Category Archive: NRL Rugby

NRL Rugby News

Jun 20

Queensland look to Johnathan Thurston to get back on State of Origin script | Sam Perry

There were signs of desperation in the Maroons’ opening performance but with their talisman back for Game II in Sydney, any NSW concern should be justified

In State of Origin, it’s common practice to explain one team’s triumph through the prism of the game’s tiny, innocuous moments. Not, as is probably the case, because one has far better players than the other.

Listen to certain pundits on Channel Nine enough, and you’ll note that Queensland has largely trounced NSW for the best part of a decade because ‘they’re first to dive on the loose ball’, because ‘they play the last five minutes harder than the first’, and so on. That Queensland do this is both true and admirable, but this explanation presupposes that the gap between both sides is so infinitesimal that the inches prove the difference. If only Gal had dived on more balls, maybe Queensland wouldn’t have won eight straight.

Related: ‘So much bigger than everything else’: the religion that is State of Origin in Queensland | Joe Gorman

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Jun 18

Demons and Eels the winners, Bulldogs season in the balance – as it happened.

9.33am BST

If we learned anything in 2016, it is that we can’t rule out a team like Melbourne winning it all in 2017. They certainly issued a statement at the Docklands, thrashing last year’s premiers. The pressure they generate, the polish they show with ball in hand, the accuracy in execution… it’s a good time to be a Demon. The Dogs, on the other hand, have a rubbish week ahead of them, their season now really in the balance. To say the least.

In Sydney, the Eels did the double over the fourth-placed Dragons, emphasising their own September credentials. A way to go yet, but not for nothing that they have been able to again beat a team inside the eight.

9.26am BST

AFL Match report – Dees 113 – Dogs 56

MELBOURNE, June 18 AAP – Melbourne have stamped their AFL premiership credentials, smashing reigning premiers Western Bulldogs by 57 points in a spiteful Etihad Stadium encounter.
Jack Watts booted three goals in a dominant performance as the Demons climbed to fifth on the AFL ladder with a 17.11 (113) to 8.8 (56) victory on Sunday afternoon.
The Dees could hardly have been more impressive, beating the Dogs at their own hard-running, transition offence game and repelling everything thrown at them on the defensive end.
It was a dire loss for the Bulldogs, who remain stranded in ninth place, made worse by a serious and potentially season-ending knee injury to key midfielder Lin Jong.
Jong went straight to the rooms and was later in tears on the interchange bench, having crumpled to the ground when his kick was smothered by Nathan Jones early in the first quarter.
The Dees had injury concerns of their own, with Watts, Jones, Neville Jetta and Jayden Hunt all spending extended time on the bench.
Tensions between the two sides were stoked before the game, with Melbourne enforcer Tomas Bugg using social media to taunt Bulldogs speedster Jason Johannisen.
The Norm Smith medallist had a shocker during their loss to Sydney, courtesy of a hard tag from George Hewett, and Bugg took to Instagram to make it clear he could expect the same treatment.
The Dogs made a beeline for Bugg before the opening bounce but it was one of the few shots they fired in an otherwise meek performance.
Luke Beveridge’s men were held goalless in the opening quarter for the first time this season as Melbourne’s phenomenal pressure proved far too much for them to handle.
Marcus Bontempelli and Lachie Hunter racked up plenty of touches but to little effect as the physical Demons tackled, smothered and muscled their way to a four-goal lead at quarter-time.
The Dogs looked to fight back during a fiery, old-school second term, with the umpires kept busy by spotfires across the ground.
But it was Melbourne who came out on top, extending their lead with consecutive goals after Bugg – again the chief provocateur – was laid out by a frustrated Easton Wood.
It was all one-way traffic after halftime, with Jordan Lewis (31 touches), Oscar McDonald (23 disposals, 12 marks) and Christian Salem (23 touches) among the standout performers for the Dees.

9.24am BST

NRL Match report – Eels 24 – Dragons 10.

SYDNEY, June 18 AAP – Brad Arthur shifted Clinton Gutherson to fullback with immediate success for Parramatta, as the Eels beat St George Illawarra 24-10 on Sunday.
The Eels’ Mr. Fix-it for the first half of the NRL season, Gutherson finally found a spot of his own at the back and celebrated with two first-half tries and 207 metres at ANZ Stadium.
But the win is likely to have come at a cost, with Parramatta hooker Kaysa Pritchard taken to hospital in an ambulance with a serious knee injury, while Beau Scott suffered an elbow complaint.
But after 14 weeks of injury reshuffles and the wait for Mitchell Moses’ arrival, Arthur looked to have finally found the Eels’ most potent backline combination.
Gutherson was faultless at the back, scoring the first try from a fortuitous rebound before blocking and scooping up a grubber to run 80 metres and score their second.
It helped built a 12-4 half-time lead that never looked in danger of being chased down.
His move to the back came after former NSW State of Origin centre Michael Jennings returned from a quad injury, while regular fullback Bevan French shifted to the right wing.
Jennings crossed for a try from a 55-metre break after a Dragons dropped ball and French scored after a perfectly placed cross-field chip kick from halfback Moses, as the hosts sealed the result in the second half.
French was also outstanding in defence, as he regularly pressured the Dragons’ attack with his speed and produced an intercept to save a try in his new-found position.
Moses had his best game for the Eels as he partnered Corey Norman in the halves for just the second time.
The pair forced four dropouts, as the Eels controlled the momentum of the match, despite only receiving their first penalty in the 71st minute.
Meanwhile, Nene Macdonald and Paul Vaughan scored tries for the Dragons, but they never looked in the hunt as their attack stuttered without Origin stars Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell.
Coach Paul McGregor took halfback Josh McCrone from the field with 13 minutes to play.

9.15am BST

NRL ladder afer round 15.

1 Melbourne 14 12 0 2 1 319 212 107 26
2 Sydney Roosters 14 10 0 4 1 310 228 82 22
3 Cronulla 14 10 0 4 1 264 194 70 22
4 Brisbane 14 9 0 5 1 301 225 76 20
5 Manly 13 8 0 5 2 299 237 62 20
6 St George Illawarra 14 8 0 6 1 297 235 62 18
7 North Queensland 14 8 0 6 1 287 259 28 18
8 Penrith 13 6 0 7 2 284 253 31 16
9 Parramatta 15 8 0 7 0 282 318 -36 16
10 Canberra 14 6 0 8 1 316 270 46 14
11 NZ Warriors 14 6 0 8 1 274 303 -29 14
12 Canterbury 14 6 0 8 1 194 247 -53 14
13 South Sydney 14 5 0 9 1 258 313 -55 12
14 Gold Coast 14 4 0 10 1 298 382 -84 10
15 Newcastle 13 2 0 11 2 210 351 -141 8
16 Wests Tigers 14 3 0 11 1 204 370 -166 8

9.12am BST

The AFL ladder after round 13.

P W L D For Agst PC Pts
Adelaide 12 9 3 – 1426 1006 141.8 36
Greater Western Sydney 12 9 3 – 1202 1033 116.4 36
Geelong 12 8 4 – 1234 1075 114.8 32
Port Adelaide 12 7 5 – 1262 939 134.4 28
Melbourne 12 7 5 – 1221 1055 115.7 28
Richmond 12 7 5 – 1051 958 109.7 28
West Coast 12 7 5 – 1066 1039 102.6 28
Essendon 12 6 6 – 1143 1111 102.9 24
Western Bulldogs 12 6 6 – 977 1012 96.5 24
St Kilda 12 6 6 – 1035 1090 95.0 24
Fremantle 12 6 6 – 919 1171 78.5 24
Sydney 12 5 7 – 1070 1014 105.5 20
Collingwood 12 5 7 – 1069 1051 101.7 20
Gold Coast 12 5 7 – 1078 1223 88.1 20
Carlton 12 5 7 – 882 1066 82.7 20
North Melbourne 12 4 8 – 1104 1189 92.8 16
Hawthorn 12 4 8 – 947 1231 76.9 16
Brisbane Lions 12 2 10 – 984 1407 69.9 8

9.06am BST

They can consult me, for a fee.

Dog fans can seek guidance from Hawk fans with how to deal with rubbish ‘flag was a fluke’ Barbs. #AFLDogsDees

9.03am BST

PARRAMATTA 24 (C Gutherson 2 B French M Jennings tries C Gutherson 3 M Moses goals) bt ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 10 (N MacDonald P Vaughan tries G Widdop goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Chris Sutton, Grant Atkins. Crowd: 13,559. (via AAP).

Brad Arthur shifted Clinton Gutherson to fullback with immediate success for Parramatta, as the Eels beat St George Illawarra 24-10 on Sunday.
The Eels’ Mr. Fix-it for the first half of the NRL season, Gutherson finally found a spot of his own at the back and celebrated with two first-half tries and 207 metres at ANZ Stadium.
But the win is likely to have come at a cost, with Parramatta hooker Kaysa Pritchard taken to hospital in an ambulance with a serious knee injury, while Beau Scott suffered an elbow complaint.
But after 14 weeks of injury reshuffles and the wait for Mitchell Moses’ arrival, Arthur looked to have finally found the Eels’ most potent backline combination.
Gutherson was faultless at the back, scoring the first try from a fortuitous rebound before blocking and scooping up a grubber to run 80 metres and score their second.

9.02am BST

You love singing the song after a win like that. The Melbourne faithful have copped it for a decade, a true laughing stock of the competition. But they are laughing now, all their way to September. It was a win built on the back of a relentless opening ten minutes, never letting the Dogs settle. Once they found their rhythm in front of goal, they came consistently – and disproportionately so from turnovers. That’ll will unsettle the Sons of the Scray as much as anything, just how loose they were. Premiership hangover or otherwise, the headaches are considerable at the kennel.

8.58am BST

NRL: The Dragons got a try back, but smooth sailing for the Eels who have got over the line 24-10 at the Olympic Stadium. Will have the full report with you shortly.

8.56am BST

AFL: Q4 3:30 remaining. Dogs 8.6.54 v Dees 17.11.113. Toooooo easy. Bugg an uncontested mark inside 50. Then finds Alex Neal-Bullen, also in there without opponent. A shot to the Doggie’s box, Luke Beveridge is understandably livid. Melbourne have been magnificent.

No side this year has played as well as Melbourne have played today. #AFLDogsDees

8.52am BST

AFL: Q4 7:00 remaining. Dogs 8.6.54 v Dees 16.10.106. Tom McDonald gets lucky, the bouncing into his arms as he strolls into goal. He’s had a big game. “Is there a chance the Dogs will miss the finals?” is the question on TV. A lot of Hawthorn 2009 about their campaign so far. What a brutal season that was.

8.47am BST

AFL: Q4 9:00 remaining. Dogs 8.6.54 v Dees 15.9.99. Loose ball gather by Tory Dickson allows him to kick his first of a very quiet day. Has plenty of friends who can say that, not least Tom Boyd. Mitch Honeychurch missed an earlier a set shot, which will set twitter off. An unpopular man today after a couple of bad blunders. “I think the Bulldogs have dropped off with their handball efficiency,” says Jonathan Brown. Brad Johnson agrees.

Looking forward to Melbourne knocking Richmond out of the finals #AFLDogsDees

8.40am BST

AFL: Q4 14:30 remaining. Dogs 7.5.47 v Dees 15.7.97. Cleeeever. Great grab from Pedersen, who looks up and sees Hannan, gives off the handball and he strolls into an open goal. Some tired boys out there now, a lot of arc-to-arc footy as the minutes drain from the clock. Not that the Dogs have any realistic hope at this stage. Jack Watts down the race, some ‘hamstring tightness’ the report from the boundary. Interesting debate about to begin about the Dogs. Getting beat in Sydney is one thing, but this will bring the back pages.

We all say Dogs premiership hangover. But they were 7th in 2016 + a great September, this year within their margin of error? #AFLDogsDees

8.33am BST

NRL: Another bad knee injury this Sunday. via AAP. Parra lead 24-4 after a Bevan French try, about 20 minutes to go at the Olympic Stadium.

Parramatta hooker Kaysa Pritchard has been taken to hospital in an ambulance with a serious knee injury.
Pritchard was stretchered off ANZ Stadium in a medicab for the Eels after he was hurt in a tackle midway through the first half of the Eels’ NRL clash with St George Illawarra on Sunday.
The Eels dummy-half has endured a horrid run with injuries in his five-year NRL career, including twin pectoral injuries in 2015.

In the blink of an eye, French was there!#NRLEelsDragons 24-4 after 58 minutes.#NRL

8.32am BST

AFL: Q4 18:30 remaining. Dogs 7.5.47 v Dees 14.7.91. Picken nearly has his head taken off in a marking contest inside 50. Rightly gets the free, and kicks truly for the first of the final quarter. Margin back to 44, for what it is worth.

A comment from… my brother, Ben, who predicts a Melbourne flag inside three years. “From the decade of chaos, they have built one of the most balanced and talented lists in the AFL.” Sounds about right. Good on ‘em. It’s been a terrible ten or more years for them.

8.26am BST

NRL: Ten minutes into the second half, Parra 18-4 over St George. Michael Jennings with the Eels third try, converted by Gutherson. Evidently a fair bit of excitement on TV about a kiss on the cheek.

Must have been a great tackle!#NRLEelsDragons #NRL

8.24am BST

AFL: Three Quater Time. Dogs 6.5.41 v Dees 14.7.91. Tom McDonald does exactly as Jack Watts did at half-time, draining a set shot after the hooter from long-range. That puts the lead out to 50 points. What a performance.

8.21am BST

AFL: Q3 2:00 remaining. Dogs 6.5.41 v Dees 13.7.85. The man who fired this game up, Tomas Bugg, gets another in the book from close range. Too easy.

8.17am BST

AFL: Q3 5:00 remaining. Dogs 6.5.41 v Dees 12.7.79. Roughead runs into what should have been a relatively simple open goal, but Jetta nearly chased him down. “That’s just the mindset of Melbourne today,” says Brad Johnson. Dogs’ first goal from a turnover today the TV tells me – Melbourne have six.

8.13am BST

AFL: Q3 7:00 remaining. Dogs 5.5.35 v Dees 12.7.79. Dees respond straight away! Margin straight back to 44 points. Jack Watts penetrates with his inside 50, a clever handball slips out to Jake Melksham who pops it on the boot and through the big sticks from 15m.

8.11am BST

AFL: Q3 7:00 remaining. Dogs 5.5.35 v Dees 11.7.73. Coast to coast from Melbourne through a string of precise handballs and short kicks, landing in the arms of Jazzy Jeff who bangs it home from the goalsquare. The Dogs in real strife, on the cusp of losing their first game at the Docklands this year. One more goal and they’re gone. Oh, and as I’m about to hit send, the Dogs do go and get one back. Libba is taken high from a hard ball get, converts the free kick from 30m.

Well done Dees. Too polished. We’re a mess.

8.08am BST

AFL: Q3 10:00 remaining. Dogs 4.4.28 v Dees 10.7.67. Melbourne, brilliant! Salem receives the handball at 55, steadies and drills it home, with Garlett shepherding it over the line. Again via a Dogs turnover, a long option taken and missed. “Time becoming an issue for them now,” says Huddo on the TV. 39 points the lead. Interesting from David King too, asking why Melbourne couldn’t legitimately challenge for the flag this year. Wouldn’t that be something.

8.04am BST

NRL: Half-time. Parramatta 12 v St George 4. Dragons get one back before the half, via Neve Macdonald.

The flick pass! Nailed it.

The @NRL_Dragons are on the board. #NRLEelsDragons 12-4 after 37 minutes.#NRL

7.58am BST

AFL: Q3 15:30 remaining. Dogs 4.4.28 v Dees 9.6.60. Tom Boyd has been nowhere today, but with his second kick of the encounter has his first goal from a 40m set shot. Cordy did well to chip with his non-referred left foot, Boyd getting into position nicely.

shocked about just how ragged @westernbulldogs use of the footy has been so far today. #afldogsdees

7.54am BST

AFL: Q3 19:00 remaining. Dogs 3.3.21 v Dees 9.6.60. What a deflating start for the Dogs. Jack Watts works his behind off to get into the hotspot, down from the wing. In the end, it is a relatively uncontested 2-on-1 grab that he takes in the square and bangs it home. Lead out to 39 points.

7.46am BST

NRL: Try time again for Parramatta (12-0). How about Gutherson’s wheels here? Wooot. His second try, converted. He has all 12 points in the game to his name so far.

King Clint scoots away! #NRLEelsDragons #NRL

7.40am BST

Below the line. “I’m at that stage of the year when I start barracking for teams based on how it affects my team’s position in the eight,” says MostlyGrey. “So GO Melbourne.”

As I mentioned earlier, it’s a proper eight point game this with both sides fighting for an elimination final spot in a couple of months from now.

STATS | The numbers at half-time #AFLDogsDees

7.35am BST

NRL: The Eels get the first try, Clinton Gutherson over the line then converting. At the midway point of the first half at the Olympic Stadium. Parra 6-0 ahead of St George.

7.33am BST

AFL: Half Time. Dogs 3.3.21 v Dees 8.6.54. Jack Watts! A shot after the siren from the car park, tucked up against the boundary needing to go right to left. Threads it through to get their fourth of the quarter; a nice little steadier to push the margin back beyond five goals at the long break. Predictably, a little push and shove before they walk off. Eight goals in the final ten minutes of that quarter. Margin a fraction deceptive relative to the flow of play and the Dogs will take something from that while sipping on an energy drink.

7.27am BST

AFL: Q2 1:00 remaining. Dogs 3.3.21 v Dees 7.6.48. Dogs bang, bang! Just as they looked on the cusp of being blown away the Dogs have slammed home two goals in a minute as the tempo of this game lifts dramatically. Bomtompelli utter class, a left foot snap from 50 moments after Daulhaus kicked his first of the afternoon. Back inside five goals. Expect more goals before the break, the game has opened up considerably in the last ten minutes. Could have came too through Mitch Honeychurch, who just misses to the near side are a frenetic passage of play through the middle.

How good is some genuine feeling in a game of footy?!

7.23am BST

AFL: Q2 5:00 remaining. Dogs 1.2.8 v Dees 7.6.48. Double goal! Oh what a mess for the Dogs, and no one to blame but premiership captain Easton Wood. To begin, Hannan snaps truly from a contest 20m from the big sticks. Nice finish. Man of the moment Tomas Bugg tells Wood. He returns the favour with a hit that The Pest wasn’t expecting. To ground he goes, a free kick given, a second goal kicked before the ball has returned to the middle.

7.19am BST

Rugby: the fall out from the Wallabies shocker last night. An AAP report from Will Genia’s press conference.

Putting his hand up for his own shocker, Will Genia admits the Wallabies need some serious soul searching if they’re to challenge the All Blacks in 2017.
Exasperated coach Michael Cheika is expected to wield the axe after the Wallabies slumped to a demoralising 24-19 loss to Scotland in Sydney on Saturday.
Accusing his team of being physically and mentally off the pace, Cheika singled out captain Michael Hooper, fullback Israel Folau and rookie inside centre Karmichael Hunt as among the few to have performed to Test standard.
The rest of the squad is on notice ahead of Saturday’s final Test of the June series, a seemingly easier assignment against Italy in Brisbane.
Cheika said physical intent would be the No.1 selection criteria for Australia’s last Test before back-to-back Bledisloe Cup battles in August with the world No.1 All Blacks, who thumped Samoa 78-0 on Friday.

7.17am BST

AFL: Q2 7:51 remaining. Dogs 1.2.8 v Dees 5.5.35. At last! Caleb Daniel gets on the end of a fast break, turns and slots it through from 40m. Only took the Dogs 23 entrances inside 50 to get a six pointer. 27 points now the margin. Meanwhile, the Tomas Bugg tweet generating plenty of chat on the world wide web. Thoughts?

How is that anything more than a bit of fun? It’s nothing more. Not a sledge, not disrespectful, not fuel on a fire. #AFLDogsDees

7.14am BST

AFL: Q2 8:55 remaining. Dogs 0.2.2 v Dees 5.5.35. Blimey, what’s going on there? Easton Wood is absolutely convinced he has got a finger on the Harmes snap, they prepare accordingly. But the TV umpire doesn’t agree and the goal is confirmed. “That will be a talking point during the week,” says Jonathan Brown. Not wrong. The lead could be a lot bigger, too. Moments earlier, Jazzy Jeff Garlett hits his low-percentage snap nicely, but it hits the post. That came after Jack Watts failed to score from a set shot 35m out. All Melbourne.

The McDonald brothers’ most productive day since the invention of the quarter pounder with cheese. #AFLDogsDees

7.07am BST

AFL: Q2 12:20 remaining. Dogs 0.2.2 v Dees 4.3.27. Plenty of unhappy Dogs fans. Unhappy at umpiring decisions. Unhappy with the opposition. Mostly unhappy that we’re nearly half way through the second quarter and they’re yet to kick a goal. A goalless half, anyone? In the NRL, we’re away at the Olympic Stadium, the Eels and the Dragons. I’ll keep an eye on it.

STAT | Inside 50s:
Dogs 18
Demons 13

But Melbourne leads 26 to 2. #AFLDogsDees

7.00am BST

AFL: Q2 17:44 remaining. Dogs 0.2.2 v Dees 4.2.26. We’re upstairs for a score review. Long snap from Daulhaus. It looks to be straight, but it has clipped the post according to the goal umpire and that can’t be overturned by the third umpire without conclusive proof. A behind registered, the Dogs still yet to put one through.

“We can put a man on the moon, surely we can get some camera’s that can actually a tell if a ball has hit the post” Nick Dal Santo

6.57am BST

The Jong injury. David King on TV saying that ACL is the talk on the boundary line. Let’s hope not.

Lin Jong was helped from the field after this incident. #AFLDogsDees

6.56am BST

I missed this before. About an hour before the game Tomas Bugg having a pop at JJ. Good from him, I think. Less good: Lin Jong. Nothing formal as yet, but all the boundary line reporting suggests he’s in real strife.

Luke Beveridge, says Jonathan Brown on the TV, spent the whole 1/4 time break addressing the players rather than them splitting off to line coaches. In other words, he’s probably given them a huge spray. Always have time for this.

Dees coach responds to Tomas Bugg’s Instagram post aimed at an opponent –>

6.53am BST

AFL: Quarter Time. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 4.2.26. The defending champs are in all sorts. They needed to bounce back badly urgently after their thrashing last week, but instead have registered their first goalless term for 15 months. Ouch. Not to take anything away from Melbourne, who are playing with the vigour of a side who know that they aren’t far away from a finals berth. Illustrated nicely by the fact that three of their four goals came from direct turnovers through excellent tackles.

Best Demons 1st quarter for 20+ years. #AFLDogsDees

6.47am BST

AFL: Q 2:08 remaining. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 4.2.26. And another! Bugg set up the previous goal, and does again here with a timely tackle on Matt Suckling, it’s boomed into the Melbourne 50 and last week’s hero Jack Watts takes the grab. Well, is paid the mark in any case. From 35m right in front, he kicks truly. Three goals in about 90 seconds. Boom.

Christian Petracca’s pressure sets the tone. #AFLDogsDees

6.45am BST

AFL: Q 3:00 remaining. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 3.2.20. Brilliant forward 50 pressure from Christian Petracca, stripping Shane Biggs of possession deep in the pocket and having the composure to collect the ball and bang it home from point blank range. On their way to a deserved handy lead at the quarter time break. Nearing a goalless quarter for the Dogs for the first time since Rd 3 last year. And another for Melbourne! From the clearance, Pedersen getting on the end of turnover inside 50, kicking over the top to Garlett in the squad, who gets Melbourne’s third of the quarter. Great footy.

6.40am BST

Bad news – Lin Jong. Helped off by the trainers with a knee injury. First signs: not good.

Mick Warner: “Lin Jong is in the back row of the bench. He appears to be in tears.” #AFLDogsDees

6.39am BST

AFL: Q 6:00 remaining. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 1.1.7. Turnovers, turnovers, turnoevers. Almost all going one way, Melbourne well on top here as the quarter ticks away with only three scoring shots so far. In turn, a post to denote a behind: James Harmes tried to thread a drop punt through from the pocket, but missed to the near side. At the other end, Bontempelli’s snap nearly gets over the line but bounces back the other way. Paul Roos on the TV: “What Melbourne have been able to do is taken the sting out of the Bulldog’s counter attack.”

Melbourne’s pressure has been superb in this first quarter. Dogs can’t catch a breath. #AFLDogsDees

6.31am BST

AFL: Q1 13:36 remaining. Dogs 0.1.1 v Dees 1.0.6. Opening major of the game after both sides took a while to settle with plenty of possessions around both 50m arcs, some big tackles made to prevent shots on goal. But Jeff Garlett weights an inside 50 perfectly to find Dom Tyson 30 out. He turns around and makes no mistake from the set shot.

“It’s a frantic pace early, they are almost going to quick for themselves though” Nick Dal Santo

6.21am BST

A lot of chat. Before this game about Norm Smith Medallist Jason Johannisen. Had nine touches against Sydney last night bringing loads of scrutiny. “The footy world watches JJ for his response,” former Dogs great Brad Johnson’s assessment. Nice little montage with all this on the telly as the siren sounds. We’re away at the Docklands.

6.06am BST

Welcome to a truncated version of sportwatch this midwinter Sunday. Only on the basis that we’ve reached that part of the season where the footy codes get a breather via bye rounds and the like, and the netball has wrapped up with yesterday’s Grand Final.

But never fear: we still have a couple of feature games coming up for you this afternoon. It’s Adam Collins to steer you through the action before I hotfoot it to The Oval in London for the India v Pakistan Champions Trophy Final.

5.33am BST

Adam will be with you shortly. While you’re waiting, here’s a reminder of what happened on a busy day yesterday:

Related: Lightning crowned Super Netball champions, Wallabies fall to Scotland – as it happened

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Jun 12

Queensland in radical shakeup in bid to hit back in State of Origin Game II

  • Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston return for Sydney clash
  • Seven changes to Maroons team after Game I defeat to NSW

Queensland have wielded the axe, making seven changes for next week’s must-win State of Origin game two in Sydney. Veterans Sam Thaiday, Nate Myles, Jacob Lillyman and Aidan Guerra have been dumped along with unlucky winger Corey Oates and centre Justin O’Neill, while five-eighth Anthony Milford has a shoulder injury.

Related: A new generation of Blues come of age in fast and furious win over Maroons | Nick Tedeschi

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Jun 11

Carlton beat GWS in thriller, Roosters down Tigers: Australia sportwatch – as it happened

9.15am BST

That’s all for today, thanks for joining me for this mini version of our Sportwatch blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed my commentary on what turned out to be a thriller between Carlton and GWS at Etihad. Nice to see the underdogs get the win over the Giants. Looking forward to seeing you here again on another weekend soon. Don’t forget the hashtag #sportwatch and to tweet us @GdnAusSport.

9.07am BST

It’s all over at Campbelltown Stadium after the Tigers failed to capitalise on a competitive first half. It’s hard to see what more they can do to get that breakthrough win. Mitchell Pearce (below) was in career-best form for the Roosters and finished with two tries, while Guerra and Watson also scored two. That’s four from their last five as they head into the bye next week.

8.58am BST

NRL 77th minute 18-40 Tigers v Roosters

Tigers just scored a consolation try through Sue but are well adrift in this one.

Vision of the @WestsTigers Try Decision in the 76th minute of #NRLTigersRoosters.#NRL

8.51am BST

Blues win an absolute thriller by a point. The Giants finally fail to steal one at the death after making a habit of it all season. They were metres away from scoring at least a point with seconds left; they’ll be bitterly disappointed. But this win is all about the Blues, what a win for the fledgling team.

I’ll check in on the NRL before we wrap up.

8.47am BST

AFL Q4 01:20 remaining Carlton 10.11 (71) v GWS 9.16 (70)

Carlton up by a point after Fisher misses a relatively easy one. Minute and a half remaining and the Giants have the ball, Whitfield out in plenty of space.

8.46am BST

AFL Q4 02:27 remaining Carlton 10.10 (70) v GWS 9.16 (70)

A rare error from Josh Kelly as he puts the ball out on the full despite having a few lead-up targets. The ball goes straight down the other end of the ground to Casboult. He misses. Scores level.

8.44am BST

AFL Q4 05:15 remaining Carlton 10.9 (69) v GWS 9.16 (70)

The Giants can’t convert – even through late-game specialist Toby Greene. He has missed two in the space of two minutes.

8.39am BST

AFL Q4 07:54 remaining Carlton 10.9 (69) v GWS 9.13 (67)

Dylan Shiel – who looks like a match winner – lines up for goal and slots it from 30m out. I sense a heartbreaker for the Blues, but that might be because I’m conditioned to expect the worst as a Bulldogs supporter.

8.35am BST

AFL Q4 10:56 remaining Carlton 10.8 (68) v GWS 8.13 (61)

Carlton get one back through Matthew Wright after Dale Thomas assessed the situation well and waited for Wright to present. He kicks it from 45m out. Crowd are getting into this one.

8.31am BST

AFL Q4 12:48 remaining Carlton 9.8 (62) v GWS 8.13 (61)

Some controversy ensues after Heath Shaw appeared to be holding the ball. The Giants then get it to Greene inside 50 who appeared to play on. He hits the post from the toughest of angles almost 50m out. There’s a single point in it.

8.28am BST

AFL Q4 15:20 remaining Carlton 9.7 (61) v GWS 8.11 (59)

He converts a wobbly one. The Blues are back in front. We’re goal for goal at the moment.

8.27am BST

AFL Q4 16:04 remaining Carlton 8.7 (55) v GWS 8.11 (59)

Back on at Etihad. The Giants are back in front after a Dustin Martin-like goal to Dylan Shiel. He fends off Bryce Gibbs, and follows up his handball to Scully before getting on the end of a snap goal. He’s second only to Docherty in metres gained today and has 25 disposals.

8.18am BST

NRL 43rd minute 12-22 Tigers v Roosters

What a start to the second half by the Roosters. They’re out to a ten point lead after a try to a familiar Tigers foe in Mitchell Pearce – that’s 11 in his last 15 games against Wests.

8.15am BST

AFL three-quarter-time Carlton 8.7 (55) v GWS 7.9 (51)

It’s a thriller here at Etihad, stay tuned for the final quarter as I go round the grounds briefly.

8.13am BST

AFL Q3 01:15 remaining Carlton 8.7 (55) v GWS 7.9 (51)

Kreuzer lines up for a goal after a tough, contested mark and puts it out on the full. It’s a real stalemate at Etihad at the moment. These teams are second and second-last on the AFL ladder, but you wouldn’t know it. This is shaping up like classic.

It wasn’t pretty, but the result was exactly what the Giants needed. The ex-Docker de Boer finished it off. #AFLBluesGiants

8.05am BST

AFL Q3 06:18 remaining Carlton 8.6 (54) v GWS 7.9 (51)

Fantastic goal there from the Giants, they evaded tackles and handballed over the Carlton defence about five times before they finally converted through Matt de Boer. That was just weight of numbers and pressure then.

8.01am BST

AFL Q3 08:47 remaining Carlton 8.6 (54) v GWS 6.8 (44)

Toby Greene is playing like a frustrated man – he keeps swearing every time the ball eludes him, much to the delight of the Carlton fans on the boundary. The Giants in general look frustrated at only their second game in Melbourne. Things aren’t going their way today, as the ball bounces off Mumford’s chest.

7.55am BST

AFL Q3 12:28 remaining Carlton 8.6 (54) v GWS 6.8 (44)

Free kick to Charlie Curnow but he misses from 15 out, but Kreuzer converts after a free kick against Taranto for a ruck infringement. Strange one as the two umpires reached different conclusions – one awarding the free to the Giants.

7.50am BST

NRL 32nd minute 12-16 Tigers v Roosters

And that’s Tedesco over for his first try in 11 games. Tigers back within 4 points now after the conversion. I’ll head back to the AFL now.

7.48am BST


Just before we get back to the AFL, it looks like Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury is unhappy with the Australian public and media over their criticism of the national team. This is after their 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia, also notable for the minute’s silence debacle.

7.44am BST

NRL 28th minute 6-16 Tigers v Roosters

A try to Guerra for the Roosters after the review. That’s his first try for the season. Pearce involved again in that passage of play, he’s on fire with precision passing. And a straightforward conversion to Gordon.

7.39am BST

NRL 24th minute 6-10 Tigers v Roosters

And Naiqama takes out some of the cheer squad… hope they’re OK.

#NRLTigersRoosters #9WWOS

7.38am BST

NRL 23rd minute 6-10 Tigers v Roosters

Judge for yourself on the (seemingly) late hit. Meanwhile Jake Friend has been ruled out of the game after some friendly fire earlier in the game.

Was this a late hit? #NRLTigersRoosters #9WWOS

7.36am BST

NRL 20th minute 6-10 Tigers v Roosters

Tuimoala Lolohea unlucky there after he was clearly blocked – was it a shoulder charge from Gordon? He scored the first try for the Tigers who are now pressing after that run of tries from the Roosters.

7.29am BST

NRL 12th minute 6-10 Tigers v Roosters

That’s two in a minute to the Roosters. Mitchell slices through and puts Watson over. No such mistake this time from Gordon.

Gordon adds the 2!#NRLTigersRoosters 6-10 after 14 minutes. #NRL

7.28am BST

NRL 10th minute 6-4 Tigers v Roosters

Gordon misses a rare conversion in the 10th minute after Roosters immediately answered an early Tigers try.

Pinpoint precision from Pearce sees @Fergyferg4 score!#NRLTigersRoosters 6-4 after 10 minutes. #NRL

7.24am BST

AFL half-time Carlton 7.4 (46) v GWS 5.8 (38)

Fiery game here at Etihad, not much love lost between these two sides. The story so far is the form of Liam Jones (has he been played out of position all along? Or is this yet another show of fleeting brilliance?) The Blues are up and about and look on track for a stunning upset.

7.20am BST

AFL Q2 03:13 remaining Carlton 7.2 (44) v GWS 5.8 (38)

Few punches being thrown here, surprise surprise Steve Johnson in the thick of it. Will be interesting to see what the MRP makes of it in the aftermath.

7.13am BST

AFL Q2 08:40 remaining Carlton 6.2 (38) v GWS 5.6 (36)

Blues get the lead back with a nice mark and goal from David Cunningham (his second). Look to have found a player in a man playing only his sixth game.

7.10am BST

AFL Q2 10:21 remaining Carlton 5.2 (32) v GWS 5.6 (36)

Great work there from Tim Taranto, smothered one, got a high free-kick and kicked a beauty from 40 out, tight angle. He’s holding his spot in a brilliant side.

7.08am BST

AFL Q2 11:25 remaining Carlton 5.2 (32) v GWS 4.6 (30)

Now a snap goal to Ward and they’re right back in it. Midfield – Shiel in particular – looking dangerous. Whitfield has another shot now from 40 out, tight angle, but misses everything. Still in side the Giants’ 50. They’re pressing.

7.05am BST

AFL Q2 12:56 remaining Carlton 5.2 (32) v GWS 3.6 (24)

Beautiful contested mark and goal from Jeremy Cameron outside 50 goes against the flow of play and momentum. That’s the Giants for you. Carlton will have to be at their best all day for this to be an upset.

7.00am BST

AFL Q2 16:11 remaining Carlton 5.1 (31) v GWS 2.6 (18)

Some ferocious tackling here from the Blues. I’ve been impressed with their endeavour. Plowman in particular seemed to delight in dumping one of his old teammates.

6.55am BST


Since the NRL hasn’t started, just a quick update from AAP on the AFL. Jarrod Harbrow (Gold Coast Suns) will miss another match next week as part of his drink driving punishment, which means he’ll miss the round 13 home game against Carlton. He’s also making a donation to charity (admittedly only $5000) and will have to enrol in a traffic offenders program.

6.51am BST


The game between Wests Tigers and the Roosters in Campbelltown hasn’t quite started yet, but there are a couple of late outs which the Tigers will welcome.

See all the changes and final teams for both sides for #NRLTigersRoosters!


6.50am BST

AFL Quarter-time: Carlton 4.1 (25) v GWS 2.6 (18)

Toby Greene hits the post after a snap around the corner, and Liam Jones takes a beautiful intercept mark after Heath Shaw sends the Giants inside 50. A quick turnaround sees David Cunningham kick one just after the siren. The Blues mean business today.

6.46am BST

AFL Q1 02:16 remaining Carlton 3.1 (19) v GWS 2.5 (17)

Beauty from Ed Curnow in the pocket after a brave Sam Docherty kick opened the Giants up through the middle.

6.45am BST

AFL Q1 03:10 remaining Carlton 2.1 (13) v GWS 2.4 (16)

Tight contest at the moment, Blues are keeping the Giants accountable, although they’d be concerned about the numbers Kelly and Johnson are racking up.

Jon Patton collides with the post. #AFLBluesGiants

6.40am BST

AFL Q1 06:56 remaining Carlton 2.1 (13) v GWS 2.3 (15)

Injury alert: Jon Patton looks in trouble here after landing into the goalpost, back first. Phil Davis also landed awkwardly on an angle, and is undergoing a fitness test.

6.35am BST

AFL Q1 09:56 remaining Carlton 2.1 (13) v GWS 1.2 (8)

Here’s that Matthew Wright dribbler.

Matthew Wright got the right bounce as the Blues stormed forward. #AFLBluesGiants

6.31am BST

AFL Q1 13:09 remaining Carlton 2.1 (13) v GWS 1.1 (7)

Jack Silvagni sets up Matthew Wright for a running goal. Wright was in plenty of space and with plenty of time and chose to dribble it from an angle about 5 meters out. Lucky it dribbled through.

6.28am BST

AFL Q1 14:49 remaining Carlton 1.1 (7) v GWS 1.0 (6)

Speaking of maligned names, Levi Casboult is on the board for the Blues. GWS midfielders getting a lot of it though: Shiel, Kelly, Ward, the usual suspects.

6.26am BST

AFL Q1 15:51 remaining Carlton 0.1 (1) v GWS 1.0 (6)

Who else but Matthew Kreuzer marks in front of goal – but misses. Some maligned names put together that one, with Daisy Thomas setting up Kreuzer after Liam Jones peeled off Patton in the back half. Jones getting a cheer every time he gets the ball.

6.23am BST

AFL Q1 18:24 remaining Carlton 0.0 (0) v GWS 1.0 (6)

We’re underway here at Etihad, and there’s a bit of feeling in this one. None other than Toby Greene in the middle of the scuffle.

6.19am BST


Just before we get into the AFL, have a read of this amazing story about Jelena Ostapenko, who won the women’s French Open title in just her eighth grand slam event, unseeded. She is the first unseeded woman to win the French Open since Iva Majoli of Crotia in 1997 and the first Latvian to win a grand slam singles title. She’s also the first person to win their first tour title at a grand slam since Gustavo Kuerten in 1997. She defeated none other than Simona Halep, the pre-tournament favourite who would have made it to No1 had she won, to do it.

6.14am BST


Not far from the siren here at the Etihad, the Blues will be ready for the contest with Matthew Kreuzer playing his 150th today. He’s enjoying a career-best string of form at the moment, and is the heart of this footy club.

Get ready for Sunday afternoon football Follow #AFLBluesGiants on the Macca’s Match Centre:

6.12am BST


Speaking of England, the national football side escaped with a lucky draw over Scotland thanks to Harry Kane’s 93-minute equaliser in the World Cup Qualifiers. Scotland manager Gordon Strachan said the game “felt like a defeat” and described it as “probably the most emotional game of my managerial career” with the team now stuck in fourth in Group F. Scotland had raced to the lead with two Leigh Griffith free-kicks finding the back of the net, the first left and the second right of Joe Hart.

6.10am BST

Rugby Union

Some very sad news in local Rugby Union, with a Warringah Rats rugby player dying during a match in Sydney yesterday.

6.04am BST


For those who aren’t aware yet, Australia was knocked out of the Champions Trophy last night by England at Edgbaston. The match was decided on the Duckworth-Lewis method, after rain affected the game, with England declared winners by 40 runs. Ben Stokes scored a brilliant century and Eoin Morgan slogged his way to 87 off 81. Stokes was 102 not out when the match was abandoned in the 41st over with England 4-240. England were close to victory, with Australia setting a total of 278 to win. Top-scorers included Steve Smith (56) and Aaron Finch (68) while Glenn Maxwell fell to an impressive boundary catch from Jason Roy on 21. The Australians then lost 5 for a measly 15. Their bowlers fired early, with Starc dismissing Jason Roy on the second ball of the innings, but Morgan was dropped on 12 in what was a sloppy day for the Australians in the field.

6.01am BST

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to this low-key version of Sunday’s Guardian Australia Sportwatch. I’m Kate O’Halloran. Here at Sportwatch we keep you up to date with what’s happening in the world of Australian sport, whatever your preferred shape of ball, with our rolling liveblog. Remember to Tweet us @GuardianAus and use the hashtag #sportwatch.

I wouldn’t say today’s lineup is full of blockbusters, although I will stay with the Carlton v GWS AFL game for its entirety, and keep you updated with the Wests Tigers v Roosters match happening at the same time. Shortly, I’ll also check out the Wires to let you know what news has emerged overnight.

3.14am BST

Kate will be here shortly. In the meantime, read how a young Australian entered the French Open history books overnight:

Related: Australia’s Alexei Popyrin wins French Open junior title

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May 16

NSW Origin team to stay at Sydney casino – on assumption they can behave

  • Blues to set up camp at The Star in Pyrmont before game two
  • Team management confident players will respect their surroundings

The NSWRL have defended their decision to base the NSW State of Origin side at The Star casino ahead of game two, playing down any chance of player misbehaviour.

For the first time during coach Laurie Daley’s reign, the Blues will set up camp in Sydney, with the team to train out of Leichhardt Oval and to stay at The Star, one of the NSWRL’s corporate partners.

Related: Mormon Will Hopoate makes U-turn over playing Sundays this NRL season

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May 15

Mormon Will Hopoate makes U-turn over playing Sundays this NRL season

  • Bulldogs player will be available for selection despite religious beliefs
  • ‘In a perfect world I wouldn’t play,’ says Hopoate

Canterbury will not allow Will Hopoate to skip Sunday matches in any future NRL deal, after he agreed to go back on the agreement for the rest of this season. The off-contract Bulldogs fullback will fulfil a request from the club to play on Sundays this season, but in a “perfect world” he admits he wouldn’t be doing so.

Hopoate made that clear when he used that term on six occasions in a nine-minute press conference at Bulldogs headquarters on Monday, hours after telling team-mates he would be available to play the Sydney Roosters this Sunday.

Related: Knights snap seven-game losing streak as Roosters thump Eels

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May 14

Knights snap seven-game losing streak as Roosters thump Eels

  • Newcastle Knights beat Canberra Raiders 34-20 at McDonald Jones Stadium
  • Sydney Roosters beat Parramatta Eels 48-10 at ANZ Stadium

Newcastle shocked Canberra 34-20 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday, condemning the Raiders to their third straight loss. The last-placed Knights snapped a seven-game losing streak in the see-sawing affair, and claimed just their second win in 28 matches.

The Knights’ victory was marred by prop Jacob Saifiti being taken to hospital in an ambulance for precautionary scans, after he appeared to suffer a possible neck injury in the first half. The 21-year-old was stretchered from the field on a medi cab, but could be seen moving his fingers while being assessed by the trainer for around five minutes. He appeared to have his head jolted as he rolled out of an innocuous tackle on Joseph Tapine, and was accidentally bumped by the Raiders attacker as he wriggled out.

Related: Titans snatch victory from Storm as Panthers produce stunning comeback

Related: Much improved Souths tame Tigers as Sharks recover to beat Dragons

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May 13

Titans snatch victory from Storm as Panthers produce stunning comeback

  • Gold Coast Titans beat Melbourne Storm 38-36 at Suncorp Stadium
  • Penrith Panthers beat New Zealand Warriors 36-28 at Pepper Stadium
  • Brisbane Broncos beat Manly Sea Eagles 24-14 at Suncorp Stadium

The loss of Jarryd Hayne did not stop Gold Coast snatching a miracle 38-36 NRL win over ladder leaders Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium. Hayne’s NSW State of Origin chances are in some doubt, the Titans’ centre breaking down with a knee injury in the 67th minute on Saturday night with the game in the balance. When he was helped off the field, there were fears Hayne had re-aggravated a left-ankle injury that had sidelined him earlier this year for six weeks. But a relieved Hayne emerged from the sheds after full-time to celebrate centre Konrad Hurrell’s 78th-minute match-winning try after being diagnosed with just nerve damage in the knee.

Gold Coast’s winning chances appeared shot when Hayne left the field as the Storm scored three tries in six minutes to lead 36-28 with 10 minutes left. The Titans were reduced to a one-man bench for the final 10 minutes with lock Ryan Simpkins (knee) – in his 50th NRL game – and winger Dan Sarginson (forearm) also sidelined. But Gold Coast weren’t to be denied, capping a stunning comeback when standout winger Anthony Don batted back Kane Elgey’s kick for Hurrell to score at the death.

Related: Much improved Souths tame Tigers as Sharks recover to beat Dragons

Related: Melbourne Storm’s Cooper Cronk rules out rugby union switch with Waratahs

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Apr 24

Souths cry injustice but introduction of ‘captain’s call’ is no solution | Matt Cleary

The game’s commentariat was outraged by a call on Friday but officials got it right and alternative avenues for review would only further confuse matters

It is said of South Sydney fans that even after a win they’ll race home to watch the replay and still be nervous about the result. From dear sweet Russell Crowe down, Souths supporters bleed the green blood of Ming the Merciless.

After Brisbane Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford landed a drop-goal to beat the Bunnies by a point on Friday night, Souths fans, and with them the greater fanbase and punditry of this great game, dug out the pitchforks and demanded retribution. Demanded justice. Demanded that someone make the pain go away.

Related: Manly stun Raiders in golden-point NRL win as Broncos pip Souths

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Apr 23

Big names step up as Tigers catch a break against Bulldogs in NRL

Wests Tigers beat Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 18-12 at ANZ StadiumAaron Woods jeered by his own fans despite man-of-the-match performanceLuke Brooks stood up when it counted following a month of turmoil for the Wests Tigers, setting up the match-winn…

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Apr 17

Parramatta stage thrilling NRL comeback to topple Wests Tigers

  • Parramatta Eels 26-22 Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium
  • Eels trailed 22-10 before remarkable comeback with 25 minutes to play

Parramatta have come from behind to end their four-game NRL losing streak with a 26-22 victory over the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium. After trailing 22-10 with 25 minutes to play, the Eels scored three tries to take control as the club’s future five-eighth, Mitchell Moses, endured a mixed day.

Two weeks after signing with the Eels for next season but requesting an immediate release, Moses opened the scoring against his future club. However he failed to close out the match for the Tigers, instead providing the crucial match-turning misdirected pass that allowed the Eels to streak away and score after tries to Josh Hoffman and Kirisome Auva’a had drawn them close.

Related: NRL: Sharks shut out Penrith in fourth straight win

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Apr 14

NRL: Reynolds gets Bulldogs home as Roosters account for Knights

  • Canterbury Bulldogs 24-9 South Sydney at ANZ Stadium
  • Sydney Roosters 24-6 Newcastle Knights ar McDonald Jones Stadium

Under-pressure Canterbury half Josh Reynolds has put in a compelling case for a new contract, firing his side to a 24-9 win over South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Friday. 

Reynolds is off contract at season’s end, however, he proved his reputation as the heartbeat of the club was well deserved as he guided the Bulldogs to their third straight victory.

Related: Professional women’s rugby league competition on its way ‘quite soon’

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