New York, NY: Happy Monday Ruggers and RWU fans. We have confirmed with the TMO and “We can award you the Weekend Wrap-up!” so lets get to all the weekend action and updates that you may have missed.
There will be a new name on the Heineken Cup this year. The Cup is not changing sponsors but the winner of this year’s final will be a 1st time winner. ASM Clermont Auvergne will play Toulon in an all French Final in Dublin in a few weeks. Clermont got off to a hot start but Munster came back in the second half to make a game of it and almost sneak the win. It was no surprise that a flanker won Man-of-the-Match in such a physical game. Julien Bardy played great in earning his MotM, he is also international teammates with friend of “the Wrap” and belated birthday boy Pedro Leal;. In the other Semi-Final, the former England number 10 and legend Johnny Wilkinson gave current England fly-half Owen Farrell a lesson in imposing yourself in a big match. Wilkinson’s Toulon were too much for Farrell’s Saracens, the match was put out of reach by a, quelle surprise, a Wilkinson drop goal. Here are the results:
Home Score: Away: Venue: Attendance
ASM Clermont Auvergne 16 – 10 Munster, Rugby Stade de la Mosson, 31,259
Saracens 12 – 24 Toulon, Twickenham Stadium, 25,584
Four is the magic number in this year’s Amlin Cup final. Leinster will be in their 4th ERC final in 5 years (3 HEC finals in this span), while Stade Francias will be in their 4th ERC final as well (2 HEC, 1 Amlin). Stade have yet to win an ERC final, losing the 3 previous times by a combined total of 11 points. In the semi-final Stade defied the odds and went on the road to a cauldron-like atmosphere at Perpignan and led by the boot of Jerome Porical, a 3rd generation Perpignan player until this season, won a thriller. Meanwhile Leinster, dispatched a Biarritz side that looked to be outclassed in every position. The Basque boys tried but they had no answer to a fit and firing Leinster side. Here are the results:
Home: Score: Away :Venue: Att
Perpignan 22 – 25 Stade Francais Paris, Stade Aimé Giral, 12,242
Leinster Rugby 44 – 16 Biarritz Olympique, Pays Basque RDS, 18,500
Amlin & Heineken Cup qualification for 2013/2014:
The four finalists for the Amlin and Heineken Cup games have booked their place in next years Heineken Cup, however who wins the final has various ramifications on who qualifies for next year and from what domestic competition. Click here for a worthwhile read.
Rabodirect Pro 12:
There was only one match in the Rabodirect Pro 12 this weekend. The match ended as a stalemate between Connacht and Treviso, not for lack of effort by either side to try and win the match though. Here is the final score:
Benetton Treviso 23 – 23 Connacht
Super Rugby 15:
In Week 11 of Super Rugby, teams are gearing up for the final stretch and jockeying for positions. The New Zealand and South Africa conferences are wide open, while the top two in Australia are rising to the surface. The Stormers snuck a road win against the Hurricanes. The Chiefs proved too good at home against the Sharks. The Brumbies walloped the Western Force and the Bulls stomped the Waratahs. The Cheetahs were too good for the Kings and the Crusaders stumbled past the Rebels. Here are the results:
Hurricanes 16 – 18 Stormers
Reds 12 – 11 Blues
Chiefs 37 – 29 Sharks
Brumbies 41 – 7 Western Force
Bulls 30 – 19 Waratahs
Cheetahs 26 – 12 Southern Kings
Crusaders 30 – 26 Melbourne Rebels
British and Irish Lions:
The 39 man squad for the British and Irish Lions squad to tour Australia will be named on Wednesday. There are huge bets on who will captain and make the squad. Before Warren Gatland releases his list of players, we will give you our predictions for the 3rd test Matchday 23.
We wanted to send a big congratulations to Oyonnax Rugby for winning the French Pro D2 with plenty of room to spare, and gaining promotion to the Top 14. Oyonnax is a small rugby mad town on the Central Eastern border of France. It is closer to Geneva than Lyon, the nearest major french city. The population is 23K with a stadium of 6K but through sheer will, patience, smart purchases and rabid support they have climbed their way from the B Division in Federale 1 (4th tier) in 1992 to being in the Top 14 for the 2013/2014 season. A massive achievement for a small club.
That is it 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, @Mathew Drew Turner and @Ebstide52, respectively. And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.