MUNSTER, IRELAND – Here to cure your weekly case of the Mondays, is the Weekend Rugby Wrap-Up. Let’s get to it, starting with The Rugby Championship:
TRC: The teams were on a travel bye this weekend so they all got their rest. Argentina and South Africa will host the next two rounds as New Zealand and Australia hit the road. Here’s a more in-depth analysis but let’s get back to the Aussies…
Quade Cooper Saga: With all that’s gone on this week in the Australia & Queensland Reds fly-half’s Twitter universe, things should get real interesting. Cooper took to that bastion of athletes looking to make dumb decisions, tweeting about how Robbie Deans restrains his style of play, the toxicity of the current Wallabies camp and his possible move to Rugby League to be with that other rugby villain, Sonny Bill Williams. Quade quickly took the tweets down on his agent’s advice but damage was already done. Was it all a plan to get Ewen McKenzie to replace Deans? Only Cooper knows that. Either way, Queensland Reds boss Jim Carmichael had plenty to say about… See this. As for Cooper’s actual quotes on Twitter, go here.
Richie McCaw Retiring? The Greatest All-Time All Black (arguably) and Canterbury Crusader open-side flanker, will be leaving the game at the end of the fall tours. Unfortunately for his detractors and opponents, he is NOT leaving for good; McCaw will enact his sabbatical clause. When he decided to re-sign with the NZRU, he required the right to take a break from the game. His sabbatical will run through first half of 2013, with a return after the June tours. His hopes are to return with a healthy body, re-invigorated approach, play in the 2015 Rugby World Cup and finish his contract. One has to wonder though: Is this the last we’ll see of Richie McCaw on the pitch?
Aviva Premiership: The English Domestic Rugby season continued with Round 4, and yes, the London Welsh won again! This time it was against the Sale Sharks. Look, I know I picked them to be relegated, but I dearly want them to prove me wrong. Keep it up, lads! We did catch much of the Gloucester win over the London Wasps and Quins big statement vs the Tigers. Both were exciting matches and Billy Twelvetrees really stood out for Gloucester.
Sale 19 – 29 London Welsh
London Irish 29 – 22 Bath
Northampton 37 – 31 Worcester
Gloucester 29 – 22 Wasps
Leicester 9 – 22 Harlequins
French Top 14: The French Top 14 has completed Round 6. The empathic victories of the 3 top teams (Clermont, Toulouse, and Toulon) sends a message to rest of the league about the gulf in class.
Bayonne 6 – 35 Toulouse
Toulon 33 – 12 Castres
Stade Francais 34 – 24 Perpignan
Clermont Auvergne 44 – 20 Grenoble
Bordeaux-Begles 15 – 23 Montpellier
Mont de Marsan 16 – 28 Agen
Racing Metro Paris 13 – 12 Biarritz
RaboDirect Pro 12: Organized tributes by the clubs and fans signing “Stand-up for the Ulsterman” were paid to Nevin Spence and the Spence Family before Pro 12 matches this week. Spence’s Province, Ulster, had their game postponed out of respect.
Scarlets 16 – 23 Ospreys
Glasgow 27 – 17 Connacht
Leinster 22 – 16 Edinburgh
Cardiff Blues 34 – 18 Benetton Treviso
Munster 33 – 13 Newport-Gwent D’gons
The Currie Cup: Round 7 is complete and the Golden Lions are starting to take a strangle hold of the top position with their win over the Sharks. We watched the Blue Bulls hold off the Cheetahs in a tale of two halves; the Cheetahs clawing back with a huge second half. Here are all the results.
Western Province 45 – 21 Griquas
Blue Bulls 34 – 30 Cheetahs
Lions 28 – 22 Sharks
The ITM Cup: The season rumbles along as crowd attendance is down, which is no surprise with so many insane midweek matches. This scheduling is done regardless of the quality of some matches, as you can see by the results:
18 Sep Otago 54-25 North Harbour
19 Sep Auckland 43-32 Taranaki
20 Sep Manawatu 28-31 Counties Manukau
21 Sep Hawke’s Bay 42-41 Bay of Plenty
22 Sep North Harbour 17-27 Southland
22 Sep Auckland 43-30 Wellington
22 Sep Northland 31-32 Taranaki
23 Sep Waikato 27-52 Canterbury
23 Sep Otago 39-13 Tasman
That is it for me for now. Please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats and @Mathew Drew Turner, respectively.
And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.