Category Archives: Rugby

Super Rugby: Brumbies survive late scare to reach semi-finals

Image

The South African side came desperately close to taking the Canberra clash into extra-time as Riaan Smit’s attempted conversion of Ryno Benjamin’s last-minute try, which would have taken the match to extra time, glanced off the goalposts.

Benjamin took the field as a late replacement and caught a pass from scrum-half Sarel Pretorius outside the last defender to score a try that gave the Cheetahs hope of prolonging their best season.

Smit, who had kicked only one of his three previous shots at goal, lined up the conversion from the left-hand touchline and into the teeth of a bitter wind.

His powerful kick arced towards the posts but, at the last second, drifted away and just brushed the left-hand post to end the Cheetahs’ Super 15 campaign, while the Brumbies lived on to fight for another week.

The Cheetahs scored the only tries of a gruelling battle through centre Johann Sadie off a lineout win, with Raymond Rhule splitting the defence off a Willie le Roux long pass and Benjamin, while Smit landed just one penalty from four kicks at goal.

The hosts’ points all came from penalties, with Wallaby back Christian Lealiifano landing four from six and scrum-half Nic White succeeding with a long-range attempt.

The Australian outfit will now travel to South Africa to take on triple champions The Bulls next Saturday, while holders Waikato Chiefs host the Canterbury Crusaders in the other all-New Zealand semi-final.

Millennium Stadium handed Heineken Cup finale.

European Rugby Cup (ERC) officials have confirmed that the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will host to the 2013-14 Heineken Cup final.

Euro finales in Cardiff

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) launched a bid to stage European club rugby’s showpiece event last month after the French Rugby Federation (FFR) withdrew its offer to stage the game due to uncertainty over the availability of the Stade de France. The title-decider, scheduled for May 24, will be the seventh to be staged in Cardiff and the first since Leinster saw off Northampton in 2011.

The Welsh capital will also play host to the Amlin Challenge Cup final with that game set to be played at the home of the Cardiff Blues – the Arms Park. The second-tier tournament will be the first to be decided on an artificial pitch with the Blues currently in the process of installing a new hi-tech surface.

The WRU saw off competition from the Rugby Football Union and Scottish Rugby Union to host what will be the last Heineken Cup under the current agreement between European stakeholders with the long-term future of the competition still shrouded in uncertainty.

ERC chief executive Derek McGrath said: “With fans from all corners of Europe set to travel to Wales next May, we see Cardiff as a hugely appealing setting for the finals weekend which has developed into one of the great events in Europe’s sporting calendar.

“We will be working with the WRU, the Welsh Assembly Government, Visit Wales and Cardiff City Council to ensure that all supporters will enjoy a thoroughly positive experience. Cardiff has been the setting for some of the great finals in the past and in many ways, European club rugby is returning home. I have no doubt that the 2014 weekend at the Cardiff Arms Park and the Millennium Stadium will be yet another celebration of all that is good about European club rugby.”

Tickets for the finals will go on sale in early September and WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis has predicted another memorable weekend on and off the field. “We know from experience that it will be a fantastic rugby occasion and a great opportunity for Cardiff and Wales to welcome tens of thousands of supporters.

“We will work closely with Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government to make this yet another great event which will deliver millions of pounds into the wider South Wales economy and this is great news at this challenging economic period in our history.

“There is something special about a Heineken Cup final and our events team at the stadium has a well-deserved reputation for ensuring that we deliver a spectacular atmosphere.”

Triumphant Kenya Rugby sevens team get CBA saving tips

Image

To set them off on their savings plan journey, CBA’s Group Managing Director, Isaac Awuondo confirmed that the bank would open a savings accounts for each player, with an initial deposit of Ksh20, 000.

“We at CBA were very proud of the success and achievement of our 7s team during the world cup. We commend the players for the pride and joy that they brought to our country, and as a bank we believe that equipping them with tips on saving and investment, will provide them with life-skills off the field and laying firm foundation for their future,” said Awuondo.

Awuondo said that CBA is looking into ways of providing much more support to the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) to grow the sport in Kenya, as part of the bank’s endeavor to promote sport development in country.

He congratulated them for their excellent performance at the recently concluded Sevens Rugby World Cup held in Moscow, where Kenya was ranked fourth.

Kenya Rugby Union Chairman Mwangi Muthee commended CBA for this gesture saying, “ This is a step in the right direction. It is important that the players have a solid grounding and are able to make wise financial decisions, particularly as they focus on life beyond their playing days when they are able to sustain themselves and make investments from their earnings. “

Team member Sidney Ashioya, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said, “ We appreciate the step taken by CBA to give us tips on making sound decisions regarding our finances. We are all aware of the fact that we’ll not play this game forever and we need to be able to prepare ourselves for life beyond our playing days.”

Kenya reached its second consecutive semi-finals in the World Cup in Moscow and was fifth at IRB World Series.

Rugby – TV dates for Wales The Welsh Rugby Union and BBC have announced a new agreement which guarantees exclusive live coverage of all Wales’ Autumn Series International matches on network television until the end of 2018.

Image

The new contract for the first time stipulates that all of the matches involving the two-time reigning RBS 6 Nations champions during the autumn period will be shown on a BBC Network channel.

It also covers potential one-off Tests, such as matches played in June before a summer tour, but does not include any fixtures that will be scheduled in the warm-up period before the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

“Set against the mouth-watering prospect of the returning Welsh British and Irish Lions coaching staff and players facing Test matches against South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia at the Millennium Stadium this autumn, today’s announcement is incredibly significant for the future of Welsh rugby,” said WRU chief executive Roger Lewis on Monday.

Pro12: Ospreys sign Fijian wing Natoga

Natoga, 22, can play centre, wing or full-back and he joins Canadian Jeff Hassler as a new wing option.

However, the Ospreys must wait for the Home Office to approve Notaga’s visa application before he can join them.

“He adds another edge to our backline and gives us depth in key positions that we didn’t have last season,” said team manager Andy Lloyd.

“Although he’s played sevens rugby he isn’t just a stereotypical sidestepping sevens player, he has physicality and power which makes him a very dangerous player.

“He’s versatile and positionally he has good awareness of what is happening around him.

“As with the other signings we’ve made this summer, Aisea may be under the radar, but we have worked hard to identify players who will bring something different to the mix.”

Natoga joins from Nadroga in the Digicel Cup in Fiji, having played the first of five Tests in 2012.

He has also played for Fiji Warriors, a team made up of home-based players, to compete in the Pacific Rugby Cup against A teams from the other Pacific rugby nations.Image