NEW YORK, NY: Welcome to the first Weekend Rugby Recap of 2014. It’s a New year but we’re sticking to the game plan and we’ve got the three big European leagues – the Aviva Premiership, Top 14 & RaboDirect Pro 12 – to keep us busy, along . We have the transfer market and player moves covered, plus the latest in the Welsh Rugby drama covered. So let’s stop mucking about and get to the Weekend Wrap.
Aviva Premiership: The last weekend of action before the Heineken Cup had some interesting results. Our East Midlands Machiavellian rugger, Nick Hall, has got all the the talking points. As for this weekend’s results, Sale doubled up on Newcastle in a northern derby, while Northampton put a stop to the winning streak of Harlequins… London Irish made sure Worcester Warriors stayed winless and the latter are now staring relegation dead in the face… Gloucester were outclassed by Saracens… Bath fought to a thrilling standstill in Leicester at a rain-soaked Welford Road and Wasps won on a last-gasp drop goal against Exeter.
Here are this weekend’s results:
FRI – 3RD JAN 14
Newcastle 8 – 16 Sale Sharks
Northampton 23 – 9 Harlequins
SAT – 4TH JAN 14
London Irish 22 – 9 Worcester
Gloucester 8 – 29 Saracens
SUN – 5TH JAN 14
Leicester 27 – 27 Bath
Wasps 19 – 16 Exeter
RaboDirect Pro 12: The New Year’s weekend fixtures were the also derby matches, like the Boxing Day weekend fixtures… On Friday, Ulster showed why Ravenhill is a fortress as they dismissed leaders Munster… Meanwhile, in a Welsh derby, Ospreys snuck by a fiery Scarlets side… In the Italian derby, Zebre secured their first home win of the season against Treviso and Leinster beat Connacht in a tight match decided by some controversial calls – according to Connacht’s Pat Lam.
Signings/Player Moves: It appears troubled Australian utility back James O’Connor will leave the London Irish when his contract expires later this year and return to Australia in a bid to make the RWC2015 team… Cardiff Blues and Wales back-row Andries Pretorius will join Premiership side Worcester Warriors at the end of the season… Edinburgh continues to earn their new nickname Edinbokke, as they have signed another South African; Andries Strauss, center for the Super Rugby side the Southern Kings, has signed on with Edinburgh until 2016. Considering Strauss is not capped for SA, he has an outside chance of eventually being capped for Scotland – like his brother Richardt – who is capped and plays for Ireland… The ACT Brumbies of Super Rugby have signed 23-year-old Japan international Harumichi Tatekawa for the upcoming season. Tatekawa is a 10/12 back and should do well under the tutelage of Wallaby legend Stephen Larkham. Tatekawa was previously coached in Japan by former Wallaby Toutai Kefu, who says Tatekawa ”…is the best Japanese player I’ve seen.”
WRU propose new regional agreement: It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28). Why are we quoting Macbeth? Because the latest news from the Wales Rugby Union says a lot without saying much at all. It appears the Board of Directors at the WRU have met and decided that the best way forward for rugby in Wales is to try and continue their agreement with the RRW (Regional Rugby Wales). This means the WRU will present the RRW with an agreement later in the week. No further details were released about the agreement and if it would meet the RRW’s demands. We only know 1 degree more than we knew a week ago, which was “…no clue of how things will end.”
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.