25 Jan 2020

Today's Sports News: What you need to know

11:32 am on 25 January 2020

Latest - The Hurricanes have confirmed that All Blacks TJ Perenara and Jordie Barrett will play against the Stormers in the first round of Super Rugby next weekend.

Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara.

TJ Perenara Photo: Photosport

The Hurricanes are on their way to South Africa after losing to the Blues 29-28 in their final pre-season game in Auckland last night.

New coach Jason Holland says they'll both start the game despite not being involved in either of their pre-season games.

Barrett says he's trained at fullback the last couple of weeks and expects to play there.

Hooker Danes Coles didn't travel with the side as Holland says he's still working his way back from his ongoing calf issues, but expects to play him in round three in Wellington.

Lock James Blackwell remains in a moon boot because of a toe problem, but Holland expects him to play in Cape Town.

The Hurricanes second game is against the Jaguars in Buenos Aires before they return home.

Win for Phoenix

The Wellington Phoenix remain fourth in the A-League after beating Newcastle 2-1 in the capital.

Phoenix's Jaushua Sotirio celebrates a goal

Jaushua Sotirio Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The bottom-placed Jets played well and probably deserved more, however second half goals from Jaushua Sotirio and Ulises Davila and some superb goalkeeping from Stefan Marinovic gave the Pheonix all three points.

Without key players Reno Piscopo and Matti Steinmann, Wellington were buoyed by the unexpected return of Alex Rufer to the field - who had been out since Round 9 with a knee injury - as well as Brandon Wilson's first action for the Phoenix.

Coach Ufuk Talay admitted that while his side's passing game wasn't up to its usual high standards in this match, the team made up for it in other facets of the game.

"It was great to see Jaushua have an impact coming on and making a difference in the game.

"At the end of the day, we picked up three points and that's what matters."

And Coach Talay had high praise for Marinovic's Man of the Match effort in goal.

"Stef has been good all season, a very good pickup for us; and for me he made a great save at the end to get us that three points."

The Wellington Phoenix will enjoy a bye next week, before heading to Perth to take on Perth Glory on 7th Feb.

Meanwhile Sydney stay well clear at the top of the standings after beating Melbourne Victory 3-0.

First up loss for under 19 cricketers

The New Zealand men's under 19 cricketers have been beaten by India by 44 runs in their latest match at the World Cup in South Africa.

In a game reduced to 23 overs because of the weather India made 115 without loss.

Chasing 192 under the Duckworth-Lewis scoring system New Zealand were bowled out for 147.

New Zealand should still qualify for the quarter finals of the tournament as long as Japan don't upset Sri Lanka in the last group game.

Stokes could be in trouble

England all-rounder Ben Stokes could face disciplinary action after a foul-mouthed row with a spectator after his dismissal in the fourth and final test against South Africa at The Wanderers.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Stokes was shown on television exchanging insults with a middle aged man as he walked off the field after being caught cheaply for two runs in England's first innings on the opening day in Johannesburg.

The 28-year-old Stokes now faces being charged by the International Cricket Council with a level one offence of "use of an audible obscenity" and a possible fine and demerit point if the match referee decides to charge him.

Zak Crawley scored a maiden test half century before South Africa fought back to restrict England to 192 for four when bad light stopped play early.

Crawley suffered a nasty blow to the head but still made 66 as he and Dom Sibley put on 107 for the opening wicket but the home side hit back with four wickets in an extended evening session, including the prize scalp of Stokes.

Rain delayed the start of the final test in the series, which England lead 2-1.


Cooper takes Oceania title

International stars Rebecca McConnell of Australia and New Zealand's Anton Cooper proved a class above in winning the elite cross-country titles at the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Dunedin.

NZ mountainbiker Anton Cooper

Anton Cooper Photo: PHOTOSPORT

McConnell, the world number four ranked rider, showed her resilience on the Signal Hill course, forced to fix a mechanical on the first lap but recovering to reclaim the lead.

She recovered and eventually went on to win by a minute from Nelson's Josie Wilcox.

Cooper, who rides for the Trek Factory team, showed his class to dominate the men's elite race.

The North Canterbury rider, ranked 22 in the world, took control of the men's race, leading from wire-to-wire in an impressive solo performance.

The National Championships are on the same course tomorrow.

Another sprint title for Webster

Veteran Sam Webster has chalked up another individual sprint title at the National Track Cycling Championships in Cambridge.

Webster went under 10 seconds in qualifying and then beat Ethan Mitchell in the final.

Rising Waikato endurance rider Jesse Hodges and emerging sprinter Olivia Podmore enjoyed their first individual elite national titles.

Hodges won the women's omnium, while Podmore edged out her senior Elite teammate Natasha Hansen in two straight rides in the women's sprint finals.

Fox sneaks into weekend play

The New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox fired a second round two under par 70 to sneak into the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic.

Fox's round included four birdies and two bogeys and he managed to avoid the cut by one shot.

Fox is tied for 54th, 10 shots off the leader Eddie Pepperell of England.

Nienaber confirmed as Boks coach

Jacques Nienaber has been confirmed as the new head coach of World Cup winners the Springboks.

Nienaber, 47, has been elevated from his role as defence coach and takes over from Rassie Erasmus, who reverts to his position of director of rugby, but has said previously he will retain a "hands-on" approach to the team.

"Jacques will be responsible for the test match preparation and day-to-day team operations but, as the director of rugby, I will be with the team for the majority of the time and in the coaches' box with Jacques at matches," Erasmus said in a media release from SA Rugby.

"I'll still be responsible for the strategy and results with Jacques taking operational control. The structure allows the director of rugby to spend more time on other aspects of the role."

Nienaber has been the front runner for the job since Erasmus announced after the World Cup that he would step down as coach.

The pair met in the South African army and have worked together previously at South African side the Stormers, as well as at Munster in Ireland. Nienaber was praised for tightening up the Bok defence ahead of their World Cup triumph.


Porte holds onto tour lead

The Australian Richie Porte has held onto his overal lead after the fourth stage of cycling's Tour Down UNder in South Australia.

Fellow Australian Caleb Ewan won the stage, while defending champion Daryl Impey of South Africa cut Porte's lead in half after picking up valuable sprint bonus seconds.

Heading into today's fifth stage Porte has a three second lead over Impey, while New Zealand George Bennett remains fifth overall at 14 seconds.

Another Dakar death

Dutch motorcycle rider Edwin Straver has died after crashing on the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia last week.

The 48-year-old is the second rider to die as a result of a fall during this year's gruelling event, held for the first time in the Middle East.

Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves died after a crash in the seventh stage.

Goncalves, 40, was the first competitor to die in the endurance event since Polish motorcycle rider Michal Hernik in Argentina in 2015.

Reports say Straver died as a result of injuries suffered during the 11th and penultimate stage over desert dunes from Shubaytah to Haradh on Jan. 16.

The Dakar Rally, originally conceived as a race from Paris to the Senegalese capital in West Africa, has claimed dozens of lives -- many of them non-competitors -- since it started in 1978.


Du Toit named South African player of the year

World Cup winning flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit has been named as South African Rugby Player of the Year, retaining the prize he won last year and adding to his 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year award.

Du Toit, 27, who can also play at lock, was instrumental in the Springboks' victory at the 2019 World Cup in Japan with his mighty scrummaging, ferocious defence and powerful running with ball in hand.

Du Toit has also previously captained the Boks in the absence of Siya Kolisi and has chosen to remain in Super Rugby for the next two years, where he will play at the Cape Town-based Stormers.

Aside from his 2018 success, he also picked up the South African Player of the Year award in 2016. He is the third player after former flyhalf Naas Botha and wing Bryan Habana to win the award three times.

Scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies was named Young Player of the Year and flyhalf Handre Pollard claimed the Super Rugby Player of the Year prize.