Weekend in pictures: Euro 2016 underway, historic Tour triumphs for England and Ireland
A huge weekend of sport has just passed, with Euro 2016 finally kicking off on French soil, including some of the Home Nations getting their campaigns underway, while Irish rugby history was made in South Africa and a monumental boxing feat was achieved by Vasyl Lomachenko.
So read on for Coral’s latest weekend in pictures following plenty of thrills and spills across the world of sport…
The awaited kick-off in France finally took place on Friday night and the first game between hosts Les Bleus and Romania did not disappoint, though there were mixed emotions for Home Nations in their respective openers…
Payet class earns France opening success
France looked to be heading for an opening stalemate against Romania, after Olivier Giroud’s first goal of the tournament had been cancelled out by a Bogdan Stancu penalty, but West Ham United ace Dimitri Payet fired in a late rocket to secure three points.
Brilliant Bale stars in Wales win
Gareth Bale’s sublime free-kick got Wales off to a flyer in their opening Group B clash with Slovakia, while substitute Hal Robson-Kanu netted the second-half winner after Ondrej Duda’s impressive equaliser in a 2-1 success.
England held by Russia despite dominance
Roy Hodgson’s England side dominated throughout their encounter with Russia, though it took an Eric Dier free-kick to break the deadlock in the second-half, before hearts were broken as skipper Vasili Berezutski headed in a stoppage leveller to secure a 1-1 draw.
Brave NI overcome by Milik magic
Northern Ireland also got their campaign underway in France, but they too suffered some misery as Michael O’Neill’s men were narrowly toppled 1-0 by Poland in Group C, thanks to a superb strike from Ajax frontman Arkadiusz Milik.
Rugby Union Summer Tours
The Home Nations were also in international rugby union action with England and Ireland taking part in three Test series in respective Summer Tours to Australia and South Africa…
Red Rose blooms with record win Down Under
Eddie Jones’ Six Nations Grand Slam champions gave their best performance under their Aussie coach yet, beating the Wallabies 28-39 in Brisbane.
This was a record points haul for England that came courtesy of Jonathan Joseph, Marland Yarde and Jack Nowell tries, plus nine successful kicks from 10 attempts via the boot of Owen Farrell.
Australia lost momentum when a first-half Bernard Foley try was ruled out by the TMO for an infringement in the build-up play, but impressive back row operator Michael Hooper crossed twice and was joined by flying full back Israel Folau and physically imposing centre Tevita Kuridrani.
Ireland finally win a Springbok showdown in Cape Town
Despite CJ Stander’s sending off and the sin-binning of Robbie Henshaw that left them with just 13 men on the field for a time, Ireland incredibly edged South Africa 20-26 at Newlands for their first-ever Tour victory over them.
Jared Payne – picked by Joe Schmidt at full back for the first time where he plays his club rugby – proved hugely influential with a shock opening try, as did understudy fly half Paddy Jackson by putting 16 points on the board.
Ireland scrum half Conor Murray also crossed, with the Springboks losing kicker Pat Lambie on a stretcher when Stander took him out in a high tackle. Lwazi Mvovo and Pieter-Steph du Toit got the tries for the hosts.
Lomachenko KO sees him clinch history
A brutal fifth-round knockout of Roman Martinez saw Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko create boxing history, as his latest win made him the fastest fighter ever to become a two-weight world champion, adding the super-featherweight title to his featherweight crown on just his seventh professional bout.