Weekend Rugby Wrap-up: Aviva, RaboDirect & French Top 14

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Peter O'Mahony scores a try, as him and his Munster teammates take down Ulster.
Rugby Wrap-Up: Peter O’Mahony scores as Munster downs Ulster.

NEW YORK, NY – With ChristmaHannakwanzaa and Festivus over, we are gearing up for a busy new year. With that, all of us at RugbyWrapUp wish you a Happy New Year!

But before we head in 2013, let’s 2012’s last weekend of rugby with our Weekend Rugby Wrap-Up, which was chock full of  Aviva, RaboDirect & French Top 14 action.

Aviva Premiership: Round 12 of the AP provided loads of excitement. Sale Sharks managed to put together a solid 80 minute performance against Worcester, with under fire Flyhalf Danny Ciprani putting in a solid defensive display along with big summer signee Richie Gray playing up to his ability. However it appears that new coach John Mitchell is leaving the club after one month in charge to return to a coaching role in South Africa. Harlequins dominated London Irish for a victory which ‘Quins Director of Rugby Connor O’Shea classified as a complete and total performance. Wasps put London Welsh to sword as the fight to move up from the bottom of the table. Leicester managed to out muscle Gloucester and Saracens stole a victory at the death from a feisty Northampton. Here are the Scores.

Sale 33 – 27 Worcester
Harlequins 26 – 15 London Irish
London Welsh 15 – 34 Wasps
Exeter 12 – 12 Bath
Leicester 17 – 12 Gloucester
Saracens 17 – 16 Northampton

Jonny being good: Wilkinson had 26 points in Sunday's win
Jonny Being Good: Wilkinson had 26 points in win.

French Top 14:
In the French Top 14, Sunday’s games were either tight affairs or total blowouts. The only exception was Grenoble’s victory against Bordeaux-Begles which saw the home side win solidly in a very balanced and competitive match. The tight matches saw Toulouse just get by Castres and Biarritz barely beat Mont de Marsan. The one-sided matches saw Clermont show their class against Bayonne, Racing Metro dismantle Agen and table toppers Toulon steamroll Perpignan. The full scores go as follows:

Grenoble 19 – 9 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 48 – 3 Bayonne
Mont de Marsan 18 – 19 Biarritz
Racing Metro Paris 40 – 6 Agen
Castres 16 – 18 Toulouse
Montpellier 54 – 16 Stade Francais
Toulon 46 – 13 Perpignan

RaboDirect Pro 12: The schedule makers for the Pro 12 have done some tinkering which has made weekly coverage have to react. The created two mid-week fixtures last week as part of the new Boxing day rugby tradition, the also created a match-up for Monday night as part of New Years Eve festivities. All of this while there were still matches to be played this past Saturday. Cardiff and the (Neath-Swansea) Ospreys won on Boxing day against Newport-Gwent Dragons and the (Llanelli) Scarlets. Dragons will have to overcome the loss to face the fired-up Ospreys on Monday. In weekend action, Munster became the first side to take down Ulster in Pro 12 play. It was a thorough victory by the Men of Munster against a young Ulster line-up. Ulster coach Mark Anscombe believes his side will use the loss as a learning experience. Meanwhile in Dublin, an understrength Leinster shutout Connacht, providing Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt with some big calls to make once stars, Brian O’Driscoll, Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney return. In Scotland, the 1872 Cup will reside in Glasgow for the year as they take down national rivals Edinburgh. The complete results are as follows:

Wed – 26th Dec 12
Cardiff Blues 12 – 10 Newport Gwent Dragons
Ospreys 32 – 3 Scarlets
Sat – 29th Dec 12
Benetton Treviso 26 – 18 Zebre
Edinburgh 17 – 21 Glasgow
Munster 24 – 10 Ulster
Leinster 17 – 0 Connacht
Mon – 31st Dec 12
Newport Gwent Dragons vs Ospreys

Super Rugby: The SR15 Champions Chiefs to Argentina: In the only news of note from the Southern Hemisphere, the Super 15 Rugby Champions the Chiefs are set to face the Argentine Pumas during the Chiefs mid-season bye.

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 MeetTheMatts.com.