Australia vs Argentina: Wallabies quick out the blocks to strike down Pumas

Australia stunned Argentina with three tries in the opening 12 minutes but were forced to defend for much of the remainder of the Rugby Championship test before running out 36-20 winners at Perth Oval on Saturday.

Outstanding scrumhalf Will Genia scored two tries with centre Samu Kerevi, winger Dane Haylett-Petty and flanker Michael Hooper also crossing for the Wallabies.

The victory was not enough to prevent New Zealand from reclaiming the championship title from Australia after a 41-13 victory over South Africa earlier on Saturday.

It was another step up for the resurgent Wallabies, however, after they snapped a six-match losing streak with a nervous victory over the Springboks last weekend.

“We started well and got out to a bit of a lead and that’s always important in test matches,” said captain Stephen Moore.

“We have won the last two games now so that will start to give us some belief and confidence in the squad.”

Winger Santiago Cordero and number eight Facundo Isa scored Argentina’s tries but the Pumas were unable to reproduce the form that gave the All Blacks a minor scare last week.

“I think it was not our best start to the game,” said scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli.

“We showed good character and fought to the end (but) we gave 20 minutes to Australia and it’s a top team.”


Argentina players react to Australia’s early run of scoring (Getty)

Australia scored early when they beat Argentina in the semi-finals of last year’s World Cup and they again wasted no time on a fast Perth Oval deck on Saturday.

With less than a minute on the clock, they moved the ball quickly down the backline and Hooper released Kerevi for a charge to the line.

Their second try came off an attacking lineout seven minutes later, Kerevi’s decoy run creating a gap in the defensive line and flyhalf Quade Cooper putting Haylett-Petty into it with an inside pass.

Turnover ball provided the third try with Genia pressuring Pumas flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez into dropping the ball before hacking forward and racing some 30 metres to scoop it up and dive across the line.

The remaining 28 minutes of the half were mostly about obdurate defence for the Wallabies, who racked up 98 tackles to Argentina’s 22 before the break.

Sanchez finally got the visitors on the scoreboard from the kicking tee after 23 minutes and 10 minutes later added his second penalty when Wallabies prop Scott Sio was sent to the sin-bin.


Folau being pushed forward by the Wallabies pack (Getty)

Winger Cordero cut the deficit to 21-13 four minutes after halftime when he ran around prop James Slipper to score a converted try in the corner.

After being restored to 15 men, Australia finally got some possession and Sean McMahon made the most of it when he burst through the Argentina pack towards the line.

The replacement loose forward was tackled just short of his goal but Genia dummied the pass from the base of the ruck and burrowed over for his second try.

Ten minutes later and Hooper crossed for Australia’s fifth try after Cooper had again opened up the defence with an inside pass.

Australia were soon reduced to 14 men again, though, when Cooper was sin-binned for tackling Sanchez without the ball and the Pumas finally got the rolling maul going to help Isa over the line four minutes later.

Centre Bernard Foley had kicked four of five conversions for Australia but made way for winger Reece Hodge to ease local nerves with a late penalty.


  • More about:
  • Rugby Championship
  • Australia Rugby
  • Argentina rugby

Reuse content

Click Here for Bet365 and get £200 in Free Bets

Rugby Championship: Australia beat South Africa in Brisbane to end losing streak

Australia overcame an early deficit to beat South Africa 23-17 in their Rugby Championship clash in Brisbane on Saturday and snap a run of six successive test defeats.

Tries from lock Adam Coleman and centre Bernard Foley, who also chipped in with 13 points from the kicking tee, gave the Wallabies a first win since their semi-final victory over Argentina at last year’s World Cup.

“It’s been a tough period but we’re really proud to come out and get a win tonight,” said a relieved Australia captain Stephen Moore in a touchline interview.

“It’s always a tough game against the Springboks and they played really well so we’re happy with a first win after so many losses.”

Number eight Warren Whiteley and fullback Johan Goosen crossed to give the Springboks an early lead but the visitors faded after their fast start and managed only one Morne Steyn penalty after the break.

“We let ourselves down with some indiscipline,” said South Africa skipper Adriaan Strauss. “We had a great start but the discipline cost us and kept us on the back foot.”

Australia’s first four points of the campaign were not enough to lift them off the bottom of the standings, which New Zealand (15 points) lead from South Africa (6) and Argentina (5) after three wins in their first three matches.

Heavy rain earlier in the day made for slippery conditions at Lang Park but South Africa, looking to make amends for a loss to Argentina in their last game, made a more than sure-footed start.

Whiteley crashed over from close range to give them a third-minute reward for their early pressure and Goosen’s converted score put them 14-3 up after 18 minutes.

The second try originated in Australia’s first really promising attack of the match with Strauss desperately snatching Foley’s pass out of the air and flyhalf Elton Jantjies kicking through to leave Goosen with the simplest of scores.


Israel Folau in action for the Wallabies (Getty)

Australia, looking solid in the set piece and fluent in attack, gradually worked their way back into the match, however, and scrumhalf Will Genia’s lofted pass put Coleman in to score in the corner in the 27th minute.

Foley added his second penalty five minutes before halftime and his third, which came when Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth was sin-binned for killing the ball, just after the break gave the home side the lead for the first time at 16-14.

Australia centre Samu Kerevi crossed over the line four minutes later, only for the try to be ruled out by referee Nigel Owens for foot in touch and the match remained finely poised when Etzebeth returned from the sidelines.

The Wallabies continued to press, however, and one sustained 18-phase attack culminated in Foley cutting through the defensive line to roll over the line and score under the posts.

Replacement flyhalf Steyn kicked a penalty to cut Australia’s lead to six points with 15 minutes remaining but, despite a few nervous moments, the Wallabies held on to claim a morale-boosting victory. 


  • More about:
  • Australia Rugby
  • South Africa rugby
  • Rugby Championship

Reuse content

Click Here for Bet365 and get £200 in Free Bets

Kieren Fallon: Six-time champion jockey retires because of depression

Kieran Fallon, the six-time British champion jockey, has retired from racing as he begins hospital treatment for depression.

The 51-year-old has been crowned champion jockey on six occasions and has ridden 16 British classic winners but, according to the Irish Turf Club’s chief medical officer Dr Adrian McGoldrick, he has “lost the motivation” to continue riding.

“Kieren is suffering from severe depression,” Dr McGoldrick said. “He has had quite significant depression for the best part of three years which has gone undiagnosed in England and America. It got worse and I met with him on Sunday and have arranged to have it managed.

“As soon as I can get a bed organised for him, he’ll be going to hospital in Ireland. Hopefully we can get him managed and get him ready for the next stage of his life.

“He said he won’t be returning to race-riding afterwards. He felt he had no motivation for the last two or three years and that had affected his depression. At this stage of his life he feels he has to move on.”

Fallon has previously spoken about his depression, opening up about the subject eight years ago. “When you’re depressed, you don’t want to get out of bed, you don’t want to face people, you don’t want to do anything,” he said.

“Depression’s a terrible thing, so it is. And the longer you leave it, the worse it gets.”

20-time champion jump jockey AP McCoy tweeted: “Best wishes to Kieren Fallon in his retirement, one of the most naturally talented/gifted jockeys I’ve ever seen.”

The Irishman was once dealt a six-month ban for hauling fellow jockey Stuart Webster off his horse while also being handed an 18-month suspension drugs ban in 2008.

He additionally faced a trial for conspiracy to defraud but the Old Bailey later cleared him and five others of any wrongdoing.

  • More about:
  • Kieran Fallon
  • Horse Racing
  • Mental Health
  • depression

Reuse content

Click Here for Bet365 and get £200 in Free Bets

Cheltenham Festival 2016: Who to back on day four, including in the Gold Cup

Day four unequivocally revolves around the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup and this year promises to be a stellar renewal.

The Irish challenge is particularly strong, with Don Cossack, Vautour, Don Poli and Djakadam all expected to take up the ultimate engagement. Meanwhile Cue Card, whose season has gone from strength to strength at the top level, represents the best of the British challenge.

Colin Tizzard’s charge is also capable of earning a £1 million bonus if he comes home in front, a prospect that only adds to the race’s romanticism.


Vautour (L) and Cue Card (R) clash in the King George VI Chase

Few would begrudge the former festival winner this year’s crown but there will be no love lost once the tape is raised.

The undercard features some excellent racing too, with a couple of horses catching the eye from a betting perspective. 

Watch the video above for three tips ahead of Friday’s action.

  • More about:
  • Horse Racing
  • Cheltenham Festival

Click Here for Bet365 and get £200 in Free Bets

Six Nations 2016: England ready for life without Joe Marler as prop awaits fate over Samson Lee words

It is difficult to remember when three little words, spectacularly crass and wholly inappropriate as they may have been, caused the rugby authorities so much grief.

More than two days after Joe Marler, the England prop, aimed the phrase “Hey, gypsy boy” at his rival front-rower Samson Lee during the Triple Crown victory over Wales at Twickenham, the Six Nations authorities were still trying to figure out their next step.

Marler may well miss this weekend’s Grand Slam finale with France anyway: on Monday, the Harlequins forward was cited for striking his opposite number, Rob Evans, with his forearm at a first-half ruck. The offence carries a minimum ban of two weeks, so a guilty verdict will end the player’s hopes of participating in Paris.

Even though Marler apologised to Lee during the half-time interval last Saturday and was given an ear-bashing by the red-rose coach, Eddie Jones, who “reminded him of his responsibilities” as the saying goes, the tournament top brass found themselves unable to make a decision within the supposed 48-hour time limit for citings. Discussions were still in progress on Monday night, with a definitive call expected Tuesday.

Failure to level a charge of verbal abuse at the Englishman would set an awkward precedent for the sport and infuriate the Welsh, who voiced their concerns in no uncertain terms. “I think there is banter in the game, but there’s no place for that,” said the Red Dragons’ assistant coach, Rob Howley.

The England hierarchy took their own steps in dealing with Marler, although the 18st 8lb forward was not particularly discomfited by what amounted to a slap on the wrist. Jones consulted Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, to establish that any internal sanction was the responsibility of the coach rather than the committee man. He then had words with Marler and put the matter to bed.

“What Joe said wasn’t in the spirit of the game and he understands that,” Jones said. “It’s why he apologised straight away. People make mistakes – we all make mistakes – and the fact that he apologised at half-time is a real testament to his character. You don’t do that in a game of rugby unless you mean it.”

Jones was reluctant to say more until the judicial process had been exhausted, except to say that England were preparing for the France game on the basis that their number one No 1 will be available and would continue to do so until they were told otherwise. The coach also indicated that if the Six Nations disciplinarians decided to take no further action, he would follow their lead and select Marler for the Grand Slam match.

Amid the whys and wherefores of this tawdry affair, there was the winning of a Six Nations Championship to discuss. England’s first title since 2011 and only their second since the World Cup-winning year of 2003 was not marked by a full-on celebration: instead, the players enjoyed a “couple of quiet beers” (as opposed to 19 noisy ones) before settling into some serious analysis of the threat posed by France.


Eddie Jones, the England coach, enjoys the moment after his side clinched the Triple Crown with victory over Wales (Getty)

And yes, the threat is real. The Tricolores may have lost their last two games, having won the first two in a style a long way short of impressive, but Jones knows that his players will be riding for a fall if they fail to reproduce the accuracy and intensity they showed for an hour or more against Wales.

“The underlying thought is that you can’t underestimate the opposition in Test rugby,” said the Australian. “France are a proud country and their coach, Guy Novès, is a proud man with one of the best records in the European game. He promised his public that he and his team would be going back to the best traditions of French play and as they have no responsibility this weekend, they can perform with freedom and flair. That makes them dangerous. We must be right for this game. We must crush them with intensity.

“Some of the rugby they played against Scotland at the weekend was sublime: that first try of theirs was fantastic. If you allow them to do that, it becomes a problem. But our biggest problem will be ourselves, unless we get ourselves absolutely right.

“We should do that, because this is a wonderful opportunity. England have been playing international rugby since the 1870s – that’s only 100 years after Captain Cook arrived in Australia – and there have been only 12 English Grand Slams. Only  12 times have they been able to say conclusively that they’re the best team in Europe. Beat everyone and it’s a great achievement.”

According to the boss, his countryman Michael Cheika, the highly rated Wallaby coach, will be flying in this week for some “due diligence” ahead of England’s three-Test tour of Australia in June.

“I’m expecting so much fun on that trip,” Jones remarked. “Seriously, I think it’s going to be hilarious.

“Australia is one of the great sporting countries in the world and Australia versus England is one of the great contests. To be a part of it on the ‘other’ side will be absolutely fantastic.”

  • More about:
  • Six Nations
  • England Rugby
  • Wales Rugby
  • France Rugby

Click Here for Bet365 and get £200 in Free Bets