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opinion

Ko makes right choice for fans

PULLING POWER: Lydia Ko will headline the New Zealand Open next year.

OPINION: Lydia Ko continues to do right by New Zealand sports fans by choosing to play the 2015 NZ Open.

A classic underdog tale video

OPINION: Kiwi semi-pro side's run at the Fifa Club World Cup generates the feel-good story of 2014.

Big Bash does T20 in style

Metro move a massive gamble

rugby

Accusations overshadow coach

DOWN AND OUT: Wellington captain Brad Shields was all anguish after the Lions were relegated to provincial rugby's second tier for 2015.

The Wellington Rugby Football Union has staunchly defended the process by which Earl Va'a was appointed Lions coach.

All Blacks can go up a gear

Wayne Smith thinks team can find improvement needed to stay ahead of pack.

Former Western Force and Wallabies wing Nick Cummins.

Cummins coming home video

8:29 AM  Iconic ex-Wallabies wing reportedly leaving Japan to play for the Western Force in a bid to make the RWC.

football

Club and captain up for Halbergs gallery

Auckland City FC players celebrate after beating Cruz Azul in a penalty shootout to finish third at the Fifa Club World Cup.

Auckland City FC and Ivan Vicelich nominations for top NZ sports awards accepted last minute after Fifa Club World Cup heroics.

Reid's defensive effort hailed 

All Whites captain starred for West Ham in 2-0 win over Leicester that keeps them fourth on the table.

Auckland City FC captain Ivan Vicelich,

Vicelich playing future hints video

Auckland City FC captain has plenty to mull over as he heads home for Christmas, basking in bronze glory.

cricket

Hagley heads for test sellout

BIG FEW DAYS AHEAD: Canterbury Cricket's chief executive Lee Germon, right, and Canterbury Cricket Trust chair Lee Robinson ascend the new pavilion's steps.

Hagley Oval staff prepare for a sellout crowd to welcome international test cricket back to Christchurch.

Siddle hurting, not finished

7 min ago  Australia fast bowler confronts the prospect of missing a Boxing Day test for the first time in six years.

Rajiv Mulchandani was evicted from ANZ Stadium during the Sydney Thunder-Brisbane Heat match on Sunday.

Dubious cricket betting eviction

7:46 AM  Man ejected from Sydney stadiums for "pitchsiding" to exploit a live-betting online gambling flaw.

league

Kiwis rule, woe for Warriors video

Shaun Johnson celebrates winning the Four Nations. He would later be awarded the Golden Boot for rugby league world player of the year.

2014 a year for the Kiwis to remember after their incredible turnaround from World Cup humiliation to Four Nations champions.

Code-hopping 'cool' for kids video

Boxing and changing codes positive realities of modern professional sport, says Sonny Bill Williams.

MANY TALENTS: Josh Dugan will get plenty of ball for the Dragons next year.

Dugan set to switch positions

7:24 AM  Dragons coach considers switching Josh Dugan between centre and fullback during matches next season.

basketball

Good effort from Adams in loss

ALL OVER IT: Kiwi Steven Adams is making a big impression on the NBA despite his team's struggles.

Steven Adams has posted his third double-double of the NBA season, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Thunder losing.

Breakers still striving for more

New Zealand team looking at their league-best 12-4 record and focusing not on big number, but smaller one.

LA Lakers guard Nick Young takes offence at Oklahoma City Thunder centre Steven Adams' in-your-face defence.

Adams 'sneaky, dirty'  video

Kiwi NBA centre cops a verbal lashing after his in-your-face defence drives opponent into 'crazy house'.

golf

Ko to play New Zealand Open

COMING HOME: Lydia Ko will be the gallery favourite at next year's New Zealand Open.

Kiwi golf sensation Lydia Ko will play next year's New Zealand Women's Open in Christchurch.

Christmas comes early for Ko

Quirk of women's world golf rankings caps off a remarkable year for Kiwi teen, lifting her to No 2.

Mike Kerr chats with world No 3 golfer Adam Scott at the 2014 Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines Resort.

Scott hires new caddie

19 min ago  Australia golfer finds a replacement for the semi-retired New Zealand caddie Steve Williams.

netball

Frew named as Steel captain

Wendy Frew will captain the Southern Steel for the 2015 trans-Tasman season.

Southland Steel's Wendy Frew has added another milestone to her already vast list of netball achievement.

Solia named Pulse assistant 

Former Samoan skipper Frances Solia appointed as Central Pulse assistant coach.

PLAYMAKER: Jodi Brown's ability to make those around her look better makes her hugely valuable to the Silver Ferns.

Fitness regime gets Pulse racing

The next few months of training promise to be netball's equivalent of an extreme makeover for the Pulse.

tennis

Few highlights for Kiwis in 2014

UP AND DOWN: Top Kiwi tennis player Marina Erakovic ended the season with a world ranking of 77.

Different year, similar results for NZ tennis, with Marina Erakovic ending season with lowly world ranking of 77.

Nadal ready for Aussie Open

Spanish star Rafa Nadal's Australian Open preparations on track after successful appendix surgery.

FEELING THE HEAT: Rising Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios says he's comfortable with the fact he'll carry the hopes of his nation into the Australian Open.

Kyrgios embraces the spotlight

Aussie tennis talent looks to kick off 2015 campaign with a hiss and roar.

motorsport

NZ team enter Bathurst race

STAR ATTRACTION: Former F1 star Mark Webber has confirmed he will drive a Porsche at Bathurst.

Christchurch-based team confirm two cars for the next Bathurst 12-hour race.

Christmas a bit of a trial

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revisited his German bribery trial in a mischievous Christmas card.

Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone wants Africa back

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is working to return South Africa to the schedule.

other sports

Nyika, Parker ring a bell video

David Nyika and Joseph Parker eye each other up at a friendly first encounter.

Amateur NZ boxing may be a basket case, but at the professional level Kiwis shine bright.

Ali condition 'vastly improved'

8:08 AM  Family of former heavyweight boxing world champ say he's on the mend after pneumonia scare.

SALVAGED: The Team Vestas Wind yacht was gently floated clear of the reef in St Brandon yesterday after a three-day operation.

Wrecked yacht salvaged

8:30 AM  Members of Team Vestas Wind still hopeful of rebuilding their shipwrecked yacht.

racing

Perfect start over middle distance

STEPPING UP: Jockey Sam Spratt strokes Perfect Start after winning the Group III Manawatu Cup aboard the five-year-old mare at Awapuni last weekend.

Nobody wanted Perfect Start as a yearling but buyers might have a bigger appetite for her half-sister at Karaka next month.

Busy Christmas for Collett

Jockey Jason Collett will take reins as Ball Of Muscle faces acid test in listed Canterbury feature.

BIG CHANCE: Mark Purdon.

Southerners seek reward

They are coming from near and far for a big day of harness racing at Cambridge tomorrow.