Teufaiva Stadium in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, will host the final rounds of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup 2012 between October 11 and 19 with the Fiji Warriors needing just one point to secure a fourth successive title.
The three-match Pacific leg represents the final phase of the tournament that has seen the Fiji Warriors, Tonga A and Samoa A play against Super Rugby Academy opposition in Australia and New Zealand.
The Warriors have shown great form to date, winning all but one of their six matches. The only loss was in their first match against Queensland A at Ballymore when the home team prevailed 36-24 in a highly entertaining match.
They recovered from that initial setback to beat the Brumby Runners and Junior Waratahs in Australia. Then, in New Zealand they recorded an impressive clean sweep against the Crusader Knights, Blues Development XV and Chiefs Development XV.
Samoa A has had mixed results in the tournament with three wins from its six matches but led after three rounds courtesy of three strong wins in Australia. However, they could not repeat the same form in New Zealand and lost to the Chiefs, Highlanders and Hurricanes Development teams.
A young Tonga A team has yet to win a match in the tournament, but the experience from a development perspective has been invaluable for the players and will be aiming to cause an upset on home soil.
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The full statistics and tournament information can be viewed on the Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) website at www.oceaniarugby.com.
IRB Regional General Manager for Oceania, William Glenwright, said: “The final three rounds should be fascinating given the three Pacific Island teams now play each other in Tonga. They are fierce rivals and no quarter will be given. Although the Fiji Warriors only need a point to secure their fourth successive title you can bet Tonga and Samoa will be keen to deny them victory.”
“The IRB is very pleased with the continued development of the Pacific Rugby Cup which provides up and coming players with a defined High Performance pathway. The Warriors’ unprecedented performance in New Zealand is testament to the growing strength and depth in Pacific Islands rugby. Many of the players from these three teams are now being selected for their national teams in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup and several may feature in the November Test matches in Europe.”
“Developing the next generation of Test stars and improving the depth of Rugby is a critical part of the IRB’s strategic vision to grow competitiveness within the Pacific Islands. The PRC and PNC provide the perfect platform for coach and player development in order that the three Unions can consistently comptete against the world's top nations.”
“The IRB has also re-established inbound tours to the Pacific Islands by Tier One and Two teams, and recently launched an unprecedented International Rugby Series that will see an extensive programme of competitive matches for the three Pacific Island nations during the November 2012 window.”
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