Rugby Update: The Rugby Championship, Aviva Prem, Rabodirect 12, Currie Cup, ITM Cup, RWC 2015, Berrick Barnes

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SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA – Pyk O’Kallapfer already gave you a complete Top 14 review, so here’s a quick update of the rest of what’s happening in rugby.

The Rugby Championship: The All Blacks are the official champions of the inaugural TRC. NZ stayed unbeaten, beating the Springboks on the road. The atmosphere was electric but as always the All Blacks were patient and methodical. They withstood a strong first half challenge by the Bokke. But as South Africa tried to press the matter, they made mistakes and the ABs put them to the sword for every bad decision/penalty. Final score 32-16.

Meanwhile in Argentina, the Wallabies continued their David Blaine impression and somehow defeated Argentina again. The Aussies started strong but Argentina fought back. With 10 minutes to go and Australia down a man, Los Pumas scored a converted try. The same handling errors that had dogged them all game, however, ended their last attempts to steal a win at home, and Australia held on to win 25-19.

Berrick Barnes and the AB Halfbacks!

Berrick Barnes, Honorary All Black: Apparently, Berrick Barnes has become an All Black for the past week or so. Barnes suffered a punctured lung in last week’s loss to the Springboks. The injury meant he couldn’t travel with the team to Argentina, so he was left in South Africa. In a story that can only happen in Rugby, the All Blacks worked with the Aussie Rugby Union to help take care of Barnes. The NZ team doctor has been monitoring his progress and Barnes has been going to the ABs training camp, chauffeuring players around in a golf cart and even attended their Scrum-half/Fly-half dinner. I am sure he took notes to send back to the coach.

Aviva Premiership: Round 6 of  the English Domestic Rugby season saw the return of Gavin Henson. Henson started at #10 for the London Welsh, RWU’s adopted team, despite being favorites to be relegated.

The Welsh lost to Sarries but managed to earn a Losing Bonus Point for being within 7 points. Here are all the scores in an upset filled weekend:

Sale 8 – 20 Leicester
Gloucester 16 – 10 Bath
Exeter 42 – 28 Harlequins
London Irish 39 – 17 Northampton
London Welsh 23 – 28 Saracens
Wasps 10 – 6 Worcester

French Top 14: See Pyk O’Kallapfer’s weekly review. The Frenchman knows his stuff.

RaboDirect Pro 12: Leinster picked up a big win over longtime rivals Munster over the weekend. This will give them some good momentum heading into the Heineken Cup. Meanwhile, Treviso made it two straight wins by handing Edinburgh its third consecutive loss. Complete score round-up goes as follows:

Zebre 16 – 34 Ospreys
Ulster 25 – 0 Connacht
Scarlets 24 – 13 Newport-Gwent Dragons
Edinburgh 22 – 27 Benetton Treviso
Leinster 30 – 21 Munster
Cardiff Blues 3 – 18 Glasgow

The Currie Cup has reached its business end and Round 9 was a telling round. The Sharks and the Lions look safe for the playoffs, but positions 3-6 are only separated by 2 points. It is very possible that one of the home provinces of the SA Super 15 franchises might be relegated.

Blue Bulls 26 – 13 Western Province
Griquas 37 – 21 Lions
Cheetahs 30 – 37 Sharks

The ITM Cup: Auckland qualified for the playoffs with a win over rivals and neighbors North Harbour 36-16. Waikato had a big week by first winning the prestigious Ranfury Shield in a midweek match against Taranaki. They then rallied to get a win over Counties Manukau to avoid relegation into the Championship division. Scores for both rounds:

Round 12
02 Oct Manawatu 35-51 Otago
03 Oct Taranaki 10-46 Waikato
Round 13
04 Oct Tasman 17-3 Bay of Plenty
05 Oct Northland 11-56 Canterbury
06 Oct Manawatu 20-7 Hawke’s Bay
06 Oct Counties Manukau 28-32 Waikato
06 Oct Otago 22-49 Wellington
07 Oct Southland 18-47 Taranaki
07 Oct N Harbour 16-36 Auckland

RWC 2015 Qualifying: Hungary got their qualifying campaign off to good start in from of 3,000 home fans and England legend Lawrence Dalliglio, who was in attendance along with the RWC Trophy. Hungary won by stifling a good Bulgarian attack to win by 5 points. Meanwhile, tiny Luxembourg Tipped Finland in their match. Both winning teams are now top of the ENC Division 2C standings with Hungary; the favorite to progress in qualifying for the next round.

06/10/2012 Hungary 28 – 23 Bulgaria
06/10/2012 Finland 14 – 16 Luxembourg

RWC7s 2013 Qualifying: The Women’s teams of Fiji, China and Japan, booked their places at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow. There is only one place left in the Women’s bracket of the RWC7s after the 3 teams safely progressed in the Asian Women’s Sevens Championship over this weekend.

Paul Wood

Paul Wood: In the English Rugby League Grand Final, Leeds beat Warrington 26-18. The story of the match though was Warrington Prop Paul Wood, who took a knee to his scrotum in the first minute of the second half. Wood finished the game but was rushed to the Emergency Room with a ruptured testicle. It only became public knowledge after he tweeted “Now just sat in hospital with a ruptured testicle! Please don’t laugh it’s very, very, very painful! & embarrassing.” He also tweeted, “Ruptured my right testicle, got a knee 1 minute into the second half, had to have it removed.”

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.

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