Rugby Review: RWC Quarters/Semis, MPD Semis & More!
Salt Lake City, UT–The Rugby World Cup (RWC) Quarterfinals saw some scintillating rugby along with the passion of the Japan Brave Blossoms, but in the end the favorites moved on to this weekend’s RWC semifinals.
With New Zealand, England, Wales and South Africa moving to the semifinals the folks at “Game of Codes” talked about the Quarterfinals’ results and previewed the exciting slate of Semifinals this weekend.
RWC SEMIFINALS PREVIEW
Only four are left as the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan nears closer to its pulsating finale. Defending champions New Zealand entered the tournament as favourites and have showed why in every game that they have played so far. England will be their foe on Saturday, as they hope to make their first World Cup final since 2007.
Wales will take on a strong South Africa side that look to be growing in confidence as the tournament goes on. But the Welsh have proved that they are meant to be in the semifinals, showing quality and grit to see off Australia and France in earlier rounds.
This weekend provides a strong slate of world-class rugby.
Saturday, 26 Oct. 2019
England vs. New Zealand, International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama (2am MT/4am ET–NBC Sports Network)
Head-to-head record: England seven wins, New Zealand 33 wins, one draw
Verdict: The last time that these two sides met in the Rugby World Cup semifinal, Jonah Lomu claimed his place as the sport’s biggest star of his era, running through England bodies on the way to scoring four tries in a brutal 45-29 All Blacks victory.
New Zealand don’t have a Lomu this time around, but their team is every bit as good. The All Blacks are two-time defending champions and have already scored 203 points at this year’s tournament — even though their final pool stage match was canceled due to Typhoon Hagibis. England have a lot of quality of their own however and will be New Zealand’s toughest test in Japan so far.
Meanwhile, England’s composed dismantling of Australia, who beat the All Blacks before the in final tournament warm-up match — it can be done — will stand Eddie Jones’ side in good stead. As will the encouragement they can take from a narrow and controversial defeat by the All Blacks at Twickenham last November in their previous meeting. But, New Zealand are tournament favorites for a reason, and they will likely prevail in this one.
Tip: New Zealand by 6.
Sunday, 27. Oct. 2019
Wales vs. South Africa, International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama (3am MT/5am ET–NBC Sports Network)
Head-to-head record: Wales six wins, South Africa 28 wins, one draw
Verdict: Wales may be counting their lucky stars that they have made it this far in the tournament. Warren Gatland’s side left it late when they edged out France in the quarterfinal after they looked to be heading home for much of the game.
Wales are yet to hit their highest gear in Japan, something they must do against South Africa on Sunday if they hope to reach their first ever World Cup final. But they have shown great spirit and grit so far, and will look to do the same this time out.
South Africa had to do the unwanted job of knocking out everybody’s second-favourite team Japan in the quarterfinals, but the way they did so showed their quality. The Springboks conceded just three points in a well-organised rout of the hosts. They’ll have little chance of the doing the same on Sunday in what will likely be a nail bitingly close game.
Tip: South Africa by 3.
For more information on the Rugby World Cup visit www.World.Rugby
MEN’S PREMIER DIVISION SEMIFINALS REVIEW
The top local men’s clubs in Utah competed in this weekend’s Men’s Premier Division Semifinals with the Spartans and the Gladiators both winning their respective matches in two hard-fought matches.
The Spartans held on to a late victory of 27-13 over the Utah Misftis with current Utah Warriors Fetu Vainikolo and Saia Uhila featuring for the Salt Lake City-based team.
While MPD newcomers Antelope RFC fought hard but eventually succumbed 42-31 to the Gladiators of Salt Lake City.
Next up for the four teams will be the 3rd/4th game with Antelope squaring off against the Misfits this Saturday at 1pm MT at Murray Rugby Field.
While the Spartans will look to take back the Iosepa Shield that they first claimed in 2017. While the Gladiators look to claim the shield for their first time against the veterain Spartans team.
The Iosepa Shield will kick off at 2.45pm MT at Murray Rugby Field. Admission is FREE.
For photos and more information on the Rugby Utah MPD visit: https://www.facebook.com/RugbyUtahMPD/
OTHER LOCAL RUGBY NEWS & SCORES
- BYU Rugby conitnued their winning ways dominating Utah State 162-0 at home last Friday night. The Cougars next host the Univeristy of Wyoming this Saturday at 1pm in Rocky Mountain Conference D1A play. Follow BYU Rugby at: https://www.facebook.com/BYURugby/
- The University of Utah Rugby team showed well early, but fell in the Plate Semifinal to the Unviersity of Santa Clara at the West Coast 7s Championships in San Francisco, CA. Next up for the Utes is the PAC 7s on November 7th in Palo Alto, CA at Stanford’s Stueber Rugby Stadium. Follow the UofU Rugby team at: https://www.facebook.com/UofURugby/
- The Utah Valley University team is still smarting from their 19-18 upset loss to Colorado University in Boulder two weekends ago. But will look to rebound against the Colorado State University Rams in Rocky Mountain Conference play this weekend in Fort Collins. Follow UVU Rugby at: https://www.instagram.com/uvu_rugby/?hl=en
- Local salwart men’s club Park City Haggis will conclude Fall 2019 season play in the Division 2 Rocky Mountain Rugby Conference against the Denver Misfits at 1pm MT in Park City. Admission is FREE at the Park City Rugby Field in downtown Park City. Haggis currently sits in third place having only played two league games. Follow PCH at: https://www.facebook.com/HaggisRugby/
- Utah Youth Rugby concluded their 2019 Fall 7s Series crowning multiple HS 7s State Champions with Herriman taking home the Varsity title for the Boys and United took home the Varsity title for the Girls. United Girls would go on to defend their UYR Pink 7s Championship later the next weekend. Follow UYR at: https://www.facebook.com/utahyouthrugby/.
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