19 Jun 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

9:43 am on 19 June 2019

Latest - Sam Kerr became the first Australian to score a World Cup hat-trick, firing four goals in a 4-1 rout of Jamaica to send the Matildas into the knockout rounds.

Sam Kerr of Australia


Australia's reward is a round-of-16 clash with Norway in four days' time in Nice.

Australia finished second in the group behind Italy who lost 1-0 to Brazil in their last group game.

Brazil also qualify for the round of 16 leaving just 2 spots to be filled which means New Zealand will need a big win over Cameroon on Friday moring to have any chance of progressing.

DWZ fit to lead Kiwis

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has been passed fit to lead New Zealand against Tonga and will do so from the wing in Saturday's rugby league Test in Auckland.

The new Bulldogs signing was cleared of any concussion symptoms following a collision in his debut for the Sydney club and despite sporting multiple stitches around a heavily swollen eye, he will lead the Kiwis for the fifth time.

Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's return at fullback has prompted coach Michael Maguire to shift Watene-Zelezniak to the wing, a position he last played at the 2017 World Cup.

The 23-year-old excelled at fullback in all five of New Zealand's Tests last year, particularly in the upset of Australia at Mt Smart Stadium, which was his first as skipper.

Maguire has stayed true to his pledge to start veteran playmaker Benji Marshall alongside Shaun Johnson in the halves.

It is Marshall's first Test in seven years, with the Wests Tigers No.7 having admitted this week he'd all-but given up on a Test recall.

Cronulla second-rower Briton Nikora is the only uncapped player in the starting team.


Black Sox beaten again

The New Zealand men's softball team has been beaten 5-1 by Japan at the Softball World Championship in Prague.

Japan took an early lead with two in the park home runs in the first inning followed by another run in the second to go up 3-0 against the seven time world champions

Black Sox softball captain Nathan Nukunuku.

Black Sox captain Nathan Nukunuku. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand had a good opportunity in the fifth with loaded bases, but could only manage one run through a single to captain Nathan Nukunuku.

Japan immediately bounced back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to extend the their lead to 5-1.

Japanese pitcher Reo Koyama tamed the Black Sox hitting line up once again, giving up only the five hits.

For the third time in the tournament the Black Sox were outhit by the opposition, this time 8-5.

It is the second loss of the tournament for the New Zealanders who play the Philippines tonight.

New Zealand are third equal in their group with the top four making the play-offs.

Lawson impresses in return to Black Jacks

Gary Lawson has made a successful start to his international bowls return, spearheading a near-perfect opening day for the Blackjacks at the Asia Pacific Lawn Bowls Championships on the Gold Coast.

Gary Lawson of Christchurch bowls

Gary Lawson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The double world champion won his first three matches in the men's pairs, after a decade out of the New Zealand squad.

Lawson and reigning world singles champion Shannon McIlroy came closest to defeat in their opening game at the Broadbeach Bowls Club, coming from four shots down to beat China 16-14 in a final end thriller.

The New Zealand men's triple and women's four are also a perfect three from three after the first day of section play.

Jo Edwards had the Blackjacks' only blemish on the opening day of competition.

The two-time defending Commonwealth Games champion was beaten 21-19 by Bongita Hazarika of India in the third round of the women's singles at Helensvale, after earlier beating opponents from Hong Kong and Samoa.

Another British cycle star hits the road

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas crashed on the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse and abandoned the race, his team said, putting a question mark over his participation in next month's Grand Tour event, the biggest in the cycling calendar.

Tour de France leader Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas. Photo: Photosport

"Geraint Thomas has been forced to abandon the Tour de Suisse. He was alert and speaking to the team after the crash and will be taken to hospital for checks," his Team Ineos wrote on Twitter.

Ineos are already without four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome for the three-week race around the country, after he suffered a heavy crash at the Criterium du Dauphine.

Thomas sat up after the crash and was moving both his arms.


Platini held by police

Michel Platini, the former head of European football association UEFA, was detained for questioning by French police over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup tournament to Qatar.

Platini's lawyer, William Bourdon, said his client was innocent of all charges and that he was being questioned on "technical grounds."

France's national financial prosecutor's office, which specialises in investigating economic crimes and corruption, has been leading a probe into the awarding of the 2022 tournament to the Gulf emirate since 2016.

It is looking into possible offences including private corruption, conspiracy and influence peddling.

FIFA, the world governing body of football, said it was aware of the reports concerning Platini, who is a former FIFA vice-president, but said it had no details on the investigation.


Basteraud misses out on France World Cup squad

Mathieu Bastareaud will not be part of this year's rugby World Cup after the Toulon centre was left out of France's 37-man squad.

Bastareaud, who was Les Bleus's vice-captain during a disappointing Six Nations campaign, did not feature in the list of 31 and the six standby players who will start preparation for the tournament next week.

The World Cup will be held in Japan from 20 September - 2 November.

Experienced scrumhalf Morgan Parra, wing Teddy Thomas and prop Uini Atonio were also left out of the squad selected by coach Jacques Brunel and assistant Fabien Galthie.

Galthie will take over as head coach from Brunel after the World Cup.


Ortiz continues to improve

The condition of retired Red Sox star David Ortiz has been upgraded to good by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he remains in the intensive care unit.

Ortiz, 43, was shot in the back June 9 as he visited a club in his hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He had surgery for internal injuries that evening, then was flown to Boston the following day and underwent a second operation.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic have said Ortiz was the target of a paid hit organized from prison.

A motive has not been released.