Sunday, August 30, 2009

Test Rugby Results 29 August

South Africa 32, Australia 25 in Perth (Tri Nations)

After building a comfortable 22-6 lead at half time South Africa cruised to a win over Australia in Perth. The result knocks Australia out of trophy contention, whilst places a South African hand, and more, on the Trophy. South Africa's fourth try and bonus point will be vital if the outcome against New Zealand is a loss.

Uganda 18, Kenya 13 in Kampala (Elgon Cup, 2nd Leg)

Kernya went into this game with an eight point aggregate advantage so despite losing they retain the cup which is a symbol of rugby supremacy in East Africa.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

International Test Rugby: South Africa on Trek

South Africa v Australia in Perth (Tri Nations)

Venue: Subiaco Oval

Australia may be out of contention for the Tri Nations Trophy but they have pride to play for when they take on the South Africans in Perth.

South Africa needs only to win one of their three remaining test matches on this three test tour to Australasia to take the Trophy. South Africa does not usually travel well so the Kiwis will be watching keenly and will be hoping Australia can to them a big favour and win this test.

Australia has an uphill struggle without leading players Stirling Mortlock, Nathan Sharp and Berrick Barnes. Like New Zealand, their back-up players are struggling to cope with international rugby at this level. Coach Robbie Deans is rapidly running out of quality players to plug the gaps caused by injury.

Robbie Deans will again be under the spotlight if the Aussies under perform again
Photo thanks to

Last Five Encounters
08.08.2009 South Africa 27-19 in Capetown (Tri Nations)
20.08.2008 South Africa 53-8 in Johannesburg (Tri Nations)
23.08.2008 Australia 27-15 in Durban (Tri Nations)
19.07.2008 Australia 16-9 in Perth (Tri Nations)
07.07.2007 Australia 25-17 in Sydney (Tri Nations)

GWC Rugby Rankings: South Africa 1st, Australia 3rd

Prediction: South Africa by 9 points


15 James O'Connor, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Adam Ashley Cooper, 11 Peter Hynes, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Richard Brown, 7 George Smith (c), 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 James Horwill, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota Nau, 17 Al Baxter, 18 Dean Mumm, 19 David Pocock, 20 Will Genia, 21 Quade Cooper, 22 Drew Mitchell.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans

South Africa
15 Ruan Pienaar, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (c), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Schalk Burger, 20 Ricky Januarie , 21 Adi Jacobs, 22 Frans Steyn.
Head Coach: Peter de Villiers

Test Rugby: Elgon Cup 2nd Leg

Kenya v Uganda in Kampala (Elgon Cup, 2nd leg)


Kenya travels to Kampala with an eight point advantage having won the first leg 30-22 in Nairobi two weeks ago. Kenya has not won in Kampala since 2005. Winning away between these two teams is very difficult to do.

Last Five Encounters
15.08.2009 Kenya 30-22 in Nairobi (Elgon Cup)
16.08.2008 Kenya 39-20 in Nairobi (Elgon Cup, 2nd leg)
24.05.2008 Uganda 20-3 in Kampala (Elgon Cup, 1st leg)
26.08.2007 Uganda 24-12 in Antananaviro (CAR Africa Cup, semi-final)
11.08.2007 Kenya 35-15 in Nairobi (Elgon Cup, 2nd leg)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Africa Table-Kenya 4th, Uganda 5th

Prediction: Uganda by 5 points

Neither team lists are available at this time

Test Match Rugby: France Amateur in Brazil

The French Amateur rugby selection, based on non-professional players from competition Federale 1, will play two friendly tests in Brazil against the home national side.

Brazil participated, earlier in the year, in the World Cup Qualifying rounds of America Zones, held in Chile and Uruguay. This competition was also for CONSUR A.
25 April v Chile in Santiago Lost 3-79
29 April v Uruguay in Montevideo L 3-71
2 May v Paraguay in Montevideo W 36-21 (Not WCQ, CONSUR A only)

The Brazilian team celebrate after their 2008 victory over Trinidad-Tobago which allowed them to qualify for the World Cup Qualifying tournament in Montevideo 2009.

France Amateur v Brazil at l’Estádio da ADC Parahyba, São Jose dos Campos

Prediction: France Amateur by 30 points


France Amateur Squad
Mehdi Ameur (ES Catalane)
Bertrand Artero (Carcassonne)
Guillaume August (US Tyrosse)
Benat Auzqui (Peyrehorade)
Fabio Da Silva (Villeurbanne)
Renaud Delmas (Périgueux)
Guillaume Dulay (Valence D’Agen)
Rémi Escudier (Périgueux)
Nicolas Frecaut (SO Chambéry)
Jean Gourdouze (Chateaurenard)
Baptiste Giacobbi (AC Bobigny)
Bertrand Igau (ES Argelès Gazost)
Régis Laborde (Marmande)
Jean-Baptiste Lafite (Périgueux)
Julien Lesgourgues (Tyrosse)
Christophe Marchand (Marmande)
Nicolas Mateos (Marmande)
Joris Matheron (Chateaurenard)
Sylvain Peguillan (Lavaur)
Simon Pinet (Orléans)
Guillaume Pszonak (Montluçon)
Clément Rivier (Stade Dijon)
Vincent Roitg (ES Catalane)
David Vaudaine (Marseille)
Richard Wild (USA Limoges)
Ludovic Zanni (Chateaurenard)

Head Caoch: Yves Ajac

Brazil Squad
Alejandro Arce (Desterro)
Fabio Bernardis (São José)
Erick Cogliandro (São José)
Rejes Comoretto (Desterro)
João Luis Da Ros (Desterro)
Gabriel Cristiano da Silva (Unibrasil/CRC)
Henrique Dantas (São José)
Rafael Dawailibi (São José)
Gregory Dornelles (San Diego)
André Fujita (São José)
Daniel Gregg (Niterói)
Danilo Lima (Rio Branco)
Diego Lopes (Pasteur)
Aleksander Lotto (SPAC)
Fernando Martins (São José)
Julian Menutti (Bandeirantes)
Ramiro Mina (Bandeirantes)
Julian Morales-Meletti (Pasteur)
Fernando Portugal (Bandeirantes)
Lucas Rodrigues Duque (São José)
Pedro Rosa (Bandeirantes)
Bruno Rossi (São José)
Leonardo Serrano (Bandeirantes)
Juan Tomas (Bandeirantes)
Felipe Zeni (Pasteur)

Head Coach: Pierre Paparemborde

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Test Rugby Result: New Zealand defeats Australia-Just!

New Zealand 19, Australia 18 in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup; Tri Nations)

New Zealand defeated Australia 19-18 scoring a penalty goal only minutes from the end of this pulsating test match. Australia held a points advantage for most of the game. Ahead 12-3 at halftime they tackled the All Blacks relentlessly forcing many errors and turnovers. But the Aussies just didn't get enough possession to score a try.

New Zealand scored the only try mid-way through the second half and then held off a desperate last minute Australian attack that very nearly succeeded in producing a try. It was a great game of rugby full of action.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Test Rugby: Tri Nations Do or Die

New Zealand v Australia in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup; Tri Nations)

Venue: Sydney

There is so much hinging on this test match. The team that losers will almost certainly bow out of any Tri Nations contentions. Also up for grabs is the Bledisloe Cup, the trophy that is the symbol of rugby rivalry between Australia and New Zealand.

Both Australia and New Zealand have been playing test rugby recently with their backs to the wall. The pressure is on for both teams to perform now that the half way point to the 2011 Rugby World Cup has been reached.

New Zealand is bringing Daniel Carter back into test rugby after a 10 month break mostly due to injury. The pressure will be on him to perform and to help turn the tide for this under performing All Black side. The pressure is also on head coach Graham Henry. Another loss would put real doubts in the minds of New Zealanders that this may not be the man to lead the All Blacks into a Rugby World Cup.

Australian coach Robbie Deans is also under pressure from the Australian press and Wallaby fans. Another loss and he will also be under the spotlight.

Last Five Encounters
18.07.2009 New Zealand 22-16 in Auckland (Bledisloe Cup, Tri Nations)
01.11.2008 New Zealand 19-14 in Hong Kong (Bledisloe Cup)
13.09.2008 New Zealand 28-24 in Brisbane (Bledisloe Cup, Tri Nations)
12.08.2008 New Zealand 39-10 in Auckland (Bledisloe Cup, Tri Nations)
26.07.2008 Australia 34-19 in Sydney (Bledisloe Cup, Tri Nations)

Last year Australia walked over the All Blacks in the Sydney test. New Zealand won the 2005 test in Sydney 30-13.

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-New Zealand 2nd, Australia 3rd
Oceania Table-New Zealand 1st, Australia 2nd

Prediction: New Zealand by 7


15 James O'Connor
14 Lachlan Turner
13 Adam Ashley-Cooper
12 Berrick Barnes
11 Drew Mitchell
10 Matt Giteau
9 Luke Burgess
8 Richard Brown
7 George Smith, Capt.,
6 Rocky Elsom
5 Nathan Sharpe
4 James Horwill
3 Alistair Baxter
2 Stephen Moore
1 Benn Robinson

16 Tatafu Polota-Nau
17 Benjamin Alexander
18 Dean Mumm
19 David Pocock
20 William Genia
21 Ryan Cross
22 Peter Hynes
Head Coach: Robbie Deans

New Zealand
15 Mils Muliaina
14 Josevata Rokocoko
13 Conrad Smith
12 Luke McAlister
11 Sitiveni Sivivatu
10 Daniel Carter
9 James Cowan
8 Kieran Read
7 Richard McCaw, Capt.,
6 Jerome Kaino
5 Isaac Ross
4 Bradley Thorn
3 Owen Franks
2 Andrew Hore
1 Tony Woodcock

16 Aled de Malmanche
17 John Afoa
18 Jason Eaton
19 Rodney So'oialo
20 Brendon Leonard
21 Stephen Donald
22 Ma'a Nonu
Head Coach: Graham Henry

Friday, August 14, 2009

Test Rugby: Elgon Cup Kenya v Uganda

Kenya v Uganda in Nairobi (Elgin Cup, 1st leg)

Venue: Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds

elgon cup-poster 2009
Poster thanks to Fred Ollows, Kenya RFU.

The Elgon Cup is played for annually by Kenya and Uganda. Played over two legs, the team with the highest aggregate takes the Trophy. At present it is held by Kenya. Mt Elgon straddles the Kenya-Uganda border.

Strangely, this trophy is being played for after the main hustle and bustle of competitive African rugby. In the past the first leg was used as a warm-up to African Cup matches, with the second leg played later.

Last year Uganda qualified for the finals of both the World Cup African qualifiers and of the African Cup. In the final this year they faced Tunisia, for the first time, home and away, and were outclassed by their northern foes. Kenya failed to qualify last year and found themselves one tier lower than their western neighbours, playing for the 'African Trophy' in Safi, the Moroccan tourist resort. They lost 11-29 to Morocco in the final.

So neither Uganda nor Kenya come into this match with the heady reputations they built in 2005 and 2006. Both will be out to prove a point-supremacy of East African rugby. Kenya has fared better than Uganda in this tussle in the past, even when Uganda has been, as per 2008, superior in other aspects of African rugby. Much must be made of home ground advantage, a major factor in these test matches.

Kenya women play Uganda women in the curtain-raiser.

Previous Encounters
16.08.2008 Kenya 39-20 in Nairobi (Elgon Cup, 2nd leg)
24.05.2008 Uganda 20-3 in Kampala (Elgon Cup, 1st leg)
26.08.2007 Uganda 24-12 in Antananaviro (CAR Africa Cup, Semi-final)
11.08.2007 Kenya 35-15 in Nairobi (Elgon Cup 2nd leg)
26.05.2007 Uganda 29-10 in Kampala (Elgon Cup, 1st leg)

GWC Rugby Rankings: Africa Table-Uganda 4th, Kenya 7th

Prediction: Kenya by 5 points


Kenya Squad
Dennis Abenga (Nakuru RFC)
Biko Adema (Nondescripts RUFC)
Patrice Agunda (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Edwin Alubaka (Kenya Commercial Bank)
Andrew Amonde (Kenya Commercial Bank)
Lavin Asego (Mwamba RFC)
Michael Aung, Capt. (Nondescripts RUFC)
Naftaly Bondo (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Charles Kanyi (Nondescripts RUFC)
Daniel Kiptoo (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Wilson Kopondo (Mean Machine)
Vincent Mose (Impala RFC)
Peter Mutai (Kenya Commercial Bank)
Joel Ng'ang'a (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Victor Oduor (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Paul Oimbo (Impala RFC)
Vincent Ong'era (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Allan Onyango (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Anthony Ogot (Kenya Commercial Bank)
Horace Otieno (Mwamba)
Nato Simiyu (Impala RFC)
Dan Weku (Impala RFC)
Head Coach: Michael Otieno

Ronald Adigasi (Entebbe Mongers)
Eric Butime
Dennis Etuket (G4S Pirates)
Brain Jjemba
Paul Kabazzi
Lenny Kikonyogo
Joel Kimuli (G4S Pirates)
Athony Kinene (G4S Pirates)
Benon Kizza
Allan Matsiko (UTL Kobs)
Solomon Mawanda (G4S Pirates) Aged 21
Alex Mubiru (MTN Heathens)
Ronald Mwisaka (MTN Heathens) Aged 27
Oscar Ochulu
Mathias Ochwo (MTN Heathens) Aged 27
Brain Odong (UTL Kobs)
Romano Ogwal
Jonathan Onen
Scot Oluoch
Robert Sseguya (MTN Heathens)
Moses Soita (Capt)
Michael Wokorach (MTN Heathens)
Head Coach: Yayiro Musisi Kasasa

Other comments on the game


"Both the Kenya Rugby Football Union and the Uganda Rugby Union have decided to go on with the planned Elgon Cup fixtures despite the untimely withdrawal of East African Breweries as the sponsor for the matches. This leaves the two unions to dig deep into their pockets to foot the expenses to be incurred. The players may also have to forego some of the comfort they are accustomed to during such assignments. The Women's teams from both countries are also scheduled to curtain raise for the Men and this increases the expenses. Both unions will now rely heavily on the gate takings to offset the costs. As such we must all turn out in large numbers to support the teams on both sides of Migingo the border.

It is good that an experienced sevens trio have got the back row job. They should use their superior fitness, one on one tackling skills and advanced ball contesting experience to make every break down a nightmare for the Ugandans (I wish). The mid-field pairing is interesting.. I have doubts as to how Agunda will weather the rush defence and ruthless tackling the Ugandan backs are famed for, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Adema should combine well with Mose from the back and either of his wingers. If only the two used some brain at times and not just brawn, they may cause a nightmare for the Ugandans out wide. Asego's control and position finding will be key as well as his ability to move the ball quickly into space from congested areas.

The forwards battle will be mighty and I think will be drawn between the two sides. I don't think the forwards are very imaginative save for "go to Kiptoo" so we expect a lot of that. And the South African influence on the Ugandan game will also make that their preferred route. There will be no mixing of play between the forwards and the backs, the players either completely unwilling to comprehend such tactics or the technical team unable to translate it for them. So expect to see a lot of staccato play interspersed with sheer moments of brilliance from the backs".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Canadian Rugby Players Head Overseas

Below is the full list of Canadian rugby players who will be with professional sides in Europe. Seven new players join the professional ranks.

Magners League
Kevin Tkachuk - Glasgow Warriors
DTH Van der Merwe – Glasgow Warriors

Guinness Championship

James Pritchard – Fullback - Bedford Blues
Scott Franklin – Prop - Cornish Pirates
Justin Mensah-Coker – Wing – Moseley
Bryn Keys – Centre - Moseley
Sean Michael Stephen – Back Row - Plymouth Albion
Tyler Hotson – Lock - Plymouth Albion
Stu Alut - Lock – Birmingham & Solihull
Ryan Tomlinson - Centre - Birmingham-Solihull
Oliver Atkinson – Lock – Coventry
Aaron Carpenter - #8 – Coventry
Phil MacKenzie – Wing - Coventry
Adam Kleeberger – Back Row - Rotherham Titans

English National 1
Chuck Baumberg – Fly Half – Esher

French Top 14
Jamie Cudmore - Clermont Auvergne

French Div 2
Josh Jackson – Lock - Bordeaux-Begles
Luke Tait – Lock - Stade Montois

Italian Super 10
Phil Murphy - #8 – Viadana
Michael Barbieri – Prop – Benetton Treviso

College Players
Stan McKeen – Flanker – Oxford University Law
Matt Evans – Hartpury College

Academy Sides
Richard Townsend – Gloucester Academy/Hartpury College


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rugby Test Result: South Africa in control of Tri Nations

South Africa 29, Australia 17 in Capetown (Tri Nations)

South Africa placed itself in control of the Tri Nations competition with this win over Australia. Although out-scored 2 tries to 1, the South Africans were magnificent on defence and forced the Australians into many errors, many of which kicking mystro Morne Steyn converted into points, 24 of them.

An early try by Australia had the feel of an upset on the way. It was short-lived. By halftime South Africa had built up a handy lead. Australia lifted their game in the second half but South Africa maintained a tight defence and forced Australia into further errors.

South Africa now head off to Australia and New Zealand to play the final tests. A win in one of them will ensure it the title.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rugby Test Match: South Africa v Australia

Australia v South Africa in Capetown (Tri Nations)

Newlands Rugby Ground

It's difficult to see beyond a South African win here. Australia has struggled in the forwards against the All Blacks and the All Blacks have struggled against South Africa. Unless the Aussies play a blinder and the Springbox have a dreadful day I can't see Australia winning.

A win here will put South Africa firmly in control of the competition with a win away in the next three weeks sealing the trophy. The last time Australia played in South Africa was late August last year. They lost 8-53!

Last Five Encounters
30.08.2008 South Africa 53-8 in Johannesburg (Tri Nations)
23.08.2008 Australia 27-15 in Durban (Tri Nations)
19.07.2008 Australia 16-9 in Perth (Tri Nations)
07.07.2007 Australia 25-17 in Sydney (Tri Nations)
16.06.2007 South Africa 22-19 in Capetown (Tri Nations)

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-South Africa 1st, Australia 3rd

Prediction: South Africa by 13 points


Morne Steyn has been South Africa's key player against the All Blacks. Can he cause the demise of the Wallabies as well?
Image thanks to

South Africa:
15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (c), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Adi Jacobs.
Head Coach: Peter de Villiers


Ali Baxter will lead the Australian front row in their battle with the Springbox.
Image thanks to

Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Stirling Mortlock (c), 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 George Smith, 6 Richard Brown, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 James Horwill, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Dean Mumm, 19 David Pocock, 20 Will Genia, 21 Peter Hynes, 22 James O'Connor.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Test Rugby 1 August 2009: New Zealand v South Africa

South Africa

15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (c), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Adi Jacobs, 22 Wynand Olivier.

Head Coach: Peter de Villiers

New Zealand

15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Rodney So'oialo, 7 Richie McCaw (capt), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 John Afoa, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Kieran Read, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Cory Jane.

Head Coach: Graham Henry

Test Rugby: South Africa Too Good

South Africa 31, New Zealand 19 in Durban (Tri Nations)

Well, much the same as Bloemfontein. A few moments of inspirational rugby, otherwise it was a hard grind between two defensive offenses in which South Africa came out on top.

New Zealand has a long way to go before they come within cooee of the team that swept all before it in Europe last November. Too many wrong options, too many handling errors, too many turnovers and too many penalties given away. It was a woeful display.

South Africa kept on doing what, at the moment, it does so well. Dominate up front, grind the opposition into the turf, defend like crazy and sweep up after the opposition makes the errors under pressure. Sounds a bit like how New Zealand used to play. It ain't pretty but it makes for a healthy scoreboard at the end of the game. The Springbox must now be favourites to take the 2009 Tri Nations trophy.

And the overall summary. 8,000 empty seats for a test match between the two top teams in the world signals warning signs for the directors of international test rugby. Is there too much rugby at this level? So much so that the crowds are staying away in their droves?