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European Rugby Champions CupJake White’s Montpellier bounced back from their comprehensive loss away from home to Glasgow Warriors last week by beating fellow French team Toulouse in their final European Rugby Champions Pool 4 match on Sunday. Montpellier won a closely contested match by the narrowest of margins with a final score of 27 / 26 in their favour.

This victory for Montpellier meant that Saracens qualified for the last eight of the Cup in spite of losing their last Pool 1 match against pool winners Clermont Auvergne. The score in that match Clermont Auvergne 18 / 6 Saracens.

The 5 pool winners along with the 3 best second placed team advanced and Saracens made it through as the last qualifying with the lowest amount of points from their 6 matches (17). Had Toulouse won they would have qualified as Pool 4 winners along with Bath who won their Pool 4 match against Glasgow Warriors. Toulouse also ended the pool stage on 17 points but Saracens got through via a superior points difference, +14 versus Toulouse’s +2.

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Hi,

We have 4 NEW SuperBru Pools for all to join!

  • The RBS SIX Nations 2015 starts on 6 February 2015, so hurry up and do not delay to register for it!
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  • The Vodacom Super Rugby 2015 starts on 13 February 2015 and the first warm-up games in preparation of the season start this weekend… can’t wait… you HAVE TO register for this SuperBru Pool!
  • The Cricket World Cup 2015 starts on 14 February 2015 and although Rugby-Talk.com is primarily about rugby, we dabble a bit in the devious art of cricket too… join us!

As is usual, Rugby-Talk.com’s SuperBru Pools are open for ALL REGISTERED SUBSCRIBERS of Rugby-Talk.com, so if you are not yet registered here on Rugby-Talk.com, do so without delay! It is so easy to register and such fun to discuss rugby here.

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Cell C SharksThis is the third in the series of Cell C Sharks Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

The Sharks have lost the services of Anton Bresler (Edinburgh) and Peet Marais (Brive), between seasons, and have gained the services of Mouritz Botha (from Saracens) as well as the backup services of Giant Mtyanda. Stephan Lewies is still on a longer term injury list and should return somewhere in the middle of the tournament.

The early question raised is how Pieter-Steph du Toit will fare, coming back from injury.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS in the Cell C Sharks 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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This is the third article in the range of Bulls Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

We move deeper into the enjin room to the Locks. The Bulls have lost Paul Willemse and David Bullbring at lock for the 2015 season but of course Victor Matfield is sure to play Super Rugby this time around, whereas before the 2014 season that was not the case. Apart from Victor Matfield, Flip van der Merwe and Grant Hattingh, the Bulls will be able to call on the promising young Nico Janse van Rensburg as well as Marvin Orie in 2015.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS in the Vodacom Bulls 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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1872 CupThe festive season continues with derby matches in Round 12 of the Guinness PRO12. Some of the matches are the return leg of derbies played around the Boxing Day period. The attention in Scotland will be focussed on BT Murrayfield on Friday night where Edinburgh will host their rivals from the west, Glasgow Warriors, in a PRO12 fixture that doubles up as the second leg of the 1872 Cup.

Glasgow Warriors go into the game with a 10-point advantage following their win over Edinburgh on Boxing Day and will be looking to retain what is said to be the oldest cup in club rugby, yet again. There was only 1 try scored in the first leg of the 1872 Cup last week and with blustery conditions likely for Friday night the game may be a low scoring battle of attrition that could go the way of the team that makes the least errors.

Considering the relative positions of the 2 teams on the PRO12 table and the fact that Glasgow go into the game with that 10- point cushion one should expect at the very least that they maintain their grip on the 1872 Cup.

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Emirates LionsThis is the second article in the series of Lions Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

The Lions have real depth in the hookers, with Robbie Coetzee, Akker van der Merwe, Malcolm Marx, Willie Wepener and even Mark Pretorius available to them in 2015.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the Lions 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

The Emirates Lions front row will be a force in 2015.

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Stormers

This is the second article in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

A bit of good and a lot of bad news for Stormers supporters, as Bongi Mbonambi joins the Stormers from the Bulls but with recent news that Tiaan Liebenberg has retired due to continued injuries and of course also with the fact that Deon Fourie has left for overseas.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the DHL Stormers 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

One cannot help but feel that the Stormers are light in the hookers and in the front row in general for 2015.

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Cell C SharksThis is the second article in the series of Cell C Sharks Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.

The Sharks have had no change in hooker personnel since the 2014 Super Rugby season, but are very adequately covered in Bismarck du Plessis and Kyle Cooper, with further backup from Monde Hadebe.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the Cell C Sharks 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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This is the second article in the series of Bulls Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015. In 2015 the Bulls will be better off in the hooker department, having contracted Adriaan Strauss, the Springbok hooker from the Toyota Cheetahs, although they have also lost the services of Bongi Mbonambi to the DHL Stormers.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKERS in the Vodacom Bulls 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

In 2015 the Bulls subsequently sit with a current Springbok hooker, an erstwhile Springbok hooker and a hooker who was invited to the Springbok training squad in 2014 by Heyneke Meyer, to fire their Super Rugby campaign… and with these hookers next to 2 current Springbpk props as well as a choice of 2 erstwhile Springbok props.

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Emirates LionsIn the first discussions of the Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015 (in December), we discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles to start off with, to be done as time allows me to do, considering one has to have some holidays and some off time too, before the new year becomes a burden on the batteries again.

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 Lions 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

The Emirates Lions are much in the same position as the Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks, with excellent props serving their cause for 2015, with recent Springbok tourists at tighthead, Julian Redelinghuys and Ruan Dreyer both standout tighthead props and Schalk van der Merwe easily seeing off all comers in 2014, no matter who they were and what their pedigrees were.

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StormersIn the first lot of discussions of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015, we discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles to start with, followed by the rest of the Articles, as and how time allows, 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 DHL Stormers 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

Similar to the situation at the Toyota Cheetahs, the Stormers have had some departures, with Brok Harris and pat Cillies having left the Franchise.

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CheetahsIn December’s discussions of the Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015, we discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

Work committments interfered a bit with my plans to start these articles at the hefty pace of 10 Super Rugby Articles every week, as today is the final day of the 1st week and this only represents the 3rd Article in the range, 7 behind schedule… but with a plan to radically catch up after the Christmas festivities and whilst leisurely following the 5-Day Cricket Test between South Africa and the West Indies which starts on Boxing Day (26 December).

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 Toyota Cheetahs 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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From us here at Rugby-Talk.com,

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Dang, it is not easy to look good on a SELFIE VIDEO!

Cheers

 

PS! Leave all your Christmas messages here and send all your gifts to me at Rugby-Talk Central!!

 

Regards,

 

Rudi Geldenhuys

(Webmaster grootblousmile)

Cell C SharksIn the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015 (17 to 24 December), we will discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate 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 Cell C Sharks 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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Cricket BallSouth Africa and the West Indies battled each other in the 1st 5-Day Cricket Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion. The Test was supposed to run from 17 to 21 December 2014, but ended a day and a half early. 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.

The score cards were updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.com.

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… and further play on Day 2 was eventually abandoned and Stumps was called very early after heavy rains had fallen in Centurion.

On Day 3 the Proteas dismissed the West Indies with ease in their First Innings, still 351 runs behind. The follow-on was enforced. At Stumps on Day 3 the West Indies were already reeling at 76 / 2.

On Day 4, the Proteas did not fool around, dismissing the rest of the West Indies batting lineup, only 3 balls into the 2nd Session of the day, for a measly 131. Dale Steyn took 6 wickets on Day 4 and South Africa easily wins with an Innings and 220 runs.

Seriously back to the drawing board for the West Indies, I suggest!

 

South Africa:

First Innings – 552 / 5 declared (140.3 Overs)

 

West Indies:

First Innings – 201 All Out (60.2 Overs)
Second Innings – 131 All Out (42.3 Overs)

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Vodacom BullsIn 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!

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Rugby-Talk.com

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!

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe 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.

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Blitzbokke

HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe second last Tournament in the 2014 calendar year for the HSBC Sevens World Series of 2014 / 2015 is underway in Dubai.

The Emirates Dubai Sevens tournament is played over 2 Days, Friday 5 and Saturday 6 December 2014.

The last Tournament for the year is next weekend, in South Africa, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

On Day 1, the traditional Sevens big sides, Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, England and Australia have easily overcome their opponents in their first games.

Surprise results were Canada beating Wales by 19 / 14 and Scotland beating Samoa 21 / 14.

On Day 2 Fiji and New Zealand advanced to the 3rd place play-off and South Africa and Australia advanced to the Final.

South Africa’s Blitzbokke easily took the Final and the Dubai title by 33 / 7.

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Cricket BallThe Springboks (rugby side) took on the Proteas in a T20 celebration match, for the Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup, at Wanderers, Johannesburg on Friday 5 December 2014.

The Springbok side was made up of current and recent Springboks, whereas the Proteas have chosen a strong T20 National lineup.

The match started at 18:00 SA Time.

The score cards were be updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.com.

The Springboks put one over their Cricket counterparts, with 7 balls spare, Willem Alberts, the capatin on the day, bringing the Bokke home with a 4.

The Springboks win by 5 wickets.

 

Proteas: 181 / 10 (20 Overs)

Springboks: 185 / 5 (18.5 Overs)

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Rugby-TalkIt’s PUB NIGHT!

I attended a funeral today, my late dad’s wife… my Stepmom… but she was way more than that!

My dad used to say, “They are cutting from my forest now”, meaning that his generation was in the firing line and the ones going one by one… well today a slender old tree with a very kind shadow was layed to rest… may she rest in peace.

I think it would be apt to dedicate PUB NIGHT tonight to memories, so that is exactly what we will do!

The End Of Year Tours are a thing of the past and not the brightest end to the season for the Springboks, not a good End Of Year Tour in fact. What was clear though, is that the Southern Hemisphere players are all tired and quite spent after a long season and that the top Northern Hemisphere countries have crept closer to the biggies of the Southern Hemisphere.

What remains for 2014? Only a month left of the year and only 2 HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments to go, the one in Dubai and the one at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Then it is that aweful lull in the Southern Hemisphere season, where we have to make do with only some Northern Hemisphere rugby, some cricket and a heap of news in preparation for Super Rugby 2015.

OK, let’s focus on the PUB tonight…. the idea with PUB NIGHT is to lighten up our dull Tuesday evenings with music, comedy and fun.

Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan and fellow rugby nutters gather and wheel in their old timer friends…

Read the rules below carefully, or you WILL get burnt!

Just for clarity sake, when someone does not adhere to the Rules of the PUB, EVERYBODY jumps on them and pummels them, right… understood?

 

Here’s how it works:

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WalesSouth AfricaWales (3) 12 / 6 (3) Springboks (Final Score)

Wales and the South African Springboks did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Millennium stadium, Cardiff, Wales at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 BST & GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Take Note that the England vs Australia game was at the same time slot as the Wales vs South Africa game, therefore we concentrated on the Wales vs South Africa game, with SCORE UPDATES at the Bottom of the Article on the England vs Australia game.

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Rugby-TalkIt’s PUB NIGHT!

The week started on a heavy note, my 2nd mom in ICU… and as “deurmekaar” as your regular Sharks supporter!

The PUB also celebrates old timers tonight, Ryecatcher, Angostura… and the softy, which is my stepmom, Nora Geldenhuys, a descendant of one of the big Ground Barons of the original Pretoria – General Opperman (who was a Boer General and closest neighbour of General Jan Smuts).

Of course we also received news this week of the retirement of a Springbok Old Timer and lock legend, Bakkies Botha!

What’s better than wishing these old folgies well and capping it off in the PUB?

This coming weekend the Springboks take on the last enemy on tour for 2014, Wales, who held the All Blacks till the 69th minute, this past weekend! One more BIG push for the Springboks, after a year filled with Super Rugby and a very busy International window.

The Springboks overseas contingent is now gone… back to their Clubs, as the International Window is already officially a thing of the past.

OK, let’s focus on the PUB tonight…. the idea with PUB NIGHT is to lighten up our dull Tuesday evenings with music, comedy and fun.

Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan and fellow rugby nutters gather and wheel in their old timer friends…

Read the rules below carefully, or you WILL get burnt!

Just for clarity sake, when someone does not adhere to the Rules of the PUB, EVERYBODY jumps on them and pummels them, right… understood?

 

Here’s how it works:

Continue reading

Special EditionThe starting side who did duty for the Springboks on Saturday as well as one replacement, have all left the Springboks to return to their respective Clubs in France and Japan.

  • Johan Goosen returns to Racing Metro in France
  • Bryan Habana returns to Toulon
  • JP Pietersen returns to the Panasonic Wild Knights
  • On the Springbok bench, Gurthrö Steenkamp returns to Toulouse in France

Of course Bakkies Botha has now retired from International Rugby and accordingly also leaves for Toulon, whilst Morné Steyn (who was not used on Tour) returns to Stade Français.

Schalk Burger joins his Japanes Club, Suntory Sungoliath.

This leads us to the burning question as to the composition and changes in the Springbok run-on team and 23-man squad for Saturday’s encounter with Wales, who held a lead over the All Blacks till the 69th minute, this past Saturday, before conceding a blitz of 3 tries, which blew the score against them out of proportion.

Mind you, one more Springbok tourist is also leaving the squad, thus unavailable for selection, namely Seabelo Senatla, who was released to the Springbok Sevens squad (or Blitzbokke as they are affectionately referred to) for the 2 remaining HSBC Sevens World Series Tournaments in 2014… the tournament in Dubai and the one in South Africa the week thereafter.

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Gilbert Rugby BallOnly one more Internatonal Test to be played today, that between Georgia vs Japan at 17:00 SA Time and Georgian Time, the rest of the results are in already!

Some surprising results all around, with the Italian Azzurri holding the Springboks to a limited win, Ireland narrowly beating the Wallabies, Wales containing the All Blacks untill the 69th minute before letting in 3 quick tries and France falling to a spirited Argentinian Pumas side.

The rest of the results, well they are pure wall decorations, for want of a better expletive.

The Weekend’s International Results are as follows:

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Four International Tests overlapped or at least partly overlapped one another between 18:30 to almost midnight on Saturday 22 November 2014, SA Time.
Seeing as all 4 matches were broadcast LIVE on TV in South Africa… although on 2 different SuperSport channels, we hosted all FOUR in one GLOBAL ARTICLE!

 

IrelandAustraliaIreland (20) 26 / 23 (20) Wallabies (Final Score)

Ireland and the Australian Wallabies did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland at 18:30 SA Time (16:30 BST & GMT, 03:30 Sunday AEST).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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WalesNew ZealandWales (3) 16 / 34 (3) All Blacks (Final Score)

Wales and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 BST & GMT, 06:30 Sunday NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 6 on TV in SA.

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EnglandSamoaEngland (13) 28 / 9 (6) Samoa (Final Score)

England and Samoa did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Twickenham, London, England at 21:00 SA Time (19:00 BST & GMT, 09:00 Sunday Samoa Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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FranceArgentinaFrance (3) 13 / 18 (15) Los Pumas (Final Score)

France and the Argentinian Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Stade de France, Paris, France at 22:00 SA Time (21:00 French Time, 20:00 GMT, 17:00 Arg Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 6 on TV in SA.

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FijiUSAFiji (15) 20 / 14 (0) USA (Final Score)

Fiji and the USA Eagles did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Stade De La Rabine, Vannes, France at 20:00 SA Time (19:00 French Time, 18:00 GMT, 13:00 Can Eastern Time, 07:00 Saturday Fiji Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was STREAMED LIVE by World Rugby (IRB) at http://www.worldrugby.org

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ScotlandPrior to the test match between Scotland and the New Zealand All Blacks we featured a piece which suggested that we would like to see wholesale changes to Scotland’s team to face Tonga this coming Saturday. In short the reasoning was that in picking a team with as many players who ply their trade outside Scotland as the two professional teams under Scottish Rugby Union’s control would be aided in their PRO12 efforts, with Glasgow Warriors being the main benefactor. Remember Glasgow Warriors play against Welsh team Llanelli Scarlets in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday night while Edinburgh host Cardiff Blues on Sunday.

There would also be the benefit of  head coach Vern Cotter and his coaching team being able to work a bit more with exiles and assess their abilities in the heat of battle in the Test match, bearing in mind that the last Test match of Scotland’s summer tour (June Internationals) was played outside the international window, so he didn’t have the chance to play any of the non Scotland based players then.

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FranceAustraliaFrance (17) 29 / 26 (16) Wallabies (Final Score)

France and the Australian Wallabies did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Stade de France, Paris, France at 22:00 SA Time (21:00 France Time, 20:00 GMT, 07:00 Sunday AEST).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

*******************

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ScotlandScotland’s team for Saturday’s test at BT Murrayfield has been announced and no doubt the players and coaching staff will be completely focussed on this match. After all, there is a team from a country called New Zealand who play in black who are in town. However, looking beyond this test would like to discuss the match day squad that would preferably be doing duty at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, against Tonga next weekend. Rugby Park is the home of Kilmarnock football team, yes that can be confusing but that is not the topic of the this piece.

Scotland’s head coach Vern Cotter has selected the same starting XV that beat Argentina to face the All Blacks , one wonders when last a Scotland coach picked the same XV for consecutive matches. For Tonga though I would suggest wholesale changes to the team for a variety of reasons, the main one being – Glasgow Warriors.

The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), unlike the case in South Africa, have a direct stake in the two professional clubs here: Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors, and it is with this in mind that my suggestion for the Tonga test is made.

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ItalyArgentinaAzzurri (12) 18 / 20 (10) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The Italian Azzurri and Argentinian Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genova, Italy at 18:15 SA Time (17:15 Italy Time, 16:15 GMT, 13:15 Arg Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport on TV in SA.

*******************

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