NEW YORK, NY – Of the 6 inhabited continents in the world, rugby action on 5 of them were covered by the RWU staff. We officially know who will be in the playoffs for the Top 14 and the Aviva Premiership and the Pro12 picture is almost crystal clear baring the spectacular… Super Rugby has finished round 2 and if things were interesting before the round started, they just got really intriguing… There was also a global buffet of Tier 3 action, ranging from The Caribbean, South America, Asia and Europe plus we have all the weeks transactions… and USA Rugby! Its time for the Weekend Rugby Recap:
Glasgow 7s: There were a few interesting storylines that came out of the Glasgow 7s. The AIG New Zealand All Black 7s all but wrapped up their 12th series title with another tournament win. The won the cup against Canada, who were making the their first Cup final of this year’s series. Fiji won third by ending the miracle run of the tournament host, Scotland. England defeated Kenya to win the Plate while France won the Bowl against Argentina and Wales were happy to win the Shield against Japan. The USA had their worst performance since Dubai and will bring back grumbles from its rowdy fanbase.
Here are the results:
Final Cup: New Zealand 54 – 7 Canada
Third Place: Fiji 17 – 10 Scotland
Final Plate: England 26 – 5 Kenya
Final Bowl: Argentina 14 – 20 France
Final Shield: Japan 12 – 29 Wales
Aviva Premiership – The East Midlands Machiavellian, Nick Hall, will be back later in the week with a great review of the penultimate weeks action and the what that means for the final week, including promotion from the Greene King IPA Championship to the Aviva Premiership. Meanwhile, in a playoff preview Bath and Northampton fought to a standstill, Saracens confirmed Worcester‘s relegation, Gloucester came out on top against London Irish. Wasps won a shootout against Newcastle and Harlequins scrapped by Exeter by the slimmest margin possible.
Here are the results:
FRI – 2ND MAY 14
Bath 19 – 19 Northampton
SAT – 3RD MAY 14
Saracens 44 – 20 Worcester
Gloucester 38 – 30 London Irish
Wasps 44 – 38 Newcastle
Sale 22 – 42 Leicester
SUN – 4TH MAY 14
Exeter 29 – 30 Harlequins
Rabodirect Pro12 – The penultimate weekend of action saw the league leaders, Leinster confirm their place at the top by edging out Ulster, who despite the lose seem secure in the 4th and final playoff spot. Glasgow dominated Treviso and maintaining their tenuous grip on 2nd place, guaranteeing a home playoff match, ahead Munster, who steamrolled Edinburgh. Scarlets put on a proud display and won against Newport-Gwent play for pride in a Welsh regional derby match. In the final match of the weekend, Connacht came up short against Cardiff.
Here is the midweek result and this weekend’s schedule:
FRI – 2ND MAY 14
Benetton Treviso 16 – 38 Glasgow
Scarlets 34 – 23 Newport Gwent Dragons
Ulster 20 – 22 Leinster
SAT – 3RD MAY 14
Edinburgh 12 – 55 Munster
Connacht 15 – 22 Cardiff Blues
Super Rugby – According to our the RWU Super Rugby Superman, Jamie Wall, says that this was a big weekend in Super Rugby with results that will shake up, each conference. Please CLICK HERE for the review.
Tier 3 – As for the Tier 3 calendar this weekend there was action 3 continents. The European Nations Cup consists of 7 divisions, each with 4-6 teams. The upcoming matches determine who will get promoted and relegated form groups 1A, 1B, 2A – 2D, and 3A. Austria rolled Slovenia and Latvia came back victorious from Denmark.
The SAMC is the same as the two previously mentioned tournaments but for South America and that has 4 divisions featuring 15 teams. In that competition, we witnessed Uruguay‘s B side take on and comfortably beat Brazil in Brazil, while Chile just got by Paraguay.
The Asian5N is short for the Asian 5 Nations, which is similar to the ENC but with 5 divisions and 5 teams in each. Both matches this weekend will be doubling as RWC Qualifiers (RWCQs). The Philippines were not as embarrassed as they were last week about they destroyed by Japan and Hong Kong had an easy time of it against Sri Lanka.
In a Caribbean international test, the Cayman Islands put away Bahamas with no trouble.
Here is this weekend’s schedule:
SAT– 3rd MAY 14
ENC Austria 20 – 8 Slovenia
ENC Denmark 9 – 16 Latvia
SAMC Brazil 9 – 34 Uruguay
SAMC Chile 22 – 18 Paraguay
ASIA5N/RWCQ Philippines 10 – 99 Japan
ASIA5N/RWCQ Sri Lanka 10 – 41 Hong Kong
Men’s International Bahamas 7 – 35 Cayman Islands
Signings/Player Moves: Sale Sharks confirmed the signing of Italy full-back Luke McLean, who will join the club at the end of this season from Treviso. Wales star James Hook and Stormers backrower Deon Fourie are apparently targets for newly-promoted Top 14 side, Lyon. Toulon proudly annouced the signing of a 2 year contract with France lock Romain Taofifenua. Uncapped Argentina Prop Ramiro Herrera has signed a new two year deal with Mssr. Harrington’s Castres. Herrera has only recently arrived and had only played two Top14 matches so he must have really impressed in those matches and on the training pitch.
USA Rugby News and Updates: Brigham Young University (BYU) confirmed their status as the new giant of USA College Rugby as they beat Cal-Berkley for a second straight Varsity Cup final. BYU remained composed and clinical while Cal looked sloppy and could not get out of their own way.
Final score: BYU 43 – 33 Cal-Berkley
In D1A college playoffs, St. Mary’s and Life University will meet in a rematch of their own, as they each won their semi-finals to face off in the final The two meet last season in a final defined by a controversial try in Life’s favor. St. Mary’s are the favorites as they already beat the aforementioned Varsity Cup finalists Cal and BYU.
Unions confirm Super Rugby changes: The 3 Nations that make up SANZAR (South Africa New Zealand Australia Rugby) announced via their individual CEOs that there will be changes to Super Rugby for the 2016 season. The main highlights are:
• Competition expanded to 18 teams from 2016 – South Africa 6th, Argentina, plus new team
• Shorter competition – from 21 weeks to 20 weeks
• All teams play one less match in a regular season – from 16 matches to 15
• Four conferences playing in two regional Groups – South Africa and Australasia.
As per the picture and press release, a new team will be added to give the South African Conference 10 teams. SANZAR is now on a worldwide search for that 18th Super Rugby team. It is critical for the the four conference, two group model that will drive the competition. Rumors are it may either another Argie team, a side comprised of African rugby players that are not South African or a European side. Stay tuned for more information.
Dates set for Anglo-French play-offs: The play-offs for the final berth in next season’s newly-created European Rugby Champions Cup will take place on the 17th and 24th of May.The seventh-highest finishing clubs from Top 14 and the Premiership will face off in a two-leg showdown for a place in Europe’s top club competition. The two sides appear to be London Wasps and Stade Francias, however we will await the final announcement.
Organizers reschedule 2015 Rugby World Cup Final: The 2015 Rugby World Cup organizers have announced an updated match schedule for next year’s global showpiece in England. The Rugby World Cup 2015 Final at Twickenham on October 31 moves from 17:00GMT to 16:00GMT.
Marriott London Sevens Draw: The draw for the final leg of the IRb World 7s Series was made following the Scotland final. They are
Pool A: New Zealand, Argentina, Wales and England
Pool B: Canada, Kenya, Samoa and USA
Pool C: Fiji, Australia, Spain and Japan
Pool D: Scotland, South Africa, France and Portugal
Feek goes full-time with Ireland: The Irish Rugby Football Union has announced that scrum coach Greg Feek has agreed a full-time role with them from the start of next season.
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, Karen Ritter , Jamie Wall, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.
And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs!