The Springbok Sevens lost 33-26 to Fiji in a thrilling, epic Tokyo Sevens Cup Final after the Pacific Islanders managed to score a brilliant and trademark long range winning try with just second remaining on the clock.
However, despite the disappointment of losing their tournament title in what must surely rank as one of the all-time great HSBC Sevens World Series Cup Finals, the South Africans did manage to regain the lead on the overall standings.
The cash-strapped Fiji Rugby Union on Friday hailed a new US$21.3 million sponsorship deal as a “game changer” for the sport in the Pacific nation.
FRU chairman Filimoni Waqabaca said the five-year agreement gave the organisation certainty after a troubled period when it had to sack the national team’s coach to save money and had financial aid from the International Rugby Board (IRB) suspended.
The cash-strapped Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) on Monday sacked coach Inoke Male in a money-saving move less than a month before they start their defence of the Pacific Rugby Cup.
Australia’s best emerging talent will compete against national representative teams from Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and Argentina in the 2014 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup (PRC).
The competition was established in 2006 to help develop rugby in Pacific nations, but for the first time in 2014, it will include the Argentina Pampas and will be held entirely in Australia.
Despite their difficult financial situation, Fiji will definitely still take part in the Wellington Sevens tournament next month.
Sevens Wellington general manager Marty Donoghue confirmed that the Fiji team will remain a key feature of the 7 – 8 February tournament at Westpac Stadium.
The IRB made the following statement:
The International Rugby Board has confirmed that it is to suspend all direct financial support to the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) with immediate effect until the Union adopts key financial reporting, administration and governance reforms.
The Fiji Rugby Union are yet to pay new head coach Ben Ryan any of his salary since he took over the national side this season.
Barbarians (17) 43 / 19 (7) Fiji (Final Score)
The Barbarians and Fiji did battle in the End Of Year Tours at
Twickenham, London at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT, 03:30 Sunday Fiji Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 8 & HD5 on TV in SA.
Round 5 of the End Of Year Tours is the last Round of the tour and also signals the end of the Southern Hemisphere season as well as the welcome rest period for Southern Hemisphere teams.
This weekend does not see quite as much rugby, compared to to the previous 4 Rounds as it only has 2 matches, but it is going to be two great clashes. Any weekend with rugby is all in all still a good weekend.
Here are some head to head statistics and predictions.
Fiji coach Inoke Male faces a nightmare to ensure he can field a competitive team against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday.
There are 6 Springboks in the starting 15 and a further 2 on the bench for the Barbarians’ clash with Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday. It would have been 7 Springbok starters as the initial side was named including Flip van der Merwe as No 4 lock, but he has been withdrawn from the squad after the Blue Bulls said NO under such short notice. Flip is directly replaced by Mick O’Driscoll of Ireland.
The season may have ended for International sides like the South African Springboks and the New Zealand All Blacks, but we still officially have one Test weekend left on the End Of Year Tours in 2013, and it is this weekend!
The Barbarians take on Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT), with a number of prominent Springboks and All Blacks in the Barbarians side and Wales host the Wallabies from Australia at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff at 19:00 SA Time (17:00 GMT).
But that’s not all folks, we have some quality Sevens Rugby on Friday and Saturday (HSBC Sevens World Series, Dubai Tournament) and we also have the Varsity Sevens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday… all broadcast live. In addition we have Aviva Pemiership Round 9 rugby betwwen Gloucester vs Leicester Tigers and French Top 14 Round 13 rugby between Perpignon vs Clermont Auvergne on Friday night and an Aviva Premiershpi Round 9 rugby match between Newcastle Falcons vs Harlequins on Sunday
Here are the broadcast times for Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
Springbok skipper Jean de Villiers will captain the Barbarians in Saturday’s clash against Fiji at Twickenham.
This weekend sees Round 4 of the 2013 End Of Year Tours. It is the last weekend on tour for the Springboks from South Africa, with their last game on tour probably the most difficult one. A a win over France will see the Springboks ending with what can be called a great season.
All in all a good weekend of rugby lies ahead and it will be enjoyed the world over, like always. Here are the head to head stats to help you with your SuperBru picks. Good luck to all sides.
England’s Wayne Barnes will referee the Boks’ final end of year Test against France in Paris on Saturday.
Barnes will be the Boks’ third northern hemisphere referee in as many matches on their tour after Ireland’s Alain Rolland took control of their 24-15 win over Wales in Cardiff, while France’s Jérôme Garcès was the man in the middle in their 28-0 victory over Scotland in Edinburgh last Sunday.
South Africa captain Jean de Villiers was one of nine Springboks included Tuesday in a 23-man Barbarians squad to play Fiji at Twickenham on November 30.
The squad contains eight members of the South Africa squad who have already beaten Wales and Scotland on their current tour of Europe, as well as legendary Springbok flanker Schalk Burger.
England (16) 22 / 30 (20) All Blacks (Final Score)
England and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the End Of Year Tours at
Twickenham, London at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT, 03:30 Sunday NZ Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.
Meanwhile, other Internationals were in progress at the same time, here are the scores:
Italy (20) 37 / 24 (5) Fiji (Final Score)
Wales (23) 40 / 6 (3) Argentina (Final Score)
Ting Ting… Round 3 of the End Of Year Tours and it is another weekend filled with lots of rugby. This weekend has a total of 11 clashes and some great ones to predict.
When the Southern teams go North, every match is hyped up as both hemispheres want to prove a point and claim global domination. The big games this weekend to look forward to is England vs New Zealand, Ireland vs Australia and finally Scotland vs South Africa. All in all a good weekend ahead for rugby and it should be enjoyed the world over.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse and Martin Castrogiovanni will make their 100th international appearances for Italy in Saturday’s match against Fiji.
Jacques Brunel has made eight changes from the side that was thumped 50-20 by Australia in Turin last weekend.
France’s Jérôme Garcès will referee the Scotland v Springboks Test at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on Sunday.
Kick-off is at 17:00.
In Round 2 of the End Of Year Tours of 2013 there will be a lot more games on the weekend, compared to Round 1, last week. This weekend almost gives the impression of a Mini World Cup, as virtually all the top teams in the world are somehow involved in rugby this weekend.
Some teams are playing their first games on tour whilst others started their tours last weekend already. This weekend will feature quite a few games that has been hyped up to be classic clashes on the yearly calendar. Wales vs the Springboks from South Africa and France vs the New Zealand All Blacks are the two clashes most talked and speculated about during the week. Here are some head to head stats to help you pick your winners.
New Zealand’s Super Rugby coaches are pushing for a team of Pacific island players to be included in the Southern Hemisphere competition when it expands in 2016.
The team, based in Auckland, would be part of an 18-team competition under a proposal from the head coaches of New Zealand’s five existing Super Rugby teams, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Steve Hansen will be taking charge of the Barbarian side that will face Fiji at Twickenham later this year.
Ireland (14) 46 / 3 (3) Fiji (Final Score)
Ireland Under 20 and Fiji Under 20 did battle in the IRB Junior World Championship at Stade de la Rabine, Vannes at 18:45 SA Time.
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 6 & SHD on TV in SA.
New Fiji Rugby Union chairman Filimone Waqabaca said he is determined to clean up the organisation’s finances after it posted a FJ$600,000 (US$325,000) loss last year.