PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: It was busy weekend of rugby, including the much anticipated Lions vs Barbarians match. Let’s look at the international matches before we get to the domestic contests. Brace yourself, it will be our usual whirlwind ride.
Lions v Barbarians: It was expected to be the big match of the weekend. To be a classic quality display and unfortunately it never hit those heights. One has to wonder if the Barbarians as a rugby institution actually work in the pro era. The brand is legendary but might need some restructuring to make it able to compete with some of these national squads out there. As for the Lions some did there chances of a test start some good, others like Owen Farrell didn’t. Final Score: Barbarians 8 – 59 British & Irish Lions
England v CONSUR XV: In a match where England played fringe players against a Tier 2 &3 all-star team, England didn’t look as impressive as expected. CONSUR is the governing body of South America rugby this was an all-star team made up of players from the countries, not counting Argentina of course. The match was a warm-up match before England face Argentina next weekend. Final Score:
Consur XV 21 – 41 England
Pacific Nations Cup:
The good news for Japan is that the part of their tournament that has them in Polynesia is over. The bad news is they leave 0-2. They lost in Fiji and currently sit at the bottom, but they still have the USA and Canada to play, so we will see what they can do.
Fiji 22 – 8 Japan
Other Internationals: NACRA stands for North American Caribbean Rugby Association and they have their championships going on. In the Semi-finals Cayman Islands defeated Bermuda and Trinidad & Tobago defeated Guyana, to set-up a potentially entertaining final. In European Nations Cup and RWC Qualifier action, Sweden did enough to stop a physical Poland squad.
Cayman Islands 20 – 14 Bermuda
Trindad & Tobago 20 – 0 Guyana
Sweden 19 – 11 Poland
Junior World Trophy: The Junior (Under-20) World Rugby Trophy is a second tier competition of the Junior World Cup. The winner gets promoted to the Junior World Cup competition which features mainly the top tier nations in international rugby. It is being held in Chile this year. The Tourney is still in pool play phase, but teams like Tonga and Italy are stating their case early. Here are the results:
Chile 6 – 50 Italy
Tonga 35 – 20 Uruguay
Portugal 26 – 17 Namibia
Japan 15 – 39 Canada
Top 14 Final: Toulon v Castres
The Top 14 final has finally been played. Toulon were denied a double by the upstarts Castres. No team has down in Heineken Cup title and domestic double since Wasps in 2007/2008. However let us not let the Heineken cup deny Castres of the the true credit they deserve. They had to beat the number 1 and 2 teams in France and in Europe to win this title. Say what you will but that is not an easy task. You can say there was a Heineken Cup hangover for Clermont, but Toulon didn’t appear effected in their semi-final. Castres just outworked and outplayed Toulon from start to finish. Final Score:
Toulon 14 – 19 Castres
SUPER 15 RUGBY: The much maligned Highlanders finally woke up from their slumber to shock the Blues. Everyone knew it was coming, just nobody knew when. It’s a shame it took securing of last place and the worst record ever for an NZ franchise for the Highlanders to play up to their potential. The Crusaders scrapped by the Waratahs and the Brumbies did well enough to beat the Hurricanes. The Reds got back to their winning ways. In South Africa, the Stormers won against the Kings in a match with relegation implications and the Bulls won the top of the table clash against the Cheetahs. Here are the results.
Crusaders 23 – 22 Waratahs
Brumbies 30 – 23 Hurricanes
Highlanders 38 – 28 Blues
Reds 33 – 20 Melbourne Rebels
Stormers 19 – 11 Southern Kings
Cheetahs 25 – 30 Bulls
That is it for now, feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats, @Mathew Drew Turner and @Ebstide52, respectively. And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.