10 Dec 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

1:36 pm on 10 December 2019
Southern Steel beat the Northern Mystics to be the only unbeaten New Zealand side at the tournament.

Southern Steel beat the Northern Mystics to be the only unbeaten New Zealand side at the tournament. Photo: Michael Bradley Photography

Latest - The rookie Super Rugby season for new Highlander Connor-Garden Bachop is over before it starts.

Garden-Bachop sustained a lower back injury in February which has continued to give him trouble.

The decision has been made to operate on his back prior to Christmas and the procedure will need a recovery time of six to seven months.

Head Coach Aaron Mauger said it was bad luck for the young winger but it was the right decision to get it sorted now so he could come back strong through the Mitre 10 competition later next year.

He has been replaced in the squad by 21-year-old Tasman outside back Lotima Fainga'anuku, who played for the Crusaders in 2018.

Southern Steel unbeaten

The Southern Steel and Australian side the Collingwood Magpies are the only two unbeaten sides after two days of competition at the Super club netball tournament in Nelson.

ANZ premiership champions the Pulse scored their first win of the tournament with a 56-39 win over English club Wasps who are yet to register a win.

The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic also registered their first win, a 53-59 win over the Northern Stars who have lost both their opening games.

The Steel beat the Northern Mystics 43-39 while a dominant second half effort from Colliingwood gave them a 51-38 win over the Tactix.

Breakers chalk up rare win

US import Scotty Hopson helped the Breakers to victory over the Brisbane Bullets.

US import Scotty Hopson helped the Breakers to victory over the Brisbane Bullets. Photo: Photosport

The sacking of controversial American import Glen Rice Junior didn't deter the Breakers in their latest Australian national basketball league game, securing a 96-85 home win over the Brisbane Bullets.

Rice was sacked after a he was arrested for a second time in the wake of an assault charge.

Corey Webster top scored for the home side with 23 points while Tom Abercrombie and Scotty Hopson who Rice had initially replaced as injury cover scored 12 points.

The Breakers were also without rising star RJ Hampton, who is awaiting scan results on a hip injury.

The Auckland based side though still sit in second to last place in the nine team competition having won just four of their 13 games.

Rugby Australia back embattled Castle

Rugby Australia have backed embattled chief executive Raelene Castle to continue in the role despite intense criticism over her handling of the Israel Folau case.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Officer Raelene Castle

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Officer Raelene Castle Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

The former Wallabies fullback Folau settled his unfair dismissal case with Rugby Australia and Super Rugby team the New South Wales Waratahs last week, bringing an end to a bitter dispute triggered by his controversial social media post.

The settlement drew criticism from some quarters as a humiliating surrender by Rugby Australia but despite calls to resign Castle says the agreement was in the best interests of the game.

Rugby Australia chairman Cameron Clyne says Castle's position is not in question.

Castle's position was further complicated by reports earlier this year that RA could end its two-decade relationship with Fox Sports when the current broadcast rights deal expires at the end of next season.

Clyne, who will step down as chairman in March, said RA was still in talks with the pay TV provider over an extension.


Thorne and Brown to co-coach Canterbury

Canterbury have appointed Reuben Thorne and Mark Brown as co-coaches for next year's provincial rugby competition.

Thorne a former All Black captain and Brown were assistant coaches this year under Joe Maddock.

Maddock finished up with the side at the end of the season to become assistant to Todd Blackadder at Japan club Toshiba.

Arsenal end winless streak

Arsenal have ended a seven match winless run in football's English premier league, with a 3-1 win over West Ham.

The Hammers lead one nil at halftime before Arsenal equalisted 15 minutes into the second half and quickly added two more goals.

It's West Ham's third straight home loss leaving them in 16th on 16 points, just a point above the relegation zone.

Arsenal move up to ninth.

Rapinoe wins again

USA's players including Megan Rapinoe , centre, celebrate their World Cup title win.

Megan Rapinoe holds the World Cup aloft. Photo: AFP

US footballer Megan Rapinoe has collected another accolade by claiming Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year for her performance in the United States women's World Cup-winning football team and for her campaigning off the field.

Rapinoe rocketed to household fame this year, taking home the Golden Boot and Golden Ball from the World Cup as top scorer and best player, as the U.S. retained the trophy and on the way became advocates for gender pay equity in sport.

The midfielder also picked up the prestigious Ballon d'Or award for the world's best female player.


Pacemaker goes all the way

The world's elite athletes may think twice before employing Reuban Kipyego as a marathon pacemaker again, after the Kenyan had a late change of heart in a recent race and kicked on for a bizarre victory.

The 23-year-old had been due to drop out of last Friday's Abu Dhabi Marathon after 30km, but his competitive spirit and the lure of a $US100,000 prize got the better of him.

Pacemakers generally drop out before the finish line but are allowed to finish the race if they choose to do so.

Kipyego finished with a negative split, running the second half of the race faster than the first, to win in 2:04.40 his fastest time.

While unusual, Kipyego's feat is not a first. American pacemaker Paul Pilkington won the Los Angeles Marathon in 1994, while Kenya's Simon Biwott accomplished the same feat at the Berlin Marathon in 2000.