Sportwatch: Swifts beat Firebirds, Sydney beat West Coast and more – as it happened

Last modified: 08: 13 AM GMT+0
  • Firebirds 46-68 Swifts
  • Broncos 18-26 Titans
  • Panthers 18-10 Roosters
  • Sydney beat West Coast 18.8 (116) to 10.11 (71)

Final thoughts

Well that wraps up the domestic sport for today. But don’t go anywhere, we’re about to kick off our live blogs for the Matildas game in the Women’s World Cup, as well as the big Australia v India match in the Cricket World Cup. Later tonight we’ll also be live blogging the men’s French Open singles final and Brazil v Jamaica in the Women’s World Cup. Now is probably a good time to make your dinner, get your snacks organised and settle in for another big night of sport. Cheer well and I’ll see you on the other side.

NRL: Panthers 18-10 Roosters

A double from Viliame Kikau has sealed the deal for the Panthers against the Roosters. It was the second game today where a cellar dweller has stepped up against their much higher ranked opposition. The Panthers took full advantage of a depleted Roosters team, continually forcing them to play deep in their own half. A field goal to James Maloney in the dying minutes sealed the game for the home team and their desperation in defence throughout the game was a highlight.

James Maloney lines up a field goal.
A late field goal from James Maloney put the game beyond doubt. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

Sydney beat West Coast 18.8 (116) to 10.11 (71)

It was the game everyone has been waiting for from the Sydney Swans as the young guns stepped up and Buddy Franklin fired up with five goals, including a sensational effort right on full time. For the Eagles, Josh Kennedy was unable to add to his total in the second half, due to a great defensive effort by the home team.

Franklin was visibly delighted after the game. “It was nice to kick that,” he said of his last minute goal. “Reward for a little bit of effort. What a win! It really was a team effort, we were down three on the interchange, so we knew we had to grind out a win. It was huge, it really took a lot of ticker.”

Buddy Franklin kicks a goal against West Coast.
Buddy Franklin was instrumental in the Swans’ win over the Eagles at the SCG. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images


If you’re in Melbourne during June, check out this great exhibition of photography of some of Australia’s incredible female athletes. Opening on Tuesday in the CBD, this initiative of Women’s Sport Australia got some fantastic entries.

“For the first time there will be a public exhibition devoted solely to stunning action photographs of Australia’s female athletes in flight, performing great feats and fearlessly fighting to succeed.” Louise Evans: Director @auswomensport

— Michelle Redfern (@RedfernMichelle) June 9, 2019

Tennis: A lovely thread from German tennis star Andrea Petkovic last week on what makes her sport special is doing the rounds on Twitter. Well worth a reflection after last night’s big win from Ash Barty.

Yeah, I got beaten pretty badly today by @ashbar96 (well done, buddy) but here is why I love this sport - A THREAD

— Andrea Petkovic (@andreapetkovic) June 1, 2019

Women’s World Cup: Also overnight Germany got their World Cup campaign off to a good start with a 1-0 defeat of China. Teenage debutante Giulia Gwinn was the one to break the deadlock in the 66th minute. You can read all about it here:

Women’s World Cup: A big result for the Norwegian team overnight, defeating Nigeria 3-0, even without star Aga Hegerberg, who will not play international football for her country following a feud with the Norwegian governing body over the treatment of women’s football. Her team managed to stand strong and come up with a convincing win in her absence.

Cricket World Cup: It’s going to be another big night for sports fans with the Matildas kicking off their World Cup campaign as well as the cricketers coming up against old foes India. We’ve got some great reporters on the ground covering it - they’ll be live blogging the game tonight, but in the meantime check out Geoff Lemon’s fantastic article about surprise hero Nathan Coulter-Nile.

NRL: Half-time at Penrith and the Panthers lead the Roosters 6-4 in a scrappy affair. The Panthers scored early, with Viliame Kikau crossing in just the second minute of the game. It took until the 27th minute for the Roosters to trouble the scorer and the remainder of the half was a defensive battle. A penalty 20 metres out gave the Roosters the chance to equalise right before the end of the half, but Siosiua Taukeiaho hit the post with his attempt at goal.

Viliame Kikau of the Panthers after his second minute try.
Viliame Kikau of the Panthers after his second minute try. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

State of Origin: The fully-booted Queenslanders were too good for NSW this week, proving that you could pretty much pop a maroon jumper on a herd of cows, providing they were from Queensland, and they’d find a way to win. Matt Cleary wrote this great article during the week about how Kevin Walters and his team achieved a feat that many thought impossible.

AFL: A great first half for the Swans has them leading the Eagles 9.6 (60) to 6.3 (39) at half-time. An incredible half of football from Buddy Franklin has sparked the Swans, who are playing with passion and desperation they haven’t shown for some time. In the battle of the big forwards, Franklin and Josh Kennedy have each kicked three goals and both will look to rack up their tallies further in the second half.

Buddy Franklin celebrates after scoring one of his three first half goals.
Buddy Franklin celebrates after scoring one of his three first half goals. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Rugby league: A great story from out of the UK on Jodie Cunningham, who is not only playing rugby league for St Helens and England, but also working as a pundit on Sky’s coverage of the Super League. Women’s sport in the UK is going through a huge surge at the moment and hopefully the rise of women’s rugby league continues.

Golf: A fascinating interview with Thomas Bjørn this week, talking about the dark side of sport - depression and other mental illnesses. It’s only relatively recently that this is being spoken about, but it’s likely that mental health, along with concussion, will be one of the biggest issues that will need to be addressed over the next few years to ensure we take care of athletes at their most vulnerable.

Cricket: While we’re all caught up in World Cup fever at the moment, an interesting development is happening back at home, with a scheduling quirk for the summer leaving Big Bash League franchises wondering what to do about contracting some of Australia’s international stars. There are risks involved with contracting players who might see little time on the field, but I think I speak for every Sixers fan when I say that having Steve Smith back in the magenta would be the making of a magical summer.

From AAP:

BBL teams weigh up big-name contracts

Steve Smith batting at the Cricket World Cup.
Steve Smith will be highly sought after by BBL franchises if the draw allows. Photograph: Alan Martin/Action Plus via Getty Images

Big Bash League teams are weighing up whether to offer contracts to Australia’s international stars as the hopes of a mass return hang in the balance. A fractured home summer, which includes a month-long international gap between tours of India and South Africa in January and February, had shaped as an opportunity to return big names to the competition.

BBL teams were last week given their first look at the draft draw, although the release of the final schedule is still expected to be some time off. Steve Smith is understood to be one of those players waiting on its release, with the Sydney Sixers keen to secure the former national captain’s return. Smith has not played in the Big Bash since 2014 but would be an asset on and off the field for the Sixers.

While he would likely be considered a risk-free option, the situation is far more tricky for BBL sides when it comes to Australia’s trio of fast bowlers. There is a thought from some that there is no guarantee they’ll be available to play enough games, depending on if they are rested after the five-Test summer and Indian one-dayers.

Pat Cummins is off-contract at the Sydney Thunder and at this stage could go unsigned. The right-arm quick has played just one match in the past two seasons for the Thunder, after returning to fitness and representing Australia in all three formats. Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc haven’t featured in the BBL since 2014, tied up across all three of Australia’s international sides. Starc has acted as an ambassador for the Sixers in recent seasons and the franchise could return both the quicks to the field if the schedule is friendly to the idea.

Meanwhile, David Warner has previously been linked to the Melbourne Stars but he appears far less likely than Smith to play in the competition. The only other regular member of Australia’s red and white-ball sides, Usman Khawaja, was re-signed by the Thunder until the end of the 2019-20 season two years ago.

NRL: Broncos 18-26 Titans

Despite two late tries from the Broncos, the Titans managed to hold on to get the win over their more fancied neighbours. This time of year is always tricky for teams with State of Origin forcing changes and players backing up from a high intensity game just days earlier. However the Titans were able to take advantage of their opportunity to play the Broncos during this period and deserve all the credit for pushing their advantage and coming away with the win.

FT: Titans 26 - Broncos 18


Match Centre: #WEAREREADY #NRLBroncosTitans

— Gold Coast Titans (@GCTitans) June 9, 2019

Super Netball: After the third draw in four games for the West Coast Fever, it’s unsurprising that their coach Stacey Marinkovich has added her voice to the chorus of people calling for extra time in the game. What broadcasters will hope to avoid is a situation like in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match in Delhi in 2010 where play continued for 84 minutes (instead of the usual 60) until a result was reached. However with four draws from the first seven rounds of the competition fans, players, coaches and commentators are all demanding action, so expect a compromise to be reached for the 2020 season.

From AAP:

Fever coach wants Super Netball extra time

Stacey Marinkovich pointing while coaching the Fever.
Fever head coach Stacey Marinkovich hopes draws will soon be a thing of the past in Super Netball. Photograph: Gary Day/AAP

It would be strange if you didn’t want extra time when you have had three draws in your past four matches but West Coast Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich believes it should be the next step forward for Super Netball.

The Fever fought back to share the spoils with the Giants on Saturday night after a 62-all draw at RAC Arena. While the Fever did well to come from behind in home draws with Melbourne Vixens and the Giants, Marinkovich would prefer an outright match winner.

“I think it would be good to play to a result,” she said. “The players have the capacities to keep running it out and that’s why you have a bench, to be able to make those rotations. But that’s what the competition is at the moment and you still have the bonus points to play for, so for us to walk away with four points is lucky in some regards.”

The three draws could cost last year’s grand final hosts a finals berth given they are 11 points behind the fourth-placed Giants. But Marinkovich is happy with West Coast’s response to losing the first three games with three draws and a win from the past four, including games in Bendigo and Brisbane before Saturday night.

“There’s a chance they could end up hurting us but we just have to keep taking the learnings from them and make sure we come out firing,” she said. “We knew that this was a big stint of the competition for us but sometimes until you are actually in it you don’t realise how taxing it can be.

“Travel will never be an excuse for us, even though we certainly don’t like double-headers on the road given how much more travel we do than any other team.”

Fever continue to be penalised heavily for their admittedly physical approach and while Marinkovich likes the way her team plays she knows they need to adjust during games.

“I think we play hard for the contest, we just have to make sure we are in the line of the ball and we have to show the umpires where we’re coming from as well,” she said. “We’ll have those discussions which is great that we can have between umpires and coaches.”

Women’s World Cup: Speaking of the Matildas, Richard Parkin has set the scene brilliantly for us going into their opening match against Italy tonight. Midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight believes it’s now or never for the Australians as international women’s football continues to improve and the pool of contenders for the World Cup title increases.

Women’s World Cup: If you’re starting to get excited about the Matildas’ first game in the World Cup tonight, check out how the South African team arrived to their game last night. Absolutely nailed it. Unfortunately they didn’t quite nail the result, going down to Spain 1-3.

South Africans showing up to World Cup games remains the best entries

— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) June 8, 2019

Super Netball: Firebirds 46-68 Swifts

After a close game and a yet another draw yesterday this game lacked some of the excitement, but unfortunately had its fair share of drama, with Swifts’ captain Maddy Proud going down with what looks to be a serious knee injury. In a season marred with injury, it’s tough to see, especially from the ladder leaders who are having such a strong season after failing to qualify for finals in their first two years.

The Swifts were visibly shaken at the end of the game, tears flowing from most players, while MVP Sarah Klau struggled to keep composure during her post-match interview with Laura Geitz.

“Obviously it was very challenging, we never like to see teammates getting injured,” she said. “But for us, we just needed to focus on what we had to do on court so I think the girls did well.”

Klau was also happy with the defensive effort of her team, which she said is consistent all the way down the court. “I think defensive effort really starts from the attack end in transition, so a credit to the girls in front of me,” she said “I thought they really gave it to the Firebirds today, so massive credit to them.”

The Swifts took three bonus points for the match, with the Firebirds able to take the final quarter by one goal to salvage a bit of consolation.

Maddy Proud being helped off court by Swifts and Firebirds physios.
Swifts’ captain Maddy Proud struggled to hold back her tears after injuring her knee during the game. Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

NRL: Half-time in Brisbane and it’s the Gold Coast Titans leading in the local derby against the Broncos, up 18-6. Tyrone Roberts has been the star for the visitors, with a try and three conversions to his name so far. A win today would be a much needed confidence boost for the Titans who are languishing at the bottom of the ladder, only ahead of the Bulldogs on points differential.

Tyrone Roberts of the Titans scores a try during the Round 13 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans.
Tyrone Roberts of the Titans scores a try during the Round 13 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

French Open: The other great story out of Roland Garros last night was Dylan Alcott taking out the first ever wheelchair quad singles at the event. Alcott is now on track to equal a stunning Rod Laver feat.

AFL: Nice to read about the statue of Nicky Winmar in the works at Optus Stadium in Perth. It’s been two years in the making, but is finally on its way to being unveiled in July.

Super Rugby: It hasn’t been much fun for most of the Australian Super Rugby teams this year - it certainly doesn’t seem like the elimination of the Western Force from the competition has done much to ease the depth problems that persist in Australian rugby circles. With more and more of the traditional rugby base - private boys’ schools in Sydney and Brisbane - embracing AFL, it doesn’t seem like a trend that’s likely to reverse any time soon.

Meanwhile it’s good news for the Brumbies, who won their fifth consecutive match last night, defeating old rivals the Waratahs by 11 points. That means they will definitely qualify for the finals and can start preparing. Here are the chances of the other Australian teams from AAP:

1 - BRUMBIES (4th overall v Queensland Reds in Canberra on Saturday)

With the Australian conference wrapped up, a home quarter-final is certain regardless of the result.

2 - MELBOURNE REBELS (8th v Chiefs in Melbourne on Friday)

Victory guarantees a maiden finals appearance. Defeat means the opposite unless they bag a bonus point. Even then they’d be a long shot.

3 - NSW WARATAHS (12th v Highlanders in Invercargill on Friday)

Slim mathematical chance only. Must nab a bonus point win in the round’s opening match and hope other results fall their way.

4 - QUEENSLAND REDS (14th v Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday)

No shot at the finals. A win or draw could see them improve on last year’s second-last placing overall.

French Open: Of course the biggest story out of last night was Ash Barty’s first grand slam win, taking out the French Open. After numerous delays due to rain and the men’s semi-final overstaying its welcome, Barty made short work of it, winning in straight sets and bestowing the gift of a decent night’s sleep on her fans back here in Australia.

If you couldn’t stay awake for it, Simon Cambers wrote this wonderful article that encapsulates Barty’s character and spirit so well.

State of Origin: And while we’re on Queensland v NSW battles, some interesting news out of the Blues camp as Brad Fittler confirms he has spoken with officials over the bizarre boot throwing incident from Wednesday night’s game. I can only hope this tactic spreads far and wide before the rules catch up and we get to see some barefoot rugby league played while the crowd rushes around madly trying to match up pairs of boots to take home, like some incredibly bizarre version of Memory.

From AAP:

NSW coach Brad Fittler admits seeking the referees boss over a boot-throwing incident that went overlooked in game one of State of Origin. Fittler claimed Blues skipper Boyd Cordner played six second-half minutes without a boot after Ben Hunt ripped it off his foot and threw it over the sideline. At one stage, Cordner even kicked the ball with his bootless left foot after finding himself with the ball on the fifth tackle.

The incident prompted an annoyed Fittler to broach the topic with the game’s officials, who initially giggled in response.

“I spoke to the referees boss and he giggled and I said, ‘Well I’m going to now coach my players to do it’,” Fittler said on The Sunday Footy Show. “And all of a sudden he went, ‘You know what, we need to do something about this. There needs to be something written in’.

“You just can’t have people slipping around on the field and you can’t have people throwing boots off into the crowd. Simple as that.”

Super Netball: The Queensland Firebirds haven’t been able to stem the flow of their southern rivals the NSW Swifts, trailing 21-34 at the break. Despite adding some extra firepower with imports Lenize Potgieter and Erin Burger (both from South Africa) to replace the injured Romelda Aiken and Mahalia Cassidy, the Firebirds have struggled to stay with the Swifts during the first half. Impressive defence from new Diamond Sarah Klau and accurate shooting from Sam Wallace and Helen Housby have been a highlight of the visitors’ game so far.

How about Lenize Potgieter? Jumps off a plane and straight into Suncorp Super Netball action!

WATCH: @Channel9#9Netball

— 9Netball (@9Netball) June 9, 2019


Well what a night of sport we had! They could remake ‘While You Were Sleeping’ based entirely on that one night of sport from Europe. Between Ash Barty, Dylan Alcott, the Women’s World Cup and the Cricket World Cup, I hope everyone had a well-deserved sleep in this morning and are ready to do it all again tonight. My commiserations to the Queenslanders who will have to suffer through without a public holiday tomorrow, but for everyone else, I hope you’re well rested and ready for another huge night. Let’s kick it off!


Megan Maurice

The GuardianTramp

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