Winners and losers from the sporting weekend

Paul Gallen celebrates at fulltime as the Sharks claim the NRL title. Photo / Photosport
Paul Gallen celebrates at fulltime as the Sharks claim the NRL title. Photo / Photosport

Chris Rattue lists the winners and losers from a blockbusting sporting weekend.

WINNERS

Joseph Parker
Pummeled Alexander Dimitrenko, even if the last punch was as dodgy as a one dollar note. But if Dimitrenko doesn't want to get punched while he's on the canvas, he shouldn't spend so much time there. Bottom line: Parker was ultra impressive. But we'll take al the talk of a December world title fight in Auckland with a grain of salt. This is boxing, after all, and it is full of low blows.

Cronulla Sharks
The unfashionable Sharks broke their NRL title duck in their 50th year - so there is hope for the Warriors yet. The Sharks were full of tough nuts - Ennis, Maloney, Gallen and the man whose name the NRL can hardly mention...Andrew Fifita. The powerhouse forward, who wrestled his way over for an amazing game wining try, missed out on the Man of the Match medal. His support for a childhood friend who is in jail for a killing didn't help.

It's not what you do, but who you know.

Anton Lienert-Brown
The search is over. The All Blacks have found their gun centre, to replace Conrad Smith. Lienert-Brown was brilliant in all regards against Argentina - he looks like a natural footballer who will provide wider attacking skills than the great Smith could muster. As a major bonus, Lienert-Brown can play both centre positions.

Western Bulldogs
The Bulldogs, or Footscray as they were in another life, won their first Aussie Rules title since 1954 with a big grand final win over the Sydney Swans. There were amazing scenes of jubilation at the MCG and beyond - those crazy AFL fans sure know how to celebrate.

Cameron Smith
The Storm captain is winning applause for his NRL grand final speech, fighting off the disappointment of defeat to graciously congratulate Cronulla and their fans who have waited dso long for a title. Former Wallaby Phil Kearns, who ticks off New Zealand rugby for is poor speech making, will be impressed (if he watches league).

LOSERS

Joseph Parker?
Reports overnight claim Parker is already out of the immediate title loop, with powerful promoter Eddie Hearn saying IBF campion Anthony Joshua is set to face Wladimir Klitschko late next month in Manchester. Parker is the mandatory challenger, but Hearn said it is 60-40 in favour of a Klitschko fight. Hearn said Joshua's priority "is to fight Klitschko for all the belts". It is all very confusing...surprise, surprise.

Twickenham...
...if Sunday's test between Australia and Argentina serves up the sort of dross that destroyed the second half of the match in Buenos Aires. The All Blacks won well, but the game didn't.

Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur fans would prefer to look at it the other way - their team announced themselves as EPL title contenders. Pep Guardiola's Manchester City had won their first six matches and were threatening to turn the title chase into a bore, before they were beaten 2 - 0 by Spurs in London. Spurs are now the only unbeaten side. "We can just say congratulations to Tottenham. When opponent is better, you accept it and learn from that," Guardiola said, in more good news for Phil Kearns.

- NZ Herald

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