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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 5 July, 2020

View from Down Under: end of the line for Rocky this season

While his former Leinster team-mates took European glory this weekend, the Brumbies man suffered another injury in Australia.

Image: Inpho

Super Rugby

If, like me, you were sick of talk about the bloody ‘rapture’ on Saturday evening, you would have been looking for entertainment that was in no way related.

Thankfully the Western Force and the Brumbies were on hand to provide perfect escapism with their Super Rugby clash which ended up 13 points apiece.

The game between two Aussie sides was by no means a classic but was interesting right until the end when Wallaby James O’Connor missed a penalty to win it for the Force in the final minutes.

The Brumbies suffered a huge blow in the aftermath of the game with news that former Leinster man Rocky Elsom may have played his last game of the season after suffering an ankle injury.

Elsom has only just returned from six months out with a hamstring injury. Of the other three Australian sides, the table-topping Queensland Reds enjoyed a week off, while the Waratahs overcame the Lions and the Rebels suffered another defeat, this time to the Cheetahs in South Africa.


Geelong remain the only undefeated side following a tense 102-100 win over Carlton in the big Friday night game.

Indeed, Carlton ruckman Robbie Warnock had a chance to win the game for his side with the last kick of the game but could only shank his set shot wide for a minor score.

However it emerged later that Warnock was suffering from concussion at the time following an earlier hit to the head and he spent the night in hospital for observation.

The win keeps the Cats top of the pile ahead of Collingwood who had to come from behind to see off a hard working Adelaide side. One of the big talking points of the weekend was West Coast’s 123-point win over the Western Bulldogs.

Eagle Josh Kennedy kicked 10 goals for the hosts, with his personal haul of 63 points a higher total than the Bulldogs managed for the game which they lost 175-52.

It was another step on the road to revival for the Eagles who finished bottom of the ladder in 2010.In the aftermath of the game, Bulldogs President David Smorgan apologised to the club’s fans for the embarrassing defeat.

“We all share the disappointment and embarrassment of losing a game by 123 points, our fourth worst loss in the club’s history and our worst since 1996,” he said.

“The players are aware that they have let you, the club, themselves and the jumper down, but despite this loss our season is NOT over.” Star forward Lance Franklin continued his great return to form, kicking six goals in Hawthorn’s win over Sydney, while also taking maximum points this weekend were St Kilda, Fremantle, Richmond and Brisbane.


Once again Australia’s best hope of a Grand Slam champion is Samantha Stosur following the first round of matches at the French Open. Stosur’s 6-2, 6-3 first round win over Iveta Benesova has gotten her campaign off to a great start as she hopes to go one better than last year’s final defeat to Francesca Schiavone.

Perth’s Casey Dellacqua crashed out at the first hurdle following a 7-5, 6-3 defeat to the 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova.  In the men’s draw, former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt has been forced to pull out of Roland Garros due to a knee injury which has forced him to miss the last two months on the tour.

Teenager Bernard Tomic, a wildcard entrant, is now the only male representative left and faces a tough ask to maintain the nation’s proud record of having a men’s singles player reach the second round at every French Open since 1949.

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About the author:

Neil Sherwin

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