Sportwatch: Berisha magic, Hawks grounded, Eels win big – as it happened


24 min: First caution of the game, as Ben Garuccio bodychecks Barbarouses. He’ll have to watch out, the Adelaide fullback, they’ve got plenty of pace on the flanks, do Victory.

George whips in the freekick and it’s the unlikely figure of Barbarouses on the end of it. Not a prolific headed goalscorer, and it’s safely controlled once more.

21 min: Baba Diawara goes to ground under a tackle from Leigh Broxham – there appeared to be sturdy contact, but nothing given. Up the other end Isaias is now penalised for a late challenge on James Troisi.

What can Victory do with this freekick?

It’s wide, just outside the Adelaide box. Antonis strikes it – but it’s comfortably held by Paul Izzo.

18 min: Not surprisingly it’s been a tense, and perhaps intense, start to this one. Marco Kurz has built a team that works very hard out of possession and the Reds are really scrapping when Victory have the ball and vice-versa from Kevin Muscat’s side.

13 min: Victory beginning to enjoy a slight shade of the possession, but there have been no clear cut chances, outside that early freekick to Adelaide. Mileusnic goes to ground looking for a foul by Carl Valeri but nothing forthcoming.

9 min: This time it’s Adelaide with the lightning transition. Lawrence Thomas very relieved as his clearance clatters into the speedy Nikolai Mileusnic but it trickles behind for a corner.

Ersum Gulum gets a head to it..! But it flashes wide.

5 min: There’s just under 20,000 expected at AAMI Park tonight and already there’s a decent atmosphere. Antonis conceeds a second foul, but in a less dangerous area.

Meanwhile, Kosta Barbarouses breaks away in transition and earns the Victory a corner. Leroy George plays short, but the defence is alive to it. Johan Absalonsen clears for Adelaide.

Full-time: Cronulla Sharks 26-22 Penrith Panthers

And there’s been a late charge from the Panthers, but they’ve not been able to turn it around. A great win for the Sharks – they weathered a stack of pressure late in the first half, but they’ve made it count in the second. Disappointment for Penrith, who slip to just their second loss of the season.

2 min: And an early scare for the Victory! Terry Antonis catch young Red Nathan Konstandopoulos just outside the box to concede a dangerous free-kick opportunity.

Isaias and Daniel Adlung – both hand from the dead ball – standing over it, but the wall deflects behind. Danger averted.

Kick-off! Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United

Okay, we’ll wrap our other live games where we can, but let’s move our attention to this – the big one – the A-League elimination final.

Adelaide’s captain Isaias returns to boost the Reds’ midfield, while Kevin Muscat names an as expected lineup:

And here’s the visiting team:

And there’s the whistle from referee Chris Beath, and we’re underway from AAMI Park in Melbourne!

Full-time: North Melbourne 14.14 (98) defeat Hawthorn 11.4 (70)

Relief for home fans – the Hawks really threatened to come knocking during that third quarter but their young Roos side has dug deep to hang on to a memorable win, and a rare one against Hawthorn!

The margin comfortable in the end, but a wobble there that made it very lively late in the second half.

Full-time: Brumbies 20-25 Jaguares

Deary me. The Brumbies have really blown a chance to make a move in the Australian conference after both the Waratahs and Reds were handed heavy home losses, and the Rebels were done on the road in South Africa.

Henry Speight’s 100th Super Rugby match overshadowed by the 0-4 weekend for Australian rugby, as the Jaguares win their second match on the bounce on Australian soil.

And over in the NRL it’s a second try to Cronulla’s Jesse Ramien, and they should just be good enough, the Sharks, to see this one home!

They lead 24-12 with ten to play and it would take something VERY special from here for the Panthers to maintain their blistering start to this season.

It’s a 21-point margin in the Roos-Hawks AFL match, but North Melbourne are lining up with Zurhaar with just over ten to play.

We’ve had five scoring opportunities in this final quarter and they’ve missed four, with only Jack Gunston kicking a major.

Big pressure on the 19-year-old – he’s only got a handful of goals in his entire AFL career, but he’s got it, he’s kicked straight and true, and the Roos move to 27 clear!

So a quick whizz round the grounds, because we’re not too far away from adding the big one – the A-League second elimination final – to this “all the sports, all the time” rolling report.

In the super rugby, it’s really bubbling nicely as the Brumbies trail the Jaguares 17-20 with about fifteen minutes to play.

To the NRL, where Penrith have just crossed to bring it back to 18-10 (conversion to come) against the Sharks.

And in the AFL it’s Gold Coast by four, 4.3 (27) plays 3.5 (23) for the Lions, and it’s 12.11 (83) plays 9.4 (58) as the Hawthorn squander two consecutive shooting chances to continue their second-half resurgence against North Melbourne!

So much happening, and a tough shout as to which of these is currently the most engrossing. Sports!


Three-quarter-time: North Melbourne 12.11 (83) lead Hawthorn 9.2 (56)

Goodness me! We’ve had six goals to one in this third quarter; did we read the rites for the Hawks too early?!

Not sure if Clarkson went for the ‘double hairdryer’ at HT but Liam Shiels came out and kicked two as Hawthorn went three straight to start the quarter. A steadier from Trent Dumont gave some nervous North fans a breather, but a double to Luke Breust and and a major to Isaac Smith has the Hawks roaring home.

They trailed 75-18 at half-time don’t forget, but they’ve brought this one back to just 27 points! Remarkable, and what a quarter we have in store here.

Roos and Hawks players square up
What looked a procession early on has turned into a proper arm wrestle. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images


Quarter-time: Brisbane Lions 2.3 (15) trail Gold Coast Suns 4.2 (26)

It’s first blood Suns in the AFL’s “Queensland derby”, who finished the quarter progressively stronger after the home side opened the scoring.

Lewis Taylor and Zac Bailey the men to give home fans something approaching hope not sadness, but a double to Darcy MacPherson and goals to Tom Lynch and Brayden Fiorini gives the Suns a slight advantage. Plenty more to come here.

Half-time: Cronulla Sharks 10-6 Penrith Panther

Now isn’t this an interesting contest; just as the Panthers looked to be building ascendency it’s the Sharks who have hit back.

Penrith have enjoyed nearly 60% possession and at times were really hammering the Cronulla tryline, but a try to Scott Sorensen with 28 minutes gone – converted by his brother-in-law Chad Townsend (fun fact) gives the home side the lead. Nice moment for Sorensen, he’s gone something like three years since his last NRL game, and his teammates gave him a big cuddle when he went over. Lovely.

Cronulla Sharks players celebrate a try
Sharks players getting around their boy Scott Sorensen. Photograph: Mark Evans/Getty Images


Half-time: Brumbies 10-13 Jaguares

Better viewing here if you’re a Brumbies fan, with two late tries to fullback Tom Banks giving the home side a bit of momentum just before the break.

It’s been a typically aggressive start from the Argentinians who have almost bullied the Brumbies. Captain David Pocock has come more into the contest as the half has progressed however, and if not for some conversion misses the Australians could have gone in ahead. Nicely poised here in Canberra therefore.

Ball up! Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast Suns

And we’ve got overlapping AFL games and I’ve officially run out of televisions, phones and radios to monitor all these concurrent matches.

Lets face it though, Lions will lose this right? Let’s work on that theory. It sure worked for that hot tip on the Hawks earlier.

Try! Cronulla Sharks 4-6 Penrith Panthers

Well, they weathered an early storm, did Penrith, but they momentum has definitely swung the way of the side currently boasting five wins from six, especially after the key involvement of another former Panther, this time with the loss of Luke Lewis to injury for the Sharks.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak making the most of some fine work by Dean Whare as the Panthers hit the lead. A disallowed try let off for them as well, so the Bunker rightly making it one a piece on that front.

Half-time: North Melbourne 11.9 (75) lead Hawthorn 3.0 (18)

Wowee. Alastair Clarkson gave his side an absolute revving at quarter-time, and when a Roos error allowed Jarman Impey to kick the first of the quarter for the Hawks inside 70 seconds it looked like we could have a contest back on our hands.

But we’ve had eight consecutive and unanswered scoring efforts from North, to see the Roos pick up where they left off – Shaun Atley, Billy Hartung, a fourth to Brown and a second to Waite doing the damage.

This is turning into a shellacking, in utter keeping with the topsy-turvy start we’ve seen to this 2018 AFL season!

Bad start: Brumbies 0-13 Jaguares

No, no, no, don’t you bloody dare. We’re about 15 gone down in the nation’s capital and the visiting Argentinians are scoring at almost a point-a-minute!

A try after just four minutes to Matias Orlando but it’s been the Nicolas Sanchez show early on. It was his bust that led to the try, and the fly-half has added the extras with a successful conversion and two penalties as well.

Jaguares cross first in the Super Rugby
Matias Orlando opens the scoring for the Jaguares. Photograph: Rohan Thomson/EPA


Try! Cronulla Sharks 4-0 Penrith Panthers

They’ve started brightly here the home side, and it’s the Sharks who draw first blood (arf arf) as Valentine Holmes crosses with just five minutes gone! No extras from the sideline.

And a big video ref examination denies a second try – a one-on-one strip attempt in-goal from former Panthers fullback Matty Moylan almost makes it potentially 10-0, but The Bunker adjudicates it a knock on.

Kick-off! Brumbies v Jaguares

And we’re also underway at GIO stadium in Canberra, as the Brumbies carry the weight of a nation, a nation that’s really sick of losing rugby union games. Thankfully, there’s no way the ACT outfit could lose to the team bottom of the South African conference, right? RIGHT?

Kick-off! Cronulla Sharks v Penrith Panthers

With the Dragons feeling the full force of the new look, who dat, New Zealand Warriors earlier this weekend it’s the Panthers who are now eyeing a share of the NRL ladder lead, but standing in their way is the Cronulla Sharks.

Who will emerge on top? Find out here!


Full-time: Parramatta Eels 44-10 Manly Sea Eagles

And that’s that! They got absolutely pantsed in Round 2 by the Sea Eagles, but after a week of soul searching and some shake ups at the club the Eels look a very different prospect after this.

Conversely, the Sea Eagles could now be in all sorts. Stories of player ill-discipline of their own behind the scenes are evidently not helping; a big few weeks ahead for Trent Barrett and his staff.

Quarter-time: North Melbourne 7.5 (47) lead Hawthorn 2.0 (12)

Okay, hands up who picked this one.

Here I was thinking the Eels coming out and being world beaters was unlikely, but did anyone think the Hawks would get seven goals put on them in a quarter?!

Ben Brown has led the line for the Roos shooting 3.0, but Jarrad Waite, Jack Ziebell (two) and Cameron Zuhaar have all helped themselves. Wow. what a start for the Roos!

Try! Parramatta Eels 42-10 Manly Sea Eagles

And here he is – like a Godot that actually rocks up, this game is no longer Waiting for Guffman – the new co-captain has a try of his own, and aren’t they celebrating this one!

He strikes you as a popular lad (relative to Jackson Hastings at least) and once again it’s Moses who was instrumental.

This is turning into a tale of two footy clubs here; maybe Manly can ask the Parra boys what went down this week and see if they can try and replicate it?

Try! Parramatta Eels 36-6 Manly Sea Eagles

A sixth try, and a sixth different tryscorer, they’re carving the Sea Eagles open at will. For the very slightest of seconds it looked like Manly was about to arrest this one-way event as Brad Parker registered their first points, but a simple backline move and over strolls Kenny Edwards for the Eels. It’s turning into a procession.

Parramatta Eels players celebrate a try
Parramatta Eels players celebrate their sixth try of the day. Photograph: Brendan Esposito/AAP


Try! Parramatta Eels 30-0 Manly Sea Eagles

There was plenty of talk about the chances the Eels had looked to make this week, we mentioned it pre-game. But let’s be honest – would even diehard fans have expected this?

Michael Jennings gets in on the brothers’ act as he reels in a smart chip kick from Moses. This could get very ugly for the Eagles, who with the Cowboys and now the Eels (presumably) wining might start to get very nervous about become NRL 2018’s whipping boys.

Ball up! North Melbourne v Hawthorn

And we’re underway in the AFL! It’s ten plays four, with a big win here giving the Hawks the chance to go top after GWS’s remarkable draw yesterday against St Kilda.

They’re expecting around 25,000 in – should be a good game.

Hawthorn players run through a pre-game banner
Hawthorn run out through a banner commemorating the upcoming Anzac Day. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images


Try! Parramatta Eels 26-0 Manly Sea Eagles

My, oh my. It’s all coming up Eels-house now.

Corey Norman, a player who’s been in the spotlight lately with whirling rumours of having fallen out with fellow players, with coaching staff, of wanting a move away.

Well, he’s carved through the Sea Eagles defence like a hot knife through butter there. Nothing complex, he received, he ran, he saw half a gap and he made it count.

Is this a season-defining turning point from the Eels?

To some tennis news out of Wollongong, where Ash Barty has backed up yesterday’s heroics for Australia in the Fed Cup, win the crucial win over Netherlands’ No1 Lesley Kerkhove.

After the Dutchman shocked Sam Stosur yesterday, it was down to Barty to level the ledger against the delightfully named Quirine Lemoine. She did so, and today she’s just beaten Kerkhove too, 6-4, 6-2.

Australia now takes a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five-match indoor tie at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre, where a win in the reverse singles from Daria Gavrilova can secure Australia’s return to the eight-nation World Group in 2019.

Half-time: Parramatta Eels 20-0 Manly Sea Eagles

Try, Parramatta!

Welly, well. Some quick thinking from the play-the-ball, but what were Manly doing? Kaysa Pritchard burrowing into the marker who failed to retreat, and they’ve let the diminutive playmaker stroll over.

What a turnaround we’ve got on here – and that’s half-time!

Parramatta players celebrate
Kaysa Pritchard celebrates his try just before half-time. Photograph: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images


Try! Parramatta Eels 14-0 Manly Sea Eagles

And they’re in again! A terrific floated pass from Moses once more, and he cuts out two defenders to put in on the chest of George Jennings.

He’s then gone and slotted the kick from the sideline, terrific conversion – where’s this confidence been all season?!


First big input from new co-captain, the Guff. Manly with a lunge at the line and a fingertip intervention from Parra’s versatile back dislodges the ball over the stripe.

Bad news for the Hayne Plane – he’s left the field with an injury he picked up during that the try. Possibly a hip flexor? He heads up the tunnel, absolutely gutted.


Try! Parramatta Eels 8-0 Manly Sea Eagles

And they hit back straight away! The play seemed to have broken down, but Mitchell Moses went on a mazy lateral run; he teased and probed before putting it on the chest of Hayne. He moved it quickly to Manu Ma’u and the Eels are in! Moses adds the extras, game on.

Manu Ma’u crosses for the opener
Manu Ma’u crosses for the opener with a prone Jarryd Hayne injured in backplay. Photograph: Brendan Esposito/AAP


No try!

Sheesh, they’re lucky here the Eels. First play after the 40-20 and Manly have walked over!

They’ve called it back for obstruction, but two Eels defenders still missed their tackles, and it’s questionable whether the third (who was adjudged to have been impeded) could have got there anyway!

Unlucky for Trent Barrett’s men, what a let off for the Eels.

We’re about twenty down and it’s all Parramatta so far. They’re dominated possession and territory, completing their sets and keeping the Sea Eagles largely pinned in their own half.

The only concern you’d have if you’re Brad Arthur so far is that they haven’t made this dominance count on the scoreboard.

Tell you what I’d love to see today though. A bit of Jarryd ‘pre-travels’ Hayne razzle dazzle on the wing for the Eels.

And as we speak, a 40-20 from Cherry-Evans. Gotta hate skill players who can individually turn a contest. What can Manly do from this?

Parramatta Eels 2-0 Manly Sea Eagles

This hasn’t been too shabby from the Eels, we’re about ten in and they’ve twice come dangerously close to breaching the Sea Eagle’s line.

Only a terrific tackle on the tryline from Tom Trbojevic prevent the Eels from going in in the corner, and after four penalties, a talking to from the referee to Daly Cherry-Evans for consistently slowing the play.

They eventually decide to take the kick, and no mistake for the first points of the game.

Corey Norman in action for the Eels
Corey Norman looks to fire the Eels to their first win. Photograph: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images


Kick-off! Parramatta v Manly

And we’re underway in our first contest of the day, where it’s NRL action and the winless Eels looking for their first win of the season against the team sitting in 11th.

Some big changes during the week for the Eels as they look to arrest their slide. Clint “the Guff” Gutherson has been named as a third co-captain as Brad Arthur looks to get the best from his playing group. David Kidwell, the former New Zealand nation team coach has also joined the backroom staff as the club desperately looks to freshen up their thinking.

And, it’s so far, so good on the pitch. We’re five minutes in and they haven’t lost yet!


Hi one, hi all! Another big day of sport as we decide the second A-League elimination final between ‘original derby’ rivals Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United.

We’ll also see whether Parramatta Eels are ready to win their first NRL game of the season, whether the Hawks can keep pace with West Coast in the AFL, and whether the Brumbies can save face for Australian rugby on another ‘weekend horribilis’ as they take on the Jaguares.

There was a veritable feast of football on last night – if you missed any of that check out yesterday’s rolling report, otherwise get the kettle on, pre-warm your dressing gown because we’ve plenty in store this afternoon/tonight.

As always, this is a train ride where talking on mobile phones and communicating with friends is encouraged. Shoot me an email at or find me on twitter under @rrjparkin.

Fun facts, niche observations and Archbishop of Banterbury-worthy contributions all encouraged.



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