Friday, September 30, 2011

RUGBY WORLD CUP: South Africa v Samoa



Venue:North Harbour Satdium

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

My gut feeling after watching South Africa both live and on TV is they are the ones I would be, along with the All Blacks. most afraid of leading up to the quarter finals.

Having said that South Africa have to overcome Samoa at North Harbour Stadium tonight. Both teams will have a huge amount of support; North Harbour is home to thousands of ex pat South Africans, and of course Auckland is home to a huge island population. I’d expect it to be a sell out stadium.

Samoa will be very competitive until late in the second half. The ruthless South Africans will then up their game and leave Samoa in their wake.

2009 Victor Matfield
Veteran Victor Matfield will lead South Africa.

Last Five Encounters
09.09.2007 South Africa 59-7 in Paris (World Cup, Pool A)
09.06.2007 South Africa 35-8 in Johannesburg
01.11.2003 South Africa 60-10 in Brisbane (World Cup, Pool D)
06.07.2002 South Africa 60-18 in Pretoria
10.06.1995 South Africa 42-14 in Johannesburg (World Cup, Quarter final)

Samoa are yet to win a test against South Africa. Their first encounter was in April 1995, South Africa winning 60-8.

South Africa This Cup
11.09.2011 v Wales W 17-16 in Wellington
17.09.2011 v Fiji W 49-3 in Wellington
22.09.2011 v Namibia W 87-0 in Albany

Samoa This Cup
14.09.2011 v Namibia W 49-12 in Rotorua
18.09.2011 v Wales L 10-17 in Hamilton
25.09.2011 v Fiji W 27-7 in Auckland

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-South Africa 1st, Samoa 10th

IRB Ranking Points
South Africa 86.71, Samoa 75.81

Prediction: South Africa by 25 points



15 Paul Williams, 14 David Lemi, 13 Seilala Mapusua, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 George Stowers, 7 Maurie Faasavalu, 6 Taiasina Tuifua, 5 Kane Thompson, 4 Daniel Leo, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, Capt. 1 Sakaria Taulafo.
16 Ole Avei, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18 Logovi'i Mulipola, 19 Ofisa Treviranus, 20 Filipo Lavea Levi, 21 Junior Poluleuligaga, 22 George Pisi.
Head Coach: Titimaea Tafua


South Africa
15 Patrick  Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Frans Steyn,
11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie Du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies,
7 Schalk Burger, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield,Capt. 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Jannie Du Plessis, 2 Bismarck Du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
16 John Smit, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 CJ van der Linde, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Jean De Villiers.
Head Coach: Pieter de Villiers

RUGBY WORLD CUP: Georgia v Romania. The day after

Met these blokes sauntering down Palmerston North day after big match.
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RUGBY WORLD CUP: Yamaha Kiwi meets RugInt

Well folks it’s just a damn shame you couldn’t join us. YK and I met up for beer and pizza at a new Auckland waterfront watering hole.
RWC Day 14 002 RWC Day 14 001
RWC Day 15 040
RugInt at Eden Park at the end of New Zealand v France.
It’s a toss-up as to which was the more amazing rugby time
of my life. This game or opening Ceremony and NZ v
Tonga. I’m still going for Opening Ceremony, but only

RUGBY WORLD CUP: Georgia 25, Romania 6

As a game this was perhaps the poorest I’d seen. Even the crowd lost patience especially when Georgia attempted penalty kicks when really they were well in control. It was a very tight match to be fair to the players and a major test match for both sides. It was a win but it wasn’t pretty.
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Plenty of colour and enthusiasm in the crowd. Webb Ellis Trophy (which one?)
on display.
The ground capacity was 30,000 and I suspect
it wasn’t far off full.
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Plenty of colour in the excited crowd.
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National anthems for Georgia and Romania.
Scrum time.
At the games conclusion a special medal of
participation ceremony was conducted. As this
was their last pool match Romania were the
The Romanians and Georgians know each other
well. They play against each other on a yearly
basis as they are both in the European Nations
Cup competition, Division 1A (which, in theory,
is one tier below the 6 Nations Championship)
So here they applaud each other off the park in
a very tough encounter.
In what has become a tradition in this Rugby World Cup
players do a lap of thanks at the end of the game.
Marius Tincu lead his team around the park.
A nice touch much appreciated by the crowd.
The Georgians also applauded the crowd
support but their lap of thanks will come
after their match against Argentina Sunday.
RWC Day 18 077
This gentleman, who had travelled all the way
from Georgia, was wearing a traditional
Chokha warrior uniform. Note the bullet
compartments. He said the uniform was
pinched by the Russian cossacks. He was
a most obliging fellow who was subjected
to many photo requests.
Levan Kavtaradze and wife imigrated to
New Zealand some twenty years ago
but was very proud to support his birth
nation on the night.
So ended the night. A great occasion for rugby
in the Manawatu. Next game is on Sunday
Georgia v Argentina.

RUGBY WORLD CUP: Georgia v Romania

I wasn’t able to upload all my pics around this game until I fixed up the Live Writer programme to do it without hassles. That’s done so here we go.
Firstly, more pre match entertainment

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These guys are travelling around NZ in cool bus.
Pictures taken on the streets of Palmerston North
before the game.
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Some interesting side-tracking sights. Top shows
a bike rack where you can lock up your bike in
public. Bottom picture I think might be a huia, a
now extinct native bird.

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In the City Square itself there was plenty for the young to do before
the big game. Left: Kick the ball from the tee into the washing machine
bowl. I was tempted! Right: Now pass the ball into the machine
itself. This fellow succeeded and then tried to do it with a back-flip
pass which was not so successful.
DSCN3730  DSCN3732 
Okay now you can pass the ball to hit the skittles or try a punt kick into
the bowl. This all took place in side a large marquee.

How about a try at knee-rugby on a blow-up field?
DSCN3737 DSCN3738
All the activities were set in this most picturesque inner-city
park. Right: You could have your photo simulated in with those
of your selected All Blacks. A great idea and very popular with
the young.
  DSCN3741 DSCN3742
Another competition at left where you try to get to the other end without being
bowled over by suspended and swinging massive rugby balls. On the right a
band kept up the pace in the park.
As the time got closer to kickoff many hundreds had entered the square.
Manawatu Arena was just down the road.

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Pre match costume display time. Manawatu is now famous for its buckethead
approach to supporting your rugby team. It’s simple. Select a coloured plastic bucket of choice and then cut out the front and you’ve done.
Flags are important part of patriotic costuming..
Time to walk to the game. Painted signs on the footpath just as a help.

Bucketheads for sale. Proceeds to charity.
Local lasses are all bucketted, coloured and
ready for the game.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

RUGBY WORLD CUP: Georgia v Romania

Pre Match Pics
Palmerston North is a beautiful city situated right in New Zealand's heartland of rugby. The local provincial rugby union is Manawatu, who play in the NPC Premier division.

The Manawatu will host two games in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Georgia v Romania, Wednesday 28 September, Argentina v Georgia, Sunday 2 October.

Last night thousands of locals and visitors converged on the Manawatu Arena to watch Georgia play Argentina. The locals came out and supported either Georgia or Romania.

Before the game I ventured into 'The Square''where all the pre game festivities were held.

The Square buildings had the flags of the three
nations being hosted in the city this week.

More pics later when I download the proper
live writer programme.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

RUGBY WORLD CUP: Romania v Georgia

Romania v Georgia in Palmerston North (World Cup, Pool B)

Venue: Arena Manawatu Stadium

Referee: David Pearson (England)

For these two teams this is their Rugby World Cup highlight match. Georgia has diminated Romania in recent years during the European Nations Cup Tournament, virtually Division 2 of European Rugby.

What is on the line regarding this test match? For both teams this is their final. Gaining third place in each pool means you automatically qualify for the next Rugby World Cup in 2015. For Romania, this is their last match so a win is crucial to gain this placing. For Georgia a win today, and a win over Argentina Sunday could well nail that third placing.

It's going to be a ding-dong Eastern European encounter. Tough up front and not much in it.

Marius Tincu, Georgia's captain, will play his fiftieth test cap for Georgia.

Last Five Encounters
12.03.2011 Georgia 18-11 in Tblisi (ENC 1A, Antim Cup)
13.03.2010 Romania 22-10 in Bucharest (ENC 1, Antim Cup)
14.03.2009 Georgia 28-22 in Tblisi (WCQ Euro.R5, ENC 1, Antim Cup)
09.02.2008 Georgia 22-7 in Tblisi (ENC 1, Antim Cup)
03.02.2007 Georgia 20-17 in Bucharest (ENC 1, Antim Cup)

The Antim Cup is played for annually between Georgia and Romania. It was first contested in 2007. This Rugby World Cupo test match is not for the Antim Cup.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Georgia 16th, Romania 18th
Europe Table-Georgia 7th, Romania 8th

IRB Ranking PointsGeorgia 70.00, Romania 65.69

Prediction: Georgia by 7 points


Georgia15 Revaz Gigauri, 14 Revaz Gigauri, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Tedo Zibzibadze, 11 Alexander Todua, 10 Merab Kvirikashvili, 9 Irakli Abuseridze, Capt. 8 Dimitri Basilaia, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 5 Vakhtang Maisuradze, 4 Ilia Zedginidze, 3 David Zirakashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 David Kinchagishvili.

16 Goderzi Shvelidze, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Levan Datunashvili, 19 Givi Berishvili, 20 Bidzina Samkharadze, 21 Irakli Chkhikvadze, 22 Malkhaz Urjukashvili.
Head Coach: Richard Dixon

Romania15 Iulian Dumitras, 14 Stefan Ciuntu, 13 Csaba Gal, 12 Tiberius Dimofte, 11 Madalin Lemnaru, 10 Danut Dumbrava, 9 Florin Surugiu, 8 Daniel Carpo, 7 Ovidiu Tonita, 6 Mihai Macovei, 5 Cristian Petre, 4 Valentin Ursache, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Marius Tincu, Capt. 1 Mihaita Lazar.

16 Bogdan Suman, 17 Silviu Florea, 18 Valentin Poparlan, 19 Daniel Ianus, 20 Valentin Calafeteanu, 21 Constantin Gheara, 22 Florin Vlaicu.
Head Coach: Romeo Gontineac