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Dublin: 17 °C Monday 17 June, 2019
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View from Oz: Bhoys go west as Gers get a kick in

Ranger fans reminded Celtic who the champions are despite the Hoops being thousands of miles from Ibrox.

Neil Lennon: shrugged off the stunt.
Neil Lennon: shrugged off the stunt.
Image: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Soccer

PERTH WAS TURNED green and white for the weekend as thousands of Glasgow Celtic fans descended on NIB Stadium for a friendly against Perth Glory. The Bhoys ran out comfortable 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Gary Hooper and Charlie Mulgrew on what was a chilly winter night with temperatures that would have been quite familiar to the SPL side.

Local Rangers fans couldn’t resist the opportunity to wind up their Old Firm rivals, organising a plane to fly over the stadium before kick off which sported a banner that read “Rangers FC Champions! 3 in a row”. I was lucky enough to be present at the post match press conference and Celtic boss Neil Lennon was a bit bemused at the effort the Gers supporters went to.

“Well you’d think they’d have better things to do like following their team in Germany than paying a lot of money to noise us up,” he said. “I think they’re a wee bit obsessed with us at the minute.”

Celtic are now in Melbourne where they will take on the Victory on Wednesday in their final game of the three match tour.

AFL

Having gone 13 games undefeated, Geelong slumped to their second loss in as many games at the hands of the West Coast Eagles at Patersons Stadium on Friday night. Despite being an Eagles supporter and club member, I tipped against my own side believing that the Cats would claim a rebound win after the previous round’s loss to Essendon.

However West Coast put in another sparkling performance to make it seven wins from the last eight games with 10 different players kicking goals in the eight point victory.

Meanwhile, Gold Coast lost again, this time to Sydney, and are now sweating over the fitness of star player Gary Ablett who left the field with a knee injury. However early scans have revealed no structural damage which is good news for a club looking to pick itself up from a 106-36 mauling.

Speaking of maulings, North Melbourne suffered a 147-30 thrashing at the hands of Collingwood who booted 22 goals in the process. Steele Sidebottom helped himself to four majors while selecting Dane Swan as your Dream Team captain would’ve been an inspired choice as he racked up 39 possessions.

In the other games there were wins for Hawthorn, St. Kilda, the Western Bulldogs and Essendon, for whom Heath Hocking took a fantastic pack mark.

Super Rugby

The Queensland Reds claimed their first ever Super Rubgy crown with a hard-fought 18-13 win over the Crusaders on Friday. After a quiet opening half hour or so the game sprung to life when Kiwi superstar Dan Carter kicked through for himself to score the game’s opening try.

After the out half traded penalties with his opposite number Quade Cooper, the Reds crossed for their first five pointer when Digby Ioane burst through the defence to score under the posts for a 13-10 lead. In typical Carter fashion however, the game was tied via another accurate penalty to leave the majority of the 52,113 crowd at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane fearing the worst.

However they needn’t have worried too much as a fantastic solo run from Wille Genia, which began inside his own 10-metre line, sealed the win with 10 minutes left on the clock.

“We knew the Crusaders would just keep coming, they’re a quality side but I’m just lost for words,” said Reds skipper James Horwill. “This team, all year people have doubted us and said we couldn’t do it. Well tonight I think we showed them we can. And we did it.”

Rain forces cancellation of Ireland’s tri-series opener>

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Neil Sherwin

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