The AFL kicked off the 2023 season over the weekend, whilst the cricket and La Liga produced entertaining matches overnight, in this Monday’s sports round-up.
The AFL made its highly anticipated return this weekend.
The 2023 AFL season began in stunning fashion on Thursday night with a hard-fought battle between Richmond and Carlton which resulted in a draw.
Carlton was in control for most of the match, however, with less than a minute to go, a clutch goal from Tom Lynch levelled the scores. A dropped mark from Blake Acres with seconds to go just outside 50 sealed the game’s fate.
The following night was a replay of the 2022 Qualifying Final with Collingwood enacting revenge over Geelong with a 22-point victory.
The major storyline of the game was Geelong’s Oliver Henry making his return against his former club and booting two goals. However, it was a chase-down tackle on Henry from Pies defender Darcy Moore that produced the highlight of the match.
On Saturday, Port Adelaide cruised to victory as they smashed premiership favourites Brisbane by 54 points. Brisbane went into half-time with a 12-point lead, however, a second-half collapse resulted in Port picking up all four points.
On Sunday, wooden spoon favourites Greater Western Sydney picked up a surprise win against the Adelaide Crows under the hot Sydney sun.
The Crows owned the first half as they came into the main break with a 28-point lead, however, poor kicking inside fifty kept the game alive. Adelaide would rue their inaccuracy in front of goal as the Giants ran rampant in the second half on their way to a 16-point victory.
In the other games, North Melbourne started off their season with a win, defeating West Coast by five points. Melbourne grabbed a comfortable 50-point win against the Western Bulldogs. However, they will be without star forward Kysaiah Pickett for the next few weeks after a nasty hit on Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Smith.
Sydney Swans followed up last year’s Grand Final embarrassment with a 49-point win against the Suns on the Gold Coast. Both St Kilda and Essendon began their lives under new coaches with wins against Fremantle and Hawthorn respectively.
Australia has tied their One Day International series with India in a convincing 10-wicket win.
In cricket, Australia has leveled its ODI series with India in a convincing ten-wicket win in Visakhapatnam.
Mitchell Starc stood out for the Australians as he took five wickets for 53 runs. Both Sean Abbott and Nathan Ellis combined for five wickets as India found themselves all out for 117 after 26 overs.
It would then only take 11 overs for Australia to chase the run total thanks to the partnership of Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh who finished the innings not out with 51 and 66 respectively.
Australia will be hoping to claim the series with a win on Wednesday in Chennai.
Barcelona claimed a dramatic win against rivals Real Madrid in El Clasico.
In La Liga, Barcelona has claimed a crucial 2-1 win against rivals Real Madrid in the El Clasico to extend their league lead to 12 points.
The Blaugrana found themselves down early in the match thanks to an own goal from defender Ronald Araújo who was quickly consoled by Real’s Vinícius Júnior. However, they would regain control of the game and equalise through Sergi Roberto right on the stroke of half-time.
Real Madrid would then have the opportunity to regain the lead as Marco Asensio found the back of the net but this would be ruled offside after a VAR check found the winger to be inches offside.
The points would not be split however as Barcelona substitute Franck Kessié slotted home a 92nd-minute winner to give Barca a firm grasp on the title.
Photo: The Big Football by Rmcdonell is available HERE. The photo has been modified.