7 Apr 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

4:07 pm on 7 April 2021

Latest - Highlanders halfback Folau Fakatava is out of rugby for the rest of the year after sustaining a knee injury in Friday's Super Rugby Aotearoa game against the Crusaders.

Folau Fakatava scores a try for the Highlanders

Folau Fakatava Photo: Photosport

Fakatava has a full tear of the ACL in his right knee and will need an operation and a rehabilitation period of up to a year before he returns to play.

"This is very tough on Folau; he's been playing outstanding rugby for us this season and he must have been in consideration for the All Blacks with his performances in Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa and the Mitre 10 Cup," Highlanders Head Coach Tony Brown said.

"We are fortunate that we have an excellent replacement in Kayne Hammington who has been training hard for an opportunity, he is very experienced and knows our game well."

Otago halfback James Arscott has been bought in as a replacement for Fakatava.

Ko just outside top 10

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko is close to returning to the top ten in the world rankings for the first time in more than three years.

NZ golfer Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Ko's storming finish to the ANA Inspiration in California on Monday has resulted to her climbing 11 spots to now be number 11 in the latest rankings.

Ko carded a tournament record-equalling 10-under par 62 in the final round of the women's first major of the year.

The last time Ko was in the top ten was at the start of the 2018 season.

Since then her ranking has fallen as low as 55 in August 2020.

Ko has also risen to number two on the season money list with $698,000 in earnings.

Clareburt breaks his own record

Wellington swimmer Lewis Clareburt broke the New Zealand Open Record in the Men's 400 Individual Medley at the National Championships on the North Shore.

Lewis Clareburt

Lewis Clareburt Photo: Photosport

Clareburt took two seconds of the record he set in 2019 when he claimed the Bronze medal at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

The 21 year old had already met the Olympic standard in the event and his time last night was six seconds faster than the standard set.

Clareburt's time was 4:09.87 seconds.

Zac Reid of Taranaki won the men's 800m freetsyle final, Auckland's Hayley McIntosh won the women's 1500m freestyle final and 18-year-old Gina McCarthy from Hamilton Aquatics took the gold in the Women's 400 Individual Medley.

George Williams of Auckland and Laura Littlejohn of Hamilton won the 50m freestyle titles.

Emma Foy retires

Paralympic silver medalist Emma Foy has decided to retire from cycling.

Emma Foy piloted by Hannah van Kampen of New Zealand during the Women's Tandem 3km pursuit.


At the 2016 Rio Paralympics Foy won a silver medal in the individual pursuit and a bronze medal in the road race.

Between 2014 and 2020 Foy won five World Championship gold medals and four bronze medals on the track and a gold, four silver and a bronze medal on the road.

Foy, who is visually impaired, rides tandem with a sighted pilot.

Springboks to gather for first time in 17 months

South Africa will begin preparations for July's British and Irish Lions tour over the next couple of weeks with groups of players to attend "alignment camps."

Springboks sing the South African national anthem during the 2019 Rugby World Cup.


The Springboks have not played a Test or even officially gathered as a squad since becoming world champions in November 2019 because of Covid-19.

But director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and head coach Jaques Nienaber will now meet with groups of players to "present their plans for the 2021 season".

The first Lions Test is on July 24th.

While South Africa have been unable to play because of a strict lockdown in the country, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have completed two Six Nations campaigns and an Autumn Nations Cup tournament.

Springbok players based in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France will also gather as separate groups and there will be virtual meetings for those in Japan.


City post loss

English Premiership leaders Manchester City posted net losses of $247 million for the 2019-20 season after their finances took a huge hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manchester City's home ground Etihad Stadium.


Revenue dropped 11% to $938 million during the 2019-20 campaign, which was halted in March and resumed behind closed doors three months later.

The losses were a result of a decline in matchday and broadcasting revenues, while the late finish to last season meant revenue from almost a quarter of Premier League matches and the latter stages of the Champions League and FA Cup would be deferred to next year's accounts.

Revenues from player sales, such as Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich for a reported $88 million, were also delayed and do not appear in the 2019-20 accounts.

But the club expects to post profits in 2020-21, given the deferred revenues and the subsiding impact of the pandemic.

In contrast, Chelsea recorded a profit of $63 million in the last financial year, while north London rivals Arsenal reported a loss of $93.7 million.

Maumalo to play 100th game

Left winger Ken Maumalo makes his delayed 100th career appearance in a much-changed line-up for the Warriors' fifth-round NRL game against Manly in Gosford on Friday night.

Ken Maumalo in possession. Vodafone Warriors v Sydney Roosters. NRL Rugby League, Central Coast Stadium, Central Coast, NSW, Australia. 25th July 2020. Copyright Photo: David Neilson / www.photosport.nz

Ken Maumalo Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

The 26-year-old Kiwi international becomes the 25th player and the fourth winger to join the club's 100-game honours board.

Maumalo would most likely have reached the mark last year but was limited to just eight appearances after returning home early to reunite with his family during the Covid-19-affected campaign.

While Maumalo is named in a backline unchanged after Sunday's 12-32 loss to the Sydney Roosters, there has been a lot of movement in the selection of the forwards.

With so many forwards unavailable, coach Nathan Brown has moved Tohu Harris out of the back row to start at prop along with Leeson Ah Mau while Jack Murchie replaces Bayley Sironen in the second row and Jazz Tevaga is named at loose forward.

Called in to make his club debut from the bench is new signing Kane Evans.

Canterbury cricketers go unbeaten

Canterbury drew their final match of the Plunket Shield men's cricket season against Central Stags at McLean Park in Napier to end their campaign unbeaten in the first-class competition.

Canterbury players with the Plunket Shield 2020-21.


Canterbury were already assured of a first title since the 2016-17 season with two rounds to play in the competition, which dates back to 1906-07.

Canterbury dismissed Stags for 207 in their first innings and went on to score 391. The champions then reduced Stags to 299-5 before the match was called off at tea on the final day.

Canterbury also won the one-day Ford Trophy competition, while their women's team won the Super Smash and one-day Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, the first time one club has won four of New Zealand's five domestic titles.

The only trophy to elude them this season was the men's Super Smash, which was won by Wellington.


North Korea won't go to Olympics

North Korea will not take part in the Tokyo Olympics due to coronavirus concerns, dashing South Korean hopes that the Games could be a catalyst to revive peace talks.

North Korean cheerleaders 2018 Winter Olympics PyeongChang, Korea.


It will be the first time North Korea has missed a summer Olympics since it boycotted the Seoul games in 1988, during the Cold War.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in had hoped the two countries, still technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, could field a combined team in Tokyo and rebuild momentum for an improvement in relations.

The North's withdrawal is also a setback for Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's plan, agreed in 2018, to pursue a joint Korean bid to host the 2032 Games.

North Korea says it has not had any coronavirus cases.


Indian coach has Covid

The Mumbai Indians scout and wicketkeeping consultant Kiran More has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the new Indian Premier League season, which begins on Friday.

Trent Boult of Mumbai Indians 2020

Trent Boult playing for Mumbai Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Champions Mumbai said that former wicketkeeper More, 58, was currently not showing symptoms and has been isolated.

The side led by Rohit Sharma are camped in Chennai where they will open their campaign against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are captained by India skipper Virat Kohli.

There are three New Zealanders in the team, Trent Boult, Adam Milne and James Neesham.

Players and staff are staying in a restricted health environment for this year's IPL, which will be played across six venues in India, initially without spectators.


Tee times for Masters

Dustin Johnson will begin his title defense at the Masters this week in a group with former runner-up Lee Westwood and amateur Tyler Strafaci.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson Photo: Photosport

World No. 1 Johnson, whose 20-under total last November at Augusta National Golf Club broke the Masters record shared by Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, will be in the 13th group to set off at the 445-yard, par-four first hole.

Following Johnson's threesome will be Xander Schauffele, world No. 3 Jon Rahm and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who with a win this week would complete the career Grand Slam of golf's four majors.

Former champion Jordan Spieth, who rocketed into this year's Masters conversation after last week's Texas Open triumph, will go out in the last group with Australian Cameron Smith and former PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa.

The penultimate group will feature world No. 2 Justin Thomas, who finished fourth at last year's Masters, world No. 13 Tony Finau and 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.