7 Mar 2019

Today's sport news: What you need to know

3:14 pm on 7 March 2019

Latest - World Rugby powerbrokers have clarified and defended plans to launch a 12 team league called the global Nations Championship.

The governing body is insisting on promotion/relegation, so the teams can change, and does not plan to introduce the new model until 2022.

The initial proposal was met by criticism from both current and former players, including All Black captain Kieran Read, who questioned the integrity of a competition that seemed to exclude the Pacific Island nations.

However World Rugby says the proposals are for a two-division competition including promotion and relegation, and would involve all the Pacific teams.

Manson edges out Drysdale

Robbie Manson has seen off the challenge by two time Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale for the single scull berth in rowing's high performance programme this year.

Manson beat Drysdale at the recent national champs and also in the national trial earlier this week.

Manson has finished fifth in the single sculls at the last two World Champs and Drysdale says his foe is yet to prove himself on the world stage.

National single sculls champion Robbie Manson has edged out two time Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale for a place at the world champs.

National single sculls champion Robbie Manson has edged out two time Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale for a place at the world champs. Photo: Photosport

But the chief executive of Rowing New Zealand Simon Peterson says Manson has earnt the top spot for this season and will contest the world champs but Drysdale could compete in world cup events.

Manchester United advance after last gasp penalty

Marcus Rashford scored a last-gap penalty awarded after a Video Assistant Referee intervention as Manchester United stunned Paris St Germain 3-1 away to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals.

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United.


Never in Europe's premium club competition had a team progressed after a 2-0 home defeat but Rashford's stoppage-time penalty made sure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side advanced in the most dramatic fashion.

The visitors, severely depleted by injuries, went ahead twice in the first half through Romelu Lukaku but Juan Bernat equalised for the French champions in between.

PSG were advancing to the last eight 3-2 on aggregate before referee Damir Skomina awarded United a penalty for a Presnel Kimpembe handball after a lengthy delay for the VAR review and Rashford lashed home the spot-kick to level the tie at 3-3 and send United through on away goals.

Andy Murray set to return to tennis

Andy Murray is looking to make a comeback to the tennis circuit and possibly play doubles at Wimbledon after he revealed he is now pain free following hip resurfacing surgery in January.

British tennis star Andy Murray gives an emotional press conference at the Australian open.

British tennis star Andy Murray gives an emotional press conference at the Australian open. Photo: Photosport

Three-times Grand Slam champion Murray said before his first round exit at the Australian Open in January that the tournament could be his last as a professional due to severe hip pain, with the surgery aimed at improving his quality of life.

Murray had also hoped to play at this year's Wimbledon, a tournament he has won twice. But the 31-year-old Scot said he might consider playing doubles, like American Bob Bryan did after a similar procedure, as it put less stress on the hip.

Murray also said he would give himself "seven or eight months" before making a call on whether he would continue playing competitively.

Firebirds promote Pocknall to head coach

Glenn Pocknall has been appointed as the new Wellington men's cricket coach on a three-year term.

Firebirds coach Glenn Pocknall.


The current Firebirds assistant coach will take the reins after Bruce Edgar announced he would step down from the role at the end of the season.

The appointment completes the successful transition through the Cricket Wellington coaching pathway programme of Pocknall who began his coaching career at the age of 22 with the Wellington under 15 team.

A born-and-bred Wellingtonian, Pocknall has been part of the Firebirds programme for the past seven years and took on the lead coaching role in their successful Ford Trophy campaign this summer.

Hamish Bond returns to rowing

Two time Olympic rowing champion Hamish Bond is returning to the water after spending the last two years competing in cycling.

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray enjoy another win at the 2015 World Cup event in Lucerne.

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray enjoy another win at the 2015 World Cup event in Lucerne. Photo: Photosport

Bond has been named in Rowing New Zealand's Summer Squad training programme.

After switching to the bike in 2017, Bond won a bronze medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 and more recently a national record in the individual pursuit.

The 33-year-old is vying for selection into the men's eight crew in early April, with his eyes set on Tokyo 2020 in the boat.

Read the full story.

McCartney suffers injury blow

Auckland pole-vaulter Eliza McCartney is in doubt for this weekend's National Athletics Championships because of an injury.

Eliza McCartney

Eliza McCartney Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Injuries have plagued the 22-year-old's career and she decided to skip a street event in Christchurch last night because of a niggling hamstring issue.

The women's pole vault at the Nationals is in Christchurch on Saturday.

Tom Walsh won the men's shot put with a throw of 21.01 metres.

Stars too good for Tactix

The Northern Stars have beaten the Canterbury Tactix 65-46 in Auckland for their second win in the ANZ Netball Premiership.

Extending their dominance throughout, the Stars had the luxury of giving all 10 players court time, barely missing a beat as they proved a cut above the southerners.

Talented young Stars goal shoot Maia Wilson continued to impress with her variety, positioning and accuracy under the hoop as she posted 50 goals for the second time this season when finishing with 51 goals from 55 attempts.

The Stars are third on the table and the Tactix are fifth.

Football Ferns beaten

The Football Ferns have been beaten 2-0 by South Korea in their last dgame at the Cup of Nations in Australia.

Substitute So-yun Ji's long range strike opened the scoring.... the Chelsea star climbed off the bench to change the game, turning Rebekah Stott inside out before firing home past Erin Nayler.

Another substitute, Mi-ra Moon, pounced on a spilled shot from the same goalkeeper to double South Korea's advantage as full-time loomed.

The result means South Korea finish second in the friendly tournament, behind Australia, while New Zealand was third, with their only win against Argentina.

Cambo to play first PGA Championship.

The New Zealand golfer Michael Campbell will tee up in his first ever New Zealand PGA Championship in Christchurch today.

Michael Campbell at the 100th New Zealand Open, The Hills, Arrowtown, New Zealand.

Photo: Photosport

50 year old Campbell returned to professional golf at last week's New Zealand Open in Queenstown.

It will be the 2005 US Open champions first time at the Pegasus course and the first time he's played the event.

Campbell tees off at 8:15 alongside Michael Hendry and Brad Kennedy.

Bogut back in the NBA

Sydney Kings basketball star Andrew Bogut has agreed to return to the NBA with Golden State Warriors.

Bogut has received a letter of clearance from his NBL team, that paves the way for the veteran Australian centre to rejoin the reigning NBA champion Warriors.

Bogut won his only NBA title with the Warriors in 2015 but the team offloaded him to the Dallas Mavericks in 2016 to clear salary cap space to sign All-Star Kevin Durant.

The Warriors' two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry said he was excited at the prospect of having Bogut back in Oakland.

The Warriors are favourites to win their fourth title in five years.

Proteas win again.

South Africa's Quinton de Kock top-scored with 94 as they cruised to a 113-run victory over Sri Lanka at Centurion and a 2-0 lead in their five-match One-Day International series.

South Africa claimed an eight-wicket victory in the opening match at the weekend and were dominant again despite losing their last six wickets for 31 runs as they posted a below-par 251 all out.

Their bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals though and dismissed Sri Lanka for 138 in 32.2 overs to claim an emphatic win.

South Africa can wrap up the series in the third ODI in Durban this weekend.

Spurs boss fined

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has been banned for two games and fined 20 thousand dollars by the English Football Association after accepting an improper conduct charge.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Argentine confronted referee Mike Dean after his team's 2-1 Premier League defeat at Burnley last month that led to Spurs losing ground to Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League title race.

The ban means the 47-year-old will not be in the dugout for Tottenham's league trips to Southampton this weekend and Liverpool at the end of the month.

Lehmann set to take over the Heat

Former Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann is expected to be announced as the new Brisbane Heat mentor today.

He'll replace New Zealander Daniel Vettori, who stood down after being with the club as a player and a coach since 2011.

The Big Bash role will be Lehmann's first coaching appointment since the ball tampering scandal in South Africa last year.

News Corp reported that Lehmann edged Queensland Bulls coach Wade Seccombe for the role with former Heat batsman Brendon McCullum and international all-rounder James Hopes also applying.

Brisbane-based Lehmann had previously coached the Heat to their only title.