NEW YORK, NY – It was a relatively calm weekend in rugby for our Weekend Rugby Wrap-Up. The LV= Cup and Top 14 were pretty much it – not that both didn’t pack a wallop of good rugby. But what we enjoyed just as much – if not more – was the 3rd Annual NYRC Meg Votta Memorial Chili Cook-off & U-19 Fund-raiser.
An enormous crowd packed the Sin Bin at O’Brien’s Irish Pub on 46th Street for 4 fours of great chili, great drink, rugby stories, breaking wind and breaking more wind. The contest entries that represented the diversity rugby itself: Kosher, Samurai, Mexican and Vegetarian. But it was Rachel Hughes and Laura London’s brisket chili that took home the Meg Votta Bowl – and deservedly so. Our man Johnathan Wicklow Barberie (photographed with Rachel and Laura) called the result the minute he sampled their masterpiece and a video of the day will be coming once controversial Cook-Off Contestant Badger Denehy stops chasing his fellow editors from the studio with his residual flatulence.
But enough of that, let’s get to the on-field stuff…
Johnny Sexton: Ireland and Leinster fly-half Johnny Sexton made news this week when he announced that at the end of this season he will moving to the Top 14, joining perennial also-rans Racing Metro Paris. This did raise some eyebrows. Fans were incredibly upset but it might be for the greater good: Sexton’s departure allows him to earn good money while still being available for Ireland games… Leinster get a chance to hand over the reigns to the young and talented Ian Madigan, also helping depth at the position for Ireland.
Super 15 Southern Kings: The SARU has decided that the Super 15 Southern Kings will not be allowed to have more than 2 foreigners on their overall roster. Prior to the pre-season the Kings signed 5 foreigners -French hooker Virgil Lacombe, Argentinean duo Nicolas Vergallo and Tomas Leonardi, New Zealand full-back Hadleigh Parkes and Kenyan utility forward Daniel Adongo. This is a dumb move on the part of the SARU but not surprising. They’ve battled internally since it was decided that the Kings would exist and replace the Lions. They were given 1 year to stay up or be relegated. That’s exactly why they should relax foreigner restriction as Australia did for the Melbourne Rebels. It seems that certain folks never wanted the Kings to exist in the first place and are doing their utmost to make sure they have no chance.
Thomas Jantjies: RIP to Thomas Jantjies. Thomas was the father of Lions and Springbok fly-half Elton Jantjies and Blue Bulls team member Tony. You might remember Elton from our Southern Hemisphere class of 2012. Our most heartfelt sympathies go to the Jantjies clan.
Anglo-Welsh Cup/LV=Cup: The talk of this weekend were Saracens and their new-age 4D artificial turf. Those of us in the USA that have been playing on artificial turf for a while don’t get the hoopla but this is very new to the Brits… and not so welcome. Traditionalists will weep but like the addition of colored boots and loss of proper jerseys, this is the cost of progress. As for the match itself, both sides sent young under-strength line-ups. It appears though the youth at Saracens are far better than most realized, as they fought off the Cardiff Blues young warriors for the victory… In the other matches, London Irish continued their good form and took down Worcester… Bath were too much for Exeter and Harelquins dominated the London Welsh… The Leicester Tigers were too strong for Wasps… Northampton looks to be regaining form, as they beat up on Gloucester and finally, Sale managed to not lose a game. They trounced LLanelli Scarlets.
Saracens 19 – 11 Cardiff Blues
London Irish 46 – 24 Worcester Warriors
Bath Rugby 16 – 6 Exeter Chiefs
Harlequins 23 – 6 London Welsh
Leicester Tigers 34 – 8 London Wasps
Northampton Saints 26 – 7 Gloucester Rugby
Sale Sharks 36 – 17 Scarlets
French Top 14:
In the French Top 14, Perpignan managed to put an end to the Clermont’s winning streak as they shocked most of France with a hard-earned victory… Montpellier continued to play good rugby as they edged out Agen… Bayonne upset Castres with a quality performance… Toulon defeated Mont De Marsan but didn’t look dominant… Stade Francias handily defeated Grenoble… Racing Metro managed to not blow the lead against Bordeaux and Toulouse kept their composure to beat Biarritz.
Bayonne 22 – 12 Castres
Agen 9 – 13 Montpellier
Perpignan 26 – 19 Clermont Auvergne
Toulon 15 – 9 Mont de Marsan
Stade Francais 35 – 6 Grenoble
Bordeaux-Begles 15 – 22 Racing Metro Paris
Toulouse 19 – 14 Biarritz
That’s it for now. We welcome your comments below and please look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats, @Mathew Drew Turner, and @Ebstide52 respectively.
As always stay low and keep pumping those legs.