7 Jun 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:38 am on 7 June 2020

A pre-match drama involving temperature checks hasn't been able to prevent Cronulla from claiming their first win of the NRL season.

Shaun Johnson should be fit to play against the Warriors.

Shaun Johnson. Photo: Photosport

The Sharks beat the North Queensland Cowboys 26-16 in Townsville on Saturday night.

But the result did not come without some worrying pre-match moments for the visitors, who scored five tries to three on their way to victory.

Six Sharks players, including Kiwis halfback Shaun Johnson, failed pre-game temperature checks, putting their participation in the game in doubt.

All six were eventually cleared to play after passing a subsequent second test.

Earlier on Saturday, Parramatta scored a controversial 19-16 win over Manly.

The Sea Eagles looked to have pulled off a dramatic comeback from 18-2 down when Reuben Garrick scored in the final minute.

But the try was ruled out for a forward pass, allowing the Eels to hang on.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley has admitted the decision was incorrect, with the ball going backwards from Tom Trbojevic's hands but floating forward in the air.

Gunners back in action

Arsenal returned to action for the first time since the Premier League was stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic as they beat Charlton Athletic 6-0 in a friendly at an empty Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring.

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring. Photo: Photosport

Premier League clubs were this week given the all-clear to play friendlies ahead of the scheduled restart on June 17, following a three-month stoppage.

Arsenal hosted second-tier Charlton behind closed doors on Sunday (NZ time), with officiating roles carried out by club staff.

Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored before halftime while academy graduate Eddie Nketiah grabbed a second-half hat-trick. Joe Willock was also on target.

Arsenal, who are ninth in the standings, are away to Manchester City on June 17.

- Reuters

Solskjaer happy with extra subs

Increasing the number of substitutions and players on the bench will allow managers to rotate their squads during a congested schedule when the Premier League restarts this month, according to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester Untied Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.


The league, suspended since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on June 17 after agreeing temporary rule changes to increase substitutes from three to five per game.

The number of players allowed on the bench has been put up from seven to nine.

"We've had time out so I don't think we can expect that those lads who've missed lots of the football can last the full game but now the rules have changed, we can use five subs and have nine on the bench," Solskjaer told United's website.

- Reuters

NFL admits mistakes in protest stance

The NFL have done a U-turn on player protests, amid widespread public protests over police brutality against black people.

In a video statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said they made mistakes in not listening to players and encouraged all to speak out in peaceful protest.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter," Goodell said.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem before games to bring attention to racial inequality in 2016, and has not played in the NFL since the end of that season.

The U-turn came as President Donald Trump renewed his criticism of those who kneel during the anthem.

Trump statements followed a public apology from NFL quarterback Drew Brees for remarks he made about the practice.

- RNZ, Reuters

Popovich speaks out

Highly regarded NBA coach Gregg Popovich has issued an emotional statement about the death of George Floyd.

Floyd's death in Minneapolis last month after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, placed a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, triggered outrage, protests and civil unrest across the United States.

Popovich, who coaches the San Antonio Spurs, said the "country is in trouble" and that he is "embarrassed as a white person" to know that a black man can be still be "lynched".

"In a strange, counter-intuitive sort of way, the best teaching moment of this most recent tragedy ... was the look on the officer's face," Popovich said in a stirring video posted by Spurs on Twitter.

"For white people to see how nonchalant, how casual, how just everyday-going-about-his job, so much so that he could just put his left hand in his pocket, wriggle his knee around a little bit to teach this person some sort of a lesson ... and that it was his right and his duty to do it, in his mind.

Popovich, 71, called on white people to raise their voices, speak truth to power "no matter what the consequences" and not let things lie.

- Reuters