Sport Saturday's Premiership round-up
AFL Tigers' Soldo signs three-year deal
Richmond have locked away ruckman Ivan Soldo on a new three-year contract as they prepare for the loss of Mabior Chol and likely Callum Coleman-Jones.Richmond's tall stocks are set to take a serious hit this off-season, with Mabior Chol to join Gold Coast as a free agent and Callum Coleman-Jones tipped to also depart via a trade to North Melbourne.
We round up Saturday's action in the Gallagher Premiership, which saw Newcastle Falcons, Harlequins, Northampton Saints and Wasps all earn victories... Bath 13-20 Newcastle Falcons
Adam Radwan will report for England duty on Sunday after another try-scoring performance as Newcastle beat Gallagher Premiership opponents Bath at the Recreation Ground.
The 23-year-old wing, who pounced for a try hat-trick on his England debut against Canada this summer, scored a superb solo effort that left Bath floundering.
Sons and nephews of former greats set to make new memories in this weekend's AFL grand final
Sons, nephews and brothers of Aussie Rules stars will run out in the AFL grand final as family fuels tonight's decider.First, it makes you feel old, then you start to enjoy hearing those familiar names.
Radwam, who now links up with England as part of a 45-man training squad, struck during a dominant first-half display by the Falcons.
He was followed over the Bath line by fellow wing Iwan Stephens and hooker George McGuigan, while fly-half Will Haydon-Wood kicked a penalty and conversion.
Bath, minus half-backs Danny Cipriani and Ben Spencer, offered little in attack apart from some creative flair shown by centre Max Ojomoh, who claimed a try nine minutes from time, with Orlando Bailey adding two penalties and a conversion.
It was a second successive Premiership defeat for Bath ahead of a west country derby against Bristol Bears next Friday, but Newcastle built impressively on a battling display against league champions Harlequins six days ago.
Melbourne Demons take on Western Bulldogs in 2021 AFL grand final
Melbourne Demons and Western Bulldogs AFL players have arrived at Optus Stadium for the biggest game of their lives ahead of a historic night for the code. The AFL grand final is being held in Perth for the first time due to the latest Covid-19 outbreak in Melbourne on a day Victoria recorded 847 new cases, its highest spike in daily infections.The Western Australian capital has been blanketed in a sea of blue, red and white ahead of the grand final showdown between minor premiers Melbourne Demons and Western Bulldogs, who go into the clash as underdogs.
Exeter 24-26 Northampton Saints
George Furbank kicked a last-minute penalty to send last season's runners-up Exeter to a second defeat in the opening two weeks of the new Premiership campaign as they lost at home to Northampton.
It was also Northampton's second success at Sandy Park in the calendar year as they triumphed 13-12 back in February.
Alex Mitchell and Matt Procter scored their tries with James Grayson kicking two penalties and two conversions with Furbank adding the two late crucial penalties after moving to fly-half following Grayson being replaced by Tom Freeman.
Exeter outscored their opponents in terms of tries by scoring three with Jack Maunder, Don Armand and Rus Tuima on the scoresheet, with Joe Simmonds converting all three and adding a penalty.
Yet it was the Saints who were celebrating at full time, despite being temporarily down to 14 men just before half-time after Sam Matavesi was sin-binned for a no-arms tackle.
Cox becomes first woman to referee Premiership match
Sara Cox became the first woman to referee a Premiership Rugby match as she oversaw Harlequins' 35-29 victory over Worcester Warriors. It was a tidy afternoon from the official, who has previously run the touchline 11 times and acted as TMO twice. © PA Sara Cox made Premiership Rugby history at The Stoop on Saturday Cox was made to wait for her debut as she was originally selected to referee Worcester versus Gloucester in June, which was cancelled due to coronavirus.
Harlequins 35-29 Worcester Warriors
England prospects Louis Lynagh and Alex Dombrandt scored tries in front of Eddie Jones but it was Harlequins' scrum and a South African who were the real stars of a victory over Worcester.
Lynagh and Dombrandt celebrated Tuesday's selection in Jones' first training squad ahead of the looming autumn series by touching down in a one-sided first half at Twickenham Stoop.
Cadan Murley also crossed to establish a 21-3 interval lead and while the Premiership champions went on to claim the bonus point through Joe Marchant, Worcester hit back through Ollie Lawrence, Willi Heinz and Will Chudley.
Twice the Warriors trailed by 18 points but heading into the last 10 minutes the deficit had been reduced to four through some enterprising play, only for lock Dino Lamb to dash their hopes by surging over the line late on.
Had it not been for their complete dominance at the scrum, which was a reliable source of points and penalties throughout, Quins might have been in trouble in their search for a second win of the season.
Goodwin's journey to AFL premiership coach
Having found himself under significant pressure in consecutive AFL off-seasons, Simon Goodwin has evolved to become a premiership coach and a Demons immortal.A throwaway line from Simon Goodwin on the eve of the AFL grand final revealed how Melbourne's newest premiership coach has evolved.
Although his influence eventually faded, former Springbok Andre Esterhuizen was a powerful presence in midfield as he broke the gainline time and again just days after signing a new contract.
A slice of history was made when Sara Cox became the first woman to referee a Premiership match and it was a tidy afternoon from the official, who has previously run the touchline 11 times and acted as TMO twice.Wasps 44-8 Bristol Bears
Ali Crossdale scored two tries on his debut as Wasps kicked off their Premiership campaign with an impressive thumping of Bristol Bears.
Wasps had the opening weekend off but ensured it was worth the wait for the crowd inside the CBS Arena as some clinical finishing and superb defence helped them dispatch last year's semi-finalists.
They did have captain Brad Shields, another of their try scorers, sent off for a second yellow card in the closing stages, but by that point, the result was in the bag against a Bristol side who have now lost both of their fixtures this season.
Along with Crossdale's double, fellow debutant and replacement hooker Dan Frost raced over in the second half, while with Tom Willis went clear from Josh Bassett's offload to seal the bonus point after Shields was dismissed before Zach Kibirige took advantage of a Bristol fumble off the final play.
Tom McDonald's family brims with pride after Melbourne's drought-breaking premiership
Tom McDonald's family are the first to admit there's been "a lot of ups and downs" in the road to Melbourne's drought-breaking premiership. Tom will forever be remembered as the player that kicked the match's final goal after the siren, securing the final margin of 74 points, the Demons' biggest win ever in a grand final.It marked the highpoint in an emotional rollercoaster of a year for the McDonalds of Edenhope, characterised by lockdowns, border closures, good neighbours and fresh starts.Try and script itTom was drafted in November 2010, debuting late the following year.
Callum Sheedy's third-minute penalty and Max Lahiff forcing his way over from close range accounted for Bristol's only scores at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
Footy fans flock to Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium for NRL grand final .
Thousands of footy fans have made their way to Suncorp Stadium on a historic night for the NRL. The grand final between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers is the first time the NRL decider has been played outside Sydney.A reduced crowd of 39,000 footy fans will fill Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium after 13,000 ticket-holders were locked out earlier in the week due to the Queensland's latest Covid-19 outbreak.There is plenty of support for both Sydney clubs in the stands as footy fans donning team jerseys, flags, face masks and banners arrive in their droves.