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Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Thursday, 22 March 2012 12:35    PDF Print Write e-mail
RWC Profits Exceed Projections
International - International News


The IRB released today an account of how income from the 2011 Rugby World Cup will go toward funding the game.

New Zealand 2011 hailed achieved a net surplus of £90 million ($142 million), making RWC 2011 the second-highest revenue earning event in the history of the tournament. Australia 2003 was the most profitable tournament to date, netting well over £100. France 2007 far outstripped both in gross revenues, but their costs were far higher, also.

Gross revenues for Rugby World Cup 2011 of £142 million were within 3% of France 2007’s total gross.

Previous forecasts indicated the tournament would achieve a surplus of £80 million, so the event exceeded expectations, and that looks to be a windfall for the game at all levels.

The Rugby World Cup was also the largest event ever hosted in New Zealand. More than 1.35 million fans attended the 48 matches, with revenue from ticket sales surpassing the NZ$268.5 million (£140 million or US$221 million) target set by RNZ 2011. This equated to more than 10 times the gross revenue generated by the previous biggest sporting event hosted by New Zealand, the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour.

In addition, more than 133,000 fans travelled to New Zealand from overseas, nearly double original forecasts. The tournament is estimated to have boosted economic activity in New Zealand by more than NZ$500 million (£260 million, US$411 million), delivering a significant return for the host nation.

RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “These excellent results represent a strong endorsement of the Rugby World Cup brand and Rugby brands generally in the global commercial marketplace. The Game is currently in excellent health, we now have 5.5 million men, women and children playing in more countries than ever before and there is no doubt that the success of Rugby World Cup has been a major contributing factor to this growth.”

“The financial results also reflect the significant commitment and support of the tournament by our Unions and are a strong endorsement of our long-term hosting strategy. The awarding of Rugby World Cup 2015 to England and Rugby World Cup 2019 to Japan at the same time has provided certainty for our commercial partners and broadcasters and has ultimately enabled the IRB to take a 10-year strategic view to global investment to ensure that our Tier 1 base is strong while maintaining our investment in Tier 2 and 3 and developing Rugby markets.”

“This is particularly encouraging given that Rugby World Cup 2007 was hosted at the height of the global economic boom, while Rugby World Cup 2011 was hosted amidst an uncertain economic climate in a smaller domestic marketplace and in a non-European time zone.”

Rugby World Cup is the financial driver of the global Game and over the 2009-2012 period the IRB is investing £150 million across all 117 Member Unions at all levels of the Game. RWC 2011 will provide the platform for unprecedented investment in Union Grants, tournaments, strategic investments, research and development and player welfare programs during the next four-year Rugby World Cup cycle.

Highlights include a Tier 2 competitions fund to deliver a full schedule of June tournaments and November Tests and a US$10 million (£6.3 million) funding package to support the transition program to substantially assist with Argentina’s entry into the Rugby Championship up to 2015.

An independent study commissioned by MasterCard in 2011 indicated that the commercial success of Rugby World Cup and the IRB's investment strategies made possible by the commercial success of the tournament as key drivers behind an 18 per cent increase in global participation since France 2007 with significant growth experienced in Asia, North America and Africa.

“Ninety-two per cent of the IRB's total revenues come from the commercial strength of Rugby World Cup,” said Lapasset, “and this announcement is good news for both the event and for the global Game. It also underscores the strength of the partnership by RWCL, RNZ 2011, the NZRU, the New Zealand Government and other key stakeholders in hosting what was a wonderful and extremely successful event.

“In addition to significant development and Union grant investment, Rugby World Cup revenues continue to drive the development of the Game across men's and women's Fifteens and Sevens at all levels, international and regional tournaments and also player welfare initiatives and research.”

 

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Thursday, 22 March 2012 11:51    PDF Print Write e-mail
Clean Kickoffs Key for USA Win
Sevens - USA Sevens Women

The second leg of the IRB Women’s Challenge Cup gets underway tonight, and the field is one of the most impressive to date. Pools are only three teams deeps, so every game is a must-win for those looking toward the Cup final.

Lauren Hoeck returns to the Hong Kong 7s and hopes to make inside Hong Kong Stadium. (Dobson Images)

The Eagles must first get past Spain, which is no easy feat, followed by Tunisia. In Dubai, Spain only lost 12-5 to Australia and 19-14 to Canada – much better margins than the USA. But the Eagles are a different team since December, and they’ve done their homework on Spain.

“Their kickoffs are good,” Eagle 7s center Lauren Hoeck said. “They’re consistently high and 10. Seems like they score, keep their kickoff, and then start getting that momentum to score and score and score.”

If the USA can take away that aspect of Spain’s attack, then they’ll be in good shape. It all begins with props Amy Daniels and Jill Potter, who are super physical and need to come down with the high ball. USA Women 7s coach Ric Suggitt spent some time over the last couple weeks ensuring that proper positioning and support lines ensued.

But you can only do so much to prepare for the opposition, and as any good coach or player will tell you, effort must be placed in solidifying and enforcing one’s own gameplan and making the opposition adjust.

“It’s easier to say with other tours,” Hoeck reflected on needed improvements since Las Vegas, “but I was really happy with how we played in Las Vegas. We were started to click, moving it wide and trusting the second and third phase more. Our defense was solid, we knew our roles better, we were getting cutbacks well – that sort of thing. I think if we continue on with that we’ll improve.”

Suggitt’s excited to see how three of Vegas’ Stars & Stripes players – Jane Paar, Jill Potter (resident) and Kimber Rozier (resident) – will perform alongside their fellow Eagles.

“And moving Lauren into centers has really helped our wings out,” Suggitt said. “She was playing in the forwards with us for the last year and a half, but she’s got some really good ball-in-hand skills and it’s been able to open up the outside for us.”

And once the ball gets out to the “thoroughbreds,” as Suggitt coins his wings, it’s up to Vanesha McGee and Vix Folayan to take it down the sideline.

One factor that will hopefully aid in the USA’s performance is the tournament structure. Last year, the USA struggled to play five games in one day, began the day strongly and then tapered off for losses against Canada and the Netherlands.

For the four pool winners who advance to the Cup bracket, they will only play two games on day one and resume on day two inside Hong Kong Stadium for the semis and final. The rest of the field will finish out the placing rounds on day one, with the Plate Final occurring inside the stadium.

“You get tons of adrenaline, and your hair stands on end,” Hoeck related her experience at RWC Sevens with the atmosphere in Hong Kong. “But once you start playing, you’re playing. The first 15 seconds is really different; then the last 6:45 is all the same.”

Should the USA advance to the Cup semifinals, they will most likely see Australia and then the winner of England v Canada in the final.

“Ultimately, I want to play Canada,” USA Women 7s captain Deven Owsiany said. “We saw Canada in the Las Vegas final, and although we played well, there were a few finishing touches needed. We have a really good squad going to Hong Kong, and I think we’ll be able to put all the pieces together.”

It all has to start with a win against Spain tonight. Stay tuned.

USA Roster vs Spain
1. Amy Daniels
2. Deven Owsiany (c)
3. Jillion Potter
4. Katie Dowty
5. Kimberly Rozier
6. Jane Paar
7. Vanesha McGee
8. Irene Gardner
9. Beth Black
10. Vix Folayan
11. Lauren Hoeck
12. Cristina Mastrangelo

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Thursday, 22 March 2012 11:43    PDF Print Write e-mail
Clever Helps APBs to HK 10s Cup
International - Americans Overseas


Todd Clever in action at the Hong Kong 10s. Ian Muir photo.
APBs boasted several star players, including the USA captain. Ian Muir photo.

Nemani Nadolo powered the star-studded BGC APBs to victory at the GFI HKFC Tens as the giant Fijian winger scored two first-half tries in a gripping 10-7 win over New Zealand Legends in the Cup final.

Legends battled back with a try early in the second half by Dan Tuivabi, converted by outstanding flyhalf Trent Renata, but the APBs showed the character to match their class to hold out for a much-celebrated win at Hong Kong Football Club.

Standing 1.95 metres tall and weighing 123 kilogrammes, Nadolo wowed the crowd on day one and carried on in a similar vein in the knockout stages, finishing as the Player of the Tournament and top try scorer with 11 tries.

“I’ve never won a Grand Final – ever. I’ve heard the hype about the Hong Kong Tens, but I’ve never been here and this topped off a great week. It’s unreal,” beamed Nadolo, who was born in Fiji and raised in Australia.

The 24-year-old powerhouse has enjoyed comparisons to Jonah Lomu and set a Japanese Top League record in December when he scored six tries in a game for NEC Green Rockets.

“Leading up to this week was nerve-racking. I’ve heard so much about the Hong Kong Tens, so it was great to get called up for these guys and play at the back of the line,” said Nadolo, who has played for Waratahs in Australia, Bourgoin-Jallieu in France and Exeter Chiefs in the English Premiership.

“These are people I looked up to and idolised, so it’s unreal to get an opportunity to play with some of the guys. I’m unknown, I’m just a kid, 24, but you saw how much fun I had today.”

APBs captain Justin Marshall paid tribute to the star winger. “He’s sensational. I first saw him play two or three years ago and it’s great that he’s carried on and shown the same form to when I saw him.”

Marshall was one of a host of APBs who returned from last year, when they reached the final in their tournament debut but lost 28-24 to Valley. Meanwhile USA captain Todd Clever also suited up for APBs to help put them over the top this year.

“To be honest, for all the superstars we have in the team and unique individuals, it was teamwork in defense that probably won us the game, which goes to show we had that belief and also that motivation from last year,” said Marshall.

The APBs reached the final with a 24-5 win over 2010 runners-up ULR Samurai Internationals, who lost flanker Jack Wilson to the New Zealand sevens squad and Chiefs A winger Glen Robertson with a thumb injury on the first day.

Samurai coach Blair Larsen said his stripped down squad were beaten by the better team and even hinted that some his players may have been a bit star struck.

“The APBs had a lot of players out there who are heroes to a lot of our boys. We lost Glen and Jack, who were two of our key players, and we had some key injuries at a pretty important time, but injuries are part of the game and the team we played out there were just too good,” Larsen said.

“They’ve got players with a lot of experience of the highest stage. Some of them are getting to the end of their career, but they still know how to play. They’ve got some size and some good attackers as well. I’m sure we’ll be back again next year and every time Samurai play, we play to win.”

Third seeds SRC Borneo Eagles, representing the Sandakan Rugby Club in East Malaysia, won the Plate after beating beat Hill and Associates Scottish Barbarians 26-7, with speedster Ritchie Ah Chong scoring two tries.

Australian Country Invitational won the Bowl with a 21-7 victory over A-Trade Overseas Old Boys.

Hosts Newedge Club won silverware for the second straight year by winning the Shield, beating Lloyd McDermott Dingoes of Australia 35-19 to the delight of the home fans.

All of the proceeds from Thursday’s HK$100 entry fee were donated to the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation (CNCF), the event’s official charity. Former England internationals Steve Thompson, a 2003 Rugby World Cup winner, and Leon Lloyd attended on both days in their roles as CNCF Ambassadors.


 
Written by Press Release    Thursday, 22 March 2012 11:56    PDF Print Write e-mail
Cougars Start Two-Game Series Tonight
Colleges - Men's DI College


Provo, Utah – The BYU Cougars are set for their final regular season road trip as they head to Colorado and Wyoming to take on Western Conference foes Colorado State and Wyoming. The Cougars play the Rams 7pm Thursday and the Cowboys 1pm Saturday in Laramie, Wyo.

BYU battered Colorado State and Wyoming last year by a combined score of 228-3, but BYU head coach David Smyth says this is no time to lose focus.

"Being on the road against two conference teams in the span of three days can be tricky," said Smyth, "so we need to ensure we stay focused and work on improving from last week's game to ensure we come out of these two games, not only in the wins, but also so we can come out of there in one piece health-wise."

The Cougars have taken a full squad on the trip and will likely spread the work load among a variety of players. Cougar prop Mikey Su'a says it'll be important in games like these to have everyone on the same page.

"We get used to playing with certain players," Su'a said, "and this weekend will be good for us to work on other combinations. And that will mean better communication."

Colorado State currently sits at 0-2 in conference play with losses to a largely reserve-side Utah team, 49-19, and Colorado, 43-20. The 0-2 start puts the Rams in last place in the West.

Wyoming started league play just last week with a 44-19 loss to Arizona State in Tempe to put the Cowboys at 0-1 on their short conference season.

Stay tuned to BYU Rugby's Facebook and Twitter feeds for more news and scoring updates on the upcoming games.

 
Written by Bernie Decker    Thursday, 22 March 2012 11:27    PDF Print Write e-mail
Denver East Stays Unbeaten
School Age - Boys


Denver East bested Cherry Creek in a battle of undefeated teams in Colorado Wednesday. The Angels were swift to the breakdown, relentless in obtaining possession and the delivery of turnover ball, and crafty in their exploitation of windy conditions.

East second pivot Jeremy Tabor’s territorial boot pinned Creek in their end for nearly the entire first half, and though Creek fullback Preston Weems returned several lofts with dandy counters, the home team could not establish the continuity necessary for sustained play in East’s half of the pitch.

Each side was pinged for failure to release at the tackle initially, but the first costly penalty came when Creek was judged offside at the breakdown in the 10th minute. Matt Fitzgerald exacted payment in the form of a penalty from 25 meters out.

The Angels were back in the hosts’ end after an offsides penalty enabled Tabor to boom the ball into touch inside the Bruins 22. A series of rolling mauls had lock Will Bible primed for a short dash into goal for the touch down, and with Fitzgerald’s conversion, East led 10-0.

Creek inside center Hayden Teehan got his side on board with a penalty from 22 meters out as time ran out in the period. East took a 10-3 lead into intermission.

A series of penalties in rapid succession by Creek gave East possession-and-penalty twenty yards from Creek’s try line. A quick-tap put deceptively speedy loosehead Duncan Frost through the defense and into goal. Fitzgerald’s conversion went slightly awry, leaving East up 15-3 near the 43-minute mark.

Creek was pressured hard inside East’s 22 when its offensive was halted by obstruction, which enabled Tabor to clear his lines at minute 46, but a subsequent dangerously high tackle by East captain and No. 8 Meshach Ricketts garnered a yellow.

With Creek’s forward pack driving hard into East territory with a rolling maul, East’s openside flanker managed turnover ball and careened into space for a 30-meter scamper into Creek territory. As he was brought to ground, a slick offload saw inside center Bennett Rodriguez fend off a defender en route to a 45-meter try. Fitzgerald’s conversion put East up 22-3 in the 50th minute.

Ricketts returned from the bin three minutes shy of full time and had his forwards attacking 30 meters from Creek’s goal when turnover ball had the Bruin backline on the attack. A lengthy pass fell short of its intended target as it was held up in the wind, and popped instead into the hands of Neil Roper for an uncontested final try for East. Tabor’s last conversion made it 29-3, and Denver East stands alone as undefeated in Colorado league play.

Cherry Creek
Pen: Teehan

Denver East
Tries: Bible, Frost, Rodriguez, Roper
Cons: Fitzgerald (3)
Pens: Fitzgerald

Match Official: Marc Nelson

 


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