TALKING SPORT - NFL clash a thrilling spectacle

Atlanta Falcons' Steven Jackson (centre) breaks through the Detroit Lions' during the NFL match at Wembley Stadium
Atlanta Falcons' Steven Jackson (centre) breaks through the Detroit Lions' during the NFL match at Wembley Stadium

I WAS fortunate enough to be at Wembley on Sunday for the NFL clash between Atlanta and Detroit.

I may not have always known what was going on, but what an occasion – complete with thrilling finish. Already looking forward to next year!

WHAT a difference a win makes for Wigan Athletic!

All the doom and gloom washed away in an instant thanks to James McClean’s dramatic double that demolished Derby.

Uwe Rosler had been saying for some time that one performance would turn things around and, coming away from Pride Park on Saturday, it was hard not to conclude that we could have witnessed a real watershed in the season.

At the interval, Latics had every reason not to stick at their task – they had missed a penalty and seen Derby take an undeserved lead on the stroke of half-time.

But the players showed their true colours, continued playing the better football and were rewarded with two moments of magic from the Irish winger.

As McClean himself says elsewhere in the paper, Latics have now set the standard they must now maintain.

They’ve beaten the best – at the top of their game, on their own ground.

Now it’s time to set about the rest – and with the next three games seeing them take on the three sides directly below them in the table, it could very much help to shape the rest of the campaign.

THERE aren’t too many things that would get me out of bed at the ungodly hour of 5am on a Sunday morning.

But the small matter of England taking on Australia in Melbourne might just be one of them.

And, whisper it quietly, but following decades of hurt it might just be our time at long last.

After losing to New Zealand last weekend, the Kangaroos know that defeat will see them bow out of the Four Nations with a match to spare.

On the flip side, victory for England would give them a dead rubber against the Kiwis to fine-tune for the final the week after.

It would be foolish to write off the Aussies, but this is not a vintage Kangaroos line-up – not even close.

And although England will unquestionably have to step up a level from last weekend’s win over Samoa, they are more than capable of giving Australia one back after taking so many unanswered punches to mention over the years.