31 Mar 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

5:33 pm on 31 March 2019

Latest - The Blues have scored their third straight win in Super Rugby beating the Stormers 24-9 at Eden Park.

Blues Tanielu Tele'a.
Blues v Stormers, Super 15 Rugby, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. 30 March 2019.

Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019

Winger Rieko Ioane grabbed his seventh try of the season as the home side held on after being reduced to 14 men late in the game.

Blues winger Tanielu Tele'a scored a first-half try but was handed a red card in the 70th minute after a dangerous aerial clash that flattened his opposite number Dillyn Leyds.

Stormers replacement back SP Marais then missed the simplest of penalty goals that would have trimmed the lead to five points, allowing Ioane to put the game beyond the South Africans with a clever step and try at the left corner with five minutes left.

Flyhalf Otere Black grabbed the Blues' second try under the posts in the 62nd minute after a brilliant off-load by Sonny Bill Williams, while the Stormers, who suffered their third loss, were held try-less.


Ward finishes third in World Cup sprint triathlon

New Zealander Sam Ward has finished third in the elite men's race at the World Cup sprint triathlon in New Plymouth.

Ward was pipped in a sprint finish for second by Germany's Justus Nieschlag, both athletes just five seconds behind winner Luke Willian of Australia.

Spanish great Javier Gomez was fifth, 13sec behind Willian and two seconds behind early leader Hayden Wilde. It was the five-time world champion's first race for almost two years over the Olympic short format, having focused recently on long distance racing.

The women's race was won by Italy's Angelica Olma, who edged second-placed Yolanda Annen of Switzerland by just one second.

Leclerc grabs pole in Bahrain

Charles Leclerc seized the first pole position of his Formula One career to lead Ferrari to a front-row lockout in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.


Calm and composed in only his second race for the Italian team, the 21-year-old from Monaco was 0.294 seconds clear of last year's pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel who will start alongside under the Sakhir floodlights.

Five-times world champion Lewis Hamilton was Ferrari's closest challenger in third for Mercedes, but the Briton was still 0.324 seconds off the pace with team mate Valtteri Bottas alongside in fourth.

Leclerc is the second youngest pole sitter of all time after Vettel, who did it at 21 years and 73 days with Toro Rosso at Monza in 2008.

He will also be the first driver from Monaco to start at the front since the world championship started in 1950.

Behind the top four, Max Verstappen was fifth for Red Bull ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the Haas, McLaren's Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean for Haas.

Kimi Raikkonen was ninth for Alfa Romeo while McLaren's British rookie Lando Norris completed the top 10.


City back on top

Manchester City returned to the top of the English Premier League table after a comfortable 2-0 win at second-bottom Fulham.

Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero scored the goals inside the first 27 minutes and City easily held on to go one point clear of Liverpool, who play Tottenham tomorrow.

Some woeful defending from Fulham - who have now conceded 72 goals, the worst record in the top flight - contributed to both goals.

City are chasing an unprecedented quadruple, while the Cottagers stay second bottom, 13 points from safety with six league games remaining.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrated his first game as permanent Manchester United manager with a 2-1 win over Watford at Old Trafford.

Huddersfield Town were relegated from the Premier League after a 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace and results elsewhere meant they could not survive in the top flight.

Quade Cooper does it for Rebels

Melbourne playmaker Quade Cooper has enjoyed a victorious return with a leading role in the Rebels' dominant Super Rugby win over Queensland.

In his first Super Rugby match against the Reds since his acrimonious departure, Cooper set up two tries as the Rebels secured a 32-13 win at Suncorp Stadium.

The win lifts Melbourne to the top of the Australian conference following the Waratahs shock loss to the Sunwolves on Friday.

Melbourne host the Sunwolves next week while the Reds are at home against the Stormers.

Trbojevic does it for Manly

Coach Des Hasler has praised by Tom Trbojevic's scintillating return to the NRL, with the fullback kick-starting Manly's season via a 46-12 dismantling of the Warriors in Christchurch.

In his first appearance since shaking off a pre-season hamstring injury, Trbojevic bagged two tries and set up two more for Daly Cherry-Evans to hand the Sea Eagles an emphatic first win in Hasler's second coming as coach.

The Warriors couldn't respond to the occasion in the first major sporting event in Christchurch since the mosque mass shootings, succumbing to a second- successive heavy loss.

They lacked attacking spark and were unable to contain NSW State of Origin star Trobojovic, who made nine tackle breaks, three line breaks and had heavy involvement in five of the eight Sea Eagles' tries.

The Warriors face serious question marks over their defence, having conceded 80 points in two games after melting against the Wests Tigers.

Coach Stephen Kearney said his players had wanted to turn on a strong performance for Christchurch, which made the nature of the defeat hard to take.

"I can guarantee you that they'd be disappointed. There's no doubt about it - to put up an effort like that," he said.

"I thought given the situation on the back of last week and obviously the circumstance of the game ... I was very disappointed with the effort."