– World Series – RESULTS – Day Three


RESULTS DAY THREE – World Series -

FIJI – 2015 HONG KONG Sevens CUP Champions

fiji1z11082395_10152665397286046_1371337063821423301_oFiji reign supreme in Hong Kong

Fiji defeated defending champions New Zealand 33-19 in the Cup final at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Fiji reign supreme in Hong Kong
Fiji were outstanding in beating defending champions New Zealand 33-19, their second consecutive Cup final win, at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, round six of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The win puts them just two points behind South Africa (110) in the overall series standings and one point ahead of third-placed New Zealand (107), with Australia (84) and England (78) rounding out the top five as the race for Olympic qualification continues.

“This victory is certainly up there,” Fiji’s coach Ben Ryan, who won his first-ever Hong Kong title, said. “Outstanding performance by the team, they controlled the game really well tactically. Our bench were magnificent. We’ve spent a lot of time of defence and it’s starting to pay dividends.”

Fiji started brightly with tries to Savenaca Rawaca and Jerry Tuwai to race to a 14-0 lead. Rawaca’s second, against the run of play, extended the lead to 21-0 before Beaudine Waaka scored in the corner right on the break.

Sherwin Stowers created space for Scott Curry to cross adjacent to the posts to get his side back in the game at 21-12 but Jasa Veremalua responded immediately for the Pacific islanders. The All Black Sevens fought back again with Curry picking up his second after good lead up work from Sam Dickson but Fiji’s Apisai Domolailai extended the lead again to put the result beyond doubt with less than a minute to play.

Earlier, South Africa beat Samoa 26-5 in the play-off for third place, picking up 17 valuable points to maintain their place at the top of the overall series standings.

Earlier in the Cup semi-final, Jerry Tuwai broke free to score Fiji’s first followed by tries to Semi Kunatani and Pio Tuwai. Frankie Horne, Cecil Afrika and Seabelo Senatla hit back with tries for the Blitzboks in the second half to reduce the lead to 21-15 as the match went down to the wire.

Sir Gordon Tietjens’ side scored a late penalty drop-goal from Joe Webber to secure a 15-14 victory over Samoa to set up a repeat of the USA Sevens final.

Scott Curry and Sherwin Stowers capitalised for a 12-0 half-time lead before Samoa struck back on the resumption of play with Lafaele Vaa breaking free of the All Blacks Sevens defence before Samoa Taloa gave his side a 14-12 lead. Curry gave Webber the ball once a penalty had been won to secure the defending champions’ place in the final.

“The boys were really blowing and there was only a minute left so we took the shot,” said Curry. “Now we owe Fiji one from Vegas and hopefully the boys can get up for the final here in Hong Kong.”

Earlier Fiji took an unexpected 7-5 lead into the break after England had the run of play in the first half. Jerry Tuwai scored for Fiji on the stroke of half-time after England’s Phil Burgess crossed out-wide earlier. In the second half Samisoni Viriviri was awarded a penalty-try just after the break, extending their lead to 14-5 before Dan Norton scored late to set up a tense final minute.

The All Blacks Sevens proved too strong for Argentina running out 31-21 winners. First half tries to Beaudine Waaka and Scott Curry set New Zealand on the path to the semis, a Santiago Alvarez try keeping Argentina within reach 14-7 at the break. The All Black Sevens took control in the second half with tries to Sherwin Stowers, a neat-stepping Joe Webber and Jordan Bunce. Alex Muller and Rodrigo Etchart replying late for Los Pumas.


Australia beat the USA 21-17, collecting their second consecutive win in a Plate final andvaluable Series points. Breakaway tries from the USA’s Andrew Durutalo and speedster Perry Baker gave the Eagles a 12-7 lead at half-time after Australia’s Allan Fa’alava’au had earlier dashed to the try-line unapposed. But tries to Shannon Walker and Cameron Clark looked to have wrapped up the victory for Geraint John’s side.

Unlucky not to pull off an upset over Fiji in the Cup quarters, England also suffered defeat to Australia as both sides battled it out for fourth place in the Series.

Captain Ed Jenkins scored twice as Australia recorded a 12-7 win over Simon Amor’s side to face USA in the final, which means they will extend their lead over England in fourth place. The USA beat Argentina 28-14 thanks to tries from Danny Barrett, Maka Unufe, Perry Baker and Zack Test.


Both teams impressed on day three but it was Scotland prevailing 26-5 in the final against France, posting first points through James Johnstone before Virimi Vakatawa reduced the margin to two points at the break. Two tries to Colin Gregor and Johnstone’s second sealing the win for Callum MacRae’s men.

“We worked hard to win the breakdown and have played smarter, and won three on day three,” said Scotland captain Scott Riddell. “We need the belief in ourselves, the performance is there. We need to be more consistent and keep bringing it game after game.”

France score six tries to three in defeating Canada 38-19 on their way to the Bowl final, Pierre Gilles Lakafia scoring a hat-trick as Les Bleus worked their way back into the match from 7-0 down. Liam Underwood one of Canada’s best scored a brace but it was not enough for Liam Middleton’s side.


Kenya proved too strong for Japan, winning 26-7 and scoring four tries to one in the Sheild final. After trading first-half tries courtesy of Collins Injera, who became the all-time leading try scorer in Hong Kong on 26, and Katsuyuki Sakai, a brace from Billy Odhiambo and a late Leonard Mugaisi try gave the Africans the ascendency.

Captain Andrew Amonde hopes to build on this Shield success next weekend in Tokyo: “We needed a morale-boosting victory and we are happy to win the Shield. It’s been a tough weekend for us but this will give us confidence ahead of Tokyo next weekend.”

Kenya scored three unanswered tries on their way to the Shield final with a 21-0 win over Portugal while Japan were too strong for Belgium 42-7, Brave Blossoms playmaker Lomano Lemeki scoring two tries in an emphatic win.





RUSSIA qualify for 2015/16 World Sevens Series


hk15bhk15Russia qualify for World Series in Hong Kong in dramatic fashion

Russia beat Zimbabwe in the World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier final to become one of the 15 core sides on next year’s Series.

Russia qualify for World Series in Hong Kong in dramatic fashion
Russia beat Kenya 22-19 to win the World Rugby Sevens Series, a victory which leads Andrey Sorokin’s side to become one of the 15 core sides on next year’s series.

Starting with twelve regional qualifiers – two from each World Rugby region – Russia won all six of their matches to earn their place as an ever-present team on the 2015/16 Series replacing the bottom-ranked of the 15 current core teams at the end of the current series.

In the final it was Russia’s Vladimir Ostroushko scoring the decisive try on the siren after Zimbabwe’s Kuda Chiwanza looked to have secured a win for Kenya moments earlier.

“”It means a lot to us,” said an emotional Russian captain Dmitriy Perov.

“It allows our players to play more valuable games and gain experience and the win will be a motivation for the younger players too. Also a win like this will attract the fans and those involved with our sport, showing them we can win competitions and get to the World Series.”




RUSSIA qualify for 2015/16 World Sevens Series




Cyprus Moufflons beat Hungary, ready to host Lithuania

Cyprus Moufflons beat Hungary, ready to host LithuaniaThe Cyprus Moufflons

By Alexander McCowan

FOLLOWING a match littered with penalties reflecting indiscipline on both sides, the Moufflons emerged triumphant on Saturday in the dying seconds of the European Nations Cup game in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd of Magyars.

The ever-reliable Matt King crossed in the corner for the winning try of the game which went unconverted and saw the Cyprus side coming out on top with a hard fought 15-17 win.

Away wins in Division2B are very hard to come by but this puts Cyprus in a very challenging position before their home game against Lithuania the division leaders in May at home.

With their world record streak of 24 wins ended by Latvia in Riga in November, the Moufflons are building for the future.

The Cyprus side currently lies behind Latvia and leaders Lithuania and the Baltic states have decades of experience in pre-Soviet leagues.

Hungary – 15
Penalties: Gregoire Collet (71,59,39,27,1)

Cyprus – 17
Tries: Mathew King (87) Burham Torgut (48,22)
Cons: Alexander Zavallis-Roebuck (48)




Super Rugby Preview : Bulls 31 v 19 Crusaders


Bulls 31 v 19 Crusaders

The Bulls picked up their fourth victory of the Super Rugby season as they beat the Crusaders 31-19 in an entertaining game at Loftus Versfeld.

Fans and viewers were treated to a wonderful game to round off the weekend as the Bulls got the better of their Kiwi opponents, thus moving above them up to seventh in the overall standings and second in the South African conference, one point behind the Sharks.

It was a thrilling first-half in Pretoria as the Bulls showed their intent to keep the ball in hand, which paid off after three minutes when wing Francois Hougaard finished off in the corner. Handré Pollard could not add the extras but it was a hugely positive, fast-paced opening.

The Bulls doubled their advantage five minutes later courtesy of debutant inside centre Burger Odendaal, who was a late replacement for Jan Serfontein, finishing off superbly well on the right wing. This time Pollard did land the conversion as suddenly the Bulls were 12-0 ahead.

Kieran Read’s men needed some ball and when they got it they looked dangerous themselves, with Israel Dagg in particular slicing through on more than one occasion. The net result was the Bulls offending at a ruck, which allowed Dan Carter to slot over three points from the tee.

On nineteen minutes, Carter further reduced the gap after a strong scrum from his forwards. The score was now 12-6 to the men from Pretoria.

But on came more pressure from the Crusaders and when destructive wing Nemani Nadolo barged his way over on the left, suddenly the visitors were 12-13 ahead thanks to Carter’s touchline kick. The seven-time champions were loving the open game on the highveld and so were the fans.

Pollard and Carter traded penalties before the interval, with the two from the South African meaning it was the Bulls going in 18-16 ahead.

That was extended to 21-16 on 52 minutes after Pollard coolly slotted a long-range attempt and he was at it again four minutes later, with the Springbok demonstrating how deadly he can be off the kicking tee. The Crusaders were now crucially two scores behind with an eight point deficit.

Colin Slade thought he had cut that to what would have been just a point when he was sent over by Nadolo, but assistant referee Marius van der Westhuizen asked referee Angus Gardner to check the pass. Television match official Deon van Blommestein subsequently adjudged the ball went forward.

The Bulls made them pay as replacement Grant Hattingh raced over from 50 metres after collecting a loose ball, with the result now sealed for the South African franchise, who move above the Stormers in their local conference.

Bulls – 31
Tries: Grant Hattingh (65), Burger Odendaal (8), Francois Hougaard (3)
Penalties: Handre Pollard (55,52,37,26)
Drops: none
Cons: Handre Pollard (66,9)

Crusaders -19
Tries: Nemani Nadolo (22)
Penalties: Daniel Carter (63,32,18,14)
Drops: none
Cons: Daniel Carter (24)

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Hanro Liebenberg, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Jurgen Visser.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Colin Slade, 23 David Havili.

Date: Saturday, March 28
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Deon van Blommestein



Super Rugby Result : Sharks 15 v 09 Force


Sharks 15 v 09 Force

The Sharks secured a scrappy 15-9 victory over the Western Force on Saturday in a Super Rugby game that won’t be remembered for quality.

It wasn’t pretty in Durban, far from it, but the home side won’t worry about that as they got the job done against a Force side who should have scored three tries, two of which were chalked off by the match officials.

The Sharks asserted their physical authority early on as a dominant scrum against the head led to a first shot for fly-half Frans Steyn, who was off-target on five minutes. However, it looked like the set-piece was definitely going to be a trump card for the Sharks.

Surprisingly though, the Force would win a scrum penalty at the next but this time Sias Ebersohn was the player missing his attempt at goal.

Mistakes weren’t limited to the kicking tee in Durban as the score remained at 0-0 for the first 30 minutes, as both outfits struggled for gainline success and fluidity in attack. Sharks hooker Kyle Cooper in particular was having an off day with his line-out throwing early on.

It was never going to be something special that opened the deadlock and it looked very much like the Western Force had done it when a pick-and-go from number eight Ben McCalman saw him score. Or so it seemed until the TMO and referee Nick Briant adjudged him to have been short.

Consolation for the Force came via a penalty the New Zealand official came back for and Ebersohn made no mistake this time to make it 0-3.

Ebersohn, a former Cheetahs fly-half, doubled the Force’s advantage one minute before the break as the Sharks came offside and that was how it remained going into the turnaround, with the Australians definitely the happier side in a poor match that had few scoring opportunities.

The Sharks emerged in the Durban rain without Springbok tighthead Jannie du Plessis due to concussion, with Lourens Adriaanse replacing him.

But that didn’t affect their game as they came out well, with a bouncing pass from Steyn seeing full-back SP Marais get over to make it 5-6.

Despite the difficult missed conversion, the second stanza was all Sharks and had Odwa Ndungane held Renaldo Bothma’s inside pass after his good break on the right on 60 minutes, the hosts would have been in front. Instead the Sharks had a quarter to find the elusive points.

And they came three minutes later when a scrum offence went against the Force and replacement back Fred Zeilinga did the damage off the tee.

However, 8-6 should have become 8-9 when Ebersohn lined up a penalty from bang in front. Unfortunately for him it was an awful missed effort that came back to bite him as from a counter-attack, Sharks full-back Marais broke and then set up flying wing Lwazi Mvovo to make it 15-6.

Credit to the Force though who never gave in and thought they had scored when flanker Steve Mafi went over. However, the TMO and assistant referee intervened and the score was chalked off due to obstruction at the ruck from McCalman. The Sharks now looked to be home and hosed.

Clearly it wasn’t the Force’s day and a late spillage from centre Kyle Godwin one metre from the try-line summed up a disappointing result, which was comforted somewhat by a late penalty from Luke Burton that secured them a losing bonus-point from a game they might well have won.

Sharks – 15
sharks1Tries: Lwazi Mvovo (67), SP Marais (42)
Penalties: Fred Zeilinga (63)
Drops: none
Cons: Fred Zeilinga (68)

Force – 09
Tries: none
Penalties: Luke Burton (80), Sias Ebersohn (38,30)
Drops: none
Cons: none
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel (c), 6 Renaldo Bothma, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Waylon Murray.

Western Force: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Luke Burton, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes (c), 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Dane Haylett-Petty

Date: Saturday, March 28
Venue: Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees:Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)