All NZ sport off for at least four weeks

The A-League looks like it will be the last pin to fall.

As the New Zealand and Australia Governments ramp up the alert levels and wipe out sport in the process, the NRL was finally shut down last night.

Football Federation Australia cancelled an A-League game scheduled for last night before it makes "a significant announcement" this morning regarding the future of the season this morning which appears an inevitable halting of the season.

The Wellington Phoenix, in a 14-day isolation period in Sydney, remains the tipping point, the club reportedly fearing it would be locked out of New Zealand if it does not return by tomorrow when the stricter lockdown commences

Shortly after yesterday’s level four announcement by the Government, New Zealand Thorougbred Racing said all racing had been canned for the next four weeks.

New Zealand Rugby also said all rugby would be suspended for the next four weeks.

NZR, Super Rugby clubs and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association had been working on ways to progress a revised Super Rugby competition but those plans are now on hold.

All New Zealand teams will cease training, and at this stage there are no decisions on the future of the Super Rugby competition or the All Blacks tests scheduled for July.

Forsyth Barr Stadium was due to host a test between the All Blacks and Scotland on July 18 but there must be severe doubt over whether it will be played. Rugby in Scotland has also been canned.

The future of Super Rugby for this season looks bleak as the sides will not be able to train together for at least a month and will loss fitness and conditioning.

Feel sorry for those Highlanders who are halfway through self-isolation and will not now be able to — maybe — get back to normal until April 22. By then they will have been in self-isolation for more than a month.

Rugby Australia also postponed its proposed competition involving Super Rugby teams yesterday after its country imposed tough restrictions around travelling while Japan cancelled the remaining 42 games left in the Top League.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said the priority was the health and welfare of players, management and the wider rugby community at this challenging time.

The ANZ Premiership had been postponed for two rounds but will be on the backburner for four weeks like every other sport. Community sport across the country had been more or less canned up to May 2 so the four week lockdown will not have any impact.

Secondary and junior sport does not begin until May in many sports.

For those who are after a sports betting fix all is not lost. The TAB yesterday was offering odds on Russian club basketball, Indian club twenty20 matches and Nicaraguan club football.


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