24 Aug 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

6:31 pm on 24 August 2021

Latest - Midseason signing Matt Lodge, Sean O'Sullivan and Kodi Nikorima all return for the Warriors' 24th-round encounter with the Canberra Raiders in North Queensland on Friday night.

Kodi Nikorima

Kodi Nikorima. Photo: Photosport

The 26-year-old Lodge is back from a two-match suspension for his fifth outing for the club since being signed from the Brisbane Broncos last month.

O'Sullivan is partnered in the halves with Chad Townsend and utility Kodi Nikorima comes back onto the bench after a hectic week leading up to the Brisbane encounter when his partner gave birth to their second child.

Nikorima apart, the named game day bench remains the same as that originally selected last week with Bunty Afoa, Eliesa Katoa and Jazz Tevaga filling the other spots. Included on the extended bench is centre Rocco Berry, who has been sidelined with a

hamstring injury. Also named is prop Kane Evans after serving a one-game suspension and being ruled out last week with a calf injury.

National squash tournament postponed

For the second time this year the New Zealand Squash Championships have had to be rescheduled due to Covid-19.

With the current uncertainty of Covid-19 and alert levels the tournament which was set to be held 10-12 September at the Hutt City Squash Club is now postponed until 29-31 October at the same venue. Earlier in the year they had been delayed due to the brief lockdown in Wellington.

In 2020 the tournament was also postponed on two occasions but was eventually held on the third time trying and won by two-first time winners, Evan Williams and Emma Millar.

A full men's 32 and women's 32-player draw had entered the tournament and are expected to return for the new addition at the end of October.

Super Rugby format finalised

The Super Rugby format for next year has reportedly been finalised.

George Bower of the Crusaders


The Sydney Morning Herald say it will consist of 12 teams, five each from New Zealand and Australia along with Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua.

There will be no conferences with each of the 12 franchises facing each other once before playing three additional round-robin matches.

After a 14 game regular season, the top eight will progress to knockout quarter-finals.

First will play eighth, second will play seventh, third will play sixth and fourth will play fifth. The higher ranked team in each fixture will earn the right to play the match in front of their home fans.

Hammers go top of EPL

Michail Antonio became West Ham United's all-time Premier League top scorer after netting twice to help secure a resounding 4-1 home win over Leicester City, who had Ayoze Perez sent off late in the first half.

Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma had opened the scoring for the Hammers, who made it two wins out of two and went top of the table on goals scored after a superb performance in a cracking atmosphere at the London stadium.

Antonio's second was his 49th Premier League strike for the Hammers.


Increase in prizemoney at US Open

The U.S. Open will offer total prize money of $83.4 million this year, eclipsing the record payout of $83 million set in 2019.

The event was held without spectators last year, with the United States Tennis Association lowering the prize money to $77 million due to lost revenue.

Despite the overall increase this year, prize money for the two singles winners has come down from $4.4 million to $3.6 million.

First-round payouts go to $108,000, a jump of 23% from 2020, while second-round prize money rises to $167,000.

The U.S. Open, which will welcome back fans this year, starts on Aug. 30.

Players to wthdraw from the US Open this year include Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and last year's champion Dominic Thiem.


Windies face tough chase in Kingston

Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi grabbed career best figures as the tourists dominated with bat and ball on the fourth day of the second and final test against West Indies at Sabina Park to put themselves on course to square the series.

Shaheen Shah Afridi of Pakistan


Shaheen took 6-51 as the visitors bowled West Indies out for 150 shortly after lunch to ensure a 152-run first innings lead and then sped to 176-6 before declaring their second innings, to set the home side a target of 329 to win the test.

West Indies were 49-1 at the close in a test that has already lost a full day to bad weather yet still looks likely to produce a result.

Pakistan still need nine wickets while the home side require 280 runs in what would be a record-breaking run chase at the Jamaican venue.

The Windies won the first Test by one wicket.


White Ferns beaten in tour opener.

The White Ferns have been beaten by England A by four wickets in a 50-over warmup game in Derby.

White Ferns opener Suzie Bates top scored in New Zealand's innings.

Suzie Bates Photo: Photosport

New Zealand batted first and were dismissed for 223 on the penultimate ball with opener Suzie Bates top scoring with 70.

Bates has been out of the game for ten months because of a shoulder injuries, but returned to bat almost 37 overs and anchor the White Ferns innings.

Katey Martin made 52.

In reply England A reached their target with two overs to spare.

Captain Sophie Devine used nine bowlers with Hannah Rowe and Amy Satterthwaite picking up two wickets each.

The first T20 international against England is next week.

16 positive Covid tests in EPL

Sixteen individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in the Premier League's latest round of tests carried out on 3,060 players and club staff.

The third round of tests conducted between Aug. 16-22 showed an increase in infections after the English top flight recorded 20 cases in the first two weeks of testing.

Among the players who tested positive last week were Chelsea's Christian Pulisic and Arsenal's new signing Ben White, with both players missing yesterday's clash which Chelsea won 2-0 to move to the top of the standings.

Arsenal forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were among club's four positives a week ago, but Aubameyang returned to the side for the weekend's clash.


Boucher admits singing offensive songs

South Africa head cricket coach Mark Boucher has apologised for singing offensive songs and using racist nicknames during his playing days in an affidavit submitted to Cricket South Africa's Social Justice and Nation-Building committee.

South African Head Coach Mark Boucher


Boucher was responding to allegations levelled against him by former spinner Paul Adams, who last month said at the hearings that he was subjected to racial discrimination and name-calling during his time with the national team.

While Boucher denied giving Adams the racist moniker, he did "apologise unreservedly for any offensive conduct, real or perceived".

"While at the time we thought it was playful banter within a team environment in which we all participated... I deeply regret and apologise for the part I played by joining in with my team mates in singing offensive songs or using offensive nicknames," Boucher said in the 14-page affidavit.

Skipper Temba Bavuma confirmed that Boucher had spoken to the team, providing "clarity and context" on the charges against him.

South Africa travel to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and three T20s next month.


Ko climbs another spot

Lydia Ko has climbed another spot to now number the world number five ranked golfer.

Ko is taking some time off after competing at the British Open in Scotland last week where she finished in a tie for 29th.

Ko has had nine top ten finishes this year with one victory.

The 24 year old hasn't been this high in the rankings since 2017 and dipped to as low as 55 in the world before her revival in the last couple of years.

American Nelly Korda remains number one.

City to unveil statues

Manchester City will unveil statues made in honour of former players David Silva and Vincent Kompany outside the Etihad Stadium ahead of this weekend's Premier League game at home to Arsenal.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.

Vincent Kompany Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Spanish midfielder Silva, who helped City win the Premier League four times and the FA Cup twice, left the club last year. Former captain and Belgian defender Vincent Kompany left in 2019 after 11 years at the club.

A third statue, in tribute to all-time leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero, who left the club at the end of last season after a decade-long association, will be unveiled in 2022.

Silva and Aguero are currently with La Liga teams Real Sociedad and Barcelona respectively, while Kompany is the head coach of Belgian Pro League club Anderlecht.


Sporting memorabilia to be auctioned for Pele

Want a Brazil jersey owned by Pele? An All Blacks shirt signed by Dan Carter? A New York Yankees photo autographed by Derek Jeter? David Beckham's AC Milan shirt?

Brazil football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele). 2014.


Those items, plus others from Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe, are among 229 that will be up for sale next month at an auction organised by Pele for the foundation he created in 2018 to help underprivileged children.

The Brazilian, the only player to claim three World Cup winner's medals and a man often called the greatest footballer of all time, said all monies raised will help Brazil's fight against and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far 575,000 people have died in Brazil from COVID-19, the second highest death toll in the world after the United States.

Pele has provided some of his own items for the Sept. 22 auction but he has also called in favours from friends in the sport and entertainment worlds.

There are Brazil, Santos and New York Cosmos jerseys and photos autographed by the 80-year-old Pele, and others signed by ex-Brazil team mates such as Rivellino, Jairzinho and Clodoaldo.