English Open, Tuesday from 1am/ 7am then daily.
Seemingly shunted into the background by the emergence of darts as the “must go to” sporting event, snooker still holds its place as one of the world’s foremost indoor sports. Many still prefer the hushed atmosphere snooker brings compared with the raucous goings- on at the darts. The big snooker tournaments remain huge crowd- pullers in England and elsewhere. The English Open, in its second season and part of the World Snooker Tour, runs for a week at the Barnsley Metrodome offering the 128 hopefuls who take to the table a $ 130,000 winner’s cheque and, more importantly, the chance to pocket $ 1.85 million for any player who can complete the Home Nations grand slam by winning the English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Opens. This is the seventh ranking event of the 2017- 18 season. China’s Liang Wenbo won the inaugural English Open in 2016, beating Judd Trump 10- 8 in the final. Wenbo takes the top seeding this time, with 2016 world champion, England’s Mark Selby, at the other end of the draw as second seed. All the big names will be there, with the expected strong English and Chinese contingents. Australian Neil Robertson continues to fly the flag for this part of the world, currently ranked in the top eight. No New Zealanders figure on the world rankings. Southern United v Auckland, Forsyth Barr Stadium 2pm.