PRC: Australian Leg of IRB Pacific Rugby Cup Concludes
After three rounds and eight games of exciting international Rugby the Australian leg of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup has concluded with Samoa A topping the competition.
Samoa A finished the first leg of the tour undefeated in games following last night’s 24-8 win over Queensland A in their final game of the series.
The remainder of the third round saw a fixture between the Brumby Runners and Tonga A cancelled due to inclement weather, while the Junior Waratahs lost 30-15 to Fiji Warriors.
The conclusion of round three also signals the end of the road for the three Australian sides, as the core Pacific Nation sides now travel to New Zealand to meet development sides from the Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes, in the second of a three-series schedule.
Of the Australian development sides, Queensland A finished with two wins and a loss; the Junior Waratahs with one win and two losses; and the Brumby Runners unable to muster a win going down to Samoa A and Fiji Warriors before their final game against Tonga A was cancelled.
Following the Australian series, Samoa A tops the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup table with an undefeated record, followed by the Fiji Warriors with two wins and a loss while Tonga A remain winless in the competition.
ARU High Performance Unit Manager, David Nucifora, said the second annual IRB Pacific Rugby Cup provided Australian FxPro Super Rugby sides a chance to provide elite Rugby experiences for the back end of their squads, as well as providing game time for extended player squad and National Academy players.
“The Pacific Rugby Cup is an elite competition that provides our up-and-coming stars with a chance to show off their skills against international opponents,” Nucifora said.
“The importance of this competition and the development it provides for the rising ranks of Australian Rugby cannot be understated.
“These games have allowed the FxPro Super Rugby sides a chance to not only provide match experience for their contracted development players, but also access the National Academy players, who have been working under the ARU academy system for three months now and relish the exposure to game situations.”
Five Australian players sit in the Top 10 scorers at the conclusion of the Australian series, with Queensland A flyhalf Dallan Murphy leading the charge among the locals. Murphy, the squad’s Vice Captain, accumulated 27-points from his three games, including three conversions and seven penalty goals, which sees him sitting second in the standings, behind Samoa A’s Titi Esau Jr, who notched 39-points in three games.
Other Australians to make the Top 10 included Queensland A winger, Mitchell Felsman, in fifth place with 15 points from three tries, Junior Waratahs scrumhalf Grayson Hart in seventh with 10 points from two tries, Brumby Runners flyhalf Ben Johnson in ninth with three conversions and one penalty goal for nine points and finally flyhalf Toby Browne of the Junior Waratahs with seven points from two conversions and one penalty goal.
The second stage of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup runs Friday 9 to Monday 19 March. The IRB Pacific Rugby Cup will conclude later this year when the three Pacific Nation sides host each other for the final stage of competition.
The IRB Pacific Rugby Cup is seen as a key development tool for the IRB, as it looks to promote the development of young Rugby players in the Pacific Islands offering them the opportunity to test themselves against the rising stars of the game in Australia and New Zealand.