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Autumn Internationals: England 32-15 Australia – all the action as it unfolded at Twickenham



Credit: England Rugby Instagram

England outplayed the Australians at Twickenham on Saturday Evening as The Lions retained the Cook Cup.

Despite defeating the visitors by larger margins in the past, a dazzling England performance lit up the London sky. The home side have now won eight successive games in this fixture since 2016 and left fans purring as new star Marcus Smart put on an impressive display.

Freddie Steward and Jamie Blamire also shone as England put aside a tough Australian side who were still damaged from their unexpected loss to Scotland last week.

Eddie Jones, who was earlier under fire after remarks made about Tennis star Emma Radacanu, enjoyed another win over his former team as his side helped themselves to tries in both halves – securing another memorable victory against the Aussies. 

Before kick-off there was a growing sense of optimism and although some players may have featured out of position, the home side didn’t disappoint. 

Owen Farrell returned to kick five penalties and two conversions despite missing the first Autumn International due to a false positive COVID-19 result. Man-of-the-match Steward and starlet Blamire scored tries for the Lions and new fan-favourite Smart also kicked two conversions.

All of Australia’s points came courtesy of James O’Connor’s boot.

The first try along with the reliable kicking of Farrell gave the hosts a good first-half points total. But, the inspired penalty kicking of O’Connor kept the Wallabies in the clash with the score at 16-12 going into the break. 

A rapid response to fly-half O’Connor’s early second half penalty saw England run away with the lead as Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell added to the scoreboard. Replacement hooker Jamie Blamire sealed the deal with a score on the final play to extend the Lions’ unbeaten run against the Aussies. 

Jones will be pleased to get one over on his homeland once again, but there are some major injury concerns going into next weeks clash with world champions South Africa in a repeat of the final in Japan. 

England had to make yet more enforced changes to their announced starting line-up with Ellis Genge testing positive for Covid-19 just two days before the clash – earlier in the week Joe Marler was ruled out for the same issue. Bevan Rodd received his first Test start as a result. 

Rodd’s first game didn’t start off as planned. He was penalised for obstruction which gave veteran O’Connor the opportunity to put the Wallabies ahead in the early stages – he duly obliged. 

Soon after two other new stars combined to score England’s first try of the match. Harlequins man Marcus Smith played a well timed pass to Steward who broke the Aussie defence to race away for his first International try, converted by Farrell.

After an exciting opening, the game slowed down as Farrell and O’Connor kicked two penalties each but when Tom Wright was given a yellow for a dangerous tackle the visitors were a man down. Once again, Farrell kicked the penalty.

England were unable to make the most of having an extra man as O’Connor dispatched his fourth penalty of the half to ensure his side went in at the break just four points down.

However, a second yellow card for the visitors shortly after the break, this time for prop Angus Bell  for another dangerous tackle meant the Wallabies faced another extended period a man down. This time the home side took advantage as Farrell yet again kicked the resulting penalty to give his side some breathing room. The 30-year-old then missed his 54th minute effort before a foul at the scrum gave him a chance to add to his points and he made no mistake. Unfortunately, the England man then hobbled off the 12 minutes from time with a left-ankle injury.

Smith took over the kicking duties and continued the form of his teammate by slotting his penalty from 35-meters straight down the middle.

As the clocked ticked over to 80-minutes, substitutes Simmonds and Blamire combined to add the cherry on top of the cake and give England a memorable win at Twickenham – Simmonds made history by becoming the first Lion forward to score in his first four appearences.

All eyes now turn to the repeat of the 2019 World Cup final in Japan as England face the Springboks on Saturday. 

Post-match thoughts?

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Meet the British Woman Hoping to End F1’s 46-year Wait For a Female Driver



The modern sports industry remains a very male dominated field. Historically motorsport especially being one of the most inaccessible to women.

In its entire 72-year history, only two women have ever driven in a Formula 1 grand prix. The last was the pioneer Lella Lombardi, the Italian who competed in 12 races between 1974 and 1976 for teams including Williams.

Now, Britain’s Jamie Chadwick is aiming to end the 46-year wait for a woman to sit behind the wheel of a car on the starting grid at the very top level of racing.

The 23-year-old from Bath, is the most prominent woman in world the world of motorsport thanks to the strong results she has earned in the early stages of her career across multiple categories.

Chadwick is about to embark on her third season in W Series, an all-female racing championship launched in 2019 which aims to ensure more women are able to make professional careers out of motor racing.

The aim means that, in conjunction with the heated rivalry that understandably comes with battling for the championship on track, the athletes competing in W Series feel they share a common goal to help one another improve and make overall progress for women in motorsport too. Chadwick has won the title in both of W Series’ first two campaigns.

Speaking to Metro she said:  ‘Everyone expects us not to get on [because we are rivals] but we really, genuinely do. The big reason in my opinion is that we’ve all been through such a similar experience in the sport individually. We can share those experiences with each other and push each other to bring one another on, and hopefully leave the sport in a better place for the next generation coming through.’

Do you think she stands a chance of making it?

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Newcastle co-owner says Chelsea’s Abramovich having to sell isn’t fair



Credit: Chelsea FC Instagram

Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley “doesnt think its particularly fair” that Roman Abramovich is selling following the Russia-Ukraine war.

The businessman announced he had made the “incredibly difficult decision” in a statement on the Premier League club’s website.

There has been calls for Abramovich to be sanctioned, as Chris Bryant alleges leaked Home Office document from 2019 shows he had links to Russian state as well as to “corrupt activity and practices” – the Guardian reports.

Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit, Staveley said: “We’re always going to have geopolitical issues.

I’m really sad that someone is going to have a football club taken away because of a relationship he may have with someone.

“I don’t think that’s particularly fair to be honest. But I also think that we have to hold all of our relationships to account.”

In his statement, Abramovich said: “I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart.

“In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.

“The sale of the club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process.”

Abramovich has said that he won’t be asking for loans to be repaid.

He added: “I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.”

The businessman bought Chelsea back in 2003 for £140m, and has since loaned the club over £1.5bn.

Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has told Swiss newspaper Blick that he has the chance to buy Chelsea.

However he says that at the moment Abramovich is “asking far too much.”

What are your thoughts?




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Russia’s captain Aleksandr Golovin speaks out on Russian invasion



Credit: Aleksandr Golovin Instagram

Russia’s football captain Aleksandr Golovin has spoke out about the Russia-Ukraine war.

In a post uploaded to Instagram on Wednesday, the footballer said he hadn’t before now because he wasn’t an expert in politics.

However, he said he would now express his opinion, because he has been drawn to this topic from “all sides.”

It follows furious backlash from Ukrainian players Vitalii Mykolenko and Andriy Yarmolenko about Russian players staying quiet about the invasion of Ukraine.

The captain wrote: “War is a frightful thing. But I am shocked by human aggression and hatred, which every day acquires some sort of unprecedented scale.

“I am against discrimination based on nationality. I’m not ashamed that I’m Russian. I am proud to be Russian. And I don’t understand why athletes should suffer now.”

He continued he was “against double standards.”

Golovin added: “Why is it that one can do everything, but all the dogs are hanged on us. Why has everyone always shouted about sports outside of politics, but at the first opportunity, when it comes to Russia, this principle is completely forgotten?”

He expressed that “anger, dirt and bile” is being poured on Russian people, “regardless of their position and profession.”

The Zenit St Petersburg forward concluded: “P.S. And to some colleagues in the workshop who sit on their ass in mansions in England and say nasty things: it cannot offend us, we understand everything! Peace and goodness to everybody!”

On Tuesday in an Instagram post, Everton’s Mykolenko criticised Russia’s international players for remaining silent whilst “peaceful civilians are being killed in Ukraine.”

The 22-year-old wrote: “You will be locked in your dungeon for the rest of your life and most importantly the lives of your kids. And I’m glad.”

West Ham’s Yarmolenko also hit out at Russian players on Tuesday.

In a video uploaded to Instagram, he said: “Guys, why are you sitting like shitheads and not saying anything? In my country they’re killing people, killing wives, killing our children. But you’re saying nothing, you’ve given no comments.”

Russia has been suspended from all competition, Fifa and Uefa have ruled.



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