Weekend Preview: USA v Canada, Aviva, RaboDirect, Top 14, Super 15

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Junoir Blaber
Blaber

EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Highlighted by the big test match of Team USA v Canada, there will be a plethora big games this weekend. Let’s take a look:

USA v Canada: Technically it should be listed the European Way, with Canada coming first as the home team,  but the Eagles are always first here on RWU, so as not to tick off Coach Mike Tolkin. That aside, it is set to be an interesting match-up.

Team USA vs Canada Rugby Rugby_Wrap_Up

It is the first match of the revived Pacific Nations Cup. Fiji, Tonga and Japan make up the other Cup nations. Both coaches have a mix of experience and young, untried talent in their squads. We expect a great match in the tense Edmonton atmosphere.

tigerFans-160509Aviva Premiership:
Leicester Tigers vs Northampton Saints
The AP final is an interesting clash. The Tigers have championship pedigree as they have been to several finals and won a few over the past 10 years. Saints have recent form from a couple of seasons ago but have a reputation for choking in the big matches. The managed to overcome it to make the final, but will they do it again is the question.

RFU Championship:
Newcastle Falcons vs Bedford Blues
The Bedford Blues play the Newcastle Falcons in the RFU Championship Finals, as part of a home-and-home final with points difference the tiebreaker. And after Newcastle topped Bedford last night 18-9 at Goldington Road, it doesn’t look good for Bedford in the return leg at Kingston Park next Wednesday. beford vs newcastleNewcastle seems destined for promotion –  but that’s why they play the matches!

RaboDirect Pro 12:
Leinster vs Ulster
Leinster have been the best regular season team in the RaboDirect Pro 12 for the  2 previous seasons but have failed to hoist the league trophy come finals time. According to some fans, the Heineken Cup proved too much a distraction. This year they won the Amlin but came second in the league to Ulster. Ulster has been easily the best team in the comp during the regular season. The two teams play expansive styles, so it will be interesting to see who is the master of this style of play.

Top 14:
Toulon vs Toulouse
Clermont Auvergne vs Castres
The Top 14 will only be at their playoff semi-final. The length of the French season has been complained about enough, so it is best left alone. The Toulon vs Toulouse match-up will be a repeat of last year’s final. With Toulon finally winning hardware – unless you’ve been at the bottom of a ruck for a week you know they won the Heineken Cup – it will be interesting to see if they will come out flat or spurred on by the achievement… Toulouse look to be hitting their stride again, so it will be an interesting battle. It is possible that Clermont will be too disappointed about losing the HEC  to play well against Castres. Most likely, though, Castres will feel the wrath of Clermont’s anger.

Super Rugby LogoSuper 15:
Chiefs vs Crusaders
Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs
Blues vs Brumbies
Western Force vs Highlanders
Southern Kings vs Cheetahs
Stormers vs Reds
Sharks vs Bulls

With every match vitally important to playoff standings, it is literally impossible to decide what makes one game more important to watch than the others. The ones that look to be good value for the money are Chiefs vs Crusaders, Blues vs Brumbies, Southern Kings vs Cheetahs and Stormers vs Reds. Here is the full schedule for this weekend:

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.

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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.