Boost for Pacific Island rugby if a team of islanders is formed for super rugby. Photo: Planet Rugby
New Zealand’s Super Rugby coaches are reportedly pushing for a team of Pacific island players to be included in the tournament when it expands.
The team, based in Auckland, would be part of an 18-club competition under a proposal from the coaches of New Zealand’s five existing Super Rugby teams, the New Zealand Herald reported.
It said 2016’s competition would also include a Japanese team and South Africa’s Southern Kings and Lions, who currently compete in an end-of-season play-off for a Super Rugby berth.
The Force has parted ways with Alfie Mafi. Photo: Getty Images
The Western Force have parted ways with star winger Alfie Mafi citing a number of disciplinary breaches by the 24-year-old at the Perth-based Super Rugby franchise.
Mafi thrust himself into Wallabies calculations earlier this year when scoring five tries from his first six games of the season.
But wayward off-field behaviour has cost him his place in the squad, with the Force releasing Mafi on Sunday due to “a number of infringements of team standards and disciplinary indiscretions”.
RugbyWA chief executive Mark Sinderberry said the Force’s strong focus on its standards meant it was the right decision to release Mafi.
Folau is enjoying rugby union after two man-of-the-match performance in three matches. Photo: Getty Images
Israel Folau has given his strongest indication yet that he’ll extend his rugby union career beyond one season after sending a loud message to Wallabies coach Robbie Deans with his second man-of-the match performance in three weeks.
Fullback Folau left numerous defenders clawing at thin air when setting up a try for NSW winger Cameron Crawford and scoring one himself in the first six minutes to trigger the Waratahs’ 72-10 thrashing of Super Rugby newcomers the Kings in Port Elizabeth early Sunday (AEDT)
Cam Crawford scores one of his three tries. Photo: Planet Rugby
The Waratahs gave the Kings an almighty hiding on Saturday, scoring eleven tries to win 72-10 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The Waratahs dominated from start to finish, charging to a 46-10 lead at half-time.
The visitors had the four-try bonus point secured inside the first 20 minutes and had touched down seven times – including a hat-trick from winger Cam Crawford – by the interval.
The hosts only reply came just before the break from teenage wing Sergeal Petersen, while Demetri Catrakilis added a conversion and a penalty.
Dan Carter . . . impressive
The Crusaders scored a key win over the Brumbies on Sunday, prevailing 30-23 with a workmanlike performance that has kick-started their campaign.
With both teams having a bye next weekend, this result was always going to be key in terms of whether they had a positive spell off the field.
And inspired by the returning Dan Carter, it was the Crusaders who won the contest as solid breakdown work combined with the Brumbies struggling for momentum against a strong defence saw the visitors get the four points.
Digby Ioane will head to Paris at the end of the year. Photo: Getty Images
Wallabies winger Digby Ioane will leave the Queensland Reds and Australian rugby later this year after signing a massive two-year contract with French glamour club Stade Francais.
It’s understood Ioane will reap almost $2.5 million but the deal will severely endanger his chances of playing in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Queensland Rugby Union chief executive Jim Carmichael on Thursday night confirmed French radio reports the world-class back would link with the Parisian club at the end of the year.
Ioane is regarded among the best wingers in the game and his loss is a major blow to both the Wallabies and the Reds.
Habana . . . held
The Blues survived a late fightback from the Stormers to hold on for an 18-17 Super Rugby win at North Harbour Stadium in Albany on Friday.
It was a case of close but no cigar for the visitors, after two Jean de Villiers tries in the second-half gave his team a glimmer of hope of snatching another upset win on the road.
However after 20 phases into injury time, a wayward last-gasp drop-goal attempt from replacement pivot Elton Jantjies handed the Blues back possession and they didn’t need a second invitation to boot the ball into touch.
Chiefs hat-trick hero Gareth Anscombe scores a try at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Photo: Planet Rugby
Chiefs full-back Gareth Anscombe bagged a hat-trick to help his team to a thrilling 39-33 Super Rugby win over the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Friday.
The defending champions outscored the hosts six tries to five, but were made to work overtime to secure the win after the Rebels clawed their way back after trailing 24-7 at half-time.
Tries: Higginbotham, Pyle 2, Phipps, Beale
Cons: O’Connor 4
Tries: Anscombe 3, Aki, Cane, Retallick
Cons: Anscombe 3