June Internationals, PNC, JWC, USA Rugby News, Player Moves

USA v SCO: Photo courtesy of USA Rugby and Photo Travis Prior
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USA v SCO: Photo courtesy of USA Rugby and Photo Travis Prior
USA v SCO: Photo courtesy of USA Rugby and Photo Travis Prior

NEW YORK, NY- The 1st batch of June International Tour matches -occasionally referred to in the Southern Hemisphere as the Spring Tours – are in the bag.  The tours allow for the Northern Hemisphere sides of Europe to travel down to the Southern Hemisphere to take on their Southern hosts. In recent years, we have these sides travel to the Pacific Islands and to the Americas too. This results in loads of match-ups between tier 1 vs tier 1 sides, tier 1 vs tier 2, tier 2 vs tier 2 sides. If these matches were not enough, we have the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC), as well as the Junior World Cup matches. Then we cover Tier 3, the weekend’s transactions and as always USA rugby news.  With no more delay, let’s get into the Weekend Rugby Recap:

As always, ladies first: 
June Internationals  There were 2 international matches occurring this weekend. The AIG New Zealand Black Ferns thrashed pacific island neighbors Samoa as  the curtain raiser to the All Blacks match. The spotlight for these ladies was much very much deserved. Across the Tasman, Australia were shockingly blanked at home by rude guests Canada. The Canucks won’t have much time to celebrate as the next stop of their Australisian tour sees them take on the Black Ferns on Tuesday.

Here are the results: 
FRI – 7TH JUN 14
W INT Australia  0 – 22 Canada
W INT New Zealand  90 – 12 Samoa

Here is the midweek schedule:
TUE – 10TH JUN 14
W INT New Zealand  –  Canada

June Internationals – The first weekend of the Men’s June Internationals started with a big shock and continued with intense matches all the way throughout.  Unlike those mean old Kiwis that refuse to travel and play the pacific Island nations, Italy traveled to Fiji. In a match of clashing styles, Fiji’s run and gun rugby managed to topple Italy’s slow and steady set-piece rugby in a shock victory for the tiny island. Speaking of Kiwis, our resident Kiwi, Jamie Wall, has a review of the AIG All Blacks versus England posted. New Zealand’s Wall barely earned bragging rights over fellow staff member Nick Hall‘s understrength England. A tired France side lead by a clueless coach traveled to Australia promptly disappoint fans with a lackluster display as the Aussies cruised to victory. Our man in France, James Harrington , felt sick watch the game literally and figuratively but he did manage to congratulate RWU collegue  Working Class Rugger on the Aussie victory. In the other match-ups that didn’t have  RWU staff bragging rights on the line, South Africa trounced  a World XV, which was a Barbarians side in all but name, and Ireland got a hard fought win over Argentina for the first time in a long time, as Ireland begin life without Brian O’Driscoll. The match-up of the weekend from a USA rugby fan perspective saw the USA get dominated Scotland,  in Houston.  Later this week, our own Philly Rugby Phanatic, Jake Frechette will give his thoughts on the match-up and what this means for the rest of the USA’s summer matches. Wales will being their tour of South Africa with a midweek match on Tuesday against the Eastern Province Kings.

Here are the results:
FRI – 7TH JUN 14
TOUR Fiji  25 – 14  Italy
TOUR Argentina  17 – 29  Ireland
M INT South Africa 47 – 13  World XV
TOUR USA  6 – 24  Scotland
TOUR New Zealand  20 – 15  England
TOUR Australia  50 – 23  France

Here is the midweek schedule:
TUE – 10TH JUN 14
TOUR  EP Kings 0 – 0 Wales

Pacific Nations CupPacific Nations Cup – The Pacific Nations Cup is a tournament held between the six Pacific Rim nations of Fiji,JapanSamoaTongaCanada and the USA. The tournament is intended to strengthen the Tier 2 rugby nations by providing competitive test matches in a tournament format.  The PNC occurs along with the June internationals to ensure more games for these nations. With  Fiji and the USA  involved in tour matches, as already mentioned, the scheduled PNC matches for this weekend featured Pacific Islands rivals Samoa and Tonga fighting to a stand still and Canada be shocked at home as Japan scored 25 straight unanswered point to overcome a halftime deficit and reach 8 straight wins for the Brave Blossoms.

Here are the results:
SAT – 7TH JUN 14
PNC Samoa  18 – 18  Tonga
PNC Canada  25 – 34  Japan

Junior World Cup: The JWC is the yearly World Cup held for U-20 teams of the top tier rugby playing nations. Italy had to qualify for it by winning last year’s Junior World Trophy, the second tier competition. This year’s tournament is being held in New Zealand.  The third round of pool play will be intense as teams fight to qualify for the the semi-finals. There are 3 pools of 4, so only the 3 1st place teams and the top 2nd place team with the best record and point differential will qualify. This adds extra spice to the matches as a few are unpredictable. Ireland will face Fiji, while Australia take on Italy, Wales will tackle France, defending Champions England are up against Argentina, Samoa squares off against South Africa and finally hosts New Zealand must vanquish Scotland to have any chance at the playoffs.

Here is the midweek schedule:
TUE – 10TH JUN 14
JWC Ireland – Fiji
JWC Australia – Italy
JWC Wales – France
JWC England – Argentina
JWC Samoa – South Africa
JWC New Zealand – Scotland

Tier 3 The NACRA Championship is the tournament similar to those in other IRB regions. This tournament is for the countries in North America and the CaribbeanUSA Rugby competes in this tournament by sending the USA South Regional all-star team, in order to develop talent and make the competition a much fairer one. This weekend featured a full slate of matches beginning with the clash of regional powers Guyana and Trindad & Tobago, which saw Guyana dig deep to earn a victory. Jamaica were shocked by developing power Mexico, Bermuda were outclassed by the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands were too welcoming to St. Lucia , as the visitors left with a victory and tiny Curacao managed to defeat St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Here are the results:
SAT – 7TH JUN 14
NACRA CH Bermuda 3 – 24 Cayman Islands
NACRA CH British Virgin Islands 18 – 29 St. Lucia
NACRA CH Guyana 15 – 8  Trinidad & Tobago
NACRA CH Jamaica 8 – 34 Mexico
NACRA CH  St. Vincent & The Grenadines 12 – 19 Curacao

Africa Cup: The Africa Cup is an annual tournament of rugby that involves the best African national organized by the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). Given the difference in level with other national continental the South African national has so far participated in the national tournament with only minor (under 23 and amateurs), however, winning it three times. The Africa Cup 2014 was the fourteenth edition of the continental competition, there ar eup to 15 rugby countries from Africa . The National participants in the main division were divided into three groups of 14 merit ( 1A, 1B, and 1C ), with promotion and relegation. Tournaments Divisions 1A and 1B were valid for the qualification for the Rugby World Cup of 2015 . This year’s 1B tournament will be held in Tunis, Tunisia and starts with clashes on Tuesday between host Tunisia and Senegal, followed by Uganda versus Cote D’Ivoire.

Here is the midweek schedule:
TUE – 10TH JUN 14
AFRC Tunisia  –  Senegal
AFRC Uganda  –  Cote D’Ivoire

David Humphreys
David Humphreys

Conversion Kick:
Signings/Player Moves: London Wasps announced that flyhalf Joe Carlisle and 8man Rory Pitman are leaving the club after only one season with them. Newly promoted Aviva Premiership side London Welsh have begun their recruitment process by signing of Olly Barkley for next season… In a move that shocked rugby fans on both sides of the Irish Sea, Gloucester confirmed on Saturday the appointment of former Ireland fly-half David Humphreys as Director of Rugby at Kingsholm, replacing Nigel Davies.


USA Rugby News and Updates:
  Hopefully not lost in the shuffle and feeding off the energy of the USA-Scotland test match, was the Elite City 7s. The Elite City 7s is a 12-team tournament featuring 144 U.S.A.-eligible athletes, was played Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7, at nearby Houston Sports Park. The two-day competition between city-based all-star teams is designed to be a significant tool to evaluate talent and identify players who have the skills necessary to compete on an international stage. The winning city will join New York at the World Club 7s championship in London, next month. The final featured powerhouses Seattle (supported by Serevi Rugby) and San Diego. In the end Seattle managed to have a touch more class to win it. For a review of the tournament, footage and list of the all-tournament teams, Click HERE.

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!

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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.