Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rugby Tests: Asia Division 1-The Games

China v Singapore in Tainan

All we know is that the Chinese team could be a little below full strength due to the fact that Chinese rugby players from the armed forces have been excluded from the team due to political reasons.

One thing for certain is that China is a rising power in Asian rugby, mirroring its economic rise. I remember the thrill of hearing of China's first international rugby match back in 1997. They lost 3-33 to Singapore. Since then they have, with an occasional hiccup, gradually rising to be a serious contender for promotion to the top level of Asian rugby in 1999.

With a bit of luck these two teams can put all their recent troubles behind them and go out and have a darn good game of rugby. That's what it's all about after all, isn't it?

Previous Encounters
16.06.2007 China 36-20 in Singapore (Asia Nations Div.3)
19.05.2001 China 33-6 in Guangzhou (SC Tri-Nations/Asia Shield)
25.06.2000 China 15-13 in Aomori (Asia Championship, Div.2)
01.11.1997 Singapore 33-3 in Singapore (Friendly)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Asia Table-Singapore 7th, China 8th

Prediction: China to sneak in, a win by 2 points

Not available

For a complete list of all China's and of Singapore's international rugby test matches, go to http://www.rugbyinternational.net/

China Taipei v Sri Lanka in Tainan

Historically China-Taipei has been the number 3 nations in Asian rugby, behind Korea and Japan. In recent years this situation has changed as the game has spread across Asia since the first Asian Championships in 1969. China Taipei now finds itself struggling to hold onto a place in this division, one level below the top five. Recent losses to Hong Kong, and last year to both Kazakhstan and China back this up.

Sri Lanka comes to the far East with all sorts of political problems within its union. As has been explained in another thread, they arrived with two captains as a result of a serious public fued over team selection that threatened to bury rugby in this nation. Its difficult to tell how this will affect the team; it may just be the glue that helps it to stick together. Sri Lanka's recent record puts it into the position of favourite for this tournament. Recent losses has only been to teams in Division 1; Kazakhstan 17-24 and Hong Kong 14-42 in the last two seasons.

Previous Encounters
13.10.2002 China-Taipei 56-18 in Pusan (Asia Games)
18.12.1998 China-Taipei 26-20 in Bangkok (Asian Games-Bronze medal)
17.01.1998 China-Taipei 31-27 in Bangkok (WCQ Asia R2)
26.10.1994 China Taipei 25-9 in Kuala Lumper (14th Asia Champ.)
20.09.1992 China Taipei 35-9 in Hong Kong (13th Asia Champ.)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Sri Lanka 6th, China Taipei 9th

Prediction: With Sri Lanka's troubles and China-Taipei playing in fron of their home crowd will just be enough for the Chinese
China Taipei to win by 3 points.

For a complete list of all China-Taipei's and of Sri lanka's test results go to www.rugbyinternational.net

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