Weekend Rugby Recap: Las Vegas 7s, LV= Cup, Top14, Warburton and more

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South Africa LV7s 2014NEW YORK, NY – The key two letters for rugby this weekend were L and V. As in Las Vegas, USA 7s  and the LV=Cup. cover. Both the Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect Pro 12 were on bye weeks in preparation for the upcoming the 6 Nations. The only major domestic league in action was the Top14. That still leaves plenty of action and not to mention news to cover, so let’s get into the Weekend Rugby Preview.

International Rugby: There is no longer a 6 Nations for A sides, with Wales demolishing their A side. However the countries that still do have A sides have matching during the 6 Nations window to gauge upcoming talent. England A or the Saxons as they are now called played their Irish Counterparts the Irish Wolfhounds. The Irish came out on top in a tight match.

Here are the results:
SAT – 25TH JAN 14
England Saxons 8 – 14 Ireland Wolfhounds

Top14: Our Top14expert pundit, James Harrington has a  review of all the weekend’s games. It will be interesting to see how some clubs performed without their French Internationals. As  part of a new agreement between the FFR (Federation de French Rugby) and the LNR (Ligue de National Rugby) the 23 players chosen for the French Squad were given the weekend off.

LV=Cup_std_neg_4colgrad3DCMYKLV= Cup: The Anglo-Welsh Cup enjoyed the penultimate round of pool play. It was a good weekend for the home teams as 7 out 8 treated their fans to a victory. The only team whose fans went home unhappy were Newport-Gwent fans as the fell to Northampton. Fellow Welsh sides Ospreys lost on the road to in-form Exeter and Cardiff were no match for Bath.  The only Welsh side to win were Scarlets won a tight one against Gloucester. Sale easily dispatched of lowly Worcester, Wasps struggled past London Irish and Saracens dominated Newcastle. The most talked about match of the round was Harlequins defeat of Leicester. The match was called off after 70 minutes due to dangerous weather. By dangerous, we mean heavy winds resulting in falling scaffolding and flying advertising boards at the Harlequins’ Stoop in Twickenham. The stadium caretaker informed the referee, he couldn’t guarantee safe conditions and the referee called off the match. Both coaches have come out in full sport of the the referees decision.

Here are the results:
FRI – 24TH JAN 14
Scarlets 13 – 7 Gloucester
SAT – 25TH JAN 14
Sale Sharks 20 – 6 Worcester
Newport-Gwent Dragons 16 – 34 Northampton
Bath 24 – 13 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 36 – 22 Ospreys
Harlequins 20 – 6 Leicester
Wasps 22 – 15 London Irish
SUN – 26TH JAN 14
Saracens 41 – 8 Newcastle

USA 7s:  Our tournament predictions were once again proven to be way off the mark. However, we were correct in predicting some great matches and breathtaking action. The USA did win some hardware as predicted but not the one predicted. South Africa repeated as champs and actually leapfrogged New Zealand in the overall standings. Jonathan Wicklow Barberie will have lots of great footage and interviews.

Here are the results:
Cup: South Africa
Second: New Zealand
Third: Canada
Plate: England
Bowl: Fiji
Shield: USA

Conversion Kick:
Wellington 7s: With Las Vegas in books, The IRB begins looking ahead to the next stop in the series. The next stop will be Wellington, New Zealand on February 7 and 8th.

Here are the results:
Pool A
England
Portugal
South Africa
Wales

Pool B
Fiji
France
New Zealand
Spain

Pool C
Argentina
Canada
United States
Scotland

Pool D
Australia
Samoa
Kenya
Tonga

 

Warburton on War-Path
Warburton

Signings/Player Moves:
After losing Leigh Halfpenny, to Toulon for around €350K a year, Cardiff Blues made a contract offer to Sam Warburton in the range of £200K however Warburton signed a contract with the Wales Rugby Union (the first of its kind in Wales) for rumored to be around £270K. However the Blues have a policy of not accepting centrally contracted players. The battle between Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) and the WRU continues. Warburton’s teammate on the national team Alun-Wyn Jones signed his contract with his regional side Ospreys. Hopefully things will sort themselves out, but we will keep you posted.

In other Welsh rugby news, Wales reserve hooker, Sam Parry will be leaving Dragons to join Ospreys at the end of the season. Cardiff flanker Thomas Young will be moving to Aviva Premiership, Gloucester. This leads us to Aviva signings and the first of note is that Australia’s reserve scrum-half Brett Sheehan has signed for London Wasps until the end of the season as scrumhalf cover. In big news, Harlequins have signed Marland Yarde from London Irish and Asaeli Tikoirotuma from the Chiefs, these reports haven’t been confirmed be the teams and players involved.

The movement of SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia Rugby) players to the Northern Hemisphere is common but these 17 Springboks will be staying put in SA. The 17 includes Willem Alberts (loose forward), Jean de Villiers (centre), Bismarck du Plessis (hooker), Jannie du Plessis (prop), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Siya Kolisi (loose forward), Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Frans Steyn (utility back), Adriaan Strauss (hooker) and Duane Vermeulen (number eight). The remaining 7 players were recieving their first contracts from the SARU and the newly-contracted players are Marcell Coetzee (loose forward), JJ Engelbrecht (centre/wing), Francois Hougaard (scrum-half), Patrick Lambie (fly-half/full-back), Willie le Roux (full-back/wing), Coenie Oosthuizen (prop) and Flip van der Merwe (lock).

That’s it for now… feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann, Jaime Loyd and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.

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About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at MeetTheMatts.com.