Connacht continued their winning start to the season with another tight triumph, this time a 14-13 victory over Edinburgh Rugby thanks to Willy Faloon’s last-gasp try.
Tom Heathcote’s boot and a try from Cornell du Preez gave Edinburgh a 13-6 lead at half time; Connacht’s points coming from two Darragh Leader penalties.
Faloon was sent to the sin bin with 16 minutes left on the clock, but returned to touch down the winning try in the dying minutes.
ACT Brumbies cult hero Henry Speight has vowed to “give everything I’ve got” to help the Wallabies become an international powerhouse after the Australian government ended years of heartache by granting his family visitor visas.
Fijian-born Speight’s five siblings were reunited for the first time in seven years on the weekend, with Davila and Jerry allowed into the country just days after Speight became eligible to play for Australia.
Any 120kg prop hoping to disguise himself as a rugby sevens speedster in a bid to secure a switch of nationalities for the 15-man game should think again after the sport’s governing body said on Monday it will be alert to such underhand dealings.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) says it is confident it will sniff out any dubious attempts to use Olympic sevens qualification matches to secure a shift in nationalities for the 15-man game – and that their system has the full backing of the IOC.
Malakai Fekitoa seems set to start for the All Blacks at second five-eighth in Argentina next week with Ryan Crotty still working his way back to fitness after a facial fracture.
Crotty was expected to recover for the test against the Pumas in La Plata next week, but would instead make his return in the NPC with Canterbury and join the All Blacks for the Rugby Championship finale against the Springboks at Ellis Park on October 4.
The All Blacks may march on undefeated but the weekend demonstrated palpably that South Africa are going to be big-time World Cup threats.
Maybe bigger even than the hosts who are also going to take some beating at Fortress Twickenham.
Sure, the Springboks weren’t able to get up and end their five-year losing streak on New Zealand soil, but boy did they get close. And a year out from the Cup it’s significant that they’re knocking on the door.
On Thursday, the start of RWC 2015 will be exactly one year away. Nineteen of the 20 participating nations have been decided, with Russia and Uruguay fighting it out over two legs in the next few weeks to fill the last remaining spot.
We take a look at how the pools are shaping up in terms of where the competing countries are in the World Rankings.
The 36-test run began with a win over Australia in the final game of the 2009 Tri Nations, played at Westpac Stadium. The All Blacks cruised to victory 33-6.
Names in the All Blacks side that day included Isaia Toeava, Joe Rokocoko, Jimmy Cowan, Aled de Malmanche, Jason Eaton and Tom Donnelly – on debut. Ma’a Nonu, Richie McCaw and Kieran Read are the only players from Saturday’s match who also appeared in that test.
It came as an innocuous question from an All Black supporter on Twitter, but it summed up the feeling after Saturday’s epic Springboks-All Blacks test in Wellington.
“After that, don’t you wish Ellis Park could be next week?” he asked. The answer is a big resounding yes.
It wasn’t because we lost and wanted revenge. It wasn’t because the Boks will be kicking themselves for coming so close against the World Champions.
England have broken the mould with their new kit as they have moved the rose to the centre of the shirt for the first time.
The kit will be worn by England throughout the 2014-15 campaign with a new strip unveiled before the start of next year’s World Cup.
In addition to the new-look home shirt, England have reverted back to a traditional red change strip which will be worn against Samoa in the autumn internationals.
Springbok flank Siya Kolisi will be out for at least four weeks after hurting both of his knees in Western Province’s 35-33 Currie Cup loss to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg at the weekend.
The defeat, which included a losing bonus point, was WP’s first loss of the 2014 Currie Cup season, but it has come at a cost for the 2012 champions.
According to WP’s official website, Kolisi suffered a torn Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) in both of his knees and is now in a race against the clock to be back for the Currie Cup playoffs.
What a difference a week makes…
The Rugby Championship:
We saw 2 very good test matches, particularly the All Blacks vs Springboks game, played in the Cake Tin.
It was played at tempo for the duration of the match and was superbly refereed by Jerome Garces. Chalk and cheese between what we saw last week.
He seemed to be able to make his decisions with ease, without pressure, and for the most part they were well timed, and accurate. He added huge value to a compelling test match which was deservedly won by the All Blacks.
Vodacom Blue Bulls captain and flank, Deon Stegmann, and hooker Bongi Mbonambi will face SARU disciplinary hearings on Tuesday after being cited following the team’s Currie Cup Premier Division clash against the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Stegmann, received a Red Card for striking a player with his elbow at a ruck in the 69th minute, which was in breach of Law 10.4 (a), while Mbonambi received a Yellow Card in the 12th minute for charging into a ruck dangerously, which contravened Law 10.4 (h).
Steval Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse has blasted his team after their 31-27 loss to GWK Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.
The supersport.com website reports, Stonehouse didn’t hold back as he said his team’s performance was nowhere near their normal standards and that he expected an improvement this weekend as they head to Ellis Park to face the Xerox Golden Lions in their next Absa Currie Cup match.
“I think it was the worst performance we have given in the history of Puma rugby,” Stonehouse said.
A top Cell C Sharks executive has been suspended amid reports of maladministration at the union after a forensic investigation of its financial affairs.
According to The Mercury, internal procedures are under way between the Sharks and the official, who has been with the franchise for more than 21 years.
News of maladministration at the Sharks surfaced earlier this year when auditing company KPMG was called upon to investigate matters.
It was a tight-knit England squad that landed the Cup at the European Sevens Grand Prix Series event in Manchester, according to a prolific Tom Bowen.
Bowen scored four tries across the weekend, including one in Sunday evening’s final, as England saw off a resilient French outfit to win 28-21.
They had to come from behind twice to beat France and lift the trophy, while Scotland and Portugal also took home silverware with the Plate and the Bowl respectively.
“We came here to win the tournament,” said Bowen. “There’s not many of us, so when you spend so much time together, especially on these tours, you become really good friends and it makes you perform better.
“I’m happy with my own personal performance. There are a few things I’ve got to work on but pleased with what I did in the final and what I did all tournament really.
“I managed to get a few tries so I’m happy enough with that.”
When I shared a laugh and a chat with Amy Perrett, nearly six months ago, she, like almost everyone else in women’s rugby, had her sights firmly trained on the World Cup in and around Paris during early August.
England subsequently claimed the trophy, and the tournament served to enhance the rapid growth the women’s game continues to enjoy.
Perrett is no stranger to rapid growth. Aged just 25, the Sydneysider has established herself as one of the top referees in the women’s game and a prize commodity for the Australian Rugby Union.
Back on that gloomy March afternoon in Edinburgh, where she was preparing to take control of a Six Nations clash between Scotland and France, she spoke softly of making the cut, of winning selection for the World Cup panel.
Ma’a Nonu didn’t win the respect and admiration of his South African opposite Jean de Villiers with a big tackle or a crunching run.
The All Blacks second five-eighth saved his classiest moment for the quiet of the changing room where doctors surveyed his broken forearm at halftime during Saturday’s Rugby Championship match at Westpac Stadium.
Nonu’s test, and season, were over, a steel plate inserted in his arm yesterday morning, but as the ambulance doors swung open to take the 32-year-old across town to Wellington Hospital, Nonu thought not of his misfortune and considerable pain.
Instead, he pulled off his No 12 jersey and instructed his handlers to take it to the opposition changing room where it could be collected by de Villiers after he completed his 100th test for the Springboks.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer was left visibly frustrated and annoyed his side had failed to end the All Blacks’ five-year winning streak in New Zealand.
Deep down, however, he knew the mistakes that had been made could be rectified and the youngsters in his team would only be better for their tight 14-10 defeat to the world champions in Wellington on Saturday.
RWC winning back JP Pietersen will replace injured scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar for home Rugby Championship Tests against Australia and New Zealand, it was announced on Sunday.
Pietersen, who can operate on the right wing or at outside centre, has been playing in Japan and was unavailable for the first four southern hemisphere championship matches.
“JP has always been part of our plans and did very well in June playing at outside centre,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said in a statement.
When David Strettle crossed the try line in the final seconds of our game against London Wasps at Twickenham last weekend, there was a sick sense of deja vu.
With Saracens losing by a point, the TMO was promptly called upon for his expert opinion and, much like the brutal closing seconds of last year’s final, we stood around helplessly as the grounding of the ball was dissected from every imaginable angle….
But let me take you take you back a few weeks to the Lollapalooza music festival, where the team got together after a brutal week’s training in a baking hot Chicago.
The All Blacks say South Africa have returned to their time-wasting antics, at the same ground where they first accused them of feigning injuries eight years ago.
Senior New Zealand players voiced their concern at the number of Springboks who sought medical treatment during the All Blacks 14-10 win in Wellington on Saturday.
Captain Richie McCaw and No 8 Kieran Read regularly remonstrated with French referee Jerome Garces, believing the tourists were deliberately slowing the speed of the Test to nullify New Zealand’s high-speed approach.
The Springboks put a positive spin on their narrow defeat to the All Blacks in a bruising encounter on Saturday, saying they learnt valuable lessons a year out from the World Cup.
The 14-10 defeat in Wellington all but ended the Springboks bid to prevent the All Blacks claiming the Rugby Championship trophy for a third successive year.
It also came at a price, with scrum-half Ruan Pienaar out for up to eight weeks with knee ligament damage and a question mark over flanker Francois Louw, who suffered an arm injury.
But in the plus column, coach Heyneke Meyer saw a valuable return from his gamble to play 20-year-old Handre Pollard and 21-year-old Jan Serfontein against the top side in the world.
All Blacks center Ma’a Nonu will not play rugby again in 2014 after undergoing surgery on a broken arm sustained against South Africa on Saturday.
Nonu suffered the injury in the first half of the 14-10 win over the Springboks in Wellington and was replaced at halftime but only after having played for nine minutes after suffering the injury when tackling opposite number Jean de Villiers.
The injury means Nonu will miss New Zealand’s remaining Rugby Championship matches against Argentina in La Plata in a fortnight and South Africa in Johannesburg on October 5. He has also been ruled out of New Zealand’s November tour to the United States and Britain.
Thinus Delport acknowledged that New Zealand’s superior experience and mental strength was the difference as they earned a late victory.
He said: “It’s that winning mentality – not panicking, staying calm, making the right decisions.
That’s what it boils down to. One simple error at this level and the game changes.
Brutal as this confrontation was, it was the subtle and cerebral touch of the All Blacks’ collective boots which separated them from South Africa.
This was test rugby in its most pure form. A brutal contest of physicality from the moment Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen levelled All Black captain Richie McCaw in the opening minutes.
It was a shame there had to be winner, but such is sport.
Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar will miss the rest of the Rugby Championship after suffering a knee ligament injury in the 14-10 defeat to the All Blacks in Wellington.
Pienaar was carried from the field in the 36th minute after a swinging leg from team-mate Duane Vermeulen connected with his leg.
Team doctor Craig Roberts confirmed the 80-Test veteran is likely to face several months on the sidelines.
Scotland 7’s will compete in the Manchester 7’s Cup quarter-finals today (Sunday 14 September), following two victories against Italy (24-19) and Georgia (45-0) yesterday.
The Scots will play Russia at 11.06am, at the AJ Bell Stadium, as they look to improve on their third place finish, in the last Rugby Europe tournament in Moscow back in June.
After the disappointment of a, 5-12 loss to Spain, the side grew in confidence and composure, as each of the remaining ties past.
So amper, maar alle aanduidings is dat die Springbokrugbyspan weer op die regte pad is ná sy naelskraapse nederlaag gister teen die All Blacks.
Dit is die eenparige mening van ’n klompie kenners by wie Rapport gaan kers opsteek het ná die Slag van Wellington.
“As ons die All Blacks só kan vat in Wellington, kan ons hulle op neutrale velde in die Wêreldbeker-toernooi klop,” meen die voormalige Bok-slot Krynauw Otto. “Dit was weer simpel foute wat ons, nes in Australië, die wedstryd gekos het. Tien foute minder en ons het gewen.”
The Wallabies may have denied Argentina on the Gold Coast, but they could travel to South Africa without the man who helped make the 32-25 victory possible.
Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, whose assured set piece work helped deny the Pumas their customary scrum dominance in the first half at Cbus Stadium, has injured his left ankle and is in “serious doubt” for the Wallabies’ final two Tests of the Rugby Championship.
This was an absolutely wonderful Test match.
It was what all rugby players and supporters want to see or be involved in.
The referee was outstanding in the game, absolutely clear, no controversial incidents and no yellow cards.
The Springboks played by far their best match this year. A lot of it had to do with the positive mindset that came into the team from the selection of Pollard.
Former British and Irish Lions prop Phil Vickery has called on the combined side to resist pressure to change their name should Scotland vote for independence next week.
The Lions could be forced to drop the word ‘British’ from their title if Scotland leaves the United Kingdom.
John Spencer, England’s representative on the Lions board and the manager for the team’s 2017 tour of New Zealand, said officials would discuss a possible name change in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote.
Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer knew he had rolled the dice in selecting rookie flyhalf Handre Pollard to play against the All Blacks, but was pleased the 20-year-old had proved he was worth the gamble.
Pollard hardly put a foot wrong in his fourth test, and first against the world champions, driving the Springboks around Wellington Regional Stadium, producing a superb inside pass to set up their only try and providing a solid kicking game.
Golden Lions (14) 35 / 33 (13) WP (Final Score)
The Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province did battle in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division at
Ellis Park, Johannesburg at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
FS Cheetahs (17) 30 / 30 (13) Sharks (Final Score)
TheToyota Free State Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks did battle in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division at
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 15:00 SA Time (13:00 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen lauded his team’s character but not their execution after beating the Springboks 14-10 to take a firm grip on a third successive Rugby Championship title.
New Zealand dominated possession and territory but couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard, eventually clinging on to beat their historic rivals for a fifth successive Test.
Outstanding South African defence nearly earned them a win but an assault on the home side’s line over the last seven minutes was unsuccessful.