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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Watch Live Streaming Super Rugby Semi Finals

Watch live streaming Super Rugby semi finals between the Reds vs Blues and Stormers vs Crusaders.

http://www.myp2p.eu/competition.php?&competitionid=&part=sports&discipline=rugby&allowedDays=7

Ma'a Nonu Staying In New Zealand - Signs For The Blues - A Good Move?



It is great for New Zealand rugby to keep Ma'a Nonu, but is he really worth keeping post Rugby World Cup 2011? He is a good player, but could well be past it post Rugby World Cup 2011 and be surpassed by Sonny Bill Williams and other up and comers. With his bad record for discipline, would he be better to go overseas or stay in New Zealand with the Blues? I would have gone overseas if I was him.


Former-Hurricanes midfielder Ma'a Nonu has signed with the Blues on a two-year deal.

The future of the All Black second-five eighth had been in doubt after he was dumped from the Hurricanes by coach Mark Hammett earlier this month. Several New Zealand franchises were thought to be lining up for his signature.

Nonu has signed with New Zealand rugby and the Blues for the 2012 and 2013 seasons and will also take a playing sabbatical at the end of the year, joining the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan's Top League competition for several months before returning to New Zealand for next year's Super Rugby competition.

"I'm happy that I'm continuing my career in New Zealand and would like to thank the Blues for giving me the opportunity to join them. I was flattered and grateful to receive offers to play for other teams as well but the Blues was the best option for me and my family and I'm really looking forward to joining them next year," Nonu said in a statement.

Nonu will fill a hole left in the Blues by departing midfielder Luke McAlister.

"It's no secret there was a lot of interest in securing Ma'a by teams both locally and around the world. He is a quality player so it's great news for the Blues that he has chosen our team in which to continue his impressive rugby career," Blues coach Pat Lam said.

NZRU CEO Steve Tew welcomed 29-year-old Nonu's decision to stay in New Zealand.

"Ma'a is an outstanding, world-class player who has been committed to New Zealand rugby for the best part of a decade, and for him to commit further is fantastic news.

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"We have said that we will look to be flexible when it comes to re-contracting our leading players and we think giving him the chance to play in Japan is another example of that flexibility," Tew said.

"With the rugby season finishing earlier than normal this year we were happy to provide Ma'a with a one-off opportunity to have a Japanese rugby experience without overly compromising his commitment to the Blues," he added.

The group of current and recent All Blacks who have recommitted to New Zealand rugby after this year's Rugby World Cup now includes:

Richie McCaw and playmaker Daniel Carter, hookers Keven Mealamu, Corey Flynn and Hikawera Elliot, the All Blacks most capped prop Tony Woodcock and fellow props Ben Franks and Wyatt Crockett, locks Ali Williams, Anthony Boric, Tom Donnelly and Samuel Whitelock, loose forwards Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read, Daniel Braid, Liam Messam and Victor Vito, and backs Jimmy Cowan, Alby Mathewson, Colin Slade, Conrad Smith, Benson Stanley, Ben Smith, Israel Dagg and Aaron Cruden.

Super Rugby Semi Finals - Could Go Either Way


The beauty of the semi finals in Super Rugby 2011 is that they could go either way. There could be two New Zealand teams in the final, or there could be none. The bye can also be a curse, and so the Reds and Stormers could lose any benefit of the home ground advantage, by losing momentum associated with the bye. These matches could go either way. I am going for a Reds vs Crusaders final in Brisbane after both teams will win tight semi finals. Who are you picking?


Blues: Jared Payne, Joe Rokocoko, Benson Stanley, Luke McAlister, Rene Ranger/Lachie Munro, Stephen Brett, Alby Mathewson; Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Chris Lowery, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (c), Charlie Faumuina.

Reserves: Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau, James King/Mat Luamanu, Daniel Braid, Chris Smylie, Munro/Ranger, Winston Stanley/Sherwin Stowers.

Reds: Jono Lance, Rod Davies, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Radike Samo, Beau Robinson, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (c), Rob Simmons, Greg Holmes, Saia Faingaa, Ben Daley.

Reserves: James Hanson, Guy Shepherdson, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Ian Prior, Will Chambers.

Crusaders: Tom Marshall, Sean Maitland, Robbie Fruean, Sonny Bill Williams, Zac Guildford, Daniel Carter, Andy Ellis; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (c), George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett.

Reserves: Quentin McDonald, Ben Franks, Luke Romano, Matt Todd, Kahn Fotuali'i, Matt Berquist, Ryan Crotty.

Stormers: Conrad Jantjes, Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Peter Grant, Dewaldt Duvenage, Nick Koster, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger (c), Andries Bekker, Rynhardt Elstadt, Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, Wicus Blaauw.

Reserves: Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff, Anton van Zyl, Schalk Brits, Louis Schreuder, Juan de Jongh, Johann Sadie.

RWC 2011 Ticket Sales Hit NZ$200m Mark

RWC 2011 ticket sales hit NZ$200m mark

  • Sales revenue reaches 75% of target with over two months to go
  • Ticket sales open Monday July 4 at 9am
  • Thousands of lowest price tickets still available for most matches

Ticket sales revenue for Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) now totals NZ$200m (exc GST) which means Tournament Organiser Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) has now reached 75% of its revenue target.

This reflects NZ$31 million of sales that have occurred over the last six weeks.

“This is a significant milestone,” said RNZ 2011 CEO Martin Snedden. “It is a great place to be with the final ticket phase beginning on Monday.

“Prior to RWC 2011, the highest revenue-generating event in New Zealand’s history was the 2005 British & Irish Lions Tour, which grossed NZ$24m. As of today, we have achieved eight times the ticket revenue for that event.

RNZ 2011 is forecasting total sales revenue of NZ$268.5m based on expected ticket sales of 1.35m from the 48 Tournament matches.

“We have now sold just over 900,000 tickets which underlines how popular this event is going to be.”

Recent ticket sales have been driven by the resale of tickets to the eight matches reallocated as a result of the Christchurch earthquake and further offers of tickets to those who entered the ballots for the semi-finals and Final, as well as further sales of travel and hospitality packages.

“This coming Monday, at 9am, the final phase of ticketing for RWC 2011 gets underway. We’re urging fans to quickly take advantage of this sales period and secure the seats they want to witness Rugby at its best.

“There will be tickets available for most matches other than the Final. This includes the semi-finals and the quarter-finals.

“For most of the matches on sale Monday, there are still lots of tickets available in the lowest priced seating categories. For more than half the pool matches this means that fans can buy tickets for as little as NZ$31 or NZ$41 and take their kids for half that price.

“This could be the last time we will see the 20 best teams in the world battling it out for the Webb Ellis Cup in our own backyard, so we hope Kiwi fans in particular seize the opportunity to get ringside seats at the biggest sporting event of 2011.”

The public ticket sales period begins at 9am on Monday, July 4 with tickets for the pool matches available online at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets. Tickets for knock-out matches, excluding the Final, go on sale Tuesday July 5.

Fans can guarantee Finals tickets by purchasing Corporate Hospitality Packages from Official Corporate Hospitality Agents or Travel Packages from Official Travel Agents. For more information and a list of agents, visit www.rth2011.com.

“We are expecting a strong response from fans when the finalticket phase opens. As we saw in France in 2007 and Australia in 2003, many fans make up their minds much closer to the Tournament so we are optimistic that fans will respond in the same way.”

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “This key announcement truly represents the final countdown to the Tournament and I am sure that there will be strong demand for tickets. RWC 2011 is on track to be a successful Tournament that New Zealanders and the global Rugby family will be proud of."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Super Rugby Finals Teams - New Zealand Double My Pick!





Blues –
15 Jared Payne, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Lachie Munro, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Charlie Faumuina.


Subs: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Chris Lowrey, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Winston Stanley, 22 Sherwin Stowers.

Waratahs – 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Atieli Pakalani, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Soseni Anesi, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Josh Holmes; 8 Dave Dennis, 7 Phil Waugh (c), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Pat O’Connor, 19 Chris Alcock, 20 Hugh Perrett, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Bernard Foley.

Crusaders – 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Subs: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Jonathan Poff, 20 Kahn Fotuali’i, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 Ryan Crotty/Brent Ward.

Sharks – 15. Patrick Lambie, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Stefan Terblanche (c), 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Frederic Michalak, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Willem Alberts, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Gerhard Mostert, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Subs: 16. John Smit, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Ross Skeate, 19. Ryan Kankowski, 20. Jacques Botes, 21. Adrian Jacobs, 22. Louis Ludik.

The Crusaders and Blues should win this weekend as they show the value of home finals matches. The Waratahs have injury problems, while the Sharks will struggle playing so far from home. In this competition the home advantage is huge given the short turn around between games from now on and the distance between the teams. If the Crusaders and Blues win they will travel to Capetown and Brisbane respectively and therefore it will be tough for any team to win two away games in a row.

Who do you think will win? I am going Crusaders and Blues both by under 12 points each.

Support Your National Rugby Team and Win Great Prizes in New Zealand


Support Your National Rugby Team and Win Great Prizes in New Zealand

New Zealand has it all! Snow-capped mountains, tropical beaches, raging rivers, majestic fjords, steaming hot-springs, ancient forests and spectacular caves - Every year thousands of tourists travel to this beautiful country to see these natural wonders!

This year however, tourists will travel here for a different reason altogether. New Zealand will host the biggest sporting event the nation has ever seen. From September 9 - October 23, 2011 people from all over the world will descend upon this beautiful country to watch their favourite rugby team battle it out to become Rugby champions.

To celebrate this amazing country and this fantastic event, Britz Campervans NZ are encouraging rugby enthusiasts around the world to join the Show Us Your Tru’ Colours Competition.

In the build up to the world’s biggest rugby event hosted in New Zealand this year, fans travelling to Gods Zone will have the opportunity to enhance their experience by winning a prize pack worth over NZD $22,000.

The Prize

The grand prize is 60 days campervan hire, which will be decked out in your teams’ colours, plus bonus prize pack which includes:

  • Two tickets to one of the best rugby games played in New Zealand this year
  • Helicopter tour
  • Skydiving vouchers
  • Glacier hikes
  • Rafting adventures
  • Kayak adventures
  • Dolphin cruises
  • And many more.

The winner has the chance to turn their tour down under into a trip of a lifetime.

How to Enter

Entering is easy. Head to the Britz website where you will see a campervan decked out in your national colours. Simply ‘like’ on Facebook, vote for the country you support and you’re in to win!”

The competition is now open with entries closing at 7PM on Sunday 31st of July. The winner will be drawn on Monday the 1st of August.

To learn more about the competition, visit http://www.britz.co.nz/show-us-your-tru-colours-competition

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All Blacks Selectors Name 25 Players For Training Camp - No Stephen Donald






The All Blacks selectors have named 25 players for a training camp in preparation for the Tri Nations and Rugby World Cup to be held on July 5th and 6th and the biggest casualty appears to be the enigmatic Stephen Donald. Love him or hate him, Stephen Donald has done well given his limited ability and he appears to be a great guy, but he is much maligned amongst fans. The squad is made up of players from Super Rugby franchises that missed the finals. It is hard to know what to read into some of the players selected. I am surprised that Jamie Mackintosh missed out at the expense of Ben Afeaki and Neemia Tialata.

What do you think of these selections? Is it all over for Donald and Mackintosh (Whoppa)?


The New Zealand rugby selectors have given a glimpse of their preferences for this year by naming a group of players for the first of two training camps ahead of the Tri-Nations.

Twenty-five players have been named for a two-day camp in Wellington next week.

Those named are from Super 15 teams who did not qualify for the finals playoffs, meaning Crusaders and Blues personnel are missing.

The second camp is to be held in Wellington on July 5-6.

The first All Blacks squad for the season are to be named on July 10.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry said the camps gave the selectors the chance to assess where candidates were at following their respective teams' participation in the Super 15.

"... these players are in contention for selection so we were keen to monitor their progress as well as further develop their skills," he said.

New Zealand sevens coach Gordon Tietjens, who recently led his side to their ninth world series title, is to conduct a training run on the second day of next week's camp.

Injured trio Israel Dagg, Tony Woodcock and Isaia Toeava have been named to attend that camp, with Henry explaining that gave All Blacks medical staff the chance to assess those with injuries.

The players invited to the first camp next week are as follows:

Chiefs: Ben Afeaki, Hikawera Elliot, Richard Kahui, Brendon Leonard, Liam Messam, Mils Muliaina and Sitiveni Sivivatu.

Hurricanes: Aaron Cruden, Hosea Gear, Andrew Hore, Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Neemia Tialata, Victor Vito and Piri Weepu.

Highlanders: Jimmy Cowan, Tom Donnelly, Jarrad Hoeata, Colin Slade, Ben Smith and Adam Thomson.

Injured players: Israel Dagg, Isaia Toeava and Tony Woodcock.



http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10733754

Monday, June 20, 2011

Super 15 Rugby Team of the Competition - Name Your Team


The Super 15 Rugby competition 2011 has finished with nine of the 15 teams campaigns over. Therefore, it is time to name the Team of the Competition. Firstly, I will name the Super Rugby Team of the Competition based on www.testrugby.com points. These are based on the average points per game each player scores. This disadvantages players who start from the bench or have been heavily rotated, rested or injured, hence why I am naming my personal team too based on what I have seen. Other conditions are that they must be in the Top 20 for that position and in the positions of front row it must include the highest and second highest props, halves must include top halfback and first five eighth, loose forwards and outside backs are more interchangeable. It must be remembered that goal kickers get more points so there are some positions where I wouldn't select these players.

Firstly, www.testrugby.com Team of the Super Rugby Competition 2011, with average points mentioned and total points.

Jamie MackintoshFR HGH 16 3565 223 $852,500
Stephen Moore FR BRM 12 3945 329 $1,112,500
Coenie OosthuizenFR CHE 16 2975 186 $530,000
Andries Bekker LK STM 16 4070 254 $1,297,500
Nathan Sharpe LK FOR 15 3560 237 $1,105,000
Adam Thomson LF HGH 13 4605 354 $1,185,000
Liam Messam LF CHF 16 4980 311 $1,142,500
Schalk Burger LF STM 12 3255 271 $1,170,000
Sarel Pretorius HV CHE 16 4170 261 $850,000
Quade Cooper HV RED 16 5560 348 $1,242,500
Matt Giteau CT BRM 15 5315 354 $1,220,000
James O'Connor CT FOR 13 4920 378 $1,177,500
Israel Dagg OB CRU 10 3425 342 $1,105,000
Kade Poki OB HGH 11 3535 321 $882,500
Kurtley Beale OB WAR 16 6545 409 $1,595,000

Players by team
Highlanders 3
Brumbies 2
Force 2
Stormers 2
Cheetahs 2
Reds 1
Chiefs 1
Crusaders 1
Waratahs 1

By country
Australia 6
New Zealand 5
South Africa 4


Front Row
The hookers scored massive points and if I had my way in selecting a Team of the Competition 2011 I would select Bismarck du Plessis to start with Keven Mealamu coming off the bench. Du Plessis is so powerful, but was disadvantaged by sometimes being benched so that captain John Smit could start. It remains a problem for the Springboks because Du Plessis is a better player, but Smit is a great captain. Mealamu was the top points scorer in www.testrugby.com. Stephen Moore is definitely a quality player that should make the Wallabies, but thrived because he got plenty of minutes.

Props - Jamie Mackintosh like the Highlanders started the season off really well, but the skipper and inspirational leader suffered towards the end of the long competition. I think that Wyatt Crockett from the Crusaders is the form loosehead of the competition. Mackintosh should get an honourable mention along with Oosthuizen. I would also put Owen Franks into the team ahead of Oosthuizen, and probably put the Beast on the bench. Mackintosh and Oosthuizen are both quality props though and could easily fulfill that role. John Afoa and Jannie Du Plessis are also good options at tight head prop.

Locks - The two locks who scored well in www.testrugby.com would be difficult to displace. Victor Matfield and Ali Williams showed that they can't be discounted despite their advancing ages. Hugh Pyle from the Rebels and Jarrad Hoeata are real up and comers. Lions Franco van der Meeuw was a consistent performer. Sam Whitelock and Brad Thorn looked good when they played. I am sticking with Nathan Sharpe and Andries Bekker.

Loose forwards - Adam Thomson was awesome during the first half of the competition, but his form fell along with the Highlanders fortunes. Liam Messam had a strong season with the Chiefs and I think him and Schalk Burger should be in this team. I am going out on a limb here and going for David Pocock from the Western Force to join Messam and Burger in the loose forwards. Injury deprived us of Richie McCaw, Juan Smith and Heinrich Brussouw. Nasi Manu, Scott Higganbotham, Ashley Johnson and Pierre Spies were good at times.

Halfbacks - There were two great halfbacks on display in Sarel Pretorius and Will Genia. I agree with Pretorius getting the top points, although in theory if this team was playing and they had Cooper at first five then it could be better to have Genia. Pretorius would be lethal off the bench. Fourie Du Preez was great when he played.

First five eighths - Quade Cooper went from strength to strength this season. He has ironed out some wrinkles in his game. Dan Carter would have to be the backup to Cooper, while Patrick Lambie and Morne Steyn were both good.

Centres - Matt Giteau only made the side above because he kicks goals. I think James O'Connor is a freak and I will pick him in my team on the bench, because we could bring him on with 20 minutes to go and he would cause carnage. I love the threat of Sonny Bill Williams and Robbie Fruean in the midfield and they have the combination. Jacque Fourie and Digby Ioane were impressive, while Ma'a Nonu, Richard Kahui, Doppies la Grange, Jared Payne, Shaun Treeby all played well at times. Imagine O'Connor running off SBW!

Wings - Digby Ioane also played on the wing and was impressive, so he gets a starting spot, while Shaun Maitland and Zac Guildford have been great for the Crusaders until Maitland got injured. Sitiveni Sivivatu came right, while Gio Aplon, Rene Ranger, Bryan Habana and Kade Poki were slippery. I am going with Ioane and Maitland.

Fullback - Kurtley Beale wins hands down here, while Ben Smith earns an honourable mention. Israel Dagg and Isaia Toeava were great until injuries struck, while Gio Aplon was always dangerous either on the wing or fullback.

My Super 15 Rugby Competition Team
15. Kurtley Beale
14. Sean Maitland
13. Robbie Fruean
12. Sonny Bill Williams
11. Digby Ioane
10. Quade Cooper
9. Will Genia
8. Liam Messam
7. David Pocock
6. Schalk Burger
5. Andries Bekker
4. Nathan Sharpe
3. Owen Franks
2. Bismarck Du Plessis
1. Wyatt Crockett

Reserves
16. The Beast/ Jannie Du Plessis
17. Keven Mealamu
18. Hugh Pyle
19. Adam Thomson
20. Sarel Pretorius
21. Daniel Carter
22. James O'Connor

By team
Crusaders 6
Reds 3
Force 3
Stormers 2
Sharks 2
Waratahs 1
Blues 1
Cheetahs 1
Highlanders 1
Rebels 1
Chiefs 1

By country
New Zealand 9
Australia 8
South Africa 5

What do you think of these teams? Do you think I am biased towards New Zealand? Were some Australian players made to look better by poor opposition? I must admit that I saw more of the New Zealand matches than any others, but I have tried to be impartial. Do you think you know better? Name your team! It is tough with so many players to choose from.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

All Blacks 2011 Test Match Tickets Go On Sale - Will Anyone Show Up To Watch?


The All Blacks 2011 test match tickets have gone on sale. Will people show up to watch? I have my doubts for the following reasons.

1) The matches are played at night time in the middle of winter. Plenty of people would rather sit at home and watch in the warm. The cold and wet conditions can often ruin these games as a spectacle.

2) Will the teams be full strength? With the main focus being the Rugby World Cup and with coaches probably resting players, testing combinations and not wanting to give too much away these games could lack intensity, although there will be some efforts to build some momentum before the Rugby World Cup.

3) People only have a limited amount of money and the cost of these games starting from $72 in Wellington. This adds to the hundreds of dollars that punters have already paid for Rugby World Cup tickets.

Are you going to attend these domestic All Blacks tests this year?

2011 All Blacks domestic matches.

All Blacks v Fiji, Carisbrook, Dunedin, 22 July, 7:35 pm
Children: from $25, Adults: $50-$115
Ticket Direct Phone : 0800 224 224
Online: www.ticketdirect.co.nz

All Blacks v South Africa, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 30 July, 7:35 pm
Children: from $26, Adults: $72-$135
Ticketek Phone : 0800 842 538
Online: www.ticketek.co.nz

All Blacks v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland, 6 August, 7:35 pm
Children: from $15
Adults: $45-$160
Ticketmaster Phone : 0800 111 999
Online: www.ticketmaster.co.nz


http://www.allblacks.com/index.cfm?layout=getToGame&newsArticle=3737#2008AB

Super Rugby Team of Round 18 - Sell Your Reds and Stormers


The www.testrugby.com Super Rugby Team of Round 18 features plenty of bargain priced players, but there is no point buying many of them because despite their value, their team has not made the finals and will play no further part in the Super Rugby competition in 2011. The funny thing is that managers must now also drop players from the top two teams, the Reds and the Stormers for this week and still have enough transfers left to potentially put these players back in next week. The other thing to watch is that you may have to pick the winning teams, and go for players from your predicted winning teams so you are not stuck with inactive players.

There are plenty of under-rated players in this team of the round and not many managers would own the likes of Liam Gill, David Dennis, Aled de Malmanche, Richard Kingi, Francois Hougaard and Rayno Benjamin. Kurtley Beale has done really well again, making him an attractive option for this weekend. Only four of these players will be in action this weekend.

1 Aled de Malmanche FR CHF 1 360 360 $922,500
2 Ged Robinson FR REB 1 310 310 $710,000
1 David Dennis LK WAR 1 280 280 $800,000
2 Ali Williams LK BLU 1 270 270 $1,165,000
1 Liam Gill LF RED 1 420 420 $487,500
2 Ashley Johnson LF CHE 1 365 365 $955,000
1 Francois Hougaard HV BUL 1 315 315 $887,500
2 Richard Kingi HV REB 1 290 290 $490,000
1 Luke McAlister CT BLU 1 340 340 $1,162,500
2 Ma'a Nonu CT HUR 1 335 335 $1,105,000
1 Kurtley Beale OB WAR 1 630 630 $1,567,500
2 Rayno Benjamin OB CHE 1 570 570 $812,500

Friday, June 17, 2011

Free Live Streaming Super Rugby Round 18 Bulls vs Sharks


Free Live Streaming Super Rugby Round 18 Bulls vs Sharks

http://www.myp2p.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=120400&part=sports

Free Live Streaming Super Rugby Round 18 Hurricanes vs Crusaders


Free live streaming Super Rugby Round 18 Hurricanes vs Crusaders
http://www.myp2p.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=120398&part=sports

Super Rugby Finals Explained After Friday Night Matches




Upcoming fixtures:

Chiefs vs Reds - Hamilton - 17:30 (local time)

Hurricanes vs Crusaders - Wellington - 19:35 (local time)

Waratahs vs Brumbies - Sydney - 19:40 (local time)

Bulls vs Sharks - Pretoria - 17:05 (local time)

Cheetahs vs Stormers - Bloemfontein - 19:00 (local time)

Super Rugby The Highlanders Tribute Video


The Highlanders finished in the middle of the pack, missing out on the finals thanks to a late drop in form, but they have made us proud with their performances earlier in the season and have shown that they have plenty to offer in the 2012 Super Rugby competition.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Who Will Make The Super Rugby 15 Finals and Win The Super Rugby 15 Competition?


The Super Rugby finalists will be found at the end of Round 18, with so much riding on so many matches, we thought it was time to do some number crunching.

According to www.tab.co.nz

The Crusaders are favourites to win the Super Rugby 15 team competition, although I think they won't want to be travelling all the way to South Africa to play the Stormers and will be hoping the Cheetahs cause a boil over this weekend.


1 Crusaders 2.50
2 Bulls 14.00
3 Sharks 40.00
4 Stormers 3.60
8 Blues 12.00
9 Waratahs 22.00
10 Reds 3.10



Super Rugby Standing
1 Reds Australian Conference Leader 62
2 Stormers South African Conference Leader 58
3 Crusaders New Zealand Conference Leader 57
4 Blues Wildcard 56
5 Bulls Wildcard 53
6 Sharks Wildcard 53
7 Waratahs 52

There are only seven teams left in the running for the Super Rugby Top Six finals with one round remaining. It is difficult to know who will be playing their finals where, with the potential for some teams to travel far more than others. Who will make the Top Six? We look at the Round 18 matches and how this will affect the Top Six rankings.

The most important game of Round 18 is the Bulls vs Sharks. The loser of this match is probably going to be overtaken by the Waratahs assuming they beat the Brumbies, while the winner could pass the Blues if they lose.

The most likely finishing order assuming the favourites win their matches this week are the following (remember the large number of upsets so far).

Reds 66
Stormers 62
Crusaders 61
Blues 60
Bulls 57
Waratahs 56

The only problem is that the Reds, Stormers, Crusaders, Sharks and Waratahs are all playing away matches against teams who have lifted their games in recent weeks, while most of these top teams aren't at the top of their game.

The above rankings would assume that there are no bonus points this weekend. A bonus point win for scoring four tries could help the Crusaders, Blues and Waratahs move up a placing depending on tie breaker rules.

With the placings in the order above the semi-finals would be played in Nelson (Crusaders would move their matches to Nelson) Crusaders vs Waratahs and Auckland where the Blues would host the Bulls.

Super Rugby Top Six finals draw

Reds bye
Stormers bye
Crusaders vs Waratahs
Blues vs Bulls

Semi-finals
Reds vs Blues
Stormers vs Crusaders

Final
Winner semi final 1
Winner semi final 2

Things would change substantially if for example the Cheetahs defeat the Stormers this weekend.That result could potentially leave the Stormers in fourth spot, but they would be awarded third spot most likely ahead of the Blues because they are a conference winner.

That would see the following draw take place

Reds bye
Crusaders bye
Stormers vs Waratahs
Blues vs Bulls

Semi finals most likely
Reds vs Blues
Crusaders vs Stormers

Final
Winner semi 1
Winner semi 2

Another possible option is if the Sharks defeat the Bulls. This could see them travelling to New Zealand to face the Blues.

I personally think the Reds could well lose this weekend and this would be bad news for the New Zealand teams with a likely semi final visit to Cape Town in two weeks for the Crusaders or Blues.

Reds bye
Stormers bye
Crusaders vs Waratahs
Blues vs Sharks

Semi final
Reds vs Blues
Stormers vs Crusaders

Final
Winner semi final 1
Winner semi final 2


Who do you think will make the Super Rugby finals? Who will win?

I think the winner will finish first in their conference, because I think that it would be too difficult to win two away matches in the finals series.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Super Rugby Round 18 - Do or Die For The Finals- Starting Teams Included!


Bakkies Botha brings up his 100 Super Rugby matches in a massive game!

Super Rugby Round 18 brings the curtain down on the season for nine teams, while only the top six will survive to battle for the title. There are plenty of mouth watering clashes with the Bulls vs Sharks set to be a winner takes all battle in Pretoria. It looks like only one of these two Super Rugby powerhouses will survive unless there is some sort of trickery. This week will see teams that have already qualified for the finals like the Blues, Crusaders and Stormers playing derby matches, but any thought of collusion must go out the window. After all the effort that some teams have made to travel through the volcanic ash, the last thing that players from teams who will be eliminated is to put in a bad performance. It is the last chance for players to push for Rugby World Cup selection, while there are plenty of players who are putting on their team jersey for the last time. Players will leave as part of the exodus after the Rugby World Cup 2011, so there will be plenty to play for. Surely the two local derbies per country this round are enough incentive for teams even out of the reckoning, to give 100 percent, rather than let their opponent take their opportunity to get ahead of them in the pecking order for national honours. The other factor with derbies are the large number of tight games and upsets. You are never out of the running in tipping competitions with so much at stake!

For www.testrugby.com managers I have included the named teams so make sure your players are taking the field and not injured or suspended! It is time to take chances if you need to make up ground!

For the record my Top Six will be the Stormers, Reds, Blues, Crusaders, Bulls and Waratahs.

Teams: Blues vs Highlanders
Time: 17/06/2011 19:35
Venue: Eden Park
Pick: Home team by 13 & above

Teams: Rebels vs Western Force
Time: 17/06/2011 21:30
Venue: AAMI Park
Pick: Away team by 12 & under

Teams: Chiefs vs Reds
Time: 18/06/2011 17:30
Venue: Waikato Stadium
Pick: Home team by 12 & under

Teams: Crusaders vs Hurricanes
Time: 18/06/2011 19:35
Venue: Westpac Stadium
Pick: Home team by 13 & above

Teams: Waratahs vs Brumbies
Time: 18/06/2011 21:30
Venue: Stadium Australia
Pick: Home team by 12 & under

Teams: Bulls vs Sharks
Time: 19/06/2011 03:05
Venue: Loftus Versfeld
Pick: Home team by 12 & under

Teams: Cheetahs vs Stormers
Time: 19/06/2011 05:10
Venue: Free State Rugby Stadium
Pick: Away team by 12 & under

The starting teams - make sure you check all your players are playing.



BLUES vs HIGHLANDERS , AUCKLAND, FRI 09:35

Blues -15 Jared Payne, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Lachie Munro, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Charlie Faumuina.
Subs: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Chris Lowrey, 19 Sean Polwart, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Winston Stanley, 22 Sherwin Stowers.

Highlanders: Jamie Mackintosh (C), Jason Rutledge, Chris King, Jarrad Hoeata, Tom Donnelly, Adam Thomson, Alando Soakai, Nasi Manu, Jimmy Cowan, Tony Brown, Siale Piutau, Shaun Treeby , Kendrick Lynn, Matt Saunders, Ben Smith.

Reserves: Mo Schwalger, Bronson Murray, Josh Bekhuis, Nick Croswell, Aaron Smith, Robbie Robinson, Telusa Veainu

REBELS vs FORCE, MELBOURNE, FRI 11:40

Rebels: Mark Gerrard, Richard Kingi, Afusipa Taumoepeau, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Cooper Vuna, Danny Cipriani, Nick Phipps, Gareth Delve, Michael Lipman, Jarrod Saffy, Adam Byrnes, Alister Campbell, Greg Somerville, Ged Robinson, Nic Henderson. Res: Adam Freier, Laurie Weeks, Kevin O'Neill, Tim Davidson, Lachlan Mitchell, Peter Betham, Julian Huxley.

Force – 15 Patrick Dellit, 14 Alfie Mafi, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 David Smith, 10 James Stannard, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Ben McCalman, 3 Matt Dunning, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Kieran Longbottom.
Subs: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Tom Hockings, 19 Jono Jenkins, 20 Mark Swanepoel, 21 Willie Ripia, 22 Cameron Shepherd

CHIEFS vs REDS, HAMILTON, 07:30

Chiefs :1. Ben May , 2. Aled de Malmanche , 3. Nathan White , 4. Craig Clarke , 5. Romana Graham , 6. Liam Messam , 7. Tanerau Latimer , 8. Fritz Lee , 9. Brendon Leonard , 10. Stephen Donald , 11. Sitiveni Sivivatu , 12. Dwayne Sweeney , 13. Save Tokula , 14. Lelia Masaga , 15. Mils Muliaina (Captain)

Reserves: , 16. Hika Elliot , 17. Ben Afeaki , 18. Culum Retallick , 19. Matt Vant Leven , 20. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 21. Tim Nanai-Williams , 22. Jackson Willison

Reds squad to play Chiefs

Forwards: Ben Coridas, Ben Daley, Saia Faingaa, Liam Gill, James Hanson, Scott Higginbotham, Greg Holmes, James Horwill (c), Radike Samo, Jake Schatz, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Adam Wallace-Harrison

Backs: Will Chambers, Quade Cooper, Rod Davies, Will Genia (vc), Jono Lance, Dallan Murphy, Ian Prior, Dom Shipperley, Caleb Ralph, Ben Tapuai.

CRUSADERS vs HURRICANES, WELLINGTON, SAT 09:35

Crusaders team 1. Ben Franks . 2. Corey Flynn . 3. Owen Franks . 4. Brad Thorn . 5. Sam Whitelock . 6. George Whitelock . 7. Matt Todd . 8. Kieran Read (c) . 9. Andy Ellis . 10. Dan Carter . 11. Zac Guildford . 12. Ryan Crotty . 13. Robbie Fruean . 14. Brent Ward . 15. Tom Marshall

16. Quentin MacDonald . 17. Wyatt Crockett . 18. Luke Romano . 19. Jonathan Poff . 20. Willi Heinz . 21. Matt Berquist . 22. Tu Umaga-Marshall

Hurricanes team: 1. John Schwalger,2. Andrew Hore (c) ,3. Neemia Tialata,4. Jeremy Thrush,5. James Broadhurst,6. Faifili Levave,7. Jack Lam,8. Victor Vito,9. Piri Weepu,10. Aaron Cruden,11. Hosea Gear,12. Ma'a Nonu,13. Alapati Leiua,14. Julian Savea,15. Cory Jane

Reserves:16. Laurence Corlett,17. Anthony Perenise,18. Jason Eaton,19. Mark Reddish ,20. Chris Eaton,21. Jayden Hayward,22. Richard Buckman

WARATAHS vs BRUMBIES, SYDNEY, SAT 11:40

Waratahs – 15 Kurtley Beale; 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Afa Pakalani; 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Luke Burgess; 8 Dave Dennis, 7 Phil Waugh (c), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Pat O’Connor, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Dan Vickerman, 19 Chris Alcock, 20 Hugh Perrett, 21 Josh Holmes, 22 Sosene Anese.

Brumbies

1. Jerry Yanuyanutawa,2. Stephen Moore,3. Ben Alexander,4. Peter Kimlin,5. Ben Hand,6. Mitchell Chapman,7. Julian Salvi,8. Ita Vaea,9. Patrick Phibbs,10. Matt Giteau,11. Adam Ashley-Cooper,12. Pat McCabe,13. Tyrone Smith,14. Henry Speight,15. Christian Lealiifano

Replacements:16. Anthony Hegarty,17. Jono Owen,18. Henry Vanderglas,19. Tom Boidin,20. Josh Valentine,21. Andrew Smith,22. Robbie Coleman.


BULLS vs SHARKS, PRETORIA, SAT 17:05

Bulls – 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Akona Ndungane.

Sharks: 15 Patrick Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Stefan Terblanche (capt), 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Gerhard Mostert, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Louis Ludik.

CHEETAHS vs STORMERS, BLOEMFONTEIN, SAT 19:10

Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Viljoen, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Ashley Johnson, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (capt), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Pieter Myburgh, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Corné Uys, 22 Riaan Smit.

Stormers – 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Jean de Villiers, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw
Subs: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Nick Koster, 2o Louis Schroeder, 21 Johann Sadie 22 Conrad Jantjes.

Carnage in Vancouver A Sign Of Things To Come For All Blacks Fans Rugby World Cup 2011


There is carnage on the streets of Vancouver as the Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in ice hockey's Stanley Cup Game 7 final of the National Hockey League. I hope these scenes aren't repeated in New Zealand on October 23 if New Zealand struggle to break a long standing curse of their own when trying to win the Rugby World Cup 2011. Are our fans crazy enough to do this? We are generally not as passionate fans in New Zealand, but I am hoping this doesn't happen in Auckland, because I will be there.


VANCOUVER - Jerseys were set on fire and cars were overturned moments after the Canucks suffered a crushing defeat and failed to break a 40-year curse and bring home the Stanley Cup.

While there was a mass exodus before the end of the second period, when Vancouver was down by three, tens of thousands of people were still downtown when the crowd turned ugly.

When the third period buzzer marked the end of the epic series, fans started throwing bottles and cans at the massive TV screens set up on Georgia Street and Hamilton.

One Canucks fan reported that a man in a Bruins shirt turned to him and punched him in the face, leaving him bleeding.

A vehicle was overturned and its bumper and doors ripped off before people jumped on the top of it and set it on fire.

Within a few minutes, police were putting on riot gear and preparing to deal with the unruly crowds.


http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Playoffs/Vancouver/2011/06/15/18289311.html

Super Rugby Games To Go Ahead - Is There Anything Richie McCaw Can't Do?


Richie McCaw has used his contacts to get a plane chartered from Christchurch to Wellington for the crucial Super Rugby match in Wellington between the Crusaders and Hurricanes. The Highlanders are flying a private charter to Auckland. It saves the hassle of bussing anywhere else, but you wonder if these private planes can fly, why can't the commercial ones. We don't want the best players in New Zealand to put their lives at risk by flying when it is unsafe.

Richie McCaw has come to the rescue and secured his Crusaders teammates a DC3 plane to ensure they get to Wellington for Saturday's clash with the Hurricanes after airports in the South Island were closed due to volcanic ash.

Three Super 15 teams have had to make new travel arrangements to reach their destinations ahead of the final round starting Friday.

A plume of ash floating through southern skies due to the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile has closed airports in the South Island and cancelled flights across the Tasman, stranding the Highlanders, Crusaders and Reds.

Sanzar CEO Greg Peters told nzherald.co.nz that all teams will be at their destinations on time but have had to chance flight arrangements.

"All matches will go ahead as planned," he said.

He confirmed the Highlanders are taking a charter flight from Dunedin to Auckland this afternoon for Friday night's match against the Blues, while the Crusaders will fly in a DC3 to Wellington for Saturday's clash with the Hurricanes.

The Reds, who play the Chiefs on Saturday, are flying into Auckland via an Emirates flight today.

All Black captain McCaw used his connections with the Southern DC Trust to ensure the Crusaders get to Wellington as planned.

As a patron for the Southern DC Trust McCaw secured a flight for tomorrow morning, Crusaders media manager Patrick McKendry told nzherald.co.nz.

"He came in this morning and made a few calls.

"Since it only seats 28, it means some management will have to drive up to Wellington along with some luggage," he said.

McCaw won't be playing in Saturday's match as he continues to suffer from a foot injury.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10732548

Super Rugby in Turmoil as Volcanic Ash Cancels Flights - Highlanders Stranded


Crucial matches in Round 18 Super Rugby action could be cancelled as flights to and from the South Island of New Zealand and parts of Australia are cancelled. This has a major impact on the chances of teams relying on getting points this weekend to make the finals. The Highlanders could face a 10 hour bus trip and a three hour ferry ride before catching a flight from Wellington to Auckland before tomorrow night. This is hardly ideal preparation for a match at this level. The Crusaders will probably have to bus and ferry to Wellington as the usual wind which would usually blow the ash cloud away has vanished. I wonder if the Highlanders can fly out of another airport not on the east coast, like Queenstown to Auckland? Which airports will be affected next? Should the Highlanders just default and hand the Blues an easier finals draw? Could the Crusaders vs Hurricanes match be cancelled a second time in one season? Will the Reds make it to Chiefs country? Will the Force reach Melbourne or Waratahs and Brumbies be able to play?

What should they do? Give a win to the higher placed team? Split the points? Or should they move the matches to somewhere more convenient to both teams? Like have the Blues vs Highlanders in Wellington? What do you think?

Flights are departing from Timaru to Wellington, so the Highlanders need to bus up to Timaru and fly to Wellington and then Auckland.


Flight delays caused by an ash cloud from a Chilean volcanic eruption have hit the travel plans of the Highlanders ahead of their Super Rugby match against the Blues in Auckland tomorrow night.

The southern franchise was due to fly from Dunedin to Auckland today at 9am, but Air New Zealand has cancelled all morning flights in and out of Dunedin, Invercargill and Christchurch because of ash from Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano.

The ash cloud had lowered to about 10,000ft yesterday prompting Air NZ to follow Qantas and Jetstar in cancelling flights.

A decision would be made later today whether flights would resume, but it could force the Highlanders on to the road and ferry to make the fixture.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/5151290/Highlanders-stranded-at-Dunedin-airport

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

James O'Connor Quits The Western Force Super Rugby Team - Imagine Him In The Highlanders!


James O'Connor has quit the Western Force Super Rugby team and looks set to join the struggling Melbourne Rebels team next season. This guy is part of the Wallabies brat pack which I believe could take them close to winning the Rugby World Cup next season. Other players in the brat pack include Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale and David Pocock who all started really young a few years ago and are now looking very sharp. The Highlanders should try and sign this guy, because he is one of the best backs in rugby union at the moment with his ability to play anywhere in the backline and kick goals.

Star player James O'Connor has quit the Western Force after extensive negotiations between his management and the club failed this morning.

And the Force pulled no punches in announcing the development, questioning O'Connor's commitment to building a strong culture at the club in his pursuit of other goals.

After nearly five months of negotiating, the club announced this morning the utility player would be parting ways with the Force.

A deadline was set for 9am today for O'Connor to accept what the club claimed to be an "extremely generous" offer. The deadline passed with no response from his representatives, and RugbyWA chief executive Vern Reid has withdrawn the offer.

This morning's announcement follows months of talk about O'Connor having already signed a lucrative contract with the Melbourne Rebels for the 2012 season.

"We were fully committed to giving James every opportunity to continue his development through the rugby programme in Western Australia, however it is clear his final decision has been based on other factors," Mr Reid said.

"We're still a young club and it is fundamental in our development that everyone is committed to building a cohesive culture that defines a 'team' ethos. The terms being imposed by James' management did not correlate with that objective.

"It is with a great deal of regret that we will farewell James, however we can be certain that we did everything we could to retain his services and that our offer was fair and reasonable and in the best interests of the Emirates Western Force and rugby in WA."

It was predicted that O'Connor's contract could be worth upwards of $1 million a year.

Head Coach Richard Graham said while he was disappointed that O'Connor would not be part of the organisation, the decision not to compromise contractual standards for a short-term benefit was universally supported across the club.

"We all know that James is a wonderfully talented player, however the terms that were being asked of us by his management were, in our view, unacceptable irrespective of the player in question," Graham said.

"We have a strong belief in our rugby programme and that is evidenced by the number of international capped players being produced out of WA. James has been one of the beneficiaries of that programme and we were certain he could continue to grow within the environment we've created here.

"There will be plenty of conjecture about what James' departure means in terms of our future on the field and I can reassure our members and supporters that our goals do not change.

"We will continue to recruit exciting new players while our retention has already seen a high calibre of personnel remain committed to rugby in WA.

"We wish James the best in his future however our concern from now going forward is planning and preparing without him.

"We are confident we have a robust squad that will display the character to grow and find success in seasons ahead.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/james-oconnor-walks-out-on-the-force-20110615-1g2ws.html#ixzz1PJUoEhst

Caleb Ralph Returns to Super Rugby - For The Reds?


The much maligned former All Black and Crusaders winger Caleb Ralph is set to make a return to Super Rugby for the Reds this weekend against the Chiefs. Ralph is 33 and has been playing club rugby in Queensland. It shows how desperate the Reds are, but since we have seen guys like Brent Ward, Tana Umaga, Tony Brown, Carlos Spencer and Reuben Thorne return, it is hardly surprising. It is tough for outside backs when they get a bit older and lose speed, not the Caleb Ralph was known for his speed! You have to give Ralph some credit, he was a reliable and durable player, but as far as New Zealand wingers go he just lacked the X Factor. I wonder if he will get onto the field against the Chiefs? What do you think of Caleb Ralph returning?

Former Crusaders and All Blacks winger Caleb Ralph is a shock inclusion in the Reds' 23-man squad for Saturday's Super Rugby match against the Chiefs. Ironically he will be playing against another much maligned player in Chiefs first five Stephen Donald. Now all we need is Reuben Thorne and Mark Carter and you have some of the least loved All Blacks. Listen up people, these guys can't help it if they are selected. Blame the selectors, not the players!

The 33-year-old replaces Luke Morahan, who drops out of the squad because of a hamstring tear.

Ralph has been playing with the Sunshine Coast Stingrays in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition over the last couple of years after last playing Super Rugby in 2008.

If he takes the field for the Reds, Ralph will equal George Gregan's record of 136 Super Rugby games.

Ralph is also just one try short of the record set by Doug Howlett.


http://nz.sports.yahoo.com/rugby/news/article/-/9643649/caleb-ralph-named-in-reds-team/1/desc/

New Zealand Under 20 Rugby Team Thrash Wales in Rugby World Cup


Gareth Anscombe scored 22 points, 11 conversions in the romp.

The New Zealand Under 20 "Baby Blacks" thrashed Wales 92-0 at the Junior Rugby World Cup overnight. It is typical of New Zealand teams at Rugby World Cups, we love thrashing teams, but can struggle in the knockout stages. Wales are probably the second best team in our pool, but rested a few of their top players, saving them for more winnable games. New Zealand's Pacific Island players tend to mature a lot earlier physically than the white boys, so we have an advantage over some of the other teams. Remember how big Jonah Lomu was before he was 20? Anyway, hopefully we can win this tournament and convert success at junior level through to a winning Rugby World Cup 2011. There are several players in this team who have already played Super Rugby and many more will do soon, so don't feel too bad Wales.

Here is a Wales perspective which is entertaining following the result.


THE closest Wales came to scoring last night during a harrowing, record defeat was when Rhys Llewellyn dived over for a try.

Only problem was the centre with a Welsh name was in the New Zealand team which inflicted the biggest beating on Wales at any level with a 14-try bonanza at Rovigo, Italy in the Junior World Championship.

The sun might have been shining brightly but only on the ‘Baby Blacks’, who weren't even made to work hard for their scores.

Like so many previous Welsh teams, it seemed Wales were psychologically beaten before the sound of the opening whistle.

Leaving exciting outside-half Matthew Morgan and captain Macauley Cook out of the starting line-up sent the wrong message, that it was damage limitation.

And after flanker Sam Cane had bagged the first of his hat-trick of tries for New Zealand with just 53 seconds of the Pool A clash gone, it became just that.

Wales paid the price for standing off their opponents or rushing out of the defensive line, making it easy for the clinical Baby Blacks.

New Zealand didn't do anything special, concentrating on doing the basics well and playing heads-up rugby.

An alarming number of missed tackles by Wales allowed them to get behind the defence and they let the ball do the work as they clinically destroyed the Welsh obsession of seeking contact, delivering slow ball and going through the phases.

Ironically, when it came to physique, Wales probably had the edge but rugby isn't played in the gym – it takes place on a grass field and you need vision, skill, pace and game awareness.

The same old problems which afflict union in the country, from Warren Gatland's senior team downwards were evident in the Under-20s.

The line-out was a shambles under pressure and they turned the ball over with alarming regularity at the contact area while discipline was a problem.

Perhaps controversial New Zealand columnist Chris Rattue was correct a couple of years ago when he caused outrage in Wales with his comments.

He wrote: “Let's face it. Wales are rubbish. They are the village idiots of rugby union. They have fans who live for the game, administrators who've killed it and players who lie down for the cause.

“If rugby between New Zealand and Wales was a boxing contest, they would have stopped it many rounds ago and revoked the Welsh licence.”

It would be impossible to disagree with him having witnessed last night's latest mismatch and one wonders whether fixtures between the nations should be suspended because nowadays it's about the equivalent of Wales playing Romania.

Yet Welsh players, not the Under-20s although some of them are on good money, are among the best-paid in the world.

When you analyse results at international, regional, club and age-grade level, you can only conclude most are way over-paid.

New Zealand might be masters at Under-20 level, having won all three Junior World Championships and never losing a game, but they had only one survivor in captain Luke Whitelock from the team that beat Wales 43-10 in last year's tournament.

Wales had four but the lack of belief contributed to them losing more heavily than Italy did (64-7) to the Baby Blacks last Friday.

Morgan appeared in the second half and a weaving run nearly brought him a try but the encounter was summed up when Wales were awarded a penalty after the clock had hit zero.

Rather than tap it and attempt to score a try, he kicked it out of play as they waved the white flag of surrender.

Cane was joined on the try sheet by left-wing Charles Piutau (2), centre Lima Sopoaga (2), No 8 Whitelock, lock Steven Luatua, Llewellyn, scrum-half TJ Perenara, flanker Brad Shields, replacement wing Glen Robertson and substitute scrum-half Brad Webber.

Outside-half Gareth Anscombe kicked 11 conversions for a 22-point haul.


Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/rugbynation/2011/06/14/new-zealand-under-20-92-wales-under-20-0-91466-28879474/#ixzz1PIZsIYe5

Piri Weepu Will Be Dan Carter's All Black Backup


I heard on RadioSport this morning that Graham Henry pretty much let the cat out of the bag that Piri Weepu will be considered as Dan Carter's All Black backup at first five eighth for the 2011 Tri Nations and Rugby World Cup. This makes sense because no other candidates are as reliable or have put their hands up this season. Aaron Cruden is probably the form first five eighth, but like the other contenders he doesn't have the reliability and experience that Weepu can provide. It also frees up space in the All Blacks squad to carry another back since Weepu will also be one of three halfbacks and he can providing Weepu can prove he is fit, he is a competent goalkicker and will be fine against most countries that the All Blacks will face.
What do you think of Piri Weepu as a backup Number 10 to Dan Carter at the Rugby World Cup?

Five or Six Bolters To Be Named in All Blacks For Tri Nations and Rugby World Cup Who Are They?

Graham Henry has opened up to the media on everything from his coaching career to the fact that the All Blacks named for the Tri Nations will probably play in the Rugby World Cup 2011 and feature five or six bolters. Who will be the bolters?

My thoughts are that a bolter is someone unexpected who makes a team, surpassing more established players, here are some potential bolters that could make the squad. It is hard to know if these players all fit in the bolters category, but here are some that would fit that category. Some others like Wyatt Crockett and Ali Williams wouldn't really be bolters in my opinion.



What about Robbie Fruean?




Matt Todd could be a backup to Richie McCaw.


Luke Braid has been performing well for the Blues.


Jarrad Hoeata has been dominant for the Highlanders.



Ben Smith has been a star at fullback for the Highlanders.


Sean Maitland is one of very few quality right wingers in the country.


Is there room for Jared Payne?


Has Guildford done enough in recent weekends to get an All Blacks jersey?


What about Whoppa?


Could Cabbage, Jason Rutledge be a bolter?


Josh Bekhuis is a lineout forward.

Who do you think will be All Black bolters? I would love to see some of that Highlanders forward pack in black. Players like Rutledge, MacKintosh, Bekhuis and Hoeata have been good. Maitland, Fruean and Guildford have combined well this season. Braid and Todd are both improving flankers who could backup McCaw. Both Ben Smith and Jared Payne are consistent footballers who you want in a Rugby World Cup match because they don't make mistakes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Watch Free Live Streaming Rugby New Zealand vs Australia Semi Finals Under 20 World Cup

Watch Live Streaming Rugby New Zealand vs Australia Semi Finals Under 20 World Cup.
http://www.myp2p.eu/competition.php?competitionid=&part=sports&discipline=rugby

2011 ITM Cup Rugby Draw Revised Addition - What Happens If The Earthquakes Strike During A Match?


The ITM Cup draw for 2011 has been finalised with matches in Christchurch moved to during the day to allow for them to be played at Rugby Park in Christchurch rather than AMI Stadium. The first big match is Week 3 when my favourite lads the Southland Stags challenge Canterbury for the Ranfurly Shield in a revenge mission from last season. My main query is what happens if an earthquake hits during such an important match? Do the teams share the points and Canterbury keep the Shield? Does anyone know if the Shield survived the earthquakes?

Some other features for the 2011 ITM Cup is the timing. It starts a month earlier than usual and this could favour the traditional teams who play on heavier grounds like Southland and Otago, while the season is condensed to finish before Rugby World Cup 2011. This means there will be games most nights of the week with teams staying on the road between fixtures if necessary. Teams will also be allowed to have an extra player on the bench to take their game day squad to 23.

Most New Zealanders I know prefer this competition to the Super Rugby. It is grassroots and about wearing your heart on your sleeve and having pride in your jersey.

Go the Stags!

2011 ITM Cup


Please note: Game dates/times are stated in NZ times - not local time.


Date

Game

Venue

Time(NZ)

Result


Week 1

14 Jul

Otago v North Harbour

Dunedin

7:35 pm

0-0


15 Jul

Southland v Waikato

Invercargill

7:35 pm

0-0


16 Jul

Manawatu v Hawke's Bay

PalmerstonN

2:35 pm

0-0


16 Jul

Northland v Tasman

Whangarei

5:35 pm

0-0


16 Jul

Taranaki v Wellington

NPlymouth

7:35 pm

0-0


17 Jul

Auckland v Canterbury

Auckland

2:35 pm

0-0


17 Jul

Counties Man v BOP

Pukekohe

4:35 pm

0-0



Week 2

19 Jul

North Harbour v Tasman

Albany

6:05 pm

0-0


19 Jul

Hawke's Bay v Southland

Napier

8:05 pm

0-0


20 Jul

Counties Man v Manawatu

Pukekohe

5:35 pm

0-0


20 Jul

Auckland v Otago

Auckland

7:35 pm

0-0



Week 3

21 Jul

Waikato v Taranaki

Hamilton

7:35 pm

0-0


23 Jul

Manawatu v Northland

PalmerstonN

12:35 pm

0-0


23 Jul

Canterbury v Southland (RS)

Christchurch

2:35 pm

0-0


23 Jul

BOP v North Harbour

Mt Maunganui

5:35 pm

0-0


23 Jul

Wellington v Auckland

Wellington

7:35 pm

0-0


24 Jul

Hawke's Bay v Otago

Napier

2:35 pm

0-0


24 Jul

Tasman v Counties Man

Blenheim

4:35 pm

0-0



Week 4

26 Jul

BOP v Waikato

Rotorua

7:35 pm

0-0


27 Jul

Wellington v Canterbury

Wellington

6:05 pm

0-0


27 Jul

Northland v Taranaki

Whangarei

8:05 pm

0-0



Week 5

28 Jul

North Harbour v Hawke's Bay

Albany

7:35 pm

0-0


29 Jul

Southland v Counties Man

Invercargill

6:05 pm

0-0


29 Jul

Waikato v Tasman

Hamilton

8:05 pm

0-0


30 Jul

Canterbury v Manawatu (RS)

Christchurch

2:35 pm

0-0


30 Jul

Northland v Otago

Whangarei

4:35 pm

0-0


31 Jul

Taranaki v Auckland

NPlymouth

2:35 pm

0-0


31 Jul

BOP v Wellington

Mt Maunganui

4:35 pm

0-0



Week 6

02 Aug

Hawke's Bay v Tasman

Napier

6:05 pm

0-0


02 Aug

Manawatu v North Harbour

PalmerstonN

8:05 pm

0-0


03 Aug

Otago v Counties Man

Dunedin

5:35 pm

0-0


03 Aug

Auckland v Southland

Auckland

7:35 pm

0-0



Week 7

04 Aug

Northland v BOP

Whangarei

7:35 pm

0-0


05 Aug

Tasman v Canterbury

Blenheim

6:05 pm

0-0


05 Aug

Hawke's Bay v Wellington

Napier

8:05 pm

0-0


06 Aug

Otago v Southland

Dunedin

2:35 pm

0-0


06 Aug

Manawatu v Taranaki

PalmerstonN

4:35 pm

0-0


07 Aug

Counties Man v Waikato

Pukekohe

2:35 pm

0-0


07 Aug

North Harbour v Auckland

Albany

4:35 pm

0-0



Week 8

09 Aug

Taranaki v BOP

NPlymouth

7:35 pm

0-0


10 Aug

Canterbury v Waikato (RS)

Christchurch

2:35 pm

0-0


10 Aug

Wellington v Northland

Wellington

8:05 pm

0-0



Week 9

11 Aug

Auckland v Counties Man

Auckland

7:35 pm

0-0


12 Aug

Taranaki v Tasman

NPlymouth

7:35 pm

0-0


13 Aug

Southland v North Harbour

Invercargill

2:35 pm

0-0


13 Aug

BOP v Hawke's Bay

Rotorua

5:35 pm

0-0


13 Aug

Wellington v Manawatu

Wellington

7:35 pm

0-0


14 Aug

Canterbury v Northland (RS)

Christchurch

2:35 pm

0-0


14 Aug

Waikato v Otago

Hamilton

4:35 pm

0-0



Week 10

16 Aug

Tasman v Auckland

Nelson

7:35 pm

0-0


17 Aug

Counties Man v North Harbour

Pukekohe

6:05 pm

0-0


17 Aug

Otago v Manawatu

Dunedin

8:05 pm

0-0



Week 11

18 Aug

Wellington v Southland

Wellington

7:35 pm

0-0


20 Aug

Canterbury v Taranaki (RS)

Christchurch

12:35 pm

0-0


20 Aug

Auckland v BOP

Auckland

2:35 pm

0-0


20 Aug

North Harbour v Auckland

Albany

5:35 pm

0-0


20 Aug

Manawatu v Waikato

PalmerstonN

7:35 pm

0-0


21 Aug

Tasman v Otago

Nelson

2:35 pm

0-0


21 Aug

Hawke's Bay v Counties Man

Napier

4:35 pm

0-0



Week 12

23 Aug

BOP v Canterbury

Mt Maunganui

6:05 pm

0-0


23 Aug

Waikato v Wellington

Hamilton

8:05 pm

0-0


24 Aug

Northland v Hawke's Bay

Whangarei

6:05 pm

0-0


24 Aug

Southland v Taranaki

Invercargill

8:05 pm

0-0



Week 13

25 Aug

Tasman v Manawatu

Nelson

7:35 pm

0-0


26 Aug

North Harbour v Wellington

Albany

7:35 pm

0-0


27 Aug

Waikato v Auckland

Hamilton

2:35 pm

0-0


27 Aug

Counties Man v Northland

Pukekohe

4:35 pm

0-0


27 Aug

Otago v Canterbury

Dunedin

6:35 pm

0-0


28 Aug

Southland v BOP

Invercargill

2:35 pm

0-0


28 Aug

Taranaki v Hawke's Bay

NPlymouth

4:35 pm

0-0