Wallabies channel their inner Gandalf

I’ve got my annual health check on Wednesday. I could probably cancel it. Because the Wallabies’ game against Wales is as rigorous a heart stress test as you’ll get anywhere. There we were, six points ahead with 20 minutes to go. The Welsh had thrown the kitchen sink at us but hadn’t broken our line….

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What Ashes?

How big a plonker is Danny Cipriani feeling at the moment? He’s the English rugby player who said not one Wallaby would make it into England’s World Cup  side. Coming from a bloke who didn’t make it into the England side. “England’s players know what they can do,” said Danny boy in the lead-up to…

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The stinky business of the Rio Olympics

Remember that Seinfeld episode where Kramer swims in the East River and an onlooker mistakes him for a dead body on the grounds that no one would be stupid enough to swim in such fetid waters? That’s next year’s Olympics. Not to put too fine a point on it but nearly 1,400 sailors, rowers, kayakers,…

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We’ll come a-waltzing, Matildas

“Holy sh*t. Holy sh*t!” was how US sports website Deadspin began its match report on Australia’s defeat of Brazil in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. It was that big a deal, the first time an Aussie team, male or female, had won a World Cup knockout game. And to do it, they had secured Brazil’s…

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The one thing missing from women’s soccer

If there’s one thing that stands out about the FIFA Women’s World Cup, it’s the distinct lack of diving. There are no amateur dramatics like this. Maybe it’s because there’s not enough pay in the women’s game to cover acting lessons. Or because throwing yourself around on artificial turf is like going ten rounds with…

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Women’s soccer far from a level playing field

After a week of arrests and resignations at the highest level of the game, FIFA has some actual football to focus on. The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off in Canada over the weekend, not a moment too soon for soccer’s embattled ‘governing’ — if you’ll pardon the looseness of the language — body. There…

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Cometh the hour…

When Michael Clarke announced Sunday’s World Cup final would be his last one-day international,  one New Zealand cricket writer accused him of hijacking the occasion. His name’s Jonathan Millmow. Yep, I’d never heard of him either. Millmow played for New Zealand for a nanosecond 25 years ago. He never made the Test team but took…

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An NZ quinella? No way, bro.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was taking a little too much pleasure in England’s departure from the Cricket World Cup, a Pommy colleague desperate to shut me up said something that stopped me mid-sledge. “You do realise,” he said, “that the Kiwis could end up winning both World Cups.” Oh crap, I thought….

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