20 Apr 2019

Today's Sports News - What you need to know

9:46 pm on 20 April 2019

Latest - The Black Ferns Sevens 37-match World Cup winning streak has been broken

Stacey Waaka

Stacey Waaka Photo: Photosport

A 16th minute try to Tyla Nathan-Wong has rescued a 17-17 draw against Russia for the Black Ferns Sevens in Japan, but the New Zealanders' 37-match winning streak is over.

The scores were level 5-5 at halftime, and New Zealand were kept on the back foot for much of the second spell.

Elena Zdrkovo looked to have secured the win for Russia with her 14th minute try, but Nathan-Wong responded two minutes later after a Ruby Tui break down the left.

But worse was in store for the New Zealanders, as they were outscored five tries to one and crushed 29-7 by France after trailing 14-0 at halftime in their third pool match.

The Black Ferns Sevens will now meet the United States, unbeaten in pool play, in Sunday's quarter-finals.

Earlier, 18-year-old newcomer Dhys Faleafaga scored a double on World Series debut as the New Zealanders overran hosts Japan 43-0 in their first pool game.

The Black Ferns Sevens have won all three World Series tournaments to date, and lead the United States by 12 points in the overall standings.

Thunder bounce back at home in NBA play-offs

Steven Adams's Oklahoma City Thunder have shaken off back-to-back defeats in game three of the Western Conference NBA play-offs, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 120-108.

Steven Adams

Steven Adams Photo: Photosport

After opening the seven-game series with 104-99 and 114-94 losses in Portland, the Thunder needed Russell Westbrook to step up, and he obliged with a 33-point effort in front of his home crowd.

Westbrook shot 11 of 22 from the floor while adding 11 assists and five rebounds. He also made four of six 3-point attempts after sinking just one of 10 long-range attempts over the first two games.

Adams scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds, also grabbing two assists and a block.

Game four is scheduled for Monday in Oklahoma City.

In other matches, the Boston Celtics withstood a late charge by the Indiana Pacers to record a 104-96 win at Indianapolis and go up 3-0 in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff matchup.

And Pascal Siakam scored a playoff-career-best 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as visiting Toronto won 98-93 in Orlando to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.


Scott promises big game against Warriors

Curtis Scott is vowing to make amends for the "worst game of his career" if he gets the chance in Melbourne's Anzac Day clash with the Warriors.

The 21-year-old was downcast after the Storm were beaten 21-20 by the Sydney Roosters in golden point in their NRL grand final rematch at AAMI Park.

Scott nabbed a try to help tie scores at 20-20, but also blew one in the first half when he failed to ground a Brodie Croft kick into the in-goal.

He has been troubled in recent weeks by a shoulder injury and then illness, but wasn't looking for excuses.

Both he and winger Suliasi Vunivalu - a new combination this season - are under pressure.

Scott fears his head is on the chopping block ahead of their annual AAMI Park meeting with the Warriors on Thursday night.

"To be honest I have my fingers crossed I get picked next week," Scott said.

"I didn't play to my standards, I'm disappointed in myself and it's a learning curve for me but if I get the chance next week I'm going to go out there and leave it all on the field. We just have to move on and be better."


Coll and King march on in Egypt

New Zealanders Joelle King and Paul have progressed through to the third round of the prestigious PSA Platinum squash tournament in El Gouna, Egypt.

Joelle King

Joelle King Photo: Photosport

World No.5 King beat Frenchwoman Coline Aumard, taking the first game 11-8 in a real battle and then wrapped up the match 11-4 11-5.

She said the match was tougher than the score indicated.

"I had to be on my toes from the start, she is such a strong player and she moves so well. I had to try and take confidence away from her movement, and give myself confidence by doing that."

King will now take on Mariam Metwally from Eygpt, ranked 27th in the world.

In the men's draw, world No.5 Coll defeated Spanish veteran Borja Golan, who played through the pain of tweaked neck muscles and had no answer to the Coll's consistency and power as the New Zealander took an 11-3 11-2 11-5 win in 23 minutes.

Hales withdraws from England Cricket World Cup squad

England batsman Alex Hales, who was named in their provisional squad for the Cricket World Cup, has taken an indefinite break from the game due to personal reasons, his club Nottinghamshire said.

Alex Hales

Alex Hales Photo: Photosport

"Alex Hales has made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons and no timetable has been set for his return to action," Nottinghamshire said in a statement on their website.

Hales missed Nottinghamshire's 50-over match against Lancashire on Friday.

It is unclear whether the 30-year-old opening batsman, who has played 70 ODIs, will be available for England's one-dayer against Ireland on May 3 or a five-match ODI series and Twenty20 international against Pakistan.

Those matches will be England's final internationals before they begin their campaign to win their maiden 50-over World Cup during the May 30-July 14 tournament on home soil.