26 Apr 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

12:10 pm on 26 April 2019
Richie Mo'unga has enjoyed Super Rugby success with the Crusaders but All Blacks coach Steve Hasen warns international rugby is another kettle of fish.

Richie Mo'unga has enjoyed Super Rugby success with the Crusaders but All Blacks coach Steve Hasen warns international rugby is another kettle of fish. Photo: Photosport

The Crusaders and All Blacks have recieved a boost with first-five Richie Mo'unga re-signing with New Zealand rugby until the end of 2022.

The 24-year-old has played nine Tests to date and joins other All Blacks including Aaron Smith, Ngani Laumape, Nathan Harris and Patrick Tuipulotu to commit to New Zealand after this year's world cup.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "Congratulations to Richie on his re-signing. He is developing into a very good rugby player and it's great that he's staying, as he is only going to get better and better.

Roosters in the midst of their best start to an NRL season in 20 years after holding off a second-half Dragons fightback to clinch a thrilling 20-10 Anzac Day win.

The Roosters are in the midst of their best start to an NRL season in 20 years after holding off a second-half Dragons fightback to clinch a thrilling 20-10 Anzac Day win.

Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Jake Friend emerged as unlikely heroes as they led the Roosters to victory in front of 38,414 people at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

With the game on the line at 14-10 with three minutes remaining and the Dragons threatening to steal it, Taukeiaho busted through a couple of tired defenders in James Graham and Jacob Host to score the match-winning try.

It was rich reward for a monumental performance, with the Tongan front-rower running for 256 metres and making six tackle busts.

With the win, the Roosters moved to six wins from their opening seven rounds - their best start since 1999.


Aki apologises for liking Folau post

Former Chiefs midfielder Bundee Aki has been forced to apologise for "mistakenly" liking the anti-gay social media post that has Wallabies star Israel Folau in hot water.

Ireland's Bundee Aki scores against Wales.

Ireland's Bundee Aki scores against Wales. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Waratahs fullback Folau is preparing for a code of conduct hearing with Rugby Australia after they issued him with a breach notice for the post, which included homophonic sentiment and was a repeat offence.

Auckland-born Aki, who has played for Irish club Connacht since 2014 and has now made 17 appearances for the Irish national team, issued an apology on his Twitter account on Friday (NZ time).

"I just want to address that I mistakenly liked Israel Folau's post without paying any attention to the content.

"When I realised what the post was about I immediately unliked it straight away, as it does not reflect my views as a Christian.

"Yes I do believe in God, but my belief is that he is a God of kindness, peace and loves people in all aspects.

"I have family members, friends, and I have worked with many people who are gay and I have nothing but love and respect for every one of them."

Black Sticks bettered by Australians

The visiting Australian teams have gone home with the spoils in both matches after the Anzac Day doubleheader in hockey's Pro League.

Women's Black Sticks Olivia Merry

Women's Black Sticks Olivia Merry Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019 / Alisha Lovrich

After an impressive win over the Hockeyroos in Sydney last month, the Black Sticks women suffered their third straight defeat as they were on the wrong end of a 5-1 scoreline.

Australia had a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes and although the home side pulled one back at the end of the second quarter through Deanna Ritchie, three second half goals ensured a resounding win for the visitors.

While the men's match was more competitive, it was again the visiting side who prevailed.

After conceding two quick goals to trail 2-0 at the end of the first quarter, New Zealand fought back from to level at 2-all midway through the third stanza.

But the world No 2 Kookaburras quickly regained their lead, scoring another early in the final quarter before the Black Sticks scored in the dying stages to produce a 4-3 result.

Daniell into Budapest semifinals

New Zealand tennis player Marcus Daniell and his Dutch doubles partner Wesley Koolhof have won through to the semifinals at the ATP tournament in Budapest.

Marcus Daniell (NZL) with a forehand shot at the net as doubles partner Wesley Koolhof (NED) covers.

Marcus Daniell (NZL) with a forehand shot at the net as doubles partner Wesley Koolhof (NED) covers. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

They've beaten 4th seeded Dutchman Robin Haase and Dane Frederik Nielsen 6-4 7-6 (5).

Haase and Koolhof had reached last week's Monte Carlo Masters final together.

Daniell and Koolhof were the dominant team but could only convert three of their 15 break point chances.

They will face the unseeded German pair of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies for a place in the final.

NZ Taekwon-do team take more medals

The New Zealand team is second after the completion of day two at the ITF Taewkon-Do World Championships at Inzell, Germany.

On a quiet competition day for all nations, the Kiwi team won a gold and a silver to move ahead of previous second-placed Norway on the medal table.

The gold medal came in the form of the junior boys' team specialty where the combined efforts of Cody MacDonald, Bailey Jeffery, Conner Mitchell, Alex Morozov, Dean Cooper and reserve Dan Yates were enough to beat a tight field for the top prize.

The silver medal was won by Ashley Porter.

New Zealand sits second on the medal table after a haul of 15 medals in total, four gold, four silver and seven bronze.

A haul of 13 medals on day one, including a third consecutive gold at world champs for Wellington's Wesley Filiki in power breaking, gave the team a great start to the tournament where they are trying to beat their second placing overall two years ago in Ireland.

Farah's coach says Gebrselassie lying

The feud between decorated distance running pair Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie continues to rumble on.

Mo Farah

Mo Farah Photo: Photosport

British athlete Farah has accused Ethiopian star Gebrselassie of being unwilling to help after Farah's claim he had money, two phones and watch stolen from Gebrselassie's hotel.

Gebrselassie has made counter claims that Farah assaulted a husband and wife in the gym during his stay at the hotel.

But, speaking to the Evening Standard, Farah's coach Gary Lough says Gebrselassie's claims are "low blows and lies" and "mistruths and exaggerations".

A spokesperson for Farah has said the allegations are a deflection tactic from Gebrselassie, who is a national icon in Ethiopia after a career that earned him two Olympic golds and four world titles over 10,000m and several world records.

Farah is a four-time Olympic gold medallist and six-time world champion.

Semenya tries out new distance

Caster Semenya has cruised to victory in the 5,000 metres at the South African athletics championships, a potential new distance as she waits for the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in an appeal against regulations seeking to limit her testosterone level.

South African athlete Caster Semenya.

South African athlete Caster Semenya. Photo: Photosport

Semenya looked in complete control as she won in a time of 16:05.97 on the opening day of the championships, which serve as an important test for the South African team going to the World Championships in Doha in September.

Semenya made a rare run in the longer distance after earlier cruising into Friday's final of the 1,500m with a time of 4:30.65, well below her personal best.

Although she barely broke a sweat, her 1,500m time was nine seconds quicker than the second fastest qualifier.

Semenya is waiting for the outcome of her appeal asking CAS to halt the introduction of new regulations by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that would require her to take medicine to limit her natural levels of testosterone.

The IAAF wants female athletes with differences in sexual development to reduce their blood testosterone level to below a stipulated concentration for a period of six months before they can compete, to prevent any unfair advantage.

But this is limited to events ranging between 400m and a mile, and so would not include the 5,000m, leaving Semenya free to compete unhindered.

- Reuters

Nadal dispatches Ferrer in Barcelona

Rafael Nadal has given a much-improved performance to advance into the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open, dispatching Spanish compatriot and crowd favourite David Ferrer 6-3 6-3.

The world number two had produced a scrappy display against Leonardo Mayer, losing a set for the first time in four years at the tournament, but he showed more spark and composure against Ferrer.

Nadal led fans in applauding Ferrer as the defeat signalled his last appearance at the Barcelona Open.

Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka has taken a revenge of sorts on Hsieh Su Wei with 6-4 6-3 win at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, a victory that also ensured Osaka kept the world No 1 ranking.

US and Australian Open champion Osaka prevailed in one hour 24 minutes on first match point to reach the quarter-finals after a first-round bye, raising her game after Taiwan's Hsieh had troubled her early on with a series of winners.

Hsieh had recently beaten Osaka at the Miami Masters after Osaka won their first duel of the year at the Melbourne grand slam.

Had she lost, Czech Petra Kvitova could have snatched the top ranking from her by winning the title.

- Reuters