Sunday, February 17, 2019

MLR WRap: By the Numbers - 2.17

Major League Rugby: By the Numbers, 2.17.19

17           for New York United 10, Cathal Marsh, on 1 try, 2 penalties and 3 conversions and NOLA fell from the ranks of the unbeatens in a doozy at New Orleans, 24-27;

11           for San Diego Legion 10, Joe Pietersen,  on 1 conversion and 3 penalties, plus trys by 20-years old flanker, Devin Short, and 5-8ths JP Du Plessis made for the 21-10 win over Utah Warriors in Southern California;

4             the margin of separation, 12-8, at the midpoint with Glendale sending Ata Malifa and Harley Davidson across the paint to touch down, scrumhalf Carlo de Nysschen converting one; Raptors second stanza trys by de Nysschen and the bonus point grounding by backrow Peter Dahl, de Nysschen converting his own, made for a record or 24-13 with Glendale notching its first win of the season, while Austin Elite suffered their fourth home defeat running;

3             instances of drawn scores in the 1st-40 at 7s, 10s and 17s, the last being the midpoint numbers in the tussle in Tukwila; Toronto claimed the early lead in the second stanza on a touch down by Arrows 9, Andy Ferguson, its conversion by 10, Sam Malcolm, who added a brace of penalties for 30-17 travelers favor by the 53rd; a brace of Seattle scores, one converted, made the tallies 30 and 29 yet for visitors by ’65, until a 76th-minute Brock Staller penalty nudged the ‘Wolves in front, 32-30; a further Staller sticksplitter in extra time sealed the 35-30, 5-pointer for Seattle

Top 14 By the Numbers: 2.17.19


18           for Scotland and Clermont 9, Greig Laidlaw, on 3 conversions and 4 penalties, as Bordeaux Bègles could find neither the ball handle nor the pace to attend a rampant Clermont XV; 40-15 the final at the Michelin: visitors played much of the match 1-man down as yellow in the 1st-40 and a red in the second, put travelers at the self-placed disadvantage; note: Scots captain Laidlaw played well, while Clermont and Les Bleus, half, Camille Lopez, had a rest ahead of next week’s 6Nats, France v Scotland Test... wotcher?

14          for Lyon 10, Jon Wiszniewski, on 1 conversion and 4 penalties made for well done roadies at the Stade Jean-Bouin and travelers got the result, 24-13, over Stade Français;

23           knocked through the sticks by Perpignan 10, Enzo Selponi, on the conversion of an early grounding by flyer, Jean-Marc Pujol, and 7 penalties struck against an ill-disciplined home squad as Montpellier gifted the Perps their initial win of the season, 28-10;

3             penalties struck by Pau 10, matched by 3 penalties from his opposite number, Castres 10, Ben Urdapilleta, with the difference on the day being a grounding by visitors 13, Thomas Combezou for 14-9 road joy in the Stade du Hameau;

3             also the number of penalties struck by Agen 10, Léo Berdeu, and went to defeat at Stade Armandie, 10-19, while Agen raised itself from relegation station, because…

2             trys for La Rochelle 9, Tawera Kerr Barlow, to both open and close accounts for the visitors, the last to break a 21-all draw and La Rochelle got the necessary on the trot over Grenoble at Stade des Alpes, 28-21; all home team numbers on 7 penalties struck by 15, Gaëtan Germain;

19           for visiting 10, Zach Holmes, on 4 conversions, 2 penalties and 1 try as a relatively depleted traveling Toulouse XV - sans Les Bleusians Ntamack, DuPont and  Ramos -  pounded out a fluid, 34-29 victory over Racing 92 at La Défense

Europe: Gallagher and Guinness WRaps, T14 to finish yet

Gallagher, Guinness: By the Numbers

Gallagher Premiership

2             instances of drawn scores at 10s and 17s before Gloucester 8man, Ben Morgan, grounded at ’75 to provide the crowd at Kingsholm much joy in victory over league-leading Exeter Chiefs, 24-17;

4             trys for Wasps on the road at Ashton Gardens meant the 5-pointer in the win over host, Bristol Bears, 29-22, and Hornets are keeping a playoff spot in view;

9             trys for Northampton, including braces by 9, Cobus Reinach, and flyer, Tom Collins, as Saints held a clinic at Franklin’s Gardens; 32-10 margin at the break didn’t get any better for Sale as home team stormed for 32 more in the second stanza and the 67-20 result;

10           for Bath 10, Rhys Priestland on 2-and-2 from his shoe and Bath got the 5-pointer at the Recreation Ground over Newcastle Falcons, 30-13;

5             points, 10-5, the halftime lead squandered by visiting Leicester Tigers and a comeback Saracens put 28 aboard in the last 40 with their defense standing up to claim the bonus-point win at Barnet Copthall, 33-10;

80          points and 12 trys in all between the XVs in a lively match at the Stoop; Quins were counting better than a-point-a-minute and up 21-0 by the 18th, before Worcester got aboard on a grounding by 2, Jack Singleton, and its conversion by 10, Duncan Weir; 4, 1st-40, 2-pointers by just-turned 20 years old Harlequins 10, Marcus Smith in the 47-33 victory;

Guinness Pro 14

2             trys for Edinburgh winger, Jimmy Johnstone, converted by 10, Jaco Van der Walt, in the 1st-40 kept Dragons in sight as the lads went to lockers after 40 at Murrayfield with home team 3 points adrift, 14-17; but a Duhan Van der Merwe brace in the second stanza capped an Edinburgh return after shutting down the Dragons fire in that last 40 for 34-17 victory;

7             trys for Munster, 3 scored during 3, 10-minute assessments periods for the BadBoy Kings as homeboys powered by the Monarchs at Thomond Park, 45-nil;

8             the measure for Ulster on the trot in a soggy Swansea and sfa for their hosts as Ospreys suffered the ignominy of 0-8, moist, unhappiness at home in the Liberty; zeroes at the half;

21           points in the first 21 minutes meant 21-nil the Leinster lead on the road before Zebre owned the last 10 minutes of the 1st-40 for 21 and 19 midpoint tallies at Sergio Lanfranchi; but travelers got 3 more in the second stanza against only 1 for their hosts for 40-24, 5-point, road ecstasy for the Irish; a brace of scores by Leinster openside, Max Deegan, and a pair for Zebre fullback Francois Brummer;

10           points in the last 20 minutes provided the 6-point margin of victory for Treviso as the home team returned from 15-19 down at the hour mark, to record 25-19 victory over Scarlets and draw level on the table with second-placed Edinburgh; brace by Llanelli 15, Johnny McNicholl, in the losing effort;

8             in the last ‘8 for Connacht broke the 17-all deadlock and the Galwaymen returned from 9 points down approaching the hour mark for a 25-17 wakeup of Fast Cats at the Sportsground;

2             missed conversions the difference in a 10-try affair at the Arms Park: Glasgow were in front comfortably, 38-22, with less than 10 minutes left on the clock, but they nearly left the door open to death as Blues came back with a brace of scores at ’75 and ’78 to close, yet never surmount the gap, and 38-34 the 5-point success for Warriors;

Super Rugby: By the Numbers, 12.17

Super Rugby: By the Numbers, 2.14-16

10           in the last 10 ticks did it for 14-man Highlanders who returned from an 11-point, 60+ minute deficit to claim a mighty road win, 30-27, at the FMG in Waikato over Chiefs; 15 for ‘Landers 10, Josh Ioane, on 3-and-3 off the tee; one nifty grounding off a scrum in the business district by Canadian backrow lock, Tyler Ardron - recently of Ospreys -, and a brace by El Jefe flyer, Etene Nanai-Seturo, in the losing bonus-point, opening day effort;

4             first 40 lead changes in a wild one at Canberra as the road crew out of Melbourne did the number on Brumbies at Bruce Stadium, 34-27; former Reds and Wallabies 9-10 combo, Will Genia and Quade Cooper teamed to lead the surprise for the Mob in the capital; hatcheting smasher of a try by Rebels hooker, Anaru Rangi, on the thundering fast-plod to take the lead early in the last half, providing advantage the Revolutionists would never release;

2             penalty trys awarded Crusaders aided their 2-point, 24-22 win in  Auckland; Blues came back from a 9-point, 3-12, halftime deficit to close the gap to a couple with a 73rd minute grounding by relief scrumhalf, Gus Pulu, but a wayward conversion attempt denied the draw;

14           for Waratahs 10, Bernie Foley, on 4, 1st-40 penalties and the conversion of a 43rd minute try by ‘Tahs flyer, Curt Rona, left the home XV just shy of the Hurricanes at the Allianz; 2-and-2 from fullback, Jordie Barrett, and his shoe, the last the conversion of a 75th-minute grounding by ‘Canes 8man, Du’Plessis Kirifi , for the win, 20-19;

6             groundings for Sharks in a traveling tryfest at Tokyo as the Big Fish, down 3-10 briefly in the early goings, rolled out those half dozen touch downs against none for host, SunWolves, and 45-10 the final; a brace for visitors 2, Akker Van der Merve, in the rout;

20           points on account for Bulls 10, Handre Pollard, with 4-and-4 from the floor and home team pounded Stormers in Loftus Versfeld, 40-3, picking up the fiver in the process; double for Bulls flyer, Rosko Specman in the first ’20;

3             trys for Lions blindside, Marnus Schoeman by ’50 meant road joy for the South Africans as the Big Cats dropped Jaguares in Buenos Aires, 25-16; 10 for Lions 10, Elton Jantjies, on 2-and-2 off his shoe and 11 for his oppo, Panthers 10, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, on 1-and-3 off the tee;

Reds on the bye

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Europe on the Weekend: Gallagher, Guinness and Top14

Europe on the Weekend: Gallagher Premiership, Guinness Pro14  and the Orange 14
Gallagher Premiership: 10 Rounds remaining; 50 potential table points; it’ll take somewhere in the mid-60s to reach the playoffs, so every fixture, whether the top players are off for their country or no, is of critical importance should the club be hunting extra time; numbers 1 & 2, Chiefs and Sarries resp., are effectively three bonus-point wins ahead of the pack and likely to remain there, so the turmoil and torment will be in the battles for the last two additional action placements during the last 10 rounds.

Friday 2.15:
               Bristol Bears (24) v (29) Wasps at Ashton Gate: rise and shine!   
               Gloucester (32) v (51) Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm: Cherry-and-Whites are in the final playoff spot just now with a handful of hounds on their near hind; this would be a good one to win for homeys as it’ll not only distance Gloucester from their pursuit, but it would be victory over the current standard in the league.

Saturday, 2.16: 
               Northampton Saints (26) v (29) Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens: each are chasing the playoff dragon; joy today against a Gloucester loss could put the happy XV into a playoff position;

               Bath (28) v (17) Newcastle Falcons at the Rec: a bonus-point win for the home team keeps them on pace for playoffs, while loss for visitors cements their cellar-dwell;

               Harlequins (33) v (21) Worcester Warriors at the Stoop: Quins very much are after a fiver now;

               Saracens (47) v (29) Leicester Tigers at Barnet Copthall: Corsairs can ill-afford a misstep now and most likely won’t suffer that; it’ll be rough hoeing for travelers as their 10, George Ford, is on international duty with the Rose.

Guinness Pro14: seven rounds left, 35 table points on offer, mid-60s should get a club into the top three extra time slots in the global competition encompassing a longitudinal swath of 35on either side of the Prime Meridian from Scotland to South Africa; with two-thirds of the schedule complete, Benetton Treviso and Free State Cheetahs are the hottest teams; Treviso, coached into their current second-place prominence by the astute piloting of former Canada head coach and All Black 15 Kieran Crowley, has not lost since a mid-December EPCR match, while the Fast Cats are on a run of four joys, collecting 19 of 20 possible table points and are into the thick of playoff contention, just two points from third-placed Ospreys with their weekend opposition, Connacht, between them.

Friday, 2.15:
               Edinburgh (32) v (19) Dragons at Murrayfield: may be significant joy for the home team;
               Munster (48) v (19) Southern Kings at Thomond Park: see above;
               Ospreys (38) v (35) Ulster at Liberty Stadium: both seek extra time in their respective divisions and each are poised; victory here would go a good way toward ensuring that;

Saturday, 2.16: 
               Zebre (17) v (58) Leinster at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi: could very well be bonus-point road win;
               Treviso (37) v (35) Scarlets at Stadio Communal: decisive result either way it goes;
               Connacht (38) v (36) Cheetahs at the Sportsground: see above;
               Cardiff Blues (36) v (46) Glasgow Warriors at the Arms Park: homeboys on a run of three-from-four, while their guests have that ratio reversed and have recently given up the ordering seat at their conference table; wotcher Warriors?

Orange (Top, French) 14: 15th round, with 55 table points to be had yet; Toulouse are 11-1-1 since September and have wrested the ordering seat from Clermont; Clermont, for their part, are nipping the frontrunner heel just now, but are experiencing significant deficit with Laidlaw and Lopez, their halfback pairing, off at representative duty; the five placements below the leading duo are separated by a mere half dozen table points, just a bonus-point plus; figure table point accumulation of 60+ could get a club to extra time, but 70 would fair ensure.

Saturday, 2.16:
               Clermont (52) v (43) Bordeaux Bègles at the Michelin: visitors are on a run of four-from-five; this could be a good road outing against a Les Bleus-poached XV;
               Montpellier (33) v (4) Perpignan at the Altrad: should be max points here for the home team;
               Pau (28) v (37) Castres at Stade du Hameau: this is about the time last season when the visitors began their run for the playoffs which saw them come from beyond left field to claim the crown in June;
               Stade Français (42) v (44) Lyon at Jean-Bouin: contest between the playoff-positioned fourth- and sixth-placed clubs should be a doozy... M-o-W, M-o-W;
               Agen (17) v (28) Toulon at Stade Armandie: host are currently on relegation station; guests not that far off; this one’s all about keeping one’s head above water;

Sunday, 2.17
               Grenoble (20) v (46) La Rochelle at Stade des Alpes: home team is close to a dropspot and travelers are on a good run just now, four-from-five; Alpine mountain bastion not quite the happiness provider it has been in the past;
               Racing 92 (40) v (54) Toulouse at La Défense Arena: homeboys just out of the playoff running just now; their guests have recently risen to the topspot in the league; a result of significance for each.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Super Rugby open wide the Global Doors

Super Rugby: Round 1

all cities hosting fixtures are lit on the map
Thursday, 2.14:
               Chiefs v Highlanders at Waikato Stadium
Friday 2.15:       
               Brumbies v Rebels at Bruce Stadium;
               Blues v Crusaders at Eden Park
 Saturday, 2.16 
               Waratahs v Hurricanes at the Allianz:
               SunWolves v Sharks at Prince Chichibunomiya Stadium;
               Bulls v Stormers at Loftus Versfeld;
               Jaguares v Lions at Estadio Jose Amalfitani: Cat Fight
It's all on now!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

MLR - upcoming 2.16-17

Major League Rugby - preview upcomers

Saturday, 2.16
                              1pm MST:
               NOLA Gold (15) v (4) NY United at New Orleans, Louisiana: two of the three clubs with perfect records face off in the Big Easy and Narlins is no easy at all this season as JP Eloff, Taylor Howden and the Gold have beaten all comers thus far; New York have only one match under their belt in this, their inaugural campaign, but it was a win and a significant one at that for it came on the trot in Southern California; United’s margin of victory in San Diego was three… NOLA have won their trio of matches by an average of five point-per-game; both are undefeated; that will change and that is why this is MLR’s MoW-MoW; weather could be moist in the stadium as forecast calls for rain on the Saturday just now;

Sunday, 2.17
                              3pm MST:          
               San Diego Legion (9) v (4) Utah Warriors in SoCal: this could very well be a defensive struggle as each XV have demonstrated a reluctance to allow points; depending on the outcome of Saturday’s match in Louisiana this could be for topspot; the clubs have accomplished numbers guys in the 10 slots: New Zealander, Tim O’Malley, for the visitors and South African, Joe Pietersen, for homeboys and it may come down to the accuracy of shots from those standoffs shoes that decide this one;

                              5pm MST:
               Austin Elite Rugby (2) v (2) Glendale Raptors in Texas: neither have won this season and both must look to change that stat up; points-loss differentials are similar though all Austin loss has come at home while Glendale have yet to play in Colorado; this will be the cellar for the loser and ideally the beginning of a good long run for the victor; may be too early in the season for the mantle, but a loss will settle a desperate measure on that unfortunate; weather is meant to be abso perfect for kickoff; chance of rain, but slim that;

                            6pm MST:           
               Seattle Seawolves (6) v (6) Toronto Arrows at Tukwila: the clubs are level on table points and sit three-four on the chart, but Toronto have a match in hand their opponents; Seattle have lost two and would not like to see a third this early in the going; third place is up for grabs with the possibility of second should Legion fail earlier in the day; the weather has been playing wild in Washington this week, so there could be a slippery element to handling, though Sunday is forecast to be fine and dandy

Monday, February 11, 2019

Weekend WRap: ARC MLR 6Nats

Weekend Rugby WRap: February 11, 2019

Americas Rugby Championship   -   Major League   -   Six Nations  


United States most likely have missed out on its shot at a third Americas Rugby Championship running as missed cues and mishandles led to missed opportunities and a vigorous, unforgiving and relentless Argentina XV dismantled their opponents at Neuquén, 45-14. A tentative and error-prone Eagles XV, down 0-21 in the first forty, got injury on top of insult in receiving a red card fair putting themselves in a position from which they could not return. It was well into the last half before the USA were able to break the Argentine defense to score, but as they say, too little, far...
Only bright spot on an otherwise dreary day was the commentary of former Denver Highlanders and Vail RFC head coach, Steve Lewis. An adept and astute rugby gamesman, his observations and explanations were simple and on the spot, delivered cogently and coherently. A testimony to the man’s exceptional understanding of the algebra of rugby.

Canada were ahead 10-nil behind the efforts of fullback, Ciaran Hearn, before the wheels flattened and half dozen sticksplitters later by Brasil and Utah Warriors flyhalf Josh Reeves, the Tupis claimed the 18-10 result.

Uruguay are now Argentina XV’s only competition for the trophy as Los Teros topped Chile, 20-5, in Montevideo.

MLR - By the Numbers:

5             the midpoint Austin lead that the Elite were unable to hold and Toronto Arrows returned to claim advantage, 15-13, in the 53rd minute on a grounding by 8man, Frank Kolby, and its conversion by New Zealand-born Sam Malcolm; Austin regained the lead on a sticksplitter by French halfback, Mickael Romero, at 19-18 in the 66th, but a try by the flying Dan Moor at ’75 sealed the Arrows initial MLR victory, 23-19;

10           points, 13-3, the halftime advantage squandered by Houston SabreCats in Southern California as San Diego Legion scrumhalf, Nate Augspurger, touched down in the 78th minute for a score converted by flyhalf Joe Pietersen and 17-13 that result;

14           scored in the span of 3 minutes from ’70-‘73 on a pair of dots by Gold Tristan Blewitt and JoJo Tikoisuva each converted by steady-shoed standoff, JP Eloff, and NOLA knocked back reigning champs, Seattle SeaWolves, 41-31, in Narlins; In what’s becoming a regular thing for former Glendale Raptors halfback Taylor Howden, the second center grounded just after the break to fire up the NOLA second stanza offense

Six Nations:

And then there were two: one pair of undefeated nations remaining in the tournament, England and Wales. Last Grand slam for England came three short years ago, while it’s been seven for Wales. Weekend action wrap...

By the Numbers:
14           struck from the boot of Dan Biggar on 4, 1st-40 penalties and the conversion of a flying Josh Adams 54th minute try, and Wales topped Italy on the trot at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, 26-15;

            points the halftime advantage, 12-10, extended to 9 by ’80 minutes and Ireland had righted its wobbling boat after last week's standing 8 count in Dublin, with 22-13 rebound at Murrayfield over a punchless Scotland; trys by: Murray, Stockdale and Earls, pretty much the usual suspects for those happy occasions, against a single grounding by inside center, Sam Johnson, gave the visitors the record;

17           for England 10, Owen Farrell, on 3-2-1: three conversions, two penalties and a grounding, aided by a 1st-40 hat-trick by the flying Jonny May, and the tournament leaders had dispatched their old foe at Twickers, 44-8; only a Morgan Parra penalty and a try by 14, Damian Penaud, for France in the dismal Les Bleus display

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Regis, Creek warm-up

The chill turf of Kellogg Stadium at Regis Jesuit was heated with the sizzling rugby fare yesterday as Duke University-bound, scholar-athlete Connor Blue led his Raiders in their first action of 2019 against a spirited Cherry Creek XV. A number of groundings from both sides promised a fulsome spring as errors were made, to be sure, but both clubs coaching staffs were provided with food for focus moving forward from sport on display on the day.
Cherry Creek proper challenge and Regis appropriate response

Next ups:
               Friday, 2.15:
                              Regis v Tigers - friendly at Kellogg, 6:30pm;
               Friday, 2.22: Rugby Colorado Opening Day
                              Denver East High Angels, 2018 Champs v Regis Jesuit Raiders at Heaven, 6pm;

               Saturday, 2.23:
                              Cherry Creek v PAC at Stutler Bowl, in preparation for Creek’s league opener...
               Saturday, 3.2:
                              Cherry Creek v Fruita SabreCats at Stutler Bowl, 3pm

Sunday Funnies