Year in Review: Sporting result of 2020

At the start of 2020, we had the Tokyo Olympics, Wimbledon and plenty more iconic events to look forward to until COVID-19 struck, when those - and countless other events - were postponed or played without spectators. 

Ths year has been one of the most unique in sport and picking its stand out results has been tough, as there has been far less to choose from than normal. 

But Newshub's so-called sporting experts had a go at picking out their favourites. 

Do you agree?

Ollie Ritchie, Newshub rugby reporter 

Argentina beating All Blacks in Newcastle in Tri-Nations 

There’s clearly one result that stands out above the rest in 2020, and it isn’t pretty reading for All Blacks fans.

The Pumas famous 25-15 victory over the All Blacks in Sydney was one of the biggest upsets in recent rugby memory. It wasn’t just the fact Argentina beat the men in the black for the first time ever, it was the manner in which they did it.

A full strength All Blacks side against a team playing their first international match in 402 days. They should’ve been lambs to the slaughter.

But the Pumas out-passioned, outmuscled and simply outplayed Ian Foster’s side for 80 minutes at BankWest stadium. 

They figured out their game plan, they countered it, and the All Blacks found themselves with no answers on the wrong side of history. 

Marcos Kremer celebrates after beating the All Blacks.
Marcos Kremer celebrates after beating the All Blacks. Photo credit: Photosport

A huge moment for the Pumas, for international rugby, and an almighty speed bump in Ian Foster’s tenure as All Blacks head coach. 

Something tells me this won’t be the last upset before the 2023 World Cup either.

William Hewett, Newshub online sport producer

Hurricanes beat Crusaders 34-32 to end Crusaders record run 

My home team the mighty Hurricanes did what no team could in the past four years - beat the Crusaders on their home patch. 

The men from the capital came to town on a mission, trying to keep their title hopes alive for not only themselves but also the Blues but also create history. 

And they did just that. The Hurricanes outmuscled and outplayed the three-time defending champions on their home patch.

The men from the capital raced out to a 31-20 lead before the home side came storming home but it wasn’t to be as the 15,000 fans experienced defeat for the first time since July 16, 2016 also against the Hurricanes. 

The result was just a blip in the round for the Southerners who went to secure their fourth consecutive Super Rugby title. 

Ngani Laumape breaks a Crusaders tackle.
Ngani Laumape breaks a Crusaders tackle. Photo credit: Photosport

Warriors thrash St. Dragons in first game back after COVID

After looking like a reserve grade side in the opening two rounds of the NRL season (pre-COVID), the Warriors kick-started the season resumption with a win beyond their wildest dreams. 

The Warriors put on a near-perfect performance with their 18-0 victory over the St. George Illawarra Dragons at Central Coast Stadium. 

They completely out enthused a poor Dragons side for the entire 80 minutes. They completed at a stunning 100 percent through the first 75 minutes of the game, completing their first 44 sets.

With many fans and pundits writing them off including the newly appointed Warriors consultant, Phil Gould, who said the Kiwi side would win only four games all season.

The Mount Smart side turned out to have an inspired season and came just two wins short of a top eight spot. 

2020 season will go down in history for the Warriors. After packing their bags and moving across the ditch for what turned out to be an 107-day stay in Australia, the Warriors put on performances beyond anyone’s expectations and could be the starting point for success to come.   

For all the adversity the side went through, 2021 could just be the year for the Warriors. 

Kodi Nikorima celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Dragons
Kodi Nikorima celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Dragons Photo credit: Photosport

Stephen Foote, Newshub online sport producer

Argentina finally beat the All Blacks

The Pumas' heroic performance to claim their first-ever win over the All Blacks in Sydney last was enough to make even the most ardent NZ supporter stand up and applaud in deference.

After some heartbreakingly close losses to the men black in recent seasons, the Pumas produced 80 minutes of jaw-droppingly staund defence and - led admirably by the educated boot and unpredictable genius of Nicolas Sanchez - earned a result that had generations of its past players crying over their steaks.

From the coaching box - where Pumas great turned assistant Mario Ledesma was overcome with emotion - to the pitch, the value of the victory was written over the faces of every player, as they celebrated with the riotous faithful in the stands in an explosion of trademark latin passion long after the final whistle had blown.

While they couldn't back it up the next week - fielding an inexplicable 10 changes in a heavy loss to the All Blacks - it's doubtful anybody in Buenos Aires particularly cared, or even noticed.

That landmark day in the afternoon sun in Sydney will sit pride of place on the Argentina Rugby mantelpiece for years to come. That is, until the next time they beat the All Blacks, which will likely be sooner than you think.

Lucy Thomson, Newshub sports reporter & producer 

Kiwi women excelling

In a year dominated by Covid-19 and where female sport arguably suffered the most, my highlight was witnessing Kiwi women excell on and off the field of play. 

The Silver Ferns back out on court and back to their best, beating the New Zealand Men's team for the very first time and sweeping the Taini Jamison Trophy series against England, 3-nil. 

On top of that the Black Ferns sevens shone, winning Team of the Year at the New Zealand Rugby Awards and finally, Raylene Castle was appointed as the first ever female chief executive of Sport NZ.

 Gayle Broughton celebrates winning Hamilton Sevens.
Gayle Broughton celebrates winning Hamilton Sevens. Photo credit: Photosport

Grant Chapman, Newshub online sports editor 

Silver Ferns beat NZ men in domestic netball series 

When last year’s fixture between the Ferns and their male counterparts was first mooted, I became involved in a somewhat animated debate with a female workmate over who should prevail.

In my mind, the men would be too big, too strong and too fast - and so it proved, although the physical challenge they provided undoubtedly helped the women lift their game to the point where they would ultimately lift the World Cup off Australia.

This year, as COVID-19 played havoc with international sport, Netball NZ again turned to the men, whose own World Cup was among the events cancelled during the pandemic.

Again, their two encounters were a fascinating contrast in styles, but this time, the rebuilding Silver Ferns took out the battle of the sexes and struck another blow for gender equality in Aotearoa.

Maria Folau goes for a shot at goal and NZ Men’s captain Matt Wetere.
Maria Folau goes for a shot at goal and NZ Men’s captain Matt Wetere. Photo credit: Photosport

Brad Lewis, Newshub online sports producer

Israel Adesanya beats Paulo Costa at UFC 253 

This was a statement win for the middleweight champion, who had controversially retained his title earlier in the year in one of the worse championship bouts in UFC history.

Costa looked a serious threat on paper - an intimidating striker who had run through his first five UFC fights and to the casual fans, he was an indestructible force.

in reality, Costa was an untested, basic striker, with a terrible gameplan, who got found out by one of the best combat sport athletes on the planet.

'The Last Stylebender' barely got touched in a flawless striking display, ending the fight midway through the second round, before dry humping Costa post-fight in an image that went viral.