18 Oct 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

6:32 am on 18 October 2020

Latest - Auckland have leapfrogged to the top of provincial rugby's premiership, dispatching competition leaders Tasman 31-10 in Auckland after leading 24-0 at halftime.

Salesi Rayasi scores during the Auckland's Mitre 10 Cup match against Tasman at Eden Park.

Salesi Rayasi scores during the Auckland's Mitre 10 Cup match against Tasman at Eden Park. Photo: Photosport

Tasman introduced some respectability to the scoreline with two tries in the last 15 minutes, but struggled to convert their chances for much of the game.

First-half tries to Adrian Choat, Marcel Renata, AJ Lam and Tumua Manu set up the Auckland win, with Salesi Rayasi adding a fifth two minutes into the second half.

Wellington hung on to edge North Harbour 25-20 in their sixth round premiership clash after trailing 13-12 at halftime, a 65th minute try to Julian Savea securing Wellington's fourth win of the competition.

In an earlier cross-over game, premiership strugglers Bay of Plenty ran in seven tries to beat championship outfit Manawatu 53-35 in Palmerston North.

in the women's Farah Palmer Cup, Canterbury earned a home semi-final, extending their unbeaten run in pool play to five games by swamping Tasman 84-0.

In another lop-sided match, Counties Manukau overwhelmed Taranaki 109-3 while Northland dominated Bay of Plenty 32-0.

Magpies keep hold of log o' wood

The Ranfurly Shield is staying in Hawke's Bay for at least another week.

Hawke’s Bay’s celebrate in Round 6 Mitre 10 Cup and Ranfurly Shield match, Hawke’s Bay vs Northland, McLean Park, Napier, Saturday, October 16, 2020.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

The Magpies have beaten Northland 33-17 in their first Shield defence in Napier.

Hawke's Bay outscored the Taniwha 24-14 in the second-half, after holding a slender 9-3 halftime lead.

As well as retaining the log o' wood, the Magpies are now top of the Mitre 10 Cup championship, two points ahead of Northland.

Hawke's Bay will put the Ranfurly Shield on the line against neighbours Manawatu next week.

Challengers launch America's Cup yachts

British challengers INEOS Team UK unveiled their second generation America's Cup yacht in Auckland on Saturday, just 24 hours after fellow challengers American Magic launched their second boat and almost capsized it.

America's Cup INEOS Team UK christen and launch their second AC75 Britannia (Rita) at their Base in Auckland,

America's Cup INEOS Team UK christen and launch their second AC75 Britannia (Rita) at their Base in Auckland, Photo: Photosport

The British AC75 foiling monohull, named 'Britannia', had one significant difference from their first generation boat, with the addition of a bustle keel.

The bustle is supposed to help reduce the resistance from waves and is designed to help lift the boat out of the water and then reduce air resistance when it is foiling.

"It looks like a rocket, let's hope it sails like one too," skipper Ben Ainslie told reporters at the launch.

Britannia's launch follows that of American Magic's 'Patriot' on Friday, but the New York Yacht Club syndicate had some issues in their first trials on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.

Video footage emerged on Saturday of the yacht almost capsizing as it attempted a gybe in about 20 knots before it slammed back into the water and came to an almost sudden stop.

- Reuters

Sevens stars shine for Warriors

Evania Pelite, Ellia Green and Karina Brown proved the difference for the Warriors as they recorded their first-up win in the NRLW competition with a 22-10 victory over a depleted St George Illawarra.

The Dragons were forced to play with 16 players ahead of the clash due to an injury toll that saw NSW representatives Maddie Studdon and Tiana Penitani ruled out before kick-off.

Rugby sevens stars Green and Pelite bid farewell to their stints in league, proving dominant on the left edge with a try each and combined 305 metres, five line breaks and 11 tackle busts.

Bench forward Shaniah Power grabbed a second half double and winger Madison Bartlett also crossed, while Dragons debutant Teagan Berry scored her team's only points.


Another NRL grand final for the Storm

The Melbourne Storm are through to their fourth National Rugby League grand final in five years after beating the Canberra Raiders 30-10 in their preliminary final in Brisbane.

Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith Photo: Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz

Storm captain Cameron Smith was chaired off Suncorp Stadium by team-mates in what appeared to be an indication that he may have finally decided to draw the curtain on his 19-season career.

But the 37-year-old's future remains up in the air.

"I can't tell you, I don't know," Smith said of his future.

"All I have worried about this year is trying to play well, just enjoy watching these young fellas grow as footballers and men - I am enjoying their success, their journey."

Three Kiwis in top 10 shootout at Mt Panorama

New Zealand drivers Shane van Gisbergen, Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard have qualified for the Bathurst 1000 top 10 shootout.

Lee Holdsworth & Michael Caruso (Truck Assist Tickford Ford). 2020  Bathurst 1000. Supercars Championship Round 11. Mount Panorama, Bathurst NSW on Friday 16 October 2020.

Lee Holdsworth Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

Van Gisbergen has set the second best time in qualifying, just behind Australian Lee Holdsworth, who's claimed provisional pole.

Defending champion McLaughlin qualified third, with his team-mate Coulthard sixth.

McLaughlin was denied by the weather, and earlier by a red flag when he was in the middle of a hot-lap.

The newly crowned three-time Supercars champion had to slow down when Jake Kostecki slammed his Commodore into Skyline corner.

"It was absolutely bucketing down. I went over the hill and it was loose on the slicks so I said 'we'll bring it in boys'," McLaughlin said.