14 Jan 2020

Today's sports news: what you need to know

6:08 am on 14 January 2020

Latest - Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has again gone overseas to complete his coaching setup with former Wales winger Mark Jones appointed as the side's defensive coach on a two-year contract.

Mark Jones playing for Wales against South Africa in 2008.

Mark Jones playing for Wales against South Africa in 2008. Photo: Photosport

Jones played 47 tests for Wales and was attack coach of the national side during their 2013 Six Nations Grand Slam.

He replaces former Ireland first five Ronan O'Gara who spent two seasons under Robertson at the Crusaders before taking up a head coaching job at French club La Rochelle.

"It's a big step for myself and my family to move to New Zealand, but the chance to be involved in the game at grassroots level through to Super Rugby, and work alongside world class coaches was too good to miss," said Jones.

Venus falls in first round

New Zealand doubles specialist Michael Venus has lost his first round match at the ASB Tennis Classic in Auckland beaten in straights sets by defending champion American Tennys Sandgren.

It was the first singles match for the world's number 10 ranked doubles player sicne 2018.

Supercars moves to Hampton Downs

The New Zealand round of the Australian Supercars championship is being moved Lfrom Pukekohe to Auckland's Hampton Downs because of noise restrictions.

Scott McLaughlin.

Scott McLaughlin. Photo: Photosport

The date remains unchanged on ANZAC weekend but noise restriction rules at Pukekohe mean the event needed to shift.

Spectators can get a refund on their ticktet or simply use their Pukekohe tickets at Hampton Downs.

"Sincere apologies to our fans and partners for any inconvenience caused by the venue change, but we're going to be just 15mins from Pukekohe at one of the world's best facilities and most demanding tracks. It's going to be great for everyone involved," said Supercars chief executive Sean Seamer.

Aguero tops goal scoring in EPL

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero became the most prolific overseas goalscorer in the English Premier League era when he netted a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory at Aston Villa.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero  celebrates after scoring.

Sergio Aguero Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Argentine began the game one behind Frenchman Thierry Henry who scored 175 times for Arsenal but ended it with 177, joint fourth on the all-time list, after poaching a hat-trick.

It was Aguero's 12th Premier League hat-trick, taking him past Alan Shearer with whom he had shared the record.

Aguero thumped home in the first half to equal the record and then slotted in again in the 57th minute to go past Henry and put City 5-0 ahead at Villa Park.

The 31-year-old, who joined City in 2011, completed his hat-trick in the 81st minute to move to 177 goals in the Premier League, the same as Frank Lampard.

Only three players -- Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Andrew Cole (187) have scored more Premier League goals than Aguero.

Meanwhile Watford moved out of the relegation zone as their stunning revival under new manager Nigel Pearson continued with a 3-0 victory at south coast strugglers Bournemouth.

The win, Watford's fourth in the six games since Pearson took charge with them bottom of the table, lifted them to 17th place, while Bournemouth are second bottom.


Big win for Tuatara

The Auckland Tuatara have recorded their biggest ever win with a 16-2 thrashing of the Sydney Blue Sox to win their four-game series 3-1 and extend their lead atop the Northeast Division of the Australian Baseball League.

Tuatara batter Jonny Homza

Jonny Homza Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Tuatara bats were alive from the outset with just about everyone getting in on the act. They scored five runs in the fifth and tacked on runs in every inning after that.

Catcher Jonny Homza paced the visitors - going 5 for 5 to be the first Tuatara in history to have a five-hit night - driving in a run and scoring three times.

In all the Tuatara line-up had 20 hits.

Their run tally bettered their previous best of 11 runs scored - occurring on two occasions last season - while they also picked up the biggest single game win to beat the previous best of an 11-2 victory over Geelong Korea last season.

Former major league pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng looked impressive in a brief start as he struck out four while not giving up a hit or walk in three innings in his first performance for the club.

Assuming the bush fires ravaging Australia don't intervene, the Tuatara will stay in Australia and head to Canberra on Wednesday to start a four-game series against the Cavalry on Thursday night.

Aces clinch play-off spot

The play-off teams have been finalised in the Super Smash T20 cricket competition, but who plays who is yet to be determined in the men's competition.

Firebirds' Devon Conway.

Devon Conway Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Auckland's six wicket win over Wellington at the Basin Reserve yesterday confirmed the Aces place in the top three, but Otago could still dislodge Wellington at the top of the standings which gives a side direct entry into the grand final.

Otago play Canterbury tomorrow in a game which will determine the final standings and who will meet in the preliminary final.

The Wellington Blaze went through round-robin play unbeaten after a seven wicket win over Auckland yesterday, so Auckland will meet Otago in the elimination final on Thursday with the winner then going on to meet the Blaze in Saturday's grand final.

Death on Dakar rally

Portuguese motorcycle rider Paulo Goncalves died after a crash in the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

The 40-year-old Hero Motorsports entrant, taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally since making his debut in 2006, fell after 276km of the special stage from the capital Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir.

Goncalves was the first competitor to die in the gruelling endurance event since Polish motorcycle rider Michal Hernik in Argentina in 2015.

The Portuguese finished in the top 10 at the Dakar Rally four times and was runner-up in 2015 to Spaniard Marc Coma, who is competing this year as co-driver to double Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

The experienced Portuguese had competed in the Dakar on three continents, from its origins in Africa to South America and this year's debut in the Middle East.

The 546km stage, the longest of the event, was ultimately won by Argentina's KTM rider Kevin Benavides who stopped to help Goncalves but had the lost time reinstated.

American Ricky Brabec extended his overall lead in the category.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz, a two-times Dakar winner driving a Mini buggy, took his third stage win of the event in the cars category to extend his lead over Toyota's reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar to 10 minutes.

Mini have now won six of the seven stages.


Serbia win ATP Cup

Novak Djokovic helped seal victory for Serbia in the inaugural ATP Cup team tennis event after defeating his long-term Spanish rival Rafael Nadal in singles before going on to play a pivotal role in the deciding doubles match.

Joy of Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic Photo: PHOTOSPORT

With the final locked at 1-1 after the singles were shared, Djokovic partnered veteran Victor Troicki to beat Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-4 and win the title. The 16-times Grand Slam champion proved to be a calming influence throughout, especially after the Serbian pair fell behind early in the match.

He used his powerful serve and fleet-footed returns to haul his country back into the first set and create a momentum shift Serbia rode all the way to a victory completed in the early hours of Monday morning.

Djokovic earlier beat Nadal 6-2 7-6(4), extending his dominance over the Spaniard on hardcourts, a surface Nadal has not beaten him on since 2013.

Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut completed a flawless tournament by defeating Serbia's Dusan Lajovic 7-5 6-1.


Robinson down the field

The Queenstown skier Alice Robinson has finished 24th in her latest outing on the World Cup circuit.

Robinson competed in a combined race in Austria which involves both a Super G and slalom run.

The 18 year old finished six seconds behind Federica Brignone of Italy.

In her specialist event the giant slalom, Robinson is sixth in the World Cup standings with her next race in Italy next weekend.

Buttler apologises for verbal spray

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler has apologised for his foul-mouthed verbal volley in the second cricket test against South Africa, but questioned whether television viewers should have access to the audio from stump microphones.

Joss Buttler and Ben Stokes of England look on as Dean Elgar of South Africa edges the ball into the air.

Joss Buttler Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Buttler was fined 15 percent of his match fee and handed one demerit point after swearing repeatedly at South Africa all-rounder Vernon Philander late on the final day as England sought the wickets that would take them to a 189-run win.

"I fully understand that as role models we have a duty to behave in a certain way. I would like to apologise and understand that is not the way to behave. I take the slap on the wrist," Buttler said.

Asked whether he felt the audio from the stump microphones should be available to the public, Buttler said most players were against it.

"In test cricket there is high emotion at times. There can be things said that don't mean anything, but for the viewers at home it can come across very poorly," he said.

Meanwhile England captain Joe Root did not train today after being laid low by a stomach bug, a potential blow to the tourists with the third test against South Africa starting at St George's Park on Thursday.

South Africa won the first test of the four-match series in Pretoria by 107 runs, before England bounced back to claim the second in Cape Town by 189 runs.


Kenyan breaks 10k record

Kenya's Rhonex Kipruto set a new 10km road world record as compatriot Sheila Chepkirui won the women's race at the 10K Valencia Ibercaja in Spain.

World 10,000m bronze medallist Kipruto clocked 26 minutes 24 seconds to shave 14 seconds off the yet-to-be-ratified mark set by Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei six weeks ago at a different course in the same city.

The 20-year-old also bettered the 5km road world record by reaching the halfway mark of the World Athletics Gold Label event in 13:18.

He went even faster in the second half, clocking 13:06 but athletics' governing body said in a statement that the latter effort would not be eligible for ratification.

Benard Kimeli made it a one-two for Kenya, coming second in 27:12 and Switzerland's Julien Wanders was third in a new European record of 27:13.

Chepkirui's time was initially reported as 29:42, which would have meant she bettered fellow Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei's record set in Prague three years ago.

However, her official time was later confirmed as 29:46, making her the second fastest woman ever.


Win for Pliskova

Defending champion Karolina Pliskova prevailed in a three-set tug-of-war with Madison Keys to become the first three-time winner at the Brisbane International.

A day after clinching a nearly three-hour semi-finals duel with Naomi Osaka, the world number two overcame a mid-match blip to triumph 6-4 4-6 7-5 in the final at the Pat Rafter Arena.