Weekend Rugby Wrap-Up: Autumn Internationals, Aviva, Womens Rugby News, RaboDirect, RWC7s Qualifiers

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NEW YORK, NY– We’re reporting from NYC, which as you know was hit by a hurricane. That, combined with the hurricane of a hangover this reporter had from a “healing happy hour” while putting this together, begs for your understanding. With that, here’s our Weekend Rugby Wrap-Up. As per the new usual the wrap-up is now sans Top 14 coverage because Pyk O’Kallapfer covered it in his All Saints Day holiday coverage.

IRB Hall of Fame: Last week, brothers Richard and Kennedy Tsimba of Zimbabwe have into the IRB Hall of Fame. Kennedy accepted the honor for the brothers: Richard’s died in a car crash in 2000 at the age of 34. The pair but Zimbabwe Rugby on the map and Richard became Zimbabwe’s first black player in the 1987 RWC. He also appeared in the 1991 RWC. In 1998 Kennedy became the first black captain of Zimbabwe Rugby. He had an a great international career and was spectacular in his appearances for the Super Rugby Bulls and Blue Bulls in SARU Competition. Kennedy retired in 2011.

Autumn Internationals: I want to invite everyone to join our Superbru Autumn Internationals pool. They refer to it as the November Internationals… but whatever. Join us and select the winners of each match-up. The first round of games will begin this coming weekend. If you feel like you don’t know you enough about the teams, then you are in luck. Yesterday, we began our 4-Part Report on all the teams involved. Part 1 covered the 6 Nations teams. This week, we’ll cover the rest. You’ll be ready by Friday morning.

Freddie Burns

Aviva Premiership: Freddie Burns and Billy Twelvetrees of Gloucester were the story in Round 7 of the AP. In Round 8, their side came up just short against the defending champs Harlequins. However, the duo were called up as injury-cover for England in the Autumn Internationals… Meanwhile, Ben Botica of the Harlequins continued his rich vein of form but it appears he may well remain Nick Evans‘ understudy. Evans signed for 3 more years earlier this week… RWU Favorites the London Welsh continue to surprise people as they come away from Bath, smelling like roses, besting Gary Gold’s boys. That is a huge win for the newbies…  Here are the rest of the results:

Sale 21 – 9 London
Leicester 16 – 12 Northampton
Exeter 33 – 9 Worcester
Harlequins 28 – 25 Gloucester
Saracens 29 – 24 Wasps
London Welsh 16 – 9 Bath

RaboDirect Pro 12: Leinster had fans believing they were back in a big way last week. This week they fell to the defending Pro 12 champs Neath-Swansea Ospreys. The match-up between the pair is fast becoming one of the best rivalries in European rugby… Ulster have yet to lose in any competition and no one is sure when it will happen or to who it will be. One thing is for sure – Edinburgh won’t be the lucky ones to do it. They are a shadow of last season’s team… Here are the complete scores and round-up:

Cardiff Blues 18 – 24 Munster
Ulster 45 – 20 Edinburgh
Glasgow 37 – 6 Newport-Gwent Dragons
Connacht 18 – 3 Benetton Treviso
Scarlets 22 – 13 Zebre
Ospreys 19 – 10 Leinster

WOMEN’S RUGBY NEWS:

Joanne Watmore smiles & scores in her England debut vs France.

Autumn Internationals: The first match of the Womens Rugby International Season happened over the weekend. England defeated France 23-13 in a one-off test match. The match felt more like live preparation than a test. Both sides had a high number of new and young players. It appeared that each coach had an eye on their upcoming test series. England have a 3-test series against defending WRWC Champs New Zealand, meanwhile France has a two test Series against USA coming up.

World 7s Series: When the Dubai 7s roll around at the end of this month, it will be a historic tournament. In addition to being the second leg of the IRB HSBC Mens 7s Series, it will be the first leg in the inaugural IRB Womens 7s Series. There have been Womens divisions at the some of the stops in the Mens 7s series but never as part of an official series. This is less than one month from happening. Cool doings.

Harry Morris of Philippines, Katsuyuki Sakai of Japan and Rowan Varty of Hong Kong

RWC 7s 2013 Qualifying: Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines qualified for the RWC 7s. In the final leg of the Asian 7s series in Singapore, the 3 front-runners booked their tickets to Moscow. With IRB President Bernard Lapasset in the stands, Japan beat Hong Kong in the Final… The Philippines, coached by former Team USA coach and RWU friend, Al Caravelli, defeated South Korea in the Bronze medal match, securing their place in Moscow. Congrats to all.

Okay... Like a 10-12 switch, let’s cut against the grain and remind all of you about the Movember Fundraiser. Click on the link and please donate. It only takes a moment and anything you have to give is appreciated.

That is it for me for now. 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.

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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.