15 Dec 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

4:09 pm on 15 December 2019

Latest - Young New Zealand footballer Sarpreet Singh has taken the next step in his rapid rise.

All Whites midfielder Sarpreet Singh.

All Whites midfielder Sarpreet Singh. Photo: Photosport

The 20-year-old All Whites attacking midfielder made his first official appearance for German giants Bayern Munich on Sunday morning (NZ time).

Replacing Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho, Singh came off the bench in the 82nd minute off Bayern's thumping 6-1 win over Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.

The debut comes after the former Wellington Phoenix player made the bench but wasn't required in a 3-1 win in Thursday's European Champions League clash with English side Tottenham Hotspur.

Singh turned out for Bayern in several pre-season matches but had not made his first official first team appearance until Sunday's match in Munich.

IndyCar champ to race Bathurst

New Zealand racing driver Scott Dixon will take on Australia's Mount Panorama Circuit for the first time next year.

Scott Dixon from New Zealand.

Scott Dixon Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The five-time IndyCar champion will make his Bathurst 12 Hours debut with the R-Motorsport Aston Martin squad.

Dixon will share a GT3 with two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Australian Rick Kelly and Briton Jake Dennis for the first round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge on 2 February.

Dixon has not raced at GT3 car before.

Despite his status as an IndyCar legend, the champion New Zealand driver is no stranger to long-distance racing and is a former outright winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona.

NZ sevens sides on song

Both New Zealand teams are through to the quarterfinals at the Cape Town leg of the World Sevens Series.

New Zealand's Joe Webber scores during their match against Canada at the World Series in Tokyo in 2015. Copyright photo: Kenji Demura / www.photosport.co.nz

Joe Webber dots down to score. Photo: Photosport

Coming off victory at last weekend's round in Dubai, the world champion women's side have backed up their opening day thumping of South Africa by beating Fiji 12-10 and Russia 12-0 on Sunday morning (NZ time).

The results helped them finish top of pool A, setting up a quarterfinal against England.

Meanwhile the New Zealand men will face Scotland in their quarterfinal in Cape Town.

Runners-up in Dubai, the Kiwi side topped pool B with a 33-5 win over Canada and a 19-14 victory against Argentina.

Opportunity slips for Phoenix

The Phoenix have battled to a 0-0 draw against a 10-man Melbourne Victory side in football's A-League.

Heading into Saturday night's match with three consecutive wins, the Wellington side had a great chance to continue that run when Victory had Kristijan Dobras 15 minutes into the second half.

New head coach of the Wellington Phoenix Ufuk Talay.


The Austrian midfielder was sent off for a high boot that made contact with Phoenix midfielder Cameron Devlin, giving the visitors more than half an hour to capitalise with a valuable away win.

But Ufuk Talay's side were unable to find a goal and although they extended their unbeaten run to five matches, other results dropped them one spot to sixth on the ladder.

The Phoenix host runaway league leaders Sydney FC in their next match next weekend.

World Cup gold for Gate

New Zealand's Aaron Gate has won the men's omnium at the Brisbane round of the Track Cycling World Cup.

It's New Zealand's third consecutive World Cup win in the four discipline Olympic event.

New Zealand cyclist Aaron Gate.

New Zealand cyclist Aaron Gate. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Reigning world champion Campbell Stewart triumphed in Hong Kong and Cambridge - but is focussing on the team pursuit in Brisbane.

Gate, the 2013 omnium world champion, confirmed his sparkling return to the New Zealand track squad.

Last week he played a pivotal part in the team pursuit success and partnered Stewart to win the madison at Cambridge.

Earlier Natasha Hansen was eighth fastest in 10.669s and Olivia Podmore 11th in a personal best 10.804 in the women's individual sprint qualifying.

Both won their first-round match racing clashes but lost out in tight finishes in the second round.

Two-from-two for Tuatara

The Auckland Tuatara have fought back from a 5-1 first inning deficit to secure a superb 9-7 win and a 3-1 series victory over the four-time defending Australian Baseball League champion Brisbane Bandits.

Auckland Tuatara pitcher Jimmy Boyce.


The win on Saturday night lifts the Tuatara into second place in the North East Division and a playoff spot as things stand.

The Auckland franchise plated two runs in the top of the first to take an early lead in the night cap but starter Jimmy Boyce got rocked for five innings in the bottom of the first. But the Kiwi right-hander settled down and put up three success scoreless innings.

Elliot Johnstone was fantastic out of the bullpen as well, firing three scoreless innings as his offence started to chip away at the lead.

The Tuatara scored nine runs on 15 hits in their best offensive display in franchise history.

Earlier in the day the Tuatara beat the Bandits 6-4 on the back of a strong start from former major league pitcher Josh Collmenter and a three-run home run by Texas Rangers prospect Josh Morgan.