Sunday, October 31, 2010

TEST RUGBY MATCHES: The Big Games 30 October

Australia 26, New Zealand 24 in Hong Kong (Bledisloe Cup)
Samoa 13, Japan 10 in Tokyo
Argentina A 32, Russia 6 in Moscow

Australia ended a nightmare run of losses against New Zealand when they won with a last minute try and conversion. It also ended New Zealand's run of fifteen test match wins in a row. Australia now head to Europe with some confidence while New Zealand will wonder how they managed to lose this test. Down 0-12 after an Aussie onslaught at the start of the game they came back 17-12 then went up 24-12 before the Wallabies clawed their way back.

Japan managed to lose to a well below strength Samoa side in Tokyo. I'm not sure whether it means that Samoa has an amazing pool of talented players or that Japan was just awful. Samoa was missing up to ten players from the team that won the Pacific Nations Cup, and who had lost to Japan at that tournament.

The Argentina Jaguars finished their two match tour of Russia with another convincing win. Russia still has a lot of work to do before they will be anywhere near competitive at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: European Nations Cup Results

Lithuania 9, Malta 6 in Siauliai (ENC 2A)
Croatia 14, Latvia 12 in Riga (ENC 2A)
Israel 23, Hungary 14 in Netanya (ENC 2C)

Lithuania won their first game in their new division of European rugby but not without some heart-stopping moments. The Lithuanians had to rearrange their team after injuries became a problem. A number of veteran and retired international players were recalled to fill the gaps. The Lithuanians will want to be able to call upon their overseas-based players for their next match, a clash with high-flyers Sweden on November 6th.

Malta came close to a valuable away victory but gained a bonus point as they lost within seven points of the Lithuanians. They now face Latvia at home.

The Latvians lost their first game but also gained a bonus point as they lost within seven points. Croatia came back well to win away after their big loss, at home, to Sweden last week. It was a vital win for the Croatians.

Israel won its first test match in their new division of European rugby. They gained promotion to ENC 2C at the end of last season which also included a successful Rugby World Cup campaign; it was short-lived as they lost to Lithuania in May. This win today, against one of the favoured teams in this division, will make all the other teams take notice. This result reflects the rise of Israeli rugby over the past two seasons.

ENC Matches Next Weekend

Greece v Bulgaria in Pernik (ENC 2D)

Moldova v Poland in Gdanks (ENC 1B)
Latvia v Malta in La Valette (ENC 2A)
Lithuania v Sweden in Trelleborg (ENC 2A)
Slovenia v Armenia in Abovian (ENC 2B)
Norway v Austria in Vienna (ENC 2C)
Hungary v Denmark in Odense (ENC 2C)


Tournament held in Medellin, Colombia

Venezuela 28, Colombia 26
Peru 61, Costa Rica 5

Peru become the reigning CONSUR B champion for 2010. This is their first win in this tournament and reflects the growing strength of the game in Peru.

Venezuela squeezed out hosts Colombia to take second place.

TEST RUGBY RESULTS: Friday 29 October

CAR Africa Development Trophy Tournament in Cairo

Finals Day
Algeria 50, Egypt 0
Mauritania 10, Libya 5

Algeria too good for this level. I suspect they'll be pushed up, in 2011, into the CAR Trophy level, where they will probably compete with the likes of Niger, Burkino Faso and Ghana.

That will leave Egypt, Mauritania and Libya at the Development level.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

RUGBY TEST MATCH: Bledisloe Rugby Arrives in Hong Kong

Australia v New Zealand in Hong Kong (Bledisloe Cup)

Venue: National Stadium

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Like it or not, test rugby matches between New Zealand and Australia attract big money. It costs and arm and a leg to hold this fixture in Hong Kong. It is an amazing coup to stage such a rugby test match extravaganza.

Will Australia be able to break the strangle hold New Zealand has over them? It pushed out to ten wins in a row and only two loses in their last eighteen encounters.

Daniel Carter returns to the New Zealand team in what looks a very familiar line up. Coach Graham Henry has resisted blooding a number of new players, including the controversial rugby league player, Sonny Bill Williams. I guess its time to hit the nail in the Aussie coffin one and for all for 2010. Europe will see the blooding of new players.

Australia coach Robbie deans will welcome back front rower Ben Alexander. he has been out for some time with injury and although he will steady the front row I can't see him lasting 80 minutes. Just what is needed to lift this Australian team to the level that I think they can achieve. I personally believe this side will tackle the All Blacks again during the 2011 Rugby World Cup-In the final!

Last Five Encounters

5 wins to New Zealand!

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table
New Zealand 1st, Australia 2nd

Oceania Table
New Zealand 1st, Australia 2nd

IRB Ranking Points
New Zealand 94.77 (1st), Australia 85.56 (2nd)

Prediction: New Zealand again, this time by 8 points



15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, Capt. 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Mark Chisholm, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
16 Saia Faingaa, 17 James Slipper, 18 Dean Mumm, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Berrick Barnes, 22 Lachie Turner.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans


New Zealand
15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Joseph Rokocoko, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 James Cowan, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, Capt. 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Thomas Donnelly, 4 Bradley Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
16 Hika Elliot, 17 John Afoa, 18 Samuel Whitelock, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Albert Mathewson, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Isaia Toeava.
Head Coach: Graham Henry

TEST RUGBY: Samoans in Japan

Samoa v Japan in Tokyo

Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground


Japan and Samoa play each other in a test match for the second time this season. They previously met in June during the Pacific Nations Cup tournament played in Samoa. Samoa went on to win the tournament but Japan had the satisfaction of defeating them 31-23.

As I expected Samoa has not called upon any of their European-based players. That means that players like David Lemi, Gavin Wuilliams, George Stowers, Joseph Tekori, Kane Thompson, Felipo Levi, Sakano Taulofo, Mahonri Schwalger (the captain), Manu Salavea and Census Johnson, who were available for this years Pacific Nations Cup, and who all play in Europe, are not available for this match. Also missing are either well known locals or New Zealand-based players like Uale Ma'i, Paul Williams, Junior Poluleuigaga and James Afoa. These players leave huge gaps which are impossible to fill. This Samoa team, made up of New Zealand, Australian or home based players, and fielding 9 new caps in the squad of 22, will find the outing in Tokyo tough going. The Samoan side that will play in the 2011 Rugby World Cup will be very different from this squad.

A Samoan team, and I would hope it would include all the above missing players, will tour Europe in November, playing tests against Ireland, England and Scotland.

John Kirwan will be able to field an experienced side in the first of two autumn test internationals. The second is against Russia, also here in Tokyo, on November 6.

Last Five Encounters
19.06.2010 Japan 31-23 in Apia (Pacific Nations Cup)
18.06.2009 Samoa 34-15 in Sigatoka (Pacific Nations Cup)
05.07.2008 Samoa 37-31 in Apia (Pacific Nations Cup)
16.06.2007 Samoa 13-3 in Sendai (Pacific Nations Cup)
17.06.2006 Samoa 53-9 in New Plymouth (Pacific Nations Cup)

Prior to June, you have to go back to 1998 for Japan's last win over Samoa, in the Pacific Rim tournament days.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table
Samoa 11th, Japan 14th

IRB Ranking Points
Samoa 72.74, Japan 71.92

Prediction: Japan should win easily, by 20 points.



15. Ayumu Gorumaru (Yamaha) Age 24, 10 Tests
14. Kosuke Endo (Toyota) 29, 32
13. Koji Taira (Suntory) 27, 22
12. Ryan Nicholas (Suntory) 31, 23
11. Horotoki Onozawa (Suntory) 32, 57
10. James Arlidge (Northampton, England) 30, 23
9. Fumiaki Tanaka (Sanyo) 25, 20
8. Ryuko Holani (Sanyo) 29, 12
7. Toetu’u Taufa (Kintetsu) 30, 16
6. Takashi Kikutani (Toyota), Capt. 30, 33
5. Toshizumi Kitagawa( Toyota) 29, 31
4. Luke Thompson (Kintetsu) 29, 25
3. Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory) 25, 14
2. Shota Horie (Sanyo) 24, 8
1. Naoki Kawamata (Sanyo) 24, 9
16. Hiroki Tuhara (Toshiba) 26, 4
17. Hisateru Hirashima (Kobe) 27, 17
18. Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba) 32, 43
19. Michael Leitch (Tokai University) 22, 12
20. Koji Wadi (Toyota) 25, 4
21. Bryce Robins (NEC) 30, 22
22. Alisi Tupuailei (Canon Eagles) 29, 9

Head Coach: John Kirwan


15. Lolo Lui (Moata’a) Age 28, 20 tests
14. Mikaele Pesamino (Vailele) 26, 5
13. Joshua Tatapu (Otago, New Zealand) 23, 0
12. Jamie Helleur (Auckland, New Zealand) 26, 3
11. Sinoti Sinoti (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand) 25, 0
10. Joshua Keil (Warringah RFC, Australia) 27, 1
9. Kahn Fotuali’I (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand 28, 0
8. Richard Muagututia (SCOPA) 22, 0
7. Afa Aiono (A’ana) 22, 0
6. Ofisa Treviranus (Malie) 26, 10
5. Maselino Paulino (Le”auva’a) 22, 1 (v NZ 2008)
4. Simaika Mikaele (Valiele) 32, 8 (Last test v PNG 2009)
3. Anthony Perenise (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand) 28, 3
2. Andrew Williams (Marist) 25, 6
1. Logovi’i Mulipola (Don Bosco) 23, 1 (v PNG 2009)
16. Viliamu Afatia (Vailoa) 20, 0
17. Simon Lemalu (Countie Manukau, New Zealand) 29, 10
18. Levi Asi Faamutaia (Vailele) 22, 0
19. Falemiga Selesele (Moata’a) 21, 2
20. Fa’atalatala Fagosoia (Tepatasi) 23, 0
21. Lafela La’au )Tepatasi) 21, 0
22. Uarotafou Setu (Sunnybank RFC, Australia) 23, 1

Head Coach: Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY MATCH: Jaguars Look For a Clean Sweep

Argentina A v Russia in Moscow

Venue: Slava Stadium, Moscow

Referee: James Jones (Wales)

The Jaguars won the first test last weekend 40-20. The weather looks it will be colder this weekend. The Jaguars trained in heavy snow yesterday.

Russia will look to improve on their first test performance. Russian eyes are firmly placed on the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand but they must perform well in the lead up matches. I'd expect the colder conditions to suit the Russians better.

For the Jaguars the prize is a place in the Argentine team for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.The Pumas Argentina play 3 tests in Europe this November. That team has already been selected.

Last Encounter
Just last weekend, in Moscow, where the Jaguars won 40-20.

Prediction: Jaguars by 10 points



15. Igor Kluchnikov
14. Vladimir Ostroushko
13. Mihail Babaev
12. Alexey Makovetskiy
11. Vasily Artemiev
10. Andrey Kuzin
9. Alexander Yanushkin
8. Nikita Medkov
7. Kirill Kushnarev
6. Victor Gresev
5. Artem Fatakhov
4. Alexander Voitov
3. Evgeny Pronenko
2. Vladislav Korshunov, Capt
1. Alexander Khrokin
16. Evgeny Matveev
17. Ivan Prishepenko
18. Alexey Travkin
19. Sergey Sergeev
20. Alexander Shakirov
21. Alexey Korobeynikov
22. Sergey Trishin

Head Coach: Zoryk Masandilov


Argentina A
15 -Joaquin Tuculet
14 -Augustine Gosia
13 -Juan Pablo Estelles
12 -Horacio San Martín
11 -Mauro Comuzzi
10 -Santiago González Iglesias
9 -Thomas Cubelli
8 -Thomas Leonardi
7 -Leonardo Senatore (Captain)
6 -Rodrigo Bruno
5 -Pablo Bouza
4 -July Cabello Farias
3 -Maximiliano Bustos
2 -Matias Cortese
1 -Gaston De Robertis
16 -Luciano Proto
17 -Nahuel Chaparro
18 -Agustin Smidt
19 -Rodrigo Baez
20 -Martin Landajo
21 -Nicolas Sanchez
22 -Gabriel Ascarate

Coaches: Daniel Hourcade and Raul Perez.

EUROPEAN TEST RUGBY: Big Test for Lithuania

Malta v Lithuania in Siauliai (ENC 2A)

Venue: Centriniame Miesto stadione

Referee: L.Janssens (Belgium)


Lithuania reached the giddy heights of qualifying fo the playoff round of the Rugby World Cup European qualifiers. They defeated Netherlands 6-3 before losing to the Ukraine. In doing so they achieved a new world rugby international record. They reached eighteen test wins in a row, passing the record of seventeen, jointly held by New Zealand and South Africa.

Their rugby is based on only a handful of clubs. To achieve what they did was amazing. At the end of the 2009-10 season Lithuania was promoted to the next level of European international rugby.Can they maintain that form in the new level of test rugby they find themselves in?

Malta finished in the middle of the points table for the old ENC 2B, with 4 wins and 4 losses. Interestingly they lost twice to the Netherlands, the team Lithuania defeated late last season. Malta won two test matches away last season so they can win away from home. Malta defeated Latvia twice last season, a team that neighbours Lithuania easily defeated in two unofficial international rugby matches last season.

Malta will be without three key players, two out injured, Mike Bonavia and Matthew Mirabelli, whilst Oliver Sacco is unavailable. New players to the team include Mark Davey, Daniel Holloday, Lloyd Holiday, Andrew Dixon, Sam Borg and Jurgen Pavanello.

Previous Encounters
23.11.2002 Malta 22-18 in Marsa (ENC 3B)
21.04.2001 Lithuania 39-11 in Marsa (WCQ Europe R1; FIRA Pool 1)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table
Lithuania 18th, Malta 22nd

IRB Ranking Points
Lithuania 50.41, Malta 46.44

Prediction: Lithuania by 3 points.



Lithuania Squad
Tomas Astrauskas (RK Šiauliai) Age 30, 20 tests
Tomas Bieliauskas (Ąžuolas, Kaunas) *
Vytaras Bloškys (BaltRex, Šiauliai) *
Ignas Darkintis (Thanet Wanderers, England) 21, 11
Mindaugas Grigas (Vairas, Šiauliai) 29, 20
Mantas Kazlauskas (Vairas, Šiauliai) 29, 15
Vilius Kucinas (Vairas, Šiauliai) 24, 19
Gediminas Liutkus (BaltRex, Šiauliai) 27, 30
Kęstutis Marcišauskas (Vairas, Šiauliai) 24, 29
Mindaugas Misevičius, Capt. (Vairas, Šiauliai) 27, 36
Darius Nosys (Vairas, Šiauliai) 40, 29
Egidijus Petronis (Ąžuolas, Kaunas) 36, 14
Artūras Rachimovas (Vairas, Šiauliai) *
Audrius Ramančionis (Vairas, Šiauliai) 36, 21
Edmundas Ščiavinskas (BaltRex, Šiauliai) 29, 32
Richardas Stankus (Vairas, Šiauliai) 21, 5
Evaldas Štitilis (Vairas, Šiauliai) 27, 4
Andrius Sutkus (BaltRex, Šiauliai) *
Gediminas Švoba (BaltRex, Šiauliai) 23, 13
Augustinas Terleckas (Vilnaus Regbio Akademija) *
Laurynas Tipelis (BaltRex, Šiauliai) 28, 36
Marius Vaikėnas (BaltRex, Šiauliai)
Tomas Zibolis (BaltRex, Šiauliai) 28, 21
Edvardas Žilius (Vairas, Šiauliai) 30, 11
Head Coach:

* New caps as far as I’m aware.

Out injured, all except Martinkas, with English clubs, Gediminas Marcišauskas, Max Guseinov, Marius Andrijauskas, Aleksandras Čiuchlėjus and Andrius Martinskas (Enkopings RK, Sweden)

Thanks to 'Quentin' and 'Ignas', from


Full squad not available

RUGBY TEST MATCH: Croatia Journey to Latvia

Croatia v Latvia in Riga (ENC 2A)


Venue: “Daugavas” stadionā,

Referee: T.Breburda (Czech Republic)

Croatia lost its first international rugby test of the season, 13-32 against Sweden last weekend. For Latvia this is their first rugby test of the season.

Latvia will be strengthened by the inclusion of two top players who play in the Russian League. Scrum half Baranov and lock Saulite, both play for Enisei-STM. This Latvian team is a young side with a number of older players stepping aside. Head coach Vladimir Ņikonovs is very keen for the recently successful Under 20 players to enter the senior side. Original article here in Latvian.

Croatia, having lost to Sweden last weekend, will be desperate to win. Another loss would place them well down the points table. Even with another season to play before relegation sets in, it will be difficult to recover from a poor start.

Excluded from last weeks squad are Goran Čulić, Spiro Matic Sekovanec Sasha and Ivan Klaric-Kukuz their places taken by Milivoj Kramarić, Tomislav Tomic-Ferić, Marko Grcic and Ivan Vukovic.

Last weekend Croatia lost to Sweden.

2009.04.25 Latvia v Croatia
Latvia v Croatia, April 2009. Croatia won 21-13.

Last Five Encounters
24.10.2009 Croatia 23-9 in Riga (ENC 2B)
25.04.2009 Croatia 21-13 in Makarska (WCQ Europe R3; ENC 2B)
10.05.2008 Latvia 20-8 in Riga (ENC 2B)
31.03.2007 Latvia 27-7 in Makarska (ENC 2B)
17.05.1997 Croatia 43-23 in Makarska (WCQ Europe Pool 1, Round A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Croatia 20th, Latvia 23rd

IRB Ranking Points
Croatia 47.27; Latvia 43.03

Prediction: Croatia by 3 points



Croatia Squad
Mate Borozan (RK Nada)
Tomislav Burazin (RK Nada)
Tonći Buzov (RK Nada)
Dominik Draženović (RK Mladost)
Ante Drazina (Olympic Club Rugby, USA)
Tvrtko Dumančić (RK Mladost)
Ferić Tomić Tomislav (RK Nada)
Tomislav Gomuzak (RK Zagreb)
Marko Grčić (RK Sinj)
Luka Jureško (RK Zagreb)
Nik Jurišić (RK Mladost)
Milivoj Kramarić (RK Zagreb)
Miroslav Mandić (RK Zagreb)
Andrej Mihalj (RK Mladost)
Filip Mijić (RK Zagreb)
Mislav Milanović (RK Nada)
Marijan Slaviček (RK Zagreb)
Ivan Šuta (RK Mladost)
Marin Tvrdić (RK Nada)
Filip Ujaković (RK Mladost)
Mario Vodanovich (RK Makarska Rivijera)
Ivan Vuković, New cap?

Head Coach: Jakše Lovrete


Latvia Squad
Andris Andersons (RK Miesnieki)
Āris Andersons (RK Miesnieki)
Jurijs Baranovs (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk, Russia)
Sandis Barks (RK LMT Eži)
Kristaps Bērziņš (RK LMT Eži)
Leno Bramanis (RK Miesnieki)
Edgars Cīrulis (RK Miesnieki)
Māris Čeksters (SK Ovāls)
Ruslans Kotļevs (RK LMT Eži)
Raimonds Krūmiņš *
Mareks Larionovs (RK LMT Eži)
Vadims Martiņenko *
Andrejs Meļņikovs (RK 1964)
Aigars Muzikants (SK Ovāls)
Romāns Odnokurcevs *
Reinis Pepa (RK LMT Eži)
Santis Podāns *
Jānis Priede *
Viesturs Punāns (RK LMT Eži)
Valters Raņķis (RK Miesnieki)
Uldis Saulīte (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk, Russia)
Viktors Silvoniks (RK Miesnieki)
Jānis Skuja (RK Miesnieki)
Vigo Valdavs (Livonia)
Head Coach: Vladimir Ņikonovs

* Possible new caps

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Big Step up for Israel

Hungary v Israel in Netanya (ENC 2C)


Venue: Wingate Institute Sports Stadium

Referee: T.Muldoon (Netherlands)

Newly promoted Israel will face a big task ahead of Saturdays clash with the visiting Hungarian rugby team. Hungary has the advantage of having already played a test match, winning 22-16 against Austria, 16 October. Israel is yet to play but has the home advantage. Nothing is known of the Israeli selection but assuming they have much of last years successful team on board, this could be a very close encounter.

63[1] 58[1]

Previous Encounters
25.05.2002 Hungary 39-24 in Budapest (FIRA Div.B, Pool B)
30.05.1993 Israel 67-8 in Budapest (WCQ Central Europe)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Israel 29th, Hungary 32nd.

IRB Ranking Points
Hungary 41.24; Israel 39.57

Prediction: Israel by 7 points

Teams not available


Final Day, in Medellin, Colombia

Colombia v Venezuela
Peru v Costa Rica


The tournament winner was decided on Wednesday when Peru caused an upset winning 21-7 over hosts Colombia. With only tournament minnows Costa Rica to play today, Peru are assured of the title.

All that's left for the hosts is the prospect of defeating arch rival Venezuela. For Costa Rica their improved performance would indicate that Peru might not have it all on the final day.

Colombia v Venezuela

49[1] 98[1]

Last Five Encounters
05.12.2009 Colombia 34-0 in La Guicima (CONSUR B)
21.06.2008 Venezuela 32-15 in Asuncion (WCQ Americas; 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 (S.America 'B' Champ.)
Venezuela won the first four internationals between these two teams, starting in 2001.

GWC Rugby Rankings
CONSUR Table-Colombia 7th, Venezuela 8th

Prediction: Colombia by 3 points


Colombia Squad
Juan Pablo Agudelo
Andres Alarcon
Daniel Avellaneda
Saul Campuzano
Juan Chopan
Giovanny Daza
Daniel de Castro
Jose Manuel Diosa
Juan Felipe Escobar
Sebastian Mejia Gil
Joe Alexander Posada Giraldo
Juan Esteban Jimenez
Pablo Lemoine
Jorge Luquerna
Sanitago Mejia
Andrés Moreno
Jhon Mauricio Alvarez Moreno
Andres Quintero
German Rodriguez
Mauricio Rodriguez
Alexander Ruda
Juan Scharrer
Jesus Alberto Celis Triana
Carlos felipe Trujillo
Mario Urrego
Eduardo Vásquez

Camilo Andres Garcia Torres and Javier Castellano Pulido

Peru v Costa Rica

80px-Perulogo[1] LOGO_FRCR_150[1]
Previous Encounters
05.12.2009 Peru 47-8 in La Guacima (CONSUR B)
20.10.2006 Peru 31-3 in Caracas (CONSUR B)

GWC Rugby Rankings
CONSUR Table-Peru 6th, Costa Rica 9th

Prediction: Peru by 42 points

Teams not available

Results to date
Round 1
24.10-Colombia 61, Costa Rica 6
25.10-Peru 13, Venezuela 5

Round 2-27.10
Venezuela 29, Costa Rica 6
Peru 21, Colombia 7

Friday, October 29, 2010

TEST RUGBY:CAR Africa Development Trophy North

Held in Cairo. This tournament is designed to give emerging rugby nations in Africa an opportunity to test their ability and progress made. First round results were...

Algeria 50, Libya 0
Egypt 10, Mauritania 5

Finals Day 29.10.2010
Algeria v Egypt (Final)

algeria-rugby-logo no-image


Very little information is available on the results so far apart from the scores. Algeria certainly outplayed Libya on day one. Without knowing the make up of the team I suspect that a number of France-based players were selected, making it a tough team.

Egypt won well against a travel-lagged Mauritanian side and I feel will struggle against the Algerians.

Prediction: Algeria by 25 points

Playoff 3rd-4th
Mauritania v Libya

libya-arms flag


Mauritania will have overcome the travel lag it would have experienced in their first game. I suspect they will have too much skill and strength for the Libyans.

Prediction: Mauritania by 20 points.

Teams for all sides not available

Thursday, October 28, 2010

TEST RUGBY: Bosnia Herzegovina v Slovakia photos

Bosnia Herzegovina 45, Slovakia 21 in Zenica

Played in atrocious conditions. Photos thanks to Almir Arlic at where you can view more.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Azerbaijan v Slovakia in Zenica

Venue: Kamberovsca Polie

Referee: C.Raduta (Romania)

azerbaijan logo 2007 Slovakia RU Logo

Azerbaijan struggled at this level last season. They lost 5-16 to Bosnia Herzegovina at home last November and then 0-59 to Cyprus away. Cyprus went on to win promotion up to the next level. This season Slovakia, who pulled out of international rugby in 2009, rejoins the competition.

The grassroots level of rugby is developing in both countries. Slovakia has just the one club Slovan Bratislava, which plays in the Czech league, whilst Azerbaijan has four; two based in Baku, the other two in other centres. Azerbaijan ,according to its web site, will enter a club side into the Georgian rugby competition this season.

Slovakia performed well against the home side on Monday. Without a team list it's difficult to determine their strength but in the past they have been able to call upon Slovaks playing in the Czech Republic competition. This may give them the edge against Azerbaijan, whose strength is a bit of an unknown quantity.

Previous Encounters
31.10.2007 Slovakia 33-18 in Nicosia (ENC 3D)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Azerbaijan 41st, Slovakia 43rd

Prediction: Slovakia by 7 points

Not available

TEST RUGBY AHEAD: Rugby Test Matches 29-31 October

Australia v New Zealand in Hong Kong (Bledisloe Cup)
Samoa v Japan in Tokyo
Argentina ‘A’ v Russia in Moscow
Malta v Lithuania in Siauliai (ENC 2A)
Croatia v Latvia in Riga (ENC 2A)
Hungary v Israel in Netanya (ENC 2C)
Colombia v Venezuela in Medellin (CONSUR B)
Peru v Costa Rica in Medellin (CONSUR B)

CAR Trophy Central 30 Oct-7 Nov., due in Bujimburi-Burundi, Rwanda, Republic of Congo (Kinshasha)

Bosnia Herzegovina v Azerbaijan in Zenica (ENC 3)

So opens the window of test rugby for November..well almost. The last Saturday of October is not yet in the window but it is a busy weekend of international test rugby all the same.

Australia and New Zealand clash again for the Bledisloe Cup. This is the fourth time this year. Are we getting bored with the frequency of New Zealand-Australia test matches? Probably. Will we be watching the match or waiting for the result eagerly? Probably.

Samoa and Japan begin their Northern round of test rugby in Tokyo. Japan will be at full strength but I'm not so sure about Samoa. Considering many Samoans play club rugby in Europe I can't see any being released for this rugby test match, and I can't see being released in November anyway. We'll see.

The Russians continue their World Cup build up with the second test against the Jaguars. Elsewhere in European rugby Divisions 2A and 2C are involved whilst the CONSUR B tournament finishes in Colombia.

On Sunday Bosnia Herzegovina will be looking to sew up the Division 3 tournament in Zenica.

All in all, a nice curtain raiser for the big battles between the rugby union giants of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Can't wait!


Peru 13, Venezuela 5


An upset in my view. Venezuela won last year against Peru but historically the matches, with one exception, have been close-fought encounters. The result means that the Peru v Colombia game could well decide the tournament winner.

CAR RUGBY: Development Trophy North

Results in from Cairo


Algeria 50, Libya 0
Egypt 10, Mauitania 5

Finals Day 29 October
Libya v Mauritania (3rd-4th)
Egypt v Algeria (Final)

" Libya and Algeria arrived to Egypt today ...Mauritania will arrive tomorrow before the match about 2 HRS !!! I think 98% they will not come."

" about today [results] ,I am as Libyan really happy for Libya team.coz when i remember that Libya team just created 2 week a go and it was first match rugby 15 for 21 players from 24 ... really well done and am proud and happy for that...
also Bravo for Mauritania. coz they came to their match from Air Port after 16Hrs fly from Mauritania to Morocco then Egypt !!!."

From 'X-man' at

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This tournament is being played in Zenica, Bosnia Herzegovina. The FIRA-AER restructured their competitions for 2010-12. The lowest Division would play a tournament format based in one of the nations involved, rather than the home or away basis of the higher divisions. The nations being Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovakia and Azerbaijan. Monaco withdrew.

Bosnia Herzegovina 45, Slovakia 21

"Bosnia dominated the first-half. There were few tactical changes in the second half which leaked in a few points. Overall excellent win for the Bosnians as Slovakia are the strongest rivals for promotion and also its was important to see how cohesive the team is.
The squad did not include any players playing abroad which included the captain, so there is a lot more to come from this side in the future. There are at least 4 players who play abroad who would have featured in the 1st XI. Good to see that discipline didn't seem to be an issue."

From 'RagbihUK' at

Monday, October 25, 2010


CAR Development Trophy North

algeria-rugby-logo libya-arms
Sorry, no rugby images found on internet for Egypt, Libya or Mauritania

Rugby history will me made in Cairo tomorrow. Libya and Egypt will be making their debuts in 15's international rugby. Rugby union has been well established in these two North African countries over the last few years.

Tomorrow Libya begins its test rugby career with a game against Algeria, who can only boast one test rugby match, against Tunisia 'A' in 2008, a match they won 8-7.

Egypt will face a rugby nation with considerable more international rugby under its belt than the other three nations in this tournament. Mauritania played seven rugby international matches in CAR tournaments from 2003 to 2004. They failed to win a single match. They have returned at the lowest level of African rugby to start again and build a better rugby base.

Day One
Algeria v Libya

Prediction-Algeria by 15 points

Egypt v Mauritania

Prediction-Mauritania by 5 points

Teams not available


Colombia 61, Costa Rica 6 in Medallin

The Venezuela v Peru test match has been put back to Today, Monday 25 October.

Costa Rica found the hosts far too strong.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

TEST RUGBY: ENC Division 3 Tournament

Slovakia v Bosnia Herzegovina in Zenica

Venue: Kamberovića polje


Bosnia Herzegovina were prevented from promotion last year by Cyprus. The changed format this year sees the new Division 3 tournament being played as a tournament in one venue over one week. Monaco has withdrawn but Slovakia returns. The local team will be too strong for its opponents at home.

azerbaijan logo 41[1] 2007 Slovakia RU Logo

Previous Encounter
15.11.2008 Bosnia Herzegovina 46-32 in Bratislava (ENC 3D)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Bosnia Herzegovina 39th, Slovakia Not registered.

Prediction: B-H by 25 points.


Not available

TEST RUGBY: Results for Saturday 23 October

Argentina ‘A’ 40, Russia 20 in Moscow (Non-test [sadly])
Sweden 32, Croatia 13 in Split (ENC 2A)
Slovenia 33, Serbia 3 in Ljubliana (ENC 2B)

The Argentina Jaguars began their Russian tour with a comfortable 40-20 win over Russia. The game was not as one-sided as the score suggests.

Sweden and Croatia caused upsets in the FIRA-AER tournament in Europe. Sweden bagged a fourth try and thus a valuable bonus point. Slovenia, bouncing back from their 7-25 loss to Andorra last weekend surprised the more fancied Serbians 33-3 but scored only three tries.

For European Nations Cup results record and points table go to


This tournament is organised by CONSUR (Confederación Sudamericana de Rugby). The rugby nations represented are in the second tier of this region. The confederation is for Spanish-Portuguese speaking nations.


Prior to 2005 the tournament was called 'South American Championship, Division 2'.

Note: Since 2009, both Paraguay and Brazil have played in CONSUR A tournaments.

Past winners

2010 Tournament


Colombia is the host nation for 2010. Medellin is the host city. Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Costa Rica are the nations represented. Colombia and Venezuela front up as the heavyweights at this level of South American international rugby. Colombia, as the hosts, will be favoured to retain their title.

49[1] LOGO_FRCR_150[1] 80px-Perulogo[1] 98[1]

Venezuela v Peru

Venezuela has dominated Peru over the last two CONSUR B tournaments. This has not always been the case. Peru dominated in the early 2000s

Last Five Encounters
02.12.2009 Venezuela 25-13 in La Guacima (CONSUR B)
29.06.2008 Venezuela 41-3 in Asuncion (WCQ America; CONSUR B)
10.11.2007 Peru 24-8 in Lima (CONSUR B)
18.10.2006 Venezuela 6-0 in Caracus (CONSUR B)
30.09.2005 Peru 20-19 in Asuncion (S.America B)

Prediction: Venezuela by 15 points

Teams not available

Colombia v Costa Rica

Costa Rica re entered the tournament in 2009 after a disastrous 2006 adventure. Colombia won the tournament for the first time last year. As hosts and given the standard of rugby in Costa Rica I'd expect Colombia to win comfortably.

Previous Encounters
02.12.2009 Colombia 48-3 in La Guacima (CONSUR B)
18.10.2006 Colombia 41-5 in Caracus (CONSUR B)

Prediction: Colombia by 35 points


Colombia Squad
Juan Pablo Agudelo
Andres Alarcon
Daniel Avellaneda
Saul Campuzano
Juan Chopan
Giovanny Daza
Daniel de Castro
Jose Manuel Diosa
Juan Felipe Escobar
Sebastian Mejia Gil
Joe Alexander Posada Giraldo
Juan Esteban Jimenez
Pablo Lemoine
Jorge Luquerna
Sanitago Mejia
Andrés Moreno
Jhon Mauricio Alvarez Moreno
Andres Quintero
German Rodriguez
Mauricio Rodriguez
Alexander Ruda
Juan Scharrer
Jesus Alberto Celis Triana
Carlos felipe Trujillo
Mario Urrego
Eduardo Vásquez

Camilo Andres Garcia Torres and Javier Castellano Pulido

Costa Rica not available

For a complete listing of all international rugby test results for Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Costa Rica go to

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Argentina 'A' v Russia in Moscow (Friendly-Non Test)

Venue: Slava Stadium

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Sadly this match is not, under IRB regulations, regarded as a test match. Don't tell the Russians that. To them this is about as big as it gets as they prepare for the 2011 Rugby World Cup

Russia's only previous match against the Jaguars was a disastrous 6-64 loss in Lisbon in 2006 during the IRB Nations tournament. How time has changed for the Russians as they prepare for the World Cup. Following this match they play another 'test' against the Jaguars next weekend. Then it's off to Tokyo in November for a one-off test against Japan. They have a gap 'till they front up to the first round of ENC Division 1 against the likes of Georgia, Romania, Portugal, Spain and Ukraine.

For Argentina the Jaguars is an important breeding ground for the first team. That first team will have a busy time once it joins the Tri Nations tournament. And don't forget Argentina will be looking for a finals place in New Zealand 2011, to improve upon their 3rd place in 2007.

Russia fared poorly against the England Saxons 17-49 in June during the Churchill Cup.

So there is a lot to look out for in this international match. Just how much of a bench mark will this Jaguars team be in terms of where the standard of Russian rugby lies.

No Rankings

Prediction: Jaguars by 15 points



15. Igor Kluchnikov
14. Vasily Artemiev
13. Igor Galinovskiy
12. Sergey Trishin
11. Vladimir Ostroushko
10. Alexey Korobeynikov
9. Alexander Shakirov
8. Alexey Panasenko
7. Evgeny Matveev
6. Victor Gresev
5. Vladimir Boltenkov
4. Alexander Voytov, Capt.
3. Ivan Prishepenko
2. Valery Tsnobiladze
1. Carlo Maglakelidze
16. Vladislav Korshunov
17. Alexander Khrokin
18. Evgeny Pronenko
19. Sergey Sergeev
20. Alexey Scherban
21. Andrey Kuzin
22. Evgeny Titov
Head Coach: Henry Paul (temp.)


15- Román Miralles
14- Agustín Gosio
13- Horacio San Martín
12- Gabriel Ascárate
11- Juan Imhoff
10- Nicolás Sánchez
9- Martín Landajo
8- Leonardo Senatore, Capt.
7- Julio Farías Cabello
6- Rodrigo Bruno
5- Agustín Smidt
4- Pablo Bouza
3- Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
2- Matías Cortese
1- Gastón De Robertis
16- Luciano Proto
17- Maximiliano Bustos
18- Lucas Ponce
19- Rodrigo Báez
20- Tomás Cubelli
21- Santiago González Iglesias
22- Mauro Comuzzi ... 1022154531

TEST RUGBY MATCH: Sweden Takes on Croatians

Sweden v Croatia in Zagreb (ENC 2A)

Venue: Stadium RK Zagreb

Referee: Tomas Tuma (Czech Republic)


Last season these two teams played in the old ENC 2B. Both won their home games but Croatia finished up further up the points table over the 2008-10 period. Croatia defeated eventual winners Netherlands at home.

Sweden has called up a number of players who ply their trade in England.

Croatia has the home advantage and I would expect them to win.

Previous Encounters
01.05.2010 Sweden 16-14 in Stockholm (ENC 2B)
02.05.2009 Croatia 23-13 in Split (WCQ Europe R3; ENC 2B)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Sweden 19th, Croatia 20th

IRB Rankings
Croatia 49.72, Sweden 46.36

Prediction: Croatia by 10 points



Croatia Squad
Ivo Benazić (RK Vilani-Krasica)
Mate Borozan (RK Nada)
Tomislav Burazin (RK Nada)
Tonći Buzov (RK Nada)
Ivan Đajić (RK Zagreb)
Dominik Draženović (RK Mladost)
Ante Drazina (Olympic Club Rugby, USA)
Tvrtko Dumančić (RK Mladost)
Marko Grčić (RK Sinj)
Luka Jureško (RK Zagreb)
Nik Jurišić (RK Mladost)
Milivoj Kramarić (RK Zagreb)
Ivan Klarić Kukuz (RK Sinj)
Miroslav Mandić (RK Zagreb)
Špiro Matić (RK Nada)
Andrej Mihalj (RK Mladost)
Filip Mijić (RK Zagreb)
Mislav Milanović (RK Nada)
Marijan Slaviček (RK Zagreb)
Ivan Šuta (RK Mladost)
Ferić Tomić Tomislav (RK Nada)
Marin Tvrdić (RK Nada)
Filip Ujaković (RK Mladost)
Mario Vodanovich (RK Makarska Rivijera) ... &Itemid=33


Sweden Squad

Thomas Arvidsson (RK Fredriksberg, Denmark)
Ivar Bengtsson (Hammarby IF)
Mathias Björkebäck (Hammarby IF)
Tobias Borg (Enköpings RK)
Andrew Daish (Old Albanians RFC, England)
Ian Gowland (Stockholm Exiles RFC)
Jan-Olof Johansson (Spartacus RC)
Tim Johansson (Enköpings RK)
Magnus Karlsson (Hammarby IF)
Robin Karlsson (Hammarby IF)
Stefan Obradovic´(IF Attila)
Vicktor Petersson (Enköpings RK)
Lee Sandberg (North Walsham RFC, England)
Andrew Saunders (Richmond RFC, England)
Paul Sullivan (Stockholm Exiles RFC)
Alex Taylor (Nuneaton RFC, England)
Sebastian Taylor (Old Haberdashers RFC, England)
Mathias Thorehard (Hammarby IF)
Jim Wetterström (Enköpings RK)
Peter Wiklund (Vänersborgs RK)
Mathew Youngman (Enköpings RK)
Head Coach: Mike Tatu

Out injured after selection-Eirik Lundquist (Enköpings RK), replaced by Hannes Eriksson (Hammarby IF) ... x?id=23112

TEST RUGBY: Balkan Rivalry

Serbia v Slovenia in Ljubliana (ENC 2B)

Venue: Oval v Stanežičah

Referee: G. Michalik (Poland)

Just over a decade ago these two nations were at war. Today they play together in an international rugby test match.

Slovenia is the promoted team in this division. They made a shaky start against Andorra away last weekend, going down 7-22.

'Serbia played Croatia in a warm up game at Josipdol, Croatia on the 16th[October] and lost 10 - 44."

Croatia is in a division just above that of Slovenia and Serbia.

Home advantage will count but Slovenia found Andorra tough going. Andorra, though, defeated Serbia 21-7 in Andorra last November.

Previous Encounter
11.05.2002 Serbia 27-21 in Belgrade (FIRA B, Pool A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Serbia 27th, Slovenia 29th

IRB Rankings
Serbia 42.06, Slovenia 40.89

Prediction: Could be closer. Serbia by 8 points



Serbia squad
Pavle Anđelić (RK Partizan)
Uroš Babić (RK Pobednik)
Jovan Bajić (RK Partizan)
Vedran Brkić (KBRK Belgrade)
Aleksandar Đorđević (KBRK Belgrade)
Vladimir Đukić (RK Pobednik)
Vladimir Dumić (RK Partizan)
Miloš Joksimović (RK Partizan)
Andrija Jovanović (KBRK Belgrade)
Sedrik Jovanović (Rone Sportif, France)
Blagoje Jovanovski (RK Partizan)
Marko Kapor (RK Pobednik)
Nenad Matejić (RK Partizan)
Nenad Mićić (KBRK Belgrade)
Marko Milosavljević (RK Partizan)
Milan Orlović (RK Pobednik)
Marko Petrović (Châteaurenard RC, France)
Milan Rastovac (RK Pobednik)
Nemanja Simonović (RK Pobednik)
Vlastimir Sretenović (KBRK Belgrade)
Branko Vojvodić (KBRK Belgrade)
Goran Vuković (RK Pobednik)
Marko Vuković (RK Pobednik)
Miladin Živanov (RK Pobednik)
Head Coach: Savic Nedeljko

Adapted from Thanks to ‘Drugby’ and ‘Quentin’


Team list unavailable

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TEST RUGBY: Africa Cup Doubt

Kenya, Uganda and Namibia have all withdrawn from the Africa Cup, Pool B Tournament, due to be held in Yaounde, 17-24 October. The staging of Pool B has caused the change of the original pool formats and a change of venue. Pool B was originally to be held in Windhoek.

If the tournament is cancelled then it would appear that Cameroun could join Morocco, Zimbabwe and Madagascar in the Africa Cup finals, due in November. The November venue would depend on bidding from the unions that qualified.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

RUGBY TEST RESULTS: Saturday 16 October

Hungary 22, Austria 16 in Budapest (ENC 2C)
Norway 14, Denmark 14 in Oslo (ENC 2C)

Friday, October 15, 2010

RUGBY TEST MATCH: Nordic Teams Clash

Denmark v Norway in Oslo (ENC 2C)

51[1] 81[1]

Venue: Bislett Stadium



Last Five Encounters
17.10.2009 Norway 15-8 in Oslo (ENC 3B; Viking Cup)
11.04.2009 Denmark 20-18 in Odense (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 3B)
24.10.1998 Denmark 45-7 in Aalborg (Friendly)
28.09.1997 Denmark 27-3 in Oslo (Friendly)
25.09.1994 Denmark 49-0 in Riga (Baltic Cup)

Norway's win last October was its first over Denmark.

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Denmark 30th, Norway 33rd

IRB Rankings
Denmark 40.52, Norway 37.13

Prediction: Denmark by 10

Regret other commitments this weekend means less coverage.