24 Oct 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

11:56 am on 24 October 2019

Latest - Holders Liverpool beat Genk 4-1 in Belgium to stay second in their group of the Champions League.

Liverpool forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netted twice as Liverpool claimed their first group stage win on the road for two years.

They stay a point behind Napoli who beat Salzburg 3-2.

Chelsea scored a late goal to beat Ajax 1-0 in Amsterdam.

The two sides are on six points at the top of their group.

Barcelona beat Slavia Prague 2-1 to stay top of their group.

McIlroy to play for Ireland

Former world number one Rory McIlroy will represent Ireland at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and not the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team.

Irish golfer Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy Photo: PHOTOSPORT

McIlroy, ranked second, is one of the favourites to qualify. The top 15 ranked players when the qualification period ends in June 2020 automatically qualify, with a maximum of four per country, in a field that will include 60 golfers.

McIlroy opted out of the 2016 Rio Olympics when golf made its much-awaited return to the programme due to concerns over the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

The 30-year-old is eligible to play for both Team Great Britain and Ireland but decided to play for the latter, the same country he represented at the amateur level.

"I think I made it more difficult for myself than I needed to," he said, explaining his decision.

"My feelings towards it were more about what other people will think. Once I got that out of my head and decided to do what was best for me, it became easy.

"The decision was that I was going to play golf for the country or nation that I've always played golf for -- through my junior and amateur days, and now into my professional career."


Renault disqualified

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg have been disqualified from the results of the Japanese Grand Prix after the sport's governing body ruled they had benefited from an illegal driver aid.

Renault F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Daniel Ricciardo Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Australian Ricciardo and German Hulkenberg were classified sixth and 10th at the Oct. 13 race in Suzuka but the Racing Point team protested the brake bias system used by the French manufacturer.

The governing FIA said in a statement ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix that Renault had until tomorrow to appeal the decision.

Renault scored nine points in Japan, consolidating their fifth place in the constructors' standings.

It said the stewards had concluded after a telephone hearing that while the brake bias system "used innovative solutions to exploit certain ambiguities", it did not breach the technical regulations.

The system was, however, not allowed as a driver aid.


Castle and Cheika involved in verbal dustup

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika got in a public spat at a function at the Australian embassy in Tokyo during the World Cup.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle in a news conference after Israel Folau's anti-gay comments in April last year.

Raelene Castle Photo: AFP

Former Wallaby Morgan Turinui intervened to stop an escalating argument between Cheika and Castle in front of guests at the cocktail function, according to a Fairfax report.

Turinui confirmed the incident but declined to comment further.

The clash was believed to stem from a disagreement over RA's push to have Wallabies players at the function which was held on the Wednesday night before Australia's crunch pool game against Wales.

Cheika was reportedly reluctant to send any players, with Castle going over the top of the coach to organise with director of rugby Scott Johnson that Wallabies would attend.

Fairfax said tensions boiled over towards the end of the function, which was attended by about 60 people, when Castle tried to thank Cheika for attending with four players.

The pair engaged in a verbal stoush before Turinui stepped in.

After resigning on Sunday, Cheika dropped a bombshell saying that he had almost "no relationship with the CEO and not much with the chairman (Cameron Clyne)."


Win for Firebirds

Wellington Firebirds got their Plunket Shield campaign off to a winning start with an eight-wicket victory over Otago, with a day to spare.

The Firebirds collected the maximum 20 points, chasing down a meagre target of 47 to clinch victory at the Basin Reserve.

Tim Seifert and Daryl Mitchell scored centuries as Northern Districts got through to 392 for five.... a two run lead over Canterbury at Hagley Oval.

At Eden Park Auckland are 134 for seven in their second innings, a 175 run lead over Central Districts.

Injury concern for Kangaroos

Kangaroos prop Josh Papalii is in doubt for Friday night's Test with the Kiwis in Wollongong as he battles a chest injury.

The Canberra front-rower injured his sternum cartilage in the NRL grand final earlier this month and he failed to finish Kangaroos training on Tuesday.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga confirmed the 27-year-old had scans on Wednesday but was cleared of serious damage, so pain management will likely determine is availability.

The Kangaroos hold their captain's run at Kiama Showground this morning where a decision will be made over Papalii's availability.

Should Papalii be ruled out of the clash at WIN Stadium, South Sydney forward and Cameron Murray will be brought into the team, while Payne Haas or Paul Vaughan will be promoted from the bench to the starting side.


Tahuhu picks up key wicket

White Ferns bowler Leah Tahuhu picked up the key wicket of Meg Lanning to help the Melbourne Renegades to a four wicket win over the Perth Scorchers in their Big Bash Cricket game in St Kilda.

Tahuhu had the Perth captain caught for two, before the visitors went on to make 132 for five in their 20 overs.

The Renegades chased down their target with five balls to spare to join the Hobart Hurricanes at the top of the WBBL.


Davies on the mend

Wales are confident centre Jonathan Davies will be fit to return for their rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa on Sunday, skills coach Neil Jenkins said.

"Jon will be fine on the day, he'll be fine. He trained most of the week last week as well, but didn't feel he was quite right. But it is an important game on Sunday and we need all hands on deck to get through that match."

The 31-year old was ruled out of Wales's 20-19 quarter-final win over France with a recurrence of a knee injury which he had aggravated against Fiji, and was replaced by Ospreys' Owen Watkin.

The Welsh have won their last four matches against the Springboks.