25 Oct 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

6:23 pm on 25 October 2020

Latest - New Zealand driver Scott Dixon will start tomorrow morning's (NZT) IndyCar championship decider from the middle of the grid.

Championship Contenders #9 Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, and #1 Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet pose with the trophy ahead of the 2020 season decider at St. Petersburg in Florida.

Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden pose with the IndyCar trophy ahead of the season-decider at St. Petersburg in Florida. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

He has qualified 11th for the season-ending Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida, with championship rival Josef Newgarden to start from eighth.

Dixon needs to finish ninth or better to secure his sixth IndyCar title.

"It is what it is," Dixon said.

"I think we're starting P11 now and Newgarden is in P8. That definitely helps us a lot with him not qualifying on pole and getting extra points.

"We will keep working hard. We've got a warmup session in the morning and we're going to see what we can make of it."

Fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin has qualified 21st in the 24-driver field for his IndyCar debut.

Mooloos climb to the top of the table

Waikato's moved to the top of the national provincial rugby premiership after a hard-fought 27-20 win over Taranaki in Hamilton.

James O'Reilly scores a try.
Counties Manukau v Wellington, Mitre 10 Cup rugby union match at Navigation Homes Stadium, Pukekohe on Sunday 25th October.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

The Mooloos overturned a 15-13 deficit midway through the second-half and then held on as Taranaki broke inside their half in the dying moments.

Waikato's now two points clear of Tasman, who earlier ran riot in the second-half to beat Southland 47-10 in Nelson.

The Mako only led 7-3 at halftime.

Tasman's level on points with Auckland, but ahead on points differential.

Wellington's run away with a 53-20 win over Counties-Manukau in Pukekohe to sit fourth, just a point further back.

The Lions have retained the Jonah Lomu Memorial Trophy in the process.

Ko moves into contention in Georgia

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko has moved into the top 10 after three rounds of this week's LPGA Tour tournament in Georgia.

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko.


Ko has carded a four-under par 68 in her third round to rise into a share of ninth place at seven-under.

She's six shots behind the leader, American Ally McDonald.

Fellow New Zealander Danny Lee is near the foot of the leaderboard at the PGA Tour's ZOZO Championship in California.

Lee's carded a two-under 70 in his third round to be 75th in the 77 player field at two-over par.

American Justin Thomas leads by a shot at 19-under.

Liverpool pull clear of title rivals

Champions Liverpool got back to winning ways in the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sheffield United but their likely title rivals all dropped points.

Liverpool's Portuguese striker Diogo Jota (L) celebrates scoring their second goal with Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) and team-mates during the English Premier League football match against and Sheffield United at Anfield in Liverpool on October 24, 2020.

Photo: AFP

Diogo Jota's second-half header earned Liverpool a first win in three league games to lift them joint top with Merseyside rivals Everton, who play tomorrow morning (NZT).

Roberto Firmino earlier levelled the match for Liverpool late in the first half after Sander Berge scored the opener for Sheffield United.

Manchester City's stuttering start continued as they drew 1-1 at West Ham United while Manchester United and Chelsea played out a drab 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.

Crystal Palace moved up into the top five as they beat bottom club Fulham 2-1 with goals by Jairo Riedewald and Wilfried Zaha.

- Reuters

Ireland take lead in Six Nations

Ireland overwhelmed Italy 50-17 in an empty Aviva Stadium to bring the long-delayed 2020 Six Nations championship back with a late rush of tries that set up a last-day shootout with title rivals France and England.

Ireland first-five Johnny Sexton.

Ireland first-five Johnny Sexton Photo: Photosport

The originally scheduled clash in March was one of the first major Covid-19 sporting casualties and with the country under tough restrictions again, Ireland secured the bonus point win needed to give their fans hope of a fourth title in seven years.

Hugo Keenan and Will Connors marked their debuts with tries - winger Keenan grabbing two of them in the first half - with four more from CJ Stander, Johnny Sexton, Bundee Aki and Dave Heffernan piling potentially much needed points on the board.

Ireland move one point ahead of England and France and while the big ask of a bonus point win in Paris will guarantee them the championship, a narrower victory may not be enough as England go to Rome trailing by a points difference of 23.

- Reuters

Richmond go back-to-back in AFL

Dustin Martin booted four goals in a Grand Final masterclass to fire Richmond to a 31-point win over the Geelong Cats in Brisbane as the Tigers secured back-to-back Australian Football League titles.

Richmond Tiger's Dustin Martin

Richmond Tiger's Dustin Martin Photo: Photosport

Tigers talisman Martin racked up 21 disposals as Richmond rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit before crushing the Cats with five goals in the final quarter in front of 30,000 spectators at the Gabba.

Winners in 2017 and 2019, the Melbourne-based Tigers have now claimed three of the last four premierships in the top flight of Australian Rules, a rich dividend for fans who passed a barren 37-year stretch after their 1980 title.

Martin claimed a record third Norm Smith medal as best-on-ground in a Grand Final, having won the accolade in 2017 and 2019.

The AFL decider, delayed by a month due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, was the first held outside Melbourne in the league's history and also the first staged at night.

- Reuters

Roglic retains Vuelta lead, while Giro will go down to the wire

Belgian Tim Wellens beat Guillaume Martin in a sprint finish to win a hilly stage five of the Vuelta a Espana, as Primoz Roglic stayed out of trouble to keep the overall lead.

Primoz Roglic.

Primoz Roglic. Photo: Photo News / Panoramic

Dan Martin, second overall, was involved in a crash near the finish but because it was inside the final 3km it did not result in him losing time on Roglic.

Meanwhile, Australian Jai Hindley took the overall lead of the Giro d'Italia on the penultimate day but has less than a one-second advantage over stage 20 winner Tao Geoghegan Hart, setting the race up for a nail-biting finale.

Hindley narrowly lost to Geoghegan Hart on Sunday (NZ time), but he leads the Briton by 0.86 second ahead of the final time trial, which is expected to favour the Ineos-Grenadiers rider.

The smallest winning margin ever on a grand tour was in 1984 when France's Eric Caritoux won the Vuelta a Espana by just six seconds over Alberto Fernandez.

- Reuters