Weekend Rugby Recap: USA vs Uruguay, Tokyo 7s, Pro 12 and Player moves

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Fiji in JapanNEW YORK, NY: There was a busy weekend of rugby action that covered all corners of the globe. The 3 top leagues in Europe (Aviva Premiership, Rabodirect Pro 12 and Top 14) near the business end of the season… In the Super 15 it was a  topsy-turvy weekend of action, while in a  Rugby World Cup Qualifier (RWCQ), the USA and Uruguay had at it in Montevideo.  Finally, the Tokyo 7s was in full bloom (Brave Blossoms reference), as well.  That said, let’s get to the Weekend Rugby Recap.

RWCQ:  The RWCQ match between the USA and Uruguay (#USAvUru) was an incredibly frustrating affair as Uruguay played to their strengths while the USA did the opposite. Our friend Ray’s Rugby has put together a great review.

Here are the results:
SAT– 22nd MAR 14
Uruguay 27 – 27 USA

Zach Test
Zach Test

Japan 7s:  The Tokyo 7s or the Japan 7s featured a few surprises.  The AIG New Zealand All Black 7s side not in the final and losing to England for 3rd place was one of them. The South African 7s Blitzbokke were expected to win the final against Fiji but Fiji didn’t read the script. This means Fiji, NZ and SA have each won 2 stops on the circuit, however Fiji is in a distant third in the standing trailing first place SA by 20 points and NZ by 18 due to their inconsistent finishes in the other tournaments. The USA tied Fiji in pool play and were close to beating SA in the Cup quarterfinals (the first time all 2013/2014 series they got to a cup quarterfinal). They then went on to beat Canada for the first time in a long time in the Plate Semifinal before running out of gas against Australia in the Plate final to fall just short again. It was great progress for the USA, as Zach Test was named to the Team of the Tournament. We will cover this some more during our tournament preview of the Hong Kong Sevens, later this week.

Here are the results:
Cup: South Africa
Second: South Africa
Third: England
Plate: Australia
Bowl: Wales
Shield: Argentina

Top 14: Our very own Mssr. James Harrington is the master chef of our Top 14 du-jour. The playoff race and the relegation race are incredibly gripping.  CLICK HERE.

Aviva Premiership: The man from the East Midlands of EnglandNick Hall, will be back later in the week with talking points. As for the weekend’s action, Wasps narrowly escaped Worcester with a win, Sale Sharks sprung a surprise on table toppers Northampton, Gloucester needed everything they had to get by Newcastle. Saracens easily defeated Harlequins in Wembly in a a match attended by 80,000+ people. Bath easily put away London Irish and Leicester brought Exeter back down to earth after this LV= Cup victory.

Here are the results:
FRI – 21ST MAR 14
Worcester 11 – 13 Wasps
SAT – 22ND Mar 14
Sale Sharks 19 – 6 Northampton
Gloucester 40 – 33 Newcastle
Saracens 39 – 17 Harlequins
London Irish 23 – 44 Bath
SUN – 23RD MAR 14
Leicester 45 – 15 Exeter

Rabodirect Pro12: In the Pro 12, the top three teams are jostling for playoff position. Leinster, who are in 1st place shutout Zebre. 2nd place Munster surprisingly struggled to get by Treviso, and 3rd place Ulster won a dire affair against Edinburgh. Currently in the 4th and final playoff spot is Ospreys who tightened their grip by dismissing Cardiff, Glasgow has two games in hand on the Top 4 and are in 5th place were able to struggle past 6th place Scarlets, who were mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs. In a match for the fans and for pride, Dragons were outclassed by Connacht.

Here are the results:
FRI – 21ST MAR 14
Ospreys 34 – 9  Cardiff Blues
Leinster 27 – 0   Zebre
Edinburgh 3 – 9 Ulster
SAT – 22ND MAR 14
Glasgow 14 – 6   Scarlets
Munster 14 – 3   Benetton Treviso
SUN – 23RD MAR 14
Newport Gwent Dragons 8 – 24 Connacht

Super RugbyThe RWU  Super Rugby Superman, Jamie Wall, has a hilarious and brilliant review of round 6. He did lose his title as a clairvoyant because of the weekend’s results though.  CLICK HERE.

Juan Pablo Socino
Juan Pablo Socino

Unconverted Try:
Signings/Player Moves:  Newcastle have signed up Argentine centre Juan Pablo Socino, who is to join the Falcons from Rotherham Titans, where he is the leading points scorer in the Greene King IPA Championship this season. The Falcons also signed Dom Barrow and Scott Wilson to two-year extensions. Edinburgh have confirmed that Scotland hooker Ross Ford has extended his contract through 2016. Young and talented Wales winger Harry Robinson is switching clubs from Cardiff Blues to the Scarlets come the end of the current season.

USA Rugby News and Updates: USA Rugby announced their man roster for the 12-man roster for the English Schools Rosslyn Park Sevens. The Sevens side contains nine players that played in the Las Vegas Invitational and adds Ben Pendowski, senior, Budd Bay Barbarians, Jahlani Tavai, senior, Los Angeles Rugby Club, and Jesse Mander, senior, St Paul’s, LondonClick here for the full roster and report.

IRB appeal of disciplinary hearing upheld:  In a very litigious and precedent legal matter, an independent appeal officer has upheld an appeal by the International Rugby Board of the sanction applied to a player found to have physically abused a match official during a match in the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup in Australia recently. The specifics of the event state that following the match between Argentina Pampas XV and Samoa A, which took place in Canberra, Australia, on March 11, Samoa A player Ausetalia Vaiomanu was cited under Law 10.4 (m) for acts contrary to good sportsmanship, specifically, physical abuse of the referee. After considering the mitigating factors, including the player’s unblemished disciplinary record and his remorse, the appeal officer reduced the otherwise applicable entry point sanction from 48 weeks to 32 weeks. As such, the player is suspended for 32 weeks, effective immediately. He is therefore suspended from all forms of Rugby up to and including October 26, 2014.

Pools drawn for Sevens showdown in Hong Kong: Following the Toyko 7s, the IRB announced the pools for the Hong Kong 7s. This years tournament will feature the extra three pools (Pool E-G) of 12 teams competing for the one relegation spot to become fulltime members of the series.

Pool A: Fiji, Kenya, Wales, Sri Lanka
Pool B: South Africa, Australia, France, Spain
Pool C: England, Canada, Argentina, Portugal
Pool D: New Zealand, United States, Scotland, Samoa
Pool E: Russia, Zimbabwe, Chile, Barbados
Pool F: Hong Kong, Italy, Tunisia, American Samoa
Pool G: Japan, Cook Islands, Uruguay, Trinidad & Tobago

Wales plan ‘Probables’ v ‘Possibles’: With the Welsh Regional sides almost all knocked out of the Rabodirect Pro 12 playoffs, it appears that Warren Gatland is looking to have a Probables versus Probables match to make sure the players are ready and not undercooked for their tour to South Africa in the summer.

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.

Speaking of Warren Gatland, here he was early last year, playing his cards close regarding the B & I Lions and BOD:

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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.