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Martin reflects on 'biggest moment of his life'

Published in Rugby
Saturday, 02 March 2024 21:08

Not many rugby players will celebrate their 10th professional game in Dublin against reigning Six Nations champions Ireland.

But not many players are Mackenzie Martin. The Cardiff number eight, who stands at 6ft 5in, has burst on to the scene this season - and he stepped on to the international stage as Wales were defeated 31-7 at Aviva Stadium.

Martin, 20, has spoken about his pride at coming from the Cardiff suburb of Ely, where children try to copy his hairstyle, his admiration at his hard-working father, his hero Taulupe Faletau and the importance of his faith.

'Biggest moment of my life'

Martin came on in the second half at Aviva Stadium last weekend for Cardiff team-mate Alex Mann.

"It was probably the biggest moment of my life so far," said Martin.

"It's crazy and hasn't sunk in yet. I don't think it will until the season's over, until we chill out and look back.

"It didn't faze me. The Friday night before the game, I was more nervous than Saturday. It was fine when we got on the pitch and warmed up.

"Even on the way there, I wasn't that nervous. I was more composed than anything, trying to keep my mind on the task.

"Going to those big stadiums, with the amount of pressure people feel, I've enjoyed it. I think it makes me play better when I'm under pressure."

Martin's family had travelled over to watch.

"I think they felt it more than me," said Martin.

"I was in the moment, fixated on the game and trying to win. But then I came off the pitch, they were crying.

"When I got back home also, my family who couldn't make it out to Ireland they were all crying and stuff. It was emotional."

Martin has achieved his international cap after only nine professional games for Cardiff with five starts and four replacement appearances.

"It's been crazy," he said.

"I started the season with Cardiff RFC and then luckily 'Jockey' [head coach Matt Sherratt] gave me the chance to play for Cardiff Rugby.

"I took the opportunity and that's exactly what I want to do here with Wales."

Hard work pays off

Martin admits a rugby career was never a foregone conclusion.

"Last year, when I was playing for Cardiff and just before the Wales Under-20s, they weren't sure if they were going to give me another contract," said Martin.

"I played well for the Wales Under-20s, so luckily I did get another one. But that was probably the moment where I thought, it could go either way.

"I wasn't worried too much about the future but it's in the back of your mind. To be honest, I didn't have a Plan B. I backed myself to get a deal and luckily I did.

"If rugby hadn't worked out, I'm sure I'd be working hard at something else."

Those traits come from his experiences growing up in a Cardiff suburb regarded as one of Wales' poorest areas - a place he and his family are proud of.

"I am definitely hard-working, I'm rough around the edges," said Martin.

"Growing up, it wasn't the easiest as anybody can imagine. But my family has always been great and I've learned from them.

"My brothers, especially my older brother and my dad, they let me know that it doesn't matter where I come from, I can still make something of myself.

"I was always going to work hard because my dad's the hardest worker I know, so I take a lot from him.

"He's actually retired now. He's got arthritis in his back, so he can't work any more. He's done loads of jobs, always put food on the table.

"He's worked in warehouses, delivered milk, he's done loads of things. He had a little business at one time, so he's always been on the go, always feeding us, that type of thing.

"Even when he didn't want to, he would get up early in the morning and still go to work every day without fail. No matter if he was hurting, no matter how tired he was.

"So that gives me inspiration when I'm tired, I still get up and go."

Inspiring and being inspired

Martin hopes his achievements can inspire the next generation.

"I hope I can be a trailblazer, I hope the kids are going to look up to me," said Martin.

Kevin Keegan's perm, JPR's sideburns and Aaron Ramsey's 2016 peroxide blonde look are all iconic hairstyles from sporting greats, copied by the schoolchildren that idolised their heroes.

'Martin's mullet' can now be added to that list.

"When I went down the other week, even before I made my debut, there were a good few of them copying my haircut," said Martin.

"All of theirs looked better than mine, so I was a bit jealous."

Growing up, Martin had his own hero in Taulupe Faletau, now a Cardiff team-mate.

"Taulupe Falatau is the man," said Martin.

"I didn't watch much regional rugby when I was young; I watched films with my dad and stuff but we would always watch Wales together.

"Every time we would see him [Faletau], my dad would say he is amazing. When I transitioned to the back row, I was about 16, I was always trying to follow in his footsteps and how he played the game.

"We are a little bit different as players, but it's the way he works around the field and carries himself. That was the inspiration.

"I haven't been fortunate to train with him yet, because he has been injured. It's absolutely crazy just being able to pick his brains.

"He's always been my favourite player. He's one of the biggest stars and before the Ireland game, I sat down and had coffee with him, he was so welcoming.

"He's just amazing to work with. He's one of the best number eights in the world, for me the best, so if I can even replicate that a little bit, I'd be doing myself proud."

Keeping faith and future goals

Religion is important to both Mackenzie and Faletau.

"My faith is massively important," said Martin.

"Kids growing up, they need something to put their effort into, especially where I'm from.

"Everybody always thinks rugby put me on the right path. But it was God that helped me do that and put that opportunity into my life.

"That's how strong my faith is. That's why I always say, 'all glory to God' and stuff like that because I wouldn't have had opportunities without him."

The next opportunity Martin hopes for is a first international start, with home Six Nations matches against France and Italy to follow.

"The dream is to get a start," he said.

"When they think I'm ready, I'm sure they'll put me in.

"But until then, I'll keep working hard until I'm blessed with an opportunity to do so."

Rempe runs Lyubushkin into boards in Leafs' win

Published in Hockey
Saturday, 02 March 2024 20:44

TORONTO -- Veteran defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin, traded from the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, took a big hit from New York Rangers rookie Matt Rempe late in the second period Saturday night, and didn't return to his first game this season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 29-year-old Russian, who was also with the club for 31 games and a playoff round in 2022, was run by Rempe into the side boards near Toronto goaltender Ilya Samsonov with 1:40 remaining in the second period of the Maple Leafs' 4-3 shootout victory.

Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe was not pleased with the actions of Rempe, a bruiser called up from the American Hockey League last month who has been in several fights since his promotion.

"Head injury," Keefe said of Lyubushkin's status. "[Rempe] comes a long way, leaves his feet, hits him in the head, injury."

The 6-foot-7 Rempe and Toronto's Ryan Reaves, a former Ranger, dropped the gloves in a spirited tilt later in the period.

"I thought it was good," Keefe said of the club's response after the hit, which included Reaves' brawl, "especially considering the guy knocks one of our guys out of the game."

The Leafs have high hopes for Lyubushkin, and needed the Carolina Hurricanes to jump into the mix as a third team to make the deal happen.

Anaheim received Toronto's 2025 third-round pick and retained 50% of Lyubushkin's salary. Carolina received a 2024 sixth-round pick to retain 50% of Lyubushkin's remaining salary. Hence, the Maple Leafs will have only $687,500 count against their salary cap for the veteran defenseman, leaving them with flexibility ahead of the March 8 NHL trade deadline.

For his career, Lyubushkin has 43 points in 335 games. The right-side defenseman is known for his physicality and can kill penalties as well.

As tempers between two of the Eastern Conference's best teams subsided in the third period and overtime, Max Domi scored the deciding goal in the shootout to secure the victory for the home team.

John Tavares, Mitchell Marner and William Nylander had goals in regulation for Toronto, which has won nine of its past 10 games. Samsonov stopped 32 shots.

Vincent Trocheck scored twice, and Alexis Lafreniere had a goal and two assists as the Rangers lost for just the second time in 13 games (11-1-1). Artemi Panarin also had two assists and Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pucovski retires hurt after being struck by bouncer

Published in Cricket
Saturday, 02 March 2024 23:44
Will Pucovski has been subbed out of Victoria's Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania in Hobart after being forced to retire hurt after a sickening blow on the helmet from a Riley Meredith bouncer.

Pucovski was struck by the short ball from the second delivery he faced and immediately went down on his knees in the crease. The Cricket Australia doctor and Victoria physio were quickly into the middle but after some time to compose himself Pucovski was able to walk off the field unaided for further assessment.

Campbell Kellaway was brought into the XI as the concussion substitute. The match is in the fourth innings with Victoria chasing 442.

"Pucovski, who walked from the field, is being monitored by medical staff," a Cricket Victoria statement said. "More information will be provided at a later stage."

Pucovski has suffered multiple concussions throughout his career and last month returned from another spell on the sidelines where he made a century against New South Wales at the SCG.

He has also had time away from the game for his mental health and earlier this year spoke about he has learnt that there is a link between that and his concussions.

"I sort of link the mental health stuff back to my first concussion...which was when I was about 15 or 16," Pucovski he told the Vic State Cricket podcast. "I have a lot of concussion symptoms that over a seven or eight year period, actually never subsided.

"You just sort of got used to having them in a way. The brain's pretty amazing and can find ways to adapt. I would fail concussion tests in the exact same way every single time, regardless of whether I had been hit in the head, and that was over a seven or eight year period."

"The mental health has been a much bigger issue for me than even the concussions," he added. "I don't fear for my long-term health, it's more the mental health side that's been the tougher part."

"One day I'll be ready to tell my whole story and it will probably make a lot more sense. I've explained what I've been through to my inner circle of people and actually all the responses I've got have been like 'Jesus, I would never have guessed that in a million years, that doesn't even make sense to me'.

"It hasn't made sense to me for years, either, but I've been on this pathway to understand it all."

Pucovski played one Test for Australia in early 2021, against India at the SCG.

New South Wales 465 for 8 (Davies 116, Hughes 114, Gilkes 54) lead South Australia 287 by 178 runs

Daniel Hughes and Oliver Davies struck fighting centuries to give New South Wales a chance to secure victory in their Sheffield Shield encounter with South Australia in Sydney.

NSW went to stumps on day three with an overall lead of 178. Hughes (114 off 180 balls) and Davies (116 off 166 balls) were the standout performers on Sunday.

Given NSW entered the penultimate round in fourth spot, they will fight tooth and nail to secure an outright win on Monday in order to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Shield final.

"I think we'll look to bat on a little bit in the morning, and try to get that lead upwards of 220ish," Davies said. "I think it's a 104-over day tomorrow, so [we will try to] give ourselves 90 to 96 overs to try to rock and roll them."

Hughes started Sunday on 71, and brought up his ninth first-class century during the morning session before his knock was brought undone by a sharp diving catch by Jake Lehmann.

When NSW slipped to 213 for 4, the Redbacks had a chance to get themselves back into the contest. But the door was slammed firmly shut as Davies, Moises Henriques and Jack Edwards all dug in.

Chris Green and Ryan Hadley made it to stumps, and will look to pile on some quick runs on Monday.

Nathan McAndrew was the pick of the Redbacks bowlers with 3 for 63 to lift his season tally to 40 wickets, while Ben Manenti snared 2 for 114.

"It was a tough day," Manenti said.  "I thought we toiled pretty hard all day. Credit to Hughesy and Ollie, they batted well and got nice hundreds, and were chanceless. The wicket flattened out, so I think it will be a good wicket to bat on tomorrow."

For 23-year-old Davies, it was his second Shield century of the summer.

"To not be picked at the start of the season to scoring my second century, it's a very good feeling," Davies said.  "Hopefully I can keep carrying this on.

"I felt really good out there. I waited for bad balls, and thought I batted very well. I thought I was a lot more patient than I am in most other innings."

Suns' Booker sprains right ankle; X-rays negative

Published in Basketball
Saturday, 02 March 2024 22:27

PHOENIX -- Devin Booker sprained his right ankle on Saturday night during the Phoenix Suns' 118-109 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Suns coach Frank Vogel said X-rays were negative on Booker's ankle, and he didn't immediately rule the All-Star out of Sunday's home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"We'll see how he responds overnight," Vogel added.

Booker was injured when he and teammate Royce O'Neale got their feet tangled with 1:15 left in the game. Booker, who scored 24 points, immediately limped off the court toward the locker room.

O'Neale also sustained a sprained right ankle. Vogel said O'Neale didn't undergo X-rays because his injury was "not as much of a concern."

The Suns also lost center Jusuf Nurkic with a sprained neck in the second quarter. He was also examined for a concussion but was cleared. Nurkic also was injured by a teammate as Josh Okogie accidently delivered a blow to Nurkic.

To make matters worse, Suns guard Bradley Beal was ejected in his return to the lineup after missing five games with a hamstring injury. Beal was assessed two quick technicals before departing.

The short-handed Suns couldn't keep up with Jalen Green, who scored 34 points, while teammate Fred VanVleet added 24 for the Rockets.

"This is who we want to be every night," said Green, who hit six 3-pointers.

Kevin Durant led the Suns with 30 points, and O'Neale added 20. Beal finished with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting.

"We fought, we battled back," Vogel said. "We junked the game up like teams do to us sometimes. But it wasn't enough."

Green shot 12-of-23 from the field, including 6-of-12 on 3-pointers. Alperen Sengun added 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Rockets led for most of the game, but the Suns cut it to 99-98 midway through the fourth quarter on Okogie's layup. VanVleet responded with a 3-pointer to turn back the rally.

"It was good to see that fight, the physicality, I think we had that from the start," Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. "It was obviously night and day from last game, when we got off to a poor start. Tonight, we kind of jumped out on them."

The Suns defeated the Rockets 110-105 on Thursday.

Information from Field Level Media and The Associated Press was used in this report.

U.S. shutting out talk of team's downfall - Dunn

Published in Soccer
Saturday, 02 March 2024 17:37

The U.S. women's national team is not subscribing to the idea that its best days are behind it and welcome the higher level of competition it is seeing globally, defender Crystal Dunn said on Saturday.

The most successful team in international women's soccer history struggled to create chances in their 2-0 loss to Mexico in the group stage of the Concacaf W Gold Cup on Monday, prompting fresh concerns that they were falling behind the rest of the world.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

"We don't speak a lot about any outside narratives that people want to take control of," Dunn told reporters ahead of Sunday's quarterfinal against Colombia in Los Angeles.

"We live in a world where we forget multiple truths can exist. As members of the U.S. women's national team, we always step into this environment giving our absolute best, raising the standards and pushing this game forward.

"At the same time, we are very excited about the growth of the game and we are always challenging other federations to pour resources into their national teams as well."

The four-time World Cup champion produced its worst-ever performance at a Women's World Cup last year, exiting in the round of 16. Since then, mainstays Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz have retired.

Last year, the team named longtime Chelsea FC head coach Emma Hayes to lead the team into a new era, a position she will assume in May, two months before the Paris Olympics. Until then, Twila Kilgore is continuing to coach the team on an interim basis.

"The DNA of this team is very much the same," said Dunn, 31.

"We have new players, yes, but at the end of the day we are always chasing success, always building on new momentum.

"We are really excited about this quarterfinal against Colombia and we also know that they are going to bring their absolute best.

"That's to be expected, and we're going to do the very same."

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

Pulisic sent death threats after Milan-Lazio game

Published in Soccer
Saturday, 02 March 2024 17:37

AC Milan winger Christian Pulisic has received a deluge of death threats and abuse on social media following a fiery 1-0 victory at Lazio in Serie A on Friday.

Lazio finished the match with eight men and Pulisic was involved in two of the three dismissals.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Pulisic posted photos on Instagram of himself and the Milan team celebrating after the game and was inundated with abusive comments.

There were also plenty of messages of support for the American, including from Milan teammate Theo Hernández, who wrote, "Puliiiii I am your security."

Luca Pellegrini was sent off in the 67th minute following two yellow cards in quick succession -- each for a foul on Pulisic -- and Matteo Guendouzi was issued a straight red in stoppage time for reacting badly to a foul by the United States standout, who was also booked in the incident.

Lazio defender Adam Marusic was sent off in stoppage time.

Pulisic joined Milan from Chelsea in the offseason hoping to revive a flagging club career. He has seven goals and provided six assists in 25 league matches.

Messi, Suárez net 2 each as Miami routs Orlando

Published in Soccer
Saturday, 02 March 2024 17:37

The scoring artistry that Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez showcased often during their six years in Barcelona was on full display again Saturday. Inter Miami hopes it's a sign of repeated performances.

Messi and Suárez scored two goals each as Inter Miami routed Florida rivals Orlando City 5-0 at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Messi had consecutive goals during a quick span early in the second half to take his tally for the season to three goals in as many games.

The 37-year-old Súarez became the latest ex-Barcelona teammate to join Messi at Inter Miami and made an immediate impact in his third MLS match. The pair played together for six years at Barcelona. Suárez also had two assists.

"He knows everything about me, and I think we will continue to do so," Suárez said of excelling with Messi again. Former Barcelona stars and Messi teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba also are in their first full MLS season with Inter Miami after joining Messi last summer.

"Those guys aren't here to put their feet up," Julian Gressel said. "We've seen it over the last few weeks. They're trying to do everything for the team to win. Tonight is a really good example of that."

With a prolific career that has resulted in 381 club goals over 19 seasons, Suárez scored his first two MLS goals within a seven-minute sequence early in the first half.

Robert Taylor scored the fifth goal for Inter Miami (2-0-1, 7 points), which is unbeaten for the first time through its first three games in club history. Orlando City dropped to 0-1-1.

Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi scored two goals apiece in Inter Miami's dominant win over Florida rivals Orlando City.

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Inter Miami fans were barely settling in when Suárez struck four minutes into the match. Messi initiated the strike as his long pass found an open Julian Gressel on the right wing. Gressel then centered to an open Suárez, who one-timed a shot inside the right post.

The combination of Gressel and Suárez clicked again seven minutes later. From the left wing, Taylor sent a pass to Suárez, who beat defender Wilder Cartagena to the ball on the edge of the penalty box before playing a one-two with Gressel and converting past goalkeeper Pedro Gallese from 12 yards.

Suárez turned distributor for Taylor's goal in the 29th minute. Another neat pass from Gressel beat an unsuccessful offside trap by the Orlando City backline, allowing Suárez to square for Taylor to tap into an unguarded net.

"I try my best every time I'm out on the pitch," Suárez said. "Today we did a really good job and I hope the Miami fans are happy."

Messi joined the scoring onslaught with his first goal in the 57th minute. Súarez's shot deflected off the crossbar and an unmarked Messi easily tapped in the shot inches from the goal line.

Súarez's centering pass from the left wing found an open Messi, whose header in the 62nd minute closed the scoring.

"Very satisfied with our performance," Inter Miami coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino said. "Everyone played well. Suárez was fantastic not only with his goals but with the assists. We also preserved the shutout, which is very important."

Tensions escalated when Suárez exchanged words with Orlando players as they walked off the field for the half-time break.

Saturday began a month of seven matches for Inter Miami while Argentina also has called Messi for two exhibition game sin the United States during a four-day stretch later in March.

Martino said Friday that Messi's playing time will be carefully monitored.

In addition to five league matches, Inter Miami will face Nashville SC in a home-and-home set of the Concacaf Champions Cup round of 16. Argentina will play El Salvador on March 22 and Costa Rica on March 26 as precursors to Copa America later this summer.

Shortly before Saturday's kickoff, Jaime Herrera replaced Guilherme Ceretta as center referee after photos of Ceretta on social media created a possible conflict of interest.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ancelotti: 'Unprecedented' call cost Madrid win

Published in Soccer
Saturday, 02 March 2024 17:37

Carlo Ancelotti said an "unprecedented" refereeing decision saw what would have been a last-second winning goal from Jude Bellingham ruled out in Real Madrid's 2-2 draw at Valencia on Saturday.

Valencia led 2-0 with half an hour played at Mestalla with goals from Hugo Duro and Roman Yaremchuk, before a brace from Vinícius Júnior -- scoring at the stadium where he was racially abused by fans last season -- put Madrid level.

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Bellingham thought he'd taken all three points when he headed Brahim Díaz's cross into the net in the ninth minute of added time, but referee Jesús Gil Manzano had chosen to blow the full-time whistle with the ball in the air.

The England midfielder was sent off for disputing the decision, with the referee's report claiming he had shown an "aggressive attitude" and repeatedly shouted "it's a f---ing goal."

"There isn't much to say. Something unprecedented happened," Ancelotti said in his postmatch news conference. "We had possession. The play should stop when Valencia have the ball. It's unprecedented. It's never happened to me.

"We were annoyed with Bellingham's red card. He didn't say any insults. He said in English 'it's a f---ing goal,' but he was just saying what we were all thinking ... [The referee] allowed play to continue. I think he made a mistake."

"[Bellingham] was clear in what he said," Ancelotti added. "He was quite vehement [in his reaction] but that's normal, after what happened. It wasn't an insult, not at all."

The draw leaves Real Madrid seven points clear at the top of the LaLiga table, with closest rivals Girona and Barcelona both in action on Sunday.

"We'll look at the table and we'll sleep well," Ancelotti said.

Vinícius' two goals came after he was sent off in Madrid's loss in the same fixture in May 2023, in a game which also saw the Brazil international racially abused by a group of fans in the crowd.

Three people have been accused of racially insulting the player, who gave evidence in the case via video link last October.

"It was a very difficult game," Vinícius told Real Madrid TV on Saturday. "Playing away from home is always difficult. After conceding two goals, we managed to level. In the end we couldn't [win] because they didn't let us."

Australia 383 (Green 174*, Henry 5-70) and 164 (Lyon 41, Phillips 5-45) beat New Zealand 179 (Phillips 71, Lyon 4-43) and 196 (Ravindra 59, Lyon 6-65) by 172 runs

Nathan Lyon crushed New Zealand's hopes early on day four to complete a 10-wicket match haul as Australia recorded a convincing 172-run first Test victory at the Basin Reserve.

After a stirring fightback on day three, New Zealand resumed at 111 for 3 as they eyed the daunting target of 369 with a near capacity crowd hopeful of a rearguard.

But after a sedate start, with the surface appearing to be playing a little easier than the opening three days, Lyon claimed the wickets of Rachin Ravindra, Tom Blundell and Glenn Phillips in two overs to effectively end New Zealand's resistance.
Watching wickets tumble at the other end, Daryl Mitchell held firm in vain and was the last batter dismissed for 38 off 130 balls.
On a surface that turned and bounced sharply, Lyon always loomed large and once again he was Australia's match-winner to finish with 6 for 65 and match figures of 10-108. It was the first 10-wicket haul by a spinner in New Zealand since 2006.

With just one Test victory over Australia since 1993, New Zealand's misery continued having struggled to muster much resistance with the bat after being bowled out for under 200 runs in both innings.

After starting well having sent Australia in, New Zealand rued a wayward bowling effort where they watched helplessly as Green and Josh Hazlewood combined for a record 116-run last-wicket partnership. New Zealand also were left to lament not selecting frontline spinner Mitchell Santner as the surface increasingly offered bite as the match wore on.

New Zealand's capitulation early on day four was an anti-climax after an impressive fightback gave them some belief. But New Zealand needed to rewrite the record books if they were to take the lead in this series with their highest successful fourth-innings run chase being 324 against Pakistan at Christchurch in 1994.

Needing a further 258 runs, there were no alarms in the first 30 minutes for Ravindra and Mitchell, who had combined for a calm half-century partnership late on day three.

They defended well and looked to be proactive although it almost proved their undoing when they took off for a tight single with Mitchell relieved after Marnus Labuschagne's shy at the stumps missed.

Having played watchfully late on day three given the precarious situation, Mitchell started to show glimpses of his innate aggressiveness when on his 82nd delivery he hit his first boundary of the innings after slashing a short delivery from Mitchell Starc.

After flowing to a fifty off 77 balls before the close, Ravindra was shackled and started to look anxious in his bid for runs. Australia sensed this and packed the off-side field as Lyon changed to the southern end of the ground.

It did the trick with Ravindra falling for the trap as he miss-hit a cut shot to point to trigger a collapse. Later in the over, Lyon dismissed Blundell for a duck after he tentatively pressed forward and inside edged to short-leg much like his soft dismissal in the first innings.

New Zealand's hopes entirely rested on Mitchell and Phillips, who had been their star in this match with a 70-ball 71 in the first inning before claiming his first five-wicket Test haul in Australia's second innings.

But Phillips was no match for Lyon after being trapped lbw on the back foot as he reviewed unsuccessfully. It was Lyon's first five-wicket haul in New Zealand as he joined Shane Warne and Muthiah Muralidaran as the only bowlers to have reached that feat in nine countries.

After his marathon knock, Green had not bowled in the match until day four and showed off his prowess with the ball as he delivered a brute of a delivery that ballooned off the gloves of Scott Kuggeleijn to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Green's wicket meant seven Australian bowlers took wickets for the match, which was the most for them since 2012 against West Indies in Roseau.

Fittingly, given their heroic performances, Green, Lyon and Hazlewood claimed the final wickets as Australia's stranglehold over New Zealand continued.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth


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