25 May 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

8:53 pm on 25 May 2019

Latest - Melbourne's big Super Rugby win over the Sunwolves has come at a cost with Wallabies halfback Will Genia knocked out.

Will Genia of the Rebels passes the ball

Will Genia of the Rebels passes the ball Photo: © Actionplus 2018

The Rebels kept their quest for a maiden finals appearance on track with a 52-7 bonus-point win over the Sunwolves on Saturday in hot conditions in Tokyo.

Recording their highest score in Super Rugby, they remain a point behind the conference-leading Brumbies, who had a win on Friday night over the Bulls.

But Genia might miss Friday night's crucial showdown with the NSW Waratahs at AAMI Park.

In the first minute of the second half, Sunwolves wrecking ball Amanaki Mafi ran over the top of Genia, with the halfback's head collected by the boot of centre Phil Burleigh as he ran through.

Genia managed to walk from the field, but looked dazed.


Injury scare for England cricket captain

England captain Eoin Morgan has sustained a small flake fracture on his finger but the injury will not affect his participation in the Cricket World Cup, starting next week.

Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan Photo: AFP

Morgan picked up the injury to his left index finger during training at the Hampshire Bowl ahead of today's warm-up match against world champions Australia and was sent to a hospital to have a precautionary X-ray.

"England captain Eoin Morgan has sustained a small flake fracture to his left index finger," the England Cricket Board said in a statement.

"Morgan picked up the injury during catching practice... he will not take part in the match (against Australia)... but is expected to make a full recovery and be available for England's opening World Cup match against South Africa."

The ECB did not say if Morgan would play in another warm-up clash against Afghanistan on Monday.

- Reuters

Afghanistan show they'll be no pushovers in the Cricket World Cup

Afghanistan batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi hit an unbeaten 74 as the Cricket World Cup underdogs stunned former champions Pakistan to win by three wickets with two balls to spare in a thrilling warm-up match in Bristol.

Dawlat Zadran of Afganistan

Dawlat Zadran of Afganistan Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Chasing a modest 263 for victory, Afghanistan's opening batsmen Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai got them off to a blistering start before Shahidi took charge to help them cross the finish line in the final over.

Pakistan batsman Babar Azam, who shone in their 4-0 series defeat by England this month, continued his excellent form with the bat ahead of the World Cup scoring 112 off 108 balls but his team were restricted to a below-par 262 in 47.5 overs.

Afghanistan spinners Mohammad Nabi (3-46) and Rashid Khan (2-27) then choked the Pakistan batsmen to lay the foundation for a famous win while pacer Dawlat Zadran claimed two wickets, including that of the dangerous Azam.

- Reuters

Proteas too strong for Sri Lanka

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis struck a fluent 88 as his side eased to an 87-run victory over Sri Lanka in a Cricket World Cup warm-up game at Sophia Gardens.

The South Africa batsman Hashim Amla.

The South Africa batsman Hashim Amla. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

South Africa were sent in to bat in the training match, which did not hold official One-Day International status, and posted 338 for seven, before bowling their opponents out for 251 in 42.3 overs.

The Proteas were without fast bowler Dale Steyn, who is not fit after a re-occurrence of his shoulder problem, but were carried to the win by seamer Lungi Ngidi (2-12 in six overs) and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo (4-36 in 7 overs).

South Africa will be relieved with runs at the top of the order for opener Hashim Amla as he reached 65 from 61 balls before being bowled by leg-break bowler Jeevan Mendis.

That may earn him the nod ahead of Aiden Markram (21) for South Africa's World Cup opener against England on Thursday night.

- Reuters

Mixed results for Kiwis at British Squash Open

A win and a loss for the two Kiwis in the quarter-finals of the British Squash Open in Hull.

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Photo: Supplied

Paul Coll played out a five game thriller to become the first Kiwi male to make the semis of the tournament since Ross Norman in 1989, but Joelle King was beaten in straight games in her match.

Coll has overcome Egypt's Mazen Hesham 11-3, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6 and will now face world number one Ali Farag for a spot in the final.

"I have massive respect for Ali, he has achieved so much, on and off court he is a deserving No.1 but that doesn't mean tomorrow that I'm not going to come out and try and smash him."

Farag's wife Nour El Tayeb was too consistent for King finding the groove of her game quickly to come away with a 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 win in 28 minutes.

Dixon again off the pace in final Indy 500 practice

Scott Dixon has clocked the 19th best time in the final practice session ahead of Monday morning's Indianapolis 500.

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 23: Scott Dixon (9) of Chip Ganassi Racing driving a Honda waits for his pit crew to work an issue  before the IndyCar morning practice at Circuit of the Americas on March 23, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Photosport

The 2008 champion was almost four tenths of a second off the best lap time set by fellow veteran Tony Kanaan after 54 laps of the famed 2.5 mile oval.

"I don't know what happened there with the PNC Bank car honestly," Dixon said.

"I hope we find something wrong with the car because it wasn't great. It's really bizarre, and nothing like we had all month, so we are unsure."

Dixon will start from 18th on the grid for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 on the outside of row six.

It's his lowest ever grid position at Indy, having competed in the event every year since 2003.

Formula One to pay tribute to Niki Lauda

A minute's silence in memory of triple world champion Niki Lauda will be held before the Monaco Grand Prix, with a noisier salute to the Austrian after the Formula One race.

Formula One legend Austrian Niki Lauda.

Photo: AFP

Lauda, one of the sport's greatest heroes and characters who came back from a fiery crash at the Nurburgring in 1976 to win two more titles after a first with Ferrari in 1975, died on Monday at the age of 70.

Formula One said the silence would be held at 2.53pm local time on Sunday (12.53am NZT on Monday), 17 minutes before the start of the race.

The 20 drivers and dignitaries who normally stand to attention on the starting grid for the national anthem will be joined by a group of Lauda's contemporaries and peers each holding a red cap in tribute.

Lauda, the Mercedes team's non-executive chairman, was known for the trademark red cap he wore to hide his burns from the 1976 accident.

- Reuters

Kiwis prop facing two match ban

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has been charged by the NRL judiciary and faces a two- match suspension for dangerous contact in the Roosters' 38-12 loss against the Knights.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves looks at his premiership ring.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves looks at his premiership ring. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Kiwis prop's contentious tackle was on Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga in the game's 58th minute.

No penalty was awarded on the field, but has been picked up by the NRL's match review committee for dangerous contact to the head/neck.

The charge carries a base penalty of 100 points. With Waerea Hargreaves' 85 carry-over points and loading from prior similar and non-similar offences in the past two years, he faces being rubbed out for two matches.


Meech makes late push for European medal

Sam Meech produced the sort of day he expects on day five of the Laser European championships in Porto and it has left him with an outside chance of picking up a medal.

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Photo: Supplied

The 28-year-old was sixth and third in today's two races to jump four places into sixth overall. He's now only 10 points behind Australia's Matthew Wearn in third with two gold fleet races remaining on the final day - there's no top-10 medal race at this regatta.

Meech enjoyed the fresher winds today to bank two good scores. It hasn't been the easiest week for the world No 1 and he even described the way he sailed yesterday as "a bit like a lemon".

"It was a good day," he said. "I had a really good start in the first race and really punched out the way I wanted to go. Unfortunately, the wind went about 15-20 degrees further left from that and that put me back in the pack again but luckily the majority of the fleet was on the right so I ended up with a decent result.

"In the second race I had a good start but smashing some waves I lost my lane after a while so was scrapping around a little but until I found some good lanes towards the top. I was going really well on the outer loop today, which made a big difference compared to yesterday when I had some problems out there."

Perfect 10 for Gilmore in Bali final

Australian Stephanie Gilmore has dropped a perfect 10 on her way to victory at the World Surf League event in Bali.

Australian surfing star Stephanie Gilmore.

Australian surfing star Stephanie Gilmore. Photo: Photosport/WSL

The seven-time world champion put an exclamation mark on her performance, scoring a 10.00 with under two minutes remaining in the final against compatriot Sally Fitzgibbons.

That lifted Gilmore to a two-wave total of 16.83 out of 20 to beat Fitzgibbons (7.00) by a whopping 9.83 points.

Victory means Gilmore, who was beaten in the quarterfinals on the Gold Coast and Bells Beach, moves from fifth on the rankings to No.1 heading into next month's Margaret River Pro.

It's the 12th time in 18 heats between her and Fitzgibbons that Gilmore has emerged victorious, including four tour event final wins.


Messi claims Europe's Golden Shoe

Lionel Messi has become the first player to win Europe's Golden Shoe award for three straight years after his nearest challenger Kylian Mbappe failed to score the four goals he needed in Paris St Germain's final league match of the season.

Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Messi earned the honour, which goes to the leading scorer in league matches in Europe's top divisions, for a record-extending sixth time after finding the net 36 times for Barcelona, while Mbappe ended the campaign on 33 goals after scoring PSG's only goal in a 3-1 loss at Stade de Reims.

While Messi's goal haul helped his side clinch the La Liga title last month the 31-year-old Argentine said earlier that he was not giving the Golden Shoe race much thought with the side still coming to terms with their Champions League semi-final elimination to Liverpool.

"I haven't been thinking about that prize at all, we are still coping with what happened against Liverpool and I'm not thinking about personal awards," Messi told a news conference ahead of the Copa del Rey final against Valencia.

- Reuters