1 Oct 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

6:34 am on 1 October 2019

Latest - Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has reportedly agreed a contract extension with the Brave Blossoms until the end of 2021.

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph.


Joseph, who masterminded Japan's thrilling upset of Ireland on Saturday to make it two wins from two so far for the Rugby World Cup hosts, had a contract with the Japanese Rugby Football Union (JRFU) until the end of this year.

Japanese sports daily Nikkan Sports reported that Joseph and the JRFU have come to a "basic agreement on the extension of his contract".

The reports said the contract negotiations started before the tournament began on Sept. 20.

Joseph, who played for both the All Blacks and Japan, took over from Eddie Jones as Brave Blossoms head coach in 2016.

He has been widely credited with evolving the Japanese squad into a dynamic, attacking side who can challenge world rugby's Tier One nations.

They certainly did that on Saturday, when their high-tempo attacking play and dogged defence led them to the stunning 19-12 win over Ireland, a side recently who were ranked number one in the world.

- Reuters

Warning for Rugby World Cup fans

Organisers for the Rugby World Cup in Japan are warning fans to beware of buying tickets on anything except official sites after hundreds are believed to have been turned away at stadium gates because they held bogus tickets.

Rugby fever is spreading in Japan, especially after the national team - the Brave Blossoms - achieved a historic victory over Ireland on Saturday, and some fans have said on social media they will do anything to get into a game.

"Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that fans at several venues for the World Cup have been unable to gain admittance due to holding illegally resold tickets," organisers said in a statement on its website.

A spokesman for the organising committee said that while they have not compiled detailed records of how many fans were refused entry, there were "at least a few" showing up at every match, with around 200 recorded at the Sept. 21 New Zealand-South Africa match alone.

"We once again strongly urge fans to purchase their tickets through official sites," the organizers' statement added.

- Reuters

World Rugby forced to apologise

World Rugby has apologised to Georgia for playing a Russian song following their 33-7 World Cup win over Uruguay on Sunday after their coach and captain brought up the issue during the post-match news conference.

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Georgia fans at their RWC match against Uruguay Photo: Naoki Morita/AFLO SPORT

"I want to take this moment to ask the person who played the Russian music, next time don't make the mistake again please," skipper Jaba Bregvadze told reporters following their Pool D victory in Kumagaya.

Coach Milton Haig explained that his team had not taken too kindly to the error by the organisers.

"They were playing a song after the match, it was a Russian song - sung by a Georgian singer but a Russian song. We want to make it clear Russia is not Georgia and Georgia is not Russia," the 55-year-old said.

"We have a different language, different culture, different everything so to World Rugby, make sure to get this ironed out for us please."

A World Rugby spokesperson said that the governing body was sorry for any embarrassment caused to Georgia.

- Reuters

Familiar faces named in Canada side

Canada captain Tyler Ardron and lock Evan Olmstead will have some familiar faces to run into when their team face the All Blacks in their Rugby World Cup Pool B match in Oita tomorrow (Wednesday).

Captains Tyler Ardron (Canada) and Dean Budd (Italy) at the coin toss as referee Nigel Owens looks on.
Italy v Canada, Pool B match at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka City, Japan on 26th September 2019.
Copyright photo: David Ramos / World Rugby

Tyler Ardron (left) at the coin toss for Canada's RWC match against Italy. Photo: David Ramos/World Rugby 2019

No,.8 Ardron has been a stand-out player for the Chiefs in Super Rugby for the last two seasons, while Olmstead was in the Auckland side that won New Zealand's provincial championship last year.

Olmstead is one of six changes made by coach Kingsley Jones to the starting side who were beaten 48-7 by Italy in their opener last week in Fukuoka, with loosehead prop Djustice Sears-Duru earning his first World Cup start.

Sears-Duru played in all of Canada's matches at the 2015 World Cup off the bench and was a replacement against Italy last week but has come in for Hubert Buydens in the number one jersey for the All Blacks clash.

Jones was forced to also shake up his midfield with Nick Blevins (broken jaw) and Ben LeSage (hand) both ruled out of the tournament over the weekend.

Conor Trainor, who scored two tries against the All Blacks in Canada's 79-15 defeat at the 2011 World Cup, and Ciaran Hearn have been named in their place.

- Reuters

World champs over for young Kiwi sprinter

New Zealand sprinter Zoe Hobbs has been unable to advance from the heats of the women's 200 metres at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Zoe Hobbs in action in the heats of the women's 200m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

Photo: Alisha Lovrich

The 22-year-old has finished sixth in her heat in a time of 23.94secs, more than half a second outside the last of the semi-final qualifiers.

Hobbs received a last minute invitation to race the 200m after qualifying for the 100m

"It's pretty cool to step out there on the world stage and I've worked pretty hard for this moment. Not the best results but just to be here is pretty awesome. I'm stoked to get my first one under way and then learn from this and move from there," Hobbs said.

Next for Hobbs is a bit of a break before building up into the New Zealand domestic season and looking ahead to the Tokyo Olympics.

McLaughlin unfazed by practice mishap

The omens may not be good but Supercars star Scott McLaughlin remains confident of pulling off a maiden Bathurst 1000 win after an eventful test session at Ipswich.

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin Photo: EDGE

Not much has gone wrong for McLaughlin in 2019 but the runaway series leader had a major hiccup when his Ford experienced brake failure and suffered damage when it speared off Queensland Raceway at Monday's test day for next month's Great Race.

His co-driver Alex Premat was at the helm when the Mustang left the track at turn four, losing the front bar in a ditch before coming to rest at turn two.

It may not be an encouraging sign as defending series champion McLaughlin looks to tick the final box on his Supercars' "to do" list and finally seal victory at Mount Panorama.

But McLaughlin remained unfazed by the test mishap.

"There was a blip on the radar during the day. But thankfully we were able to get that fixed and back on our program," he told AAP.

"It could easily have happened at Bathurst and we could have ended up in the fence but it was a good way to triple check everything in the car and it should be fine by Bathurst."


NRL considering moving grand final out of Sydney

The NRL will likely decide within six weeks whether to move the grand final from Sydney for the first time in history as negotiations continue over 2021.

Originally scheduled to be played at a refurbished ANZ Stadium as part of a 25-year deal, delays in upgrades mean it will be played at the SCG if it remains in NSW.

The league have requested a compensation package from the government over the move, but are ready to open the door to other states if a deal can't be reached.

If the NRL do look elsewhere, they have already had a long list of interested parties make contact.

It's understood New Zealand have now made enquiries to host the game, along with front-runners Queensland, as well as Victoria and Western Australia.


FIFA rule in Sala transfer dispute

Cardiff City must pay Nantes six million euros, the sum agreed as the first instalment for the transfer of Emiliano Sala who died in a plane crash on his way to the Welsh club.

Match programme featuring a memorial of Emiliano Sala


After signing for Cardiff for 15 million pounds in January, Sala was travelling there from the French club when his plane crashed in the English Channel.

The body of the 28-year-old Argentine striker was recovered nearly three weeks later after an underwater search found the wreckage. Pilot David Ibbotson remains missing.

"The FIFA Players' Status Committee established that Cardiff City FC must pay FC Nantes the sum of 6,000,000 euros, corresponding to the first instalment due in accordance with the transfer agreement," FIFA said in a statement.

- Reuters

Former NBA player buys NBL team

A syndicate led by ex-NBA player Kevin Martin is buying a controlling stake into the Brisbane Bullets.

Martin's syndicate is set to take over a 75 per cent interest in the NBL club.

The new ownership group has purchased an initial 37.5 per cent stake with the remaining 37.5 per cent to be acquired at the end of the 2019-20 NBL season.

The remaining 25 per cent will be held by the NBL for a further two years with the new ownership group retaining an option to buy that stake during that time.

NBL owner Larry Kestelman said the investment by Martin's group is a endorsement in the competition's standing globally.