Our thoughts & prayers are with the New York Rugby Club, who lost longtime friend & supporter Angie Witter. Angie was taken too soon from us.
NEW YORK, NY – What a weekend of rugby! It wasn’t packed with fixtures like last weekend but there were some great matches and instant classics on display. Let’s go through all the events faster than a tapped down line-out ball.
Amlin Challenge Cup – In a match that RWU pundit Kevin Fegan said should go down in history, Biarritz took down Gloucester on the road. It was an enthralling encounter that had lots of tries and drama. Biarritz will now face Leinster, who looked far too sharp (and ominously back to their championship form) as they handily defeated a game Wasps side… Perpignan took down Toulouse in an all French affair. Toulouse look a shadow of themselves over the past few months, while Perpignan seem to be in a rich vein of form. Stade Francais managed to book their ticket for the semi-final by out-muscling a difficult Bath side. Here are the results:
Gloucester 31 – 41 Biarritz
Wasps 28 – 48 Leinster
Perpignan 30 – 19 Toulouse
Bath 20 – 36 Stade Francais
Clermont Auvergne continued their dominance in an all French affair that was the first quarter-final of the Heineken Cup. Clermont took it to Montpellier who, though they tried to fight back, looked helpless… Saracens and their noted defence helped see them through to the semi-finals, as they suffocated the Ulster attack… The return of Paul O’Connell and his play in the Munster victory over Harlequins was the stuff of legend. Coming back from a major injury, O’Connell let it be known the rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated… Jonny Wilkinson will be making a return to Twickenham for the first time since he left English Rugby. Wilkinson and Toulon took down the Leicester Tigers in a very even contest that was more competitive than most people expected.
Clermont Auvergne 36 – 14 Montpellier
Saracens 27 – 16 Ulster
Harlequins 12 – 18 Munster
Toulon 21 – 15 Leicester
Super 15: I want to apologize to Highlander fans. It appears that I gave them the Kiss of Death by picking them to win it all this year. The Highlanders slumped to their 6th consecutive loss this season, against the Blues on the road… The Southern Kings shocked all and sundry as a try scored in extra time of their match against the Brumbies earned them an away draw… The Sharks got a much needed win at home against the Crusaders… The Hurricanes put an end to the Waratahs winning streak while the Melbourne Rebels denied the Western Force back to back victories. ..The Cheetahs continued their good form making a mockery of my predictions by edging out the Stormers at home. Here are the results:
Blues 29 – 18 Highlanders
Brumbies 28 – 28 Southern Kings
Sharks 21 – 17 Crusaders
Hurricanes 41 – 29 Waratahs
Western Force 23 – 30 Melbourne Rebels
Cheetahs 26 – 24 Stormers
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