3 Aug 2019

Today's sports news - what you need to know

9:23 pm on 3 August 2019

Latest - Manly have plunged Newcastle's season into further despair as they handed the Knights a fifth straight loss courtesy of a 30-6 defeat at Lottoland.

Desperately needing a win to keep pace with the top eight, Newcastle now face an uphill battle to reach their first finals series in six years.

Meanwhile the win puts Manly on 26 points, still in the hunt for a top-four finish and now almost certain to return to finals football.

Daly Cherry-Evans was again a dominant force for the Sea Eagles, setting up two tries while veteran back rowers Joel Thompson and Curtis Sironen scored one each.


Michael Venus defeats Andy Murray

New Zealand tennis star Michael Venus and his doubles partner have scored a big win over Jamie Murray and brother Andy - the former world number one ranked singles player.

Michael Venus and Raven Klaasen.

Michael Venus and Raven Klaasen. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen completed a stunning come from behind win over the Murrays to reach the semi-finals at the ATP 500 tournament in Washington DC.

The 3rd seeds had to dig deep to win 6-7 (3) 7-6(6) 10-7 in 1 hour 52.

They saved a match point in the second set tie break before coming through in a match tie break.

It was the first time the Kiwi had played former world number one ranked singles player Andy Murray, who is making his return from hip surgery via doubles.

Venus and Klaasen will face second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo for a place in the final.

Fiji roll Canada, US beat Samoa again

Fiji's forwards muscled up to keep their Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) title defence alive and put their Rugby World Cup preparations back on track with a thumping 38-13 victory over Canada in Suva on Saturday.

Flying Fijians coach John McKee rang the changes after the 34-21 loss to Japan in Kamaishi last Saturday and his players responded with a six try to one, bonus point hammering of the overpowered Canadians.

Meanwhile, first-five AJ MacGinty slotted a penalty with 80 minutes on the clock to give the United States a dramatic 13-10 victory over a physical Samoa and send them top of the PNC standings.

The victory in Suva, Fiji was the second in a row for the Americans over Manu Samoa - the last one in November 2018 was sealed in similar style - and a major boost for the Eagles before they head off to the World Cup next month.

The US thrashed Canada 47-19 in their PNC opener in Denver last week.

Samoa conclude their PNC campaign against reigning champions Fiji next week, while the United States face World Cup hosts Japan.

- Reuters

Hansen expects All Blacks improvement

Steve Hansen plans to hit hard and hit early in the All Blacks' Bledisloe Cup defence, pledging to name his strongest team to face the Wallabies in Perth.

He wants better than the scratchy 20-16 win over Argentina and the 16-16 draw with South Africa last month, having fielded two very different teams.

The veteran coach expects the rust to be scraped off and will be unhappy if there's no improvement in the far west on Saturday and then when the teams meet again in Auckland seven days later.

Hansen said recalled lock Scott Barrett is recovering well from a broken finger suffered late in the Crusaders' Super Rugby campaign and could be a straight starting replacement for the injured Brodie Retallick.

One-Test Flanker Luke Jacobson and uncapped five-eighth Josh Ioane won't travel as both have been diagnosed with concussion symptoms. Ioane was only going to be in Perth as an observer as he missed selection in the 34-man squad.

Hansen confirmed flanker Vaea Fifita would travel even though he was mourning the death this week of his younger brother.


Three month ban for Lionel Messi

Argentina captain Lionel Messi has been banned from international football for three months after claiming the Copa America was "corrupt".

Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Messi and Argentina repeatedly criticised the refereeing at the Copa America and the use of VAR (Video assistant referee).

The Barcelona forward was sent off in Argentina's 2-1 third-place play-off win over Chile and later said the "cup was fixed for Brazil".

He has also been fined $50,000 (£41,121) by Conmebol, the South American Football Confederation.

Messi has seven days to appeal Conmebol's decision to suspend him.

The ban means Messi will miss Argentina's upcoming friendlies against Chile, Mexico and Germany in September and October.

Uncertainty around Sri Lanka's cricket coaching team

Sri Lanka Cricket wants to keep the coaching staff till the end of the upcoming New Zealand series.

Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports Harin Fernando had directed the Sri Lanka Cricket board to replace the coaching staff.

However, Sri Lanka Cricket's Executive Committee today made an appeal to the Minister to give them time till the end of the New Zealand series to carry out his directive.

According to Colombo Gazette - MENAFN, the appeal was made this afternoon, following a meeting the SLC Executive Committee had with the Minister.

The Sports Minister wanted the coaching staff replaced as a result of Sri Lanka's poor performance in the recent cricket World Cup.

Ko's woes continue

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko has officially missed the cut at the British Women's Open.

She shot a nightmare 80 in her second round, missing the cut by 10 shots at the Woburn Golf Club

It was four shots worse than her first round.

Last week, Ko missed the cut at another Major, the Evian Championship in France.

She was in good company with seven-times major champion Park In-bee, former world number ones Ryu So-yeon, and former two-time champion Karrie Webb, also missing the cut.

South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai followed up her first-round 65 with a blemish-free 67 to move to 12 under and extend her lead.

Buhai's round saw her open up a three-shot advantage over Japan's Hinako Shibuno with American Lizette Salas a further stroke behind in third.