The last time South Africa lost all their autumn Tests they at least went down swinging.
Sometimes sport is at its most tense when it is at its most still – in those micro‑lulls before world title fights as the protagonists coil in their corners, awaiting the bell, and adrenaline and testosterone races through the crowd like white water; between the purse of a referee’s lips and the first step in a shootout; before the starter’s pistol shatters the hush of an Olympic 100m final; and, yes, when the world chess champion is hunched over the board, brain scurrying back and forth through innumerable tunnels of calculation looking for a clear path to victory.
Odd little memories stand out crystal clear from the great mêlée of Saturday’s match, which was otherwise one long blur of flying bodies, boots and balls, reset scrums, rolling substitutions, red and yellow cards.
One more rose-tinted victory against Australia on Saturday will make this, statistically, the most impressive calendar year in English rugby history.
Conor McGregor has vacated his featherweight title, ending his time as a two-division champion, UFC has confirmed.
Nico Rosberg has won his maiden Formula One world championship. Needing to finish in the top three in Sunday’s final race of the season in Abu Dhabi he was second to his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Lewis Hamilton snared pole for Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but there was still a glint of destiny in the eyes of Nico Rosberg. Hamilton’s celebrations were more subdued than normal. Rosberg is the overwhelming championship favourite – the German needs to finish in the top three to secure his first title, as he has a lead of 12 points going into the last race of the year.
Lewis Hamilton arrived on the back foot in China following successive victories for Nico Rosberg in Australia and Bahrain.
Christmas for Scotland came a month early this year and, having done so, decided to invite a few others. This nation, which until 10 years ago had barely picked up a racquet, awoke one morning last week to discover it was the proud owner of the No 1 tennis players in the world at both the singles and doubles versions of the sport.
The striker had a poor game against Leeds at Elland Road.
The German made his Champions League debut against Rangers at Ibrox.
Leeds United won against Aston Villa in the Championship on Saturday evening.
Rangers boss Mark Warburton is reportedly deciding whether to bring Diego Fabbrini to Ibrox.
West Ham were beaten 5-1 by Arsenal on Saturday, much to David Gold's dismay.
The Aston Villa boss was linked with the Leeds star when manager at Premier League Hull City.
Queens Park Rangers midfielder Karl Henry criticised Nottingham Forest star Henri Lansbury following the match against Newcastle United.
The Nottingham Forest midfielder was involved in two highly controversial incidents on Friday night.
Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday are named as Jordan Rhodes suitors.
Could Arsenal star Mesut Ozil return to Real Madrid?
Ernie Merrick has become the A-League’s first managerial casualty of the season after the Wellington Phoenix coach stood down following his side’s poor start to the campaign.
Eddie Jones has warned England’s record‑equalling players they will be summarily dropped if they allow their standards to slip next year.
If they ever met for that beer afterwards, Michael Cheika no doubt told his old mate to enjoy this while it lasts.