Monday, June 13, 2011

Churchill Cup 2011 - Finals

The 2011 Churchill Cup Final will be a repeat fixture of the 2010 Final after the England Saxons defeated Tonga 41-14 on Sunday to win Group A and advance to face the winners of Group B, Canada. The 2010 Final was won 38-18 by the Saxons as the numerical superiority of professional players stood out. Canada, nevertheless, played positive rugby and completed what was a successful event after knocking over Uruguay and France A in the group stages. 2011 may bbe similar after Canada defeated Italy A and Russia in its two matches. The 2011 Final will be played on Saturday, June 18 in the western English city of Worcester and will be part of Finals day to also feature battles for third and fifth place. Tonga finished second in group A and will face Italy A in the battle for third place after the Italians notched up a 24-19 victory over Russia on also Sunday.

Russia´s loss, its second in two games, underlined the country´s growth as a rugby power of the future as despite making its Rugby World Cup debut at New Zealand 2011, the side is already proving to be competitive against traditional sides like Canada. The Russian Bears will take on the USA Eagles in a preview of their clash to take place at Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Plymouth. The two sides met in last years Churchill Cup in Glendale, Colorado and put on a highly entertaining match in which the two sides traded the lead before the USA held firm in the final stretches to notch up a flattering 39-22 win. With both sides experiencing rapid growth the match is sure to serve as an indicator for the future. Bragging rights are also on the line ahead of the Rugby World Cup as are IRB World Rankings as the match is a full international fixture.

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