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Jul 28, 2014

Rugby-Skelton key to opening championship door for Waratahs

MELBOURNE, July 28 (Reuters) – New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika’s prediction that man mountain Will Skelton could be a match-winner from the bench may have looked like a sop to a player denied a spot in his starting side for their biggest match of the season.

Instead, it proved deadly accurate as the 22-year-old lock’s majestic line-break against the ACT Brumbies set up his team’s winning try and gives them a chance to seal a maiden Super Rugby title against the Canterbury Crusaders on Saturday.

Jul 22, 2014

Waratahs coach Cheika draws on Leinster lessons

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Michael Cheika overcame a deflating rookie campaign before guiding Leinster to Heineken Cup glory and believes the experience has him in good stead to prepare the New South Wales Waratahs for a tilt at a maiden Super Rugby title.

In his first year in charge, the fiery Australian took the Irish side to the semi-finals of Europe’s premier club competition in 2005-06, but their tournament ended at Lansdowne Road with a stinging 30-6 loss to eventual champions Munster.

Jul 22, 2014

Rugby-Waratahs coach Cheika draws on Leinster lessons

MELBOURNE, July 22 (Reuters) – Michael Cheika overcame a deflating rookie campaign before guiding Leinster to Heineken Cup glory and believes the experience has him in good stead to prepare the New South Wales Waratahs for a tilt at a maiden Super Rugby title.

In his first year in charge, the fiery Australian took the Irish side to the semi-finals of Europe’s premier club competition in 2005-06, but their tournament ended at Lansdowne Road with a stinging 30-6 loss to eventual champions Munster.

Jul 18, 2014

Australia not so bold about Commonwealth gold at Glasgow

By Ian Ransom

(Reuters) – Australia’s reign atop the Commonwealth Games medals table faces its biggest threat in decades at Glasgow and the team’s management has been at pains to prepare the sports-mad public for the worst — defeat by England.

Barring a designer-driven cringe over the athletes’ “granny-knit” uniforms, the Games have been largely off the radar for most Australians, with the soccer World Cup looming large over the sporting landscape.

Jul 17, 2014

Rugby-Brumbies ready to face Chiefs on their own terms

MELBOURNE, July 17 (Reuters) – After two years dictating the terms of the Super Rugby playoffs from their Hamilton home, the Waikato Chiefs face the ultimate test of character in Canberra on Saturday against a Brumbies team desperate for payback.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie noted the importance of being postseason hosts in his team’s run to back-to-back championships, and will experience it first hand at Canberra Stadium where the Brumbies have not lost in seven matches.

Jul 16, 2014

Brumbies would take A-game to the moon – Tomane

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The ACT Brumbies have little to fear from the prospect of another arduous journey to the Super Rugby final, having racked up thousands of miles reaching the title decider a year ago, according to winger Joe Tomane.

The Brumbies start the post-season with a replay of last year’s final against the reigning champion Chiefs at their home Canberra Stadium in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday.

Jul 16, 2014

Rugby-Brumbies would take A-game to the moon – Tomane

MELBOURNE, July 16 (Reuters) – The ACT Brumbies have little to fear from the prospect of another arduous journey to the Super Rugby final, having racked up thousands of miles reaching the title decider a year ago, according to winger Joe Tomane.

The Brumbies start the post-season with a replay of last year’s final against the reigning champion Chiefs at their home Canberra Stadium in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday.

Jul 9, 2014

Player drain has Wallabies on the hop

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Wallabies’ emphatic 3-0 series win over France last month might convey the impression that all is rosy in rugby Down Under but the game’s power-brokers fear a quickening player drain could bring the code to its knees.

While some jostle for positions in Ewen McKenzie’s squad a year out from the World Cup in England, other “players of national interest” are rushing to the exits, boarding flights to Europe and Japan to boost their salaries and see an exotic part of the world long denied by the pursuit of a gold jersey.

Jul 9, 2014

Rugby-Player drain has Wallabies on the hop

MELBOURNE, July 9 (Reuters) – The Wallabies’ emphatic 3-0 series win over France last month might convey the impression that all is rosy in rugby Down Under but the game’s power-brokers fear a quickening player drain could bring the code to its knees.

While some jostle for positions in Ewen McKenzie’s squad a year out from the World Cup in England, other “players of national interest” are rushing to the exits, boarding flights to Europe and Japan to boost their salaries and see an exotic part of the world long denied by the pursuit of a gold jersey.

Jul 9, 2014

Rugby-We can Force our way into the playoffs, says Cowan

MELBOURNE, July 9 (Reuters) – Western Force have worked hard to cast off their reputations as perennial Super Rugby strugglers but it will all be in vain if they blow their playoffs chance against the ACT Brumbies on Friday, according to Wallabies’ prop Pek Cowan.

Having once mulled a career in professional golf, the New Zealand-born Cowan is well aware how easy a good approach can be squandered, and in meeting last year’s finalists at their Canberra fortress, the Force might be said to be on the 18th green, facing a tricky downhill putt to break into a playoff.

    • About Ian

      "Based in home-town of Melbourne covering sports in Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Asia Sports desk. Previously covered general news and politics in Beijing with a special focus on the Beijing 2008 Olympics."
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