WEST GHANA/USA – Apparently some big event that was going on in London the last few days but it came to an end on Sunday. I was too deep into my rugby to figure out what it was about. Anyway, let’s take a look at all that was going on over the weekend.
Currie Cup – Round 1 of the ABSA Bank Currie Cup is done. The home teams went 2 – 1, as the defending Champion MTN Golden Lions (Lions for short) won along with the Blue Bulls (who are a vowel-swap from a frustrated male condition). In a deja vu climax straight from the Super 15, the Sharks beat Western Province (Stormers in S15).
Western Province 23 – 25 Sharks
Lions 43 – 20 Cheetahs
Blue Bulls 35 – 20 Griquas
Olympic 7s qualifying – With the London Olympics over, it’s time for us rugby folks to get over our betrayal at Rugby not being an exhibition event in London and toward being a full event in Rio. So far, here is what the IRB and IOC have agreed will be the qualification process for the men:
The Men’s Olympic qualification process will have three stages:
• Stage 1 – HSBC Sevens World Series
• Stage 2 – Regional Olympic Qualification Tournaments (ROQTs)
• Stage 3 – World Olympic Qualification Tournament (WOQT)
• Four teams will qualify directly from the HSBC SWS into the Olympics based on Rankings achieved in the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series
• England, Scotland and Wales will participate in the HSBC SWS as individual countries (should they qualify as core teams) with the highest ranked team in the top four of the 2014/15 HSBC SWS rankings qualifying Great Britain into the Olympics. Should one of the countries fail to get a top four ranking then the GB countries will attempt to qualify through the Regional FIRA-AER tournament and subsequently the World Olympic Qualification Tournament
• Six teams will qualify from Regional Olympic Qualification Tournaments to be held in 2015 with a quota of one team from each IRB Region securing direct qualification
• Two teams will qualify from a final World Olympic Qualification Tournament which will be the final stage in the Olympic Qualification process and can take place any time up until two weeks prior to the Rio 2016 Games. The tournament could be a 12 or 16 team format
• Teams will qualify into the World Olympic Qualification Tournament based on rankings achieved in their respective Regional Olympic Qualifications Tournaments with an agreed quota of places from each Region to be determined by the IRB
• If the Host Country is given an automatic qualification place then only one team will qualify from the World Olympic Qualification Tournament
RWU Book Club – World Cup winning New Zealand All Blacks Coach Graham Henry and Scrum-half Piri Weepu will be releasing biographies in the upcoming weeks. Henry’s book is called “The Final Word“ in it he reveals his suspicion of match-fixing in the the ’07 RWC Quarter-final loss to France. Weepu’s book is called “Piri: Straight Up“ in it he details the rift with Mark Hammett that made him leave the S15 Hurricanes for The Blues. Check the traditional online book outlets to get your copy.
All-Americans – The USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate All-Americans were in action over the weekend. Both the 7s and 15s team were up against tough competition. The 15s team were in Ireland for a two match tour. The 15s side played Connacht Academy on Aug. 11 and won 19-17. The 7s team were in The 7s was in Glendale, Colo., for the Serevi Rugbytown Sevens tournament this weekend, the CAAs were in the Plate Semis at the last check.
That is it for me for now. Tune in tomorrow for a rumored appearance from England star Mathew Drew Turner, but nobody can be sure of his whereabouts in the off-season… In the meantime, leave your comments below, tell some mates about us and please find us on the Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page or on Twitter @JunoirBlaber and @RugbyWrapUp, respectively. And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.