Wallabies v Scotland: June Test match and more Australian sport – live! – The Guardian
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Guardian Australia’s sportwatch. Mike here manning the controls in Sydney for what promises to be a rather hectic day of sport, so without further ado, let’s jump straight in and take a quick look at what lies ahead.
Rugby union: the Wallabies take on Scotland at Allianz Stadium in Sydney in the latest June Test match. Kick-off is at 3pm AEST (that’s 6am for any stalwart Scots back in the UK) and it promises to be a tasty affair. The last time Scotland were over here, in 2012, they beat the Wallabies on a foul day in Newcastle – the first time they had beaten Australia since 1982. The two nations met again at the World Cup in 2015 – when Bernard Foley’s controversial 79th minute penalty goal at Twickenham caused uproar in Scotland – and then at Murrayfield last year – when Foley’s boot again did the damage – but since then Scots have risen to fifth in the world and, given the recent, um, troubles in Australian rugby, another smash and grab really doesn’t take too much imagination to conceive. It’s going to be interesting to see how things pan out in Sydney this arvo.
There’s also the small matter of the ongoing Lions tour over the ditch – the tourists play the Maori All Blacks at 5:35pm AEST (8:35am UK) hoping to get a win under their belt before next weekend’s first Test against the All Blacks. Here’s Rob Kitson on today’s game in Rotorua:
Professional rugby is stuffed with people who purport to respect their jersey but the Lions should beware: the Maori take it to a different level. Their respective tribes – the aforementioned iwi – are even listed on the team sheet. Think ancient Scottish clans whose ancestral links count for rather more than what coloured kilt pattern they can wear.
AFL: Richmond are already underway against the Swans (I’ll bring you an update as soon as I’m done with this preamble), while Port Adelaide play Brisbane at 4:35pm AEST and then Gold Coast take on Carlton in this evening’s match.
NRL: of course it’s Origin Game II on Wednesday, so with focus on that potentially epoch-changing clash (hyperbole? Never) it’s a limited league schedule this weekend, with just ladder leaders Melbourne Storm taking on the Cowboys of North Queensland at 5:30pm and the third-placed Cronulla Sharks meeting Wests Tigers this evening.
Super Netball: But this is the big one today – the 2017 Super Netball grand final between the Sunshine Coast Lightning and Giants Netball in Brisbane, starting at 7pm AEST. It’s been a cracking inaugural season of the new comp so far, and hopes are high that tonight’s finale will live up to what has come before and provide a cherry on the cake. Our netball correspondent, Erin Delahunty, is on deck to report how the baking goes tonight, but in the meantime, here’s a snippet from her excellent season review/grand final preview:
Collingwood wobbled. Wallets opened, stadiums heaved and TV ratings swelled. Industrial action got ugly and complaints about the fixture reverberated. But fierceness and finesse on-court ultimately produced the world’s best netball competition in the inaugural Super Netball season – which, before Saturday’s grand final, the game’s boss says has irrevocably “changed the conversation” about the sport.
Golf: sticking with the Erin theme for a moment, there’s a four-way tie for the lead at Erin Hills after the first round of the US Open. Brits Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman are out front, but there was disappointment for Jason Day and Adam Scott as they both missed out on weekend action at a major for the first time in their careers. The same fate befell Nick Flanagan and Wade Ormsby, leaving just one Aussie, Marc Leishman, in the second round. My colleague Scott Murray will be around later on to take you through day two in Wisconsin in a separate liveblog – details to follow this evening.
So, with a bit of Supercars in Darwin thrown in for good measure, that’s pretty much where we’re at today. Please do stick around, and get in touch if you feel the need, either below the line or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Twitter (@mike_hytner). It’d be great to hear your thoughts/grievances/rants/raves throughout the day.