GWS in stunning AFL win, Tigers surrender

AFL premiership favourites Greater Western Sydney stormed home on Saturday to claim an astonishing three-point win, breaking Richmond’s hearts with the help of a late score review.


GWS booted the final six goals of the game at Spotless Stadium, making the most of a final-quarter capitulation from the Tigers to triumph 11.12 (78) to 10.15 (75).

“It’s tough. It’s heartbreaking,” Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said after his side lost a third-straight match by less than a goal.

“You can look at it both ways. We’ve lost to the Bulldogs by a kick; we’ve lost to GWS by a kick. I walk away as a coach incredibly proud of our boys … they battled as hard as they could for as long as they could.

“We should have won.”

GWS counterpart Leon Cameron, whose side toppled Collingwood last week in similar thrilling fashion, agreed.

“We didn’t play well. Richmond should have won. They were better than us throughout the game,” Cameron said.

“We were in front for a minute out of 120. It’s a ruthless game … you need a little bit of luck.

“We’ve got a good, steely resolve which is pleasing. It’s very hard to train.”

The comeback was all the more meritorious – or miserable if you’re a Richmond supporter – because GWS big man Rory Lobb was out of action for most of the second half.

Richmond dominated the first term, kicking two goals in the opening minute then shooting out to a 31-point lead. GWS lifted after quarter-time as the contest became an arm wrestle.

The visitors held a 27-point lead early in the final quarter then simply stopped, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory a week after David Mundy trumped them with an after-the-siren goal.

Despite Richmond’s wobbles, their debutant Shai Bolton looked to have kicked the sealer late.

Both sides were back in the middle for a centre bounce when video officials judged Bolton’s snap to have been touched off the boot by fellow first-gamer Harry Perryman.

Nathan Wilson took the kick-in. The Giants rushed the ball straight to Jeremy Cameron, who kicked truly.

“We let ourselves down badly with that last play and that’s all you get remembered for, unfortunately,” Hardwick said.

“It’s not my job to run the score review. I wish I did.

“We’ll certainly focus on that last play, that last couple of minutes.

“You learn a lot from these sort of losses.”

The Tigers could only blame themselves for the staggering surrender. They managed just 4.14 after kicking 6.1 early, with Jack Riewoldt and Dustin Martin missing set shots they’d so often convert.

Alex Rance was involved in so much of what Richmond did well and held a couple of clutch marks in the frantic final minutes, but the defensive general couldn’t drag his side over the line.

Lachie Whitfield and Josh Kelly tallied a combined 62 disposals for GWS, helping them make it consecutive last-gasp victories.

Cherry-Evans stars in Manly win

An injury to Nate Myles couldn’t dampen Manly’s night as they thrashed Gold Coast 30- 10 in a match packed with State of Origin hopefuls.


Myles left the field at the end of the first half with a knee injury and only returned to shake hands at the end of the game.

Titans co-captain and close friend of Myles, Ryan James spoke to the former Titan and doesn’t think the injury is serious.

“It was just knee on knee and it was contact, we couldn’t really do too much about, it’s a contact sport – he’ll probably be back next week,” James said.

Manly coach Trent Barrett ruled out any major ligament damage but is unsure whether Myles will be fit for Origin camp, which will be announced on Monday.

“He’s pretty disappointed. We should know more when we get home… But it’s not ACL or PCL stuff, it’s from a collision,” Barrett said.

The clash at Cbus Super Stadium saw Origin hopefuls Daly Cherry-Evans, Jarryd Hayne and Jarrod Wallace all feature.

Cherry-Evans was the pick of the contenders, setting up three tries and says Origin wasn’t the motivation going into this game.

“I like exceeding expectations and tonight was a great team performance and I was able to play well and be a part of that. I guess off the back of a few snide remarks it felt good to play well,” Cherry-Evans said.

“(Origin) hasn’t been a priority, it has been a goal but it’s not been a priority.”

The Manly halfback was heavily criticised by former Queensland representative Gorden Tallis who said Cherry-Evans should not be considered for Origin due to his inability to perform at that level.

When asked what else Cherry-Evans could do to prove his ability for Queensland the Manly coach quickly jumped to his defence.

“I think he should be there, if you look at everything, all the halfbacks have done this year – he’s been equal if not better than a lot of them,” Barrett said.

Cherry-Evans produced long passes to devastating effect, finding Akuila Uate in the 12th minute for Manly’s first try before backing that up with another ball to Uate who gave a simple hand off to Dylan Walker for their second in the 20th minute.

It was a different story for Titans playmaker and former NSW fullback Hayne who looked tired as the Gold Coast failed to build on their three-match winning streak.

Since being shunted out of position and playing in the centres Hayne has been one of the Titans’ top performers in wins over Melbourne, Cronulla and Newcastle but failed to make a major impact on the game.

Manly’s Jake Trbojevic and Gold Coast’s Wallace both furthered their push for an Origin debut with Wallace running for 124m and Trbojevic a staggering 181m.

Pippa marries at almost-royal event

Pippa Middleton has made it to the church on time for her wedding to a wealthy financier with a party of senior royals, including her sister, looking on.


She and hedge fund manager James Matthews are marrying a church in rural England.

The wedding party includes Prince George, a page boy at 3, and 2-year-old Princess Charlotte, a bridesmaid. Both were wearing special outfits when they arrived with their mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa’s sister.

Prince William and Prince Harry arrived together wearing formal suits. Matthews arrived shortly before his bride-to-be in formal wear.

Middleton came to the church accompanied by her father Michael in a vintage convertible.

She was wearing a custom wedding gown designed by Giles Deacon, a long veil by prominent hat-maker Stephen Jones, and a tiara.

Father and daughter had a quiet moment together before entering the church.

Tennis star Roger Federer and his wife were among the guests.

Well-wishers and hordes of reporters gathered outside the church grounds on a day of sporadic rain mixed with periods of sunshine.

The ceremony was at St Mark’s Church in Englefield, west of London, to be followed by a private reception at the bride’s parents’ estate in nearby Bucklebury.

The airspace above both villages has been closed to prevent intrusive press crews flying overhead or launching drones to get video footage.

There is speculation Harry will bring his American girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle, to the reception.

Their relationship has become serious in recent months, with Harry speaking out to ask the press to respect their privacy.

Magpies clinch Super Netball semis berth

Sharpshooter Caitlin Thwaites has helped to secure Collingwood a berth in the Super Netball semi-finals, with the Magpies recording a thrilling 49-42 victory over a gallant West Coast Fever at Perth Arena.


In an overwhelming performance, Thwaites connected on her first 24 attempts and scored the Magpies’ first 32 goals on Saturday night to be the difference between the two teams.

Thwaites, the leading scorer in the competition, overpowered Fever goalkeeper Courtney Bruce to connect 45 from 48 shots overall.

The win lifts the Magpies three points clear of the fifth-placed Queensland Firebirds and ensures they finish fourth, regardless of what happens next week during the 14th and final round.

The Magpies were sharper throughout and threatened to pull away several times in the first half, when they led by nine goals midway through the second stanza. However, fuelled by a near capacity crowd and playing against several former teammates, the Fever were unwavering and levelled the scores in the third term to set up a thrilling finish.

The Magpies led by just two goals with four minutes remaining before ex-Fever player Shae Brown broke local hearts with a clutch conversion as the visitors pulled away to seal victory.

The Fever showed plenty of pluck during a second-half fightback but goal attack Kate Beveridge (24 from 31) was unable to match Thwaites’ peerless shooting. She faced tight pressure from star Magpie defender Sharni Layton, who displayed trademark hustle with three intercepts and eight deflections.

Sitting second last on the ladder with just two wins, the Fever’s season ends next Saturday night against the Melbourne Vixens at home.

Trump in Saudi on first foreign trip

Donald Trump has opened his first presidential foreign trip in Saudi Arabia and won a warm reception while looking to shift attention from a political firestorm over his firing of former FBI Director James Comey.


Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz greeted him on a red carpet as he stepped off Air Force One on Saturday, shaking the hand of his wife, Melania, and riding in the US presidential limousine.

It was a warmer welcome than had been granted to Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, who was seen in the Arab kingdom as soft on Iran and hesitant on Syria.

Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, the Vatican and Belgium has been billed by the White House as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world’s major religions, while giving Trump time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders.

But uproar in Washington cast a long shadow over the trip.

The president’s firing of Comey and the appointment of a special counsel to investigate his campaign’s ties to Russia last year have triggered a stream of bad headlines.

The New York Times reported Trump had called Comey a “nut job” in a private meeting last week in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak.

The White House did not deny the report but said “the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations”.

In another development, the Washington Post said a current White House official close to Trump was a significant “person of interest” in the investigation into possible ties between Trump’s presidential campaign last year and Russia.

Trump and King Salman seemed at ease, chatting through an interpreter. At the royal al-Yamama palace, the king decorated Trump with the King Abdulaziz medal, the country’s top civilian honour.

The two leaders exchanged tweets, Trump saying it was great to be in Riyadh and King Salman welcoming him.

“Mr. President, your visit will strengthen our strategic cooperation, lead to global security and stability,” King Salman said in a message on his official Twitter account in Arabic and English.

Trump’s decision to make his first official trip abroad to Saudi Arabia, followed by Israel, countries which both share his antagonism towards Iran, marks a contrast with Obama’s approach.

Trump’s criticism of the nuclear deal Iran reached with the US and five other world powers in 2015 pleases both Saudi Arabia and Israel, who accused Obama on “going soft” on Tehran.

Poll results showed on Saturday Iranians had emphatically re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, architect of Iran’s still-fragile detente with the West.

After a royal banquet, Trump and the king were to have private talks and participate in a signing ceremony for a number of US-Saudi agreements, including a $US100 billion ($A134 billion) deal for Saudi Arabia to buy American arms.

National oil giant Saudi Aramco was expected to sign $US50 billion of deals with US companies on Saturday.