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Hong Kong Rugby Team

Hong Kong beat Tonga in the Asia-Pacific Cross-Regional Sevens

Hong Kong Rugby won the inaugural Asia-Pacific Cross-Regional Sevens Cup final in East Malaysia.

Hong Kong beat Tonga 24-0

Hong Kong beat Tonga to win the inaugural ARFU Asia-Pacific Cross-Regional Sevens final in Sandakan, East Malaysia, for a major boost ahead of the HSBC Sevens World Series qualifying tournament at the end of March.

Tonga, who had defeated Hong Kong 21-19 in the group stage, had no answer to a clinical, disciplined performance from Gareth Baber’s men, who scored four unanswered tries to win the final of a tournament featuring teams from Asia and Oceania.

The McQueen brothers, Tom and Alex, scored early for Hong Kong, who capitalised on Tonga losing a man to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle. Winger Salom Yiu Kam-shing added a third to give the reigning Asian Sevens Series champions a 17-0 lead at half-time.

Fierce defence kept Tonga at bay before long-serving Rowan Varty added the icing on the cake with Hong Kong’s fourth try.

Baber was delighted with the victory, four weeks ahead of the 12-team HSBC Sevens World Series qualifier, which will be held at the Hong Kong Stadium as part of the Hong Kong Sevens for a second straight year.

“This is a huge boost for us as we look ahead to the Hong Kong Sevens and the qualifying tournament for core-team status,” Baber said.

“You can’t hope for more. We had one or two performances where we were not at our best, but this is what this three-day tournament was all about. We are now gelling as a team and coping with stress situations. We have been very mature on the field.”

Hong Kong, the only Asian men’s team to beat the Oceania sides this weekend, knocked out Papua New Guinea 24-12 in the Cup semi-final while Tonga beat Sri Lanka 26-17.

Hong Kong, Tonga and PNG will all figure in the 12-team qualifying tournament at the Hong Kong Sevens to decide which team wins core-team status on the 2015/16 Sevens World Series.

Tonga coach Andy Katoa said: “I’m disappointed in the way we finished off, but that is just part of the process of where we are and part of our development. You want to go out with all guns blazing and not the way we did.

“Today we got a lesson. Hong Kong were the better team. We got outplayed and out-coached, but we will get better. Now our focus is to have a good three weeks before we head to Hong Kong.”

Papua New Guinea bounced back from their semi-final loss to hammer Sri Lanka 33-7 in the Plate final.

Japan won the women’s competition by beating East Asian rivals China in the Cup final.

In the women’s competition, Japan continued their strong form into Sunday, as they upended Asian Games gold medallists China 22-7 in the final. In an all-Oceania plate final, Samoa beat Papua New Guinea 24-19.

Hong Kong winger Aggie Poon Pak-yan continued her outstanding performance in the women’s competition as she totalled 117 points over the three days. Poon scored 25 points including a hat-trick of tries in the 55-0 Bowl final win against Thailand, with Lindsay Varty grabbing a brace.

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Irish Rugby Football Union use Sportlomo Referee assigning software | Schedule Creator

Sportlomo are pleased to have the Irish Rugby Football Union on board for the 2014-2015 season with our referee management system (schedule creator).With Ulster and Munster Rugby domestic unions using this software in the 2013-2014 season, its a great boost to the company to see the National governing body coming on board for their Ulster Bank Leagues. While the IRFU select the referee within the system the software is designed to trickle down to the provinces to allow them to nominate the touch judge officials for their matches.

The system will notify the game official by email and SMS and officials can interact with the system to notify the branch of their availability and build a match history over the course of a season.

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Will Olympic Recognition Spark a Rugby Revolution?

Will Olympic Recognition Spark a Rugby Revolution?

Will Olympic Recognition Spark a Rugby Revolution?

Bring on the Rugby Sevens

While the international USA rugby team has never had the greatest of successes in major competitions and against the nations traditionally associated with the sport, all that may be changing. This is largely down the inclusion of rugby sevens as an Olympic sport from 2016 and the renewed interest in the sport this has created.

Can the USA be a Rugby force?

Sources say that this has been a question with rugby and the USA for a number of generations but there is a growing awareness amongst young players that rugby is a viable alternative to American Football and basketball.

Part of this growing awareness comes from the understanding that some of the skills learned in playing particularly American Football can be utilised in rugby. So all those players that didn’t quite make the professional leagues in football have a second chance at sporting fame by turning their skills to rugby. All these things could one day lead to kids asking for a rugby ball at Christmas instead of a skateboards or a football.

Rugby Sevens

The sevens has the potential to be the spark. The women’s team are already pushing for a medal and the men’s side beat Samoa in a recent tournament, then drew with the eventual champions Fiji. Most of the 25 rugby players that train full time in the Olympic training centre in California are sevens players.

It may also be helped by some of the biggest names in the game not quite taking in that there are medals to be won and prestige to be earned at the next Olympics with the sevens game. New Zealand Rugby Union have an Olympic programme in place as do the England team but little has been announced by some of the other big names. This means, potentially, the USA could be ahead of the likes of South Africa or France in their preparations.

NFL Drafts ideal for Rugby

There are countless potential rugby players out there just waiting for the inspiration to take up the sport. As mentioned, those who train for American football are ideally placed to change sports. Think of the NFL Draft; 250 college players annually are drafted which leaves around 8,750 without any playing future.

Many college programmes create athletes who can’t quite make the grade but are supreme sprinters and add these to the football players not collected in the draft that that’s quite a talent pool to select from.
It is only a matter of time until many of the US colleges begin to start their rugby sevens programmes to specifically aim for players for future Olympic teams.

USA rugby, Bring on the Rugby Sevens

The Future of Rugby in the United States

With the full game becoming more popular, the New Zealand team is touring in 2014 and this game will probably break the records for spectator attendance in the sport. Plus with talk of a company called RugbyLaw establishing a professional club tournament with a former Ireland coach in charge, the future of rugby in the USA is certainly looking brighter than most people would have expected.

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SPORTLOMO’S LATEST RUGBY PROVINCIAL WEBSITES (USA)

The New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) is a Geographical Union (GU) for rugby union teams in New England, United States.  There are currently over 230 active teams and over 5,000 registered players in the New England area.  Youth clubs, high schools, colleges, clubs or other associations.

www.nerfu.org

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http://carolinasrugby.com/

 

Match Official Award Rugby Canada 2017

Making sense of Super Rugby’s expansion

Match Official Award Rugby Canada 2017

Photo: Sportlomo sponsored the ‘Match Official of the Year Canada Rugby Award’ and Seamus presented the award at a gala event in the in the North Tower of the Sheraton Wall Centre.

 

An interesting feature article on Sports Business Insider

Super Rugby Expansion in New Zealand, South Africa and Australia

Author: Peter Slattery

Super Rugby is a fascinating study.

A contact, sport-entertainment product with three similar, yet diverse markets, across three time zones with two levels of market penetration: South Africa and New Zealand, where rugby is the national sport, with no real challengers. And Australia, where it is vies with three other popular football codes.

These differing pieces of this ‘fascinating study’ (surprisingly) provide much commonality of interests, but (unsurprisingly) also present opposing interests, which manifest into significant challenges at decision making time.

None more so than when negotiations surround expansion.

Earlier this year SANZAR announced Asia as their destination of choice for Super Rugby’s 18th licence and expansion from 2016, with two bids from Japan and Singapore selected to fight it out.

The 16th and 17th licenses are to go to a sixth club from South Africa and a franchise from Argentina.

SANZAR Expansion makes sense

When rugby union went professional in 1996, the Australia, New Zealand and South Africa rugby boards formed SANZAR (South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby) to administer an annual 12-team provincial (later to be deemed franchise) based competition pitting domestic teams from the three nations against each other.

SANZAR’s desire for expansion is driven on the demands and benefits of broadcasting and broadcasters. TV provides the single largest income stream for SANZAR, and is the single most productive tool to promote the code and get its leading and most valuable product, Super Rugby, into the marketplace.

With market penetration (internal expansion) in each of the three SANZAR markets not commercially or structurally practical or preferable, the most favourable market opportunity was found in diversification; expansion with a new team (product) into a new market.

Near-north makes sense

The decision to go near-north (or far-north-east for the South Africans, and far-north-west for the Argentines) makes sense. It is ‘The Asian (21st) Century’, after all.

Consortiums from Japan and Singapore vie for the 18th licence into Super Rugby
Image: http://www.crossed-flag-pins.com

Asia holds 61% of the world’s population, with Japan and Singapore bringing large economies with strong middle-classes (with money and time for rugby), robust media and sporting sectors, and (relatively) stable political and social environments.

Eddie Jones, former Wallaby and current Japanese national coach, has rightfully said that Japan is home-base for many rugby-friendly multinational corporations, and a central hub for others in their Asian activities. Japan is also a top three trading partner of each SANZAR nation.

There’s also strong rugby history and infrastructure to be found there too.

Rugby history and infrastructure

Asia is home to 5.4 percent of rugby’s playing population, with both Japan and Singapore having rugby histories dating back to the 19th century.

Japan is currently rated 10th in world rugby rankings, buttressed by a very strong professional league, The Top League, featuring many current and former Super Rugby players and coaches, together with Japan’s best.

7′s rugby has been popular in Singapore, with it playing host to a leg of the IRB 7′s Series in 2005 and 2006, and the Singapore Cricket Club Rugby 7′s, which sees teams travel from around the world to participate, hosted annually since 1947.

And let’s not forget, there’s the Asian 5 Nations, the globally-popular Hong Kong 7′s, as well as Tokyo hosting a leg of the annual IRB Sevens Series, and the 2020 Rugby World Cup will be held there, too.

Furthermore, reflecting the importance of the region to rugby’s global interests, SANZAR (and Asian rugby, of course) has the added benefit of the IRB directing significant resources to the region, driving primary rugby demand.

Demand (activities and resources) SANZAR can leverage.

Challenges for Asian Rugby expansion

There are some potential challenges in Asian growth. It is feared that expansion (of any sort, for that matter) will dilute or cannibalise Super Rugby’s current player, coach, and strength & conditioning (S&C) talent. And there is the ever-present ‘tyranny of distance’ felt by all teams, but more so by the South Africans.

I believe there is more than enough available talent waiting for their Super Rugby opportunity. And whilst the travel factor will never ever go away, the benefits of Asian growth to SANZAR and each individual nation far outweighs the challenge of jet-lag.

SANZAR have made a prudent decision to look to Asia, whether it be Japan or Singapore, for the next evolution of Super Rugby.

Both commercially and from a pure rugby perspective, there is a strong foundation for the successful growth of Super Rugby into the region.  Any issues with player, coach or S&C ‘drain’ and ‘tyranny of distance’ are far outweighed by the positives of entering the Asian market.

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Rugby at SportLoMo

Rugby is Sportlomo’s no1 sport.  Complete Solution for League, Union, NGO, Association, Region, Branch, Referee Organisation and Clubs.

Sportlomo Sponsor ‘Match Official of the Year’ – Rugby Canada

 Sportlomo sponsored the ‘Canada Rugby Match Official of the Year Award’ and Seamus presented the award at a gala event in the in the North Tower of the Sheraton Wall Centre.  Sportlomo work with match officials across all sports, in many countries and the Sportlomo team are very familiar with the selfless work these officials do on a daily basis.

Match Official Award Rugby Canada 2017

Japan, Asian Rugby Champions, face All Blacks ahead of European tour

Japan, Asian Rugby Champions, face All Blacks ahead of European tour

Asia Rugby Champions Japan will play World Cup champions New Zealand at the Chicabu Stadium in Tokyo on November 2 before heading to Europe for matches against Scotland, Russia and Spain.

Japan, who won their sixth straight HSBC Asian 5 Nations title in May, have represented Asia in every Rugby World Cup since its inception in 1987 and will host the 2019 edition.

Former Australia boss Eddie Jones succeeded All Blacks legend John Kirwan as Japan coach last year and in November the ‘Brave Blossoms’ recorded a first-ever victory over Wales. In June this year, Japan beat newcomers USA and Canada in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup following earlier losses to Fiji and Tonga.

Rugby game, ball introduced to the rugby scrum

Japan will be among the tier-two nations playing a record total of 20 Test matches in November as the build-up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England continues.

Bernard Lapasset, Chairman of the IRB (International Rugby Board), said: “I am anticipating a truly captivating November series of matches. This is an exciting time for rugby worldwide and thanks to the ongoing commercial success of the Rugby World Cup, the IRB has been able to invest record sums in the game.

“The November 2012 and June 2013 programmes really showcased the tremendous competitive strides tier-two unions are making, with Samoa defeating Wales, Scotland and Italy, Tonga defeating Scotland and Japan recording a first-ever victory over Wales.”

The November schedule for tier-two national teams released by the IRB includes the first-ever Test between Brazil and Portugal, while Samoa and Tonga will visit Georgia and Romania respectively for the first time.

The programme is financed and supported by the IRB, which announced that it invests more than US$16 million each year in high-performance programmes and competitions for tier-two countries, including the expansion of the Pacific Nations Cup to include USA and Canada.

The success of the Rugby World Cup as a major global brand has enabled the IRB to finance and deliver more matches for tier-two nations in the important June and November windows.

All Blacks team, Australia warm up for the Rugby World Cup 2015 match against Argentina

“The November fixtures are playing a massive role in the development of unions who have been identified by the IRB as part of a major Strategic Investment Programme,” said Mark Egan, IRB Head of Competitions and Performance.

“These IRB World Ranking matches will enable coaches to assess players in a competitive environment, while giving the IRB the opportunity to benchmark the progress of the top ranked tier-two unions against both each other and, in some cases, against tier-one opposition.”

By SportAsia

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New England (USA) Rugby Goes Live

The New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) is a stand-alone union for rugby union teams in New England, North Eastern, USA. www.nerfu.org NERFU is a local area union (“LAU”), and part of the Northeast Rugby Union (NRU), which is the governing body for three LAU’s (New York State Rugby Football Conference (NYSRFC) and Metropolitan New York Rugby Union being the others.There are currently over 230 active teams and over 5,000 registered players in the New England area.The website was developed by Sports Manager sister company 21st Century Web Design. The NERFU will use Sports Manager Software management system for their 2013 season which commences in September. New England deal with the International arm of Sports Manager which is called SportLoMo.

 

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