MELBOURNE/GEELONG, Australia Gina Cimarosti would normally be hosting swarms of thirsty football fans at her corner pub ahead of Australia's biggest weekend of sport but a prolonged lockdown due to COVID-19 has kept the beer taps dry and crushed the party vibe in Melbourne.
MELBOURNE A tortuous Australian Football League season reaches its climax on Saturday when the Richmond Tigers bid for back-to-back championships in the "Grand Final" decider against the Geelong Cats at the Gabba in Brisbane.
MELBOURNE Officials in Australia's southern state of Victoria have warned football-mad fans in locked-down Melbourne not to throw parties during the AFL's "Grand Final" on Saturday to curb the spread of COVID-19.
MELBOURNE The Wallabies leave New Zealand after a traditional Eden Park spanking but showed enough on the two-test tour to give fans hope of a genuine contest in the remainder of the Bledisloe Cup and the upcoming Rugby Championship.
MELBOURNE World champions South Africa will not take part in the Rugby Championship in a decision that leaves the tournament greatly diminished two weeks before kick-off and southern hemisphere rugby facing an uncertain future.
MELBOURNE A draw against New Zealand is as good as a win for some pundits in Australia who have seized on Wellington as proof the Wallabies are ready to rise up and claim the Bledisloe Cup for the first time in 18 years.
MELBOURNE Australia forwards coach Geoff Parling has mounted a staunch defence of the Wallabies' lineout after a shaky start against the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup test.
MELBOURNE Filipo Daugunu's first test try against the All Blacks on Sunday capped a fine debut for the former Fiji soccer junior while underlining the growing importance of Pasifika talent to the fortunes of Australian rugby.
MELBOURNE Australia will practise their drop goal plays this week ahead of the second Bledisloe Cup test against New Zealand, having eschewed the chance of a match-winning kick in Wellington, scrumhalf Nic White said on Tuesday.
MELBOURNE James O'Connor had to wait seven years and three coaching changes for a second crack at the Wallabies' number 10 jersey but made a strong case to keep it after an assured performance against the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup on Sunday.