All Blacks Lose Top Ranking; Italy Beat Russia by 70 Points; MacDowell Rugby Island Events; RugbyTown 7s Starts Friday with Canadian Content All Blacks
Wales (89.43) are ranked #1 and NZ (89.40) go down to #2, they've held the top spot for a decade. When the rankings started in 2003 England were ranked #1 and NZ #2, Wales a lowly #8. Jumping ahead to late 2007 and South Africa were top, NZ 2nd and Wales a distant #10. By October 2008 New Zealand took over the rankings lead which they held until this week. Canada are ranked 21st. Italy Defeat Russia
Canada's first opponent at the World Cup will be Italy and this week they defeated Russia 85-15. Russia beat Canada 43-20 last summer in perhaps one of the worst games by Canada under coach Kingsley Jones. Ten players from the Russian win over Canada were in the match day 23 against Italy. Russia were woeful in defense and their defensive line speed and structure was very poor - Italy scored 11 of their 13 tries through the backs. Italy looked confident and played an expansive game finding plenty of space out wide. MacDowell Rugby
A couple of events by coach Robin MacDowell this month on the Island. He's holding a youth camp next week and a free coaches evening on August 28th. Details in the posters below. RugbyTown 7s Starts Friday
Probably the top men's senior tournament in North America is coming up this weekend, starting on Friday - the RugbyTown 7s in Glendale. There will be some Canadian content and some of the Pacific Pride players will be getting an early start to the season. In Pool B the North American Lions will likely have some Canadian content as Upright Rugby out of Ontario are one of the partner academies. Pool C will include North American Barbarians and their Canadian content is through rival Ontario development group, the MisFits, managed by Canadian U18 7s coach Nigel D'Acre. They're in the same pool as the Celtic Barbarians and their Canadian content is through Alberta based Cam Wilton. Should be an exciting tournament and usually the live streaming is free through their website, hopefully it will be the same again this year.