In the penultimate round of the inaugural IRB Women’s Seven’s World Series, New Zealand displayed clinical finishing and a robust defence in the tournament final, winning 19-6 against an in-form England in Guangzhou, China.
In the third of a four round series, an inspirational performance from Kelly Brazier who contributed 12 of the 19 points helped New Zealand run in three tries against an England side full of confidence on the back of their victory in the previous round in Houston, USA.
The victory for New Zealand, achieved in incredibly wet conditions across the whole two days, has put them firmly in the driving seat to win the series title, needing only to reach the semi-finals of the next and final event in Amsterdam, Netherlands in May to claim the overall crown of this inaugural series.
England got off to a fantastic start in the final, with Kat Merchant crossing to give her side a 5-0 lead. However, the speed, skill and aggression of the Black Ferns proved too much, with Ruby Tui touching down to bring the eventual winners level. Kelly Brazier converted to put New Zealand in front, before following up with two tries of her own to put the series leaders out of sight.
Following the win, New Zealand head coach Sean Horan was full of praise for his side: “I am incredibly proud of the team and the work they put in over the two days. They stuck to their plan and were perfectly clinical in their execution of that game plan.
“They showed a very superior set of skills and despite the monsoon-like conditions we had for two days, they were exceptional in their ball handling.”
Elsewhere in the tournament, Canada defeated neighbours USA in the third place play off match, with Ireland and Japan claiming the competition’s Plate and Bowl finals respectively.
The New Zealand victory leaves them on 54 points, eight points clear of England on 46 heading into the final series event in Amsterdam. Australia remains in third on 38.
The fifth edition of Rugby Expo, the world’s leading conference and exhibition for all members of the international rugby community, will take place on Wednesday 13 – Thursday 14 November at Twickenham Stadium.
With the positive feedback from 2012 and reputation for the event continuing to build, Rugby Ventures, the management team behind the event, is delighted to confirm its continued partnership with Twickenham Experience, as the home of the 2015 RWC final plays host to Rugby Expo for the third time.
In a series of upcoming announcements, Rugby Ventures has also confirmed changes to the structure of the content on day one (professional game focus) with Rugby Expo set to host three new master class summits focusing on stadia and ticketing, social media and marketing, and commercial and sponsorship.
The summits will run alongside main stage plenary sessions where delegates will hear from some of the biggest names in the sports industry, which, at Rugby Expo 2012, included the RFU’s chairman Bill Beaumont and CEO Ian Ritchie, Aviva Premiership CEO Mark McCafferty, sports entrepreneur Barry Hearn and European PGA Tour CEO George O’Grady.
The conference programme will form an integral part of the first day, which is designed exclusively for all those involved in the professional game including clubs, leagues, rights holders, brands, agencies and other suppliers to the sport.
Day two will switch its focus to the grass roots game, following 2012’s format with plenary sessions and a series of workshops scheduled. Throughout both days Rugby Expo will also host an exhibition showcasing many of the sport’s most innovative products and services.
Explaining the changes to content, event director, Jonathan Wilson said, “As we move the event forwards, we find ourselves in constant dialogue with the clubs, brands and other stakeholders involved in the sport and so we recognise the challenges and also the areas of greatest opportunity.
“The new summits allow us to combine a series of themes, creating a set of specialist events that enable more people to engage in their key areas of work with leaders in their respective industries. This is in addition to the main event of Rugby Expo, the plenary session debates, the networking and the chance to meet with key individuals in the sport.”
The event continues to work with and be supported by many of the sport’s most influential organisations including the International Rugby Board, Premiership Rugby, ERC and all home nations. In 2012 Rugby Expo attracted more than 1,000 attendees, as well as a sold out exhibition floor for the second consecutive year and hosted more than 300 grass roots clubs.
Commenting on the launch of this year’s event, John Hockey, chairman of Rugby Ventures, owners of Rugby Expo said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm our return to Twickenham for 2013. The venue offers the ideal location, facilities and set up for Rugby Expo as the event combines a comprehensive conference and workshop programme and exhibition floor.
“The event has been well supported by the RFU and Twickenham Experience and we are already engaging with a number of key organisations. With further announcements soon to follow, Rugby Expo 2013 will undoubtedly be the biggest and best instalment yet.”
Following today’s announcement that London Welsh’s appeal against a point deduction for fielding an ineligible player has been turned down, the club has its say on the news that sees them five points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership:
London Welsh RFC is extremely disappointed by the Independent Appeal Panel’s decision to uphold the five-point deduction and £15,000 fine against the club, with regard to the charge that it fielded an ineligible player, Tyson Keats, in ten Aviva Premiership matches this season.
However, the club welcomes the Panel’s decision to remove the suspended five-point penalty imposed until the end of the 2013-14 season, and believes that this action justifies its decision to appeal.
The club also believes that this cause of action was necessary to restore the good name of the London Welsh RFC, as once it became clear what had happened, the club made every effort to “remedy the situation” and did not, at any stage, deliberately attempt to deceive the RFU. A point acknowledged by the panel in their findings.
The club maintains, however, that it has ultimately been punished for the completely unnecessary fraudulent actions of one individual, whose actions the panel accepted “could not have been predicted”.
“The club is hugely disappointed by the decision of the Independent Appeal Panel to uphold the five-point deduction for this season,” said London Welsh CEO Tony Copsey.
“We are particularly disappointed for the players, who’ve given everything they can for the club, and ultimately it is they who have been punished for something completely beyond their control.
“However, there are still four games remaining in the season and the focus and efforts of the players, the coaching staff and everyone at London Welsh is now on those remaining matches.”
Edinburgh Rugby are incentivising sign-ups to local kids’ rugby camps with a new ‘Dad and Lad’ ticket offer this Easter.
Every boy or girl taking part in one of the 13 partnered, capital city rugby camps will receive a voucher for a free child and adult ticket for the club’s next match at Murrayfield Stadium against Connacht on Friday 12th April, kick off at 19:30.
Instead of hosting their own kids’ camp at Murrayfield, the club’s players have been divided among the capital city camps to help promote and deliver the local rugby sessions.
Speaking on the first day of the Boroughmuir Easter camp, Edinburgh Rugby wing, Sep Visser – who is drafted to the RBS Premiership club – said: “So many local clubs are big supporters of Edinburgh Rugby so it’s great to give something back, help promote their camps and drive up participation and memberships at the clubs.
“Some of the camps are already underway but there’s still plenty of time to sign up and have a great time during the school holidays this Easter.”
All of the camps make sure that rugby is fun across all levels and abilities, while focussing on basic techniques of passing, tackling, running and support play.
All participants will receive coaching from qualified, disclosure-checked coaches, an Edinburgh Rugby junior supporters pack, a free child and adult ticket to Edinburgh Rugby v Connacht at Murrayfield Stadium (Friday 12 April, kick-off 7.30pm) and the opportunity to meet and join in fun activities with Edinburgh Rugby players.