Weekend Rugby Recap: HK7s, USA Rugby Qualifies, Pro12, Player News

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USA Celebrate Andrew Suniula's try. Courtesy USA Rugby

USA Celebrate Andrew Suniula’s try. Courtesy USA Rugby

NEW YORK, NY:  Fans of good rugby were celebrating the Hong Kong 7s, while USA Rugby fans were celebrating their  qualification for the Rugby World Cup… In Europe, fans of its  3 top leagues  (Aviva Premiership, RaboDirect Pro 12 and Top 14) were tense as they hope their teams make the playoffs, avoid relegation or just show some professionalism and spirit… For fans in the Southern HemisphereSuper 15 is starting to near its midway point and some already know it time to look forward to 2015, while others are waiting for things to get clearer. Enough talk though, lets dive into, the weekend rugby recap:

Hong Kong 7s:  The Hong Kong 7s are over, leaving only two more stops on the 7s series. The AIG New Zealand All Black 7s winning of the tournament mean that the South African 7s Blitzbokke are the only side that can realistically deny them a series title though, Fiji still have a mathematical chance. USA did another good job of getting out of their pool and qualifying for the cup, though it had to be on points difference as the let their guard down and lost to Scotland. The USA made the Shield semi-final, only to lose to South Africa. A rampant England made a great run to the final game and as predicted in our tournament preview, Japan won promotion to become one of the 15 core sides of the series. Their promotion comes with the confirmation of Spain‘s relegation.

Cup: New Zealand
Second: England

Third: Fiji
Plate: South Africa
Bowl: Scotland
Shield: Kenya
Promotion: Japan

Rugby World Cup Qualifier:  The second RWCQ match between the USA and Uruguay was a great match, if you were an Eagles fan. Some players really stepped to the forefront and when it was needed. Why the lads put themselves in such a predicament is anyone’s guess. The Teros of Uruguay put up a great fight for a team that was suppose to be over-match. They are actually favorites to  make it through the repechage round and still qualify for  Rugby World Cup 2015. I was sent a tweet by Andrew Snook linking some great match photos, check them out. Also check out our match review.

Here are the results:
SAT– 29th MAR 14
USA 32 – 13 Uruguay

Top 14: Our Top14 guru  James Harrington has all the coverage of this round’s action, as the battle for playoffs and relegation continues.  CLICK HERE.

Aviva Premiership: East Midlands Machiavellian Rugger Nick Hall will be back later in the week with the weekend’s talking points. As for the weekend’s results, Sale Sharks continued their great form by stealing a road win against Bath by the slimmest margin possible… Harlequins with their full compliment of England internationals made short work of London IrishGloucester eeked out a road win of their own against Exeter, while Saracens cemented their lead at the top by dispatching Wasps… In another match between Leicester and Northampton, filled with controversy and involving Wayne Barnes and Dylan Hartley, Leicester won… Worcester secured their first win of the Premiership season against Newcastle to give some hope to their fans that they may escape relegation.

Here are the results:
FRI – 28TH MAR 14
Bath 11 – 12 Sale Sharks
SAT – 29TH MAR 14
Harlequins 23 – 9 London Irish
Exeter 13 – 14 Gloucester
Wasps 20 – 32 Saracens
Northampton 16 – 22 Leicester
SUN – 30TH MAR 14
Newcastle 12 – 17 Worcester

The one and only BOD

The one and only BOD

Rabodirect Pro12: The O’Classico match between Leinster and Munster  was another classic affair and the difference was? None other than Brian O’Driscoll, as he scored the match’s only try to lead Leinster to victory… Glasgow kept alive their hopes of making the playoffs by edging out Ospreys… The two Italian sides showed good form at home, as Zebre tied Newport-Gwent Dragons and Treviso defeated Edinburgh… Ulster hurt their chances of a home playoff by losing on the road to Cardiff and Scarlets defeated Connact to hand 3 of the 4 Irish provinces a loss.

Here are the results:
FRI – 28TH MAR 14
Glasgow 11 – 9 Ospreys
SAT – 29TH MAR 14
Zebre 25 – 25 Newport-Gwent Dragons
Benetton Treviso 20 – 16 Edinburgh
Cardiff Blues 28 – 23 Ulster
Leinster 22 – 18 Munster
SUN – 30TH MAR 14
Scarlets 32 – 30 Connacht

Super RugbyThe RWU  Super Rugby Superman, Jamie Wall,  is busy fighting some evil rugby version of Lex Luthor (we believe, likely a Saffa). Anyway, not wishing to steal his thunder and unique was of recapping matches…

Here are the results:
Hurricanes 29 – 26 Crusaders
Rebels 32 – 24 Brumbies
Blues 30 – 12 Highlanders
Reds 22 – 17 Stormers
Bulls 34 – 34 Chiefs
Sharks 32 – 10 Waratahs

Juan Smith

Juan Smith

Unconverted Try:
Signings/Player Moves: Gloucester‘s signing binge for the 2014/2015 season continues as they have revealed that Leeds Carnegie fullback Stevie McColl is the latest player to agree a move to Kingsholm. Not satisfied, they also added vastly experienced international Wasps second row Tom Palmer for next season… Newcastle Falcons made a big pick-up of their own with news that scrum-half Ruki Tipuna will join the club on a two-year deal from Bristol, next season… Ulster tighthead prop Wiehahn Herbst has signed a three-year contract and will join them next season from the Super 15 SharksUnconfirmed reports are saying that veteran Biarritz scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili has been linked with a switch to the promotion-chasing Lyon at the end of the season. Two men that won’t be returning to Lyon are former French stalwarts Lionel Nallet and Sébastien Chabal who have said they are highly likely to retire at the end of the season, promotion or not… Springbok wing/full-back Gio Aplon will leave the Super 15 Stormers at the end of the season to join Grenoble…  Personal favorite and former Springbok flank Juan Smith has extended his contract with European champions Toulon until 2016.

USA Rugby News and Updates: Immediately following their qualification for the #RWC2015 USA Rugby USA Rugby announced a new partner for the their RWC2015 campaign. Heathrow Express, the premium Heathrow Airport-to-central London train service, is now official partner of USA Rugby.

Carlin Isles 15s debut: The fastest man in rugby will made his 15s debut in Scotland at Hawick on Saturday in the colors of Ayr .  There isn’t full coverage of the game but we have video of a disallowed try by Isles. Great effort with a fundamental error that drives youth coaches crazy. Keep working hard Carlin, you will get there!

Pools for Glasgow 7s: The pools for the Glasgow 7s were drawn immediately following the finale of the Hong Kong 7s. The Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens will take place on 3-4 May 2014.

Here are the Pools: 

Pool A
New Zealand
South Africa
Samoa
Portugal

Pool B
England
Canada
France
Japan

Pool C
Fiji
Wales
Argentina
Kenya

Pool D
Australia
USA
Scotland
Spain

Euro Deal delayed: Financial concerns have delayed the signing of a new accord until possibly next week, as a solution for European club rugby edges closer. The is concern from the Italian Federation regarding funding but mainly the new qualification process. This appears to be a minor bump in the road as all parties still expect to announce the new deal later in the week.

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 BlaberDJ EberleNick HallJames HarringtonCody KuxmannJaime LoydKaren Ritter Jamie Wall and Declan Yeats, respectively.

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

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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.

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