A brief look at the sports stories that are making news this morning.
In the paper
Patrick McKendry: As an empire rises... another falls
The Crusaders and the Blues have been the standard-bearers for New Zealand rugby - usually it's the Crusaders setting the standard and the Blues having to bear it. Is the tide turning?
Blues on the up, Crusaders on the wane?
Moral victories don't win championships but the Blues suggested in their narrow loss to the Reds in Brisbane that they could finish higher on the table than the Crusaders this season.
Peptide diary part two: Legs strong, no muscle fatigue, but very grumpy
In a month-long project, reporter Steve Deane took peptides to measure their effect on his athletic performance.
It's time for my first injection. Oh dear. I get the maths horribly wrong and end up giving myself 10 times the recommended dosage.
Southern Steel the game
The battling Northern Mystics let a chance to seize some all-important momentum slip them by, returning to their disjointed and error-ridden ways against the Southern Steel in Invercargill last night, writes Dana Johannsen.
The Steel's 1.98m scoring machine Jhaniele Fowler proved a demoralising presence for the Mystics, with the home side seemingly able to score at will, while the Aucklanders were laboured on attack.
Schmidt named Ireland coach
Joe Schmidt was hired as Ireland coach overnight, charged with reviving the fortunes of the floundering national team and building on his successful spell in charge of Leinster in which he captured back-to-back European Cups.
Kings of the north
Schmidt's hiring means another New Zealander in a top role in European rugby. Fellow Kiwi Warren Gatland currently coaches Wales and will lead the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia later this year. Former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith was set to take up a role with England last year before deciding to work with the Chiefs instead.
NBA veteran comes out
NBA veteran Jason Collins became the first active male player in the four major American professional sports to come out as gay.
He said it
"If I had my way, someone else would have already done this.
"Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."
Panthers crush Eels
Two players not good enough to make the NRL media guide and a playmaker recycled from the NSW Cup starred as Penrith's patch-up outfit crushed Parramatta 44-12 on Monday night.
More bad news
To complete a poor night for the Eels, co-captain Tim Mannah was carried from the field with what appeared a serious ankle injury.
Aston Villa and Sunderland meet in a vital Premier League game as Villa look to gain some distance from the relegation zone. Match report after 9am.
Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from the Super 15 action over the weekend. Her Stats Don't Lie column will be live across all Herald digital platforms from 12pm.
By the numbers
0 number of times the Pulse had beaten the Magic prior to Sunday night's win
10 years since Australian Lleyton Hewitt was number one in the ATP world rankings
31 current NRL players to be interviewed by Asada in the coming weeks.
Quote of the day
"Don't go for 2. I need 13+"
A tweet sent from the account of injured North Queensland Cowboys utility Robert Lui as captain Johnathan Thurston lined up a second half penalty. It was later revealed the tweet was sent by Lui's cousin.