9 Aug 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

8:33 pm on 9 August 2020

Latest - The Mainland Tactix have taken a major step towards a place in the final of the ANZ Premiership.

Jane Watson.
Northern Mystics v Mainland Tactix. ANZ Premiership Netball. The Trusts Arena, Auckland, Sunday 9 August 2020. © Copyright image by Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz

Tactix captain Jane Watson in full flight Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

The Tactix have beaten the Northern Mystics 43-42 in Auckland to pull five points clear of their nearest challengers for second place with two games remaining.

Ellie Bird led the mainlanders with 30 goals from 33 attempts, while Grace Nweke missed just five of her 42 shots for the Mystics.

The Tactix face the top of the table Central Pulse in Wellington tomorrow night (Monday), before rounding out the regular season against the Southern Steel in Dunedin next Sunday.

The Mystics host cross-town rivals the Stars in Auckland on Friday night and then play the bottom of the table Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic on Saturday evening.

Stars prevail in ANZ Premiership nail-biter

The Northern Stars have edged the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic 46-45 in their ANZ Premiership game in Hamilton.

Grace Kara.
Magic v Stars, ANZ Premiership Netball, Claudelands Arena, Hamilton, New Zealand. 9 August 2020. © Copyright Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.photosport.nz

Stars captain Grace Kara Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

Jamie Hume landed the game-winning goal for the Stars with less than a second left on the clock.

Magic wing defence Holly Fowler suffered a serious-looking injury in the closing stages, adding more misery for the Waikato-Bay of Plenty side, which sit at the bottom of the ANZ Premiership ladder.

The Stars remain fourth and are now assured of a place in the third/fourth playoff.

Eels grind out win over Cronulla

The Parramatta Eels have moved back to equal second on the NRL ladder after a 14-12 win over the Cronulla Sharks in Sydney.

The Eels are level on points with the Melbourne Storm, just a point behind the table-topping Penrith Panthers, who the Warriors play this Friday.

The Titans earlier beat the North Queensland Cowboys 30-10 on the Gold Coast to now be the top ranked side in the state.

They're up to 13th, just ahead of the Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos.

Johnson leads first major of the year

American Dustin Johnson sits atop the leaderboard after three rounds of the first golf major of the year.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 07: Dustin Johnson of the United States plays his shot from the 14th tee during the second round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 07, 2020 in San Francisco, California.   Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

Dustin Johnson Photo: AFP

The former world number one leads the PGA Championship in San Francisco by a shot.

Fellow countrymen Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Champ are tied for second, while two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka lurks a shot further back in a tie for fourth place.

New Zealand's Danny Lee tumbled out of contention with a four-over 74 in his third round to be tied for 70th place at four-over par.

Sixth wicket partnership rescues England

A magnificent partnership between Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes propelled England to an unlikely three-wicket win over Pakistan in a topsy-turvy first test at Old Trafford.

England's Chris Woakes celebrates after hitting the winning runs during play on the fourth day of the first Test cricket match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 8, 2020.(Photo by LEE SMITH / POOL / AFP)

Chris Woakes celebrates after hitting the winning runs Photo: AFP

Woakes joined Buttler at the crease with England having slumped to 117-5 and seemingly sliding to defeat in their pursuit of a daunting 277 on a bowler-friendly pitch.

But between them Buttler and Woakes launched a superb counter-attack to turn the tide of the match towards the hosts with a sixth-wicket stand worth 139 runs.

In a final twist, Buttler was eventually out lbw for 75 to leg spinner Yasir Shah with England requiring another 21 for victory, thereby reviving Pakistan's fading hopes.

Stuart Broad was also dismissed lbw attempting to knock off the last four runs but Woakes finished on 84 not out.

- Reuters

All good for Green

Veteran playmaker Blake Green has got off to a flying start at new NRL club Newcastle.

In his first match since being released by the Warriors, the 33-year-old has led the Knights to a thumping 44-4 win over the Wests Tigers.

Blake Green Warriors training Gosford.


It was Green's second victory in as many weeks over the Tigers after arriving at the Knights from the New Zealand club at the start of the week.

Penrith recorded their eighth straight win to remain at the top of the table.

The Panthers beat Canberra 28-12, equalling the club's best winning streak set in 2003.

The second-placed Storm stayed in touch with a 41-10 thrashing of the lowly Bulldogs.

Serena in for US Open

Serena Williams says she's committed to playing at the US Open and also open to travelling to Europe for the clay-court season.

Williams announced she'd play in the forthcoming grand slam in New York, but since then a host of top names have pulled out of the tournament due to fears over Covid-19.

Serena Williams from the USA


Defending men's champion Rafael Nadal and women's No.1 Ashleigh Barty are the highest-profile withdrawals, but Williams says she will still play before travelling to Europe for the French Open the following week.

The 23-time grand slam champion's openness towards playing is at odds with her attitude during the pandemic.

Williams, who suffered health complications during her labour in 2017, was a self-confessed "recluse" during the lockdown and took strong precautions.

- PA

Pirlo promoted to top job

Serie A champions Juventus stunned Italian football by naming World Cup-winning midfielder Andrea Pirlo as their manager even though he has no previous experience in the role.

Pirlo, 41, was promoted to the senior job one week after being named coach of Juve's under-23 side, who play in the Italian third tier, and without having taken charge of a match.

The decision came hours after the Turin club sacked coach Maurizio Sarri following their Champions League last-16 exit to Olympique Lyonnais on away goals on Friday.

Former Chelsea manager Sarri had been in charge for one season and led Juve to a ninth successive Serie A title but still fell well short of the enormous expectations at the club.

- Reuters

Bottas pips Hamilton for pole

Valtteri Bottas pipped championship-leading Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position for Formula One's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone with Nico Hulkenberg qualifying a stunning third for Racing Point.

F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg.

F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Red Bull's Max Verstappen joined the experienced German on the second row.

Bottas's 13th career pole, and first since the Austrian season-opener last month, ended six-times world champion Hamilton's bid for a fourth in a row and second at home on successive weekends.

It also ensured a reversal of last Sunday's British Grand Prix grid, held behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, during which Hamilton took his 91st pole and won despite a last lap puncture.

- Reuters