AFL live: Swans take on Hawks at the SCG




They may be at opposite ends of the ladder but the old Swans-Hawks rivalry is back on at the SCG. Follow our live AFL ScoreCentre for all the scores, stats and results.

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SCG to host Wallabies Test against Springboks


Rugby Australia have signalled an intention to take major Test matches back to Sydney’s east after pencilling in a clash with the world champion Springboks at the SCG in September.

With the Wallabies due to play their first Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 35 years against France on July 7, sources with knowledge of the plans told the Herald that RA are working to schedule a second Test at the venue on September 11 – just 66 days later – against the Boks.

The world champion Springboks are coming to Sydney in September.

The world champion Springboks are coming to Sydney in September.Credit:Getty

While the fixture has not yet been rubber stamped due to NRL finals being on at the same time, the SCG is the preferred option for the Wallabies’ first Test against the Springboks in 671 days, ahead of Bankwest Stadium and Stadium Australia, or in other states.

The decision to return to Test rugby to Sydney’s eastern suburbs with the France clash has so far proven popular. Almost half the available tickets for the first Test against France have been sold and as many as 12,000 members seats have been taken.

With the Sydney Football Stadium being rebuilt, Wallabies Tests at Stadium Australia and Bankwest Stadium in the last two years have resulted in underwhelming crowds and results.

Just 16,091 fans watched the final World Cup warm up match against Samoa in 2019 at Bankwest Stadium, only 25,689 made the trip to Stadium Australia for the 43-5 Bledisloe Cup belting last year and just over 10,000 fans watched the 16-all draw against Argentina at Bankwest Stadium.

Matt Philip competes for a lineout against Argentina at Bankwest Stadium in December, 2020.

Matt Philip competes for a lineout against Argentina at Bankwest Stadium in December, 2020.Credit:Getty

The final Test at the SFS, in 2018, was a series deciding thriller against Ireland played in front of a record 44,085 fans.

Sources with knowledge of the discussions at RA say officials are keen for big-ticket games to return to to Sydney’s eastern suburbs and are eagerly awaiting the return of the rejuvenated SFS in 2022, despite it only having a capacity of 42,500.

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Tommy Raudonikis to be honoured at SCG memorial service


“Hopefully the speakers that we’ve requested to speak will certainly be very colourful, to say the least. He was a great Australian character.”

Mr V’landys previously told the radio station he supported the idea of a state funeral, whether in NSW or Queensland.

“If anyone deserves a state funeral, it’s Tommy because he’s the common man, he’s the man of the people,” he said. “I think these state funerals, sometimes, are for the higher end of the demographic. I think it’s about time someone like Tommy was honoured in the same vein.”

He said they would consider a suggestion to rename the State of Origin trophy the Beetson Raudonikis shield, honouring the Queensland and NSW captains of the inaugural match in 1980.

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“Two legends, Arthur Beetson’s a legend as well … we’ll look at that in the next couple of months,” Mr V’landys said.

A tribute to Beetson was held at the SCG after he died, aged 66, in December 2011.

In a statement on Wednesday, NSW Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said Venues NSW was “happy to waive the venue hire fee for the game’s memorial for Tommy Raudonikis” at the SCG, following a request from the NRL.

“He was one of rugby league’s great characters and players at club and state level, and this is a fitting tribute,” Mr Lee said.

A moment of silence was held for Raudonikis before all round five NRL games.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the memorial on Monday. Entry will be via the Members Entrance, Gate A on Driver Avenue. Attendees are asked to arrive by 10.30am so COVID protocol can be followed.

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Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin looms as luxury inclusion for Sydney Swans against Essendon at SCG


“With him in the team, one of the greatest players of all time, it takes you to another level,” Parker said.

“Hopefully we can continue to build on what we’re doing at the moment and hopefully he can build some consistent form and fitness, which would be great, and we’ll keep flowing with the confidence.

“We’re not relying on four or five guys to get the job done each week, which previously we’ve done. The workload’s probably spread across the team a lot more, the forward line’s thriving off each other kicking goals and not the individuals. The midfielders are sharing the load a lot more, and the defence is just a really tight unit.”

Thursday nights aren’t the most spectator-friendly timeslot – particularly in Sydney – but with stadium capacities back at 100 per cent, a palpable buzz building around the Swans, and Franklin back on deck, there are hopes of a huge crowd at the SCG.

Parker is doing his best to enjoy the fairytale ride without being swept up in it. The 28-year-old midfielder has been in the AFL system for too long to expect the good times to simply just keep on rolling – and with such an inexperienced team, he is bracing for bumps and potholes in the road ahead.

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But some moments have to be savoured. Saturday afternoon was one of those, with seven members of Sydney’s 22 – including red-hot rookies Errol Gulden, Braeden Campbell, Logan McDonald and Chad Warner – tasting victory in their first match at the MCG, against the reigning premiers no less.

“It was incredible,” Parker said when asked to describe the scene in the Swans’ change rooms immediately after the siren.

“A team that plays there almost every week – we play there maybe twice a season. To go down there and get the job done, the rooms afterwards, it’s a special moment.

“You forget the young guys, the experiences they go through the first time playing on the ‘G or kicking a goal on the ’G. Those moments have really just energised this group this year. We’re riding those waves with those boys. It’s really exciting to be a part of.

“Having the team that we’ve got, you’re always wary of the consistency. The great thing the boys are doing at the moment is they’re just playing team football … noone’s trying to do anything too special, everyone’s getting their moment. For us it’s just about continuing to build that belief.”

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BBL final, live cricket scores, Big Bash 2021, Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers: Start time, Sydney weather, rain, SCG updates


BBL final, Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers at Sydney Cricket Ground (7.40pm AEDT)

The Big Bash League’s two best teams — this season, and historically — will take their rivalry to the next step on Saturday night in the BBL|10 final at the SCG.

While the competition’s other rivalries were created, and maintained, by geographical reasons, the friction between the Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers is very real.

It bubbled beneath the surface for years but can no longer be hidden as the franchises prepare to meet in a final for the fourth time in BBL history.

MATCH CENTRE: Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers, live scoreboard, video

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Up to 26,500 fans to flood through gates at SCG as capacity upped for Saturday BBL final


“We’ve worked closely with NSW Health and Cricket Australia to bring this major event to the SCG and can’t wait to see the Sydney Sixers and their fans at their home ground on Saturday,” he said.

The Sydney Sixers will host either the Perth Scorchers or Brisbane Heat, who face each other in The Challenger at Manuka Oval on Thursday night.

The NSW Government has increased the crowd capacity of the Big Bash final at the SCG. Credit:Getty Images

The Sixers will be without Mitchell Starc who was officially ruled out of the final on Tuesday, having not played for the Sixers throughout the current BBL season.

“The guys have done so well this year and I think it’s in everyone’s best interests to stick with the guys that have worked so hard to get to this point,” Starc said.

Sixers general manager Jodie Hawkins said the decision was mutual between the two parties.

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“Circumstances meant he and Nathan Lyon were not able to join us this season but they are both very much part of our set up and will represent the club off the field on Saturday night,” she said. “Our current squad have done an incredible job all season to qualify for the final while playing every game on the road and Mitch and the club are really comfortable with this decision.”

Sixers teammate Carlos Braithwaite said he understood why Starc decided not to join the squad but believed the team would have been lifted by “50 or 100 per cent” with the fast-bowler’s inclusion.

“I guess sometimes you have to do the superstars job for them and get them some silverware as well,” he joked.

“Without him there we have the guys that have brought us to the final and it seems as though the management is backing the team to go do this.

“Even that in itself is a nod of confidence from the management to the current group of players.”

Braithwaite said the squad was cautious of not letting their emotions get the better of them when they play their first home game of the season.

“When signed I was looking forward to playing at the SCG, I had probably one of my best Test knocks there, I have a good affiliation with it, a good affinity for it,” he said.

“Having been deprived of that, and not having being able to represent the team in front of our fans at the SCG it may be a bit more of an occasion than just a grand final.”

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SCG the worst but MCG, Gabba and Adelaide Oval pitches also downgraded


Boon, who did not wish to comment when contacted, is considered a hard task-master but his ratings have privately surprised some venue operators.

SCG curator Adam Lewis told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday that he had not been surprised by the verdict, citing the disruption that Sydney’s big wet through December in the lead-up to the Test, then having more than three sessions lost over the opening two days, had caused.

“We had an average of three hours of sunlight leading into the Test. The conditions we were dealt with were very, very difficult,” he said.

Lewis said the poor weather meant the pitch was a “day-and-a-half behind” in natural deterioration.

Having overseen his fourth Test, Lewis said he had no issues with the Bulli soil used, made up of clay and basalt of volcanic origin, but Boon’s concern appeared to be that it did not crumble as much as hoped. It did not deliver the uneven footmarks that can make the ball spit on a final day and the bounce was still high – something that spinner Nathan Lyon and Lewis were left to rue.

“When he [Lyon] went for those DRS [lbw appeals], the bounce was still bouncing over the wicket, which goes to show it was holding together,” Lewis said.

Lewis continues to consult veteran pitch whisperer Les Burdett and former long-time SCG curator Tom Parker, while past playing greats have also been asked for feedback.

While Boon marked down, 31 wickets fell during the Test, which also produced a Steve Smith century, a 91 from Marnus Labuschagne and an enthralling final-day 97 from Rishabh Pant, which almost dragged the tourists to victory. Lewis was given a “very good” rating for all four white-ball matches against India at the venue.

MCG curator Matt Page took a surprise hit despite India claiming a famous eight-wicket win inside four days. Boon branded the drop-in pitch as “good” – a dip on last year’s “very good” against New Zealand. However, Page was widely praised by commentators for this summer’s deck, which had an uplift in pace and carry despite ground staff not having any first-class cricket at the venue leading into the Test because of Melbourne’s earlier lockdown.

Melbourne Cricket Club chief executive Stuart Fox was full of praise for what ground staff had delivered.

“We were thrilled with the performance of the Boxing Day Test pitch as it had something in it for both bat and ball, provided an even contest between the two teams, and produced a result,” he said.

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“We’re so proud of the entire team led by Michael Salvatore and Matt Page for delivering another outstanding Boxing Day Test pitch and outfield, probably the best in recent memory, that was applauded by fans, players, Cricket Australia and cricketing greats alike.“

The drop-in pitch did show signs of wear and tear and remained a significant improvement on the heavily criticised decks used in the Ashes draw of 2017-18 and the 2018-19 Test against India.

In another blow to curators, the Adelaide Oval pitch was rated as “good”, down from “very good” against Pakistan last summer. Boon’s rating is particularly intriguing, for the pink-ball contest lasted only two-and-a-half days when the tourists, guilty of poor shot selection, were dismissed for a second-innings 36 – the lowest tally in their Test history.

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Brisbane’s Gabba deck, typically “very good”, slipped to “good” despite the tourists completing a dramatic run chase and securing a 2-1 series victory. Gabba officials said it was an “understandable” rating in a COVID-19 impacted summer when the Test was held unusually in January.

Commentators remarked on the opening day that the pitch looked more like a slightly wearing day-two deck, and this year it came complete with a crack that ensured some inconsistent bounce.

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Cricket Australia says Indian cricketers were racially abused at SCG, but offenders have not been found


Cricket Australia has confirmed Indian players were racially abused during the third Test at the SCG, but says it does not yet know who was responsible.

Senior Indian players spoke to officials after day three of the Sydney Test and an official complaint was lodged over alleged abuse received by Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.

A second alleged incident on day four led to play being halted for nine minutes after Siraj spoke to umpires about comments from the crowd.

Cricket Australia (CA) launched an investigation after day four.

On Wednesday, CA released an update, saying it had submitted a report to the International Cricket Council into crowd behaviour at the SCG.

“CA confirms that members of the Indian cricket team were subjected to racial abuse (at the SCG),” the organisation’s head of integrity and security, Sean Carroll, said in a statement.

“CA’s own investigation into the matter remains open, with CCTV footage, ticketing data and interviews with spectators still being analysed in an attempt to locate those responsible.

“Spectators who are found to have breached CA’s anti-harassment code face lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police.”

Play was halted on day four in Sydney as India’s Mohammed Siraj complained about comments made by spectators.(Supplied: Fox Sports)

However, Cricket Australia said its investigators had concluded a number of spectators who were filmed and photographed by the media near the end of play on day four were not involved in racist behaviour.

CA apologised to the Indian team as hosts of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.

NSW Police also issued a statement on Tuesday, referring to its own investigation of complaints from India.

“About 3pm on 10 January 2021, a cricketer indicated to match officials racially based comments had been made towards him,” the statement said.

“A number of males were spoken with at the time.

“Since 10 January police have continued inquiries, speaking with several people allegedly involved, as well as a number of witnesses who were present in the area at the time.”

“Police found no evidence to support any prosecution for any offence.

“As such the police investigation has been finalised.

“However, should anyone possess information which would support any such allegation, that should be brought to the attention of police.”

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Cricket news 2021: India racial abuse, SCG Test, Mohammed Siraj, India vs Australia, fans ejected, Cricket Australia findings


A report has emerged that India had refused to continue playing during the Sydney Test until action was taken over the alleged racial abuse levelled at Mohammed Siraj.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age claims the visitors would not continue playing until the complaint was addressed and acted upon.

Cricket Australia on Wednesday confirmed the spectators ejected from the SCG on suspicion of racial abuse had been cleared, but didn’t offer a public apology to them in its press release.

“CA’s investigation concluded that the spectators filmed and/or photographed by media in the Brewongle Stand concourse at the conclusion of the 86th over on day three of the Test did not engage in racist behaviour,” the statement reads.

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India walk-off threat emerges as Cricket Australia clears men booted from SCG


The findings of the CA probe have now been sent to the International Cricket Council, which gave CA 14 days to lodge a report.

The report says while they believed players had been racially abused, CA investigators were unable to identify the culprits.

Australia captain Tim Paine stands with Indian players and umpires as police walk six men from their seats during the third Test.Credit:Getty

CA, which is awaiting a final report from NSW Police, is satisfied that the six men who were walked out of the lower tier of the Clive Churchill and Brewongle stand by police on the fourth afternoon of the Test did not make remarks of a racial nature to players.

Their removal occurred after rookie fast bowler Siraj approached umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson alleging he had been abused by spectators seated in the area behind where he was stationed on the rope.

The paceman had been acting on advice from security officials who had encouraged the Indians to report abuse immediately rather than wait until the end of play as they had done 24 hours earlier when Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah said they had been racially targeted on days two and three of the Test.

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Siraj told CA after the Sydney Test that he had been called a “brown dog” and a “monkey” and teammate R Ashwin, who said crowd abuse had been a long-term issue at the SCG, alleged “there is a time where they have gone one step ahead and used racial abuses”.

While CA was unable to unmask the culprits, there is a separate investigation by SCG operators Venues NSW into an Indian supporter’s claim that he was told to “go back where you belong” during the Sydney Test by a mid-ranking ground security official.

Krishna Kumar also said a group of young men in the crowd had called him and members of the Indian team “curry munchers” on the third day of the match.

After hiring a solicitor and meeting with Venues NSW legal personnel 12 days ago, Kumar said on Tuesday he had not yet heard back about the investigation.

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