• Super Cup: wrap-up
  • RWC 07 Asian Qualification
  • Ireland tour to Japan 05
  • The Rumour Mill
  • On the Horizon
    • Ireland to Japan
    • Newcastle Falcons to Japan

RiJ Vol.2 No.23

June 7, 2005

 

Rugby in Japan

 

Newsletter

 

Contents

 

  • Super Cup: wrap-up
  • RWC 07 Asian Qualification
  • Ireland tour to Japan 05
  • The Rumour Mill
  • On the Horizon
    • Ireland to Japan
    • Newcastle Falcons to Japan

 

RiJ this week starts with a wrap-up of the recently completed 2005 Super Cup. Canada took the title, Japan & the USA are treading water & Romania took a plunge in the IRB rankings with their 2 losses. As promised, RiJ continues to bring the reader RWC 07 Asian Qualification results. Division 1 games are now complete with Japan back on top while a host of lower division games will be played during June. Over the next 2 weeks Ireland come to town for 2 Tests. The CBs should be well & truly geared up for this after having played 6 Tests since April, but the men from the Emerald Isle will not be easy.

Enjoy the read.

 

The Super Cup: wrap-up

 

Wed 25 May 2005

National Stadium, Tokyo

Canada 30 d USA 26

Japan 23 d Romania 16

 

Sun 29 May 2005

Chichibu Rugby Stadium, Tokyo

 3rd place play-off (losers from Wed)

USA 28 d Romania 22

Final (winners from Wed)

Canada 15 d Japan 10

 

Final standings

 

 

W

L

F

A

Diff.

IRB Rank

Before

IRB Rank

After

1

Canada

2

0

45

36

+9

13

13

2

Japan

1

1

33

31

+2

17

17

3

USA

1

1

54

52

+2

16

15

4

Romania

0

2

38

51

-13

14

18

 

From its inception in 2003 as the Super Powers Cup, this event has undergone a considerable change in emphasis in its short history. Originally conceived by the IRB as the Super Powers Cup to be contested between China, Japan, Russia & USA the concept fell flat in its very first year with China pulling out. Last year Canada was included to replace China & the event was moved to Tokyo, while this year Romania replaced Russia with the event again in Tokyo.

 

The new emphasis, according to the IRB spin-doctors is a Tier-two Initiative. That is to say, this carnival like contest was played out between 4 teams of a similar standard & IRB ranking below the top ten Rugby nations in the second tier of teams roughly ranked 11 to 20. From the perspective of the IRB then, the 2005 Super Cup must be seen as a success. In the 4 games played the greatest margin was 7 points, so if this was S12 all four losing teams would have received a losing bonus point.

 

Canada won the Cup & so maintained & justified their IRB rank of 13. Japan after 3 wins on the trot against HK, Korea & Romania remained at 17. The USA improved one spot from 16 to 15 while first timers Romania were the big losers falling from 14 to 18. The IRB heavily backed the tournament this year & their presence was prominent with the green, blue & white logo everywhere.

 

While the Rugby was competitive & the results close there are still a number of issues that need to be examined with the current arrangement. First of all, with the 4 team only playing twice there is a missing match-up for each team. For example, over the last 2 years Japan & the USA have not met. The 4 competing teams really do need to play each other at least once. However, there is a rumour that the IRB is entertaining the idea of playing Sunday, Wednesday & Sunday in the future. This could also help counter the problem of the Wednesday game & poor crowds. In the land of the rising office overtime not more than a handful of die-hard fans can be expected to turn up for a 4.30pm mid-week match that does not include Japan. Although the current set-up must be the most cost effective, it does mean all games are played in Tokyo. Hometown advantage for Japan evidenced by the fact they have played in the 2 finals. Though, what about supporters in the other 3 countries, do they even know or care that their national sides have snuck away for a few days to play in far off Japan? The Rugby this year proved that the concept can work, but serious improvements do need to be made.

 

CBs Season 2005 so far -

  • Lost v Uruguay 18-24, Sat 16 April, Montevideo
  • Lost v Argentina 36-68, Sat 23 April, Buenos Aires
  • Won v Hong Kong 91-3, Sun 8 May, Tokyo
  • Won v Korea 50-31, Sun 15 May, Seoul
  • Won v Romania 23-16, Wed 24 May, Tokyo
  • Lost v Canada 10-15, Sun 29 May, Tokyo

 

Still to come ?

V Ireland, Sun 12 June, Osaka

V Ireland, Sun 19 June, Tokyo

 

RWC 07 Asian Qualification

 

2005 Asian groupings

Division 1

Division 2

Division 3

Division 4

Korea

Taiwan

Singapore

Kazakhstan

Japan

China

Sri Lanka

Malaysia

Hong Kong

Arabian Gulf

Thailand

India

 

 

 

Guam

 

Division 1: (complete)

Japan 91 d Hong Kong 3

Korea 31 ded by Japan 50

Hong Kong 3 ded by Korea 56

 

Division 2:

Chinese Taipei 26 ded by Arabian Gulf 30

China 22 d Chinese Taipei 19

 

Up-coming games:

June 4 Thailand 38 ded by Sri Lanka 48 (Div 3)

June 5 India 22 ded by Kazakhstan 36 (Div 4)

 

June 7 Kazakhstan v Malaysia

June 11 Singapore v Thailand & India v Malaysia

June 18 Guam v India

June 22 Kazakhstan v Guam

June 25 Sri Lanka v Singapore

June 26 Malaysia v Guam

 

Ireland tour to Japan 05

 

  • Ireland tour to Japan 05
    • Sun 12 June: Japan v Ireland, Nagai, Osaka
    • Sun 19 June: Japan v Ireland, Chichibu, Tokyo

 

Ireland has named a 26-man squad for the June tour to Japan. Although it is a good squad it is missing 11 players who are on the Lions tour to NZ, including tour captain Brian ODriscoll.

 

Name

Pos.

Age

Caps

John Hayes

Prop

31

54

Shane Byrne

Hooker

33

38

##Malcolm OKelly

Lock

30

73

Donnacha OCallaghan

Lock

26

16

Paul O?Connell

Lock

25

29

Ronan OGara

Fly half

28

52

Brian ODriscoll

Centre

26

59

Gordon DArcy

Centre

25

11

Denis Hickie

Wing

29

51

Shane Horgan

Wing

26

37

Geordan Murphy

Fullback

27

31

%%Simon Easterby

Flanker

29

42

## O?Kelly withdrew from Lions tour on June 1 before first tour game due to abdominal muscle strain.

%%Easterby added to Lions tour June 6 following withdrawal of O?Kelly as well as Lawrence Dallaglio who broke an ankle in the opening tour match against Bay of Plenty.

 

Even allowing for the eleven Irishmen on Lions duty the tour squad to Japan still contains extensive international experience in such player as Reggie Corrigan, Eric Miller, Peter Stringer, David Humphreys, Kevin Maggs & Girvan Dempsey. At 33 years of age & now one of the veterans of Irish Rugby with 67 Test caps to his name Humphreys has been named captain in the absence of O?Driscoll. To compensate for the loss of the 11 Lions representatives, Ireland is bringing 9 uncapped players & 6 with less than 10 caps on the tour, creating the opportunity for this next level of players to take their chances. Further, regular coach Eddie O?Sullivan is also involved in the Lions tour to NZ & so Niall O?Donovan is preparing the visitors in his stead. RiJ will list the XXIIs for each Test rather than taking up space here with the squad of 26.

 

The Rumour Mill

 Over in Shanghai, the Chinese national side beat the ANZ Presidents XV 20-7 to take the ANZ Challenge Cup. Played on 28 May the Chinese side scored 3 tries to 1 against an ANZ side that contained John Leslie, Tiann Strauss, Damian Smith & local based players.

 

53rd Kanto High Schools Tournament was played over the weekend of 4 & 5 June at the Kashiwa no Ha stadium in Chiba prefecture. The Kanagawa school Toin beat Hikawa from Yamanashi 24-7 in the final.

 

In Thailand, Japan women beat HK 78-0 before losing to Kazakhstan 19-7.

 

On the Horizon

 

  • Newcastle Falcons (Eng) tour to Japan. With the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Colin Charvis, Matt Burke & Owen Finegan in the ranks the tour is receiving top billing. It will be an opportunity for 2 of the stronger Top League clubs to test themselves against an English Premiership outfit. August in Japan! Hope the boys can find a big sauna to train in way up their in Newcastle.
    • GTF Cup 2005: NEC v Newcastle Sat Aug 20, National Stadium Tokyo, 7pm kick-off.
    • Expo Cup 2005: Toyota v Newcastle Tues May 23, Toyota Stadium Nagoya, 7.30pm kick-off.