26 Mar 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:21 am on 26 March 2019

Latest - The Chiefs are seeking dispensation to allow utility back Damian McKenzie to play this weekend against the Jaguars in Buenos Aires.

All Black Damian McKenzie


Captain Brodie Retallick was allowed to play a sixth straight Super Rugby game in their win over the Bulls at the weekend.

As a part of their agreement in managing game time ahead of the World Cup, All Blacks are meant to miss two games and not play in more than five games in a row.

With one of their first fives Jack Debreczeni returning home after suffering a head knock, coach Colin Cooper says they're making enquires about Damian McKenzie playing a sixth straight game this week.

Meanwhile centre Anton Lienert-Brown is improving from the fever that kept him out of the Bulls game.

England score big win in Montenegro

England recovered from an early scare in Montenegro to continue their strong start to Euro 2020 qualifying with a 5-1 win.

Harry Kane

Harry Kane Photo: Photosport

England, have scored 10 goals in two games in Group A having thrashed Czech Republic 5-nil in their opening game.

Olivier Giroud once again proved invaluable for France, netting his 35th international goal as the world champions demolished Iceland 4-0 at home.

Turkey emerged as France's main rivals in the group when they thrashed Moldova 4-0.

Defending European champions Portugal drew 1-1 at home with Serbia, their second straight draw and they're third in group B behind Ukraine and Luxembourg.

Forward Cristiano Ronaldo was forced off the pitch with an apparent hamstring injury.

Hesson opens IPL with a win

The former Black Caps coach Mike Hesson has opened his Indian Premier League account with a win.

After six years at the helm Mike Hesson is stepping down as Black Caps coach.

After six years at the helm Mike Hesson is stepping down as Black Caps coach. Photo: Photosport

Hesson's Kings Eleven Punjab has beaten the Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs.

Chris Gayle scored 79 as Kings scored 184 for 4, while Rajasthan finished on 170 for 9.

Returning former Australian skipper Steve Smith scored 20 for Rajasthan.

Hesson signed a two year deal to coach Kings Eleven Punjab, replacing Australian Brad Hodge.

McLaughlin returns to karts

Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will contest the national karting championship for the first time in 10 years this Easter.

Shell V-Power Racing Team's Supercar driver Scott Mclaughlin returns to the Hamilton Kart Club.


McLaughlin is set to race in the New Zealand National Sprint Championship in Hamilton.

Hamilton was McLaughlin's home track during his domestic karting career, before moving to Australia in 2009.

The now 25-year-old became a KartSport NZ patron last year, attending the Sprint Championship meeting at Rotorua, which kick-started his desire to race.

History beckons for Black Sox captain

New Zealand men's softball captain Nathan Nukunuku is set to make history after being named to lead the Black Sox at the World Championships in Prague in June.

Black Sox softball captain Nathan Nukunuku.


Nukunuku will be attending a record seventh world championship, he currently shares the record of six with coach Mark Sorensone, Thomas Makea, Jarrad Martin and Brad Rona.

Nukunuku has a shot at becoming the most decorated player in Black Sox history.

He has four world championship gold medals, the same as Sorenson, Makea, Martin and Rona.

The Black Sox are the defending champions.

Pulse beat Steel

The Central Pulse have replaced the Southern Steel at the top of the ANZ Netball Premiership after beating them 54-50 in Wellington.

The Pulse avenged last season's Grand Final loss but had to fight hard after the Steel had led by up to seven goals at different tims thtough the first half.

Fielding a line-up virtually unchanged from last season, the Pulse came into their own in the second half, making sure they maintained their unbeaten record this season and climbed up to the number one spot on the league ladder.

The Pulse have five wins from five and have 15 points, while the Steel have 14 points from six games.

Read set to play again

There is some good news for the Crusaders after a difficult 10 days with All Blacks captain Kieran Read declared available to play in Friday's crunch Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes.

Kieran Read during Crusader Training


The reigning champions lost for the first time in a year when they went down 20-12 to the Waratahs on Saturday in a match where the 50 victims of the March 15 mosque shootings in their home city of Christchurch were remembered.

Backrow powerhouse Read, who missed the start of the last Super Rugby season after back surgery, has not played since the All Blacks' November tour of Europe as he rests up for a season that will climax with the World Cup defence in Japan.

If he does play, the nine-times Super Rugby champions will certainly welcome Read's leadership after looking a little rudderless as they chased the game in Sydney at the weekend.

Prop Owen Franks, who had been scheduled to play his 150th Super Rugby match, was a late withdrawal because of a shoulder problem, while lock Scott Barrett and flyhalf Richie Mo'unga were rested under All Blacks player management protocols.


O'Gara off to help France

Reports in Europe say Crusaders assistant coach Ronan O'Gara will help France during this year's World Cup.

Ronan O'Gara  during Crusader Training


The French publication Midi Olympique says O'Gara will be France's defence coach on a short term contract.

The 42-year-old's contract with the Crusaders would allow him to help out with the French during the World Cup.

Roosters confirm their home

The Sydney Roosters have signed a 25-year agreement to play out of the new 750 million dollar Sydney Football Stadium after the project's future was assured following Saturday's NSW election.

The Roosters have signed a long-term deal to make the new 40,000-seat stadium home when it opens in 2022.

The facility is in the process of being knocked down and rebuilt however Labor had threatened to scrap the project if they were elected in NSW.

However it will proceed after the Coalition government was returned.

The Roosters will play out of the SCG next door for the next three seasons.

Cardiff resist payments for Emiliano Sala

Cardiff City will tell football's world governing body FIFA that Emiliano Sala's move from Nantes was invalid when the club responds to a complaint over their refusal to pay the French club his 30 million dollar transfer fee.

The 28-year-old Argentinian striker died in a plane crash in the English Channel on January 21, two days after the Premier League club had announced him as their record signing "subject to international clearance".

But it is understood Cardiff will tell FIFA that Sala was not eligible to play in the EPL at the time of his death and was free to join another club had he so wished.

FIFA has given Cardiff until April 3 to respond after Nantes lodged a complaint with them over the Welsh club's refusal to pay the first 10 million dollar instalment of the Sala transfer fee.

It is understood Sala's Cardiff contract was rejected by the EPL because it contravened signing-on fee rules.

Cardiff will also tell FIFA that the non-fulfilment of legally-binding clauses in the transfer agreement they struck with Nantes for the player made the deal invalid.