The Sharks defeated the Blues at the Albany Stadium on Auckland's North Shore, actually. The Blues loss to the Chiefs was their first loss at Eden Park for more than a year.
My apologies to Ireland in the IRB Rankings table. They are 5 on the table with 83.44. All the teams below them move down one place, starting with Wales who are number 6 and so on.
To my mind Ireland look to be set for a strong 2015 RWC tournament. This statement is qualified by the understanding that Ireland have generally under-performed at RWC tournaments in the past.
Two things about this very good idea. In the United States there is not the same shutting down of all commercial life on Christmas Day as there is in Australia. Second, in New Zealand, at least, first class cricket used to be played on Christmas Day when I was growing up there. Admittedly this was a long time ago. I don't know what happened in Australia but I suspect the same attitude applied here.
So I think Shane's idea is an excellent one. There is precedent for it in this part of the world and in the USA. Go to the basket on it!