Teams slam SANZAAR over Super Rugby cuts

first_imgPhoto: Supplied Western Force are on tenterhooks awaiting word of their future. It appears the Brumbies, Reds and Waratahs are in the clear, but the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels have been left to battle it out for survival.Last month, the Force was widely tipped to be the Australian team to get the chop.But it has since emerged that it will be a genuine two-horse race for survival between the Force and Rebels.The Australian Rugby Union will now let the two endangered franchises plead their case for survival.The ARU has scheduled a media conference for chairman Cameron Clyne and chief executive Bill Pulver in Sydney today, but it’s understood they won’t name which team will be cut just yet, but rather put a timeline on their decision.Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry said he was confident the Perth-based franchise would survive the axe, saying the ‘Own the Force’ campaign was just one compelling reason to keep the team.”We’re going to be financially independent of the ARU, and on top of that we’re the third biggest rugby community in Australia,” Sinderberry said.”To walk away from that would be a very brave man.”We’re very confident about where we stand.”Our rugby program, our finances, facilities we have, and community support have always been stronger than anywhere else in Australia.”In 2005, there was something like 185 junior teams in WA.”In 2016, we are up to 238 teams. That’s the impact of having the Western Force here.”Force foundation player Matt Hodgson welled up with tears when talking about the prospect of the team being axed.”Being a parent myself, you don’t know where to put your kid now,” Hodgson said.”Do I put him in rugby, or do I stay in WA and have him playing AFL.”It’s frustrating. The way it’s been done is probably the most annoying thing. Dragged on.”I’ve done four press conferences this week and I’ve had one rugby question. That’s annoying.”For kids to turn up here is great. But now they don’t know if the Force are going to be their future.”Force coach Dave Wessels said the news that one Australian team will be axed was a sad day for rugby.”I hope that we live to fight another day and are given the chance to realise some of our potential,” Wessels said.Heavy financial losses and fan discontent finally convinced SANZAAR to cut the competition from 18 franchises to 15.The competition will also be reduced from four conferences to three.New Zealand’s five-team conference will remain intact.Japan’s Sunwolves will join the Australian conference, while Argentina’s Jaguars will play in the South Africa conference.The Port Elizabeth-based Kings and Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs are considered the most vulnerable South African franchises, with South Africa rugby indicating they won’t make a final decision until June.”Naturally we understand that there will be some very disappointed franchises,” SANZAAR chairman Brett Impey said.”But the tournament’s long-term future and the economic reality of the business at present is something that had to be addressed.”The 18-team format, introduced in 2016 after Argentina’s Jaguars and the Sunwolves of Japan joined the competition and the Kings returned, was widely criticised and there were fears the quality of the product was being diluted.Impey said it was important to retain the struggling Sunwolves in order to have a footprint in the lucrative Asian market.last_img read more

Raiders’ focus not on new Eel Moses

first_imgAfter making the mid-season move to the Raiders last season, Paulo knows the feeling of having to adjust to new surroundings almost immediately but believes the pivot will have no trouble.Moses has already taken on the Raiders once this season for the Wests Tigers, with the Ryde junior well contained in Canberra’s 46-6 win back in Round 3.”It was the same group of boys that they had there, a real tight-knit group, and I’m sure he’ll slot in straight away,” Paulo said of Moses.Paulo has been in barnstorming form for Canberra despite the Raiders’ woes in recent weeks, averaging over 146 metres a game in 2017 – although two errors against the Knights let the hard-running forward down on the weekend.The 23-year-old said the Green Machine were desperate to avoid a fourth straight loss for the first time in almost two seasons and added he would not only run at the Eels’ newest recruit but whoever stood in front of him.”If I can get the ball on the edge somewhere, I’m sure I’ll be running at him (Moses) but, if I get the ball, I’m just trying to run over whoever is in front of me,” he said.”We’re in survival mode now.”You’ve got to be desperate for a win, especially come this weekend against Parramatta.”Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson insists the side will focus on themselves rather than Moses but said the timing of the 22-year-old’s inclusion couldn’t have worked out better for the blue and gold.With Eels halfback Corey Norman facing a stint on the sidelines with a medial ligament knee injury, Moses will link with Clint Gutherson in the halves.”It’s obviously come at a good time with Norman being out this week, so it’s a good addition for them but nothing changes for us,” Hodgson said. “I think they’ll probably look for him to give them a bit of direction, especially with Corey being out they’ll really need someone there just to steer their big men around the field, kick well and finish in good areas.”I think that’s probably what they’ll be looking to for him to bring to the team, but we’re not really worried about that.”He’s obviously a very skilful player and a good addition for Parramatta.”But we’ll just concentrate on ourselves and try and fix up a few areas that we’ve spoken about.”The game will mark Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker’s 200th in the Telstra Premiership game after making his debut back in 2009.The inspirational leader has played more than 20 games in all eight seasons of his career so far and has scored 102 tries.Croker has scored six tries from his last seven appearances against the Eels and six tries from his last seven appearances at ANZ Stadium.last_img read more

Unflappable Parra helps Clermont end recent final hoodoo

first_imgBeaten two years ago by Stade Francais, Clermont also tasted the desperation of defeat in three of the past five European Cup finals – including three weeks ago against Saracens at Murrayfield.But on Sunday at Stade de France it was their turn to step up from the role of perennial bridesmaids and instead it is Toulon who are left to lament a final curse of their own, having been on the wrong end of four of the last six in the Top 14, although that record is mitigated by their 2014 triumph.In a clash punctuated by physicality and precise skill in equal measure, Morgan Parra proved the difference, the France scrum-half knocking over six out of six from the tee to finish with 17 points to add to Alivereti Raka’s scintillating first-half score.Josua Tuisova was the sole try-scorer for Toulon who, in the absence of Leigh Halfpenny on British and Irish Lions duty, turned to 21-year-old fly-half Anthony Belleau for kicking duties.Allez les gars  @RCTofficiel— Leigh Halfpenny (@LeighHalfpenny1) June 4, 2017Belleau was unfortunate to twice see penalties strike the upright as he attempted to bring Toulon back to within three points in the second half, Parra showing him how it was done at the other end before Clermont staved off a stoppage-time surge from Toulon deep inside their own 22 to spark ecstatic celebrations at full-time.clermont CHAMPION DE FRANCE 2017 !!! #YellowArmy— ASM Rugby (@ASMOfficiel) June 4, 2017It looked initially as though the contest could become one-sided as Clermont made a fierce start, rewarded by Parra’s sixth-minute penalty, before a stunning try started by Nick Abendanon’s steal close to his own line.Damian Penaud raced clear down the left and slipped the ball to Raka, who produced a devastating step off his left to leave Tuisova on his backside as he finished off a remarkable score.Parra further extended the lead with another penalty midway through the half before Toulon eventually managed to stem the yellow tide and got themselves on the board courtesy of Belleau.Clermont were reduced to 14 soon afterwards when Fritz Lee caught James O’Connor with a high shot that prompted tempers to flare between the two sets of players.And Toulon took advantage swiftly, working the ball wide for Tuivosa who returned the favour in dumping Raka on his rear end en route to touching down on the right despite the attentions of two further defenders.Parra’s penalty in injury time gave Clermont a measure of breathing space heading into the interval and he and Belleau traded further kicks early in the second period before the Toulon man twice struck the right-hand post with chances to bring it back to 19-16.Belleau was replaced by Francois Trinh-Duc, who took over kicking duties and brought Toulon back to within three with 10 minutes remaining, but from the restart Parra won a crucial turnover and as Toulon transgressed he exacted punishment by splitting the posts once more.As the clock ticked beyond 80 minutes, Toulon kicked for touch close to the line but they were unable to breach the yellow wall before them as Clermont’s battling at the breakdown earned them a penalty and secured a famous victory.#TOP14, Finale | #ASMRCTL’émotion est incroyable sur la pelouse du @StadeFrance.— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) June 4, 2017last_img read more

Boyle inspired by famous father’s tough love

first_imgThe 21-year-old forward is the son of rugged former Canberra Raiders utility David Boyle, who played 117 games for the Green Machine in the 1990s.”I talk to Dad before and after games and he says I’ve got to take it more personally and be more aggressive on the field,” Boyle told”He wants me to hit more with my shoulder and bring the old style back in.”Dad is trying to slowly drum it into me. It is such a fast game compared to back then but first up contact is still the number one priority. When he says it before and after every game it does eventually sink in.”When told Garth Brennan about Boyle’s advice to his son, it was music to the Titans coach’s ears.”I’d like to see that as well, so his dad is saying the right things,” Brennan grinned.”Morgan’s a young guy who is still learning. He’s a baby really, but a big baby. Raw is probably the best word to describe him.”He is a big body and physical, but he could probably be a bit more aggressive. “I think he can use his body more and that comes from experience, I suppose. He’s a specimen. He just needs to work out how to use it.”Boyle said Brennan’s advice to him was of the “release the inner beast” variety as well.”Garth just says ‘If he gets on your outside shoulder, go get a trophy’,” Boyle said.”It is actually a very simple plan Garth’s got. He says ‘Go get him and if he beats you on the inside the bloke on the inside is going to cover for you’.”The Titans hopes for Boyle are as strong as his 194cm and 111kg frame.He came through the Raiders system initially, but had six clubs after his signature last year before he re-signed with the Titans until the end of 2020.”I’m glad I did. It’s a great place, great coaching staff and a great team,” he said.As Morgan progresses it will be with his old man’s legacy entrenched in his soul. Morgan is just relieved his father is still alive after a farm accident in 2010 almost killed him and left him in a coma.”Dad’s all right now. He is not going to be 100 per cent but he is progressing and it beats going to visit him in the ground,” Boyle said.”He’s a lucky man to come out of it the way he did after what happened.”When Dad had that accident it was just my mum [Shelley] and us five kids and it was a tough time, but we have a nice small community down home at Cobargo in the Bega Valley and they all dug in and helped out.”Boyle can’t wait for Sunday to rip into the Penrith Panthers led by the in-form Reagan Campbell-Gillard, another big “trophy” for him to target.”That’s exactly right, and there’s a whole pack of trophies down there and if we control them you’d like to think we’d get over the top of them,” Boyle said.last_img read more

Three new players named in All Blacks squad

first_imgHighlanders loose forward Shannon Frizell, Crusaders loose forward Jordan Taufua and Chiefs halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi are the three possible debutantes.Sam Whitelock captains the side in the absence of the injured Kieran Read.Also selected are Crusaders teammates Tim Perry, Richie Mo’unga and Jack Goodhue, who played non-Test matches on last year’s European tour and are yet to make their Test debuts.Meanwhile, making a welcome return to the All Blacks are 95-Test cap prop Owen Franks and Hurricanes outside back Nehe Milner-Skudder who both missed the back half of last year’s All Blacks season through injury.As well as the 33-man squad, two other players will assemble with the squad. Highlanders hooker Liam Coltman, will come in as paternity cover for Nathan Harris, whose partner is expecting a baby during the Series; while Blues loose forward Akira Ioane will assemble as well, with the All Blacks selectors wanting to take the opportunity to continue his development at international level.With Kieran Read injured, the All Blacks selectors have named 96-Test lock Sam Whitelock as captain for the series, with fullback Ben Smith and loose forward Sam Cane named as vice-captains. Whitelock has captained the team once before, against Wales in the last Test of 2017.As well as Read, other players not considered for selection due to injury were Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Kane Hames, Nepo Laulala, Atu Moli, Patrick Tuipulotu and Israel Dagg.All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said: “I’d like to congratulate all those players selected for the Steinlager Series, especially the three new All Blacks.”It was a really tough squad to select, more so because there are some very talented players who have missed out, but I’m sure they will get their opportunity in the black jersey in the near future.”Hansen also congratulated Whitelock on his appointment as captain for the series.”He’s one half of the best locking combination in the world and one of the best players on and off the park. He has a cool head under pressure and the support of the players and management.”In saying that, we’re blessed with a number of other leaders in our group and the expectations are that they’ll continue to lead both on and off the park in their actions, and in doing so make Sam’s job that little bit easier.”In setting the scene for the All Blacks season, Hansen said: “2018 will be about consolidation for us.”We’ll look to continue to grow our player depth and expose more players to our environment and Test rugby, help them improve and enhance their game fundamentals, and in doing so, create consistent, ingrained habits that will hold up under the greatest of pressures, which is Test rugby.”Hansen described the French as “always a dangerous side”.”Whilst they’re at the end of their season, many of their players haven’t played a lot of rugby through injury, so they’ll be a lot fresher than they’d normally be, for this campaign. Our preparation will need to be both smart and bone-deep if we’re to combat this French team, who’ll come with a strong belief and commitment. As history tells us, we’d be very foolish and naïve to underestimate their abilities.”The squad is as follows: (with age, Super Rugby club, province and Test caps.)Forwards:HookersNathan Harris (26, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 11)Codie Taylor (27, Crusaders / Canterbury, 29)PropsOwen Franks (30, Crusaders / Canterbury, 95)Joe Moody (29, Crusaders /Canterbury, 31)Tim Perry (29, Crusaders / Tasman, uncapped)Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (27, Hurricanes / Wellington, 1)Ofa Tuungafasi (26, Blues / Auckland, 14)LocksScott Barrett (24, Crusaders / Taranaki, 16)Brodie Retallick (26, Chiefs / Hawke’s Bay, 68)Samuel Whitelock (29, Crusaders / Canterbury, 96) – CaptainLoose ForwardsSam Cane (26, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 53) – vice-captainVaea Fifita (25, Hurricanes / Wellington, 5)Shannon Frizell (24, Highlanders / Tasman, uncapped)Ardie Savea (24, Hurricanes / Wellington, 22)Liam Squire (27, Highlanders / Tasman, 15)Jordan Taufua (26, Crusaders / Tasman, uncapped)Luke Whitelock (27, Highlanders / Canterbury, 2)Backs:HalfbacksTJ Perenara (26, Hurricanes / Wellington, 42)Aaron Smith (29, Highlanders / Manawatu, 71)Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (23, Chiefs / Taranaki, uncapped)First five-eighthsBeauden Barrett (27, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 62)Damian McKenzie (23, Chiefs / Waikato, 12)Richie Mo’unga (24, Crusaders / Canterbury, uncapped)MidfieldersRyan Crotty (29, Crusaders / Canterbury, 32)Jack Goodhue (22, Crusaders / Northland, uncapped)Ngani Laumape (25, Hurricanes / Manawatu, 4)Anton Lienert-Brown (23, Chiefs / Waikato, 22)Sonny Bill Williams (32, Blues / Counties Manukau, 46)Outside backsJordie Barrett (21, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 2)Rieko Ioane (21, Blues / Auckland, 13)Nehe Milner-Skudder (27, Hurricanes / Manawatu, 11)Waisake Naholo (27, Highlanders /Taranaki, 18)Ben Smith (30, Highlanders /Otago, 64) – Vice-captainlast_img read more

PNG Pukpuks beat Tahiti 32-10

first_imgPNG were slow to find their form while Tahiti dominated possession early on.Anthony Tesquet had a chance to score first points for Tahiti but his penalty kick fell short.PNG got the ball rolling midway through the first half when a break out on the wing saw Jacky Marcus dive over to score.An unsuccessful conversion from Nigel Genia left the score at 5-0.Genia got it right the second time, kicking a penalty goal to extend PNG’s lead.PNG continued to keep the pressure on and soon found another crack in Tahiti’s defence when centre James Lumaris busted through to score.Genia failed again to add the extras.Tahiti gave themselves some hope with a penalty conversion right on half time to go into the break trailing 13-3.Butler Morris opened the scoring for PNG early in the second half when he scooped up a loose ball metres away from Tahiti’s try line and darted away for a try.Genia this time slotted the ball through the posts.Tahiti worked up possession and through some good play from a maul barged their way over the line through Lorris Peytavit.But PNG were too strong, running in two more late tries through Derek Paraka and another to Marcus.In the other game, American Samoa beat Solomon Islands 30-15.last_img read more

Palais captain says a lot learnt from Oceania 7s

first_imgDespite losing two of the three matches on day one of the Championship, the Palais made it to the semi-final going down to big guns Fiji.The Palais finished in fourth place just ahead of Tonga. Five countries played in the Championship. “It was really tough for us going up against teams like Fiji and Cook Islands. Our defence was poor, we had poor ball handling and our attack was too shallow.“But we gained experience and we will work on this and improve going forward. Every player gave it their best and we can only get better” said Kaore.last_img

Mono Burgos plans to leave the Atleti and train alone

first_imgThat does not mean that Cholo Simeone does not continue on the athletic bench, with which he has a contract until 2022. Simply that Mono Burgos wants to be first coach. This would break the tandem he has been leading the rojiblanco team since December 2011 and have raised seven titles: 2 Europa League (2012 and 2018); two European Super Cups (2012 and 2018); a league in 2014; a Copa del Rey 2013 and a Spain Supercup in 2014. Mono Burgos and Simeone began their collaboration in the Catania in January 2011. They continued their relationship the few months they trained in Avellaneda Racing until they arrived at Atleti at Christmas 2011 to replace Gregorio Manzano. German ‘Monkey’ Burgos He intends to start his solo career. As reported The spar of the SER chain, the Argentine, 50 years old, He is very excited to train and he plans to be first coach. He has already informed Simeone and the club rojiblanco. For that reason, He has asked the Bahia representation agency to look for a bench for next season. Mono Burgos ends contract with Atlético on June 30, 2020, as it was the only member of the Simeone coaching staff that last February He did not extend his contract for two years.last_img read more

Panenka Awards: Fernando Torres talk with AS right after his retirement, nominated

first_imgACE The list includes from the report to the literary story, the documentary and the critic: The fifth of the Vulture (Movistar +), In the long night, the chain breaker (Echoes of the Ball), the Women’s World Cup (GOL), The first women’s football match (TVE), Zozulya as a symptom (The newspaper), The memory match (The nation), The revolution of two soccer sisters in the Karakórum (El País) and interviews with Joan Capdevila (Jot Down), Iñaki Williams (SER) and Leo Messi (RAC 1). Panenka magazine will present its annual awards that distinguish the best journalistic works of the year on Monday in Barcelona. The gala will insist on its sixth edition in what the publication calls “extolling football culture” and will redirect the focus of the lawn towards professionals who tell what happens on the lawn.The interview with Fernando Torres in Japan right after the announcement of his retirement and published in AS by Javier Gómez Matallanas is among the eleven nominees for the journalistic piece of the year. The ceremony will also reward the best photographer, the best book, deliver three Antonín awards and also make several mentions.The format.The publication stands out from the talk with Fernando Torres his multimedia presentation with prominence for the photo, the video of the interview and a complete infographic of Miguel Ángel Fernández. A sample of the determined editorial commitment of AS by The long-form format.last_img read more

Canales is a leader ten years after arriving in Madrid

first_imgBut his countryman and friend arrived Quique Setién in 2018, the Betis and a willingness to strengthen his body and knees with the maturity that has made him a footballer who has added a lot of physical to its undoubted quality. Today, more than a half-point, is almost a box to box that appears all over the field in the verdiblanco team. Sum this year four goals and four assists, play between the lines and piecework in a midfield where few people defend. That strips ungainly and greñas is today an unmistakable seal player who will face Madrid again, against which by the way he adds ten defeats, a draw and only one victory: with Real in 2014-15 … A decade Y three crusader breaks after, Sergio Canales is he Leader of this Betis. To his 29 years, little or nothing has to do the Cantabrian midfielder with the kid who signed for the Real Madrid by José Mourinho in 2010. The white club had thought to give it up to get it fired, but after a good preseason, the Portuguese coach decided keep it. Juice quite, much more than expected, but the next year he did leave on loan to Valencia. Two serious injuries They kept him from succeeding in Mestalla. Another one slowed its progression in Saint Sebastian, where he emphasized 2014.last_img read more