26 Sep 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

4:11 pm on 26 September 2021

Australia rode an early two-try burst to a comfortable 27-8 victory over Argentina in the Rugby Championship in Townsville on Saturday, winning three successive tests for the first time in four years.

Samu Kerevi will play against Fiji for the first time in the Wallabies' World Cup opener.

Samu Kerevi will play against Fiji for the first time in the Wallabies' World Cup opener. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

If the match lacked the quality of the New Zealand-South Africa clash which preceded it at North Queensland Stadium, the Wallabies will be satisfied with a win to back up two victories over the Springboks.

Fullback Reece Hodge and centre Samu Kerevi crossed in a bright first 20 minutes and winger Andrew Kellaway added a third try for the home side 10 minutes from time after the bench had brought new impetus to the attack.

The Pumas scored a single try through skipper Julian Montoya off a rolling maul to draw within nine points of the Australians just after halftime but remain winless after five rounds of the championship.

New Zealand's earlier win secured them the Rugby Championship title so the Wallabies will be playing for second place when they meet the Pumas again on the Gold Coast in the final round of the championship next week.

- Reuters

US tighten grip on Ryder Cup

The United States tightened their grip on the Ryder Cup with another day of domination at wind-whipped Whistling Straits on Saturday, taking a commanding 11-5 lead over holders Europe, who need to produce an historic comeback if they are to defend their title.

A view of the Ryder Cup trophy


Comfortably in front 6-2 at the start of the day, the US turned up the pressure in the morning foursomes taking three-of-four points before fending off a fight-back from the Europeans in the afternoon fourballs splitting the matches 2-2.

Only nine times in 42 Ryder Cups has a team come from behind on the final day to lift the trophy.

No team has ever rallied from six points down going into Sunday's singles although twice (the US in 1999 and Europe in 2012) teams have come from four back to capture the title.

"We are going out there until the end," assured Sergio Garcia, playing in his 10th Ryder Cup for Europe. "We are not going to give up, that's for sure."

Heading into Sunday's singles, the US sit just 3-1/2 points away from the 14-1/2 they need to secure the little gold trophy.

It would mark just the second time in six Ryder Cups and third in last 10 that the US has won the title.

- Reuters

Liverpool let victory slip

Striker Mohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal for Liverpool but the league leaders were still held to a draw by Brentford as the two sides played out a 3-3 thriller.

Both sides had efforts cleared off the line in a lively opening before Ethan Pinnock gave Brentford the lead, stabbing the ball home at the back post after a clever free kick routine caught the Liverpool defence flat-footed in the 27th minute.

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (2nd L) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Liverpool at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on September 12, 2021.

Photo: AFP

That lead was short-lived as Diogo Jota headed home Jordan Henderson's cross to put the Reds level four minutes later, and Salah put his side in front in the 54th with his 100th goal in 151 league appearances for Liverpool.

The Bees refused to give up, levelling in the 63rd minute when defender Pontus Jansson swivelled in the box and hit the crossbar before Vitaly Janelt reacted quickest to head home the rebound.

Curtis Jones put Liverpool back in front four minutes later, cutting in from the left and unleashing a rocket that took a slight deflection before flying into the net as the visitors stepped up to a pace that Brentford struggled to match.

Salah could have put the game out of reach in the 77th minute but he lofted his chip just over the crossbar with only the keeper to beat. It was to prove a costly miss as Brentford snatched a dramatic equaliser through substitute Yoane Wissa in the 82nd minute.

There was still time for more drama as David Raya pulled off a superb save to deny Roberto Firmino and Ivan Toney had what looked to be a late winner for Brentford ruled out for offside.

The draw means Liverpool climb to 14 points after six games, one ahead of Manchester City, who beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge earlier in the day. Brentford are ninth on nine points.

- Reuters

City break streak against Chelsea

An early second-half goal from Gabriel Jesus with Manchester City's first shot on target earned the Premier League champions a 1-0 win over joint league leaders Chelsea.

Jesus pushed the ball home with a deflection off Jorginho after a goalmouth melee in the 53rd minute following City's 10th corner of the game.

Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City.

Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It was a deserved win for the visitors who pressed Chelsea from the outset and enjoyed 60 per cent possession with Kevin de Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden buzzing round Chelsea's area.

Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes blazed a stoppage-time penalty over the crossbar as Aston Villa earned a shock 1-0 victory at a below-par Manchester United.

- Reuters

Harris home in 26th

World Tour professional Ella Harris dug deep in a hard-working display over a frantic final 30kms to finish 26th in the elite women's road race at the Road Cycling World Championships in Belgium.

Harris, 23, led home the New Zealand riders in the 158km road race from Antwerp with circuits around Flanders, featuring a plethora of punchy climbs and cobbled surfaces, before the finishing loop in Leuven.

Teammates Michaela Drummond and Henrietta Christie, who both ride for the BePink professional team based in Italy, were in the front group over the early stages looking for opportunities to get into a break but the high pace negated any attacks.

UCI 2020 Road World Championships IMOLA - EMILIA-ROMAGNA ITALY -  Road Race Course Practice recce.
- Niamh Fisher-Black of New Zealand

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

That left the World Tour pair of Harris and Niamh Fisher-Black to position themselves at the pointy end of the peloton over the final two and a half laps of a testing circuit in Leuven.

Harris was able to maintain position in the front group as attack after attack launched over the final laps. She was caught on the wrong side of a split in the lead group on the penultimate climb to comehome in the second pack 49 seconds behind the winner.

Young Italian rider Elisa Balsamo, a former junior world champion on the track and road, upset Dutch star Marianne Vos for the honours. She recently competed on the track at the Tokyo Olympics.

Drummond, in her first elite road world championship, came home in the third chase group 9:13 down on the winner in 64th place, with Fisher-Black a further 20 second back in 91st place.

The championships concludewith the elite men's race, with the all-World Tour New Zealand team comprising Shane Archbold (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Tom Scully (EF Education-Nippo), Jack Bauer (Team Bike Exchange) and Connor Brown (Qhubeka-NextHash).

Norris nails maiden F1 pole

McLaren's Lando Norris seized his first Formula One pole position at the Russian Grand Prix after seven- times world champion Lewis Hamilton hit the wall in a damp and dramatic qualifying session.

Ferrari's Spaniard Carlos Sainz joined the young Briton on the front row in Sochi with Williams' George Russell, Hamilton's Mercedes team mate from next season, completing a sensational top three against all odds.

Spa Francorchamps, F1 Grand Prix of Belgium, Lando Norris, McLaren F1 Team.


Hamilton, who had been on provisional pole before everyone switched to slicks on a drying track, qualified fourth after a brush with the pit lane wall.

The team hurriedly swapped the front wing and got him back out on slicks in time for one more flying lap to the chequered flag but the tyres had lost temperature and Hamilton spun, with his fastest time remaining that set on the intermediates.

Hamilton can still expect to retake the overall lead from Red Bull rival Max Verstappenm with the 23-year-old Dutch driver starting at the back due to engine penalties.

Mercedes have yet to be beaten in Sochi since the first Grand Prix there in 2014.

- Reuters

Demons end AFL Premiership drought

A fast-finishing Melbourne Demons have ended a 57-year premiership wait, claiming the Australian Football League's top honour with a 74-point Grand Final victory against a shell-shocked Western Bulldogs under lights at Perth Stadium.

Christian Petracca amassed 39 disposals and two goals in a dominant midfield display, helping the Demons to a 140-66 win before a 61,118 strong capacity crowd.

Generic photo of AFL football

Generic photo of AFL football Photo: AAP

The Demons settled early by scoring four of the first five goals, but the Bulldogs fought back in the second quarter with midfielders Adam Treloar and Marcus Bontempelli kicking two majors apiece to set up an eight-point lead at halftime.

Melbourne's victory quickly became assured after the break as they piled on 12 unanswered goals, with forwards Bayley Fritsch (six goals) and Ben Brown (three goals) leading the way.

On the path to their 13th premiership, the top-ranked Demons demolished the Geelong Cats and the Brisbane Lions in the playoffs.

Melbourne's last Grand Final win, however, came against the Collingwood Magpies in 1964.

For a second year running, COVID-19 restrictions played havoc with the AFL season.

Crowd limits were routinely imposed and matches were shifted around ever-changing state border rules, but unlike 2020 the complete fixture list was fulfilled and full-length games were played.

- Reuters