All Blacks

The Rugby Championship Round 2 : The All Blacks Run Rampant

The All Blacks hell-bent on revenge following their sub-par draw in Sydney last week have put the Wallabies to the sword with an emphatic 51-20 win at the fortress of Eden Park in The Rugby Championship Round 2.

Maybe the draw last week against the Wallabies in Sydney was just the tonic for the All Blacks who thrived under improved conditions to steamroll the Wallabies.  Their forwards paved the way for the victory with their lineout drive and scrummaging resulting in the majority of their six tries.

The All Blacks rumbled over for a penalty try, while McCaw twice and Read went over for tries from close range.

The All Blacks scored a couple of other long range efforts to Julian Savea and Steven Luatua.

It is an old adage, but the cliche that rugby is won upfront is true with the All Blacks tight five dominant allowing players like Aaron Cruden to dictate play and this nulified anything that either the referee or the Wallabies could throw at them. Continue reading

Argentina flag

Catamarca friendly recorded a return of AR$1million

The potential candidacy of Argentina as the host nation of Rugby World Cup 2023 has been boosted following the announcement that the recent Rugby Championship warm-up fixture in Catamarca turned over a profit of over 1 million Argentine pesos. It further underlines what is on offer by ending the policy of Six Nations members hosting the Rugby World Cup every eight years. In 2015 Wales will host Rugby World Cup matches for a fourth time and England for a third. Argentina has never hosted a match but is demonstrating the ability of taking matches nationwide – an important piece of hosting a World Cup.

The president of the Unión de Rugby de Catamarca (URCA), Luis Salado has come out in great voice following his union hosting Argentina v Grenoble. In his own words the match ”changed the history of the sport in this province”. He described it as being ”absolutely positive, the visit, of Los Pumas to Catamarca, our rugby capitalized on the event that was a true luxury which enabled us to grow in many aspects and will allow us to grow even further, attract new sponsors and new players.”

Rugby authorities in Catamarca thought it was their opportunity to showcase their city and province to the rest of the country and they were extremely grateful to not only the union but also the coaches and players. ”of note was the solidarity of the players and staff who were always gracious to take photos and sign autographs at hotels, on the street and in schools that the team visited. The kids were really taken by this”. Continue reading

Connor Braid

Canadian Connor Braid signs for Glasgow

Canadian international Connor Braid has signed a short-term contract to play professional rugby in Scotland. The twenty-four year old joins last season’s Pro 12 finalists the Glasgow Warriors on a three month deal with an opportunity of staying on longer depending on his performances both on and off the field. His move will see him linking up with Canadian international DTH van der Merwe who has been playing for the Scottish side since 2009. Both players are strong candidates to be representing Canada in the November internationals and also at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and Wales.

Capped twelve times by Canada since making his international debut against Belgium in 2010 Connor Braid has been a player utilized by headcoach Kieran Crowley at fly half, fullback, wing and centre. His range of skills and ability to adapt to the needs of the team have seen him not only start test matches in all these positions but be an important player in Rugby Sevens.

It is his utility value that Glasgow had in mind upon signing him. Headcoach Gregor Townsend said ”his versatility will come in useful and he’ll add to the competition we already have within the squad”. It is also to be of extreme interest to Crowley as Canada look to complete the building ahead of the Rugby World Cup, a tournament which will see Canada facing France, Ireland, Italy and Romania.  Continue reading