25 Jul 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

9:33 pm on 25 July 2020

Latest - The Wellington Phoenix have moved up to second on the A-League football table after a 1-1 draw with Adelaide United in Sydney.

Steven Taylor of the Phoenix.


The result means Sydney FC are confirmed as A-League Premiers as with three games to play they can't be caught by Wellington.

Adelaide opened the scoring in the 60th minute with Jaushua Sotirio levelling five minutes later.

Wellington could have gone ahead however substitute Ulises Davila had his 88th-minute penalty saved by in-form Reds gloveman Paul Izzo.

The Phoenix were a little weary after playing their third game in nine days.

Their next game is against Western Sydney Wanderers next Friday.

Warriors pipped by Roosters

The Warriors have been beaten 18-10 by the Roosters in their NRL game in Gosford.

Ken Maumalo scores for the Warriors.


The Warriors scored two first tries to Ken Maumalo and Eliesa Katoa to lead 10-6 at the break.

However they were unable to hold on in the second half as the defending champions scored two unanswered tries.

The Warriors, who were outclassed 46-10 by the Sharks at the same venue just a week ago, had far more starch in their defence this time around.

For a side that averages 28 points a game, it was a slow-moving afternoon by the Roosters' lofty standards.

The Roosters move up to fourth on the table, while the Warriors stay 13th.


Pulse finish strongly

The Pulse have produced a superb final quarter to beat the Northern Stars 46-36 and keep their perfect record in the ANZ Netball Premiership.

Maddy Gordon of the Pulse.


The lead changed regularly with the Stars up by three goals after the first quarter, the Pulse led by two at half time and the Stars were ahead by two at the last break.

However the defending champions showed their class in the final quarter and took control of the game outscoring their opponents 16-4.

Pulse captain Katrina Rore says her side has the confidence that they can finish strongly.

The Pulse shooters Aliyah Dunn and Ameliaranne Ekanasio both had shooting percentages in the 90's, while Maia Wilson had 83 percent and Jamie Hume 54 percent for the Stars.

The Pulse top the table with ten from ten and 40 points while the Stars remain in fourth place with 17 points.

Gold Coast grab Fifita

The Gold Coast have landed the biggest recruitment raid in the NRL club's history with Brisbane's David Fifita agreeing to terms on a multi-million dollar, three-year Titans deal.

David Fifita


Fifita has brought one of the more protracted signing sagas in recent times to an end by choosing the Broncos' southern rivals from 2021.

For the Titans the Fifita signing is one of the biggest in the club's 13-year history, and an emphatic endorsement of the turnaround beginning to take shape under rookie coach Justin Holbrook.

By the same token his exit from Red Hill is a hammer blow for Brisbane and comes after being thrashed 46-8 by Melbourne on Friday night.

The Titans had increased their initial offer from more than $1 million for one year to more than $3 million over three years, while Brisbane also offered Fifita a three-year deal with a lower price tag.


Warriors pick up two more loan players

The Warriors have picked up Parramatta prop Daniel Alvaro and winger George Jennings as loan players for the next four weeks of the NRL.

The 27-year-old teammates are set to join the Warriors at their Terrigal base tomorrow and will train with their new team for the first time on Monday.

Their arrival comes as the Warriors prepare to lose wingers David Fusitu'a and Ken Maumalo plus middle forwards Agnatius Paasi and King Vuniyayawa, all returning home for family reasons on Monday.

A fifth player Leivaha Pulu, another middle forward, has already reunited with his family in Auckland.

Alvaro, a seasoned six-year 88-game first grader, and 28-gamer Jennings, younger brother of NRL star Michael, will become the third and fourth loan players the Warriors have used so far this season to boost their playing resources in the wake of a heavy injury toll and also players returning home.

The first was Sydney Roosters prop Poasa Faamausili, who was with the side for four games in June, and the second Penrith middle forward Jack Hetherington, who is having his fourth outing for the club against the Roosters today.

Adams back in action

Steven Adams has suited up for the Oklahoma City Thunder again after a four and a half month absence.

Steven Adams

Steven Adams Photo: Photosport

Adams has played almost 15 and a half minutes in the Thunder's opening practice game against the Boston Celtics in Orlando, Florida before the NBA season resumes next week.

He scored 17 points, all in the first half, with Oklahoma City going on to win 98-84.

Adams also grabbed seven rebounds, dished an assist and blocked a shot.

The Thunder will play a further two practice games before resuming their season against the Utah Jazz on Sunday week (NZT).

SBW says he's coming home.

Sonny Bill Williams has said he is returning Down Under and increased speculation he is to join National Rugby League champions Sydney Roosters for the rest of the season.

Toronto Wolfpack Sonny Bill-Williams.


The New Zealand dual code international was released by Super League side Toronto Wolfpack after the Canadian team withdrew from the restart of the competition due to financial challenges caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Despite interest from his hometown side, the New Zealand Warriors, Williams is expected to rejoin the Roosters and he said on social media that he was heading back "home".

"It's been a crazy few days in our household," the two-time Rugby World Cup-winning former All Blacks midfield back wrote. "One minute we're settling the kids into schools over here, next minute we're travelling home."

The Roosters said on Friday they were convinced they were on the brink of bringing Williams back to the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

The 34-year-old would need clearance from Australian officials to travel to the country. He would also need to spend two weeks in quarantine.


Dates announced for next Premier League season

The 2020-21 English Premier League season will begin on 12 September and the final round of matches will be held on 23 May.

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino (C) lifts the Premier League trophy during the presentation following the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on July 22, 2020.

Liverpool lifting the 2019/20 Premier League title Photo: AFP

The new season, originally scheduled to begin on 8 August, has been delayed this year after the Premier League suspended the 2019-20 season for three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The current season will end with a final round of fixtures on Sunday (Monday morning NZT), giving teams about seven weeks to prepare for the next campaign.

However, teams still competing in the Champions League and Europa League will have less time to prepare should they advance deeper into the knockout stages, with the finals of the two competitions to be held on 23 August and 21 August respectively.

The new season kicks off after the international break with European soccer's governing body UEFA announcing last month that Nations League matches would be played between 3-8 September.

Leagues across Europe will be looking to wrap up their seasons next May with the postponed 2020 Euros set to begin on 11 June, 2021.

- Reuters

Liverpool captain named writers' footballer of the year

Liverpool's Premier League title winning captain Jordan Henderson has been named England's Footballer of the Year in the annual vote of the Football Writers' Association (FWA).

Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson (C) celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 27, 2019.

Photo: AFP

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Liverpool pair Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane made up the rest of the top five.

The 30-year-old Henderson has been central to Liverpool's success under Juergen Klopp through his leadership and tireless midfield work.

"As grateful as I am I don't feel like I can accept this on my own. I don't feel like anything I've achieved this season or in fact during my whole career has been done on my own," said Henderson.

"I owe a lot to so many different people, but none more so than my current team-mates, who have just been incredible and deserve this every bit as much as I do," he said.

- Reuters

Mariners avoid record-breaking 12th straight defeat

The Central Coast Mariners have drawn 0-0 with the Newcastle Jets in Gosford to avoid setting an unwanted A-League record.

The stalemate meant the Mariners fell one game short of losing a 12th straight game.

It's just Central Coast's second clean sheet of the season and they remain bottom of the ladder.

The result moves the Jets into seventh place, but with just two regular season matches remaining, dents their finals hopes.

Fox loses ground at British Masters

New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox has drifted off the lead at the British Masters in Newcastle.

Ryan Fox at the New Zealand Open 2020.


Fox has carded an even par 71 in his third round to now be tied for 14th place at eight-under par, eight shots behind the leader, Italy's Renato Paratore.

He had been tied for eighth place, just three shots off the lead, after two rounds.

It's Fox's first tournament since February after a Covid-19 enforced hiatus.

Storm back atop the NRL

The Melbourne Storm have run away with a 46-8 win over the Broncos in Brisbane to move to the top of the NRL ladder.

The Storm scored six unanswered tries in the second-half, after the Broncos showed some rare fight in the first 40 minutes.

Melbourne's level on points with the Parramatta Eels at the top of the table, but ahead on points differential, while the Broncos sit second to last.

The Manly Sea Eagles have risen to seventh after beating the North Queensland Cowboys 24-12.

F1 revises its schedule

Formula One has scrapped all four of this season's races in the Americas due to the Covid-19 pandemic and added three European rounds, including old favourites Imola and the Nuerburgring, to the calendar.

AUSTIN, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 03: 2019 Formula One World Drivers Champion Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on November 03, 2019 in Austin, Texas.

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton Photo: AFP

While previously scheduled grands prix in Canada, Texas, Mexico and Brazil were cancelled, Formula One said in a statement that Portugal's Portimao will host a race for the first time.

"Due to the fluid nature of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, local restrictions and the importance of keeping communities and our colleagues safe, it will not be possible to race in Brazil, USA, Mexico and Canada this season," it said.

The cancellations take the tally of races axed from the original 2020 calendar to 11. The other casualties of Covid are Australia, France, Monaco, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan.

The revised schedule now has 13 rounds, with Formula One aiming for a reduced championship of between 15 and 18 with final races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in mid-December.

- Reuters

Zanardi back in intensive care

Former Formula One driver and Paralympic champion Alex Zanardi has returned to intensive care, three days after being moved to a specialist recovery centre to treat serious head injuries.

The 53-year-old underwent three operations at Italy's Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital after being placed in an induced coma following the 19 June accident while taking part in a road race on a handbike.

He was moved last Tuesday to the Villa Beretta centre in northern Italy, but they issued a statement on Friday saying his condition was unstable and they were arranging a transfer to Milan's San Raffaele hospital.

A double Champ Car champion in the United States, Zanardi had to have both of his legs amputated above the knee following a horrific crash in a race in Germany in September 2001.

He recovered to return to the track in touring cars before later taking up paracycling and winning four Paralympic gold medals.

- Reuters

Unbroken fifth wicket partnership gives England upper hand

Ollie Pope scored an unbeaten 91 and Jos Buttler contributed a half century as England took advantage of a tired West Indies attack to move to 258 for four at stumps on day one of the third test in Manchester.

England's Ollie Pope (L) congratulates England's Jos Buttler (R) on reaching 50 during play on the first day of the third Test cricket match between England and the West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on July 24, 2020.

Ollie Pope congratulates Jos Buttler on reaching his half century. Photo: AFP

West Indies had kept a tight rein on their hosts through the first two sessions at Old Trafford but leaked runs after tea to hand England the upper hand in the decisive test.

Pope offered one catching chance and survived two reviews as he played a positive innings to enhance his growing reputation.

He was nine runs short of his test century when he took the offer of bad light.

Buttler, whose place in the team is under threat after a poor run with the bat, played a supporting role in the unbroken 136-run partnership. He took 104 balls to reach his half century and was 56 not out at the close.

Rory Burns also contributed 57 runs before being caught at first slip by an instinctive grab from slip fielder Rakheem Cornwall, one of the highlights of the day for the West Indies.

West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss and put his bowlers back to work at the start of their third test in a matter of 16 days.

- Reuters

South African women's cricketers test positive

Three members of the South African women's cricket team have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus ahead of assembling for a training camp to prepare of a proposed tour of England.

Cricket South Africa have said a total of 34 tests were conducted on the players and support staff with the infected trio, who were not named, being removed from the preparations, which start in Pretoria on Sunday.

They will have to self-isolate for 10 days.

South Africa plan two separate training camps over the next month in anticipation of getting government permission to travel to England for a series of limited-overs internationals in September.

- Reuters