27 Sep 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

7:39 am on 27 September 2019

Latest - Samoa centre Rey Lee-lo has been suspended for their next three matches at the Rugby World Cup for making a reckless high tackle in Tuesday's 34-9 victory over Russia.

Samoan rugby player Rey Lee-Lo in action against Russia.

Rey Lee-lo Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Both Lee-lo and hooker Motu Matu'u were given yellow cards by referee Romain Poite after the television match official reviewed their tackles on Russia captain Vasily Artemyev within two minutes of each other.

Lee-lo will miss Samoa's pool games against Scotland, Japan and Ireland. The 32-year-old has 48 hours to appeal the decision.

The outcome of Matu'u's hearing is expected in the next 24 hours.


Bennett out of World Champs

George Bennett has withdrawn from the New Zealand cycling team at the World Road Cycling Championships in Yorkshire.

Bennett has been unable to recover from his efforts at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana and has made the "hard choice" to pull out of Sunday night's men's road race.

"George has told us that he is completely drained after the Vuelta and does not believe he is in any condition to be competitive here this weekend," New Zealand team boss Craig Geater said.

Bennett has been replaced by fellow World Tour rider Shane Archbold.

Archbold will join Patrick Bevin, Dion Smith and Jack Bauer in the New Zealand team.

Jones into semi-finals

Kiwi paddler Luuka Jones has qualified for the K1 semi-finals at the world canoe slalom championships in Spain.

Luuka Jones competes in the K1 Canoe Slalom at the Rio Olympics.

Luuka Jones Photo: Photosport

The Olympic silver medallist has set the second best time in her second run to advance from the heats, after being a lowly 35th after the first run.

Jones will now turn her attentions to the heats of the women's C1 tonight before the K1 semi-finals and finals on Saturday night New Zealand time.

Meanwhile, fellow Kiwi Benjamin Gibb has failed to advance to the semi-finals of the men's K1.

Kyrgios gets suspended sentence

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios has been handed a suspended ban of 16 weeks and an additional fine of $40,000 for "aggravated behaviour" following an investigation by the ATP.

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios


The 24-year-old, one of the most combustible characters in tennis, was fined $180,000 over a meltdown in Cincinnati last month and courted more trouble with the governing body of men's tennis at the U.S. Open describing them as corrupt.

Both the fine and suspension are deferred pending Kyrgios's compliance with a set of conditions which will apply at ATP and Challenger Tour events during a six-month probationary period.

Some of the conditions include no further code violations that result in a fine for verbal or physical abuse of officials, fans or any others on-court or on-site and unsportsmanlike conduct and any obscenity directed at officials.

He was also told to seek "continued support" from a mental coach during tournaments and consult a professional specialising in behavioural management in the off-season.

Kyrgios had picked up the initial fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse and an audible obscenity in Cincinnati after arguing with the chair umpire and smashing two rackets during his second-round defeat by Russia's Karen Khachanov.


No Olympics for White Sox

The New Zealand women's softball team's hopes of returning to the Olympics are over for another four years.

The White Sox have suffered a 1-0 extra inning defeat to the Philippines in their final group game at the Asia-Oceania qualifying tournament in Shanghai.

New Zealand had to win to advance to the super round playoffs and keep alive their chances of making the Tokyo 2020 Games.

White Sox assistant coach Stanley Doney was obviously disappointed but sportingly said that is why the game is so interesting.

"It was a very close game and we could have won the game. But it was not to be. Both teams had their opportunity to win the game and Philippines did and we did not," Doney said.

"Credit to Philippines because they played well. But we too did well but not enough to win it."

Fox makes a good start

Auckland golfer Ryan Fox has finally hit some form on the European Tour, hiting an eight under par 64 to be tied for second at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox.


Fox had an eagle and six birdies in his round which has him a shot behind Justin Walters of South Africa.

Playing just his second professional tournament, Wellington's Daniel Hillier had an even par 72 to be tied for 121st.

The event is played over three courses St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarn.

Tall Ferns into play-offs

The Tall Ferns pulled away in the second half to record a comfortable 75-57 win against the Philippines in their third and final pool game at the Asia Cup in Bangalore.

The win ensured the Tall Ferns finished in third spot in Group B. This means they will face the second placed team in Group A, most likely Korea, in a qualifying semi-final for a spot in the top four.

Tessa Boagni top scored with 16 points, while Natalie Taylor scored 14.

The New Zealanders lost their first two games against China and Australia.

Derby players in drink-drive incident

English Championship side Derby County's season is in chaos after club captain Richard Keogh was injured in a drink-driving incident involving two of his teammates.

Derby, who were one of the pre-season favourites for promotion to the Premier League after last year's narrow defeat in the play-off final to Aston Villa, have struggled in the early part of the season under new manager Phillip Cocu.

Those difficulties were compounded on Tuesday night when star midfielder Tom Lawrence and defender Mason Bennett were charged with drink-driving after a crash involving a Range Rover and a Mercedes.

Derby have now confirmed Republic of Ireland international Keogh broke his wrist and sustained a serious knee injury in the incident following a team-building dinner between players and staff.


Michael Leitch left out of Japan team

Japan left captain Michael Leitch out of their starting team for Saturday's Rugby World Cup clash with Ireland as a fit-again Amanaki Mafi took his place in the back row as one of five changes from their opening day win over Russia.

Michael Leitch playing for Japan.

Michael Leitch Photo: PHOTOSPORT

With winger Kenki Fukuoka still unavailable with a calf injury, Ryohei Yamanaka comes in at fullback as Will Tupou shifts to the wing and Lomano Lemeki drops to the bench.

Elsewhere in the pack, Luke Thompson replaces Wimpie van der Walt in the second row, Jiwon Koo and Shota Horie come into the front row and Kazuki Himeno moves to flanker to make room for Mafi at No.8.

South Africa-born flanker Lappies Labuschagne will captain the side in Leitch's absence.


Honda powered cars get grid penalties

Max Verstappen will have a five-place grid penalty and Daniil Kvyat will start his home Russian Formula One Grand Prix from the back of the field on Sunday as a result of power unit changes.

Honda said Kvyat and Toro Rosso team mate Pierre Gasly, along with Red Bull's Verstappen and Alexander Albon would be given new engines for the race in Sochi.

The move ensures all four cars have fresher engines for Honda's home race in Japan on Oct. 13, the next round after Russia.

Neither Red Bull-owned team have had drivers finish on the podium in Sochi, a track with both high speed straights and low speed corners.

Verstappen, winner of two races this season, is fourth in the championship but level on points with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

The pair are both 96 points behind Mercedes' five times world champion Lewis Hamilton with six races remaining.


Chappell stands down

Former captain Greg Chappell will retire from his roles of Cricket Australia's national talent manager and selector at the end of the month.

Chappell, who played 87 tests and 74 one-day internationals, was Cricket Australia's national talent manager for the past nine years and also served as a selector in recent times.

Former wicketkeeper Graham Manou, who played a lone test and four one-day internationals for Australia, will add Chappell's responsibilities to an expanded role of national talent and pathway manager.

Cricket Australia said a new national selector will be named at a later date to replace the 71-year-old Chappell.