22 Jun 2019

Today's Sports News: What's Going On

7:46 pm on 22 June 2019

Latest - New rowing eight perform well

The newly formed New Zealand rowing eight, which includes Olympic champions Mahe Drysdale and Hamish Bond, have finished second behind world champions Germany in their first heat at a world cup event in Poland.

The New Zealand men's eight competing at the World Cup in Poland.

The New Zealand men's eight competing at the World Cup in Poland. Photo: Art of Rowing

They had to win to advance directly to the final but will now contest a repechage, needing to finish in the top four to make the final.

World best time holder Robbie Manson needed a top three placing in his single scull heat to move to the quarter-final and finished second.

He also finished second in his quarter final to advance to the semi final.

In her first international race since the Rio Olympics, New Zealand's Emma Twigg took second place in her women's single to move through to the semi final.

Black Sox into final four

The Black Sox are through to the semi-finals of the men's softball world champs in Prague.

The Black Sox will have to beat an unbeaten Japan to advance to the final.

The Black Sox will have to beat an unbeaten Japan to advance to the final. Photo: Supplied

The defending champions New Zealand came back from 4-1 down in the fifth innings to beat Australia 7-4.

They will now play unbeaten Japan for a place in the final.

New Zealand, who are chasing their eighth world title, have already suffered three losses at the tournament, including a 5-1 loss to Japan.

Tonga insist feel good factor still alive

Tonga insist their internal feel-good factor is as strong as ever, even though the tide appears to be out on their "Red Sea" of support for this weekend's Test against New Zealand.

The match at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium is unlikely to sell out, a surprising outcome given the fanatical crowds Mate Ma'a Tonga have attracted since their beefed-up team won hearts at the 2017 World Cup.

A breakdown of ticket sales suggest it is Tongan supporters who won't be showing up in the colossal numbers that made the World Cup so memorable.

Fans during Tonga v Australia rugby league test match

How big will the 'Red Sea' be at Mt Smart Stadium? Photo: © Copyright Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz Photosport Ltd 2018

The deafening numbers and red flags returned for last year's blockbuster showdown with Australia in Auckland.

Talismanic forward Jason Taumalolo joked that fans were waiting for ticket prices to drop this week before committing to the inaugural Oceania Cup Test.

He said even if numbers are down on what they've become accustomed to, there will be no let-up to his team's psyche.

"Going back into camp this week, it felt like we never left 2017," he said.

It's the first meeting of the Pacific rivals since Tonga stunned the Kiwis in World Cup group play two years ago.

While Tonga are seeking greater consistency, the same could be said of New Zealand, who ended last year's 2-1 series loss in England with 34-0 thumping of the hosts in the dead-rubber final Test.


Asia Pacific gold for NZ bowlers

New Zealand has picked up three golds and a silver medal at the Asia Pacific lawn bowls championships on the Gold Coast.

Jo Edwards

Jo Edwards Photo: Photosport

The Val Smith-skipped women's four, also including Wendy Jensen, Kirsten Edwards and Katelyn Inch, accounted for Malaysia 17-6 in the final.

Ali Forsyth (skip), Jamie Hill and Mike Kernaghan took silver in the men's triple, losing 19-12 to Australia, while Jo Edwards was too strong for Carmen Anderson (Norfolk Island) in the women's singles, winning 21-6.

New Zealand's third gold came in the men's pair, where Gary Lawson and Shannon McIlroy shook off a spirited comeback from Ray Pearse and Nathan Rice of Australia to win 19-18.

Lawson had to draw the shot with his final bowl on the 18th and final end to secure the win.

"I let it go and it felt reasonably good out of the hand," he said.

"It's always nice if you can do it with the last bowl but it was a bit nerve-wracking to be fair."

Venus on the rise

New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus will break into the top 10 in the world doubles rankings for the first time after reaching the final at the ATP tournament in Halle in Germany.

Michael Venus and Raven Klaasen.

Michael Venus and Raven Klaasen. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen, the 2nd seeds have beaten the 3rd seeds tp advance to the final.

When the new rankings come out on Monday Venus will climb one spot to tenth.

Vettel penalty stands

Formula One stewards have dashed Ferrari's hopes of overturning a penalty that denied Sebastian Vettel victory in the recent Canadian grand prix, ruling that the Italian team had not presented significant and new evidence.

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Photo: Photosport

Vettel, who finished first in Montreal was was demoted to runner-up behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton after a five second penalty was imposed for going off the track and returning in an unsafe manner.

The ruling means that five time world champion Hamilton, retains his 29-point lead over team mate Valtteri Bottas confirmed.