24 Oct 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

9:05 pm on 24 October 2020

Latest - North Harbour's won the Battle of the Bridge.

North Harbour player Murphy Taramai during their Mitre 10 Cup rugby match Auckland v North Harbour. North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 24 October 2020.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

Harbour's toppled premiership leaders Auckland 23-22 in their national provincial rugby match in Albany, after overturning a 15-9 halftime deficit.

Bryn Gatland kicked three first-half penalties to keep North Harbour in touch before midfield back Jason Little scored a try early in the second-half to put the hosts in front.

Hooker Luteru Tolai scored Harbour's second in the 63rd to stretch their advantage to eight points.

All Blacks squad member Akira Ioane crossed for Auckland's third try late in the match to set up a frantic finish, but North Harbour held on with Simon Hickey missing badly with a drop goal attempt in the final minute.

Winger AJ Lam and centre Tumua Manu scored the visitors' other tries.

The result means Auckland are now just two points clear of Waikato, who host Taranaki in the final game of round seven on Sunday.

Harbour remain bottom of the premiership, but a just a point behind Bay of Plenty.

Magpies keep hold of the log o' wood

The Ranfurly Shield is staying in Hawke's Bay for another fortnight.

Hawke’s Bay’s Brendon O’Connor runs for a  try, Mitre 10 Cup and Ranfurly Shield match, Hawke’s Bay vs Manawatu, McLean Park, Napier, Saturday, October 24, 2020.

Hawke's Bay flanker Brendon O'Connor on his way to scoring a try at the end of the first half. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

The Hawke's Bay Magpies have run away with a 47-12 win over Manawatu in their Shield match in Napier, after holding a slender 14-12 advantage after 36 minutes.

Danny Toala, Devan Flanders, Caleb Makene, Brendon O'Connor, Ash Dixon, Neria Formai and Isaia Walker-Leawere scored tries for the Magpies in the bonus point win.

Hawke's Bay is back atop the championship ladder, level on points with Otago, while Manawatu remain winless and bottom of the table.

The Magpies will visit premiership side Bay of Plenty next Sunday before putting the log o' wood on the line against Wellington the following week.

Red and blacks humbled in Tauranga

Canterbury are in danger of missing the semi-finals of the men's national provincial rugby championship for the first time since 2006.

Bay of Plenty player Kaleb Trask celebrates with teamates after their huge win over Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup match played at Tauranga Domain in Tauranga on Saturday 24 October 2020.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

The red and blacks have slumped to their fourth defeat from seven matches this year - humbled 44-8 by Bay of Plenty in Tauranga.

The Steamers led 22-3 at halftime courtesy of two tries from Chase Tiatia and a penalty try.

Kaleb Trask and New Zealand sevens players Joe Webber and Scott Curry all dotted down for Bay of Plenty in the second-half, with Canterbury's only try coming in the 79th minute from All Blacks squad member Cullen Grace.

The result leaves Canterbury fifth on the premiership ladder, a point behind Wellington who visit championship strugglers Counties-Manukau on Sunday.

Bay of Plenty's moved off the bottom of the premiership table and are now just a point behind the 14-time champions.

England vs Baa-baas called off

England's non-cap match against Barbarians on Monday (NZ time) has been cancelled after some players breached Covid-19 quarantine rules.

The RFU would have to possibly sell iconic Twickenham to make ends meet if England was relegated from the proposed Nations Championship.

Twickenham Stadium. Photo: Photosport

Several Barbarian players had left their hotel rooms without the permission of the organisers this week, prompting the RFU to conduct a review on whether the game can be held safely.

In a statement on Saturday, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said the discovery of a further breach of Covid-19 protocols had given it no choice but to cancel the game.

RFU chief Bill Sweeney said he was "incredibly disappointed" that the fixture was cancelled but that the priority was the health and safety of the England squad and the other international teams they will go up against this autumn.

Eddie Jones' England were hoping to get some game time this weekend at Twickenham ahead of their final Six Nations game in Italy on 31 October.

- Reuters

Silver Ferns to face men in final

The Silver Ferns have booked a rematch with the New Zealand Men's team in the final of the Cadbury Netball Series.

Silver Fern Maia Wilson.


Beaten 60-47 by the men's side on Thursday, the Ferns responded with a crushing 81-33 victory over the New Zealand under-21 team in Palmerston North last night.

Playing for spots in the team to meet England next week, there was no shortage of incentive for the Ferns with all contenders getting opportunity to press their claims against their young opponents.

Dame Noeline Taurua's side led by 10 goals at quartertime, before a 25-6 second stanza put them clear by a whopping 29 goals at the major break.

The dominance continued in the third (17-7) and final quarters (19-10), with young shooter Grace Nweke and Maia Wilson both landing 28 goals from 33 attempts and Monica Faulkner making 25 from 28.

Earlier in the night, the men's team booked their spot in the competition decider by easily beating New Zealand A 64-37.

English cricketers take pay hit

England's top cricket players have agreed to take a 15 percent pay cut for 12 months due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on finances.

The pay cut for players on central contracts was made up of match fees, win bonuses and retainers with the 12-month period starting from 1 October.

Joe Root

Joe Root Photo: Graham Morris

"We need to recognise that our players, led by captains Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, have conducted themselves with great maturity and responsibility throughout this challenging time," England men's cricket managing director Ashley Giles said.

The ECB had previously said they had sustained losses of over 100 million pounds ($NZ195 million) when professional cricket in the country was suspended for several months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The ECB had implemented short-term cost-cutting measures, including furloughing staff, significant pay reductions and a recruitment freeze at the onset of the financial crisis and said last month they were planning to make 62 positions redundant.

- Reuters