31 Aug 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

7:42 pm on 31 August 2019

Latest - England's hopes of reclaiming the Ashes have been rocked by the revelation that Jimmy Anderson will play no further part in the five-Test series.

England pace bowler James Anderson has
equalled Ian Botham and the England record when he took his 27th five-wicket haul.

England pace bowler James Anderson. Photo: Photosport

The hosts had been confident Anderson, boasting 575 wickets from 149 Tests, would return from a recurring calf injury for his home Test at Old Trafford that starts on Wednesday.

But the 37-year-old has suffered a fresh setback and been ruled out of the fourth and fifth Tests.

England's selectors have added seamer Craig Overton to what is now a 13-man squad.

Meanwhile, Steve Smith has scored 23 in a low-key return from concussion on day two of Australia's Ashes tour match in Derby.

Smith donned a StemGuard in his first match since being struck on the exposed neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the second Test at Lord's.


Crotty scores twice on return

All Blacks midfielder Ryan Crotty has celebrated his return from injury with two tries as Canterbury recorded their first win in four matches, demolishing Southland 80-0 in Christchurch.

Ryan Crotty injured his thumb in the Super Rugby semi-final

Ryan Crotty injured his thumb in the Super Rugby semi-final Photo: Photosport

Crotty broke his thumb in the Super Rugby semi-final against the Hurricanes in late June, and has returned to play nine weeks later, just days after being named in the All Blacks team to defend the Rugby World Cup in Japan next month.

He played for 40 minutes in Saturday's 12-try thumping of championship tail-enders Southland, grabbing two tries as Canterbury registered their first win of the national provincial championship after earlier defeats to Waikato, Tasman and Wellington.

In Whangarei, midfielder Neria Fomai scored a hat-trick as Hawke's Bay overran Northland 43-28 in a seven tries to three championship victory.

Defending champions Canterbury overwhelmed Wellington 57-19 in Christchurch in the first round of the Farah Palmer Cup women's provincial competition.

Black Ferns halfback Kendra Cocksedge grabbed two tries, as did Cindy Nelles in the comfortable nine-try win.

Counties Manukau downed Bay of Plenty 37-24 after leading 24-7 at halftime, while in the third game of the day, Auckland outplayed Waikato 41-23 after leading 22-13 at halftime.

France crush Italy in World Cup warm-up

France have got their Rugby World Cup preparations back on track after overpowering Italy, scoring seven tries in a flamboyant 47-19 win at the Stade de France.

The home side, in their final warm-up match before next month's tournament in Japan, simply had too much power and pace for the stubborn but outclassed Italians on Friday.

France's previous two games were back-to-back encounters with Scotland, a home win followed by an away defeat.

Italy, who complete their World Cup preparations by taking on England in Newcastle next Friday, never gave up but they have now lost nine of their last 10 internationals, their sole win coming against World Cup minnows Russia.

- Reuters

Parramatta not complaining after NRL loss

They didn't get the rub of the green but Parramatta coach Brad Arthur isn't seeing red after a dramatic 17-16 golden point NRL loss to Brisbane that all but ended their top four hopes.

A dubious 59th minute forward pass decision that denied Blake Ferguson a try and some contentious calls conspired against the sixth-placed Eels at Suncorp Stadium last night.

There was even a suggestion that Brisbane players Darius Boyd and Matt Lodge obstructed Eels skipper Clint Gutherson before Jamayne Isaako kicked the match-winning field goal in the opening minute of extra-time.

But Arthur said he liked what he saw from the Eels ahead of their regular season finale against Manly.


Leclerc fastest as Ferrari dominate

Ferrari enjoyed a dominant start to their Belgian Grand Prix weekend with Charles Leclerc leading Sebastian Vettel in a one-two for the Maranello-based Formula One team on the opening day of practice.

Leclerc ended the day with a time of one minute, 44.123 seconds as Formula One roared back to life after its summer shutdown.

That put him 0.630 seconds clear of his German teammate who had topped the opening 90 minute session.

Valtteri Bottas came in third, while Ferrari teammate Lewis Hamilton, who leads the overall standings by 62 points, was hot on his heels in fourth.

- Reuters

US gymnast Simone Biles' brother arrested

The brother of US gymnastics star Simone Biles was arrested and charged with murder accused of shooting and killing three people at a New Year's Eve party in Cleveland, law enforcement agencies said.

Tevin Biles-Thomas, 24, of Cleveland, was being held at the Liberty County Jail in Hinesville, Georgia on six counts of murder, three of voluntary manslaughter, five of felonious assault and a single count of perjury, according to a statement from officials.

- Reuters

Valverde claims Vuelta stage, Lopez leads

Miguel Angel Lopez has reclaimed the leader's red jersey in the Vuelta a Espana as Alejandro Valverde won the seventh stage on the brutal slopes of the Mas de la Costa to underline his own challenge for glory.

World champion Valverde showed his supremacy on the imposing terrain to take victory ahead of Primoz Roglic, while Lopez came home in third place ahead of Valverde's Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana.

With Bahrain-Merida's Dylan Teuns distanced on the day, Astana's Lopez took over the red jersey for the third time in the first week of the race, now with a six-second lead over Jumbo-Visma's Roglic and 16 seconds over Valverde in third.

Valverde was able to hang at the back of the group as Quintana looked to disrupt the rhythms of the others, and the rainbow jersey only emerged on the 17 percent gradients of the final few hundred metres to take victory.

- PA