Weekend Rugby Wrap Up: Top 14, Aviva, Pro 12, Signings, BT Sport and JWRT

James O'Connor
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Leicester's Toby Flood
Leicester’s Toby Flood

NEW YORK, NY:  The three big European leagues, (Top 14, Aviva Premiership) and the Rabodirect Pro 12 were all back in action, kicking off the the start of the season’s second half. It’s time for clubs to either make a run for the playoffs or are be left to die. With the pressure on,  let’s get into the Weekend Rugby Wrap-up.

Top 14: Did someone sayTOP14!?! Then you must be paging on Monsieur James Harrington. CLICK HERE for his review of the weekend’s action.

Aviva Premiership:  Our East Midlands Machiavellian rugger, Nick Hall, will have you covered with the talking points later this week. As for the matches, Sale saw off London Irish, Northampton just got by Wasps and Bath continued their winning streak against HarlequinsExeter had no problem with Newcastle, Saracens demolished Leicester and Gloucester heaped even more misery on Worcester.

Here are the results:
Fri – 20th Dec 13
Sale 15 – 3 London Irish
Sat – 21st Dec 13
Wasps 15 – 17 Northampton
Bath 14 – 3 Harlequins
Exeter 16 – 3 Newcastle
Saracens 49 – 10 Leicester
Sun – 22nd Dec 13
Gloucester 12 – 6 Worcester

RBP12Rabodirect Pro 12: In the Pro 12, it is appearing there are 4 spots available and 5 teams fighting it out for them. Ulster struggled to get by ZebreLeigh Halfpenny shockingly missed two kicks at goal as Ospreys escaped Cardiff with a victory… Edinburgh made a major statement as they took down Leinster… The match between Glasgow and Treviso was postponed due to bad weather. Connacht was able to see off Newport at home, while Munster managed to use a two man advantage against Scarlets in the last minute of the  match for a kick-and-catch-try and win the game in Musgrave Park.

Here are the results:
FRI – 20TH DEC 13
Ulster 13 – 6 Zebre
Cardiff Blues 19 – 22 Ospreys
Edinburgh 11 – 6   Leinster
Glasgow – Benetton Treviso –Postponed due to weather
SAT – 21ST DEC 13
Connacht 14 – 11 Newport Gwent Dragons
Munster 16 – 10 Scarlets

Tier 3 Action: There was only one match this weekend. In the second match of their 2-test series, Beligum went down for a second time to Hong Kong. The Belgians were able to slow down the match to their tempo but the Hong Kongers had too much fire power and managed to steal the victory.

Here are the results:
SAT – 21 DEC 2013
Hong Kong 18 – 15 Beligum

James O'Connor faces a career abroad after having his contract revoked.
James O’Connor is the latest member of the Les Galaticos de Toulon

Penalty Kick:
Major Signings: Apparently French giants Toulouse have not signed Leicester and England flyhalf Toby Flood, according to Toulouse officials. We reported on Friday, the deal was not official and it seems that there is some hitch in the negotiations.  The feeling is the deal will go through sooner or later… In other major signing news, London Irish and Australian utility back James O’Connor has signed with the Les Galaticos de Toulon. Details will be forthcoming.

BT Sport Sponsoring the Celtic Unions: It appears that BT Sport is planning sponsorship deals with the 4 regions/provinces of Wales and Ireland. With competitor Sky Sports owning the rights to the RaboDirect games, it seems that in a move of one-up-manship, BT wants Sky to show matches with the sides prominently displaying their logo on them. We now await for Sky Sports response to this move.

JWRT14 Pools and Match Schedule: The teams and pools for the Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014 have been announced. The JWRT is a tournament that serves as a second tier U-20 rugby tournament for teams not good enough for the Junior World Cup (filled mainly with the U-20 teams of SAANAR and 6 Nations). The 2014 edition of the JWRT will take place in Hong Kong, from April 7th to April 19th.

Here are the pools:
Pool A                Pool B
1. USA                 2. Canada
4. Tonga             3. Japan
5. Georgia          6. Uruguay
8. Hong Kong   7. Namibia

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, Jaime Loyd 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.