20 Jun 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

12:09 pm on 20 June 2019

Latest - All Blacks lose long time assistant coach Mike Cron.

All Blacks' forwards and scrum coach Mike Cron.

All Blacks' forwards and scrum coach Mike Cron. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

All Blacks Forwards Coach Mike Cron, has announced that this year will be his last with the team.

Cron, 64, has been involved with the All Blacks since 2004 and involved in multiple campaigns during that time, including back to back Rugby World Cups triumphs in 2011 and 2015 and successful Bledisloe Cup, Rugby Championship and Grand Slam campaigns.

"I've been incredibly lucky and had a wonderful career coaching at international level and I'm really looking forward to this last year with the team," Cron said.

"It will be my fifth Rugby World Cup this year (four with the All Blacks and one with Wales) so is the right time to step down from the international game."

Cron said after coaching for 37 years, he wouldn't be quitting for good, but would now focus on mentoring younger coaches and up and coming players.

"That's my other passion. As well as coaching younger players and helping them hopefully reach their potential, I'm also keen to help out the young coaches of the future, so looking forward to doing that."

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew says it's great Cron hasn't been lost to New Zealand completely.

Jo Edwards capped a commanding performance from the Blackjacks on day two of the Asia Pacific Lawn Bowls Championships on the Gold Coast.

The two-time defending Commonwealth Games champion has beaten 1994 gold medallist Carmen Anderson of Norfolk Island 21-14 in the sixth round of the women's singles.

The win keeps her on track to progress from her section.

Edwards also beat Keiko Kurohara of Japan on day two.

Edwards has one loss so far while the women's four, men's pair and men's triple remain unbeaten.

Dhawan out of World Cup

India's opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the rest of their World Cup campaign after fracturing his thumb earlier in the tournament.

Dhawan sustained the injury against Australia but continued to play on, scoring a match-winning century. However, he did not take the field for the second innings.

Assistant coach Sanjay Bangar had said last week that they would make a call on Dhawan's injury after he was rested against New Zealand and Pakistan, but the BCCI said his hand would need to remain in a cast until the middle of July.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been named as Dhawan's replacement.

India play Afghanistan next on Saturday at The Rose Bowl.


More Cricket World Cup news

Big Black Sox win

The New Zealand men's softball team has beaten the Philippines 15-0 in their latest game at the World Championships in Prague.

The game only latest three innings as the Black Sox piled on nine runs in the third.

Nathan Nukunuku hit two home runs and Campbell Enoka one, while pitcher Joshua Pettett gave up just one hit.

New Zealand are third in their group with four wins and two losses and play second placed Argentina in their final group game before the quarter-finals

Tough Olympic path for NZ boxers

New Zealand's David Nyika with his Commonwealth Games gold medal 2018.

New Zealand amateur boxer David Nyika. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand boxers will have a tough path to qualify for next year's Olympics after itwas decided that Oceania athletes will have to go through the Asian qualifying tournament.

New Zealand Boxing had hoped that Oceania would have its own qualifying tournament.

However the IOC, which is running the Olympic boxing tournament in place of the International Amateur Boxing Federation, has decided that there will be four qualifying tournaments around the world.

Those tournaments will be held between January and May next year.

The IOC has also confirmed that there will be eight men's weight divisions and five women's divisions in Tokyo. There were ten and three respectively in Rio 2016.

Manchester United legend fined

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has been fined $15,000 and warned about his future conduct after he admitted a misconduct charge in relation to betting.

It was alleged the 44-year-old former England international had placed 140 bets on football matches between August 2015 and January 2019.

"I accept last week's ruling. I would like to apologise and I understand and fully accept the fine imposed by the FA," Scholes said in a statement released to British media.

Scholes won 11 Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two Champions League crowns with United before hanging up his boots in 2013.

In March, he left his role as manager of League Two outfit Oldham Athletic after only 31 days in charge.


First up win for Fed Cup team

The New Zealand tennis team has beaten Bangladesh 3-0 in a dominant start to the Fed Cup Asia Oceania Group 2 tournament in Kuala Lumpur.

Paige Hourigan reacts during a match.

Erin Routcliffe. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Emily Fanning kicked things off with a 6-0 6-0 victory over Jarin Sultana Jolly. Kiwi number one Paige Hourigan then defeated her Bangladeshi counterpart Eshita Afrose by the same score.

Hourigan then teamed up with Erin Routliffe to win the doubles 6- 0 6-1 against Mashfia Afrrin and Susmita Sen.

New Zealand will now face Pakistan today.

The top two teams in each pool advance to Saturday's final with the winner promoted to Asia Oceania Group 1 for 2020.

New Zealand are favourites to win its group with Uzbekistan favoured to advance from the other group which includes Malaysia and Turkmenistan.

Lopez denies match-fixing

The Spanish tennis player Feliciano Lopez has denied any involvement in match-fixing after his name was mentioned in a media report concerning a doubles match with fellow Spaniard Marc Lopez which took place at Wimbledon in 2017.

Lopez, 37, beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics on Wednesday to progress to the second round at Queen's, where on Thursday he is due to partner Andy Murray as the twice Wimbledon champion makes his return after a long injury lay-off.

The report Lopez referred to appeared in Spanish digital newspaper El Confidencial in the ongoing 'Operation Oikos' investigation into match-fixing in Spanish football which led to 11 players and officials being arrested last month.

He said he and Marc Lopez had made contact with the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) about the match cited in media reports, a second round defeat by Matt Reid and John Patrick Smith, and was told the match was not under investigation.

Lopez added that he went into that game in question struggling with a foot injury which had forced him to retire during his first round match against Adrian Mannarino.


Mata staying with United

Manchester United's Juan Mata.

Manchester United's Juan Mata. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has signed a contract extension until June 2021.

Spanish playmaker Mata, 31, joined United in 2014 for a then club record transfer fee of $72 million from premier league rivals Chelsea.

United said Mata, whose current deal was set to expire this month, had agreed to remain with the 20-times league champions for two more years with the option to extend for another year.

Mata has made 218 appearances for United in all competitions, scoring 45 goals and has won the FA Cup, a League Cup and the Europa League.


Lebanon league players will face Fiji

International rugby league has averted a black eye with Lebanon players agreeing to take the field for Saturday's Test against Fiji.

The Cedars players and Lebanon Rugby League Federation (LRLF) are still at loggerheads over issues pertaining to the board's management of the code, but it has been confirmed that the footballers won't follow through on threats not to turn out for the match.

Tensions escalated after the LRLF threatened jail time for players that covered up the Cedar logo during Saturday's match - a form of protest against the board that had been raised earlier in the week.

In response, skipper Robbie Farah and his players vowed to boycott the match at Leichhardt Oval unless their demands were met.

Senior Cedars players including Farah met with Rugby League International Federation chief executive Nigel Wood on Wednesday afternoon to help negotiate a peace deal.

Late on Wednesday a spokesperson for the team said the players would take the field and they would not be covering the team logo on their jerseys.

The players are disputing the LRLF's recent board elections amid complaints that the country has failed to capitalise on its 2017 World Cup success.