Weekend Rugby Wrap-Up: England Stuns NZ, Top Women’s Player, Aviva, RaboDirect Pro12, IRB Rankings

England Men Celebrate a Record Win
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Weekend Rugby Wrap-Up: England Men Celebrate a Record Win

NEW YORK, NY: What a weekend! We watched some some great 15s took in as much 7s as possible. All that rugby and the annual NYRC Bar Golf [Pub Crawl] made getting fingers to keyboards difficult!  But we’ve managed and we’ve even split the coverage in two – please see our Weekend 7s Wrap-Up…  Pyk O’Kallapher will handle the French Top 14 report. Let’s get to it…

Ladies first:
England Vs New Zealand: In a rarity, the England’s fairer sex took the field after the men. With the crowd already warmed-up and feeling good they gave the crowd and more reason to go home happy.

The Victorious English Women

The English women completed a 3-0 series whitewash of the New Zealand women. The results for the series were 16-13, 17-8 and 32-23. You may recall that these sides did meet in the 2010 WRWC, with New Zealand winning, so everyone expected it to be a tight 2-1 tight series. The whitewash places the English Women as #1 in the world and makes them the heavy favorites for the Women’s 6 Nations. If they do win, it will be their their 8th consecutive title… As for New Zealand, despite the close scores in these losses, the Black Ferns face howls of the program being at a crossroads. The bet here is that they will come back fired-up in all tests from here thru the next WRWC.

Micheala Straniford in full flight.

Women’s Player of the Year The RFU can also boast to having the IRB Women’s Player of the Year. England’s own Micheala Staniford was awarded the trophy after England’s victory over New Zealand at Twickenham. The 25-year-old was named best player of the IRB Women’s 7s Challenge Cup  (predecessor to the Women’s 7s World Series) earlier this year. In the 2012 Women’s 6N, she scored five tries in three appearances.

Now for the Gentlemen:
November Internationals:
In an event that only happens once a decade, England defeated New Zealand at Twickenham.

Manu Tuilagi on a break

If the victory was not impressive enough, it was also a record win for England, as they scored the most points ever in the modern era against the All Blacks and with their greatest margin of victory. The match was greater proof of why they play the game. Anything can happen after kick-off. The result was an extra blow to All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, as he begins his 6-month break from the game. McCaw is taking the break in a bid to keep his body strong enough to make the 2015 RWC.

Meanwhile, Australia managed to rip out Welsh hearts all across the principality for a 4th consecutive time as they won a nail-biter with a try in the 78th minute. If you combine the points difference of the 4 losses, they add up to 12. It could have been 14 points but Wallabies captain Nathan Sharpe, playing his last rugby match after postponing retirement at the behest of Head Coach Robbie Deans, was given the honor of making the conversion. He missed. But outside of  John Eales, how many locks make kicks?
England 38 – 21 New Zealand
Wales 12 – 14 Australia

Aviva Premiership: While the English Nationals were making heroes of themselves at Twickenham, there was still plenty of Premiership action going on. Harlequins got back to their winning ways against WorcesterNorthampton added on to Sale’s woes this season… Leicester beat Bath… The London Welsh got another win against the London Irish. Saracens held off Billy Twelvetrees and a game Gloucester at the death to break the hearts of the Gloucester faithful. Here are the complete results:

Harlequins 22 – 19 Worcester
Sale 16 – 27 Northampton
Leicester 17 – 12 Bath
London Welsh 15 – 9 London Irish
Exeter 30 – 23 Wasps
Saracens 28 – 23 Gloucester

RaboDirect PRO12: Ulster are now 10 for 10. They can’t be stopped as Scarlets became their latest victims. Benetton Treviso manage a rare victory against Dragons, while Munster crushed Glasgow. Edinburgh scrapped past Connacht as Ospresy beat Cardiff in an all Welsh clash. Here are the full results.

Ospreys 33 – 12 Cardiff Blues
Benetton Treviso 32 – 13 Newport Gwent Dragons
Connacht 23 – 24 Edinburgh
Leinster 37 – 7 Zebre
Munster 31 – 3 Glasgow
Scarlets 12 – 19 Ulster

IRB Rankings and Announcements: In a busy week for the IRB, they announced the final rankings leading into the draw for 2015. Samoa after a succeful fall tour moved up to 7th, while Wales fell to 9th after a dreadful campaign. The draw will take place on the third of December. Try of the Year went to Bryan Habana for his brilliant solo effort against New Zealand in the first match of The Rugby Championship. New Zealand and Italy will host the 2014 and 2015 versions of the Junior Rugby World Cup, the 2013 version is being held in France. Going into the weekend and the IRB released its shortlist for the Men’s Player of the Year. Here is the list, with the winners announced at the same event as the RWC 2015 pool drawing.

RICHIE MCCAW (New Zealand)
DAN CARTER (New Zealand)

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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 MeetTheMatts.com.