Vermeulen, Kerevi, Perry Baker, USA Rugby, World Rugby News

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Duane Vermuelen using all means necessary to inflict pain

NEW YORK, NY – The weekend is over and there is a lot of action to cover for this one. We chained our staff to their desks in order to make sure all the Rugby news and transactions were covered. Not sure what workplace laws we violated to get all the results from the massive amount of fixtures at the club, franchise and Tier 2/3 international levels. Well enough talk about that, let’s get into the Global Recap:

News & Transactions:

Top14: Springbok eightman Duane Vermeulen has been instructed by South Africa Rugby to make himself available for the June Tests despite plans by Toulon to punish him and not pay his wages while he is away, if he does so. Another reason to hate Toulon, if that wasn’t enough, is that Vincent Clerc has denied that he has signed a contract to join Toulon for the 2016/2017 season after not being offered one by his club, Toulouse. Despite Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal suggesting so on Sunday with a “Welcome Mssr. Clerc” tweet.

English Premiership: Worcester Warriors lock Darren Barry has extended his contract with the Premiership team after impressing in his first season since joining the side from the Cornish Pirates (of the Championship) in 2015.

Samu Kerevi requires two tacklers at all times.

Samu Kerevi requires two tacklers at all times.

Super Rugby: The Melbourne Rebels have retained another stalwart with utility back Sefanaia Naivalu re-signing with the club until the end of 2019… Reds center Samu Kerevi has signed a two-year contract with Queensland Rugby Union, which will see him remain with the franchise until 2018… The Bulls have confirmed that the Border Rugby Union has signed up to be part of their Super Rugby franchise. Last week the Bulls announced that they had entered into a partnership agreement with Boland and the Pumas Rugby Unions. And last Friday confirmed that the Border Rugby Union is now also part of that agreement.

National-Championship-Series-USA-RugbyUSA Rugby: The 2016 Club Championship Men and Women’s Club Playoffs took place in Pittsburgh, Penn. and Tucson, Ariz., this weekend. The May 21 Quarterfinals and May 22 Semifinals for Men’s Divisions I, II, and III along with the The Women’s Division I and II quaters and semis were held at Founders Field in Pittsburgh and at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson. Our own Matt McCarthy was in the commentary both live on www.USARugbyTV.com. The final for each comp is now set and will be as follows:

  • Men’s Division I – Austin Blacks v Mystic River
  • Men’s Division II – Tempe Old Devils v Detroit Tradesmen
  • Men’s Division III – Faifield Yankees v Euless Texans
  • Women’s Division I – Seattle Saracens v Chicago North Shore
  • Women’s Division II – Life West v Wisconsin

While the Men’s Eagles Sevens were playing in the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London, the USA Men’s Falcons (that Eagles 7s B team) competed in the Howard Hinton Sevens tournament at Stade de la Vallée de Cher, France and made it as far as the semi-finals before losing to New Zealand‘s Select side (NZ’s B team)… The USA Women’s Falcons deservedly won the London Invitational Sevens, run alongside the Men’s World Rugby leg, by going unbeaten over the two days and defeating Canada 19-12 in the final.

For the second year in a row, the HSBC World Rugby Mens Sevens Series dream team featured an American. Last year it was Zach Test, this year it was flyer, Perry Baker.

Repechage 7s drawWorld Rugby: For more information on other award winners at the HSBC World Rugby Mens Sevens Series end of the season awards gala, click here. The Olympic Games Global Repechage Pool Allocation Draw were held this morning. The Men’s draw is to your right, for the Women’s draw please go to the World Rugby website.

The weekend’s fixtures:

London 7s: As we mentioned earlier, the 2015/2016 HSBC World Rugby Mens Sevens Series was  in London, this weekend. It was the final leg of the series. As we have done all series we have a review of the tournament and team USA‘s performance, if you just click here.

PRO Rugbypro-rugby-logo_sm: Heading into the sixth week of action,  San Francisco visited undefeated Denver and  Sacramento traveled to Ohio. Our friend, Crawford Miller has a review of the San Fransisco v Denver match-up while our staff reviewed the Sacramento-Ohio game.

Aviva Premiership LogoAviva Premiership: It was semi-final weekend for the 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership. In the semi-final match-ups, top seed Saracens trounced fourth place Leicester while second place Exeter fought off Wasps. Fittingly the final will be between the two highest ranked teams of the regular season.

Here are the results:
Sat – 21 May 2016
Saracens 44-17 Leicester Tigers
Exeter Chiefs 34-23 Wasps

Logo_Top14_2012Top 14: There are only a few rounds left in the Top 14 and the heat is on to make the playoffs or secure a place for Europe. In the first match of the weekend Agen lost big Toulon, then Brive almost doubled up on Grenoble, Castres crushed La Rochelle, Oyonnax fell to Toulouse, Racing trounced Pau and Montpellier edged out Bordeaux-Begles. The match of the round saw Clermont Auvergne win easily at home against Stade Francais.

Here are the results:
Sat – 21 May 2016
Agen 13-52 Toulon
Brive 45-24 Grenoble
Castres 67-20 La Rochelle
Oyonnax 17-25 Toulouse
Racing 92 43-13 Pau
Montpellier 19-16 Bordeaux-Begles
Sun – 22 May 2016
Clermont Auvergne 36-10 Stade Francais

Guinness Pro12Guinness Pro 12: The Pro 12 also had its semi-finals over the weekend. Similar to the Premiership, top seed Leinster easily defeated fourth seeded Ulster while the third seed and defending champions, Glasgow,  fell on the road against second seed Connacht.

Here are the results:
Fri – 20 May 2016
Leinster 30-18 Ulster
Sat – 21 May 2016
Connacht 16-11 Glasgow Warriors

Super Rugby: Super Rugby has gone from 6 teams in 1996 to 18 teams in 2016. It only covered 3 countries and 3 times zones then, now it has games in 6 countries, crosses more than 7 time zones and has four conferences. The latest round of fixtures, started with the Crusaders cruising past the Waratahs. Then we had the Reds taking down the Sunwolves, the Chiefs defeated the Rebels with ease. The Force lost a winnable game to the Blues, while the Lions won the big cat battle against the Jaguares, next was the Sharks snotklapping the Kings, and finally Bulls edged out the Stormers in a South Africa derby.

Here are the results:
Fri – 20 May 2016
Crusaders 29-10 Waratahs
Sat – 21 May 2016
Reds 35-25 Sunwolves
Chiefs 36-15 Rebels
Force 13-17 Blues
Lions 52-24 Jaguares
Sharks 53-0 Kings
Bulls 17-13 Stormers

Rugby Europe Logo

European Nations Cup: The ENC, or the 6 Nations “B” , is the premier tournament for the second-tier nations of Europe. Unbeknownst to some, the ENC consists of seven divisions, each featuring between four and six teams. The matches played will determine who will get promoted and relegated from groups 1B, 2A – 2D, and 3A over a two-year cycle. Division 1A, where the best teams in Europe not called England, Ireland, France, Italy, Wales or Scotland reside, has no promotion option – only relegation back to 1B. Hopefully promotion from 1A to the proper 6N will eventually occur… but we aren’t banking on it. As for the scheduled matches for this weekend, in 3A, Montenegro crushed Belarus and Estonia outfought and outlasted Slovakia.

Here are the results:
Sat – 21 May 2016
3A: Montenegro 45-19 Belarus
3A: Estonia 36-29 Slovakia

Asia_Rugby_Championship_logoThe Asian Rugby Championship: which is similar to the ENC (European Nation’s Cup) but with 5 divisions with the 3 most dominant teams, the tri-nations of Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan in the top division. There are 4 teams in division 1 and 2 then division 3 is broken up into East, Central and West with 3 teams each before we finally get to division 4 with 7. Believe it or not this is allegedly streamlined from previous years where it was just 5 divisions and 5 teams in each. This week in Division 2 there is a 1 week tournament to find out the best team between the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Guam, and Thailand. In weekend action, Korea were throttled by Japan in the Top 3 meanwhile in Division 2, Guam scrapped by Uzbekistan and United Arab Emirates went undefeated as they steamrolled Thailand to keep their RWC qualification hopes alive.

Here are the results:
Sat – 21 May 2016
Top 3: Korea 3-60 Japan
Division 2: Guam 23-22 Uzbekistan
Division 2: United Arab Emirates 70-18 Thailand

Rugby AfriqueAfrica Cup: The Africa Cup 2016 will be the sixteenth edition of the continental tournament that involves the best African national teams, organized by the Rugby Afrique, formerly known as the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). Given their superiority, the South African national team has rarely participated in most tournaments. The four times the SARU has participated, they sent either a U-23 team or amateur side, and went on to win it. Beyond South Africa, there are up to 27 rugby countries in the Cup with the national participants in the two divisions with each division divided into three groups (1A, 1B, 1C, 2 West, 2 East, and 2 South), with promotion and relegation. Tournament Divisions 1A and 1B’s games often double as qualification games for the Rugby World Cup. In 2 East action in Kigali, Rwanda, Rwanda narrowly lost to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinhasa) for the 2 East title which isn’t bad considering Rwanda played Burundi midweek while DRC got a bye because Lesotho were unable to attend the tournament due to airport trouble.

Here are the results:
Fri – 20 May 2016
2 East: Rwanda 9-12 Congo-Kinshasa (DRC)

Rugby Americas North

Rugby Americas North: Another regional tournament in full swing is the Rugby Americas (formerly the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association or NACRA) Championship. The RAN Championship is for the countries in North America and the Caribbean. RAN has 2 zones with top level (championship) and a bottom level (cup). Each Championship zone has 3 teams while the Cup Zones have 4 each. The Zones are regionally divided, so there is a North Zone and South Zone. USA Rugby competes in the North Zone Championship division. The USA is represented by the USA South Regional all-star team, in order to develop talent and make the competition a much fairer one… This weekend in the South, giants Guyana and Jamaica meet with the former winning easily while Barbados lost big to Trinidad & Tobago. In the North, the Cayman Islands struggled to get by the Bahamas and Mexico barely broke a sweat putting away Bermuda.

Here are the results:
Sat – 21 May 16

South: Guyana 23-5 Jamaica
South: Barbados 5-39 Trinidad & Tobago
North: Cayman Islands 20-8 Bahamas
North: Mexico 75-10 Bermuda

2016 Currie Cup qualification: The tournament is a competition between which will be played between 9 April and 23 July 2016. It will feature all fourteen South African provincial unions plus the Welwitschias from Namibia and will also serve as a qualifying competition for the 2016 Currie Cup, the 78th edition of South Africa’s premier domestic rugby union competition. Nine teams from this competition will play in the 2016 Currie Cup Premier Division, while the remaining six teams will play in the 2016 Currie Cup First Division. Round seven’s fixtures began with the Falcons narrowly losing to Boland, Eastern Province were defeated by Free State, Pumas challenged but fell short against Western Province and the Sharks lost by a lot to a little against the Golden Lions. Saturday, saw Leopards easily put away the Welwitschias, Griquas were too much for the Blue Bulls and Griffons won by the slimmest margin possible against Border Bulldogs.

Here are the results:
Fri – 20 May 2016
Falcons 22–24 Boland Cavaliers
Eastern Province Kings 15–35 Free State XV
Pumas 20–27 Western Province
Sharks XV 16–53 Golden Lions XV
Sat – 21 May 2016
Leopards 42–17 Welwitschias
Griquas 34–23 Blue Bulls
Griffons 39–38 Border Bulldogs

Exhibition Matches: Uruguay are welcoming Fiji on a two match tour. This is Fiji’s developmental side but they are still a challenge to the Teros, who are sending out a young line-up of their own.  Fiji XV have swept the series after a comfortable win this weekend is the second match.

Here are the results:
Sat – 21 May 16
Uruguay 22-44 Fiji XV

That is 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, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Nick Hall, DJ Eberle, Jake Frechette, Scheenagh Harrington, Ronan Nelson and Declan Yeats.

And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs

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About the Author ()

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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