5 Nov 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

4:48 pm on 5 November 2021

Latest - A third Tour of Southland victory is tantalisingly close for Michael Vink.

Michael Vink on a gravel section during 2021 Tour of Southland.


The Cantabrian finished safely in the peloton of Friday's sixth stage from Invercargill to Gore, won from the breakaway by James Fouche.

Vink, who rode away from his rivals on the first open road stage on Monday, holds a lead of almost two minutes to his closest rival heading into the final two legs of New Zealand's most prestigious cycling race.

The 29-year-old now only has a 13km individual time trial at Winton, a stage he's won multiple times, and the final nervous 77km stage from Winton to Invercargill, left to navigate on Saturday.

The peloton again threw everything it had at Vink and his team mates on Friday's 151km sixth stage.

Fouche, George Jackson, Matt Zenovich, Guy Yarrell and Cameron Jones finally managed to stay away after a series of surges, with Fouche pulling away on the Glendhu climb to be the first arrival in Gore.

De Groot staying with Highlanders

All Black and Highlanders loosehead prop, Ethan de Groot has signed a new contract that will keep him in the south for a further three years until 2024.

Ethan de Groot playing for the All Blacks against USA 2021.

Ethan de Groot. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

De Groot, currently with the All Blacks on their Northern tour, had a breakout season for the Highlanders in 2021.

The former Southland Boys High School player debuted for Southland in 2018 as a 20-year-old.

After being picked up by the Highlanders in the 2020 squad he went on to debut in July against the Chiefs and less than 12 months later debuted for the All Blacks against Fiji.

He was a regular starter in Super Rugby Aotearoa and played against the Blues in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final.

De Groot is on the bench for the All Blacks Test against Italy in Rome this weekend.

Highlanders forward coach, Clarke Dermody, is looking forward to seeing how far the young prop can go.

"Ethan has made great progress over the last 18 months and has developed a professional attitude on and off the field. It has certainly taken his training and playing to a new level, he has an exciting career ahead of him as he continues to grow his game".

Tiatia confirmed as Moana Pasifika assistant

Moana Pasifika has confirmed the appointment of Wellington and Hurricanes stalwart, and former All Black Filo Tiatia as Assistant Coach to Aaron Mauger.

New Zealand-born Samoan Tiatia, who has already been working as part of the coaching team, joins the new club with 14 years professional coaching experience and 19 years' as a professional player.

Filo Tiatia (Sunwolves), 
OCTOBER 5, 2016 - Rugby : 
Filo Tiatia, the new head coach of Hito-Communications SUNWOLVES, attends a news conference in Tokyo, Japan. 


Tiatia was a formidable figure on the field playing at No. 8, flanker and lock for Wellington, Toyota Verblitz in Japan and amassed 99 games for Ospreys in Wales. He ran out 57 times with the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and played two Tests for the All Blacks in 2000.

His coaching career included stints with Toyota Verblitz and Ospreys as well as Japanese Super Rugby franchise, the Sunwolves, and Japan's Brave Blossoms.

Over the past three years, he teamed up with Alama Ieremia to coach Auckland to new heights including NPC champion status - a title that had eluded the blue and whites for a decade.

The forwards coach is loving his involvement with Moana.

"We have a lot of amazing talent out there, and this team is an exciting development in professional rugby. I'm really motivated to be part of finding and growing future stars of the international game, and I have a strong desire to help our Pasifika players thrive and deliver exciting, and fun rugby to play and watch.

Ko leads in Saudi Arabia

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko has a share of the lead after the opening round of a European Tour event in Saudi Arabia.

Lydia Ko.


Ko fired six birdies and a bogey at the Aramco Saudi Ladies to post a five under par 67.

She shares the lead with Spaniard Carlota Ciganda.

"I played really solid and I'm really enjoying the course, I managed to shoot five-under on the front nine with six birdies - I can't remember the last time I did that so that made me quite happy", said Ko.

"The back nine was windier, but I managed to get a few birdie chances on 13, 14 and 15, then I managed to birdie the last which is always nice.

"I think in the afternoon it gets windy and you get some side winds that are tricky, but the more you play it the more you know what it's going to do. I think if you play it in the morning it might be a bit easier with no wind, so I'm excited to go out tomorrow and try to post a good score."

Three players are a shot back in a share of third.

Australia boost semi-final chances

Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa bowled his side to a resounding eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh at the Twenty20 World Cup, giving their hopes of making the semi-finals a major boost.

Adam Zampa of Australia appeals

Adam Zampa Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Australia and South Africa are vying to grab the second semi-final spot from Group I, behind leaders England, and Aaron Finch's team needed a net run-rate boost to go with a victory and their bowlers rose to the occasion.

Zampa (5-19) led the rout, skittling out Bangladesh for 73 in 15 overs.

Aaron Finch smashed 40 off 20 balls as Australia romped home in 6.2 overs for their third win in four matches, while Bangladesh ended their Super 12 campaign losing all five matches.

Australia face West Indies in their final Super 12 match this weekend when South Africa play England.

With one game each to play England have 8 points and Australia and South Africa 6.

Holders the West Indies were knocked out of contention after losing to Sri Lanka by 20 runs.


Another upset win for Venus

New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus and his German partner Tim Puetz have won through to the quarter-fnals of the doubles at the Paris Masters.

For the second time in a month the pair have beaten the world's second ranked doubles team of Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram.

As the 7-6, 7-6 score suggests it was an extremely close contest lasting one hour and 56 minutes with no breaks of serve in the match. Venus and Puetz saved the only break point against their serve and their opponents were three from three on break point saves.

They will face Frenchman Fabrice Martin and Germany's Andreas Mies in the quarter finals after they upset the 7th seeds Horia Tecau and Kevin Krawietz in their second-round match.

Crowley names experienced Italian lineup

Italy coach Kieran Crowley has named an experienced team to take on the All Blacks in his side's autumn international in Rome this weekend.

A general view of Stadio Olimpico

Stadio Olimpico Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Crowley also named Michele Lamaro as captain for the visit of the top ranked All Blacks.

"The boys showed a great attitude during training showing a great desire to create something important with this shirt," Crowley said.

"On Saturday the focus will be on our performance as we continue along the path aimed at creating a very specific team identity."

It will be Crowley's first match since being appointed Azzurri coach, having succeeded Franco Smith, who has moved into a new role as the head of high performance in Italy.

Crowley had been due to take his new team back to his native New Zealand this year, but the cancellation of that tour means he will take charge for the first time at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday morning (NZ time).

Team: 15-Matteo Minozzi, 14-Federico Mori, 13-Juan Ignacio Brex, 12-Marco Zanon, 11-Montanna Ioanne, 10-Paolo Garbisi, 9-Stephen Varney, 8-Renato Giammarioli, 7-Michele Lamaro, 6-Sebastian Negri, 5-David Susi, 4-Marco Fuser, 3-Marco Riccioni, 2-Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1-Danilo Fishcetti. Replacements: 16-Luca Bigi, 17-Ivan Nemer, 18-Pietro Ceccarelli, 19-Niccolo Cannone, 20-Federico Ruzza, 21-Abraham Steyn, 22-Callum Braley, 23-Carlo Cana.


Vink remains in charge

Canterbury cyclist Michael Vink has just two more days to go to hold onto the Tour of Southland lead and claim his third title.

Vink leads by almost two minutes heading into today's sixth stage, a 151km ride that starts in Invercargill and finishes in Gore.

Campbell Pithie claimed his second stage victory with victory in yesterday's stage which finished at the top of Bluff Hill.

If Vink, who won in 2018 and 2019, can continue to control the race the Cantabrian will become just the fourth rider to win the Tour of Southland three or more times, joining Tino Tabak, Brian Fowler and Hayden Roulston in an exclusive club.

With a 1min 52sec lead over Ollie Jones and 2min 21sec advantage over Luke Mudgway, perhaps the final opportunity to upset him will come today.

The final two stages are Saturday.

Farrell and Sexton to gain 100th caps

England captain Owen Farrell and Ireland first-five Jonathon Sexton will both gain their 100th caps in this weekend's rugby internationals.

Owen Farrell of England prepares to take a conversion kick

Owen Farrell Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Farrell will be making his 94th England appearance having also played six tests for the British & Irish Lions and takes the number 10 shirt for the match against Tonga after Marcus Smith, widely expected to start in that position, was unable to take part in key preparation sessions because ofa leg injury.

Meanwhile Sexton will become the seventh Ireland player to win 100 test caps when his side open their autumn international series against Japan in Dublin.

Sexton has battled with head injuries for the past 12 months but has been cleared to return as captain of the side and bring up his century of appearances, one of 11 players from Leinster in coach Andy Farrell's starting line-up.

He will partner halfback Jamison Gibson Park and fellow New Zew Zealander Bundee Aki in the inside backs.


Windies will tour Pakistan

The West Indies have committed to playing in Pakistan in December after confirming they'll play three Twenty20s and three one-day internationals.

West Indies will be the first nation to visit Pakistan after New Zealand and England called off scheduled tours to the country in September due to security concerns.

"We have confirmed the details for the West Indies Men's white ball tour of Pakistan in December. Cricket West Indies would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board and our own cricket operations, medical and security teams for the work that has gone into the organization of this tour," said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

CWI added that independent security advisors, Eastern Star International, will monitor the security situation in Pakistan, and will also have a representative assigned to the team for the duration of the tour.

All the games will be played at Karachi's National Stadium, with the first T20 scheduled for Dec. 13.

The West Indies' women's side are also currently in Karachi for a three-match ODI series.


Modern Pentathlon to remove horse riding

Horse riding will be removed from modern pentathlon's programme at the Olympics from Los Angeles 2028, with a consultation process soon set to get underway to find a suitable replacement.

The decision comes after Germany's modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner hit a horse at the Tokyo Games when it refused to jump a fence.

"First, we know that this information will be surprising and even shocking to you," the International Modern Pentathlon Union said in a statement.

"It is not very long since we made a commitment to review and protect the Riding discipline in the wake of the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. But life within the Olympic movement changes fast.

"The decision to replace Riding comes after our UIPM Executive Board endorsed a series of recommendations made by the UIPM Innovation Commission after a two-day meeting in Monaco last week."