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RugbyU: Boshoff boot gives Auckland the blues

Marnitz Boshoff continued a fairy tale first Super 15 season with 24 points for Golden Lions in a 39-36 victory over Auckland Blues Saturday. The fly-half kicked four penalties, three conversions and two drop goals at sunny Ellis Park in Johannesburg to raise his five-match tally to 94 points. And his major contribution to a third win in five outings for perennial strugglers the Lions came after he fluffed an early, angled 25-metre penalty attempt. It was his sole miss of the match , and only the second in 29 attempts since the season kicked off.

RugbyU: Boshoff boot gives Auckland the blues

Marnitz Boshoff continued a fairy tale first Super 15 season with 24 points for Golden Lions in a 39-36 victory over Auckland Blues Saturday. The fly-half kicked four penalties, three conversions and two drop goals at sunny Ellis Park in Johannesburg to raise his five-match tally to 94 points. And his major contribution to a third win in five outings for perennial strugglers the Lions came after he fluffed an early, angled 25-metre penalty attempt. It was his sole miss of the match , and only the second in 29 attempts since the season kicked off.

Rugby Union: New Zealand Maori rip Canada 40-15

Jamison Gibson-Park scored two tries to spark the New Zealand Maori All-Blacks over Canada 40-15 in a rugby union clash on Sunday. Gibson-Park, a late entry at halfback after Piri Weepu was unable to start, grabbed a bouncing ball that was deflected by a Canadian defender for a first-half try that put the Maori ahead to stay at 12-5 after an Andre Taylor conversion. Gibson-Park scored again in the 50th minute off a pass from Zac Guildford to open the second half scoring, boosting the Maori advantage to 26-5.

RugbyU: All Blacks skipper McCaw targets Springboks

The All Blacks have gambled on injured Richie McCaw being fit for their showdown Test against the Springboks early next month, and named the talismanic skipper in the 28-man touring squad. The team named Friday to travel to Argentina and South Africa for their remaining two Rugby Championship Tests also includes a recall for 71-Test veteran scrumhalf Piri Weepu. McCaw's inclusion means the All Blacks have only one specialist openside flanker, Sam Cane, for their opening Test against Argentina on September 28.

RugbyU: Dumped All Black Weepu says he'll be back

Piri Weepu admitted Tuesday his axing from the All Blacks came as a shock but vowed to knuckle down and reclaim his New Zealand jersey. The 71-Test veteran was a surprise omission from coach Steve Hansen's 28-man squad named on Sunday for the Rugby Championship, with his place taken by 21-year-old TJ Perenara. Weepu, who will turn 30 next month, said he was disappointed, feeling he had played well with Super 15 outfit the Auckland Blues after facing criticism for a lack of fitness in the 2012 season.

RugbyU: All Blacks pace proves too much for Weepu

Piri Weepu's 71-Test career came to a halt Sunday as the accelerated pace of the game demanded by the All Blacks proved too much for the 29-year-old. New Zealand's second-most capped scrumhalf was the surprise omission from the 28-man All Blacks squad named for the Rugby Championship with his place taken by 21-year-old TJ Perenara. All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has placed great faith in the high-octane brand of rugby he wants from the World Champion side, even if it comes at the expense of popular players.

RugbyU: Ranger says no to All Blacks jersey

All Blacks utility Rene Ranger has pulled out of the upcoming Rugby Championship series citing family reasons. The six-Test international, who is heading to France at the end of the year, said he would see out his time in New Zealand playing provincial rugby. Although Ranger has signed to play for French side Montpellier, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen named the 26-year-old in his training camp ahead of announcing the championship squad on Sunday.

All Blacks bid to scale greater heights in dead rubber

The All Blacks have the series in the bag but they still want more from their new "integrated" style with the return of ace pivot Dan Carter for the third Test against France on Saturday. Despite winning 23-13 in Auckland before shutting out France 30-0 in Christchurch, assistant coach Ian Foster said they were still a long way from the balanced running-kicking game they desire. "The key for us now is learning how to integrate both styles," Foster said ahead of the final match in New Plymouth.

RugbyU: Carter in reshaped All Blacks for third Test

The return of veteran Dan Carter and the injection of new blood headline a raft of changes to the All Blacks for the final Test against France on Saturday. There are five changes to the run-on side and three new faces added to the reserves are expected to make their debuts off the bench at New Plymouth's Yarrow Stadium. The All Blacks already have the series wrapped up after winning the first two tests 23-13 and 30-0 but coach Steve Hansen insisted he is not taking France lightly despite the experimental look to the third Test side.

RugbyU: All Blacks coach loyal to France starters

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen Thursday resisted the temptation to tweak his starting 15 following last weekend's unconvincing win over France and kept the same starting line-up for the second Test. Although he threatened to make changes after the 23-13 win in Auckland, they have been restricted to the bench for Saturday's crucial encounter in Christchurch to give last week's starters a second chance. "At this time of year you just need consistency so you can get consistency on the park, or improvement in this case," Hansen said in announcing the team.
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