with some slick passing. Slater flings one back to McGuire. He’s tackled then Smith goes straight through! He finds Papalii in acres but he’s brought down 10m out by Tedesco. From the play the ball Cronk, at first receiver, hooks a low trajectory 50m kick into the arms of an unmarked Holmes on the left wing! What a kick! What a try!

11.42am BST

23 min: Valerie Robbins emails from France to say bonjour. And “Go QLD!” Your Maroons are certainly playing well. Valerie.

But here’s NSW, charging into Qld territory. Frizell runs like a rhino before slipping a ball to a flying Dugan. He does well to take but on impact with the ground it jolts out of his grasp.

11.39am BST

22 min: Smith slips under a loose Pearce tackle. Munster then finds touch 10m out from NSW’s line, which neither team will mind given it affords an opportunity for a well-earned breather.

11.38am BST

20 min: Tedesco takes a towering bomb and skips inside the first tackle. NSW are under siege, Qld’s defence giving them nothing. Pearce is forced to kick from the NSW 30m.

11.36am BST

18 min: No try! Lucky for NSW, they look super shaky right now.

Smith it was who created that near try, slipping past Woods at marker before finding Slater on his shoulder. With only Tedesco to beat Slater passed inside to Cronk who had 15m to reach the line. Seeing the approaching cover of Morris Cronk dived for the line early but, as we saw on replay, Morris’ hand dislodged the ball as Cronk was in the process of landing! A massive moment, and what a try saver!

11.33am BST

18 min: Qld could be in again! Cronk this time, diving over!

11.33am BST

From the left touchline, Smith makes no mistake. A deserved lead for Qld however you might quibble over the putdown.

11.32am BST

Queensland start from in front! It began with an inside ball from Cronk to Slater who zigged and zagged before a nice offload to Morgan. Angling towards the sideline he found Holmes back on the inside. From 5m out Holmes held off Pearce and absorbed the tackle of Tedesco to reach out and —just, perhaps, maybe— touch down without losing control of the ball.

11.29am BST

15 min: I swear I wrote that before this happened! Holmes may have just scored in the left corner! Oh, I think it fell from his fingers.

11.28am BST

13 min: A poor NSW play the ball on the halfway line gifts Qld a scrum. So far, NSW are making more errors and giving up more ball. It feels like Qld are about to make them pay.

11.26am BST

11 min: A moment after Qld get away with a forward pass on NSW’s 20m, Cronk chips for his wingers. Tedesco catches it but then knocks it on. With Maroon jerseys lurking Maloney dives on it from an offside position. He knew it but reasoned it was the safest option.

Qld take the tap but great defence from the Blues holds them out.

11.23am BST

9 min: Cliche alert! This is end-to-end stuff, Qld in particular looking sharp and willing. On the last, Slater kicks across field but Morris rises highest to catch it over his head under enormous pressure.

11.22am BST

8 min: Six to go to NSW on the halfway line after a touch from Qld. Tedesco makes some inroads, now Fifita carries three players to a few metres out. Oh dear, Cordner overruns the pass from Peats and spills the ball, wasting a great opportunity.

11.20am BST

6 min: Deep in attack, Qld grubber in behind but Tedesco, sliding along the deck like a baseballer heading to home plate, takes it beautifully. And now a penalty to NSW.

11.19am BST

5 min: Penalty to Qld 10m out from their own line and from the restart Qld put it through their hands, Slater swinging around the back of Munster. They then fling it wide right, showing an early indication they plan to play expansively.

11.18am BST

4 min: On the last a bomb is aimed towards Qld’s right wing and Morris goes down dramatically as he chases it. Was he shielded illegally from contesting the ball? No says the ref.

11.16am BST

2 min: Strong defence by Qld forces Maloney to kick on the last right on the half. But it’s charged down and Maloney gets it back. The crowd don’t like it, they think it wasn’t played at. A chant goes up: “Bullpitt!” I think it is, in tribute to the central character of Kingswood Country.

11.14am BST

1 min: Here we go, NSW kick off, high and deep. Debutant Munster takes it cleanly and sends Napa for an early hit-up.

11.12am BST

After a group cuddle in the sheds the Blues emerge onto the arena, greeted as warmly as head lice in a primary school classroom.

Qld keep them waiting —allowing NSW’s nerves to stew— before joining them. A mighty roar goes up, and the Maroons dash about, stare into the sky, rotate their heads on necks like wheels of cheese, and take in the air.

11.07am BST

You want random facts? You’ve come to the right place:

11.03am BST

Breaking news from the Blues’ dressing room, courtesy of Brad ‘Scoop’ Fittler. “Andrew Fifita has barely said a word. Jarryd Hayne is the same. He’s talking when he has to but he has his mind on the job. They are ready to go.”

Outside Queensland’s dressing room Paul Vautin, looking more grey than ginger these days, reports that Thurston is handing out towels. That’s Queensland spirit for you, punishing a man for getting injured.

11.00am BST

There are numerous subplots swirling about the game tonight. One of them is the suggestion that the losing coach will be sacked. Considering he’s had his chances to steer NSW into the promised land it would hard to argue against Laurie Daley being stood down for someone new… but surely giving the boot to Kevin Walters in just his second series would be rough (after he won last year and now inherits a team undergoing transition). Of course there may be nothing to it but grist for the Origin Hyper-bolometer.

10.57am BST

I’m not into betting but will mention that NSW are fairly heavily favoured tonight. Queensland wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re following this from afar, teams in Australia (and our various national teams as well) love nothing better than being deemed underdogs. And if it’s not a title bestowed on them by others they’ll do it themselves. Impressively, Queensland found a way to paint themselves as underdogs seemingly every year of their Origin streak; creating a backs against the wall mentality that they thrived under.

10.52am BST

That would have to be the first time at Suncorp Stadium that Thurston hasn’t been hit without the ball #StateOfOrigin #Origin

10.50am BST

Johnathan Thurston, arm in a sling, is now on stage in the middle of Lang Park being honoured for his stellar Origin career. We’d just seen a montage obviously pre-recorded in anticipation of him playing tonight. Having gone to trouble of recording that Nine couldn’t well leave it in the tin.

We can all wonder what sort of effect this will have on the Queensland players tonight. They hardly need it as motivation; so might it be a distraction? NSW can only hope.

10.40am BST



10.36am BST


Good evening, folks, and welcome. Let’s start with the obvious. After NSW flogged Queensland in Brisbane with a verve that seemed to herald regime change, Queensland then Queenslanded* their way to victory in Sydney three weeks later to level the tie. Tonight the combatants are in Brisbane for the decider.

Johnathan Thurston’s average heart rate during #Origin 2 – 168bpm.

When he strikes the match winner – 161bpm. #NRL

1.50am BST

Paul will be here shortly. In the meantime, have a read of Matt Cleary’s preview of tonight’s big game at Suncorp, which on nights like this “heaves like they’d filmed the climactic scenes from Big Trouble at Little China at the rum factory in Bundaberg”.

Related: Choking still a hazard for NSW Blues as do-or-die State of Origin decider arrives | Matt Cleary

Related: Coaches head into zero sum State of Origin decider with all on the line | Nick Tedeschi

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Jul 10

Coaches head into zero sum State of Origin decider with all on the line | Nick Tedeschi

In the long history of the game, it is hard to think of a single match in which both coaches’ positions have been so precarious

It is being called the biggest game in rugby league history, such is the hyperbole that surrounds all things State of Origin. Those claims lack historical perspective, but there is absolutely no doubt that Wednesday’s decider at Suncorp Stadium is an affair of immense proportion.

The stakes are breathtakingly high. And the two with the most chips in the middle are opposing coaches Laurie Daley and Kevin Walters. Fair or not, the losing mentor is almost certain to lose their job for the 2018 series. This is all-in, heads-up, no limit hold ‘em. The players are standing. The cards have been flipped. The flop is down. The turn has been shown. It all swings on the river.

Related: Daly Cherry-Evans State of Origin snub raises questions in Queensland camp | Nick Tedeschi

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jul 08

Saints ascendant in Maddie’s Match, Eels shock Storm, and more: Australia sportwatch – as it happened

1.34pm BST

And that, as they say when they’re being very obvious, is that. We started the day with the Hawks, scrambling a draw with Greater Western Sydney after trailing by 13 points with a few minutes to go. Unlikely, fun, silly really. That drawing goal was one of the dodgiest, most unlikely, accidental scores ever. But there it stood. Two draws in two weeks for GWS, after last week’s with Geelong, something no club has done since Carlton in 1921.

That was as close as things would get over the day in the AFL. Essendon prevailed comfortably over Collingwood, Sydney smashed the Gold Coast, St Kilda smashed Richmond, Geelong smashed the Lions.

1.18pm BST

Geelong reached the biggest score of the season with that last goal, and would have enjoyed the hit-out. A bit like Gold Coast with Sydney, the Lions hung in there for the first quarter but couldn’t keep up once the foot went down.

Hawkins kicked 4, while Parsons, Blicavs, and Danger all kicked 3. Mitch Duncan also had 38 stats, and would have had 3 Brownlow votes had his teammate not stolen the limelight. Lachie Henderson had 27 rebounding out of defence.

1.15pm BST

Goals for Dangerfield! Yes, plural. He jags two in the last two minutes, to end the night with three to his name. Runs forward to mark from Buzza’s pass, then runs back to mark in the square from Mackie’s. Kicks them both. The goals, not the teammates.

38 disposals, 23 of them contested, 9 marks and kicked 3.2.

1.05pm BST

Back at the MCG, the two Riewoldt cousins are being interviewed post-game. They both speak well about the size of the crowd that came down, the people they’re trying to help, and what it means to them.

“Hopefully we’ll smash that barrier we were aiming for tonight,” says Nick Riewoldt of the fundraising effort, “and judging by the size of the crowd I reckon we’ll go pretty close.”

1.01pm BST

The best thing to happen in the Brisbane game is that their forward Eric Hipwood just played 10 minutes with one boot on. It was half coming off near a contest, so he kicked it off and ran away to go after the ball. Play went over the far side of the ground, so he stayed with it. Chasing on one sock. Took them an age to get him back to the bench and get reunited with his wardrobe. He seemed comfortable enough out there. Benefits of Brisbane weather.

The second best thing was that Daniel Motlop almost scored a goal by accident. Got a handball into his boot in the goal square, and it was on track to ricochet through. He followed up to make sure of it with a toe-poke. 78 plays 151.

12.50pm BST

The Richmond comeback isn’t quite on. Three goals in a row to start the last quarter, with Dustin Martin starting it off as he so often does. Butler and Lloyd follow. But the remaining 71 points of the deficit prove too daunting for Richmond in the final 15 minutes, and the Saints bag a couple of goals back. It’s 135 to 58.

12.47pm BST

El-e-va-tion! Whoo. Wylie Buzza, the cartoon character, does a bit of levitating. Gets a huge leap at the ball. He was trying to use Daniel Rich as a stepladder, but Rich slipped over at the crucial moment. Lucky not to get kneed in the head. So Buzza was left hanging, literally, but did still get some serious hangtime. Got hands to the ball mid-air but couldn’t hold on. Doesn’t matter, becaues Parfitt is waiting down as the ball spills free, and snaps the goal. It’s 76 to 137.

12.45pm BST

I don’t want to make it sound like he’s the only player out there, but Dangerfield is the only player out there. In this last quarter especially. Takes a mark inside 50 but misses. Nearly marks another huge tumbling high ball. Then reels in a casual one-hander in the centre square and hits up Selwood, who finds Parfitt. Who misses. Then Dangerfield again, almost snapping one from the pocket but running out of space. The 35 jersey is literally everywhere. But no one can hit a shot at goal. Tired legs out there.

12.41pm BST

Dangerfield still looking to spark action even in the last quarter of a won game. Charges out of the centre square with advantage from a ruck free kick, but Hawkins doesn’t shoot from the pocket and tries to pass. Messes it up. As does Motlop after Dangerfield wins it back and sends it back forward, Motlop trying to cleverly pass sideways but the move was too clever. The Lions end up with a couple of shots at the other end and miss them. Lonergan is still doing excellent work, worrying forwards out of the ball. Zorko keeps bobbing up for the Lions, he kicked a couple of long bomb goals in the first quarter and has had 32 touches to this stage.

12.35pm BST

Three-quarter time is 55 points to Geelong over Brisbane, and 89 points to St Kilda over Richmond. I suppose we’ve had our close game for the day. And so many for the season. Perhaps we were due a couple of blowouts.

12.22pm BST

AFL: Riewoldt. Nick, that is. As he does. As he has done, so many times before. Back with the flight, taking no care for his safety. Taking the mark. Kicking the goal.

12.21pm BST

NRL: A late try to Clinton Gutherson, and the Parramatta Eels score an upset over the top-placed Storm. Hell of a performance at AAMI Stadium. Between the Storm and Maddie, there are two purple games going on tonight. The Saints are certainly the happier team in the colour.

He just looks dangerous every time he gets the ball!@ClintGutherson.#NRLStormEels#NRL

12.18pm BST

Turning into a handy percentage booster for Saint Kilda. They need one, they’re still hovering under 100 at this stage of the season. And they still want this so much. The commitment: they’re hunting in the midfield, the number of holding-the-ball frees won has been exceptional. There are five Tigers in the forward pocket yet somehow two Saints outhustle them until a handball finds Bruce in the clear to slot Saint Kilda’s 18th goal of the night.

12.14pm BST

Another miss for Richmond, as Tyson Stengle lines up after a fairly soft free kick for over the shoulder. It was easy shot. Richmond tonight, just dire. Three goals, nine behinds. The Saints? Seventeen goals, eight behinds. The score is 27 plays 110.

12.12pm BST

An interesting discussion going on in the comments about violence in the game, related to the suspensions handed out to Tom Bugg, Bachar Houli and Ali Fahour for knocking out opponents.

The key point being this idea: “they all received support from other adult men, with standing in the community, who should know better. Whilst of course they were not condoning the behaviour they were saying these are usually good blokes. That is exactly how we as a society have come to rationalise male violence – an aberrant, out of character act that we should simply forgive: move on.”

12.01pm BST

AFL: Stop the clocks. Let the hour be marked forever. Build a monument. Richmond have kicked a goal. Josh Caddy makes up for his earlier miss with a hit. They’re inspired, a minute later Shaun Grigg gets on the board as well. It’s a mere 80-point deficit now. I can’t believe we’re going to see the greatest comeback of all time.

11.47am BST

NRL: The Storm finally got on the board just before the half, via this break. It’s still 6-16, any chance of a comeback?

Vunivalu breaks down the right.

Delivers for Hughes.


11.37am BST

They’re trading goals. Hugh McCluggage, who sounds like a fake name you’d use while prank calling Moe’s Tavern, gets one against the run of play, running onto a loose ball. Down the other end, Zac Smith is too big and too strong, and muscles his way through for a reply. Dangerfield is supposed to be resting deep in the forward line, but keeps having a lot of work to do. He gets a heavy knock to the head while on hands and knees fighting for the ball. Collected by the hip of the arriving Brisbane player. Murdoch gets the spill, but had to snap almost over his own head under pressure, and hit the post. But it doesn’t last long, the reprieve. Parsons adds his third, Hawkins his third. It’s 42 plays 96 as the half-time siren goes.

If you think the floodgates are open here, it’s 92-10 in the St Kilda game.

11.30am BST

It’s a Rhys-off. It’s a Rhys-off!

Rhys Mathieson hits a long-range running goal for the Lions, but Rhys Stanley replies from a set shot for the Cats. They go forward again in waves, the returning captain Selwood finding the talisman Dangerfield with a long ball, but the mark is ruled touched. Dangerfield shovels it out while being tackled by three players, and the loose ball comes to Murdoch. Goal. It’s suddenly 36 plays 77.

11.25am BST

Well worth mentioning, when discussing the Cats, this man. Nearly died a decade ago when he lost a kidney after being smashed in a marking contest, very early in his career. It certainly seemed like that career would be over. So to come back from there, and reach 200 games, is testament to courage. Tom Lonergan.

Our hero. Our inspiration. Our 200 gamer. #AFLLionsCats

11.22am BST

St Kilda inside 50 again, Gresham centring the ball, but the Tigers draw a free kick for tunnelling the legs, and get out. Go forward. Almost get inside their own 50, miracle of miracles, but then it comes undone again. Back down to the wing, Cotchin shrugs a tackle but Gilbert comes out of nowhere and blindsides him with the second. Holding the ball, from which point it’s pumped into the pocket, knocked over the back, Gresham hits the pack at pace and grabs the crumb to sprint his little legs into an open goal.

The other game is opening up too, the Cats up 30-58 at the Gabba. I’ll switch over and give you some detail from there shortly.

11.17am BST

Saints are leading the inside-50 count by 30 to 10. And they’re having one of those nights, everything is coming off. Jack Steven is under huge pressure in a contest inside 50, and he somehow still takes a mark one-handed. Then when his shot fades across the face, Bruce marks it in the pocket. He misses his shot, which is the first thing that’s gone wrong.

11.14am BST

I thought the umpire was just really friendly, but he was saying “high”. Richmond get out of defence for a brief moment thanks to the free kick in the back pocket.

11.13am BST

AFL: Thanks for the Membrey. The Tigers are getting utterly smashed, and Tim Membrey adds the most recent bit to the pile. A set shot from 50 that sails through, moments after Jack Riewoldt missed one for Richmond from 40. Everybody’s lining up for goals for the Saints. Nick Riewoldt has one, because of course he does. Billings has one. Billy Longer has one. Koby has one. It’s 10 goals to 1, 65 points to 10. And we’re only halfway through the second quarter.

11.04am BST

NRL: Melbourne Storm are getting smashed at AAMI Park. Three tries, two converted, and it’s suddenly 0-16 to the Eels without even half an hour gone.

10.57am BST

Cats up by 9 points over the Lions as they near quarter time. Motlop goes on a burning run out of defence but runs into trouble, his kick misses the target and the ball is locked up in midfield. The last minute ticks away. It’s 23-32 at the Gabba in favour of the visitors.

10.54am BST

With a minute left in the term, the Tiges show patience to work a string of passes by foot through the midfield, then back and forth across the face until an opportunity opens up. Josh Caddy marks in the forward pocket, but has a horror and kicks it into the point post on the full. Three set shots in this quarter, two missed and one out on the full.

10.52am BST

AFL: The Saints out there with a deep purple instead of their traditional red, purple being the colour of the charity they’re supporting. Some good work on the arc gives a clear delivery to Gresham near the goalsquare, and he makes no mistake from the set shot. The Saints have swarmed the Tigers early, it’s 33 points to 9.

10.50am BST

Very good areas.

Read and Warburton to both try and throw a kettle over a pub?

10.42am BST

Right then. What’s next? St Kilda up 3 goals to 0, Geelong up 3 goals to 2, and Parra up 0-4 over the Storm. Let’s do it.

“There goes my expectation that other top teams would be sweating on the GWS/Geelong result in the final round – not to mention the two teams involved,” writes Winnie in the comments. “At least Geelong doesn’t have to sweat on percentage now. Then again, given this year, them drawing with Brisbane tonight is not so ridiculous a concept.” More draws, please. Never enough draws.

10.40am BST

True observation. They were exceptional in that regard a number of times.

Daly Cherry-Evans says the team can be proud of its goal line defensive effort. It is a positive to take out of the game.

10.36am BST

The Lions tie with the All Blacks, and the series finishes 1-1. What an underdog triumph for the best players from four different countries to tie with a team from an island with about 40 people. There’ll be a million bits of analysis and reaction on this site in 3… 2… 1…


10.24am BST

Rugby: If you’re into that sort of thing, scores are level with three minutes remaining. Y’know. No biggie.

10.24am BST


You’ll never walk alone, Maddie. @MaddiesVision #FightLikeMaddie

10.22am BST

AFL: the focus tonight for the evening round will be St Kilda versus Richmond. This is because it’s the game in honour of Madeleine Riewoldt, sister of Nick from St Kilda and cousin of Jack from Richmond. She died of bone marrow cancer, so this game raises money for Maddie’s Vision, the charity raising money to fight that disease.

Tonight is for Maddie | #FightLikeMaddie | #AFLSaintsTigers

10.17am BST

NRL: Lots of late attacking from the Eagles, they did their best to bring pressure to bear, but the Panthers were able to absorb it. A late series of runs involving Turbo and Cherry-Evans is impressive, but it’s too late. Uate and Walker can’t get it to the line, and the final whistle goes.

10.12am BST

Rugby: scores were level for a little while in the Lions game, but the All Blacks win a penalty from a scrum right in front of their goal, and kick out to 15-12.

10.11am BST

A very deflated and deflating match in the end. Gold Coast charged in the first quarter, nailed the last two goals of it and hit the front. Then didn’t kick another until deep in the final term. Didn’t even score for about an hour. Their defence was non-existent, they had no intensity around the ball, and Sydney marked inside 50 at will. A very ordinary contest, but an important one. The Swans flap up to 6th on the ladder, though any of Melbourne, West Coast or St Kilda could go back past them with a game in hand.

10.07am BST

NRL: Lucky for the Panthers that Cleary has his kicking boots on! Another penalty, another score. Eight points the difference now. Finally a bit of breathing space. 12 minutes to go. The score is 16-8.

10.06am BST

Cricket: the plot thickens. And thickens. And thickens. It’s like poutine gravy.

England won’t turn up for Ashes if no MOU signed in time. Great get @GeorgeDobell1

10.05am BST

AFL: Finally, the Cold Goats get a goal. Callum Ah Chee the rainmaker, the droughtbreaker, the firestarter. Just kidding, it’s all over. The air is out of this match completely. So much so that Wright adds another for GC. It’s 117-51.

9.56am BST

NRL: Try disallowed for the Panthers! And no one is happy about that overturn from the review official. Ruling is that there was a knock-on. Didn’t seem to be true, it looked more like the tackler had knocked the ball. And the on-field call was a try. But somehow there has supposedly been enough evidence to overturn it. Doesn’t appear right. That would have changed the Manly script hugely. But now they’re still in it. It remains 14-8.

9.53am BST

I assume he’s talking about Gandalf here?

Refreshing change watching a sport and listening to a Sir Ian who’s actually informative #Lions2017

9.52am BST

NRL: Oh, these could be important points. A penalty to the Panthers, and Nathan Cleary takes the margin out to 6 points with an accurate kick.

Over at Eden Park, it’s still 12-9, with the Lions pushing. That could be a cracker of a finish.

9.48am BST

Has Sydney really scored 17 times since Gold Coast last scored?! #AFLSwansSuns

Make that 19. Oh my… #AFLSwansSuns

9.42am BST

This has nothing to do with anything, unless being amazing is a sport.


9.41am BST

NRL: Well, they’re a second half side, Manly. Tend to run over the top of teams. And here they come, a backhander from Trbojevic letting Lane in. The conversion goes begging again though. Those points becoming important, with the gap 12-8 to the home Panthers.

The Lane train and Turbo combine for a @SeaEagles cracker!#NRLPanthersManly#NRL

9.37am BST

Rugby: It’s 12-6 to the All Blacks as they start the second half against the Lions. The Brits with the ball after an early penalty is called. Trying for a long-range goal. Slots it. Now it’s 12-9. A few AB mistakes keeping the Russell Crowe Loins in this game. Lawrence with the detail.

Related: New Zealand v Lions: third Test and series decider – live!

Another knock on from the All Blacks. They’ve got hands like Phil Tufnell today #LionsNZ2017

9.33am BST

Joel Selwood is back from concussion for Geelong.

So good to have the skip back! #AFLLionsCats

9.32am BST

AFL: It’s become a procession in the Swans-Suns game. Gary Rohan kicks his fifth. Towers adds another one. Some rubbish defending from another long kick into 50, clears a pack, then an errant defensive handball, and Zak Jones kicks another. Gold Coast still haven’t kicked a goal since just before quarter time, and there’s a minute until three-quarter time. Sydney in that period have kicked 10.

The clock ticks down to the final interval. Siren sounds. It’s 94 plays 36 and Rodney Eade is grimacing and groaning in the coach’s box.

9.13am BST

NRL: Try! Finally, the Panthers find a way through the Manly wall. A high kick, two players charging back, and Zelezniak reels it in. Only just – the video ref takes a long look, working out whether the ball has come loose before it’s grounded. But the on-field call was for a try, and the video is just borderline enough for the call to stay.

They knock the conversion over and it’s 12-4.

The @PenrithPanthers snatch a Try late in the first half!#NRLPanthersManly#NRL

9.09am BST

AFL: Update your list, Imogen. A third goal to Lance Franklin to start the third quarter. Simple chest mark on the lead, simple conversion.

9.07am BST

Rusty’s area of expertise.

That bloke on the Tele had “Loins” written on his head …#AllBlacksvBIL

9.04am BST

Panthers start a fresh set 20 metres from the try line. Great defence from Manly, stopping several forays within a couple of metres from the line.

8.58am BST

NRL: Forward pass from Shaun Lane trying to find Walker on the sixth tackle. Couldn’t land the miracle handover. 30 out, possession lost.

8.55am BST

Cricket: If you want the latest in the Australian pay saga, this is all that matters.

Shane Watson rocking the “dreamy new calc teacher on One Tree Hill, with a tortured past” look

8.54am BST

AFL: Sydney 10.5.65 to Gold Coast 5.6.36 at half time. The Suns didn’t kick a goal in the second quarter. Sydney didn’t either after Gary Rohan’s fourth, but by that stage they already had six for the term.

8.52am BST

Rugby: first try in the All Blacks game. The Lions did brilliantly with some one-on-one defence a moment ago to stop a score from a breakaway that looked all but inevitable. But can’t stop a straightforward charge from closer to home, over in the corner. Converted. 7-0.

Spine-tingling stuff from the #AllBlacks as they perform the Haka with incredible passion.
The final test is LIVE on SS1 & @DStv Now.

8.50am BST

Trent Merritt overplays his hand, and a Penrith pass is intercepted. But Manly give away a penalty by deciding to keep bashing the ball-carrier well after a tackle is done.

8.48am BST

NRL: At last we’re underway in the other side of the football world. It’s a spicy one at Pepper Stadium. Panthers love pepper. Ask David Attenborough. So it’s Penrith up against the Manly Sea Eagles. Manly could go third with a win, Penrith need one to stay in touch with the eight. And it’s the Panthers who start best early, Tamou wrestling his way over under the posts with his back to the tryline.

Tamou is in!

What a start for the @PenrithPanthers.#NRLPanthersManly#NRL

Isn’t @Dwalkz3 having a year!

Sharp pass selection from DCE as well.#NRLPanthersManly#NRL

8.36am BST

Across the office come the distinctive sounds of the New Zealand national anthem. It’s a good ‘un. If you want the full details of the All Blacks game against the British and Irish Lions, get on over to join Lawrence on his dedicated blog.

Related: New Zealand v Lions: third Test and series decider – live!

8.33am BST

Too easy again – on Franklin’s chest as he leads. Misses the shot though. Dean Towers doesn’t, receiving the handball from a midfield breakaway and slotting it. Then it’s Gary again! Not Ablett. Rohan will rise. His fourth goal as he finds it easy to find just a yard of space, take a tumbling mark on his chest from another forward entry, and convert the attempt. It’s 63-34, and Gold Coast are certainly not Goal Coast. Haven’t kicked one in this term.

8.27am BST

And another for Hewett and the Swans. Naismith was tackled in the goalsquare, and then… I think he threw that out? He held the ball up and just dropped it. Surely that’s not correct disposal? Unless he somehow got a bit of shoe on it as it fell. Anyway. He was lying on the ground, got the ball out, and Hewett is passing by to toe it over the line.

Then comes Gary Rohan again, sprinting back toward goal, then double back up the ground to mark an incoming ball. Kicks his third. It’s suddenly way too easy for Sydney, they’re finding targets every time they come inside 50. Their score is outside 50, because it’s 51. Gold Coast 34.

8.23am BST

Budgie Franklin is currently off the field with a sore wing. Had the doctors examining his wrist, and appeared to be in some discomfort.

8.22am BST

Sydney coming hard to start the second term. George Hewett gets their first after some good zigzag leading in an almost empty forward 50. Turnover in midfield, the quick kick comes back in and he’s good enough to have made space. The Suns repel several more forays in the next minute or two, but not the one that tall Sam Reid stretches up and marks in front of goal. Suddenly it’s 39-34 in favour of the Swandogs.

8.12am BST

Coasters hit the front! Seconds before quarter time, as Lynch gets two in a couple of minutes. He has three for the term. That last one, not really doing anything too wild, waiting outside a pack that was squabbling over the ball outside 50, and received a handball through heavy congestion from Jesse Longeran. It was a fair kick though, spinning around to face goal, near the boundary line about 40 metres around from home. Kicked off a step and sailed it through. The Suns are up 27-32.

8.06am BST

This has nothing to do with sport in Australia, but it’s pretty good, eh? That’s my criteria for including anything in anything: pretty good, eh?

Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka the first pair to partner in 200+ stands in consecutive ODIs #SLvZIM

8.05am BST

Lance Franklin with his second. Update that table once again. It’s 27-20 in Sydney’s favour.

8.04am BST

Language warning: Kagiso Rabada, block your tender ears. A salty but perhaps not unreasonable take from a Collingwood supporter about her team. There has been a lot of cult-like “playing for Bucks” nonsense this year. It can’t possibly be a motivator every week, and it has dragged on for a long time.

For a bunch of blokes who are playing for the coach they sure do look like they couldn’t give a fuck half the time when they’re out there.

8.00am BST

The Riders of Gary Rohan. Galloping to the fore. First he gallops himself down the forward flank, receives the ball, surges into the pocket with a burst of speed away from his pursuers and pumps the low drop punt through. A minute later he marks in the goal square tumbling back with the flight, and kicks the simple shot. Sydney up by six, but then Andrew Swallow at the other end pounces on a loose ball, and it’s 3.2.20 apiece at the SCG.

7.51am BST

But Jack Martin and Tom Lynch add the next two for the Suns. Important for Gold Coast that two of their biggest names are involved early. Gary Ablett Jr. isn’t playing today, incidentally, a slight niggle forcing him to defer Game 301.

7.50am BST

Swans get away with the first of the game against Gold Coast, via Lance Franklin. Moving well. Ascending into rare air.

.@sydneyswans with perfect 7-0 record against the Suns. Have now kicked the first goal in all 8 games. (Buddy 3 times) #AFLSwansSuns

828 #buddygoalwatch

Lance Franklin made the Suns pay early. #AFLSwansSuns

7.47am BST

Roco is free to be as one-eyed as he wants about his Bombers now, having departed The Age a few days ago. Hope he’s loving life.

Can’t make up my mind about Dons this year Best really good but still prone to lapses Reduce those & chance of finals at least #aflpiesdons

7.44am BST

Macca is first to get one away in the comments section. “Weird, if the Swans miss the finals then both Premiers from last year will not play finals and when is the last time a team played in a drawn game 2 weeks in a row?” Grand finalists, I assume you mean, but yes, point taken. That would be most unusual. The stats are out there telling us this is the most even season for a long, long time. As for two draws in a row, I’m sure the stattos will be all over searching precedents for that.

7.38am BST

To be fair GWS did say before the season they were looking forward to a good draw.

Essendon is up by 37 points at the MCG, in a result that will at least slightly soothe the savage burn of supporting the red and black. Fantasia has kicked five goals and nine thousand enchanted broomsticks. Joe Daniher has three. That pair could be making their club’s faithful happy for a long time to come.

7.31am BST

An absolutely bonkers ending to that game. The Giants are second on the ladder – two draws are a win, as the old saying doesn’t go. Adelaide remain top. Sydney’s a game out of the eight but could go back in with a win today. Gold Coast would be a win outside the eight if they won. Essendon will be a win outside the eight given they’re well up on Collingwood in the last quarter.

7.27am BST

And somehow, the Hawks nearly win. 10 seconds left when the centre bounce takes place. They rush it forward, just trying to get a behind so they can get ahead. The Hawks are able to punch it through via Henderson, trying to rush a point in their own forward line, but after a score review the umpires rule that the punch came after the siren sounded. A matter of split seconds for the Hawks, who nearly steal a win, and the Giants indeed draw twice in a fortnight. What an amazing, bizarre, incredibly even season this continues to be in Aussie Roooooolz.

7.23am BST

Yes they can! Will Langford in more traffic than Punt Road after the grand final! 40 out, scrubs a snap. It bounces on its point, clears Heath Shaw on the line with a huge bounce, and goes through! “Curtly Ambrose couldn’t get one to rise like that,” says Dermott Brereton.

7.20am BST

A couple of chances for the Hawks, but the Giants defence is keeping calm. The forward entries keep coming. A minute left. A goal the difference. Could GWS have two draws in two weeks?

7.17am BST

… but misses. A relatively simple shot from straight in front. The clock has 3:30 remaining. A goal the gap.

7.16am BST

A chance for Hawthorn – twice they surge forward thanks to a couple of good marks from Roughead and Schoenmakers coming out of defensive 50, but the first time a tackle takes down Isaac Smith in the centre square, and the second Henderson pumps the running shot out on the full from 50. Finally, after all of that, Sicily taps to Schoenmakers again on the flank, he finds Breust up forward, and on the J-curve set shot of Steve Johnson he adds a goal. That makes back the one the Giants just kicked, it’s 7 points the difference.

And Breust marks again on the burst out of the centre bounce…

7.10am BST

AFL: In terms of what’s happening already, the Hot Pink Hawks are within a kick of the Red Hot Giants down at Not Very Warm At All Stadium in Launceston. It’s 84 plays 89 in favour of the sherberts… make that five point margin into six as Kelly hits the post running into an open goal.

7.07am BST

Hello world, and as HG Nelson irresistibly had it, welcome to another afternoon where too much sport is barely enough. Geoff Lemon with you for another Sportwatch episode, cataloguing all things athletic in the broad brown land of the stolen pavlova. Looking forward to your company for the Swans and the Suns, the Panthers and the Seagles, a little dalliance with the All Blacks and the Lions of the Isles, back via AFL for some big cats and some small ones (Lions and Tigers and Cats, oh what?) plus the Saints for good measure, and in league the drenching Storm versus the slippery Eels. If there’s anything else I should be keeping an eye on and a television channel open to, please do let me know, either by formal correspondence using, or using the idiot machine on Twooterville using @GeoffLemonSport. Let’s get going, as some may say, with no further hairdo. I certainly haven’t brushed mine.

6.30am BST

Geoff will be with you shortly. In the meantime, check out the latest on Jeff Horn’s likely rematch against Manny Pacquiao.

Related: Horn-Pacquiao result to be reviewed but WBO rules out stripping title

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Jul 04

NRL and players’ union still in stalemate over revenue sharing model

Meeting on Tuesday ends without agreement on new dealCameron Smith backs away from talk of strike and takes heart from AFLThe Rugby League Players Association have once again used the State of Origin spotlight to push for a revenue sharing model in the…

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Jul 03

Daly Cherry-Evans State of Origin snub raises questions in Queensland camp | Nick Tedeschi

The Maroons have always thrived on an ‘us against the world’ mentality but it is rare that they have so pointedly ignored one of their own

By snubbing Daly Cherry-Evans in favour of Ben Hunt as Johnathan Thurston’s replacement for the Origin decider, Queensland selectors have ignored both form and class.

Cherry-Evans leads the NRL in try assists this season and has been the form half of the premiership over the last month but was ignored in favour of Brisbane half Hunt, who was dropped to Ipswich and only returned to the Broncos’ starting side in the 42-12 loss to the Storm last Friday. The Broncos are 3-6 this season with Hunt as a starter and 7-0 without him in the No7.

Related: A generational talent, Johnathan Thurston leaves representative arena having achieved it all | Nick Tedeschi

Related: Andrew Fifita criticises Brisbane pub over ‘racist’ social media post

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Jun 30

Andrew Fifita criticises Brisbane pub over ‘racist’ social media post

State of Origin prop enraged at Kallangur Tavern after it named a Blues fan as best dressed on Origin night, suggesting a black doll on the patron’s back was Fifita’s daughter

The New South Wales State of Origin prop Andrew Fifita has hit out at a Brisbane pub over what he says is a racist social media post.

Fifita posted a screenshot to Instagram on Thursday, which showed Kallangur Tavern naming a Blues fan as best dressed on Origin night, suggesting a black doll on the patron’s back was Fifita’s daughter.

Related: AFL vows to work harder to eradicate racism after Adelaide incidents

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 25

Saints take on Suns as Sea Eagles bt Sharks and more: Australian sportwatch – live!

10.33am BST

That’s all from me for today. Our feature game for the day, between the Tigers and the Blues, didn’t quite live up to expectation, with the Tigers running away with a 26-point victory. The margin provided a stark contrast to the thrillers we’ve seen in this round of AFL. The scoreline also flattered the Blues in the end, with the Tigers wasteful in front of goal – scoring 18 points for their 11 goals. It wasn’t quite the contest I expected from the Blues after their hot run of recent form. They do, however, have a star in Patrick Cripps, who finished with 17 contested possessions and 10 clearances. Sam Docherty was again dominant with 28 disposals of his own, including 11 marks.

For the Tigers, it was a welcome win after their recent spate of last-gasp losses and puts important space between them and the clubs who now sit a game adrift of them in the Eagles, Saints and Bulldogs. The Tigers’ leaders stood up when it mattered, with Jack Riewoldt kicking three goals and Dustin Martin adding another 30-disposal game. He was well-assisted by Kane Lambert (26 disposals, six tackles) and Shaun Grigg (26 disposals) who were arguably just as important.

10.18am BST

All over here at Etihad, as the Saints comfortably account for Gold Coast to move into the top eight.

Jack Billings was best on ground, with 30 disposals and one goal, while Riewoldt kicked three goals for the Saints. Jarrod Harbrow had 29 disposals for the Suns, finishing up at 97% disposal efficiency in a brilliant return game from the Suns leader.

10.03am BST


What did you make of the Shaun Higgins decision last night? Higgins took longer than his allocated 30 seconds to start his approach to goal, and was called to play on, before being tackled by Bulldog Jake Stringer. Reviewing the replay of the incident, it looks as if the closest officiating umpire warns him that he has 5 seconds remaining, and calls play on when Higgins fails to begin his run-up by that time. In other words, correct call.

9.53am BST

AFL Q4 13:12 remaining St Kilda 12.17 (89) v Gold Coast 10.10 (70)

Here’s some vision of the Riewoldt shocker. Luckily the Saints have hit back through Josh Bruce, for his first goal of the day.

Oh no! Not again… #AFLSaintsSuns

9.51am BST

AFL Q4 13:48 remaining St Kilda 11.16 (82) v Gold Coast 10.9 (69)

Riewoldt misses an absolute sitter in the goalsquare, and Witts kicks one for the Suns down the other end.

Riewoldt stuffs up in the goal square again. Brings back memories #aflsaintssuns

9.47am BST

AFL Q4 17:45 remaining St Kilda 11.14 (80) v Gold Coast 9.9 (63)

Fiorini gets one back for the Suns, as Hanley leaves the field with a potential high left hamstring. That would be a real blow for the Suns.

9.44am BST

AFL Q4 19:07 remaining St Kilda 11.14 (80) v Gold Coast 8.9 (57)

I was hoping for some vintage Nick Riewoldt and we’ve got it – that’s three for him as the Saints go out to a game-high 23-point lead. The Suns were on the receiving end of a trademark Rodney Eade spray at three-quarter-time, so it’ll be interesting to see what they can do.

9.42am BST


Returning to the Knights game for a moment to capture some more of Newcastle coach Nathan Brown’s post-match comments (thanks to AAP), where he accused his young halves Jaelen Feeney and Brock Lamb of playing slower than he could have managed during their 32-28 loss to St George Illawarra.

9.34am BST

AFL Q3 02:08 remaining St Kilda 9.14 (74) v Gold Coast 8.9 (57)

Goal to Lemmens gives the Suns some hope leading into the final quarter. They’re doing well to be in it considering the calibre of players they have missing.

9.32am BST

AFL Q3 04:50 remaining St Kilda 9.14 (74) v Gold Coast 7.9 (51)

The Saints have been wasteful in this one – kicking 9.14, but they’re well on top of the Suns at the moment. Jack Billings has 23 disposals to lead all comers (at 84% disposal efficiency), while Jarrod Harbrow is leading the way for the Suns at the moment with 19 disposals (at an incredible 100% disposal efficiency) in his return game. Membrey, Newnes and Riewoldt have two goals each for the Saints, while Peter Wright has two for the Suns.

9.28am BST


According to Wires (AAP), St George Illawarra were booed by their home fans at halftime on Sunday. Luckily the Dragons saved themselves from embarrassment against 15th-placed Newcastle at UOW Jubilee Oval with a memorable fightback to snatch a 32-28 win.

9.21am BST


Thanks for your comments below on the Sam Newman saga – I particularly liked your contribution whoaisme. To quote you:

9.13am BST

It’s all over at Southern Cross Group Stadium, and the Sharks have fallen short in their comeback attempt. That win puts Manly in the top four and is a disappointing loss for the Sharks against a team they really struggle against. Dale Cherry-Evans starred at halfback for the Sea Eagles with three tries and a field goal and could enter into discussions as to who will replace Thurston for the Origin decider after that performance.

The Sharks’ loss was further compounded by a suspected broken jaw to rookie Jayden Brailey who was taken to hospital.

8.56am BST

It’s all over at the MCG. For what promised to be a classic, this one ended up being one of the less exciting games of the round. It has been a pretty incredible round of AFL – we’ve had a huge upset by the Hawks over Adelaide, a 1-point win by Sydney over Essendon after they appeared all but gone, a 1-point win to the Bulldogs after they also looked to have put North away, a 3-point win to the Dees to finally defeat the Eagles, and then a 2-point victory to Geelong today over Fremantle.

For the Tigers, they’ll be pleased to have finally closed out a game that would have had their supporters nervous in those final 10 minutes or so. They’ve set themselves up to vie for a spot in the Top 4, alongside Melbourne who also had a big win this week in Perth. They’ve also put a game between them and the Eagles and Bulldogs. For Carlton, they’ll stay locked in 15th, just above the Hawks, and level with the Pies. Gold Coast have the chance to jump above them – but we’ll have to see how they go against the Saints in today’s late game.

8.49am BST

AFL Q4 00:56remaining Richmond 11.17 (83) v Carlton 8.10 (58)

A frustrated Casboult gives away a 50. Martin puts the ball inside 50 and Kreuzer gives away a free to Nankervis – it looked like he locked Kreuzer’s arm to him, but it won’t affect the result.

8.47am BST

AFL Q4 02:42 remaining Richmond 10.17 (77) v Carlton 8.10 (58)

Tigers milking the clock after Blues captain Murphy was caught holding the ball.

8.46am BST

AFL Q4 04:05 remaining Richmond 10.15 (75) v Carlton 8.10 (58)

Free kick against Rioli after he appeared to take a big mark inside 50. Think the Tigers are home here. Rioli returned earlier from a dislocated finger.

8.41am BST

AFL Q4 07:45 remaining Richmond 10.14 (74) v Carlton 8.10 (58)

Matthew Wright – who won the centre clearance – gets it back from Petrevski-Seton and lines up from 45m out. The ball falls short by a metre and is rushed through.

8.39am BST

AFL Q4 08:24 remaining Richmond 10.14 (74) v Carlton 8.9 (57)

Cripps gets one back for the Blues. He’s been outstanding today – 10 centre clearances, 26 disposals at 80% efficiency. The margin is less than three goals.

8.34am BST

AFL Q4 11:25 remaining Richmond 10.14 (74) v Carlton 7.9 (51)

Ouch. Pickett was all on his own in the forward line and completely missed the ball from Gibbs, which picked him out perfectly.

8.32am BST

AFL Q4 13:01 remaining Richmond 9.14 (68) v Carlton 7.9 (51)

Curnow gets one back for the Blues to take them back to three goals adrift. I still don’t think they’re close enough, or playing well enough, to snatch this one. Still, if they kick another the Tigers (Tigers fans in particular) will be nervous.

8.31am BST

AFL Q4 14:21 remaining Richmond 9.14 (68) v Carlton 6.9 (45)

Here’s the Dustin Martin brilliance that led to the earlier Butler goal. He’s threatening to break the game open even further.

Superb effort on the wing from Dusty paved the way for Butler to kick the goal. #AFLTigersBlues

8.27am BST

AFL Q4 16:50 remaining Richmond 9.13 (67) v Carlton 6.7 (43)

Cotchin’s miskick out of the middle goes straight to Riewoldt who makes no mistake with the set shot. Cripps gave away a holding free to Cotchin in the middle. This is the biggest lead of the game.

8.25am BST

AFL Q4 18:33 remaining Richmond 7.13 (55) v Carlton 6.7 (43)

Tigers are up by 17 after that goal to Dan Butler. Dustin Martin had a few crucial involvements in the build-up – they just can’t tackle that man.

8.23am BST

AFL Q4 19:33 remaining Richmond 7.13 (55) v Carlton 6.7 (43)

We’re back on in the final term at the MCG and Grimes, under pressure, boots the ball out on the full. Gibbs has a chance to get his team closer, but misses.

8.21am BST

NRL H2 49:40 Cronulla Sharks 12-19 Manly Sea Eagles

It’s three-quarter-time in the AFL, so I’m checking in on the NRL. Maloney’s kick is too heavy and goes beyond the dead ball line. Opportunity goes begging for the Sharks, but they’re back in it thanks to a try to Feki in his 100th game before the long break.

8.15am BST

AFL Q3 00:34 remaining Richmond 7.13 (55) v Carlton 6.6 (42)

Casboult gets one back for the Blues to get them back within 13 points. No problems with the set shot that time. This one looked to be slipping away from them, but credit to Carlton – they’re right back in it, at least on the scoreboard.

8.11am BST

AFL Q3 02:58 remaining Richmond 7.13 (55) v Carlton 5.6 (36)

GOAL to the Tigers after Dustin Martin passes off to Jack Riewoldt. He took that mark deep in the forward line after Lambert’s long bomb in. Lambert ignored Riewoldt who was free – he’ll be glad Martin passed it off to him in the end.

8.08am BST

AFL Q3 04:58 remaining Richmond 6.13 (49) v Carlton 5.6 (36)

Just not sure the Blues have the firepower in the forward line to win this one. They have struggled to convert their inside 50s. The Tigers have too, but are using the ball better around the ground, and as a result have had much more inside 50s.

8.01am BST

AFL Q3 10:05 remaining Richmond 6.12 (48) v Carlton 5.5 (35)

This game has gone up another notch. Carlton’s pressure on the ball carrier is brilliant, but the Tigers look like they can handle it.

7.57am BST

AFL Q3 13:32 remaining Richmond 6.12 (48) v Carlton 5.3 (33)

Shai Bolton finishes up some brilliant Tiger work in the 50. The Blues defenders did everything they could to stop that one, but weight of numbers was telling in the end.

7.54am BST

AFL Q3 14:54 remaining Richmond 5.12 (42) v Carlton 5.3 (33)

Jacob Weitering is receiving some heavy treatment on the bench for the Blues. They won’t want to lose him after losing Lamb earlier.

7.52am BST

AFL Q3 16:24 remaining Richmond 5.11 (41) v Carlton 5.3 (33)

Castagna takes a diving mark running backwards into the 50 – that was set up for Jack Riewoldt but he stole it from him. He’d want to convert. He doesn’t. Might want to avoid Jack for a while.

7.49am BST

AFL Q3 18:25 remaining Richmond 5.10 (40) v Carlton 5.3 (33)

Kreuzer is on the board for his second with an agile pick up and goal on the run from 30m out. He’s moving well and in career-best form – no surprise that that has coincided with the Blues’ resurgence.

7.46am BST

NRL H2 32:40 Cronulla Sharks 6-18 Manly Sea Eagles

A brilliant intercept and run from Luke Lewis gets the Sharks on the board! I’ll have to get back to the AFL now, but thought you might want to see that one.

Lewis for the intercept! Loves it.@Cronulla_Sharks on the board. #NRLSharksManly 6-18 after 31 minutes. #NRL

7.40am BST

NRL H2 25:13 Cronulla Sharks 0-18 Manly Sea Eagles

Here’s that Trbojevic pass which sets up Sironen for his second. Cronulla outscore teams 28-11 in second halves, but they’ve got a long way to come back from in this one. That said, the Dragons just did it against the Knights (admittedly not the same kind of opposition).

Sironen makes it 2 ✌️#NRLSharksManly 0-18 after 24 minutes. #NRL

7.38am BST

NRL H2 24:10 Cronulla Sharks 0-18 Manly Sea Eagles

Cronulla’s slow starts, and difficulties at home, seem to be continuing. The latest try goes to Curtis Sironen who has started on fire. Trbojevic was again involved in that one with a deft inside pass – as he was in the last, which he set up for Matthew Wright.

7.29am BST

AFL Half-time Richmond 5.10 (40) v Carlton 4.2 (26)

Just on cue, Cotchin marks deep in the forward line, on a tight angle, after nice lead-up kick by Houli. He misses, however, to the near side.

7.22am BST

AFL Q2 03:57 remaining Richmond 5.8 (38) v Carlton 4.2 (26)

A man by the name of Dustin Martin is dominating the clearances but his captain Trent Cotchin has been well blanketed by Carlton’s star youngster Patrick Cripps. Cotchin has only had the one disposal this term.

7.20am BST

AFL Q2 05:03 remaining Richmond 5.7 (37) v Carlton 4.2 (26)

Tigers take full advantage of the overlap, running the ball into 50 and forcing a holding the ball decision against Smedts as he tries to clear the 50. That’s three goals in a row for the Tigers.

7.18am BST

AFL Q2 06:25 remaining Richmond 4.7 (31) v Carlton 4.2 (26)

Six intercept possessions now to Rance, while Casboult is dominating in the air for the Blues. I had thought the Blues looked more stagnant, which is confirmed with the stat that they’re only playing on 12% of the time, compared to 33% for the Tigers.

7.16am BST

AFL Q2 08:00 remaining Richmond 4.7 (31) v Carlton 4.2 (26)

Dustin Martin misses a low-percentage shot from the boundary, and it’s another point to the Tigers. Their pressure is up another notch, though.

7.11am BST

AFL Q2 11:15 remaining Richmond 4.6 (30) v Carlton 4.2 (26)

Richmond dominating inside 50s in #AFLTigersBlues, but haven’t taken full advantage.

7.09am BST

AFL Q2 12:02 remaining Richmond 4.5 (29) v Carlton 4.2 (26)

Martin to Riewoldt on a nice lead 50 m out, who passes off to Edwards for a gain of 10m. He misses. That’s twice Riewoldt has passed off, for two points.

7.07am BST

AFL Q2 13:35 remaining Richmond 4.4 (28) v Carlton 4.2 (26)

Have received confirmation that Jed Lamb won’t return to the field, not that that comes as much of a surprise. Rance is up to five intercept possessions already and is causing headaches for the Blues.

7.04am BST

AFL Q2 16:30 remaining Richmond 4.3 (27) v Carlton 4.2 (26)

Back on at the MCG and the Tigers hit the front after a goal to Jack Riewoldt. The ball travels quickly back down the other end and Casboult takes another contested mark, but misses. He’s still looking dangerous.

7.00am BST

Can you believe it? The Knights were run over by the Dragons after four second-half tries to none. Nightingale scored a hattrick with his third in the 58th minute. Wouldn’t you hate to be a Knights fan? I’m sorry, Knights fans.

6.57am BST

Despite having only one fit man on the bench, the Cats have run down the Dockers at Simonds Stadium in the last quarter for a two-point win. The Cats lost their skipper Joel Selwood, defender Tom Stewart and forward Darcy Lang but weren’t to be denied.

Michael Walters missed a last-second shot at goal that would have won the game for the Dockers.

6.53am BST

AFL Quarter-time Richmond 3.3 (21) v Carlton 4.1 (25)

It’s a closer one here, as anticipated. Contested, desperate footy between the two rivals that so far is living up to expectation.

6.51am BST

AFL Q1 00:57 remaining Richmond 3.3 (21) v Carlton 4.1 (25)

Great team goal there from the Tigers – finished off by Brandon Ellis. That was non-stop play on from half-back. Good composure from Ellis to nail it on his non-preferred.

6.47am BST

AFL Q1 03:56 remaining Richmond 2.2 (15) v Carlton 4.1 (25)

Casboult takes another big contested mark – admittedly it looked like a textbook push in the back. He even looked at the umpire sheepishly before being given the OK. Passes over the top to Thomas for an easy goal – to the boos of the Tigers’ supporters.

6.44am BST

AFL Q1 06:05 remaining Richmond 2.2 (15) v Carlton 3.1 (19)

Rioli misses another on the run. Here’s the report on Houli – judge for yourself!

VIDEO: Bachar Houli has been reported for this incident #AFLTigersBlues

6.43am BST

AFL Q1 06:39 remaining Richmond 2.2 (14) v Carlton 3.1 (19)

Castagna is causing all kinds of problems for the Blues. He took another inside 50 mark, and passed of to Caddy who then shanked the kick and set up a Carlton turnover – resulting in a free to Casboult down the other end. He nails it – which will be great for his historically shaky confidence. That’s your classic 2-goal turnaround.

6.41am BST

AFL Q1 08:11 remaining Richmond 2.2 (14) v Carlton 2.1 (13)

Castagna gets his second for the Tigers, driling that one from 45m out on the run after their stars in Rance, Martin and then Cotchin set him up.

6.40am BST

AFL Q1 08:55 remaining Richmond 1.2 (8) v Carlton 2.1 (13)

Kreuzer takes another mark inside 50 – he’s causing headaches for the Richmond defence, even if Nankervis is contesting well in the ruck. He misses to the right.

6.37am BST

AFL Q1 10:54 remaining Richmond 1.2 (8) v Carlton 2.0 (12)

Free kick 5m out to Jason Castagna after Lachie Plowman got him high around the neck. The Tigers are on the board.

6.33am BST

AFL Q1 12:50 remaining Richmond 0.2 (2) v Carlton 2.0 (12)

There’s been a report made on Bachar Houli for a shepherd off the ball on Jed Lamb who is out cold. Thankfully he’s up and walking now.

Big Kreuz has the Blues on the board early. #AFLTigersBlues

6.30am BST

AFL Q1 13:32 remaining Richmond 0.2 (2) v Carlton 2.0 (12)

Great, ferocious repeat tackles there from Daniel Rioli on Smedts, but he pokes the set shot through for a point only.

6.29am BST

AFL Q1 15:12 remaining Richmond 0.1 (1) v Carlton 2.0 (12)

Matthew Wright gets one high from Dustin Martin. He took his full 30 there. How good was that run down of Shaun Higgins from Jake Stringer last night?

6.26am BST

AFL Q1 16:41 remaining Richmond 0.1 (1) v Carlton 1.0 (6)

Jack Riewoldt dished off that one to Grigg – don’t see that often. Grigg would’ve liked to get one on the board against his old side, but he misses.

6.24am BST

AFL Q1 17:47 remaining Richmond 0.0 (0) v Carlton 1.0 (6)

Beauty of a roving goal there from the big, in-form man in Matthew Kreuzer. Noone waiting on the goal line meant he could scramble one through.

6.21am BST

AFL Q1 19:01 remaining Richmond 0.0 (0) v Carlton 0.0 (0)

We’re under way. Liam Jones had taken Jack Riewoldt as I predicted. Remember this Carlton banner from Round 1? I reckon only Danny McGinlay can pull those off…

Just a reminder from Round 1 to motivate the boys…#AFLTigersBlues #GoDusty

6.15am BST

AFL Richmond v Carlton

The bounce is just over five minutes away, and there are no late chances to either team.

The @NRL_Dragons hit back through @joel_thompson12!#NRLDragonsKnights 16-28 after 48 minutes. #NRL

6.08am BST

NRL H2 43:25 St George Illawarra 10-28 Newcastle Knights

I’ll leave this one here now too, but there’s no hiding for the Dragons in this one – they’re staring at their third-straight loss: this time to the cellar-dwelling Knights. Lamb added another penalty conversion before the half to rocket the Knights to a huge half-time score and lead.

6.01am BST

AFL Q3 05:04 remaining Geelong 6.7 (43) v Fremantle 10.4 (64)

I might leave this game here as we move to the Tigers v Blues clash, but the Cats score through Sam Menegola after peppering the 50. Hawkins kicked one out on the full, but some slack defending lets Menegola through. Freo still well on top for mine.

5.55am BST


For those just joining, I’ll be covering the Tigers v Blues clash today, which will start at 3:20pm AEST. In the meantime, I’m previewing some of the week’s news, as well as taking you around the grounds to update the AFL and NRL clashes happening at the moment.

So I’m saying it loud and clear. Myself and @PickenLiam stand with the trans community.

5.47am BST

AFL Q3 14:19 remaining Geelong 5.6 (36) v Fremantle 9.3 (57)

Cats finally got one back through Tuohy, but Fremantle are well on top. Geelong look to have three out – Darcy Lang is getting his calf strapped, while Selwood and Tom Stewart are both off with head knocks.

5.41am BST

NRL H1 30:54 St George Illawarra 10-22 Newcastle Knights

Unbelievable run of scoring from the Knights here at Kogarah. Nathan Ross has a hattrick in the first half after a drop ball from the Dragons. That’s the first for his career, and he has 6 tries in 4 games against the Dragons. That was just after Fitzgibbon crossed over (below).

Fitzgibbon crashes over!#NRLDragonsKnights 10-18 after 27 minutes. #NRL

5.33am BST


Speaking of NRL, AAP are reporting that the Sydney Roosters want to develop a long-term deal to continue playing NRL games in Adelaide, after Saturday’s clash with the Melbourne Storm drew more than 21,000 fans. The fans were treated to a classic, golden-point win by the Roosters, with a long-range bomb from the much-maligned Mitchell Pearce deciding the contest.

5.29am BST

NRL H1 22:10 St George Illawarra 10-12 Newcastle

Newcastle have hit the lead in the NRL clash between the Dragons and Knights. Nathan Ross in for Newcastle – twice! Lamb converts both times. They’ll be pleased with the scoreline after being completely outclassed in the first 10-15 minutes. The second was set up by a long run from Origin hero Gagai.

They can’t stop @rossdog4!#NRLDragonsKnights 10-6 after 20 minutes. #NRL

5.26am BST


Roger Federer has continued his incredible comeback to set up a much-anticipated final at Halle against the up-and-coming German Alexander Zverev. Zverev, only 20 but as exciting as that other famous German – Boris Becker – was in the beginning of his career, beat Federer in the semi-finals of the same tournament last year, when he was only a teenager. But this is a revived Federer, who is gearing up for his favourite tournament of all –Wimbledon – where he is seven-times champion. I’m backing him in to make it eight.

5.23am BST

America’s Cup

In news from Bermuda, Jimmy Spithill has skippered defending champions Oracle Team USA to its first victory of the America’ s Cup first-to-seven regatta. Race six was reportedly a thriller, with Oracle winning by 11 seconds – the closest margin of the contest so far. The win cuts Team New Zealand’ s lead to 4-1; the leaders have actually won 5 races, but started with a negative point because Oracle won the qualifiers. Race 7 and 8 are happening tomorrow.

5.20am BST


Alright, I’m going to take us around what’s happening in other sports/what happened overnight while we wait for the Tigers v Blues game to start.

5.16am BST

NRL H1 11:12 St George Illawarra 10-0 Newcastle

Nightingale almost had a hattrick with another kick from Widdop. Newcastle looking like witches hats at the moment.

Nightingale has a double and brings up 100 #NRL tries!#NRLDragonsKnights #NRL

5.15am BST

NRL H1 8:37 St George Illawarra 10-0 Newcastle

Not a good start for the Knights, with the Dragons scoring early through Nightingale. That’s his 99th career try – involving that man I just spoke about, Josh Dugan.

Through the hands for Nightingale to score! #NRLDragonsKnights #NRL

5.08am BST


Although I’ll be covering the Tigers v Blues today, we have two NRL games happening. The Dragons and Knights are entering Jubilee Oval as we speak. It’s good to see Josh Dugan back for the Dragons after NSW’s Origin II heartbreak. It’s hard to believe that the Blues found a way to lose that one, after the 16-6 lead at half-time. NSW fans (and many others) thought Dugan was a little unlucky after Darius Boyd appeared to tackle him as he chased a Mitchell Pearce cross-field in the 47th minute. In any event, the Sharks will be looking forward to him playing in their colours in 2018.

5.03am BST

AFL Q2 11:30 remaining Geelong 2.3 (15) v Fremantle 5.2 (32)

This game hasn’t started as the Cats would’ve liked, particularly with this knock to their skipper Joel Selwood in the opening minute of the game. He’s out and won’t return for the rest of the game. All the momentum is with the Dockers at the moment.

Joel Selwood has left the field following this head clash with Hayden Ballantyne. #AFLCatsFreo

5.00am BST

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Sunday edition of Guardian Sportwatch. I’m Kate O’Halloran, and here we keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of Australian sport, whatever your preferred shape of ball, with our rolling liveblog. Don’t forget to tweet us @GdnAusSport and use the hashtag #sportwatch.

Today I’ll be taking you through the Tigers v Blues Clash at the MCG which should draw a massive crowd (estimates are at around 80,000+) given the large supporter bases both clubs boast, as well as their fierce rivalry. The ladder positions of these two (Richmond 6th, Carlton 15th currently) belie what a close match it should be. Richmond have won the last five matches between these clubs, and also sit much higher on the ladder, but it is the Blues who are in form. They won an epic against flag favourites GWS a couple of weeks ago (by a point) and followed it up with last week’s impressive away win over the improving Gold Coast. Some of their key players are in full-flight, including the would-be-Crow Bryce Gibbs, injury-free Marc Murphy, star defender Sam Docherty and reborn Liam Jones. Jones has had two big scalps in the past two weeks in Jon Patton (2 goals) and Tom Lynch (no goals, 1 behind and 1 mark) and may line up on Jack Riewoldt. I’m looking forward to that one, should it eventuate.

6.27am BST

Kate will be here shortly. In the meantime, have a read of this nice piece by Russell Jackson, on the impact the AFLW is having:

Related: A game of their own: AFLW causing an amateur football revolution | Russell Jackson

Continue reading…

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