There has been a lot of news unravelling in recent weeks within New Zealand sports. Read on for an overview of all the highlights.
UFC Star Dan Hooker Claims Brutal Victory
UFC fighter Dan Hooker has claimed victory over Jalin Turner at UFC 290, but he will need to undergo two surgeries for injuries sustained during the fight.
Hooker won the contest by split decision but only after breaking his arm and fracturing his orbital bone.
Hooker said his arm may have been damaged by a front kick from Turner in the first round and that it only got worse from there. Hooker went on to drop Turner in the third round and afterwards thew his right hand which he then felt was not feeling right at all.
Due to not being able to use his right arm, hooker could not protect his face. This led to Turner delivering a brutal kick that most likely caused the fracture to Hooker’s face.
Hooker’s victory moves him up to 10th in the UFC lightweight rankings.
Fa’alogo Tana Umaga Becomes New Coach of Moana Pasifika
In other Sports News, Moana Pasifika has appointed former All Black Fa’alogo Tana Umaga as its new head coach. He has signed a three-year contract.
Umaga coached Moana Pasifika in its debut match against the Māori All Blacks in 2020 and declared that he has always harboured a passion for the side which only consists of players of Pacific Island descent.
Umaga was born to Samoan parents and began his playing career out of Petone, Wellington. He would go on to play for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and was selected for the All Blacks, for which he played 74 matches. He also became the first player originating from a Pacific Island to captain the All Blacks.
As for his coaching experience, Umaga led French outfit Toulon to promotion and was head coach of the Blues from 2016 to 2018 and their defence coach until 2021.
All Whites v Socceroos in London
The All Whites will play Australia in London on October 17th for the Soccer Ashes trophy. The two nations will compete for the trophy for the first time since 1954.
The Soccer Ashes trophy is housed in a wooden casket and constructed from a combination of rewarewa and Australian maple. It holds the ashes of cigars that were smoked by Australian captain Alex Gibb and New Zealand captain George Campbell following the first meeting between the two nations in June 1923.
The Ashes are held in a silver-plated razor case that was carried by Queensland Football Association Secretary Private William Fisher at the landing of Gallipoli in 1915.
Currently the international calendar does not support the staging of an annual match between both nations, though both countries are looking for opportunities to play more games.
The two sides have played each other 66 times. Australia has come out on top 42 times and New Zealand 13, and they have drawn 11 games.
Australia have scored 158 goals to 70 by New Zealand.
NZ Cricket Not About to Divide Coaching Duties
New Zealand Cricket has rejected the idea of a split head coaching role for the Black Caps, prompting Gary Stead to remain for another two years.
Stead will be the Black Caps’ coach until the end of the current World Test Championship in June 2025.
Stead will remain in charge of the Black Caps test, one day and T20 squads despite having been an advocate for splitting up the tasks as England do.
In March Stead states that “I think it is time to split off and look at it.”
“The modern game is becoming very tough for players and coaches to try and sustain and New Zealand Cricket and I are definitely talking about that option.”
New Zealand Cricket general manager Bryan Stronach said a formal split-coaching model was considered but rejected although there’s flexibility to co-opt additional coaching staff.
“A split-coaching role was discussed in depth but, with most of our leading Black Caps playing across all three formats, and the culture of the group so strong and positive, we saw clear benefits in supporting the status quo,” he said.
Stead’s reappointment period will include the T20 World Cup in June/July 2024, the ODI Champions Trophy in February/March 2025 and, possibly the World Test Championship Final, in June 2025.