Weekend Rugby Recap: Finals Of The Pro12, Top 14, And Aviva W/ CRC7s, USA Rugby And June Internationals

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Japan v SamoaNEW YORK, NY-  The first page of the Rugby Wrap Up website lists the 6 most recently published articles. We were so busy this weekend that between Friday night’s Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) in the USA and this article, we spilled over into the second page. It is to be expected when we covered everyday of the CRC’s, then the USA Eagles Scrimmage. We still had to make room for the final professional games of legends Brian O’Driscoll and Jonny Wilkinson in the Rabodirect Pro12 and Top14 finals, respectively. The champion of the Aviva English Premiership also had to be decided this weekend. Super Rugby refused to be forgotten about and if that wasn’t enough we have our coverage of the most recent player transactions,  June Internationals, USA Rugby news and so much more. Let’s just dive straight into the Weekend Rugby Recap: 

June Internationals – An under-strength Samoa side containing mostly domestic amateurs were soundly defeated by a nearly full strength and professional Japan. Argentina warmed-up for their Internationals against Ireland by steamrolling the CONSUR (South American Rugby Union) All-star side.  The original and most famous all-star side, The Barbarians  won their match against the England Saxons, though they played as England. Since the majority of first-choice players were already in New Zealand or in the Aviva Prem Final, it was England’s second string. However, it was still an exciting match and reminded people that the Barbarians still have a place in this ever more professional game. Another match occurring prior to the Internationals getting into full swing was the Wales trial match, which saw the probables steamroll the possibles. The match did accomplish its goals as a few uncapped stars where named for Wales’ tour of South Africa.  Canada held their own trial match as a BC select-side full of internationals just managed to scrap by a Canada select side. The match celebrated the 125th anniversary of BC  Rugby.

Here are the results:
FRI – 30TH MAY 14
TOUR Japan  33 – 14  Samoa
SAT – 31ST MAY 14
M INT  Argentina 40 – 0 South America (CONSUR All Stars)
M INT  Wales Probables 55 – 7 Wales Possibles
M INT  British Colombia Selects 27 – 26 Canada Selects
SUN – 1ST JUN 14
TOUR  England 29 – 39 Barbarians

Top 14 – Our Top 14 expert, James Harrington has a great report on the Top14 final, the final game for His Supreme Majesty, The Legendary Lord Sir Jonny of Wilkinson.  CLICK HERE to check it out.

Aviva Premiership – Our English American,  Nick Hall, will be back later with an in-depth breakdown of the Aviva final. For those that missed it, Northampton carried over their momentum from winning the Amlin Cup as they forced Saracens to finish their season trophy-less with a heart of a champion display in an instant classic of a match.

Here are the results:
SAT – 31ST MAY 14
Saracens 20 – 24 Northampton

brian-o-driscoll-wins-pro12RaboDirect Pro12 – The greatest player to ever play for Leinster, Ireland and in the Pro 12, Brian O’Driscoll signed off as a champion. It was no more than he deserved as a legend. Leinster had a dominant performance in a thrilling match as they easily put Glasgow to the sword.

Here are the results:
SAT – 31ST MAY 14
Leinster 34 – 12 Glasgow

Super Rugby – The RWU Super Rugby Superman, Jamie Wall, has found time between blasting the absurd inability for the powers that be to create a global calender and reviewing an upset filled weekend in Super Rugby. Please CLICK HERE.

Tier 3 – The weekend’s Tier 3 calendar also joins the June Internationals party. We will begin with the European Nations Cup, which consists of 7 divisions, each with 4-6 teams. The matches determine who will get promoted and relegated form groups 1A, 1B, 2A – 2D, and 3A. Finland w0n against Bosnia & Herzegovina to avoid their worst ranking ever and deny Bosnia the opportunity to take the ENC 2D title.

The Asian5N is short for the Asian 5 Nations, which is similar to the ENC but with 5 divisions and 5 teams in each. In the Division 3 East region, Indonesia narrowly defeated Laos to win 3rd place and China barreled over Guam in to win D3 East and be promoted to Division 2.

The NACRA Championship is the same as the previously mentioned tournaments – except it’s for  North America and the Caribbean. It is not as layered as the other three competitions and has the weaker teams play qualifiers to get to a stage that it would seem fair to bring in the larger unions. USA Rugby competes in this tournament by sending the USA South Regional all-star team, in order to develop talent and make the competition a much fairer one. This weekend will see two tiny but proud nations in Turks & Caicos and The Bahamas faced off in a tight affair with the Bahamas just narrowly walking away victorious.

Here are the results:
SAT – 31ST MAY 14
ENC Finland 29 – 25 Bosnia & Herzegovina

ASIA5N D3 East  3rd/4th Laos 10 – 11 Indonesia
ASIA5N D3 East Final Guam 10 – 41 China

NACRA CH Turks & Caicos 11 – 13 Bahamas

Junior World Cup: The JWC is the yearly World Cup held for U-20 teams of the top tier rugby playing nations. Italy had to qualify for it by winning last year’s Junior World Trophy, the second tier competition. The tournament kicked off,Monday morning in New Zealand. There were no big shocks as all the favorites won easily, except for the France v Ireland which was the match of the round..

Here are the results:
MON – 2ND JUN 14
JWC Argentina 17 – 36 Australia
JWC South Africa 61 – 5 Scotland
JWC Wales 48 – 19 Fiji
JWC England 63 – 3 Italy
JWC France 19 – 13 Ireland
JWC New Zealand 48 – 12 Samoa

Sona Taumalolo
Sona Taumalolo

Penalty Kick:
Signings/Player Moves: Newcastle Falcons back-row Chris York has re-signed for the 2014/15 Premiership campaign. Exeter Chiefs proudly announced the re-signing 0f England Jack Nowell thru 2017.

In the coaching world, Northampton Saints have rewarded director of rugby Jim Mallinder with a new five-year contract with the club… Australian coach Phil Blake will join Leicester Tigers’ staff as the defense coach for the 2014/2015 season… London Irish have made three changes to their backroom staff for next season with the additions of Steve Walsh, Brian O’Leary and Andre Quinn. Walsh will work as the Head of Athletic Performance with Quinn as a Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach and O’Leary joins as Head of Medical Services.

Edinburgh announced a huge coup in the signing of 22-year-old Scotland fly-half Tom Heathcote, from Bath, on a one-year deal to 2015.

Tongan international tighthead prop Sona Taumalolo is rumored to become the latest  player to leave Perpignan. He is allegedly heading back to Super Rugby and playing for the Chiefs agains, according to sources. Former Auckland and Cardiff Blues 8man Xavier Rush has been named assistant coach and forwards coach for Auckland ITM Cup side. Rush will be assisting the newly promoted Paul Feeney.


USA Rugby News and Updates: The USA Eagles played an un-publicized scrimmage against a Glendale Raptors-Denver Barbarians mixed side in Glendale. RWU staff member Mike Holzman was out there to cover it and filed an interesting report. Click HERE  to read more.

The USA Rugby National Club finals were played at Breese Stevens Field in Madison, Wisconsin, over the weekend. The historic 4,000-seat stadium located in the heart of downtown Madison was host to some great rugby.

Here are the results:
2014 USA Rugby National Club Championships

 Men’s Division III Old Blue of New York D3 25 – 7 Life West Gladiators
Women’s Division II Pittsburgh Angels 36 – 21 Sacramento Amazons
Men’s Division II Rocky Gorge Rugby 29 – 5 Tempe Old Devils
Women’s Division I Chicago North Shore 10 – 48 Oregon Sports Union
Men’s Division I Life Running Eagles 39 – 7 New Orleans Rugby

College Rugby Championship 7s
The second most important 7s event in USA Rugby – after the Vegas 7s – occured this weekend. RWU was represented there by Jake Frechette, Matt McCarthy and Johnathan Wicklow Barberie. Click HERE, HERE and HERE for coverage of each day’s action.

Concussions: We would like to refer all our readers to this great story on the seriousness of concussions and the importance of recovery time from them, written by former professional Rugby Union and Rugby League international, Shontayne Hape. Click HERE.

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 BlaberDJ EberleNick HallJames HarringtonCody KuxmannJaime LoydKaren Ritter Jamie WallJake Frechette 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.