Thursday, December 31, 2009


I wish all viewers a happy new year and all the best for 2010

Friday, December 25, 2009





Wednesday, December 23, 2009

International Rugby: Hong Kong Completes European Tour


Germany 24, Hong Kong 14 in Heidelberg

Czech Republic 17, Hong Kong 5 in Prague

Netherlands 25, Hong Kong 10 in Maarstrict

Hong Kong ended its European tour without a victory. It would be wrong to regard this venture as unsuccessful. Hong Kong may have dropped in IRB rankings as a result of these losses but this venture has opened the way for similar cross-continental tours. Perhaps the timing was out.

The team experienced some cold European weather. It may be wise in future to play in Europe in September or May. The home sides played mostly without their strong foreign-based players. The same will happen in September or May. It doesn't really matter. Its the playing of such test matches, the breaking down of narrow vision and of widening up the game into a true world game that is important.

So, good on you Hong Kong. May we now see Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands try an East Asian tour next year. Lets see how they cope with 30 deg C and 90% humidity in Hong Kong in May!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Test Rugby: Hong Kong in Europe

Hong Kong v Germany in Heidelberg (Friendly)

Venue: Fritz-Grunebaum Sports Park


Hong Kong is making its first tour of Europe. Today they play Germany, Czech Republic Wednesday and then Netherlands next Saturday. This is a very ambitious tour for Hong Kong who finished 4th at the end of the 2009 Asia Nations Series. Thisa tour is pert of the preparation in Hong Kong's bid for a place at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

This is not the first time Hong Kong has ventured far. Last season they played two tests in Tunisia before they began their bid to win the Asia Nations Championship. It certainly is refreshing to see cross-continental test matches being played.

Their opponents Germany is taking the opportunity to blood new players before the European Nations Cup fixtures early next year. A number of regulars are either unavailable or have retired. Colin Grzanna and former captain Jens Schmidt are two who have retired. Unavailable are Robert Moir, Eckhert, Franke, Bodo Sieber, Widiker and Faber. Despite the disappointment of not being able to field their strongest team a number of France-based players have indicated they will be available for most of the 2010 fixtures.

Mustafa Güngör is the new captain of Germany. Image thanks to

After this match both teams will appear on the World Table of the GWC Rugby Rankings.

Prediction: It's a bit like comparing apples with oranges but I would expect the Germans to be stronger on their home turf whilst the East Asians might find the climate change their biggest problem. Germany by 7 points.



Hong Kong Squad
Jon Abel (DeA Tigers)
Timothy Alexander (Valley)
Alex Baddeley (Valley)
Jack Bennett (Valley)
Renaud Chavanis (Valley)
Fan, Shun Kei (DeA Tigers)
Charles French (Hong Kong Football Club)
Gavin Hadley (Newcastle University, England)
Nick Hewson (Valley)
Benjamin Ho (DeA Tigers)
Kwok, Ka Chun (Kowloon)
Simon Leung (Hong Kong Football Club)
Andy Li (DeA Tigers)
Thomas McColl (Kowloon)
Michael McKee (Watsonians RFC, Scotland)
Graham Manchester (DeA Tigers)
Alex Ng (Valley)
Kenzo Pannell (Causeway Bay RFC)
Sebastian Perkins (Hong Kong Football Club)
Adam Raby (DeA Tigers)
Keith Robertson (DeA Tigers)
Salom Yiu, Kam Shing (Valley)
So, Hok Ken (Kowloon)
Pete Spizzirri (Hong Kong Football Club)
Tsang, Hing Hung (DeA Tigers)
Rowan Varty (DeA Tigers)
Mark Wright (Hong Kong Football Club)
Ivan Zenovic (DeA Tigers)
Head Coach: Dai Rees,
Manager: Fung, Kai Hang


Germany Squad
Benjamin Brierley (Ampthill RUFC, England) Aged 23, 4 tests
Kehoma Brenner (RG Heidelberg) 24, 9
Anjo Buckman (Heidelberger RK) 20, New cap
Timothy Coly (RG Heidelberg) 30, 31
Domenick Davies (Bournemouth RFC, England) ?, 1
Kieron Davies (Ampthill RUFC, England) 29, 25
Mustafa Güngör, Capt. (RG Heidelberg) 28, 22
Raphael Hackl (Berliner RC) 22, New cap
Alexander Hauck (SC Frankfurt 1880) 21, New cap
Alexander Hug (TSV Handschuhsheim) 25, 4
Jamie Houston (SC Frankfurt 1880) 27, New cap
Timothy Kasten (Heidelberger RK) 26, 20
Benjamin Krause (DSV 1878 Hannover) 27, 11
Alexander Pipa (TSV Handschuhsheim) ?, 1
Daniel Preussner (SC Frankfurt 1880) 23, New cap
Patrick Schliwa (Heidelberger RK) 24, New cap
Benjamin Simm (DSV 1878 Hannover) 23, 7
Mark Sztyndera (SC Frankfurt 1880) 23, New cap
Edmore Takaendesa (RG Heidelberg) 29, 7
Marcus Trick (SC Neuenheim) 32, 16
Benjamin Ulrich (RK 03 Berlin) 21, New cap
Clemens von Grumbkow (Cavalieri Prato, Italy) 26, 20
Rolf Wacha (SC Frankfurt 1880) 28, 5
Manuel Wilhelm (RG Heidelberg 28, 20

Eight players making their test debuts: Hackl, Sztyndera, Ulrich, Buckman, Hauck, Preussner, Schliwa and Houston

Related articles:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

International Rugby Results: Saturday 5 December

Barbarians (UK) RFC 25, New Zealand 18 at Twickenham (Non test)
Peru 47, Costa Rica 8 in La Guácima (CONSUR B)
Colombia 34, Venezuela 0 in La Guácima (CONSUR B)

The Barbarians recorded a rare defeated of New Zealand 25-18 at Twickenham, thanks to three tries by South African Brian Habana. Colombia took the CONSUR B title by defeating Venezuela 34-0 whilst Peru took third place with a 47-8 win over hosts Costa Rica.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

International Rugby: Barbarians Take on the All Blacks

New Zealand v Barbarians (UK) RFC at Twickenham (Non test)

Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

Although not a test match, the All Blacks usually take this match as seriously. It always comes at the end of a northern tour or more often the not the New Zealander's find themselves undefeated. Open rugby yes. A defeat-No! Certainly in the past the Barbarian team has taken on a British and Irish Lions look and it has, sometimes, been a battle to the death. Well that's not what, traditionally , it is supposed to be.

Back in 1948 the touring Australian rugby team were a bit short of the readies and their French and North American legs of their northern tour was in some doubt. A match was arranged against the Barbarians as a fund raiser for the Aussies. The Barbarians won 9-6 and a traditional fixture against touring teams was established.

There has been famous games. The 1963-64 All Blacks played open rugby to defeat the club 36-3, with captain Wilson Whineray selling an outrageous dummy to score the last try.

In 1973 the All Blacks were again involved in a match against the Barbarians and again the match was a cracker. Phil Bennett started a movement well inside his 22, he jinked, he side stepped the end result being many hands played the ball until Gareth Edwards scored a magnificent try in the corner.

All who attend such matches by the Barbarian club at Twickenham fully expect a match played traditionally, with open rugby, plenty of passing and a game played in the best of spirits. It hasn't always been that way. Lets hope this game will.

For New Zealand its the last match of their year. They will play their 'second' team which I think is a pity. Why not play more of your top layers and give the Twickers crowd a thrill. I would argue that a Tuesday game against say the England Counties amateur side at say Bath would have been more fitting for the 'second' team and keep the top guys for this fixture. The All Blacks will still want to remain undefeated on this tour.

The Barbarians may have more name players but the Kiwis have a better team combination. This will tell in the end.

Prediction: New Zealand by 16 points



New Zealand
15 Cory Jane
14 Ben Smith
13 Tamati Ellison
12 Luke McAlister
11 Zac Guildford
10 Stephen Donald
9 Brendon Leonard
8 Rodney So'oialo
7 Richie McCaw (capt)
6 Liam Messam
5 Anthony Boric
4 Jason Eaton
3 John Afoa
2 Corey Flynn
1 Wyatt Crockett.
16 Andrew Hore
17 Neemia Tialata
18 Adam Thomson
19 Tanerau Latimer
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Mike Delany
22 Sitiveni Sivivatu
Head Coach: Graham Henry


Drew Mitchell (Australia)
14 Joe Rokocoko (New Zealand)
13 Jaque Fourie (South Africa)
12 Jamie Roberts (Wales)
11 Bryan Habana (South Africa)
10 Matt Giteau (Australia)
9 Fourie du Preez (South Africa)
8 George Smith (Australia)
7 Schalk Burger (South Africa) 6 Rocky Elsom (Australia)
5 Victor Matfield (South Africa)
4 Carlo del Fava (Italy)
3 W P Nel (Free State Cheetahs)
2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa)
1 Salvatore Perugini (Italy)
16 Stephen Moore (Australia)
17 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)
18 Quintin Geldenhuys (Italy)
19 Andy Powell (Wales)
20 Will Genia (Australia)
21 Morne Steyn (South Africa)
22 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
Head Coach: Nik Mallett (South Africa)

Test Rugby: CONSUR B Playoff 3rd-4th

Peru v Costa Rica at Polo Club-Los Reyes. Las Vueltas, La Guácima

Costa Rica has come a long way since it first entered the CONSUR B competition back in 2006. So miserable were it's performances back then that Rugby Costa Rica decided to concentrate on developing its club structures and its junior rugby. It has re entered the competition as hosts for 2009.

Peru has been a part of the CONSUR B competition since its inception in 2000. Their results since have been up and down but they have always been competitive. In this tournament so far they have lost to Colombia 10-33 and to Venezuela 13-25. Costa Rica has lost to Venezuela 8-43 and to Colombia 3-48. I would expect Peru to win but in front of its home crowd Costa Rica will still be a handful.

2009.12.02 Costa Rica v Venezuela
Costa Rica put up a good fight against Venezuela. Image thanks to La Nacion

Back in 2006 Peru won its game against Costa Rica, in Caracas, by 31-3. Id expect the result to be much closer

GWC Rugby Rankings: CONSUR Table-Peru 8th, Costa Rica 9th

Prediction: Peru by 22 points



Costa Rica
Rodolfo Araya
Luis Miguel Arias
David Bennett
Pierric Beros
Ivan Bogantes
Germàn Campoy
Alvaro Castro
Roberto Castro
Ramón Cole
Tomas Franceschi
Bagues Ciryl García
Marco Hernandez
Patricio Herrera
Guillermo Lavari
Pedro Madriz
Dennos Morales
Leonardo Muñoz
Franklin N´Gassa
Leandro Petinari
Gerardo Quiroz
Fernando Ramirez
Steve Thompson
Lucas Withington
Franklin Zuñiga
Head Coach: Pablo Gonzalez Lucats


Squad not available

International Rugby: CONSUR B Final

Colombia v Venezuela at Polo Club-Los Reyes. Las Vueltas, La Guácima

This match is the final of this competition. Both teams have won their previous matches; Colombia has defeated Peru 33-10 and Costa Rica 48-3, whilst Venezuela has defeated Costa Rica 43-8 and Peru 24-13. Colombia would be favoured based on these result but I'm going for Venezuela to cause a minor upset

2009.12.00 Colombia at CONSUR B
Colombian Squad

Last Five Encounters
21.06.2008 Venezuela 32-15 in Asuncion (WCQ America; CONSUR B)
04.11.2007 Colombia 33-13 in Lima (CONSUR B)
16.10.2006 Colombia 25-20 in Caracas (CONSUR B)
02.10.2005 Colombia 24-7 in Asuncion (CONSUR B)
13.11.2004 Venezuela 31-27 in Medellin (WCQ Americas, 1B)

GWC Rugby Rankings: CONSUR Table-Venezuela 6th, Colombia 7th

Prediction: Venezuela by 7 points



Venezuela Squad
Rommel Aponte (Araguaney RC)
Thomas Aponte (Universidad Metropolitana)
Jonnathan Arias (Universidad Católica Andrés Bello)
Pablo Barboza (Caballeros RC)
Juan Carlos Berbesi (La Universidad Simón Bolívar)
Carlos Caraza (Unexpo Guayana RC)
Luis Castro (Nomadas RC)
Victor Castro (Nomadas RC)
Rodolfo Cavicchioni (Caballeros RC)
Gerardo Dominguez CANADA
Sergio Figallo (Universidad Católica Andrés Bello)
Gerson Jimenez (Mérida RC)
Alfonso Lopez (Universidad Metropolitana)
Miguel Molina (Mérida RC)
Luis Plumacher (Maracaibo RFC-Oil Blacks)
Jose Manuel Puerta (Barquisimeto RC)
Pedro Reanez (Fundeportes Caracas RC)
Freizer Rees (Maracaibo RFC-Oil Blacks)
Andres Rodriguez (Universidad Católica Andrés Bello)
Julio Rodriguez ALEMANIA
Carlos Salas (Maracaibo RFC-Oil Blacks)
Rodrigo Salas (Maracaibo RFC-Oil Blacks)
Leopoldo Sequeda (Araguaney RC)
Luis Zamora (Universida Centralo de Venezuela)
Head Coach: Graciano Molina


Colombia Squad
Mauricio Alvarez (Gatos de Medellín)
Lucas Brand (Carneros de Bogotá),
Carmelo Buelvas (Gatos de Medellín)
Saúl Campuzano (Petirrojos de Medellín
Javier Castellanos (Carneros de Bogotá)
Giovanny Daza (Gatos de Medellín)
Daniel De Castro (Carneros de Bogotá)
Jose Manuel Diosa (Duendes de Medellín)
Santiago Escalante (?)
Juan Felipe Escobar (Gatos de Medellín)
Pablo Lemoine (Carneros de Bogotá)
Ferney Mejía (Gatos de Medellín)
Sebastian Mejía (Gatos de Medellín)
Luis Felipe Moreno (Petirrojos de Medellín)
Julian Perez (Arrieros de Pereira)
Joe Posada (Gatos de Medellín)
Germán Rodriguez (Carneros de Bogotá)
Mauricio Rodriguez (?)
Alexander Ruda (Carneros de Bogotá)
Juan Scharrer (Gatos de Medellín)
Carlos Felipe Trujillo (?)
Edgar Urueña (?)
Eduardo Vasquez (?)
Jorge Enrique Vega (Carneros de Bogotá)
Head Coach: Camilo García

CONSUR B Results

Colombia 48, Costa Rica 3 in La Guacima (CONSUR B)
Venezuela 25, Peru 13 in La Guacima (CONSUR B)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Test Rugby Ahead: This week. Barbaas face the All Blacks Saturday

Colombia v Costa Rica in La Guacima (CONSUR B)
Venezuela v Peru in La Guacima (CONSUR B)

New Zealand v Barbarians (UK) Club at Twickenham (Non test)
Colombia v Venezuela in La Guacima (CONSUR B)
Peru v Costa Rica in La Guacima (CONSUR B)

The CONSUR B tournament saga will be completed this weekend. Its expected that Colombia and Venezuela will play for the final on Saturday. New Zealand plays a traditional end-of-tour game against the Barbarians at Twickenham. This used to be a free flowing games of grand rugby. In recent years it has become more serious. Possibly the greatest try scored ever at the international level, occured in this fixture at the end of the 1972-73 All Black tour of Britain and France. After a run that saw just about every Barbarian player handle after Phil Bennet jinked around inside his own 25, Gareth Edwards scored in the corner. That try is why this great game is played in heaven.

Test Rugby Results: The Latest

Canada 22, Russia 6 in Vancouver

Andorra 21, Serbia 7 in Andorra La Vela (ENC 3A)
Colombia 33, Peru 10 in La Guacima (CONSUR B)
Venezuela 43, Costa Rica 8 in La Guacima (CONSUR B)

In wet and windy conditions, Canada overcame their disappointment of losing both matches against Japan, to register a 22-6 win over Russia. Only one try, to Aaron Carpenter, was scored, this being in the second half. The teams were level 6-6 at the break.

Tournament favourites Colombia and Venezuela got their CONSUR B title bids off to good starts. Colombia accounted for Peru comfortably 33-10, whilst hosts Costa Rica showed how much they had improved since 2006 by holding the strong Venezuelan team 8-43.

Wednesdays CONSUR B games see hosts Costa Rica face another tough team, Colombia. Peru faces Venezuela.