Monday, March 2, 2015

Super Rugby: Gen Blue v Pampas XV Match Highlights

Photo UAR
Having started very strongly against the 'A' side of the Super Rugby champions the Waratahs the Pampas XV came unstuck in the second half to compete to a 24-24 draw in Sydney on Friday. The South Americans held a 24-5 half time advantage following tries to Manuel Montero, Guido Petti, Ramiro Moyano and Matías Moroni but failed to score points in the second half. The fixture was the first of two warm-up matches ahead of the World Rugby Pacific Challange in Fiji this month. The 2014 competition, termed the Pacific Cup, was won by the Pampas XV in Australia. The Argentine side will play again this coming weekend against New Zealand Super Rugby franchise the Blues. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Guinness Pro 12: Americas Players Review - Round 16

Photo Munster Rugby
The amount of rugby needed to fit into the season saw a full round of the Guinness Pro 12 being played this weekend despite it being a round of the Six Nations Championship. A number of teams were therefore heavily disadvantaged as players were involved in international duty. Not involved at the senior level were players from the Americas and, as such, a number of players from the only region yet to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup played for Celtic or Italian sides this weekend.  Players who could represent Argentina, Canada and the USA at this year's Rugby World Cup were involved this weekend in the Guinness Pro 12. 

Aviva Premiership: Americas Players Review - Round 16

Photo Rugby Week
In the back-drop to the third round of the Six Nations Championship was round sixteen of England's domestic competition, the Aviva Premiership. With leading teams disadvantaged by having players missing to international duty it was an opportunity for lower sides to pick up wins but, instead, five of the winning teams were higher ranked thus continuing the questions over the Salary Cap in English rugby. Involved in round 16 were players from Argentina, Canada and the USA, three competitors in Rugby World Cup 2015. The Americas is the only region yet to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Super Rugby: Stormers with Manuel Carizza defeat Lions at Ellis Park

Photo The Citizen
Argentine Manuel Carizza made his debut Super Rugby appearance of 2015 in the Stormers 22-19 away victory over the Lions in Johannesburg. The 43 time capped second-rower played 62 minutes after coming on in the 18th minute as a replacement for Jurie van Vuuren. Carizza is into his second season of Super Rugby for the Cape Town based franchise and is chasing an international recall after having last played for Los Pumas in June 2014. After three rounds the Stormers are well placed on 12 competition points, one less than the Chiefs and Hurricanes of New Zealand. The Stormers currently leads the South African conference.   

Friday, February 27, 2015

Retro Friday: Patricio Albacete delivers a sublime pass

Photo de Rugby Net
Patricio Albacete is not a part of Daniel Hourcade's Rugby World Cup plans but he is, nonetheless, still playing some impressive rugby. Now aged 34 Albacete is into the Twilight of his career but he will play on after Rugby World Cup 2015 despite playing no part in the tournament. Pato recently signed a new contract to remain at Toulouse for two more years, the club he has played for since 2006. He previously played for the current Pro d2 leaders Pau and also Colomiers. Earlier this season Albacete showed his full set of skills by setting up a try for his club by doing what second-rowers rarely ever do. The pass resulted in a try in the corner. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Super Rugby: Gen Blue v Pampas XV Teams Announced

Photo Créditos: Oscar Jiménez – UAR
The opening tour match of the Pampas XV is fast approaching. Argentina's future Super Rugby franchise is to play a match against the 'A' side of the current Super Rugby champions, the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday. The Gen Blue side is composed of Waratahs squad members including established names such as Michael Alaalatoa, Peter Betham, Matt Carraro, Stephen Hoiles, Hugh Roach and Ben Volavola. Argentina's side features fourteen players contracted to the UAR and the Pampas XV is to be captained by scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli who led Los Pumas to victory over Italy in Genoa last November.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

USA: A developing rugby country with a World Class Back-row

Photo The Rugby Corner
Changes to the international rules in recent years have seen the introduction of an additional specialist prop on the bench. With it match day teams have 23 rather than 22 players and Rugby World Cup squads are to contain an additional player compared to that of the past. Teams are therefore to contain 31 rather than 30 players to ensure all teams have a fifth specialist prop. For the USA the change is not likely to have a notable impact. Such is the strength of depth in the back-row that the USA would very much get more out of having an additional spot for a flanker or number eight. The USA is a Tier 2 classified rugby nation but the playing sources for the back-row match and even surpass a number of Tier 1 nations.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Guinness Pro 12: Americas Players Review - Round 15

Photo A Pleno Rugby
Fifteen rounds into the season competition for places in the Semi Finals of the Celtic-Italian League is vastly different to that of the Aviva Premiership and Top 14. Only five teams could be said to be targeting a top four finish in the Guinness Pro 12 while in England and France the predictability is proving to be far more notable. The Ospreys is two points outside of the top four while Connacht is two wins behind the Welsh region based on competition points. Seven of the twelve sides are, in other words, struggling. Involved in round 15 were a host of players from the Americas, the only region yet to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup.

Aviva Premiership: Americas Players Review - Round 15

Photo Sky Sports
Round 15 of the Aviva Premiership came to a close earlier today and with it the competition ladder has a very interesting look to it as three teams are tied on 43 competition points for 5th position. Lower down however there are five teams whose chances of reaching the Semi Finals are all but over. A number of players were missing due to the Six Nations Championship not having yet been completed. There were, nonetheless, places for a number of players from the Americas. The continental region has not hosted a Rugby World Cup but Argentina is interested in hosting in 2023. Europe will host for a fourth time later this year.