Fiji hoists the Oceania 7s Cup after defeating New Zealand 21-5 in the final. Photo: FORU
In a pulsating men’s final New Zealand took the early lead but Fiji responded with some dazzling play to wrest back the initaitive with a converted try to make it 7-5 at half-time. Then converted tries to Vatemo Ravouvou and Fiji 400-metre sprinter Niko Verekauta broke the game apart for Fiji whose defence and all round play was too strong for New Zealand.
Fiji captain Nasoni Roko was delighted with the result, “We worked very hard this week to ensure we were ready and coach Ben Ryan has done a good job with the boys. We knew New Zealand would be very physical and they are always hard to beat. Luckily we have some good talent and in Niko we have some very fast speed out wide.”
Robbie Deans in Wallabies training gear (Photo: Supplied)
The domestic coaching career of Robbie Deans is without parallel in the annuals of trans-Tasman rugby.
A former All Black, Deans was the pin-up boy of the Canterbury team of his generation during a 12-year playing career.
Even greater acclaim has followed as one of the best coaches of the modern era.
Ma’a Nonu is linked to a move to Toulon in the French Top 14 competition. Photo: Skysports
According to a report in the French press, All Black centre Ma’a Nonu is on the verge of signing a deal with Toulon for after the World Cup.
The 32-year-old is currently sidelined with a broken arm and is unlikely to play again before next year’s Super Rugby season.
Winger Ben Smith crosses against Argentina . Photo: Skysports
New Zealand secured a third straight Rugby Championship title on Saturday as they out-classed Argentina 34-13 with a try bonus-point in La Plata.
At times it was a joy to watch from the All Blacks as they scored the four tries required to become champions after the Boks won well at Newlands.
All Blacks Richie McCaw scores the winning try against the Springboks. Photo: Skysports
New Zealand overturned a half-time deficit to claim a 14-10 victory over South Africa in a thrilling Rugby Championship Test at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
Only two tries were scored – one apiece – but the clash between the two best sides in the world lived up to its billing as the All Blacks were forced to hang on in a nail-biting finish to an outstanding contest.
All Blacks Keven Mealamu is of Samoan heritage. Photo: Skysports
The All Blacks will play their first ever Test in the Pacific Islands next year against Samoa as part of their build-up to the World Cup, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) said on Tuesday.
The long-awaited clash will take place in Apia on July 8, 2015.
Savea has scored 26 tries in 25 Tests. Photo: Skysports
New Zealand were eventually convincing winners against Argentina in Napier, picking up a try bonus point in a 28-9 victory.
Julian Savea scored twice, taking his absurd record in Test rugby to 26 tries in 25 games.
At times this was closer to a chip and grubber exhibition than a Test match as both sides, forwards and backs, had their turn to try and put the opposition into a tangle.
Nathan Charles played a full 80 minutes in the first Test against New Zealand. Photo: SMH
One injured Wallabies rake has been replaced with another as the Wallabies struggle to cope with their growing hooker crisis.
Australian coach Ewen McKenzie will be forced to select between his fourth-string and sixth-string hookers to start against South Africa next week after losing Nathan Charles for the season.
Charles suffered a pectoral tear in last weekend’s 51-20 Eden Park thrashing by the All Blacks to join Stephen Moore (knee reconstruction) and Tolu Latu (broken arm) in rehab for the rest of 2014.
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw is congratulated by Aaron Cruden after scoring a try against Australia. Photo: Planet Rugby
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who already holds plenty of records, notably the most capped New Zealand Test player and the most experienced international forward ever to play the game, has taken a couple more.
McCaw, who scored two tries against the Wallabies, now has crossed the chalk 23 times.
Tuculet and Retallick were on top of their games. Photo: Planet Rugby
Now that the dust has settled in the southern hemisphere, Planet Rugby pick out the stand-out performers of Round Two in the Rugby Championship.
After putting a record score past the Wallabies, the All Blacks naturally dominate our selection this week. A few names from the Pumas too after a string display in Salta.
Rugby Championship Team of the Week: Round Two
15 Joaquín Tuculet (Argentina): A well-taken try and some excellent running sees the Puma pip Ben Smith for our 15 jersey. Tuculet beat five defenders and his tactical kicking was intelligent.
14 Cornal Hendricks (South Africa): As crucial tries goes, Hendricks’ score around the hour mark will go down as one of the most influential in any game, anywhere, this year. The former Sevens man took his chance brilliantly and it swung the tide in the Boks’ favour. Continue reading