25 May 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

5:14 pm on 25 May 2020

Latest - Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he should have quit the job in early 2019 after Rugby Australia brought in Scott Johnson as director of rugby and introduced a three-man selection panel.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

Michael Cheika Photo: Photosport

Cheika stayed in the job until the World Cup in Japan later in the year and quit after the Wallabies were thrashed 40-16 by England in the quarter-finals.

The 53-year-old, however, told Britain's The Times newspaper he should have stood down earlier, because he felt that Rugby Australia's management had lost confidence in him.

"In a footy team there can only be one boss, that's all there is to it," Cheika told the Times. "I should have left because that shows they didn't trust me anymore."

RA appointed Johnson following a review into the Wallabies' 2018 season when they lost nine of their 13 test matches and there were suggestions Cheika would be sacked.

The former Leinster and New South Wales Waratahs coach added while he did not agree with the decision to appoint Johnson, he had felt he could get the team to perform well enough to clinch their third World Cup title in Japan.

Cheika, however, ended his tenure as coach with a parting shot at RA management, saying he had virtually no relationship with then Chief Executive Raelene Castle and Chairman Cameron Clyne, who have both since stepped down.


IPL decision will be made by government

India's sports minister says any decision to allow the Indian Premier League to go ahead this year would be taken by the government, not the Indian cricket board, and would be based on how well the country has contained the novel coronavirus.

Mitchell McClenaghan of Mumbai Indians


Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said the IPL would go ahead only if there was no risk to public health.

The BCCI, the richest cricket body in the world, had said it would consider staging the lucrative IPL in October/November if the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Australia during those months, did not go ahead.

The IPL is worth a billion dollars to the BCCI and attracts the best international and Indian cricketers. It was scheduled to start at the end of March but was indefinitely postponed because of the pandemic.


E-driver disqualified after getting pro gamer to drive for him

Audi Formula E driver Daniel Abt was disqualified and ordered to pay $20,000 to charity for getting a professional gamer to compete under his name in an official esports race.

German Audi E driver Daniel Abt.

Daniel Abt Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The German, who apologised for "having called in outside help", was also stripped of all points won to date in the all-electric series' Race at Home Challenge.

"I did not take it as seriously as I should have," said the 27-year-old, accepting punishment for sporting misconduct.

Pro gamer Lorenz Hoerzing, Abt's 'ringer', was disqualified from all future rounds of the separate Challenge Grid competition.

The 15-lap race around a virtual Berlin Tempelhof track was won by Britain's Oliver Rowland for Nissan e.dams with Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne second for Mercedes.

Vandoorne had made clear on his Twitch stream during the race that he did not think Abt was driving. He was backed up by Jean-Eric Vergne, a two-times champion in real life.

Abt, who had not featured on the virtual podium in any of the previous races, did not appear for online post-race interviews.

The esports series features regular Formula E drivers competing on simulators from their homes and aims to provide some action for fans with racing on hold in real life due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Success for NZ rowers

New Zealand rowers have won three titles at the World Rowing Fantasy Cup online regatta.

Eric Murray, Hamish Bond and Mahe Drysdale won't be part of the New Zealand's international rowing programme in 2017.

Murray, Bond and Drysdale Photo: Photosport

The men's pair of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, who won 69 consecutive races and dominated two Olympic cycles, had a comfortable win over the legendary British pair of Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent.

Current world champions Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle beat Romania's 2000 and 2004 Olympic champions in the women's lighweight double sculls.

Two-time Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale beat current world champion Oliver Zeidler of Germany in the men's single sculls final.

The only New Zealand crew not to win was last year's world championship winning women's eight, who were beaten by the 2004 Romanian crew who were both world and Olympic champions.

The event is made up of the best of rowing's past and present andwas held over three rounds with fans voting online.

Gopperth to play on

Wasps centre Jimmy Gopperth has signed a new deal with the English rugby club, just a month short of his 37th birthday.

Jimmy Gopperth of Wasps


The veteran New Zealander, who signed for Wasps from Leinster in 2015, is now signed up for a sixth season with the Coventry club.

Wasps were Gopperth's second Premiership side after initially leaving New Zealand for Newcastle Falcons in 2009.

"It's an incredibly exciting time to be involved with Wasps," he said.

"The last five years have been so enjoyable and I feel this team is building towards being really successful - I want to be part of that. I feel I've got a lot more to give."

After a poor start to the delayed 2019-20 season following the World Cup, which resulted in the departure of director of rugby Dai Young, Wasps had improved to fifth under his replacement Lee Blackett by the time the season was suspended in mid-March.

Gopperth, fully fit again after missing most of the 2018-19 campaign with a serious knee injury, played a big part in that upsurge in form.


Arscott beats fellow youngster

Joel Arscott has beaten 17 year old Elijah Thomas 3-2 to win the second week of the Premier Squash League in Auckland.

For 20 year old Arscott it was a good finish to some concentrated training and play of the last eight weeks.

"I'm not overly sore or tired, it was a good contest. It was nice to have a battle like that again. It was a tight-fought contest, but I really enjoyed it," said Arscott.

In the third and fourth playoff the previous week's title winner Temwa Chileshe was victorious over Leo Fatialofa in four games.