11 Jul 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

6:26 am on 11 July 2020

Latest - The first golden-point extra-time in professional rugby history has still finished in a draw.

Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn

Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz

The Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels battled to an 18-all stalemate in their Super Rugby AU match in Sydney on Friday night.

Despite Reds fullback Bryce Hegarty being unable to convert a long-range penalty attempt at the end of the first half of extra-time, it was the Rebels who perhaps had the most reason to be disappointed.

Melbourne held a 10-point lead with just five minutes to play, before a penalty and last-minute converted try from the Reds forced the match into overtime.

"We should have had the game in the bag," Rebels coach Dave Wessels said.

"To have a lead like that and blow it in the last few minutes - credit to the Reds for fighting - but we didn't control the ball at that point and that's disappointing."

Club rugby back in England

English rugby's Premiership will return to action on August 14 with the remaining nine matches of the season to be crammed into a six-week window.

After the completion of the regular season, play-offs matches will be played before the grand final is contested on October 24, less than a month before the 2020/21 season kicks off.

Jimmy Gopperth of Wasps


The Covid-19 pandemic has meant no club rugby in England since March 8 and, because of the amount of close contact involved, it is one of the last major sports to return.

All games will be played without fans present and under strict hygiene protocols.

How the new fixtures and dates for next season will impact on the international game remains to be seen.

The world's leading unions are still trying to thrash out a new, unified calendar, with a preferred international window in October and November.

The 2020-21 season will finish on June 26, five days before the Lions are scheduled to play their first tour game in Cape Town.

- Reuters

Wimbledon dishes out prizemoney

The prize money set aside for the Wimbledon Championships will be distributed to 620 players who were set to take part at this year's cancelled tournament.

Wimbledon, which was initially scheduled for June 29-July 12, was cancelled for the first time since World War Two due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has killed more than 44,000 people in the United Kingdom.

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London.

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"We are now in a position to allocate prize money to the 620 players whose world ranking would have enabled them to gain entry into The Championships 2020 by direct acceptance into the main draw or qualifying event," the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said in a statement.

AELTC said 224 singles players will receive 12,500 pounds each as they were set to compete in the qualifying rounds while the 256 players in the main draw will receive 25,000 pounds each.

Doubles players will receive 6,250 pounds each while wheelchair and quad wheelchair players are set to get 6,000 and 5,000 pounds each respectively.

"We are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognise the impact of the cancellation on the players and that we are now in a position to offer this payment as a reward for the hard work they have invested," AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis said.

- Reuters

Verstappen fastest so far

Red Bull's Max Verstappen has led Styrian Grand Prix practice while Australian Daniel Ricciardo crashed his Renault and six-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton had a difficult afternoon at Mercedes.

Hamilton's Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas, the championship leader after winning last weekend's Austrian season-opener at the same Red Bull Ring circuit, was second and a mere 0.043 slower.

Max Verstappen in action in Austria.

Max Verstappen in action in Austria. Photo: Photosport

Mexican Sergio Perez, who put Racing Point's 'Pink Mercedes' on top in the morning session at Spielberg, ended the day with the third best time.

Meanwhile Formula One's governing body has warned Ferrari about the risks of breaching the sport's COVID-19 protocol and protective 'bubble'.

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have been seen mixing with people outside their individual team groups.

Leclerc returned to his Monaco home after finishing second in the Austrian Grand Prix while Vettel was shown on television talking to Red Bull bosses, without face masks, in the Red Bull Ring paddock.

The FIA's COVID-19 code states that any time spent outside the closed venue "must be spent with other members of the same group, keeping interaction with persons outside that group to a minimum."

MLB testing gets 83 positives

Intake screening for COVID-19 ahead of the start of Major League Baseball training camps produced 66 positives from 3,748 tests.

Los Angeles Angeles baseball player Mike Trout.


With all 30 clubs in training camps preparing for a shortened 60-game season, MLB said it had moved into the monitoring phase of testing, which had produced 17 more positives from 7,401 samples.

All testing through Friday (NZ time) had therefore produced a combined 83 positives from 11,149 samples, or 0.7 per cent.

The 83 positives included 71 players and 12 staff members from 28 different clubs, the league and players association said in a joint statement on Saturday.

The season, which will be played without spectators, is schedule to open on July 23 with the World Series champion Washington Nationals hosting the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the San Francisco Giants.

- Reuters