Monday, July 03, 2017

Road to Japan : A Round-up of the weekends tournaments

by Ciarán Duffy

Rugby Africa Gold Cup

Tunisia 7 – 53 Namibia

Favourites Namibia got their campaign off to a winning start.  Tunisia were only 10 points down at halftime, with Namibia leading 17 – 7 after a hattrick of tries from captain Rohan Kitshoff.  Namibia scored five more tries in a dominant second half display to ensure their title defence began in victorious fashion.  

Senegal 16 – 17 Uganda

Most of the scoring was done in the first half, with both sides exchanging penalties early on.  Uganda got the first try of the game when Charles Uhuru touched down.  Senegal responded with a penalty and a try, scored by Essai Moussa.  A try from James Odong ensured it was the visitors who went in at halftime 13 – 17 ahead.  A penalty for Senegal was the only score in the second half as Uganda hung on for the win to go top of the table.

Next weeks fixtures:
Kenya v Tunisia
Namibia v Senegal

Pacific Nations Cup

Tonga 30 – 26 Samoa

Tonga got their first win of the tournament to keep their chances of avoiding the European playoff alive.    Samoa opened the scoring with a penalty but Tonga responded with two tries, flanker Nili Latu and full back Atieli Pakalani touched down.  Samoa got a penalty and a try of their own to cut the gap down.  Two further penalties for Tonga and one for Samoa meant Tonga led 20 – 16 at halftime.  Tusi Pisi kicked a penalty to cut the gap to 1 point.  Like the first half Tonga responded to an early Samoa score with another try, this one scored by Sona Takulua.  Samoa responded with a try to cut the gap to 4 points, and were denied victory late on when they were held up over the line.  

Next weeks fixture:
Tonga v Fiji

World Cup 2019 Qualifying, Americas Round 1

USA 52 – 16 Canada
USA win 80 – 44 on aggregate.  

The USA qualified for the world cup as Americas 1.  They will be in Pool C, alongside England, France, Argentina, and whoever qualifies as Oceania 2 (the 2nd placed team in the Pacific Nations Cup).  This is the first time the USA have qualified as Americas 1, equally, it’s the first time Canada have failed to do so.  The Eagles started the better, racing into a 12-point lead.  They led by 10 points at the break with the score line at 19 – 9.  Cjvanovic scored a try 1 minute into the second half to get Canada within 3 points.  Taufetee, having just come on, responded to restore the Eagles 10-point lead.  The last 20 minutes saw the USA score 4 more tries to secure an emphatic victory. 

Canada will now play Uruguay in a two-legged play off, the first of which is in January 2018.  The winner qualifying as Americas 2.  The loser will go into the Repechage. 

Ciarán Duffy (@TheVoiceDepth) is a Leinster supporter and self-proclaimed ‘big cheese’ of Post To Post (@PostToPostSport).   He’ll write about anything rugby under the condition he gets to take it too seriously.

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Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019