1 Nov 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

6:23 pm on 1 November 2021

Latest - Tokyo Olympic gold medalist and Black Ferns Sevens player Ruby Tui has signed with the Chiefs Women's squad for the upcoming Super Rugby Aupiki competition.

Black Ferns Sevens Ruby Tui.

Ruby Tui Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 29-year-old is known for her tireless work at the breakdown, physicality and her natural leadership.

Tui said the Chiefs' unique culture and mana was a key factor in her decision to join the club.

"Culture is huge for me, so the main attraction to the Chiefs Rugby Club was definitely their culture. I think the club has a huge amount of mana, I've played a lot of footy around the country, been involved in a lot of teams, even internationally but to me the Chiefs hold something really special. They don't just talk it, they walk it."

Tui said she was excited for the opportunity to learn and develop her fifteens game.

"Having Bunting and Les Elder around, I'm just here to learn. I first started women's rugby in 2010 at Canterbury Uni and it was fifteens that I started in. I feel like I've had to push pause on that for a long time now but I'm ready to learn and give everything. I'm ready to soak it all up and I believe the Chiefs team is the best place to do that."

Vink takes Tour of Southland yellow

Two-time champion Michael Vink has made a major claim for a third title on stage two of cycling's Tour of Southland.

The Cantabrian has won Monday's challenging 172 kilometre stage from Invercargill to Lumsden, which featured two gravel sections for the first time.

Michael Vink

Michael Vink Photo: James Jubb

Vink's mountainbiking background was a bonus during the gravel beats, but it was his time trial ability which came to the fore as he attacked from the front group into a block head win over the final 15km.

Vink had a 12-second lead from Logan Currie heading into Tuesday's third stage from Riverton to Te Anau.

"Everyone was talking about the gravel and luckily my team have got quite a lot of experience with that stuff. We made a good plan, everyone was on the same page and had a job.

"(The gravel) is tough on the equipment and the body, but it also suits me so well. It's great to mix up the race and keep it exciting. I think everyone was sensible and that's the key to making it work."

James Fouche was rewarded for his efforts in the break with the sprint ace and King of the Mountain jerseys.

Bolton Equities Black Spoke Pro Cycling leads the team classification.

Highlanders add two forwards for Super Rugby Pacific

The Highlanders have signed Gareth Evans and Andrew Makalio for Super Rugby Pacific 2022.

Highlander's Gareth Evans kicks past Victor Vito.

Gareth Evans, left, will return to the Highlanders. Photo: Photosport

Evans will join his brother Bryn at the Dunedin based club after last playing for the Highlanders in 2017.

Since then he has played 34 games for the Hurricanes and returns to the Highlanders a 78-game veteran of Super Rugby.

Evans is looking forward to the prospect of returning.

"To go back to the place where it all started for me, with Dunedin RFC at club level, Otago at provincial level and Super Rugby with the Highlanders, as well as the opportunity to play with my brother, made it an easy decision to return," Evans said.

"I missed parts of the 2021 season so I'm eager to start contributing and achieving some personal milestones. It looks like an exciting group of players down there that are heading in the right direction under Brownie and Derms."

Hooker Makalio has played for the championship winning Tasman Makos since 2016 and the Super Rugby Aotearoa champion Crusaders from 2017, racking up a combined 94 appearances.

He was ruled out of 2021 Super Rugby with a neck injury but has fully recovered and playing for Tasman in the NPC.

Afghanistan crush Namibia at Twenty20 World Cup

Seamers Naveen-ul-Haq and Hamid Hassan took three wickets apiece to help Afghanistan crush Namibia by 62 runs in the Twenty20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi and keep alive their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.

Mohammad Shahzad of Afghanistan.

Mohammad Shahzad Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Naveen-ul-Haq did the early damage with the new ball to derail Namibia's chase while Hassan ran through the middle order as their opponents could only muster 98-9 in reply to Afghanistan's 160-5.

Seamer Gulbadin Naib also picked up 2-19 in an inspired medium pace bowling performance from the Asian side.

It was the second Super 12 win for the Afghans, who stayed second in Group Two behind Pakistan, who have won all three of their matches.

Earlier, Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad gave Afghanistan a solid start with a 53-run opening stand after captain Mohammad Nabi won the toss and opted to bat.

Shahzad was happy to let Zazai take the initiative and farm most of the strike in the powerplay overs and went on the attack after his partner was out after a 27-ball knock of 33.

Shahzad was dismissed for 45 off 33 balls.

- Reuters

West Ham win big

West Ham United's Declan Rice scored a fine goal from distance as the rampant Londoners breezed past Aston Villa 4-1 in their Premier League clash at Villa Park to pile the pressure on home manager Dean Smith.

The visitors hit the front in the seventh minute when full back Ben Johnson cut inside from the right and fired a brilliant left-footed shot into the far corner.

Jarrod Bowen almost doubled the lead minutes later from a rapid counter-attack before Villa equalised in the 34th through Ollie Watkins, who finished with aplomb following a reverse pass from Matty Cash.

West Ham, however, kept up the pressure and were rewarded when Rice restored their lead before halftime.

The home side's hopes of a comeback suffered a blow when Ezri Konsa was sent off almost immediately after the restart for impeding Bowen who was clear on goal.

Villa rallied valiantly and created a string of chances but were caught twice on the break, with Pablo Fornals and Bowen each finishing off slick counter-attacking moves and putting the game beyond Villa's reach.

- Reuters

Kerevi, Cooper and McMahon welcome back with Wallabies

Rugby Australia chair Hamish McLennan has left the door open for Samu Kerevi, Quade Cooper and Sean McMahon to return to the Wallabies squad after the Japan-based players' contentious late withdrawal from the team's European tour last week.

Wallabies player Quade Cooper looks on after kicking a penalty on full time to give the Wallabies victory during the Rugby Championship Round 3 match between Australia Wallabies and South Africa Springboks at CBus Stadium on the Gold Coast, Sunday, September 12, 2021.

Quade Cooper Photo: AAP Imaga/Dave Hunt/Photosport Ltd 2021

The trio were recalled by coach Dave Rennie during last month's Rugby Championship, with Kerevi and Cooper shining as the Wallabies notched up wins over South Africa and Argentina.

But the three, who have lucrative contracts with Japanese outfits, pulled out of the squad ahead of next weekend's meeting with Scotland, preferring to remain with their clubs.

"I wholeheartedly believe that all parties want to do the right thing," McLennan told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Let's not forget that Quade and Samu were in the Wallabies wilderness until they made a miraculous comeback during The Rugby Championship.

"It's unreasonable to expect they would make a 180-degree turnaround from their existing commitments.

"Dave had the vision and guts to give them a break, which has paid off handsomely. And instead of saying who said what to whom, I think we should all be delighted with the progress the team has made."

While McMahon was limited to a role within the squad, his Suntory Sungoliath club mate Kerevi was impressive until he picked up an ankle injury in the second of the Wallabies' two victories over Argentina that ruled him out of last week's win over Japan.

Cooper has also been an influential presence since ending almost four years in the Wallabies wilderness but he, like Kerevi and McMahon, chose to stay in Japan - where he plays for Kintetsu Liners - to prepare for the upcoming season.

The trio's return to the squad had happened due to a relaxation of Rugby Australia's Giteau Law, which limits the number of overseas-based players who can be selected to play for the Wallabies.

Australia, who are on a five-game winning streak, take on Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday before facing England at Twickenham six days later.


van Gisbergen extends Supercars Championship lead

Anton De Pasquale defied a spirited Will Brown to claim his second win out of three Supercars races at the Sydney SuperNight.

De Pasquale, who won Saturday's night race, raced from pole to victory in Race 22 on Sunday, just hours after he was excluded from Race 21 results for a tyre mix-up.

It marked the Shell V-Power Racing Team driver's third win of 2021, and fourth of his career and he also claimed bonus points for the fastest lap of the race.

The weekend's results mean New Zealand driver Shane van Gisbergen, who won Sunday's first race and was second on Friday, has extended his lead to 338-points in the Supercars Championship over teammate Jamie Whincup.

Djokovic to play doubles at Paris Masters

Novak Djokovic has signed up for both singles and doubles duty at next week's Paris Masters, as the Serbian world number one returns to competitive action for the first time since his defeat in the U.S. Open final to Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a return to Germany's Alexander Zverev during their 2021 US Open Tennis tournament men's semifinal match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, on September 10, 2021.

Novak Djokovic Photo: AFP

Djokovic, who is level with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal on 20 major titles, has not played since coming up short last month in his bid for a calendar Grand Slam, losing in straight sets to Medvedev at Flushing Meadows.

The 34-year-old will be the top seed at the Masters 1000 event in Bercy, where he is a five-time champion, and will also team up with countryman Filip Krajinovic with an eye on some practice ahead of the Davis Cup at the end of November.

"He's going to play with Krajinovic, his buddy from the Davis Cup," tournament director Guy Forget said.

"He said he would commit himself to play for the Davis Cup for his own country. This is why he wanted to play doubles here.

"We don't often see him play doubles, so we're delighted. It's rare to see a No. 1 playing a Masters 1000 in doubles."

After a first round bye, Djokovic will open his Paris Masters singles campaign either against Italian Fabio Fognini or Marton Fucsovics from Hungary.


Asghar Afghan to retire at World Cup

Former Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan will retire from all formats of the game after their Twenty20 World Cup meeting with Namibia.

The 33-year-old Afghan - earlier known as Asghar Stanikzai - made his international debut in 2009 in a one-day game against Scotland in Benoni and has 2,424 runs from 114 games in the 50-over format at an average of 24.73.

He has scored 1,351 runs in 74 T20 internationals at an average of 21.79 and played in the team's loss to Pakistan in the World Cup on Friday.

Afghan captained his country in their maiden test match in Bengaluru in 2018 and played six games in the game's longest format, scoring 440 runs.