NEW YORK, NY – The rather light weekend saw three big matches, with the Super 15 semi-finals as the main attraction. But there are a few big matches during the week, so we’ll preview those in the RWU Weekend Wrap-Up.
Chiefs v Crusaders: In a thriller of a match, the reigning champion Chiefs came back to defeat the Crusaders. The Crusaders went up in the first half through the boot of Dan Carter. In the second the Chiefs were aided by an intercept try by Aaron Cruden but the game turned when Chiefs captain Craig Clarke went against general wisdom and decided to kick to touch on penalty instead of a kick at goal. Off the ensuing line-out, the Chiefs worked their way over the Crusaders line. The Crusaders did come back to score a try and a kick at goal to narrow it down to one point but the Chief defense/composure held steady, thus the enormous victory.
Chiefs 20 – 19 Crusaders
Bulls v Brumbies: In a HUGE upset, the Brumbies went into Fortress Loftus and sneaked out with a win. It was no so much the Brumbies winning things much as it was the Bulls losing the game. In a tight contest from start to finish, the Bulls turned down a kickable penalty early in the game and late in the game. The Bulls unfortunately were not able to defy conventional wisdom – like the Chiefs – and squandered their kick to touch before kicking for goal again on a later penalty. This left them with no time left when the Brumbies patiently went up the field and scored a beautiful try to win the game.
Bulls 23 – 26 Brumbies
Kings v Lions: Two controversial calls by the man-in-middle Jaco Peyper, played a key role in the first leg of the relegation/promotion series match-up. The match was tight for a good portion of the day, with the teams trading pens and tries but the Lions pulled ahead by 12 late in the game, due to Peyper’s refusal to use the TMO. After a ball had been kicked forward near the Lions tryline, it was brought back into the in-goal by the Lions. But Peyper believed it was the kick and sought no confirmation. Moments later as a result of the ensuing 22-meter drop, the Lions crashed over using a play that Peyper had called for a forward pass twice in the game already. However, this time Peyper didn’t call or question the pop pass and awarded the try. The Kings would score an unconverted try later but couldn’t breach the Lions line again before the 80 minute mark was up.
Kings 19 – 26 Lions
J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s: The premier domestic club 7s kicks off this Thursday with Group A action. This is a 7s competition between all the teams of the Aviva Premiership. It allows you to watch most of the clubs superb backline and backrow players, featuring talented players from the National 15s team, fringe players of the National 7s team and many outstanding prospects from the academy programs, including several members of the JWC Champion, England U-20 side. We can go more into detail on Friday’s preview, Here is the Group A info:
Thursday 1 August
Kingsholm, Gloucester Rugby
Teams: Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, Worcester Warriors
KO: 7.15pm (GMT)
Womens Nations Cup: The University of Northern Colorado will host the senior women’s portion of the Nations Cup. All the smart money will be on England, as the second ranked team in the world. However, it is expected that they will bring a developmental side to the tourney. This gives a huge opportunity for USA and Canada to surprise England. With the roll Canada rugby has been on this year, it is tough to not see them eventually make the final. The journey begins this Saturday. Here are the fixtures:
Canada – England
USA – South Africa
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, @ckuxmann and @Ebstide52, respectively. And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.