Friday, June 5, 2009

Test Rugby This Weekend 6 June

England v Argentina in Manchester
Australia v Barbarians (UK) RFC in Sydney-Non Test
Free State Cheetahs v British and Irish Lions in Bloemfontein
United States v Wales in Bridgeview, Illinois
Canada v Georgia in Denver (Churchill Cup, Pool A)
Argentina 'A' v England Saxons in Denver (Church. Cup, Pool B-Non Test)
Lithuania v Netherlands in Vilnius (WCQ Euro. R3 Playoff)
China v Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur (Asia Nations Div.2, Final)
India v Pakistan in Kuala Lumpur (Asia Nations Div.2, 3rd-4th)
Kyrgystan v Uzbekistan in Tashkent (Asia Regions 2)

Argentina prepare to sink their puma teeth into a vunerable England outfit fresh from a 26-33 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians. Argentina has what would appear to be a strong side whilst England are rebuilding with a youthful side.

The British and Irish lions take on the Free State Cheetahs in their third tour match. On Wednesday they gave the lowly Golden Lions a 74-10 hiding, wiping out the stutters and floundering of their first match. The Cheetahs will provide stiffer opposition.

Wales complete their North American tour with a test against the USA. The USA Eagles performed well enough losing 10-27 to Ireland last weekend and will want to improve on that performance with the Churchill Cup just around the corner. For the last two seasons the USA has finished last in the Cup and will want to see progress being made this year.

The Churchill Cup gets underway this weekend. Georgia is the new team in the competition and will face Canada on Saturday. Argentina 'A' and last year's winner England Saxons do battle in the other pool match. Unlike previous tournaments, the 2009 version will be held in one venue, Denver, Colorado, USA.

The saga of Lithuanian rugby continues on the shores of the warm summer Baltic shores. Well, actually just a little inland in Vilnius. Lithuania has now played an amazing fourteen rugby tests on the trot without defeat, going back to 2006. Two weeks ago they defeated Israel in the World Cup qualifying match in Netanya, winning the Round 2 playoff. Now they face the Netherlands at home for the Round three playoff. Whereas Israel was below them in the rankings, the Netherlands were the leaders of the European Nations Cup Division 2B at the halfway stage thus qualifying for the playoff. This is a division ABOVE Lithuania. The boys from the Baltics will have a tough match ahead of them but it would not surprise the rugby world if they won, and thus qualified for playoffs next season.

China and Malaysia square off in Kuala Lumpur in the Asia Nations Division 2 final. A jaded Chinese side struggled against Pakistan but will be a different propsect on Saturday. India and Pakistan playoff for 3rd-4th, the loser will drop to the third division for 2010.

And finally an Asian regional rugby tournement gets away in Tashkent on Saturday. Uzbekistan, the host, faces Kyrgyzstan in the first game. The other participant, Jordan, fresh from a 94-0 warmup against a Palestinian club side, plays their first game next Wednesday.

I'll post some more detailed previews in the next day or so, time permitting.

1 comment:

  1. Had to make an adjustment to the venue; Denver Colorado and not Ottawa, Canada.