NEW YORK, NY – The Weekend Rugby Recap is slowly getting more and more rugby to cover. Only one of the 3 premier leagues in the northern hemisphere has kicked off so far, so we’re not completely at capacity, but with the Top 14, 3 of the 4 premier domestic competitions in the Southern Hemisphere and the premier international rugby tournament in that same Hemisphere, we’ve got plenty. In addition to all that action, there are global Player Moves and happenings and USA Rugby News. Let’s get to it:
The Rugby Championship: Round two is in the books. The Wallabies of Australia needed to break their incredible losing streak at Eden Park in Auckland against their arch-nemesis, the AIG New Zealand All Blacks, to have any hopes of winning one of the oldest trophies in sport, Lord Bledisloe’s Cup… On the other side of the globe, Los Pumas of Argentina were seeking their first major TRC victory against the Springboks of South Africa. Our resident Kiwi, Jamie Wall, has a great review of the two matches. Please CLICK HERE.
Currie Cup: South Africa’s Currie Cup just wrapped up its 3rd round of action and it was another home-side sweep… Pumas handily defeated Griquas, while the Eastern Province Kings travel to the highveld and came up painfully short to the Blue Bulls. Western Province were rude hosts to the Golden Lions as they almost doubled them. The Cheetahs will return to the Vrystraat (Free State) ruing their mistakes as they lost a winnable game in Durban to the Sharks. CLICK HERE for a complete preview of the competition.
ITM Cup: For our preview of the season, CLICK HERE. As this weekend, the second round kicked off on Thursday as Southland traveled to the near tip of the north island and got a win against North Harbour. On Friday, Waikato were put to the sword against Canterbury while Hawkes Bay needed a drop goal at the death from New Zealand AIG Maori All Black Ihaia West in order to down Taranaki. The northern tip of the north island, Northland welcomes the capital city boys aka Wellington, while Counties Manukau take on Otago, Manawatu faces an Auckland side looking to rebound and Bay of Plenty will square off with Tasman.
Here are the results:
Thu – 21st Aug 14
North Harbour 21 – 25 Southland
Fri – 22nd Aug 14
Waikato 27-58 Canterbury
Hawkes Bay 29-26 Taranaki
Sat – 23rd Aug 14
Northland 35-5 Wellington
Counties Manukau 29-25 Otago
Sun – 24th Aug 14
Manawatu 7-35 Auckland
Bay Of Plenty 27-56 Tasman
Australia NRC: Australia finally has a third tier competition as the inaugural National Rugby Championship kicked off this weekend. For a preview and explanation of the competition, CLICK HERE… Working Class Rugger will have be back later in the week with talking points for this and every round.
Of the leagues 9 teams, WCR will be partial to his club, the Greater Sydney Rams, while yours truly and some other RWU Staff with the New York Rugby Club will be supporting Brisbane City – since one their feeder clubs is New York’s sister club West (Brisbane) Bulldogs. Anyway, Brisbane City outplayed the Sydney Stars in Thursday’s match… The University of Canberra Vikings lost to the Perth Spirit thanks to a last gasp try… New South Wales County demolished provincial rivals Greater Sydney Rams and Melbourne defeated the other Sydney team, North Harbour Rays in a shootout.
Here are the results:
Thu – 21st Aug 14
Brisbane City 45-20 Sydney Stars
Sat – 23rd Aug 14
UC Vikings 23-28 Perth Spirit
NSW Country Eagles 31-2 Greater Sydney Rams
Sun – 24 Aug 14
Melbourne Rising 55-34 North Harbour Rays
Transactions: Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton has been offered a new four-year contract with Top 14 side Racing Métro, according to the club’s joint coach Laurent Labit. This is key news because it appears that his former team, the Irish province Leinster, has been making overtures. We all await Mssr. Sexton‘s decision.
With an eye on next year’s Super Rugby season, the Crusaders have signed Highlanders hooker Ged Robinson on a two-year deal.
USA Rugby News and Updates: – USA Rugby finally announced that following regionally-based nominations and voting processes, six representatives have been elected to the 2014 College Management Council (CMC). USA Rugby Board Member and College Management Council Chairman Peter Seccia is now joined on the CMC by Renee Ovrut (Northeast), Ellen Owens (Pacific Northwest), Mark Wilson (Southwest), Bill Sexton (West), Tom Rooney (Midwest) and Michele Yarbrough (South).
The Canadian women’s Under-20 team defeated the USA Rugby AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans, 51-5, Wednesday in the first match of the Under-20 Can-Am Series at London St. George’s Rugby Football Club. The second test on Saturday in Sarnia resulted in 43-6 victory for Canada. Considering their second place finish in the Women’s Rugby World Cup, it appears the future looks bright for Canadian women’s rugby.
Joost, ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge: By now the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral and though we are all getting sick of it, something rugby newsworthy occurred this weekend. Joost van der Westhuizen did the ice bucket challenge. What makes it amazing is Joost suffers from Motor Neuron Disease, a form of ALS. This incredible great of the game (seriously, if you haven’t seen him play, search YouTube for full Springbok games from 1993-2003) will not live much longer as his body betrays him, though he still has his full mental capacity. Before doing his challenge, Joost challenged the All Blacks, Wallabies and Springboks to the ice bucket challenge. Wallaby Nick White has already begun the acceptance process.
Eleven NZ greats inducted into Hall of Fame: The night before the Bledisloe Cup match in Eden Park, eleven legends of New Zealand rugby were inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame at a special ceremony. This latest induction group represents the incorporation into the IRB Hall of Fame of the Rugby Hall of Fames of IRB member nations. Presentations were made by Hall of Fame panel member Don Cameron and New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew. The new inductees are: Fred Allen, Don Clarke, Grant Fox, Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Jones, Ian Kirkpatrick, John Kirwan, Terry McLean, Colin Meads, Graham Mourie and George Nepia.
James Foley and Steven Sotloff: We normally stay out of the non-rugby realm but sometimes it finds you. This week the world was rocked by the execution of photojournalist James Foley and the threatened execution of Steven Sotloff. We were sent word from the Rugby Rain Man Collective that Foley had played rugby at Marquette University in the USA and Steven Sotloff, is a Central Florida alumnus and played rugby in Florida with guys from the Fort Lauderdale rugby club. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Foley family and pray for the best for Steven and his family. Rugby has its own 7 degrees of separation that is unique and I am proud to be involved in a sport that draws individuals of great character such as James Foley and Steven Sotloff to it.
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, Karen Ritter , Jamie Wall, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.
….And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.