Preparations for the England v New Zealand test series commenced in very different ways, with New Zealand facing a much tougher battle in their 34-12 victory over Leeds Rhinos than England had to in their 84-4 win over a weakened France team.
With France facing England, Wales played against Keighley Cougars in the Danny Jones Memorial match, with a 36-20 win, while the European Championships continued in their absence with Ireland just edging Scotland 24-22.
World Cup qualification began for the MEA region, with the first of 2 matches between South Africa and Lebanon taking place and seeing Lebanon win 40-12, leaving South Africa needing to win the return fixture next weekend by 29 points or more.
In site news, a few more match reports have been added and there is now a link to the full replay of the France v Ireland match on the main page
Chile ran out winners of the inaugural Latino Rugby League Sevens tournament this weekend, defeating El Salvador and Uruguay in their pool matches before beating Peru 14-10 in the final. Peru had only conceded 4 points in the group stages against Ecuador and Colombia, but were not quite strong enough to take victory over the pre-tournament favourites, despite the half time scores being level at 10-10.
Ecuador and El Salvador managed wins in their group matches against Colombia and Uruguay respectively.
Hopefully all the countries can build upon this tournament for their upcoming tour to Mexico and the US
Full report here.
Vamos Latin Heat!
It's been a very busy weekend for international fixtures, with 7 fixtures being played as well as the Latin 7s (which I'll discuss in a later post)
It started off on Thursday (stretching the definition of weekend slightly) with Thailand seeing off Japan 30-6 bringing the Asian Cup to one win apiece, but Japan winning on aggregate 58-46
Friday saw the European Championship A tournament kick off with Wales coming out 18-12 winners over Scotland, but France's 31-14 victory over Ireland the following day sees France move to the top of the group.
Elsewhere in Europe, Norway came back with a vengeance in the last 20 minutes of their Nordic Cup game against Sweden, losing 10-20 but scoring 4 tries at the end to run out 30-20 victors putting them second behind Denmark in the Cup.
Tonga will start their preparations next year for the 2017 World Cup after defeating Cook Islands 28-8, and Spain will progress to the next phase of World Cup qualification, with 2 victories in European Championship C after running riot of Greece, coming out 76-4 victors.
Canada take an 8 point lead into today's Colonial Cup match against the USA, and a win for either team will put them in good stead for World Cup qualification this December
Apologies for not being the quickest with the updates recently, but I'm up to date on all the results now (and even have tomorrow's result listed!
There have been wins for Russia and Serbia against Italy and Ukraine respectively in European Championship B, while Spain managed to defeat Malta 40-30 in European Championship C. Greece's inability to travel tomorrow has granted Malta a 30-0 win, meaning that Spain will need to defeat Greece next weekend to earn a place in next year's RLWC qualifiers
There have been a fair few upsets with Canada defeating USA 36-28 in the first leg of the Colonial Cup, while Niue beat Cook Islands and Czech Republic recorded their second ever win, overturning Belgium 14-4. In the unofficial (non-test) matches, Spain beat Italy B and Papua New Guinea fell to Australia's PMXIII.
I now have listed match reports for most of the matches, and there are full replays of USA v Canada and Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland (thanks to Steve from NIRL for the latter)
A Yorkshireman in the south of England who can't get enough of the world of rugby league