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U-19 World Championship: Day Four Bulletin

U-19 World Championship: Day Four Bulletin

…Division B Day Two Results…Legacy Programme Dates…Teams Seeing The Sights…Crowds Buoy Tournament Director…Solomons’ Golden Touch…


Romania 10 USA 16, Queen’s, Belfast
Russia 5 Canada 33, Bangor
Tonga 72 Cook Islands 6, Malone
Chile 13 Italy 32, Bangor
Chinese Taipei 5 Uruguay 55, Queen’s, Belfast
Zimbabwe 33 Georgia 26, Malone

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– Thursday, April 12 –

Zimbabwe v USA, Queen’s, Belfast, 5.30pm
Chile v Uruguay, Bangor, 5.30pm
Chinese Taipei v Cook Islands, Malone, 5.30pm
Tonga v Italy, Queen’s, Belfast, 7.30pm
Romania v Canada, Bangor, 7.30pm
Russia v Georgia, Malone, 7.30pm

LEGACY PROGRAMME DATES: The 2007 IRB Under-19 World Championship is not just about the here and now for the tournament’s organisers in Belfast and Bangor.

A comprehensive ‘Legacy’ programme has been set up to to coincide with the tournament’s two-and-a-half week run. The following are the initiatives that are taking place for the remainder of this week:

Tuesday, April 10:

– Coaching clinic with Nigel Redman, the head coach of the England U-19 side, on Modified Games; Pirrie Park, 6.30-8.30pm

– Members of the South African U-19 squad will visit Sandleford Special Needs School in Coleraine (time to be confirmed)

The French U-19 Squad and management will hold a coaching clinic for the U-18 and senior players at Ballyclare RFC (7.30pm)

Wednesday, April 11:

– Coaching clinic with Phil Mooney and Mark Bell of the Australian U=19 side on Fundamental Skill Development; Ballyclare RFC, 6.30-8.30pm

U-19 World Championship referees will attend the USRFR monthly meeting for a Q&A session; Shaw’s Bridge, 7.30pm

Thursday, April 12:

USRFR and U-19 Referees’ Golf Day

Sunday, April 15:

– Members of the Scotland U-19 squad will visit the mini rugby section of CIYMS RFC in Belfast (3pm)

(Please note that due to team training schedules, dates and times are subject to change at short notice)

TEAMS SEEING THE SIGHTS: There is no rest for the wicked when you are a player at the U-19 World Championship. Any chance of an Easter weekend lie-in was thrown out the window as many of the Division A and B teams managed to see some of the delights the northern half of the island has to offer.

The Romanian team visited Stormont on Saturday, touring the historic Parliament building and its grounds, but they unfortunately lost their must-win match on Monday against the USA.

Fiji’s sizeable squad and management attended the Easter Sunday Service at Knock Methodist Church, hoping their prayers will be answered with a defeat of champions Australia on Monday.

The Fijians have certainly been getting around – they were spotted playing football in Custom House Square in Belfast on one of their rest days.

Argentina have ventured further afield, taking the day out on Good Friday to tour the Giants Causeway, Portrush and Dunluce Castle. The highlight for many of the players was a walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Thankfully for coach Patricio Noriega, there were no amateur acrobats in his squad!

Meanwhile, Friday also saw the Zimbabwean team bus turn up at Academy RFC for a lively training session and touch rugby games with the club’s U-12 and U-13s.

The session obviously worked a treat for the Zimbabwe side as they finished off the Easter weekend with a 33-26 victory over Georgia at Malone. A spokesperson for Academy RFC said: “The boys trained with the Zimbabwe players for nearly two hours, going through warm-up exercises, numerous drills and finishing with a game of touch rugby.

“The boys, parents and coaches had a thoroughly fantastic time. Many thanks to the Zimbabwe players, coaches and management and the IRFU Liaison officer Barry for a great morning and giving the boys the chance to train with international rugby players.”

CROWDS BUOY TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR: IRB Tournament Director Simon Jelowitz was delighted by the 6,715-strong turn-out at last Thursday’s opening matches at Ravenhill.

The big crowd turned up to see New Zealand beat Wales and Ireland test defending champions Australia before they eventually lost 15-10.

Jelowitz commented: “To get a first round crowd like that is unprecedented in IRB Under-19 World Championship history. To get a crowd like this, one might associate with a semi-final or the final.

“It confirms our expectations that the people of Ulster have taken this tournament to their hearts and have come out in high numbers.

“We are confident that the quality of rugby will bring them back. Ireland can still qualify (for the semi-finals) and we urge the public to get behind their team.”

** Further ticket information for the games at Ravenhill and the five other match venues is available from www.ulsterrugbytickets.com

SOLOMONS’ GOLDEN TOUCH: Alan Solomons, the former Ulster coach, can seemingly do little wrong at present. Since coming on board as coaching consultant with Belfast Harlequins, the club has managed to drag itself out of the bottom two in AIB League Division One, having started the season with eight straight defeats.

A win over UCD in a fortnight’s time and ‘Quins’ top flight status will be safe for another year. There is also the little matter of the AIB Cup and First Trust Ulster Senior Cup finals to look forward to for the Deramore Park men.

The amiable South African has also been helping out some of the visiting U-19 teams up north.

‘Solly’ will not claim any credit, but he oversaw a joint training session between the Canada and USA U-19 teams at Belfast YMCA last Friday and lo and behold, both sides won their respective World Championship games on Monday, beating Russia and Romania.