2 Jun 2022

Today's sports news: What you need to know

5:58 am on 2 June 2022

Latest - The Stars stamped out a late-charging Magic to secure a 58-54 win in the ANZ Premiership in Auckland on Wednesday.

Maia Wilson

Maia Wilson Photo: www.photosport.nz

The Stars, who were cruising towards the much-needed high-scoring outcome required as part of the improbably equation of progressing to Grand Final hosting rights, had a 13-goal lead through a rampant first half that was trimmed substantially by game's end.

In a classic game of two halves, the Magic would rue their inconsistencies of the first half before storming back with a form reversal to win the second half in the rescheduled Round 5 match.

A win for the Stars in their final regular season game tonight against the Southern Steel will guarantee the Stars home advantage for next week's elimination final.

England pace bowler to debut against Black Caps

Durham pace bowler Matthew Potts will make his international debut in the first of three tests between England and New Zealand at Lord's starting today in what will also be his inaugural first class match at the world's most famous ground.

Potts, who has been the outstanding bowler in the county championship this year with 35 wickets at 18.57 each, will join veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad who have been recalled after they were omitted from the team who lost 1-0 in the West Indies this year.

Ben Stokes of England.

Ben Stokes Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Ben Stokes, who has taken over the England captaincy from Joe Root after a dismal winter for England in Australia and the Caribbean, completes the pace quartet.

Stokes paid tribute to the team's new coach, former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who has been tasked with turning around a team who sit bottom of the current test championship standings after winning one of their last 17 tests.

"He is all about making everyone feel, in his words '10 feet tall'," Stokes said. "It's a good few days working for him."

New Zealand, who won the inaugural test championship final against India last year, were due to name their side after practice session.

Captain Kane Williamson, who missed his team's home series this year against Bangladesh and South Africa because of a long-standing elbow injury, said batter Henry Nicholls who has sustained a calf injury and also tested positive for Covid-19 would be replaced by Daryl Mitchell at number five.

He said left-arm opening bowler Trent Boult, who did not arrive in England until last Monday because of his commitments in the Indian Premier League would be assessed at training and the New Zealanders would examine the ground surface before deciding on their team.


All Blacks trio back for Crusaders quarter-final

The Crusaders have recalled playmaker Richie Mo'unga along with fellow All Blacks Codie Taylor and Jack Goodhue for Friday's Super Rugby quarter-final against the Queensland Reds in Christchurch.

Richie Mo'unga fends in Super Rugby Pacific at Christchurch versus the Chiefs, March 2022

Richie Mo'unga Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Mo'unga replaces Fergus Burke, who was dropped from the matchday squad after scoring a try and having a perfect night off the kicking tee as starting flyhalf in a 28-15 home win over the Reds last week.

Taylor reclaims the number two jersey from Matthew Faessler who was injured early against the Reds, while Goodhue slots in at centre with regular midfield partner David Havili.

The Reds, who have not beaten the Crusaders in Christchurch in 23 years, will again miss the services of injured flyhalf James O'Connor, with Lawson Creighton to retain the number 10 shirt.

Co-captain Liam Wright will start at openside flanker after returning from a long injury layoff from the bench last week, while centre Hunter Paisami has been recalled in the reserves after recovering from a shoulder problem.

Scott Robertson's Crusaders are heavily backed to knock out the Reds and sew up a semi-final spot as they look to claim a sixth championship trophy in as many years.


Coll takes a hit in world squash rankings

New Zealand's Paul Coll drops from top spot to number two in the latest PSA World Squash rankings in the continued battle with Egyptian Al Farag.

New Zealand squash player Paul Coll.

Paul Coll Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Coll won the top ranking in March and remained there in May as he won the British Open for the second consecutive year. However Farag also had a good May winning in New York and then taking the title at the PSA World Championship over third ranked Mohamed ElShorbagy who had earlier beaten Coll in the semis.

In other New Zealand rankings. Joelle King remains at No 5 in the women's rankings, while the next best New Zealand woman is 21-year-old Kaitlyn Watts at 93, followed by fellow Commonwealth Games team member Abbie Palmer at 126.

In the men's rankings. Lwamba Chileshe is at a career-high 90 while younger brother Temwa Chileshe is 115. Evan Williams is 138.

Social media restrictions for Israel Folau

Israel Folau will be a prized addition to Tongan rugby but will have restrictions on what he posts on social media, along with all his team mates, coach Toutai Kefu said.

Australia's full-back Israel Folau lines up ahead of the international rugby union test match between England and Australia at Twickenham stadium in south-west London on November 24, 2018.

Israel Folau Photo: AFP

Folau, an evangelical Christian, will soon make his return to international rugby, three years on from the termination of his Wallabies contract after he posted a meme on social media that said "hell" awaits homosexual people and other groups.

Former World Cup winner and Wallabies great Kefu said he had yet to discuss social media with Folau but trusted the 33-year-old would not cause problems for his team in the meantime.

"That's probably the elephant in the room," Kefu said.

"At this point in time, (trust) is what we probably have to rely on.

"But I mean, we would have some restrictions, like we always do every campaign with all the players. I'm sure we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

Outside back Folau has posted only a handful of times to the more-than-400,000 followers on his social media accounts since being sacked by Rugby Australia and his former Super Rugby side New South Wales Waratahs in 2019.

World Rugby's decision last year to allow players to switch their international allegiance paved the way for Folau to represent Tonga, along with former All Blacks Charles Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa.