Socino: Mostly A Great Year

All The Guinness PRO14 QF Tries

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The weekend brought the expected outcome at the Guinness PRO14 quarterfinals, with the favorites winning their games.

Having said this, there was a lot of emotion, mostly in the game between Muster and Benetton, where the Italians were winning with four minutes to play and the whole stadium was silent. The fans, clad in their red jerseys could not believe what was happening until a penalty, close to the halfway line, was awarded to their side. 


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Those three points put Munster on top and those final minutes were nail-biting stuff, with Treviso having two opportunities of turning the game around with drop kicks. It wasn’t to be.

Munster and Ulster’s moving to the semifinals means there will be at least an Irish team in the final, which speaks volumes of the work done by the Irish RFU, as with Leinster, they have three teams in the top four.

There was another big event on the weekend, although it was off the field. It was the League’s Gala in which different awards are presented.

This was to be a successful evening for Edinburg, a highlight for a season with ups and downs, but mostly a great year.

Bill Mata was chosen the Guinness Player’s Player of the Year. The Fiji-born player had a great season in both the League and Europe, where he has also been nominated for an award. Hopefully, he will be in Japan playing amongst the best in the world.

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Jacko van der Walt was Gilbert’s Golden Boot, which unlike other awards is not given to the top points scorer, but to the one with the best percentage. He scored some important points throughout the season and for a few inches here and there he would have had an even higher percentage.

The final award recognizes a career in the game, both on and off the field. The Guinness PRO14 Chairman’s Award deservedly went to Ross Ford, a true servant of the club and of Scottish Rugby. He holds the record of caps for his country and has played 199 for Edinburgh.

I’ve only shared one season with him, but it is more than enough to see what kind of guy he is, an incredible professional, an athlete with no equal and a great human being.

One award that confirmed the great tournament Benetton Treviso had was the Guinness Coach of the Year that went to Kieran Crowley, who led his club to the playoffs, something that had never happened in that country.

Adam Hastings, from Glasgow Warriors, took the Energia Next-Gen Star of the Season, a young number 10 that has a bright future as he challenges to be the starting flyhalf in Rugby World Cup 2019.

 


En Español 

Pasó el fin de semana con los cuartos de final del Guinness PRO14 y no hubo sorpresas con respecto a los resultados ya que ganaron los favoritos.

Eso sí, hubo muchísima emoción por sobre todo en el partido de Munster v Benetton; el equipo italiano lo iba ganando a falta de cuatro minutos y enmudecían a un repleto estadio de irlandeses y su marea roja. Concedieron un penal sobre la mitad de la cancha que el equipo local iba a transformar en tres puntos para tomar la delantera.


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Se vivieron unos últimos minutos de esos que te hacen comer las uñas. Treviso tuvo dos posibilidades de darlo vuelta con situaciones de drop, pero no iba a poder ser.

El avance de Munster y Ulster garantiza un equipo irlandés en la final, gran logro para la IRFU que puso a tres equipos, junto a Leinster, en esa instancia.

También hubo otro evento importante, aunque este fue fuera de la cancha.

La cena de gala de la liga donde se entregan varios premios, entre ellos a mejor jugador, pateador con más eficacia, mejor jugador joven, mejor entrenador, jugador con más tries, etc.

Esta sí fue una noche bastante exitosa para Edimburgo como club, una manera más de cerrar un gran año, con irregularidades, pero altamente positivo.

Bill Mata fue elegido el mejor jugador de la liga elegido por sus pares. El fijiano tuvo un gran año tanto en la liga como en Europa, donde también se encuentra nominado. Esperemos que pueda seguir con su rendimiento y esto llevarlo a Japón para jugar contra los mejores. 

El segundo premio que recibió el club fue para Jacko Van Der Walt, llamado Golden Boot. A diferencia de lo que normalmente se ve en otros deportes, este premio no es entregado al que más puntos marcó, sino para el pateador con mayor efectividad, o sea, mayor porcentaje. Jacko fue autor de varios puntos claves a lo largo de todo el año y si no fuera por escasos márgenes hubiese terminado con un promedio aún más alto.

El último premio es entregado por todos el Chairman de la liga, un premio a la trayectoria, reconocimiento que abarca dentro y fuera de la cancha, pasado y presente. Fue entregado a Ross Ford, un sirviente ejemplar de nuestro club y también del rugby escocés. Tiene el récord de más partidos jugados para su selección y 199 para Edimburgo. Me tocó compartir con él una sola temporada, más que suficiente para ver que tipo de persona es, un profesional increíble, un atleta sin igual y un gran ser humano. 

Un premio que reflejó el gran torneo del equipo italiano, fue el de entrenador del año que se lo llevó Kieran Crowley, quien logró llevar a Benetton Treviso a un playoff, algo histórico para el rugby de ese país.

Adam Hastings, de Glasgow, se llevó el premio a jugador joven de la temporada, un 10 que promete y que está luchando por su lugar en el equipo titular de Escocia con vistas a Rugby World Cup 2019. 

Round 4: Super Rugby Aotearoa/AU Team of the Week

Codie Taylor, Crusaders

With the Australian Super Rugby teams entering the fold this week, the Super Rugby Team of the Week selection just got a whole lot tougher. There were plenty of great performances over the weekend, and a few names on the sheet that continue to show up week in and week out. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: New England Freejacks

New England Free Jacks

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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10 Monday Notes: Hot Seats In NZ, Super Rugby Kicks Off In AUS

Reds, Harry Wilson

The gifts keep on coming, as Super Rugby AU's new season just got underway this past weekend with two scintillating matchups, while Super Rugby Aotearoa once again dazzled fans. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Houston Sabercats

Houston Sabercats

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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More Rugby! Super Rugby Australia Kicks Off With Reds vs Waratahs

Waratahs

Much to the delight of many rugby fans all around the world, Super Rugby began a New Zealand-only competition three weeks ago, giving spectators something great to feast their eyes on after a long rugby layoff since the start of the pandemic. Well, starting this weekend the rugby universe will be treated to another great competition, as Super Rugby now begins its Australian-only league. 

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TWO UNBEATENS REMAIN: Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 4 Preview

Richie Mo'unga, Crusaders

Through three rounds of Super Rugby Aotearoa, it's the Blues and the Crusaders who still remain unbeaten, while the Chiefs and the Hurricanes are still in search of a first victory on the season. The Highlanders, meanwhile, sit at 1-1 after two heart-stopping fixtures against the Chiefs and the Blues. 

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Date Set For New Zealand's North vs South Island Battle

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For the first time since the mid 1980's, New Zealand is set to reintroduce the famous North vs South Island match on August 29th, pitting players from each of the two parts of New Zealand against one another to settle where the best rugby players in the country truly come from. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Colorado Raptors

Colorado Raptors

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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Could New Zealand Be Hosting The Entire 2020 Rugby Championship?

New Zealand v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019_ Pool B Warren Little Getty Images For World Rugby.jpeg

With much of the world shut down still thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, rumors are swirling that New Zealand could be home to the entire 2020 Rugby Championship. The past three weeks have seen the beginning of the Super Rugby Aotearoa, a competition involving just the four New Zealand Super Rugby franchises. 

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MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Austin Gilgronis

Gilgronis vs Toronto Arrows

The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

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