Monday, December 19, 2011


Kenya 55, United Arab Emirates 17
Hong Kong 37, Brazil 3

Hong Kong 44, Kenya 17
Brazil 66, United Arab Emirates 3

This was a very innovative tournament set up by the UAERFU and Emirates Airlines. It was a great pity that the local side was not up to the standard of the other three teams. This may well place the tournament in jeopardy for the future.

Hong Kong was certainly the best team at this tournament. A suggestion has been made that their place is in the IRB Nations Cup.

This cross-continental tournament gives more meaning to the IRB ratings of teams.

These were the last rugby test matches for 2011. The next test matches are the Six Nations and ENC Division 1A matches due next February.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Kenya 27, Brazil 25 in Dubai (Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations)
Hong Kong 72, United Arab Emirates 14 in Dubai (Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations)

Kenya and Hong Kong registered wins on the first day of this rugby test match tournament held in Dubai.

In the first game Kenya scored a last minute try to clinch a close encounter.

The main game saw the visiting Hong Kong side score an emphatic victory over the hosts. The result was much of a repeat of the May test match between these two nations in which Hong Kong won easily.

It would appear that Hong Kong is a level above the other teams.

Day 2 Fixtures
Hong Kong v Kenya
Brazil v United Arab Emirates

The day 2 fixtures will determine the real strengths of Brazil and Kenya.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Emirate Airlines Cup of Nations Test Rugby

Hong Kong v United Arab Emirates

Venue: The Sevens

This tournament is an innovative move to bring like-ranked rugby nations from different continents to one venue to test their playing strength.

The Emirates Airline is the main sponsor and brings together Brazil (an up-and-coming South American rugby nation), Kenya (2011 Africa Cup winner) plus Hong Kong.

Once part of the now defunct Arabian Gulf Rugby Union, the UAE lost heavily (3-62) to Hong Kong in Hong Kong back in May. This will be their chance to gain revenge for that humiliating defeat.

The first UAE team for 2011 v Sri Lanka

Hong Kong will blood a number of new players.

The UAE team has yet to be published on the web.

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Hong Kong 2nd, UAE 3rd

IRB Ranking Points Do not apply. UAE needs to play 10 tests to be ranked.

Prediction: Hong Kong by 15 points



Hong Kong
15. Rowan Varty (DeA RFC)

14. Thomas McQueen (Valley RFC)

13. Alexander McQueen (Hong Kong Cricket Club)

12. Lee Jones (Valley RFC)

11. Yiu, Kam Shing Salom (Valley RFC)

10 Keith Robertson (DeA RFC)

9. Cado Lee (Kowloon RFC)*

8. Pale Tauti (captain) (DeA RFC)

7. Nicholas Hewson (Valley RFC)

6. Terence Montgomery (Valley RFC)

5. Michael Waller (DeA RFC)

4. Daniel Watson (Hong Kong Football Club) *

3. Stephen Nolan (Hong Kong Football Club) *

2. Alexander Harris (Kowloon RFC)

1. Andrew Li (Kowloon RFC)


16. Thomas Bolland (Hong Kong Football Club) *

17. Alexander Ng (Pontypool RFC, Wales)

18. Ian Ridgeway (Hong Kong Football Club) *

19. Charles French (Hong Kong Cricket Club)

20. William Brant (Hong Kong Cricket Club) *

21.Timothy Alexander (Valley RFC)

22. Edward Haynes (Hong Kong Cricket Club) *

*  First caps

Head Coach: Dai Rees


United Arab Emirates Team not yet available

Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations: Test Rugby Day 1

Brazil v Kenya in Dubai

Venue: The Sevens


These two teams have never met before. This will be a most interesting encounter. South America’s up-and-coming team verses the Africa Cup holder.

This is the first time Brazil has played outside the Americas. Kenya travelled to Bahrain in 1995 to play in Rugby World Cup qualifying games.

Brazil is regarded as one of the up-and-coming teams in world rugby. They have a huge player base with new clubs emerging almost daily in this sport-made nation.

Kenya did well to defeat Tunisia to take out the Africa Cup for 2011. The victory was only slightly tainted by the fact that Namibia and Morocco no-showed

GWC Rugby Rankings
Do not apply yet but after this match both sides will enter the World Table.

IRB Ranking Points
Brazil 53.89, Kenya 50.19

Prediction: Brazil by 9 points


Kenya 2011 Africa Cup winners.


Kenya Squad
Edwin Achayo (Kenya Commercial Bank RFC)
Isaak Adimo (Kenya Harlequin FC)
David Ambunya (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Moses Amusala (Kenya Commercial Bank RFC)
Ken Andola (Kenya Commercial Bank RFC)
Calvins Biko (Nondescripts RUFC)
Lawrence Buyachi (Impala RFC)
Duncan Ekasi (Impala RFC)
Dennis Karani (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Humphrey Kayange (Mwamba RFC)
Daniel Kiptoo (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Curtis Lilako (Kenya Commercial Bank RFC)
David Mogere (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Vincent Mose (Impala RFC)
Matthew Musita (Kenya Commercial Bank RFC)
Antony Mutai (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Peter Mutai (Kenya Commercial Bank RFC)
Dennis Mwanja (Kenya Commercial Bank RFC)
Ronnie Mwenesi (Kenya Commercial Bank RFC)
Joel Ng’ang’a (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Anthony Nyandigisi (Impala RFC)
Brian Okwomi (Strathmore University RFC)
Kelvin Omiyo (Impala RFC)
Allan Omuka (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Vincent Ong’era (Kenya Harlequin FC)
Kevin Umbuge (Kenya Commercial Bank RFC)
Head Coach: Michael Otieno

Adapted from

2011 Brazil EA Cup of Nations
Image thanks to


Brazil Squad

Felipe Claro (Sao Paulo Athletic Club)

Reges Comoreto (Desterro RC)

Lucas Croffi (Pasteur AC)

Mateus Daniel (São José RC)

Daniel Danielewicz (Desterro RC)

Henrique Dantas (São José RC)

Rafael Dawailibi (São José RC)

Jardel de Mendonça (Sao Paulo Athletic Club)

Lucas Duque (São José RC)

Moisés Duque (São José RC)

Júlio Figalo (Niterói RFC)

Eduardo Garcia (Bandeirantes RC)

Daniel Gregg (Niterói RFC)

Gustavo Krahembühl (Pasteur AC)

Danilo Lima (Rio Branco RC)

Diego Lopez (Pasteur AC)

Pedro Lopez  (São José RC)

Vitor Medeiros (Potiguar RC)

Julián Menutti (Bandeirantes RC)

Ramiro Mina (Bandeirantes RC)

Carlos Oliveira (São José RC)

Diogo Reno (São José RC)

Martin Schaefer (Rio Branco RC)

Nicholas Smith (Stockport RUFC, England)

Jardel Vettorato (Novo Hamburgo RC)

Felipe Zeni (Pasteur AC)

Head Coach: Rodrigo "Toto" Camardon

Adapted from

Friday, December 9, 2011

Emirates Airline Cup of Nations Test Rugby Tournament

This is the last major international test rugby tournament for 2011 as far as I’m aware..

The teams involved are United Arab Emirates (hosts), Hong Kong, Brazil and Kenya.

Cross-continental test rugby tournaments are hopefully an idea that will spread. Bringing together like level teams from around the world is a great way for emerging nations to develop.

The Draw
Brazil v Kenya in Dubai (Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations)
Hong Kong v United Arab Emirates in Dubai (Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations)

Hong Kong v Kenya in Dubai (Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations)
Brazil v United Arab Emirates in Dubai (Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations)

United Arab Emirates v Kenya in Dubai (Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations)
Brazil v Hong Kong in Dubai (Emirates Airlines Cup of Nations)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Australia 24, Wales 18 in Cardiff
Solomon Islands 48, Vanuatu 20 in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)
Papua New Guinea 36. Niue 7 in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)

Australia crashed Wales’ Shane Williams party by winning their test match 24-18 in front of a sell-out crowd. Shane Williams had the last say, scoring his 58th test try in the final play of the match.

Papua New Guinea retain the Oceania Cup. defeating Niue 36-7 in the final match. Solomon Islands finished off a very successful tournament with a 48-20 win over Vanuatu.

The future of Oceania rugby looks bright. These tournaments really need to have a future focus. The winners need more reward than just bragging rights. The results perhaps could go towards a Rugby World Cup qualifying  tournament.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

TEST MATCH RUGBY: Australia v Wales

Australia v Wales in Cardiff

Venue: Millennium Stadium

Referee:Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

Swansong for Shane Williams. Image thanks to

This is the only major test match in the Northern Hemisphere following the great show that was the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Australia walked all over a disappointing Barbarians team last Saturday. Their disappointment of losing to New Zealand in the quarter final was offset by a 3 point win over Wales in the Playoff.

This match looms as a most enthralling encounter between these two teams. Australia defeated Wales in the 3rd-4th Playoff at the World Cup, ending an agonising Welsh campaign that saw them come close to playing New Zealand in the final. France defeated them by 1 point in a semi-final.

For Wales the match celebrates the career of brilliant winger Shane Williams. This will be his final test match.

Last Five Encounters
21.10.2011 Australia 21-18 in Auckland (World Cup, Playoff 3rd-4th)
06.11.2010 Australia 25-16 in Cardiff
28.11.2009 Australia 33-12 in Cardiff
29.11.2008 Wales 21-18 in Cardiff
15.09.2007 Australia 32-20 in Cardiff

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Australia 2nd, Wales 5th

IRB Ranking Points
Australia 87.42, Wales 80.18

Prediction: Australia by 10 points



15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Scott Williams, 12 James Roberts,
11 Shane Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Tobias Faletau,
7 Samuel Warburton, Capt. 6 Daniel Lydiate, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Bradley Davies,
3 Scott Andrews, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
16 Matthew Rees, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Ryan Jones, 19 Justin Tipuric,
20 Tavis Knoyle, 21 Daniel Biggar, 22 Alexander Cuthbert
Head Coach: Warren Gatland


15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Lachlan Turner, 13 Anthony Fainga'a, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 William Genia, 8 Benjamin McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Robert Simmons,
4 James Horwill, Capt. 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.
16 Stephen Moore, 17 Benjamin Alexander, 18 Nathan Sharpe, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Benjamin Lucas, 21 Benjamin Tapuai, 22 Nicholas Phipps
Head Coach: Robbie Deans


Papua New Guinea v Niue in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)
Vanuatu v Solomon Islands in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)

Host nation PNG have dominated this tournament so far. Solomon Islands have been the dark horse to date, upsetting Niue in the first match and then pushing the hosts on day 2.

An unusual feature of these games has been the number of unconverted tries. On Day 2, only 1 of the 14 tries scored was converted.

Sadly not all of Oceania’s members fronted up to this tournament. Notable non attendees were Cook Islands, New Caledonia and Tahiti.

Excellent reviews can be found here
Day 1

Day 2

Onto todays games

Vanuatu v Solomon Islands in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)

Vanuata-logo-  Solomon_Islands_logo

Previous Encounters
08.12.2007 Vanuatu 18-5 in Port Vila (FORU Oceania East)
29.07.2005 Solomon Islands 20-12 in Port Vila (WCQ Oceania R1, Pool A)
16.06.2001 Solomon Islands 11-3 in Honiara (WCQ Oceania 1B)

This Tournament
v Papua New Guinea L 3-78
v Niue L 13-32

Solomon Islands
v Niue W 22-19
v Papua New Guinea L 15-33

GWC Rugby Rankings
Do not apply as neither teams played a test match in 2010

IRB Ranking Points
Solomon Islands 39.06, Vanuatu 34.77

Solomon Islands by 40 points

Papua New Guinea v Niue in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)

logo  niue_logo

Previous Encounter
22.04.2008 PNG 46-27 in Paliati (FORU Oceania Cup Final)

This Tournament
Papua New Guinea
v Vanuatu W 78-3
v Solomon Islands W 33-15

v Solomon Islands L 19-22
v Vanuatu W 32-13

GWC Rugby Rankings
Do not apply. Only PNG is ranked

IRB Ranking Points
PNG 46.19, Niue 41.14

Prediction: PNG by 38 points

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OCEANIA CUP RUGBY: Day 1 29 November

Solomon Islands 22, Niue 19 in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)
Papua New Guinea 78, Vanuatu 3 in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)

Solomon Islands caused a minor surprise when they defeated Niue on the first day of the 2011 Oceania Cup. Papua New Guinea ran away with the main game, a 78-3 win over Vanuatu.

Day 2 continues Thursday
Vanuatu v Niue in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)
Papua New Guinea v Solomon Islands in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)

The tournament concludes Saturday
Vanuatu v Solomon Islands in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)
Papua New Guinea v Niue in Port Moresby (Oceania Cup)

The Oceania Cup is run by the IRB’s regional body for the area, FORU.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Australia 60, Barbarians (UK) RFC 11 at Twickenham (Non test)
Moldova 13, Czech Republic 6 in Prague (ENC 1B)
Switzerland 22. Andorra 21 in Andorra La Vela (ENC 2B)

Australia were too good for a Barbarians side sadly unable to keep up with the Southern Hemisphere side.

In front of a good crowd Moldova dominated in the forwards to win in Prague. They are now well placed to challenge Belgium for the title.

The winner of ENC 1B, and thus promotion to ENC 1A, looks like being between Poland, Moldova and Belgium. Belgium has more games in hand and looks the favoured side to win with the spring matches to come.


POLAND 8 5 1 2 193 150 43 1 1 24
MOLDOVA 7 5 1 1 145 114 31 2 0 24
BELGIUM 6 5 0 1 178 88 90 2 1 23
CZECH R. 9 4 0 5 143 198 -54 1 2 19
GERMANY 7 2 0 5 140 158 -18 0 3 11
NETH. 7 0 0 7 91 183 -92 0 1 1

Switzerland kept their title hopes alive with a narrow one point win over Andorra. ‘Swiss owned the first half but had to kick a very late penalty to win after Andorra came back to take the lead.’

Switzerland are way out in front. The competition resumes in the northern spring.


SWITZ. 6 5 0 1 148 104 44 1 1 23
ANDORRA 6 3 0 3 121 96 25 1 2 15
SERBIA 6 3 0 3 137 135 2 1 0 13
ARMENIA 4 2 0 2 80 62 18 0 2 10
SLOVENIA 6 1 0 5 56 125 -69 0 0 4

Saturday, November 26, 2011

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY MATCH: Barbarians Face Wallabies

Australia v Barbarians (UK) RFC at Twickenham (Non test)

Referee: Romain Poite (France)

Australia is the only international rugby team present at the 2011 Rugby World Cup to venture north this northern autumn.

The Australians will play a test match against Wales next weekend but first they face the Barbarians at Twickenham.

Whenever I think of Barbarians rugby I always, probably along with 99% of you, think of the famous game in 1973 against New Zealand and THAT try by Gareth Edwards. But I also spare a thought for an even more emotional game against New Zealand in 1964 and Wilson Whineray’s equally famous try.

Apparently the game will be played for the Killik Cup. Silly me. I have always associated Barbarian matches as friendly affairs. So with a bit of research I came up with this bit of information.

‘Sophie Morris, Director of Marketing at Killik & Co, commented: “Killik & Co has been Associate Match Sponsor of Barbarian games held at Twickenham since they played New Zealand in December 2009. It is a relationship that we are very pleased with and are delighted to extend our association with the prestigious club through title sponsorship of this game.” ‘

Former New Zealand coach, and guider of that team to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Graham Henry has the honour of coaching the Barbarians side. This fittingly means he will lock horns with his Kiwi rival and now head coach of Australia Robbie Deans

The Barbarian selection throws up some interesting characters. Mortlock, Matfield, Shaw, Stringer, Marconnet and White could well be bidding farewell to the international rugby scene whilst Tomkins has apparently been ‘borrowed’ from the rugby league code for this match.

The Australians have a sprinkling of players on the fringe of test rugby and possibly resting players ahead of the big clash against Wales next weekend.

Prediction: Hmmm. Australia to be more cohesive and win by 7 points.



15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Samuel Tomkins, 13 Robert Fruean, 12 Stirling Mortlock, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Daniel Cipriani, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Adam Thomson,
7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Victor Matfield, Capt. 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Sylvain Marconnet, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Eusebio Guinazu.
16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Jason White, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Nemia Kenatale, 21 Richard Kahui, 22 Seru Rabeni.
Coach: Graham Henry


15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Lachlan Turner, 13 Robert Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 William Genia, 8 Benjamin McCalman, 7 David Pocock,Capt. 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe,
4 Robert Simmons, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 James Slipper.
16 Stephen Moore, 17 Benjamin Alexander, 18 James Horwill, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Matthew Hodgson, 21 Nicholas Phipps, 22 Benjamin Tapuai.
Coach: Robbie Deans


Moldova v Czech Republic in Prague (ENC 1B)

Venue: Stadion Josefa Kohouta, Říčany

Referee: Barguanas (Romania)

POLAND 8 5 1 2 193 150 43 1 1 24
BELGIUM 6 5 0 1 178 88 90 2 1 23
MOLDOVA 6 4 1 1 132 108 24 2 0 20
CZECH R. 8 4 0 4 137 185 -47 1 1 18
GERMANY 7 2 0 5 140 158 -18 0 3 11
NETH. 7 0 0 7 91 183 -92 0 1 1

This is the last Division 1B match until February.

Eduard Krützner – 75 let

‘On the occasion of 85 years of the Czech Rugby (1926-2011), the famous squad lead by captain Eduard Krützner which on May 1968 in Prague lost to France with all their stars of that time only 6:19 (3:3 in the second half!) will be awarded.’ So this is indeed a special occasion for Czech Republic with a famous match to remember and a famous captain honoured.

The French Team on the day!

15 FB
Pierre Villepreux
14 W
Jean-Marie Bonal
13 C
Jean-Pierre Lux
12 C
Jo Maso
11 W
Andre Campaes
10 FH
Claude Lacaze
9 SH
Marcel Puget
1 P
Michel Lasserre
2 H
Michel Yachvili
3 P
Jean-Claude Noble
4 L
Alain Plantefol
5 L
Elie Cester
6 F
Jean Salut
7 F
Christian Carrere (c)
8 N8
Michel Greffe

Image thanks to

So back to today’s game.

The Czech Republic has had a very chequered 2011 year at this level of test rugby. They reached a serious low with the heavy defeat to Belgium earlier in the month but recovered to win well against Netherlands last weekend.

Moldova has a much better record. They remain undefeated since March and drew with the rising Polish team two weeks ago. Compared with the Poles they have lost only the one match and although further down the points table, have two matches in hand.

Moldova has a better recent record against the Czech Republic but both games were home games. They lost their 2008 test v Czech Republic in Prague.

Previous Encounters
19.03.2011 Moldova 24-16 in Chisinau (ENC 1B)
14.11.2009 Moldova 45-30 in Chisinau (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 2A)
27.11.2008 Czech Republic 11-9 in Prague (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 2A)

Czech Republic Last Five
19.11.2011 v Netherlands W 22-10 in Prague (ENC 1B)
05.11.2011 v Belgium L 0-55 in Brussels (ENC 1B)
15.10.2011 v Poland L 13-20 in NowySacz (ENC 1B)
19.03.2011 v Moldova L 16-24 in Chisinau (ENC 1B)
12.03.2011 v Germany W 29-23 in Heidelberg (ENC 1B)

Moldova Last Five
12.11.2011 v Poland D 17-17 in Chisinau (ENC 1B)
30.04.2011 v Netherlands W 22-15 in Chisinau (ENC 1B)
02.04.2011 v Germany W 28-15 in Chisinau (ENC 2B)
19.03.2011 v Czech Republic W 24-16 in Chisinau (ENC 1B)
12.02.2011 v Belgium L 5-20 in Brussels (ENC 1B)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Moldova 13th, Czech Republic 16th

IRB Ranking Points
Moldova 53.75, Czech Republic 52.65

Prediction: Moldova by 4 points.



Czech Republic

1.Šuster Roman (C)
2.Kutil Ondřej
3.Indrák Pavel
4.Wognitsch Martin
5.Holovský Tomáš
6.Leroch Patrik
7.Nešpor Karel
8.Černý Jiří
9.Pailodze Vakhtang
10.Jirman Milan
11.Schlanger Michal
12.Okleštěk Petr
13.Jursík Václav
14.Jirman Michal
15.Rohlík Jan
16.Průša Michal
17.Macháček Lukáš
18.Hocke Pavel
19.Backa Radim
20. Havel Vojtěch
21 Schütz Zbyněk
22.Sulamanidze Ivane


Moldova team not available