21 Sep 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

11:35 pm on 21 September 2019

Latest - South Sydney are one win away from just their second NRL grand final in 38 years after ending Manly's season with a controversial 34-26 semi-final victory.

A happy Souths fan.

Souths fan Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In a seesawing match that had the lead change hands five times, Manly were twice reduced to 12 men in the second half at ANZ Stadium through sin-bins for professional fouls.

The second, after Jake Trbojevic pulled back Dane Gagai in a 67th-minute break, swung the match dramatically in Souths' favour and enraged Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans.

The Rabbitohs made Manly pay while the NSW lock was off the field, helping set up a date with Canberra in next Friday night's preliminary final.


Waine hat-trick kick-starts NZ Olympic bid

A hat-trick from Ben Waine has helped the New Zealand under-23 men get off to the perfect start at the Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament in Fiji.

Ben Waine

Ben Waine Photo: Photosport

Des Buckingham's team put away a determined Samoan outfit 6-1 in their opening game in hot and fine conditions.

New Zealand, on the back of two impressive 1-1 draws with Australia, were well-organised and their quality in the attacking third caused plenty of problems for the Samoan defence.

Coach Des Buckingham was pleased with the first-up effort.

"It's a good start," he said. "People tend to get all excited and nervous around the first game so it is good to get here and play, score six goals.

"Ben played well but rather than picking out individuals, all of the forwards got themselves into the final third and were able to get on the end of the final move, which is what they are there to do."

Waine opened the scoring in the 10th minute, with skipper Logan Rogerson's header a minute later doubling the lead.

Myer Bevan made it 3-0 after 39 minutes, finishing well from close range. Waine added his second 12 minutes into the second half then second-half substitute Ollie White slotted home New Zealand's fifth with 10 minutes remaining.

Waine completed his hat-trick with an 83rd minute penalty.

In the earlier game, the Solomon Islands beat American Samoa 6-0 in Group A. New Zealand meet American Samoa on Tuesday.

Cherries win again

Bournemouth climbed to third place in the English Premier League as they won away at Southampton for the first time with a 3-1 triumph in their south-coast derby.

They profited from two first-half goals but had to fight off a home resurgence after the break to end a run of no victories in 15 previous trips to Southampton.

Bournemouth advanced to 10 points from their opening six matches of the campaign with 11th placed Southampton staying on seven.


Southland end three-year winless streak

Southland's three-year, 27-game winless run in national provincial rugby has ended with a 42-14 win over Counties Manukau in Invercargill.

Marty McKenzie

Marty McKenzie Photo: Photosport

Ahead 18-7 at halftime, the home team had little difficulty controlling the second spell. Greg Pleasants-Tate scored after just three minutes after the restart, with Isaac Tamaki and Lewis Ormond also adding to the tally.

Marty McKenzie's reliable boot contributed 17 points for Southland, with Counties only managing a late consolation try to Malgene Ilaua with eight minutes left on the clock.

In the earlier game, premiership leaders Tasman racked up their seventh win of the season in fighting off Waikato 35-26 in Hamilton after the home team jumped out to an early lead through a Bailyn Sullivan double.

They took a 23-15 lead into halftime, but could only add another penalty in the second spell as Tasman finished strongly with tries to Ethan Blackadder and Wyatt Crockett.

And championship outfit Otago have beaten premiership strugglers North Harbour 21-15 after leading 14-7 at halftime.

In the women's competition for the Farah Palmer Cup, Canterbury had little difficulty dispatching Manawatu 54-7 with Lucy Anderson scoring a double in the eight-try win.

Otago were equally dominant in accounting for Tasman 58-15, but Bay of Plenty had to work hard for a 26-21 win over Waikato after leading 12-8 at halftime.

Irish prop goes sumo

Irish prop Cian Healy got a different perspective on the art of shoving opponents this week when he and some teammates took advantage of being in Japan with a sumo wrestling lesson.

The Leinster loose head, renowned for his weightlifting prowess, first had some sumo training when Ireland toured Japan in 2017 - and he jumped at a second opportunity.

"When it became an option this time, I was urging the lads to do it because it's culturally one of the best things I did the last time around," Healy said.

"You get an understanding of it that they're not just big lumps, the amount of training that they put in, their flexibility, strength, power, everything. It was a really good experience to see that and then to just chat to the lads after."

Ireland play Scotland on Saturday.


Hamilton fastest in Singapore

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton lapped fastest on the opening day of practice for the Singapore Grand Prix with Mercedes teammate and closest rival Valtteri Bottas hitting the wall.

Lewis Hamilton in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hamilton edged Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who had led the opening session, in the floodlit night-time practice with a best time of one minute and 38.773 seconds.

The 21-year-old Dutchman was 0.186 seconds slower.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, a four-time winner in Singapore and chasing his first win for more than a year, was third on the timesheets after some difficulties with traffic.

Hamilton, who has a 63-point lead over Bottas with seven races left, has won four times in Singapore including the last two years and is chasing an unprecedented fifth success in the city state.

Bottas, whose crash in opening practice prompted a brief halt to proceedings, enjoyed a trouble free run under the floodlights and ended both sessions fourth.


Archer gets central contract

England's Ashes and World Cup bowler Jofra Archer and opening batsmen Rory Burns and Joe Denly are among a number of players to be awarded England Cricket central contracts for the 2019-20 season.

Jofra Archer successfully appeals for the wicket of Australia captain Aaron Finch.

Jofra Archer successfully appeals for the wicket of Australia captain Aaron Finch. Photo: Photosport

Archer was England's leading wicket taker in their victorious World Cup campaign with 20 wickets and he made his test debut against Australia, picking up 22 wickets in four Ashes tests.

Burns was England's second-highest run scorer (390) in the Ashes after Ben Stokes (441). Denly (312 runs) has earned his first white-ball, limited-overs, contract at the age of 33.

Players awarded central contracts will have their salaries paid in full by the ECB.

However, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett and David Willey have missed out on white-ball contracts for the 2019-20 season, while spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have received only white-ball contracts after previously having contracts across all formats.


It's time for Dhoni to go!

The time has come for India's long-serving wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni to bow out of international cricket - and he should go before he's pushed, batting great Sunil Gavaskar said.

Former captain Dhoni has been the subject of intense speculation among fans, ex-players and pundits over when he will retire from international cricket since India's semi-final exit from the World Cup.

The veteran of 350 one-dayers, who quit playing Tests at the end of 2014, has not provided any hint of what his plans are.

However, he made himself unavailable for India's tour of the West Indies and instead opted to spend 15 days with India's territorial army, a reservist force that draws on civilians who can do short stints to assist the military.

Dhoni was also a notable omission from India's Twenty20 squad for the ongoing three-match series against South Africa.


Fox misses cut

Auckland golfer Ryan Fox has missed the cut at the BMW PGA Championship in England.

Fox followed up his opening round 78 with a one under 71 to be five over par.... four shots from the cut line.