Four Nations: New Zealand & Australia To Meet In The Final

After week three, New Zealand & AUstralia will do battle next weekend in the final of the 2014 Four Nations Tournament, but England certainly made Australia sweat a bit. Check out the highlights below.

New Zealand 16-14 England

Australia 44-18 Samoa



Rugby Union: Weekend International Scores

It was a jam packed weekend for international rugby union and I have all your scores here! 

Canada 17-13 Namibia

Japan 18-20 Maori All Blacks

Hong Kong 10-31 Russia

Georgia 9-23 Tonga

Italy 24-13 Samoa

England 21-24 All Blacks

Wales 28-33 Australia

Romania 17-27 USA

France 40-15 Fiji

Ireland 29-15 South Africa

Scotland 41-31 Scotland


USA Eagles Bounce Back With A Solid Victory Over Romania

The All Black hangover didn't last long. In fact, it only lasted about five minutes as Takudzwa Ngwenya dashed 75 meters for a try. From that point forward, the USA Eagles played solid defense and scored a couple more tries as they defeated Romania 27-17 in Bucharest on Saturday. 

In addition to Zee, Tim Stanfill and Folau Niua would cross the try line for USA while Adam Siddall had 3 conversions and a penalty. Mike Petri added a very unexpected drop goal in the 53rd minute. Check out the video highlights below:

Next up, Tonga on Saturday, which will take place in Gloucester, England. Kickoff is set for 11:45 am Eastern and will be streamed via IRB.com.

USA Eagles | 27

Tries: Ngwenya, Tim Stanfill, Niua

Conversions: Siddall (3)

Penalties: Siddall

Drop-goals: Petri

Romania | 17

Tries: Penalty try, Carpo

Conversions: Vlaicu (2)

Penalties: Vlaicu


Rugby TV: November 8th - 10th

International rugby takes center stage in both rugby codes this weekend, which features Autumn Internationals in rugby union and Round 3 of the Rugby League Four Nations tournament. It should be a cracker of a weekend and several matches will be available live & delayed on U.S. television. 

For me, there are three matches of interest:

1.USA vs Romania (union)

2. New Zealand vs England (Four Nations)

3. Australia vs Samoa (Four Nations)

The USA Eagles have a very important test against Romania and we owe them an ass beating after we got flat out screwed the last time we were there. Despite the lopsided loss to the All Blacks last weekend & the many chabges to the squad, the fact that most of the Eagles got a match under their belts is a huge advantage to me, seeing as how this is Romania's first match this fall.  The good news is, the match will be streamed live. The bad news is, it will not be in English. Brush up on your Romanian tonight, folks. 

The Four Nations enters the final round of pool play, and it could get real interesting.  New Zeland have all but clinched a spot in the final while the other spot will go to either England or Australia. It could come down to point difference, with that advantage going to England. Either way, it should be interesting. 

Rugby TV: November 8th - 10th (All Times Listed As Eastern U.S.)

Saturday, November 8th

12:00 am: Japan vs New Zealand Maori (Rugby Union) - LIVE - Fox Soccer Plus

2:00 am: New Zealand vs England (Four Nations) - LIVE - Fox Soccer Plus

9:00 am: Italy vs Samoa (Rugby Union) - LIVE - BeIN Sports Connect

11:30 am: Romania vs USA Eagles (Rugby Union) - LIVE - RugbyTV.ro

7:00 pm: England vs New Zealand (Rugby Union) - DELAYED - BeIN Sports

Sunday, November 9th

1:00 am: Wales vs Australia (Rugby Union) - DELAYED - BeIN Sports

3:00 am: Australia vs Samoa (Rugby League) - DELAYED - Fox Soccer Plus

7:00 pm: Ireland vs South Africa (Rugby Union) - DELAYED - BeIN Sports

Monday, November 10th

1:00 am: France vs Fiji (Rugby Union) - DELAYED - BeIN Sports



More Good News For The USARL

The following comes courtesy of the official USARL website: 

As a first for rugby league in America, the RLIF announced last month Affiliate Membership for the USARL. In the wake of that announcement, the USARL are also excited about their admission as members of the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) and look forward to a successful working relationship with Maurice Watkins, Chairman, and Danny Kazandjian, General Manager, their administration and member nations.

“This is the beginning of a new era for rugby league in the USA. As the now recognized governing body for the sport in America, this membership will reinforce our structure for robust competition and development of the game across all regions of the country while adding a new dimension to the international scene”, said Peter Illfield, USARL Chairman.

Illfield went on to say, “I thank the USARL Board of Directors and their clubs who have worked constantly and diligently over the past four years in their administration and development of rugby league, increasing participation and activities across adult, youth and international levels to support our successful bid for membership”.

Both the RLIF and RLEF have provided assistance to rugby league in the USA for many years, demonstrated by their support in sanctioning both national and international activities culminating in what is now a solid platform for progress.

Further work is now required by the USARL to satisfy RLIF Full Membership by December 2016, and be eligible for RLWC2017.

#TBT Speaking of Ngwenya...

It's #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) time and with all of my excitement regarding the return of Takudzwa Ngwenya, I figured I would point to the exact moment that "Zee" became a world famous rugby player. 

Heading into the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Zee played semi-pro club rugby and was a regular fixture with the USA Sevens National Team. After his famous try versus South Africa, he would become a household name and earn a professional contract with Biarritz. 

First, the entire match:

And if you just want to skip to the part where Ngwenya made South Africa's Bryan Habana lose his jock strap:



Takudzwa Ngwenya Set To Make His USA Return

This Saturday marks the return of Takudzwa (Zee) Ngwenya. That's right, the man who has fallen out of Mike Tolkin's favor for some insanely stupid reason, is back in the starting line up for USA's trip to Romania this Saturday. In case you forgot who Zee is, allow me to refresh your memory...

I realize playing professionally for Biarritz has caused it's share of problems as far as being made available for USA selection, but there have also been times where Zee simply wasn't considered.  It never made sense to me and never will. His international form hasn't been the best to his performances in France & his very memorable Heineken Cup tries, but he will always give us a dangerous option out on the wing. I hope he shines in Romania so Tolkin will have no excuse not to suit him up in the future. 

As for the rest of the Eagles making the trip to Romania on Saturday, there are several changes. Romania isn't New Zealand and as long as we don't get screwed over by the refs like the last time we visited Romania, we'll be fine and I like our chances to win.  The match will stream live beginning at 11:30 am via http://www.rugbytv.ro.

USA EAGLES vs Romania

Forwards: Nick Wallace, Phil Thiel, Ollie Kilifi, Tai Tuisamoa, Lou Stanfill, Todd Clever, John Quill, Matt Trouville

Backs: Mike Petri, Adam Siddall, Tim Stanfill, Andrew Suniula, Seamus Kelly, Zee Ngwenya, Folau Niua

Bench: Tom Coolican, Ben Tarr, Mate Moeakiola, Greg Peterson, John Cullen, Kyle Sumsion, Shalom Suniula, Roland Suniula


Sorry For The Delay. And Now, My USA vs NZ Thoughts...

First off, an apology. It's Thursday and the All Blacks demolition of the USA Eagles went down last Saturday. Well, it's been a busy week at work, days which ended with me bathing in Icy Hot and a lot of self pity. In fact as I type this, I've lost my ability to move my neck. Hell, I feel like the All Blacks haka'd all over my body from the neck down. In other words, it's been a rough week and real life can completely dry up my creative juices. But fear not, much like my beloved USA Eagles, I will take an ass beating, dust myself off and be ready for my next challenge. 

First, take a look at the highlights, in case you missed it....

Yup, there's a reason why the New Zealand All Blacks are the #1 team in the world. They are REALLY DAMN GOOD! But for all the negatives last Saturday, USA can take away a few positives as well.  For example, the Eagles enjoyed the bulk of the possession, especially in the opening 15 minutes or so. We also played very physical rugby and at no point did our boys give up. Plus let's not forget, the 61,000+ who packed Soldier Field and hundreds of thousands who watched live on NBC, were treated to world class rugby and I'm positive new fans were made. 

There is no sense in me being critical of our performance. We're a Tier 2 nation and the sport is still in it's infancy here. I'm very proud of the fight we showed and I'm confident this loss will turn into a "win" within the next 10 years. 

Next up, Romania on Saturday. 


Breaking News: USARL Now Rugby League's Recognized Governing Body In America

I've read the rumors for a couple of weeks and now it's official. The USA Rugby League are now the official National Governing Body for the sport of rugby league in this country and are also affiliate members of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF), which is also a first. This officially ends the USARL vs AMNRL (American National Rugby League) cival war, as the AMNRL officially folded just prior to the 2014 regular season. This also means that the USARL will now be in control of our national team. No word yet if the USARL will maintain the "USA Tomahawks" name in the future. 

The following is an excerpt from an article regarding a recent RLIF board meeting in Brisbane, Australia:

The RLIF Board also approved an application from USA Rugby League (USARL) to run the sport in the United States and they become Affiliate Members of the RLIF, with a clear route and projected timescale to become Full Members.


"Peter Ilfield and his fellow board members are to be congratulated on their application and their drive and energy in promoting the game in the USA in difficult circumstances. We all look forward to a positive future for the sport in the one of the largest sporting economies in the world."

The USARL can now focus on becoming FULL members, continue to grow the game in this country & qualify for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, which will be held in Australia & New Zealand. I have MANY people who I consider friends who are involved with the USARL and I would like to send my congrats to each and every one of you for your tireless dedication to the sport. I would also like to thank those of us (yes, myself included) who have worked behind the scenes to promote rugby league in this country. On a day when USA Rugby (union) is in the national spotlight, this bit of news is huge for the other rugby code played in this country. I absolutely love rugby union and want to see it succeed in this country, but I'm OBSESSED with rugby league, so it's safe to say that I'm feeling "over the moon" at the moment. Onward and upward, the sky is the limit for rugby league in this country.