Weekend Rugby Wrap Up: Aviva, Pro12, ITM Cup, Currie Cup, Heineken Cup Talks, Tier 3

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Sharks Currie CupNEW YORK, NY – Just because there were no major Tier 1 clashes this weekend doesn’t mean there was nothing going on. There was loads of stuff, with action in the Aviva Premiership, Rabodirect Pro 12 , ITM Cup and Currie Cup. There was a Rugby World Cup Qualifier, ENC and the start of a new Tier 3 tournament this weekend. So, let’s get into the Weekend Rugby Wrap Up.

Aviva Premeirship: With some key players returning to their clubs after not making the England squad cut, there were some great matches… like Bath squeaking by Gloucester – which featured “unfortunate to not make the squad” fly-halfs George Ford and Freddie BurnsExeter piled more misery on top of Worcester and Harlequins may have found their stride after thumping SaleNorthampton easily dismissed Saracens, as USA International Samu Manoa won Man of the MatchWasps continued their home winning streak with a big win against Leicester and Newcastle survived a scare at home against London Irish.

Here are this weekend’s results:
Fri – 25th Oct 13
Bath 15 – 13 Gloucester
Sat – 26th Oct 13
Exeter 40 – 6 Worcester
Harlequins 24 – 3 Sale Sharks
Northampton 41 – 20 Saracens
Sun – 27th Oct 13
Wasps 22 – 12 Leicester
Newcastle 13 – 11 London Irish

Rabodirect Pro 12: In a slight mini-shock, Zebre drew at home against Scarlets as odds-makers heavily favored the boys from Llanelli, WalesUlster made use of their home advantage against CardiffOspreys barely broke a sweat against the Newport Gwent DragonsMunster had to work hard on the road to leave Glasgow victorious – full credit to future Ireland star 10/12 J.J. Hananrhan – for scoring all of Munster’s points… Edinburgh had to work as hard as Munster to secure a home win against a game Treviso… In an all-Ireland Derby, Connacht fell just short against Leinster in Dublin.

Here are this weekend’s results:
Fri – 25th Oct 13
Zebre 16 – 16 Scarlets
Ulster 39 – 21 Cardiff Blues
Ospreys 40 – 17 Newport Gwent Dragons
Glasgow 6 – 13 Munster
Edinburgh 20 – 13 Benetton Treviso
Sat – 26th Oct 13
Leinster 16 – 13 Connacht

The Currie Cup: Though we still hate the promotion/relegation match, we are glad to see Pumas win relegation against Griquas. Our problem is that 5 of the 6 CC Premier division sides are Super Rugby sides. Only players at the Super Rugby franchises make the Springboks, so when one of the Super Rugby top 5 finish bottom like the Cheetahs last year, they can still parachute in players that were away on Springbok duty for The Rugby Championship, like the Cheetahs did last year and demolish their 1st division rival. Hopefully the SARU eventually fixes this, but we doubt it.

In the other news, world class ref Jonathan Kaplan retired after reffing the final between Western Province and the Natal Sharks. The emotion Kaplan showed at kickoff was nothing like what the Sharks played with to dispatch Province and secure the vaunted Currie Cup.

Here are this weekend’s results:
Fri – 25th Oct 13
Pumas  33-15 Griquas
Sat – 26th Oct 13
Western Province 19 – 33 Sharks

George Whitelock with the ITM Cup
George Whitelock with the ITM Cup

The ITM Cup: According to the post match press-release Tigerish, unrelenting Tasman defence denied an impassioned Hawke’s Bay 80-minute assault to claim a 26-25.While in Wellington, two teams showed their pedigree. Wellington continued to show that their regular season form disappears come championship time, while Canterbury claimed their 7th straight ITM title in their usual workman, machine-like manner. Canterbury are putting themselves on the same level as the legendary Michael Jones’ Auckland team of the 1980s.

Here are this weekend’s results:
Fri – 25th Oct 13
Tasman 26 – 25 Hawkes Bay
Sat – 5th Oct 13
Wellington 13 – 29 Canterbury

Madagascar stuns Sri Lanka
Madagascar stuns Sri Lanka

Tier 3 Action: The inaugural Serendib Cup is an IRB sanctioned competition for emerging countries to be held in Sri Lanka, between hosts Madagascar and Poland. It kicked off this weekend with Sri Lanka being surprised by Madagascar, whom won on a controversial try.

In European Nations Cup action, Netherlands went to Israel and emphatically ended Israel’s winning streak, proving that though the young rugby nation has come far, it still has far to go…. Meanwhile Germany surprised observers by taking down Ukraine on the road and Andorra continued the good weekend by visitors, taking down Latvia in Riga… The only home side to emerge victorious was Hungry, as they easily dispatched Slovenia.

Here are this weekend’s results:
RWCQ Israel 8-52 Netherlands
ENC/RWCQ Ukraine 16-28 Germany
ENC Latvia 19-22 Andorra
ENC Hungary 35-3 Slovenia
SIC Sri Lanka 12-17 Madagascar

Quick Tap:

England's Cash CrisisProgress made in H-Cup talks: Progress made in H-Cup talks: During a two-day summit, brokered by independent mediators Graeme Mew and Stephen Drymer, progress was made. The meeting was attended by chief executives from all six major European unions, plus European Rugby Cup chief executive Derek McGrath and chairman Jean-Pierre Lux, among others. It appears that there is agreement to have a 20-team competition.

The parties were in partial agreement on demands made by top English and French clubs — namely establishing two 20-team European club tournaments from 2014-15 and equitable funding for Aviva Premiership, French Top 14 and RaboDirect PRO12 participants. The graph on the left shows only 4 Premiership’s sides making a yearly profit (Note RWU friend Allan Robson‘s Northampton is one of the 4), so they clearly have an interest in the re-structuring of the current order.

That’s it for now… feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And until the next time… 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.