1 Nov 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

9:43 pm on 1 November 2019

Latest - Football Ferns coach Coach Tom Sermanni has named a 22-strong squad for the two-match tour of China this month, where New Zealand will take on the hosts before meeting either Brazil or Canada.

Football Ferns coach Tom Sermanni

Football Ferns coach Tom Sermanni Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019 www.photosport.nz

Defender Claudia Bunge has earned her first call-up.

Goalkeeper Lily Alfeld was last involved in the Football Ferns set up in 2014 while midfielder Jana Radosavljevic's only previous call-up came at the end of 2017 - both are yet to be capped.

Defender Nicole Stratford could join the others in making her debut.

Experienced player Abby Erceg is unavailable due to personal reasons while fellow defenders Meikayla Moore and Anna Green are out through injury.

Wellington Firebirds top Plunket Shield table

The Wellington Firebirds made it two from two in the opening rounds of the Plunket Shield, after beating Canterbury outright in a record-setting Basin Reserve runfest.

Chasing 358 on the last afternoon and with just 76 of those left to find in the final session, Canterbury gave it a solid crack - reaching 313 in 74 overs before Malcolm Nofal (4-100) claimed the final wicket for Wellington to seal the win.

Earlier, recalled Firebirds allrounder Jamie Gibson made a ballistic start to the final morning as the hosts looked to slap on quick runs to their sizeable match tally before their declaration.

Gibson's knock of 43 flying off just 18 balls, he blasted four sixes in the handful of overs it took to take their overnight score from 186/6 to 247/6 at the declaration - a whirlwind quarter of an hour, 54 runs in just three overs.

That set Canterbury a chase of 358 to win, with the bulk of three sessions in front of them.

The remaining two second-round matches will be completed tomorrow.

NZs Ardie Savea and Kendra Cocksedge up for Player of the Year

South Africa's Cheslin Kolbe and Pieter-Steph du Toit have been named on a six-man shortlist for the World Rugby Player of the Year award while English players dominated the nominations for the women's prize.

All Blacks' flanker Ardie Savea also made the list as did US hooker Joe Taufete'e.

Wales' Alun Wyn Jones was the oldest nominee in the men's shortlist at 34 and was joined by England flanker Tom Curry - the youngest at 21.

In the women's shortlist, England trio Sarah Bern, Katy Daley-Mclean and Emily Scarratt are in the running after their Grand Slam triumph at this year's women's Six Nations.

They were joined by France's Pauline Bourdon, who was also nominated last year, and New Zealand halfback Kendra Cocksedge who won the award in 2015.

The prizes will be handed out at the World Rugby Awards in Tokyo on Sunday.

- Reuters

Win for the Breakers

The New Zealand Breakers overcame a host of injuries to beat Cairns Taipans 93-85 in their NBL game in Auckland.

NZ Breakers Corey Webster

Corey Webster Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The luckless Breakers went into the game without regulars Rob Loe (head) and Finn Delany (ankle) and lost import guard Scotty Hopson to a knee injury during the second quarter.

To make matters worse, big man Ater Majok had to fight through illness to suit up and he contributed 8 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.

Corey Webster was the main architect for the Breakers as he scored 23 points and carried the load without Hopson.

"One of our brothers went down again so we had to dig in," Webster said.

"Everybody stepped up, chipped away at it as a team and we came away with a good win."

Teenage tyro R.J. Hampton hit some timely shots in the final quarter for the Breakers to end the game with a career-high 18 points.


New Zealanders up for rugby awards

The All Blacks and three New Zealand coaches have been shortlisted for World Rugby awards.

New Zealand Coach Steve Hansen.

Steve Hansen Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The All Blacks are finalists for Team of the Year, along with World Cup finalists England and South Africa, Japan and Wales.

Steve Hansen is up for Coach of the Year, along with fellow New Zealanders Warren Gatland at Wales and Jamie Joseph at Japan... the other finalists are Eddie Jones of England and Rassie Erasmus of South Africa.

The winners will be announced on Sunday.

The All Blacks were Team of the Year from 2010 to 2016, while Steve Hansen has been Coach of the Year four times, the last in 2016.

Barty into last four in China

World number one Ashley Barty has booked her place in the semi-finals of the WTA Finals in China as the Australian made short work of Petra Kvitova, handing the Czech a 6-4 6-2 defeat.

Barty needed to win to be sure of progressing having won one and lost one of her opening matches, and she did so in style as she dominated to win in 88 minutes against a tired looking Kvitova, who exits the competition with three straight losses.

Belinda Bencic joined Barty in the last four after Kiki Bertens withdrew from their meeting after losing the first set to the Swiss.

Bertens, who came into the tournament after the first round as an injury replacement for Naomi Osaka, called for the doctor after losing the opening set and, after a brief consultation, headed for the locker room and a retirement.

- Reuters

Still no way back for Folau

Rugby league has again closed its door on any possible future Israel Folau may have in the sport.

In his second day in the job as Australian Rugby League chair Peter V'landys has made a powerful statement on inclusiveness in rugby league saying the game changed his life as an immigrant child and he has zero tolerance for Folau's anti-gay messages.

Former chairman Peter Beattie had previously shut down an attempt by the sacked rugby union star to resume his NRL career, and V'landys has supported the move.


Maxwell takes break from cricket

Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is taking an indefinite break from cricket with immediate effect as he undergoes treatment for mental health issues, coach Justin Langer said.

Maxwell, who played in Australia's two T20 wins against Sri Lanka in recent days and starred in the Adelaide series-opener, will be replaced by batsman D'Arcy Short for the third and final match in Melbourne on Friday.

Langer said he had spoken to Maxwell after sensing something was amiss with the hard-hitting 31-year-old before the Adelaide game, Australia's first international of the home summer.

"They often put on a mask," Langer said of people suffering mental health problems.

"In public positions they have to put on a mask all the time. That's his armour, his energy and the way he plays."

Maxwell, who has played 110 one-day internationals and 61 T20Is, will be assessed in Melbourne over the next "day or so", Langer said.

- Reuters

Liverpool drawn against Villa

Liverpool have been drawn against Aston Villa in the English League Cup quarter-finals although a date for the fixture has yet to be agreed.

Jurgen Klopp suggested on Wednesday he could pull his side out of the competition if a date cannot be found for the quarter-final, after the club reached the last eight via a penalty shoot-out following a 10-goal thriller against Arsenal.

As Champions League winners, Liverpool will be playing in the last four of the Club World Cup in Qatar on December 18, with the League Cup quarter-finals scheduled for the same week.

Colchester have secured a lucrative trip to Manchester United, and the League Two club will be looking to cause further upset, having already knocked out top- division sides Tottenham and Crystal Palace in the competition's earlier rounds.

Manchester City, in search of their third successive league cup trophy, will travel to Oxford, and Leicester will travel to Everton, who have never won the competition.

The quarter-finals, aside from the Liverpool fixture, are set to take place the week starting December 16.


Stanaway to drive last two rounds

New Zealand driver Richie Stanaway has been reinstated for the final two rounds of the Australian Supercars season, starting with next weekend's Sandown 500.

Stanaway's future appeared up in the air when he was sensationally stood down for last weekend's Gold Coast 600 finale due to disciplinary reasons after missing a fan autograph session.

Heavyweight Holden outfit Garry Rogers Motorsport dropped the bombshell that Super2 Series driver Dylan O'Keeffe would replace Stanaway just before qualifying for last Sunday's 300km event.

However, Stanaway has been given a reprieve after GRM confirmed the New Zealander would not only contest the Sandown 500 but also the season finale, the Newcastle 500.

Stanaway's long term future still remains unclear after GRM earlier sensationally confirmed they would be departing Supercars in 2020, ending their stellar 24 year stint.


Olympic rowing great paralysed

Three-time Great Britain Olympic rowing champion Pete Reed has revealed he is currently paralysed from the chest down after suffering a stroke last month.

Reed, who won gold medals in the coxless four at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and in the eight another four years on in Rio, retired from the sport last year.

He announced in a video on Instagram earlier this month the "shocking news" that he had suffered a rare spinal stroke, and has now provided a further update on his condition.

He wrote on the same social network: "Doctors can't be certain what caused my stroke. It was in the middle of my spine so I'm currently paralysed beneath my chest.