From Mackenzie Arnold’s heroics for the Matildas on the Women’s World Cup ultimate to Nathan Cleary’s 20-minute masterclass that impressed Penrith to NRL historical past — there have been numerous unbelievable particular person moments in Australian sport this 12 months.
Here, foxsports.com.au picks out 10 of the very best — each on the worldwide and home stage — that show simply what number of causes Australians needed to cheer in 2023.
Nathan Cleary turns NRL GF
When Reece Walsh skipped previous Nathan Cleary, leaving the Panthers halfback on the bottom and later discovering five-eighth Ezra Mam for his third attempt of the NRL grand ultimate, it regarded just like the premiership was heading up north.
Brisbane led 24-8 at that time and with each Jarome Luai and Izack Tago succumbing to accidents, even this appeared to be a step too far for the back-to-back defending premiers.
But after being stepped by Walsh within the lead-up to Brisbane’s fourth attempt of the night time, Cleary bought again up.
And when the Panthers wanted him most, their star halfback delivered within the crowning second of what was an already completed profession, kicking a 40-20 that flipped the momentum of the decider.
Before then, Cleary faked a brief ball to Liam Martin earlier than breaking by the road to arrange Moses Leota for Penrith’s second attempt of the night time.
Cleary then shortly shifted the ball to Stephen Crichton because the Panthers drew inside one rating of Brisbane — and everyone knows what occurred subsequent.
Time appeared to face nonetheless for a second as Cleary, with your entire crew on his again, stepped again on the within and beat Walsh, Adam Reynolds and Billy Walters.
Comeback full. History made. Legacy left.
“I don’t like rapping him when he’s sitting here,” Isaah Yeo advised reporters after the sport.
“I just feel like what he’s done in this space of time, no halfback has ever done it… that 20-minute period he put the team on his back and he won us his third grand final in a row.”
Cleary goes from a champion to a legend | 00:46
Glenn Maxwell’s CWC 200
Like Penrith, Australia appeared to be in dire straits towards Afghanistan, down 7-91 and chasing a 292-run goal with a Cricket World Cup semi-final spot on the road.
It was a powerful feat for Australia to get that far given the best way they opened the event, shedding two-straight video games that had Pat Cummins’ captaincy known as into query.
But Australia fought again, though at Wankhede Stadium it was a shocking particular person knock from Glenn Maxwell that saved the day to assist pull off Australia’s highest profitable run chase in World Cup historical past.
Maxwell hit 21 boundaries and ten sixes on his solution to an unbeaten 201. The subsequent highest rating by an Australian on the day was 24.
The heroic Maxwell admitted post-game to feeling “shocking”, having suffered cramps all through the sport. But it appeared like nothing might have stopped him from writing his title into the file books.
“That’s just ridiculous,” Cummins mentioned within the post-match presentation.
“Maxy was out of this world.
“It’s got to be the greatest ODI innings that’s ever happened.”
Australia, in fact, went on to win the World Cup with Maxwell solely required to place up two runs however they wouldn’t have been there within the first place if it wasn’t for his double century.
Titmus 400m world file
Just 4 months prior 16-year-old Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh had damaged the 400-metre freestyle file in Toronto, clocking a time of three.56.08 — 0.32 seconds sooner than Ariarne Titmus.
But Australia’s reigning Olympic champion was fast to regain her throne, shattering the world file on the opening night time of the world swimming championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
Titmus breezed previous McIntosh and Katie Ledecky to file a time of three.55.38, capping off a golden night time within the pool as Sam Short took house first place within the males’s 400m freestyle ultimate whereas Australia additionally got here out on high within the ladies’s and males’s 4×100 freestyle relay.
Titmus stole the present although, with two-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe declaring on Channel Nine’s protection of the occasion that it was the “best I’ve ever seen her swim”.
Stunning Titmus units scorching WR! | 00:53
Piastri profitable Qatar dash
After an unlucky Safety Car robbed him of a maiden podium at Silverstone, Piastri had some well-deserved luck on his facet at Qatar because the Australian secured his first-ever Formula 1 victory.
Piastri, who went on to complete second on the Qatar Grand Prix, handed Red Bull simply its second defeat within the season at that time whereas it was additionally McLaren’s first win since Daniel Ricciardo’s triumph on the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.
There have been three Safety Cars in what was an eventful dash race, though this time round Piastri later admitted they have been his “friend” in serving to him fend off Max Verstappen.
“I’m very happy. It was a very stressful race,” Piastri mentioned after the dash.
“When I saw all the soft [tyre] guys come through at the start, I thought we were in a bit of trouble, but then their tyres fell off pretty quickly – that was good.
“Safety Cars were my friend today, definitely once Max got behind me, but the pace was reasonable… I think in a race where you had to manage a lot, the tyres, cars on other compounds, I think we did a really good job.”
It was only one shining second in a powerful rookie season for Piastri, who ended the Formula 1 season in ninth on the driving force standings.
Piastri wins Rookie of the Year | 00:53
Tim Tszyu profitable three massive fights
Tszyu opened the 12 months with a stiff problem, going through the one man to have overwhelmed then tremendous welterweight division champion Jermell Charlo.
Tszyu was alleged to struggle Charlo earlier than that bout fell by, with Tony Harrison stepping ahead to tackle the Australian for the interim WBO title.
It was each the largest check of Tszyu’s profession to that time and his largest danger too however it all proved price it ultimately as he claimed a ninth-round stoppage victory.
LIGHTS OUT in RD 9 – Tszyu ends Harrison | 01:10
Up subsequent for Tszyu was Carlos Ocampo, who had a 35-2 file and 23 knockouts to his title earlier than he bought within the ring with the Australian, who didn’t even must be taking the struggle.
“What Tim is doing is absolutely crazy as far as global boxing goes, the risks he is taking but that’s what he’s about,” No Limit CEO George Rose mentioned on the time.
“He’s [Ocampo] got a hell of a record. He’s a guy who can hit and he’s here to spoil the party. It’s an absolute risk he’s taking. As far as global boxing goes, nobody else in the world is doing what Tim would do taking on a guy like Carlos Ocampo.”
But Tszyu knew what he was doing, staying energetic in his eventual pursuit of a shot at Charlo and making one more assertion within the course of — the largest of his profession in truth — as he destroyed Ocampo with a first-round knockout.
Tszyu belts Ocampo in 77 seconds | 01:08
The long-awaited bout between Tszyu and Charlo would by no means come, with the American as a substitute difficult boxing famous person Canelo Alvarez to a struggle that he later misplaced.
It then noticed Charlo stripped of his belt, with Tszyu confirmed as the brand new WBO tremendous welterweight champion. The subsequent step was to make his first title defence.
And so, Tszyu capped off a giant 12 months with a unanimous determination win over Brian Mendoza in a struggle that will have seemingly resulted in a end if it was anybody however the American within the ring.
Mendoza although went the gap towards Tszyu, even because the Australian stalked him down within the ultimate rounds, touchdown a number of brutal uppercuts that seemingly had the challenger on the ropes.
It might not have been the end Tszyu was after however it was nonetheless dominant because it comes, with two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter describing him as a “bully” because the Australian refused to let up even with the consequence seemingly past doubt.
Tszyu lands ferocious bombs on Mendoza | 00:28
Mark Zahra profitable Melbourne and Caulfield Cups
It was a dramatic 24 hours for Zahra earlier than he even suited up for and later gained the Caulfield Cup, with news his horse Without A Fight had failed his preliminary veterinary evaluation.
Zahra, who had gained the earlier 12 months’s Melbourne Cup using Gold Trip, initially thought the stallion might miss the Caulfield in preparation to the Cox Plate, which was run the next weekend.
“I had to give myself an uppercut I reckon about Thursday because I didn’t sleep Wednesday night just thinking about… it was like someone stealing your missus, someone else getting the ride on Gold Trip, I was a bit shattered,” Zahra advised Channel 7 of the second when he discovered Gold Trip would run within the Caulfield Cup.
“I thought, ‘F***, he is a great horse, I have an emotional bond like I don’t with any other horse, Gold Trip’. And then on Thursday, ‘What the ‘F’ are you doing?’ You picked this horse, after the last start I said to Sam Freedman I think he will win the Caulfield Cup.”
That prediction proved true as Zahra gained an exciting version of the race.
Zahra then backed it up in spectacular vogue, once more on Without A Fight, as he took out the Melbourne Cup to grow to be the primary jockey to win the race back-to-back on completely different horses since Harry White in 1978 and ‘79.
Zahra grabs a 2nd straight Melbourne cup | 01:13
Mollie O’Callaghan world champs 5 gold medals
O’Callaghan, who reigned supreme for a second-straight 12 months as Australia’s Olympic Program Swimmer Of The Year, shocked the swimming world when she claimed a world file and gold within the 200-metre freestyle on the world championships.
It was solely the beginning of an unbelievable efficiency in Fukuoka from the 19-year-old, who went on to win 5 gold medals after defending her 100m freestyle world crown and in addition popping out on high alongside her Australian teammates within the 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x100m Mixed freestyle relays.
O’Callaghan’s effort within the 200-metre freestyle, which gained Performance of the Year on the Australian Institute of Sport Performance Awards, was the choose of the bunch.
Touching in at a time of 1:52.85, O’Callaghan broke certainly one of swimming’s longest-standing information, with the file beforehand held by Federica Pellegrini and set again in 2009.
“There were tears, there was happiness. It was very mixed emotions. I’m just so proud of myself to do that and it was such an unexpected moment,” O’Callaghan mentioned on the time.
“… To come out with a world record was really unexpected for me.”
Sensational Mollie strikes GOLD once more! | 00:43
Mackenzie Arnold’s Matildas heroics
Australia’s thrilling penalty shootout win over France within the FIFA Women’s World Cup quarter-finals was historic for a number of causes.
Starting with the actual fact it was the primary time the Matildas had booked their spot within the World Cup semi-finals.
It was additionally the longest penalty shootout in World Cup historical past, which brings us to Mackenzie Arnold, who grew to become a nationwide hero in a single day after her heroics in objective.
The solely blemish — if you happen to may even name it that — was a missed penalty shot which hit the submit however Arnold greater than made up for it with two essential saves within the shootout.
“Mackenzie was amazing,” Sam Kerr mentioned.
“She saves all our penalties at training and robs our confidence. We all just stuck to our routines and we knew she’d come through for us, but she was amazing in the game as well.”
Arnold heroics progresses Tillies! | 00:17
Ange Postecoglou’s historic begin at Tottenham
Even earlier than breaking new floor as Tottenham’s new supervisor, Postecoglou kicked off 2023 in model because the Australian accomplished a home treble with Celtic.
Postecoglou gained his fifth trophy in two seasons with the Hoops as Celtic defeated Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3-1 within the Scottish Cup ultimate, having already taken the crew to glory within the Scottish Premiership and League Cup.
“I’m very proud of the whole group. It’s a bit surreal when you think about what we have achieved,” Postecoglou mentioned on the time.
Of course, it will solely find yourself being the beginning of Postecoglou’s fast rise within the soccer world as he was formally introduced because the Spurs’ newest supervisor in June.
Postecoglou was up towards it from the beginning when it was confirmed in August that prolific striker Harry Kane can be departing the membership on the eve of the brand new season.
It was at all times going to be arduous to interchange the crew’s all-time high goalscorer and given gradual begins in Postecoglou’s earlier stints at Yokohama F. Marinos and Celtic, expectations weren’t essentially excessive of the brand new Australian rent early on.
Instead, Postecoglou made historical past as he claimed his third straight Premier League Manager of the Month award after guiding Tottenham to eight wins and two attracts from 11 video games.
Postecoglou’s solely loss in that early interval got here in a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea, the place Tottenham was diminished to 9 males.
Tottenham sat on 26 factors after its first 10 video games, marking the very best return of any new supervisor throughout that interval in Premier League historical past.
While the outcomes have been clearly promising, greater than something Postecoglou gave Tottenham supporters a cause to consider after Kane’s departure.
And even when it was early within the season, he wasn’t going to cease them both.
“Let them dream, that’s what being a football supporter is all about,” Postecoglou mentioned in late October.
Ange speaks on Spurs’ robust begin | 01:05
Nina Kennedy’s magic second of sportsmanship
It was a golden second, however not solely as a result of Australian Nina Kennedy got here out on high within the ladies’s world pole vault ultimate in Budapest.
Rather, what made the second much more memorable was the present of sportsmanship between Kennedy and Olympic champion Katie Moon, with the pair each clearing 4.90 metres however failing to progress on the 4.95 metre mark.
The duo got here along with officers and after a small chat, determined to share the gold medal and each be topped world champions.
“I think a miracle happened tonight,” Kennedy mentioned.
“To win a gold medal, it is just a dream come true. I jumped out of my skin tonight. It was super crazy. I felt like the whole stadium was watching every single jump, they were all around us tonight, it was really incredible.”
Kennedy had already damaged two nationwide information — at 4.85 and 4.90 metres — to get to that time within the first place.
Kennedy speaks on sharing WC Gold medal | 00:28