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The 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season has started with a bang!

In the first game, the Crusaders were too strong for the Highlanders. A well-structured first half set up a 26-13 for the defending champions. The Crusaders scored 4 tries to two.

In the Saturday night game, the Blues proved too strong for the Hurricanes. In front of the full stadium in Wellington, the Blues won 33-16. They also scored 4 tries to two.

Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker has beaten fellow New Zealand heavyweight Junior Fa.

Parker won a points victory after being forced to go the full 12 rounds by his former amateur rival in Auckland on Saturday night.

Parker big fight experience seemed to be the deciding factor of the fight. He was able to control major parts of the fight and landed a number of heavy blows.

It was Fa’s first loss in 20 professional fights. But his good showing should open up doors around the world.

After the fight Parker said he was keen to get back in the ring as soon as possible.

Super Rugby Aotearoa has announced two new exciting rules for 2021.

A goal-line dropout and a captain’s referral will be included in the 2021 competition, both of these rules are used in the NRL.

Furthermore, the golden point and red card replacement laws have been retained, after they were introduced last season. 

A goal-line dropout will occur when an attacking player carrying the ball is held up in goal or knocks the ball on in goal, or when an attacking kick is grounded by the defending team in goal. 

A captain’s referral will allow one opportunity per match for captains to ask the referee to have the Television Match Official (TMO) check for an infringement in the lead-up to a try or review foul play.

The footage must be ‘clear and obvious’ for the TMO to uphold a referral.

A number of New Zealand players have been bought in the latest Indian Premier League cricket auction.

Black Caps all-rounder Kyle Jamieson was the main highlight. He has been bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore who paid $2.86 million for the Aucklander.

It’s the second highest amount paid for a player at this year’s auction. South African all-rounder Chris Morris became the most expensive player in IPL history, bought by Rajasthan Royals for $3.1m.

Jamieson, who has never played in India, is now the fourth most expensive buy in IPL history.

Other New Zealanders included fast bowler Adam Milne, who went for $610,000 and Jimmy Neesham, who was picked up for $95,500.

There were eight New Zealanders in the IPL this season. Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson, fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, spinner come all-rounder Mitchell Santner and wicketkeeper/batsman Tim Seifert were also retained.

The Black Caps have thrashed Australia in the opening game of their 5 match T20 series.

Batsman Devon Conway’s unbeaten 99 off 59 balls helped New Zealand reach 184 after being 19-3.

In reply, Australia slumped to 19-4 as Tim Southee and Trent Boult shared four wickets in the first five overs.

Australia were all bowled out for 131 with 2.3 overs unused, with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi claiming 4-28.

The win was only New Zealand’s second in nine attempts against Australia in T20 cricket.

The five-match series continues on Thursday in Dunedin.

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has won the right to face Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup.

The Prada team, lead by Aussie helmsman Jimmy Spithill, were too strong for INEOS Team UK.

In the best of 13 series they beat the UK team by 7 races to 1.

Team New Zealand will be wary of Aussie Spithill, who will contest his third straight Cup series. He beat New Zealand in 2013, but then lost the ‘Auld Mug’ to New Zealand at Bermuda four years ago.

New Zealand’s World Cup-winning Number 10, Dan Carter has retired from all rugby.

Carter made the announcement on Saturday, bring an end to his illustrious 19-year career.

The 38-year-old played 112 times for New Zealand. He played his last test in 2015 when he produced a man-of-the-match display to help the All Blacks to victory over Australia in the World Cup final.

Carter was also part of the New Zealand team that won the 2011 edition of the tournament, though he missed the final after tearing his groin tendon.

Carter leaves the game as the highest point scorer in test rugby with 1,598, more than 350 points clear of England’s Jonny Wilkinson.

Carter was named International Rugby Player of the Year three times in his career, equalling the record held by longtime team mate and skipper Richie McCaw.

After his international retirement, he went to France where he played for three years at Racing 92. He then had two seasons with the Kobe Steelers in Japan. He returned to New Zealand last year for a brief stint with the Auckland Blues.

George Bennett has won the 2021 New Zealand road race.

He trailed the leaders by four minutes at one stage but stormed home over the last 10km to take the title.

The 30-year-old Nelson-born cyclist took 4hr 15min to complete the 174km ride.

He finished 1min 48sec clear of second placed Mark Stewart, who outsprinted Michael Torckler for silver.

Bennett rides for the World Tour team Jumbo Visma.

Bennett says the chance to wear the national jersey on the grand tours in Europe was a huge motivation.

Dougal Allan has won the 2021 Coast to Coast.

Allan won the race on the back of a sensational final bike leg where he managed to take the lead with only about 30km of the race remaining.

It is Allen’s second Coast to Coast ‘Longest Day’ title.

The 243km race which goes from one side of the South Island to the other. From Kumara Beach on the West Coast to New Brighton Beach in Christchurch.

Allan triumphed in 11h 9m 52s, finishing 10 minutes ahead of second place.

In the women’s contest, Simone Maier has given herself the perfect birthday present with her second title.

Maier, who turned 41 on Friday, finished in 12h 34m 49s, which was 15 minutes quicker than second-place finisher Elina Ussher. 

Wellington and Canterbury have been crowned New Zealand T20 champions for 2021.

Black Cap Devon Conway led the Wellington side to a tight win over Canterbury in the men’s final. He produced a batting masterclass to help defend their Super Smash men’s title. 

Conway hit 93 off 63 balls to ensure his team made the 175 needed for victory.

In the women’s final Canterbury cause a shock result to beat a Wellington side going for their forth straight victory.

Wellington batted first and looked on track for 150, but a middle-order collapse saw them scrap through to 125/7.

Despite a hat-trick from White Ferns star Amelia Kerr the Canterbury Magicians managed to scrap home for victory.

Canterbury needed 42 off the final four overs, and Kate Ebrahim (45 from 40 balls) and a blazing Lea Tahuhu (38 from 20 balls) saw them storm to victory.