On the box

On the box

FOOTBALL Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin.
Nanjing Night Net

Setanta Sports, 4.30-6.30am. Bundesliga.

GOLF Zurich Classic. Second round.

Fox Sports 1, 5-8am. US PGA Tour.

BASEBALL Boston v NY Yankees.

ESPN, 9am-noon. Major League.

LEAGUE Roosters v Dragons (Toyota Cup) from 12.45. Roosters v Dragons (first grade) from 3. Storm v Warriors from 5.30. Cowboys v Sea Eagles from 7.30.

Fox Sports 2, 12.45-9.30pm. NRL.

RACING Blues v Reds. Hurricanes v Brumbies from 5.30.

Channel Nine, 1.30-4.30pm. Sydney Cup day.

AFL

Channel Ten, 2-5pm. Essendon v Collingwood.

RUGBY

Fox Sports 3, 3.30-7.30pm. Super 14.

AFL Rangers v St Mirren.

Fox Sports 1, 5-11.30pm; Channel Ten, 8.30-11.30pm. Hawthorn v West Coast (Fox only). Fremantle v Sydney from 8.30 (Fox and Ten).

FOOTBALL

Setanta Sports, 9.15-11.15pm. Scottish FA Cup semi-final.

RUGBY Cheetahs v Crusaders. Bulls v Chiefs from 1.

Fox Sports 2, 11pm-3am. Super 14.

FOOTBALL West Ham United v Chelsea, Bolton v Aston Villa, Everton v Manchester City, Fulham v Stoke, or Hull v Liverpool (viewer’s choice). Manchester United v Tottenham from 2.30. Setanta Sports, 2-4am. Italian Serie A. Chievo v Udinese.

Fox Sports 3, midnight-5am. English Premier League.

AND ON RADIO … Racing.

2KY, noon-midnight.

702 ABC, noon-10pm. Grandstand . Includes Roosters v Dragons from 3, Storm v Warriors from 5.30, and Cowboys v Sea Eagles from 7.30. SUNDAY

FOOTBALL Malaga v Deportivo La Coruna.

ESPN, 4-6am. Spanish Primera Division.

GOLF Third round.

Fox Sports 1, 5-8am. Zurich Classic.

BASEBALL Boston v NY Yankees.

Fox Sports 3, 6-9am. US Major League.

BASKETBALL LA Lakers v Utah Jazz.

ESPN, 11am-1.30pm. NBA play-offs.

LEAGUE Raiders v Bulldogs (Toyota Cup) from 11.45. Raiders v Bulldogs (first grade) from 2.

Fox Sports 2, 11.45am-4pm. NRL.

MOTOR SPORT Randwick v Easts.

Fox Sports 3, 12.30-5.30pm. Japanese MotoGP.

AFL

Fox Sports 1, 1-7.30pm. Geelong v Brisbane. Melbourne v Adelaide from 4.30. Channel Seven, 2-5pm. Western Bulldogs v Carlton.

RUGBY

ABC1, 3-5pm. Shute Shield.

LEAGUE Tigers v Knights. There’s been a lot of irrational hoopla, a lot of loose talk if you will, over the past week surrounding the fact that Rabbitohs halfback Chris Sandow is on track to become the eighth player in the history of the NRL to rack up 100 missed tackles in a single season. Apparently, the last tackle Sandow successfully executed was in pre-season training, a couple of months ago: Jason Taylor threw a tackling bag on him while he was enjoying a mid-session drinks break, and Sandow tripped over the bag, thereby forcing it to the ground, where it remained stationary for the remainder of the training session. Extraordinary stuff. It is, of course, as this column has successfully demonstrated over the course of its glorious, Walkley-deserving four-year history, only right and good and proper and healthy to snigger at the misfortune of others. But much of the sniggering about Sandow has rested on the assumption that tackling in the modern game of rugby league is some kind of idealised, 1930s vintage, one-on-one pursuit between ball-runner and tackler, where a wispy, moustachioed gentleman in long shorts worn up around the armpits gallops gazelle-like away from his pursuer, before eventually being cut down around his bootlaces in a sweeping, poetic arc that will later furnish the main scene for an advertising poster for some salty, Depression-era, family-run business by the name of "Tooth and Co" or "Cobbs Hams". As we all know, tackling today is nothing of the sort. No one gets tackled in the NRL today unless it’s by 23 opposition players. Seriously, there are nations in Central America that have fewer people in them than the average NRL tackle. On the most minimal model, the modern tackle will need, at the very least , eight players to come even close to being successful. First, a guy charges in and attacks the ball carrier’s midriff. Next, another guy comes in and attacks the shoulders. Then a third team member jumps in and attacks the ball carrier’s neck, twisting it hither and thither as the rest of his body is held in lock and shouting, "How does that make you feel, mate? Feel good?" The fourth tackler, whose sole function is to sit on the ball runner’s head once he’s been pinned down by his three teammates, occupies a pivotal role in the architecture of modern tackling, ensuring that the opposition player rises from the tackle with the imprint of at least one pair of buttock cheeks neatly creased into his face. The fifth and sixth tacklers come in and just, like, flick the ball carrier’s ears and stuff. It’s ineffective and ultimately has little impact on the course of the game, but it makes for highly entertaining television. Finally, two tacklers are introduced at the end, first, to press the ball runner’s head into the ground as he’s trying to get up to play the ball, and finally, once he’s on his feet and in a position to roll the ball under his legs, to give him the obligatory sarcastic little ruffle of the hair. When people criticise Sandow for missing so many tackles, what they are really pointing to is a chronic weakness in the broader collective tackling culture at the Rabbitohs. There are faces to be sat on and ears to be flicked. Get it right, Souths.

Channel Nine, 4-6pm. NRL.

MOTOR SPORT Round four from the Netherlands.

Fox Sports 3, 7.30pm-12.30am. World superbike championship.

FOOTBALL Arsenal v Middlesbrough. Blackburn v Wigan from 1. Setanta Sports, midnight-2am. Scottish FA Cup semi-final. Falkirk v Dunfermline. ESPN, 11pm-5am. Italian Serie A. Milan v Palermo. Spanish Primera Division from 1. Getafe v Villarreal. Sevilla v Real Madrid from 3.

Fox Sports 2, 10.30pm-3am. English Premier League.

AND ON RADIO … Grandstand . Includes Raiders v Bulldogs (first half only) from 2 and Tigers v Knights from 3.

702 ABC, noon-6pm. MONDAY

GOLF Final round.

Fox Sports 1, 3-8am. Zurich Classic.

MOTOR SPORT Aaron’s 499.

Fox Sports 3, 3-8am. NASCAR Sprint Cup.

FOOTBALL Napoli v Inter.

Setanta Sports, 4.30-6.30am. Italian Serie A.

BASEBALL NY Yankees v Boston.

ESPN, 10am-1pm. Major League.

LEAGUE Panthers v Titans.

Fox Sports 2, 7-9pm. NRL.

CRICKET Pakistan v Australia.

Fox Sports 3, 9pm-5am. One-day international.