5 Oct 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

7:15 pm on 5 October 2019

Latest - The New Zealand Under 23 football team has beaten Solomon Islands 4-0 in the final of the OFC men's Olympic Qualifier in Fiji to secure Oceania's lone spot at next year's Tokyo Games.

Members of the New Zealand Under 23 football side celebrate during their match against Solomon Islands in Fiji.

Members of the New Zealand Under 23 football side celebrate during their match against Solomon Islands in Fiji. Photo: OFC Media via Phototek

Going into the final New Zealand were the only undefeated team left in the competition with an impressive record of four wins, 28 goals scored and only four conceded.

O'Connor ruled out of Wallabies Test

The Wallabies have suffered their first notable injury of the Rugby World Cup, with James O'Connor ruled out of tonight's group match against Uruguay in Oita.

O'Connor, who was named on the reserves bench as outside back cover, has been replaced by Samu Kerevi.

An Australian team statement said the 29-year-old had suffered a corked muscle in training and "pulled up sore" on Saturday morning.

O'Connor and Kerevi were the starting midfield in the two opening matches against Fiji and Wales but were replaced this week by Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani.


Big wins for BoP and Auckland

Bay of Plenty have beaten Manawatu 46-10 in Tauranga in the national provincial rugby competition.

Auckland also dominated Southland at home at Eden Park - 64-7.

Meanwhile, Otago will have their seventh and potentially most difficult defence of the Ranfurly Shield of the season in Dunedin tonight when they take on Canterbury.

That game starts at 7.35pm.

Debutant named in Black Ferns Sevens squad

Hamilton teenager Montessa Tairakena will make her Black Ferns Sevens debut this weekend at the opening round of the Women's World Series in Colorado.

Waikato's Montessa Tairakena being chased.


Co-Coach Cory Sweeney said the selection of Montessa Tairakena was exciting for the Black Ferns Sevens squad.

"Montessa has been dominant at age group and national level for some time, she is one of the quickest players in New Zealand. She came into our environment at the beginning of the year and in this pre-season has grown in confidence.

"She has been learning from one of the best in the world in Michaela Blyde and has shown us what we needed to see to select her, it's really exciting times for her and the team," said Sweeney.

Stacey Waaka and Gayle Broughton also return to the side.

The Black Ferns Sevens, who are the defending World Series Champions, play Japan, Russia and England in pool play.

Muhammad breaks her own world record

American Dalilah Muhammad broke her own world record to win the women's 400 metres hurdles at the world athletics championships in Doha with a time of 52.16 seconds, edging out compatriot Sydney McLaughlin in a gripping race.

American athlete Dalilah Muhammad.


The 29-year-old Muhammad, the 2016 Olympic champion, crossed the finish line 0.04 seconds faster than her previous world record set in July.

The American attributed her two world marks to her work ethic, and said she was focused on successfully defending her title at next year's Tokyo Olympics.

Bahamian Steven Gardiner, silver medallist in London two years ago, went one better when he stormed home to win the 400 metres.

And lifted by a packed stadium, Qatar's Mutaz Barshim soared to victory in the men's high jump giving the hosts a long-awaited first gold medal.

- Reuters

Marquez recovers from crash

Honda's MotoGP leader Marc Marquez had a huge crash and was taken to hospital before returning to set quick laps in practice for what promises to be a title-deciding Thai Grand Prix.

The Spaniard, 98 points clear of closest rival Andrea Dovizioso with five races remaining and a sixth title beckoning, ended the day's second session at the Chang International circuit sixth fastest.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Marquez was flung off his bike after losing the rear with 10 minutes to go in the first session, landing heavily. He stayed down for a while, struggling to breathe, while the Honda was badly damaged.

He was taken to the circuit medical centre and then to hospital in nearby Buriram for checks before being cleared to continue.

French rider Fabio Quartararo topped the timesheets at the end of the day for Petronas Yamaha, ahead of factory Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales and Petronas team mate Franco Morbidelli.

Marquez will take the title, his fourth in a row, on Sunday if he scores two points more than Dovizioso.

- Reuters

Harbour beat Wellington

North Harbour have beaten Wellington 42-34 in their provincial rugby game in Albany.

Harbour scored five first half tries to lead 32-8 at the break.

Wellington scored four tries in the second half to close the gap, but the homeside held on for the win that movs them up to third in the Premiership.

Wellington still have a firm grip on second place, but a win would have secured them a home semi-final with a round to play.

Proteas fight back

Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock struck centuries to help South Africa avoid the threat of a follow-on and reach 385-8 at stumps on day three of the first Test against India.

Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock Photo: Photosport

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took his 27th five-wicket haul in Tests to keep India in control of the series opener at Visakhapatnam, with South Africa still trailing by 117 runs.

After the Proteas resumed in some trouble on 39-3, Elgar scored 160 off 287 balls for the opener's 12th test hundred before De Kock attacked India's spinners to make 111 off 163 deliveries.

They put on 164 runs for the sixth wicket, allowing South Africa to ease past the follow-on mark.

- Reuters

Chris Harris retires from rowing

2017 World Champion Chris Harris has announced his retirement from rowing to focus on his family and career.

The men's double scull of Chris Harris and John Storey were among New Zealand's gold medal winners in Florida.

The men's double scull of Chris Harris and John Storey were among New Zealand's gold medal winners in Florida. Photo: Photosport

Chris Harris started his rowing career at Whanganui High School and Aramaho Whanganui Rowing Club in 2002, aged 17.

He made his first New Zealand appearance in the U23 men's coxless four in 2007 where he and his crew won the silver medal at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

Harris and John Storey linked up in the double in 2017 and the duo finished the international season unbeaten and became world champions in Florida.

Harris and his partner Gemma welcomed a baby boy, Hunter, earlier this year, and post retirement Chris is looking forward to being able to dedicate more time to both his family and his engineering career.

Team UK launches Britannia

Ben Ainslie named his new multi-million dollar America's Cup yacht "Britannia", as he launched the revolutionary foiling AC75 he hopes will bring international sport's oldest trophy back to Britain.

Ainslie's Team UK is aiming to challenge Team New Zealand for the America's Cup in Auckland in 2021 and the futuristic boat will soon be put through its paces on the waters of the Solent, near his base in Portsmouth, southern England.

Team UK is the fourth team after New York Yacht Club's American Magic, the defenders Team New Zealand and Prada's Luna Rossa to reveal its take on the design rules for the 36th America's Cup.

The 2021 event will be contested in monohulls which will spend most of their time with their crews "flying" above the water, with only their foils submerged.

- Reuters

Iranian women snap up football tickets

Iranian women have snapped up tickets for next week's World Cup qualifier against Cambodia in Tehran after they were released for sale via a website.

Iranian authorities had assured football world governing body FIFA that women would be allowed to attend the game and have set aside sections of the stadium for women.

The semi-official Iranian news agency ISNA said the 3500 tickets set aside for women sold out within minutes of going on sale.

While foreign women have been allowed limited access to matches, Iranian women have been banned from stadiums when men's teams have been playing since shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

- Reuters

Monkey predictor at World Cup

A monkey in the southern Japanese city of Oita has become the latest animal to try its hand at predicting Rugby World Cup matches.

The 13-year-old male monkey, named 'Goro', successfully predicted that New Zealand would beat Canada and after the All Blacks proved him right with their 63-0 romp, the primate has forecast two more matches.

Clearly not a fan of the underdog, Goro has predicted that Australia will beat Uruguay on Saturday and that Wales will also defeat Fiji in the next two fixtures to be held in Oita.

Goro, who lives in a local zoo, selected the results by catching sweet potatoes hanging from banners of the participating countries.

Oracle animals have become somewhat of a tournament tradition ever since Paul the octopus won global fame in 2010 by accurately picking the outcome of a string of Germany's soccer World Cup matches that year.

- Reuters