All Blacks Beat England
The All Blacks drive for a perfect 2013 is only one match away after a 30-22 win over England. Julian Savea scored twice, including a second half try that sealed the match. New Zealand will now face Ireland next week. Ireland lost big to Australia 32-15. Both New Zealand and Ireland will be missing players next week. Dan Carter and Tony Woodcock are out for the All Blacks while Jonathan Sexton is a question for Ireland. Other winners include South Africa 28-0 over Scotland, Wales 40-6 over Argentina, France over Tonga 38-18, and Italy 37-31 over Fiji. The results show an ever increasing divide between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
Eagles Escape Georgia With Win
Adam Siddall hit a last minute penalty to give the Eagles a 25-23 win over Georgia—their first win of the year. Georgia had kicked the ball into touch thinking that time was up but the referee clearly had indicated more time. The Eagles took full advantage to set up a long penalty that Siddall converted for the win. For the Eagles it was a positive step forward, especially coming off their strong performance against the Maori All Blacks the weekend before. Chris Wyles, Blaine Scully, and Nick Wallace all scored tries. The U.S. will now close out their 2013 with a match against Russia at Allianz Park in London.
The match between Italy and Fiji got a bit crazy as Fiji were reduced to 11 men at one point. Beginning with a card to captain Akapusi Qera in the 20th minute and finishing with a card to Nemani Nadolo in the 28th minute Italy turned what had been a close game into a blowout before Fiji crawled back. During their card spree Fiji lost both centers and two members of their backrow. The match against Tonga and France each saw a player thrown out of the match late.
Things are a bit dark for Canada at the moment after dropping their third straight match. First it was the Maori All Black juggernaut, then the punch-up against Georgia, and now a late 21-20 loss to Romania. The team has already qualified for the World Cup but their recent poor form, especially on the road, is troubling. They will now take on Portugal with a great chance to end on a high note.
NYAC Wins Northeast Battle, College Playoffs Continue
NYAC have entered the winter break at the top of the Northeast standings with a 28-26 win over Boston. Dave Neville hit a penalty to give the lead to NYAC. Boston had a chance to respond but weren’t able to convert. In college rugby, the ACRC semi-finals are set. Middlebury and Kutztown posted big wins over Stony Brook and West Virginia respectively. Penn State and Clemson was a very close match with the Nittany Lions coming out on 27-26 winners.