South Africa and the West Indies battle each other in the 1st 5-Day Cricket Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion from 17 to 21 December 2014. Play was weather delayed on Day 1 due to a wet outfield, with the Test due to start at 10:30 SA Time (08:30 GMT).
The delay was only 30 minutes and play started at 11:00 SA Time on Day 1.
The weather was quite overcast in Centurion on Day 1. On Day 2 much the same weather, although it seems slightly improved.
At the start of the game the pitch was hard and there was some movement in the flight of the ball.
The score cards will be updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.
The West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl, to exploit the weather conditions.
The South Africans started fast and the first wicket only fell on 57 runs… but then 2 more wickets fell on the same score. At 57 / 3 Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers steadied the ship and batted the whole day, stringing up the runs till close of play on Day 1.
On Day 2 both AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla quickly went over 150 runs each, before AB de Villiers perished on 152. Hashim Amla reached a landmark 208 before being caught in the deep, right near the boundary markers. Stiaan van Zyl started nervously on debut… but then reached his 101 not out, when Captain Amla declared with the Proteas on 552 / 5, after 140.3 Overs. Quinton de Kock ended on 18 not out in the process.
During the Innings Break, Tea was also called… and then rain delayed play from resuming… Further play on Day 2 was eventually abandoned and Stumps was called very early after good rain had fallen in Centurion.
South Africa: First Innings – 552 / 5 declared (140.3 Overs)
West Indies: First Innings – 0 / 0 (0 Overs)
Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika is unfazed about a possible mass exodus of players after next year’s World Cup, following the departures of veterans James Horwill and Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Lock James Horwill, captain at the 2011 World Cup, agreed to a three-year contract with English club Harlequins as he prepares for his first spell in English rugby.
On the same day, French Top 14 side Bordeaux announced they had agreed a two-year deal with wing Ashley-Cooper.
Toulon’s abrasive and controversial boss Mourad Boudjellal is once again threatened to go to court, because a decision did not go his way.
According to reports in the French media Toulon are considering legal action against the two Leicester Tigers supporters involved in a row with their England loose forward Delon Armitage.
Armitage was suspended for 12 weeks as a result of a misconduct complaint lodged against him, following his club’s European Champions Cup defeat against Leicester Tigers.
The 31-year-old Englishman – whose teammate, Italian prop Martin Castrogiovanni, received a suspended four match ban and a fine for a post match rant – was found to have used offensive language towards spectators at Leicester’s Welford Road ground.
Queensland Rugby has announced James Horwill has signed a three-year contract with English Premiership giant Harlequins.
Horwill will make the move to the famous London club following the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which concludes in October next year.
He is currently the most-capped Queensland captain, having led the Reds on 69 occasions.
A modern-day champion of the Reds who led Queensland to the 2011 Super Rugby title, Horwill will make the 2015 Super Rugby season his 10th and his last and is determined to achieve success when he pulls on the Reds jersey for the final time next year.
The game in Kenya was thrown into further turmoil when Kenyan Rugby Union Chairman Mwangi Muthee resigned.
This came in the wake of the Sevens team’s dismal showing in the first three rounds of the 2014/15 World Series.
Muthee, who was elected to the post four years ago, is the second high profile official to resign – after South African Paul Treu quit as coach of the Sevens team at the weekend, following Canada’s victory over Kenya in the Bowl Final in South Africa.
Daniel Carter, world rugby’s leading points scorer and one of the greatest players to ever don the All Blacks jersey, is to leave New Zealand rugby at the end of the 2015 season.
The All Blacks and Crusaders flyhalf has announced he has signed a three-year deal with French Top 14 club Racing Metro. It will be Carter’s second stint in France after he played five games for Perpignan in 2008-09 during his sabbatical from New Zealand rugby.
32-year-old Carter said it was exciting to confirm his future post 2015.
“It’s going to be an awesome adventure for me and my family. Having visited France many times, including my time with Perpignan, I know what the French culture and their rugby culture is like and it’s something I really love.
“Having said that, it’s the immediate future that is exciting me at the moment. 2015 is going to be a big year and I’m looking forward to getting into it, firstly with the Crusaders and then hopefully with the All Blacks.
A Special General Meeting of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) was held at DHL Newlands on Wednesday 17 December 2014 to give feedback and to discuss the investigation of the feasibility and desirability to relocate to the Cape Town Stadium.
The WPRFU are the owners of the DHL Newlands Rugby Stadium – in turn, the clubs are the stakeholders and owners of the Union – and a decision to remain at DHL Newlands was carried by the clubs on Wednesday 17 December 2014, unanimously and without abstention.
The decision to NOT further consider relocating to the Cape Town Stadium was based on a number of factors, the main considerations being the following:
The Western Force has recruited Japanese international wing, Akihito Yamada for the 2015 edition of the Super Rugby competition.
The signing also coincides with the Force’s 10th season in the Southern Hemisphere tournament.
Yamada joins the Force as a concessional signing for one year, with each Australian club permitted to recruit one Japanese player in addition to their 35-man senior squad.
French Top-14 side Bordeaux-Begles have announced on Wednesday that they had agreed a two-year contract with Australian international Adam Ashley-Cooper to join them after next year’s Rugby World Cup.
“Apart from being the great player he is, Adam Ashley-Cooper particularly impressed us with his extraordinary competitive spirit and his willingness to embrace our ambitious plans,” Bordeaux club president Laurent Marti said.
The 30-year-old Wallabies centre or wing has won 104 caps for Australia and is expected to play a leading role in their World Cup campaign in England next October.
George North has insisted he is not planning to return to regional rugby any time soon but backed the new dual-contract system which has attracted Dan Lydiate to return from France.
The Northampton wing hailed Welsh union and regional bosses for finally agreeing a “feasible option” that will boost chances of top stars remaining in the domestic game.
Lydiate capitalised on the new contracts by return from Racing Metro to the Ospreys and will make his debut against Ulster this Saturday.
North believes more top stars could follow suit but stressed his current situation at Northampton suits him “down to the ground”.
The Saints release North for all his Wales commitments, a situation he admits allows him to gain the best of both worlds.
In the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015 (17 to 21 December), we will discuss 2 positions in 10 seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) – seperating the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.
That means 10 Super Rugby Articles every week from now on.
The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.
In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Vodacom Bulls 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
Suggestions as to what to add to these Articles are welcome, but please hurry as the next Article will follow this one shortly!
The Western Force has launched its anniversary playing strip ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby season – the club’s 10th year in the competition.
Representative players were involved in the design process with the 10th anniversary jersey featuring the iconic swan on the front the Force’s ocean blue jersey. Gold trim and black panels under the arms link back to the traditional state colours of Western Australia, where rugby has been played in the state for more than 120 years.
The jersey also has the Force’s ’10 Years’ logo emblazoned on the chest while each name of the 126 players that have represented the Force in Super Rugby since 2006 are listed on the lower back.
The alternate strip is predominantly white featuring the black swan across the front, and a blue trim.
Harlequins lock Charlie Matthews could face a ban of up to one year after he was cited for allegedly making contact with the eye area of Leinster flanker Dominic Ryan in last Saturday’s European Champions Cup match.
The 23-year-old – who was sin-binned by French referee Romain Poite for the altercation – will face a disciplinary panel in London on Wednesday.
The panel could impose anything from a low end sanction lasting 12 weeks, mid-range 24 weeks, while in the worst case scenario he could be banned for a year for a more serious offence.
New Zealand Under 20 star Damian Mckenzie will have to battle it out with his brother Marty for a spot at flyhalf for the Chiefs next year.
The 19-year-old flyhalf has a big future in the game, after showing hints of his sparkling ability with the New Zealand Under 20’s and Waikato’s NPC side this year.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has had his eye on McKenzie for years now, and is looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the team.
He will start third or fourth in the pecking order for the flyhalf position at the Chiefs, behind All Black Aaron Cruden, brother Marty McKenzie, and in a tie with Andrew Horrell.
The Barbarians will round off their 125th anniversary year by tackling Argentina at Twickenham in November 2015, organisers announced on Tuesday.
After a chastening 2013, the invitational side proved themselves credible opponents for the world’s elite teams this year, going down 49-39 to a youthful England team in June and narrowly losing 40-36 to Australia last month.
They are scheduled to play Ireland in Limerick on 8 May and will play England three days later before finishing the year against Argentina.
The Kenya Rugby Union on Tuesday appointed Felix Ochieng as the new sevens team head coach to replace South African Paul Treu who resigned last week.
Ochieng, who was one of Treu’s two deputy coaches will remain in charge of the team for the remainder of the 2014 / 2015 season.
Former BlitzBokke and Kenya Sevens coach Paul Treu’s role at the Stormers and Western Province may be surprising given his Sevens background, but the departure of Jacques Nienaber has left a hole to be filled.
Treu, who had been coaching the Kenyan Sevens until the recent Port Elizabeth tournament, completed a rapid return to the world of 15-man-rugby when he joined Western Province on Monday.
The long-serving BlitzBokke coach signed up with the Cape side along with Rito Hlungwani and Hanyani Shimange as three big appointments by Director of Rugby Gert Smal ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby season.
Western Province also announced the loss of defensive coach Nienaber who joined the High Performance Department at SARU. This is where Treu stepped in.
Steve Hansen’s term as All Blacks head coach has been extended by two years, ensuring he will be in charge when the British and Irish Lions tour New Zealand in 2017.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew told a news conference Tuesday that Hansen will continue in his role for two years after the 2015 World Cup.
England hooker Dylan Hartley has rejected a mega offer from Top 14 club Montpellier to sign a new deal with Northampton.
The 28-year-old has revealed that he was given a ‘very generous offer’ by the club to move to France.
However, Hartley has opted to remain with Premiership champions Saints and outlined his reasons today.
Hartley stated that the move would have had no impact on his England career ahead of next year’s World Cup, while turning down the possibility of ‘300 days of sunshine’ was not easy.
“It’s no secret I was offered a deal to join one of the leading French sides, Montpellier, which would have been worth significantly more. But money isn’t everything,” Hartley wrote in his column in a newspaper.
“I don’t want to come across all ‘holier than thou’ over this, but I do believe the world loyalty has gone out of fashion a bit – and for me that really means something.”
It is officially the dreaded OFF-SEASON for Southern Hemisphere rugby, so it means under normal circumstances that we would be going into withdrawal system mode very, very soon… but NEVER here on Rugby-Talk.com.
As from this week (sometime), we will be starting IN DEPTH DISCUSSIONS on the INDIVIDUAL POSITIONS and the PLAYERS who will be filling these positions for the 5 South African Super Rugby Franchises.
That alone means 40 Articles to feast on (8 per Franchise), at a rate of 2 per midweek day, therefor roughly 10 per week, and subsequently it will take us roughly 4 weeks to complete… which basically covers most of the off-season.
But, that is not all folks, we will also be covering INTERNATIONAL CRICKET and some of the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE RUGBY.
In addition we will have a Christmas and New Year’s message, which has also proven popular over the years.
So, lots to look forward to, hold on to your boots!
The Wales squad will face temperatures ranging from 42 degrees to minus 150 degrees, will sleep in normobaric hypoxic chambers and will train in surroundings ranging from the deserts of Qatar to the peaks of the Swiss Alps as part of their gruelling preparation for next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Wales’ full schedule for 2015 will see Warren Gatland’s squad undergo intensive training camps in Switzerland, Qatar and Poland as well as face home and away ties against Ireland before concluding their preparations against Italy at the Millennium Stadium.
The rigorous schedule has left no stone unturned in order to ensure Wales arrive at the world’s showpiece tournament in peak condition with leading facilities at home in Wales and across the world utilized.
The programme is the culmination of months of research and planning and WRU head of physical performance, Adam Beard, who also designed the 2011 schedule, is delighted to formally announce the squad’s plans.
Former Wales and Llanelli flyhalf Phil Bennett has questioned Scarlets’ move for Welsh-qualified flanker Jack Payne from Queensland Reds in Australia.
Payne, 20, has arrived in Wales, but any move cannot be made official until passport issues have been resolved.
Scarlets president Bennett would prefer to see local players at Scarlets, but admitted importing Welsh-qualified players from abroad could help Wales.
“There’s a lot of mixed feeling from Llanelli,” he said. “We’re kind of old fashioned here. People still go back to the great Llanelli days . . . they all want to be Welsh, Welsh-speaking if they had their way,” joked 66-year-old Bennett.
“But let’s be honest, look at the Australians, the All Blacks and how they’ve milked the situation of getting players from Fiji, Samoa and different places. You’ve got to get and live with the very best in the world.”
Western Province Rugby has announced some exciting additions to its coaching resources, with Paul Treu, Rito Hlungwani and Hanyani Shimange set to join, in various capacities, from 2015 onwards.
The signing of Treu, Hlungwani and Shimange will bolster the DHL Stormers and various DHL Western Province professional teams, whilst WP Rugby has also agreed to release Jacques Nienaber to further his career at national level.
Treu is a highly-regarded coach on the World Sevens circuit, having put South African Sevens on the map by guiding the Springbok Sevens side to the overall IRB Sevens World Series title in 2008/09 and recently also finishing a stint as coach of the national Kenyan Sevens team.
Treu, 43, coached the SA Sevens team between 2004 and 2013, leading them to an overall tally of 14 tournament wins and building a professional and structured squad set-up in the process. His presence will add a new and exciting dynamic to the settled DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province coaching set-ups.
While South Africa finished the year second in the world, and the only side in 2014 to defeated the All Blacks, their two losses at the end of the year against Ireland and Wales exposed deficiencies that will be studiously worked on by the coaching team.
One thing is for certain, there is likely to be some changes to the portfolio after Heyneke Meyer admitted that elements like the team’s kicking weren’t working, while the usually reliable power game of the Springboks wasn’t able to rule proceedings in Dublin and Cardiff.
They did however, during that 27-25 win at Ellis Park over New Zealand, show that they have the breakdown belligerence and attacking sense to match any side.
Even if four losses in their last eight of the year came seemed to come from a lack of crystal concise mindset than anything else, at times kicking, running or passing seemed to come without the smart bomb like precision we usually expect from a Boks team.
The World Champions for the most part could pat themselves on the back and claim job well done, winning 12 from 14 and retaining all major titles that were on offer.
Not only did they win The Investec Rugby Championship and defend the Bledisloe Cup, but recently the All Blacks celebrated five years at the top of the world rankings.
Yet despite some mighty mental powers and impressive depth, tactically the team isn’t able to thrash sides as many of the predecessors have in the past.
A win is a win yes, but has the proverbial gab closed but gone unnoticed due to the continuation of results?
While some might be quick to suggest Australia needs to put 2014 aside and focus on the upcoming season, no Test nation has as many potential improvements and as a consequence the prospective growth potential for the Wallabies excites.
Michael Cheika took over midyear but any who thought his success with the Waratahs would quickly translate to the national setup were sadly mistaken as the significant gap between Super Rugby and the Test arena was proved again.
There is plenty to like even if the old issue of the scrum reared its head, especially out wide, where man for man there is nothing to suggest that the Wallabies backline couldn’t become the world’s glamour division in time for the Webb Ellis trophy.
The one time in Europe that Argentina strayed slightly away from their traditional strengths, they lost, engaging in an entertaining running contest with Scotland, but otherwise closed the year with a 3-1 record over their last four.
It means that Los Pumas finish the season with form behind only New Zealand and Ireland, defeating the Wallabies in Mendoza, before grinding down Italy and France on consecutive weekends to return to South America on a high.
Coach Daniel Hourcade has been superb and his feats have been lost somewhat when talking about the likes of Steve Hansen or Joe Schmidt.
Yet the former Pampas mentor has turned many local players into hardened Test regulars, further ridding Argentina of a heavy reliance on European based stars.
South Africa have beaten New Zealand 26-17 in the Cup final at the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in a repeat of last year’s victory, in front of 36 425 fans.
The Blitzbokke are the toast of South Africa after title defence at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on the weekend.
The Blitzbokke have accordingly also now moved to first in the global HSBC Sevens World Series standings with win, as the road to Rio (2016 Olympics) heats up.
South Africa have defended their title and won their second consecutive round of the HSBC Sevens World Series with a 26-17 win over defending series champions New Zealand at the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth, round three of the Series.
An internal restructuring to streamline the identification, development and monitoring of players will be headed up by Rassie Erasmus as SARU looks to take sole responsibility for an unbroken pathway for players and coaches.
The restructuring indicates that SARU is trying to take a bigger role in the development of players right from the junior level to potentially Springboks.
The new structure has evolved from the former Development and High Performance departments, whose functions have been rationalised.
“The old departments worked hand-in-hand,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.
Kenya Rugby Union board member Godwin Karuga has resigned from Kenyan rugby and follows departing Sevens coach Paul Treu, whose tenure ended after the Port Elizabeth leg, out of the troubled Union.
The move will not surprise many who have witnessed an apparent implosion within which has culminated in the resignation of Treu.
In Treu’s decision to leave he revealed some members of the board had made his life as coach difficult.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Friday confirmed the home venues for the 2015 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
The Springboks will play New Zealand at Emirates Airline Park (formerly Ellis Park), Johannesburg, on Saturday 25 July and Argentina at Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban, on Saturday 8 August.
The schedule was amended as a result of the condensing of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship competition to three rounds because of the Rugby World Cup, which begins in mid-September.
All Black Brodie Retallick has backed up his World Rugby International Player of the Year award by being named the Kelvin R Tremain Player of the Year at the 2014 Steinlager Rugby Awards.
The 23-year-old’s outstanding form saw the 35-Test powerhouse lock join team mates Richie McCaw, Kieran Read and Jerome Kaino who have won the top honour in recent years.
The All Blacks who retained their number one world ranking for the fifth consecutive year, took out the Team of the Year for the fourth successive year while Steve Hansen earned his third successive Coach of the Year award.
French club Racing Metro are reportedly winning the race to sign All Blacks star Dan Carter in a deal that is tipped to make him the highest paid player in the game with a £1 million contract.
European media is awash with speculation around Carter as the veteran No 10’s future beyond next year’s World Cup continues to grab headlines.
All the various sources were tipping glamour Paris outfit Racing Metro to lure Carter back to the French competition after his painful previous experience of an injury-plagued sabbatical in 2009 with Perpignan.
The Times suggested Carter ‘is close to becoming rugby’s first £1 million man’ with Racing Metro owner Jacky Lorenzetti prepared to ‘break the bank’ for a move that would finally end Carter’s All Blacks career.
Wallabies and Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper has committed to Australian Rugby for another year in a deal that will take him through until the end of 2015.
The 26-year-old flyhalf returned to national duty in the recent Spring Tour after overcoming an injury that curtailed his Super Rugby season and will be keen to add to his 53 Test caps next year.
“I really enjoyed the Spring Tour, even though some of the results weren’t what we wanted,” he said.
“We’re working hard to improve and I’m confident we’ve got a great group of players going into 2015.
“I love being at the Reds and playing rugby for Australia, and am looking forward to the opportunities next year.”
The last Tournament in the 2014 calendar year for the HSBC Sevens World Series of 2014 / 2015 took place in Port Elizabeth at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament was played over 2 Days, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 December 2014.
When play started on Day 1, France scored within 14 seconds against Fiji, but Fiji rallied to demolish France by 45 / 5.
Canada surprised by beating Scotland 14 / 12 in the 2nd game.
A number of more surprises followed on Day one, but what remained firm was the South African Blitzbokke resolve as they monstered their way to 3 excellent wins, and only conceeding a solitary try in the process.
Apart from South Africa, the other big Sevens nations – New Zealand, England, Fiji and Australia were joined by USA, Scotland and Argentina in the Cup Quarters on Day 2.
South Africa advanced to the Final, beating England and Australia along the way, whilst New Zealand beat USA to advance to a semi against Argentina, then comfortably beat Argentina, to book their place against the South African Blitzbokke in the Final.
Australia took the 3rd Place Play-off game against Argentina, 34 / 19.
The South African Blitzbokke took Final honours against New Zealand by 26 / 17 and made it back to back tournament wins as well as a successful defence of the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens title!
To Southern Hemisphere rugby interests, this tournament represents the last action in the 2014 rugby season, with their off-season officially starting after this tournament.
In the Northern Hemisphere though, it is all action in December.
The 2014 / 2015 season carries added significance because the top-ranked sides after the ninth and final round in London in May 2015 will qualify directly for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.