Rugby

Stopping Japan’s ‘Ferraris’ imperative for South Africa

TOKYO (Reuters) – South Africa have to shut down two high speed Japanese ‘Ferraris’ if they are to prevail in the World Cup quarter-final on Sunday, according to Springboks assistant coach Mzwandile Stick. Japan have...

Eddies Jones could be Fiji bound

TOKYO, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (SMH) – England coach Eddie Jones is contracted to the RFU until the end of 2021 but there is serious talk about whether he will last that long. Much of it depends on how England fare this weekend against Australia, but the Cauliflower has also heard Jones is already casting around...

New Zealand Rugby chairman says Northern Hemisphere powerhouses’ treatment of Pacific nations is ‘virtually colonialism’

WELLINGTON, 16 OCTOBER 2019 (AFP) – The treatment of rugby’s Pacific nations by Northern Hemisphere powerhouses borders on colonialism, New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey said Tuesday. Commenting on the failure of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa to make the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals for the third straight tournament, Impey said the Pacific islands were being...

France not going to let fast starts slip again in quarter-final

OITA, Japan (Reuters) – France recognise that they need to do more than one thing to beat Wales in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Oita, but not wasting a good start will be key, according to their inside backs on Monday. Wales beat France 24-19 in the Six Nations earlier this year despite the...

Tough task ahead for Fijian Drua

THE Fiji Airways Fijian Drua side faces a tough task in the semi-finals of the National Rugby Championship this Sunday. The Senirusi Seruvakula-coached side plays Canberra Vikings in the semis. The two teams met during the round-robin competition of this year’s tournament when the Drua were thumped 41-28 in Canberra, Australia. Missing tackles proved to...

Japan climbs to seventh position on world rugby rankings

THE 2019 Rugby World Cup host, Japan, has climbed to the seventh position on the latest World Rugby rankings. Japan has 82.08 points and replaces France in the seventh position. France has 81.38 points and has slipped into eighth position. This after an impressive outing in the pool stages of this year’s tournament. Japan defeated...

Flying Fijians coach McKee plans ahead

FLYING Fijians coach John McKee believes the most important achievement at the 2019 Rugby World Cup was to gain direct qualification for the 2023 event, which will be held in France. He said the direct qualification made the planning cycle easier for the Fiji Rugby Union to start preparations early to build the team for...

Waqaniburotu: Boys are home with head held high

FLYING Fijians captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu is not sure about his availability for the match against the Barbarians in England next month. Waqaniburotu, who is contracted with French Top-14 club Pau, said since the match was not in the World Rugby international release window, the availability of the professional players were not guaranteed. He said the...

I’m keen to stay, says McKee

FIJI Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee’s contract is expected to end in December. McKee, whose contract was extended for another two years in 2017 to allow him to take the Flying Fijians to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, has expressed keen interest to continue building the team for the 2023 RWC. “I think...

15th October

Ireland’s Aki to miss rest of World Cup as red card is upheld

(Reuters) – Ireland centre Bundee Aki will miss the remainder of the Rugby World Cup after an independent judicial committee on Monday upheld the red card he picked up in their 47-5 victory over Samoa on Saturday. Aki was sent off in the 29th minute following a high tackle on Samoa flyhalf Ulupano Seuteni at...

High tackle directive demands cultural change

OITA, Japan (Reuters) – A brief exchange in Samoa’s game against Ireland on Friday perfectly encapsulated the internal struggle rugby is undergoing as officials seek to make the game safer in the face of some confusion and some blank refusal by those playing it. Samoa’s Seilala Lam had just been yellow carded for smashing his...

New Zealand’s Hansen glad Japan is on the other side of the draw

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s progress to the World Cup quarter-finals has not only enthralled the host nation but it has also made the heavyweights of the rugby world, including defending champions New Zealand, sit up and take notice. Impressed by Sunday’s 28-21 victory over Scotland at a raucous Yokohama Stadium, which propelled Japan to their...

Scotland in the slow lane as World Cup hopes dashed by Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Gregor Townsend had hoped Scotland’s up-tempo brand of rugby would carry them into the knockout stage of the World Cup but their campaign was undone by one side who slowed them to walking pace and another who actually played even faster. Scotland’s 28-21 loss to Japan at a heaving Yokohama Stadium on...

2019 RWC: Low key welcome for Flying Fijians

THE Fiji Airways Flying Fijians received a low key welcome upon their arrival from the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan today. Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Alipate Nagata, Fiji Rugby Union development manager Sale Sorovaki and a few family members were present at the Nadi International Airport to greet the players. Fiji bowed out...

2019 RWC: Stumbling blocks

THE Flying Fijians have been identified as capable of outplaying top teams but have known weaknesses that they are yet to address, says rugbyworldcup.com The site said Fiji ranked as the worst kicking team in the tournament, succeeding with just 50 per cent of kicks at goal — worse than any other any country at...

Recent history has no bearing on Ireland clash: New Zealand’s Hansen

TOKYO (Reuters) – New Zealand have lost twice to Ireland in their last three meetings but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says all form goes out the window ahead of Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Tokyo. Ireland have fashioned an impressive record under New Zealander Joe Schmidt in the last six years, with the...

Scary to think how much Japan can grow, says captain Leitch

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Japan captain Michael Leitch said on Monday the potential for his side to grow is “scary” and that while the Rugby World Cup knockout stage will be a step into the unknown for the players they have the mental strength to deal with the pressure. Japan reached the World Cup quarter-finals...

14th October

Rugby: Bright future beckons for Uruguay after landmark World Cup

KUMAMOTO, Japan (Reuters) – The gap between the haves and have-nots in international rugby has proved difficult to bridge for most tier-two nations but Uruguay can hold hope that they are moving in the right direction after a landmark World Cup. The South Americans bowed out with a 35-13 loss to Six Nations champions Wales...

Japan roar into the quarters for first time to lift the nation

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Japan produced a scintillating display of attacking rugby to beat Scotland 28-21 and reach the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals for the first time on Sunday, lifting the nation still reeling from the deadly impact of Typhoon Hagibis. On an emotional and unforgettable night at the Yokohama Stadium, Kenki Fukuoka (2) Kotaro...

Scrappy Wales make hard work of Uruguay to reach quarters

KUMAMOTO, Japan (Reuters) – A scrappy Wales were made to work hard for victory against Uruguay but prevailed with a bonus point 35-13 win in Kumamoto on Sunday to top Pool D and set up a World Cup quarter-final with three-times finalists France. Wales clung to an eight-point lead with seven minutes left until a...

Tongans send Piutau off in style with win over United States

OSAKA (Reuters) – Tonga gave captain Siale Piutau the parting gift of a first victory of the Rugby World Cup with a 31-19 win over the United States on Sunday that left the Eagles pointless at the end of their campaign. Piutau, who was celebrating his 34th birthday in his 43rd and final test at...

Wallabies pass typhoon with ‘terrible’ karaoke

KUMAMOTO, Japan (Reuters) – As karaoke singers, Australia’s squad make fine rugby players, according to winger Reece Hodge, who would prefer to belt out the national anthem with his team mates during the World Cup quarter-finals. Hodge is available after serving a three-match ban for a high tackle against Fiji, having missed the defeat to...

Vunipola praying for those hit by Typhoon

(Reuters) – England prop Mako Vunipola said he is praying for those affected by Typhoon Hagibis – including members of his own family – as England continue their World Cup preparations in Miyazaki, around 870 km (540 miles) to the south-west of Tokyo. Four people died and 17 are missing after the most powerful typhoon...

Newtown honours club members

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama thanked the Newtown Rugby Club for providing a platform for youths to engage themselves through rugby on Saturday night at the Vine Yard in Suva. Chief guest at the club’s awards night over the weekend, Bainimarama addressed and challenged members of the Newtown Rugby Club to continue pursuing their dreams whether...

Samoa bow out of World Cup with familiar regrets

FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) – Crippled by administrative chaos and a coaching merry-go-round through the World Cup cycle, Samoa arrived in Japan with an ambitious goal of reaching the knockout rounds. After a poor campaign in Pool A featuring only one win over emerging nation Russia, they depart with familiar regrets and a host of seemingly...

Ireland’s red-carded Aki devastated his World Cup may be over – Schmidt

FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) – Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said Bundee Aki was shattered that his Rugby World Cup could be over as he defended the centre’s tackle that drew a red card in the 47-5 win over Samoa on Saturday. Aki was sent off in the 29th minute after a high tackle at Fukuoka Hakatanomori...

13th October

Discipline problems haunt Samoa to the end

FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) – Eliminated Samoa’s hopes of salvaging pride from a disappointing Rugby World Cup were dashed against Ireland on Saturday as an all-too-familiar rash of penalties hastened the Pacific islanders to a 47-5 loss. While Ireland lost Bundee Aki to a red card in the 29th minute, Samoa were unable to reap much...

Ireland shrug off red card to thrash Samoa and reach quarters

FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) – Ireland played with 14 men for 50 minutes but still eased into the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a seven-try 47-5 demolition of ragged Samoa in their final Pool A match on Saturday. Centre Bundee Aki became the seventh player to be shown a red card at the tournament when he...

South Africa’s de Allende opts for conservatism in knockout phase

KOBE, Japan (Reuters) – South Africa midfield back Damian de Allende is unlikely to abandon his conservative playing style any time soon with the World Cup quarter-finals a week away and defences adept at shutting down attacking options out wide. Inside centre de Allende has been given the green light by his coaches to play...

Scotland prepare to suck energy out of Japanese home crowd

YOKOHAMA (Reuters) – Scotland know they will certainly be the second most popular team in Yokohama Stadium on Sunday, should their match against Rugby World Cup hosts Japan go ahead. The match, which will decide the outcome of Pool A, is still scheduled to go ahead on Sunday despite the impact of Typhoon Hagibis, which...

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