A Non-RWC Global Rugby Recap: Muliaina, McGinty, Pro12, Currie, NRC, USA Rugby and More

Mils Muliaina
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Mils Muliaina
Mils Muliaina

NEW YORK, NY – We know, we know!! We missed you too! Awash in our RWC coverage, the Weekend Preview got lost. On top of the that little tournament happening over in England, there has been rugby happening all over the globe. In particular two of the top 3 leagues in Europe, with the third kicking off this weekend. Not to mention all of SANZAR‘s domestic club competitions. So in today’s edition we will catch you up on the standings and the weekend’s fixtures. Immediately after we update you on all the transactions you may have missed. So with no further delay, let’s get into The Global Rugby Recap:

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: Leicester Tigers have signed Tongan center/wing Telusa Veainu until the end of season, while Canadian Prop Djustice Sears-Duru has joined on trial.

Pro 12: The Irish Journal has confirmed that former All Black Mils Muliaina has had the sex assault charges dropped against him. For the full background on this story, click here. We are glad all the charges have been dropped and Mils can get on with his life… Leinster confirmed that Maori All Blacks lock Hayden Triggs has signed a contract with the province until the end of this year’s PRO12 campaign.

Super Rugby: The Sharks announced the appointment of former Springbok scrum-half, Robert du Preez, to their coaching team. He will be an assistant coach during Super Rugby and will head up next year’s Currie Cup tournament… The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) today announced Australian National Rugby Championship Brisbane City winger Junior Laloifi has secured a Queensland Reds contract after being selected as ‘The Ballymore Kid’, following his performances during the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC). ‘The Ballymore Kid’ is a Queensland Rugby initiative for the 2015 Buildcorp NRC in which one player within Queensland’s two squads, Brisbane City and  Queensland Country, was guaranteed a 2016 contract with the Reds for the coming Super Rugby season.

AJ McGinty
AJ McGinty

USA Rugby: USA Men’s Eagles starting fly-half, AJ McGinty has secured a contract with Irish province, Connacht, the province has confirmed in this press release…  Women’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach Jules McCoy has invited 15 athletes to the Olympic Training Center in southern California to join the program’s residents for her first high performance camp, running Monday, Oct. 19, through Friday, Oct. 23. For the list of players invited to the camp, Click Here.

World Rugby: World Rugby clarifies referee decision in the final minutes of the Australia v Scotland quarter-final. Following a full review of match officials’ performance, the World Rugby match official selection committee has clarified the decision made by referee Craig Joubert to award a penalty to Australia for offside in the 78th minute of the Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter-final between Australia and Scotland at Twickenham. For the full statement, Click Here.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Aviva Premiership: The 2015/2016 Aviva Premiership finally kicked off after a one month delay due to the Rugby World Cup. The games began with Harlequins winning a tense encounter against Wasps, Worcester won on a drop goal at the death against Northampton, and Newcastle had no answer for Billy Twelvetrees and Gloucester. Bath snuck by Exeter on Saturday, then Saracens demolished Sale and the weekend concluded with London Irish easily defeated by Leicester.

Here are the results:
Fri – 16 Oct 2015
Harlequins 26-21 Wasps
Worcester Warriors 13-12 Northampton Saints
Newcastle Falcons 27-39 Gloucester Rugby
Sat – 17 Oct 2015
Bath 19-17 Exeter Chiefs
Saracens 41-3 Sale Sharks
Sun – 18 Oct 2015
London Irish 16-28 Leicester Tigers

Bordeaux's influential number 10 Pierre Bernard
Bordeaux’s influential number 10 Pierre Bernard

Top 14: The 2015/2016 #Top14 took a break for pool stages of the RWC, so round 5 kicked off this weekend. The round started off with Agen going down to Bordeaux, Brive edging Toulon, table toppers Clermont dismantled Pau. Grenoble had no answers for Montpellier, Oyonnax were no match for Racing 92, defending champions Stade Francais won against Castres and finally Toulouse did enough to get by La Rochelle.

Here are the results:
Sat – 17th Sep 15
Agen 16-31 Bordeaux Begles
Brive 29-26 Toulon
Clermont Auvergne 35-10 Pau
Grenoble 19-30 Montpellier
Oyonnax 9-18 Racing 92
Stade Francais 22-9 Castres
Toulouse 39-22 La Rochelle

Defending Champs Glasgow Warriors are rounding into shape
Defending Champs Glasgow Warriors are rounding into shape

Guinness Pro 12: The Pro 12 season also took a month off for the pool stages. The league returned for round 4, with Connacht defeating Zebre, Glasgow Warriors winning at home against Newport-Gwent Dragons, Scarlets taking down Leinster and Ulster coming up short on the road in Edinburgh. Treviso lost to the Ospreys and Cardiff Blues became the latest victims of Munster at fortress Thormond.

Here are the results:
Fri – 16 Oct 2015
Connacht 34-15 Zebre
Glasgow Warriors 29-15 Newport-Gwent Dragons
Scarlets 25-14 Leinster
Edinburgh 16-10 Ulster
Sat – 17 Oct 2015
Benetton Treviso 22-25 Ospreys
Munster 35-27 Cardiff Blues

European Nations Cup:The ENC, or the 6 Nations “B” , is the premier tournament for the second-tier nations of Europe. Believe it or not, the ENC consists of seven divisions, each featuring between four and six teams. The matches played will determine who will get promoted and relegated from groups 1B, 2A – 2D, and 3A over a two-year cycle. Division 1A aka the 6 Nations B is where the six best teams in the rest of Europe reside and there is no promotion to the Europe’s premier international rugby competition, only relegation back to 1B… In action over the weekend in 1A, Ukraine easily defeated Poland and 1B saw Bosnia & Herzegovina just edged out Turkey.

Here are the results:
Oct – 17th Sep 15
1B: Ukraine 30-14 Poland
2D: Bosnia & Herzegovina 24-21 Turkey

2013 ITM Champions Canterbury looking for the 2015 title
2013 ITM Champions Canterbury looking for the 2015 title

ITM Cup: It is now playoff time in the ITM, if you were curious of our pre-season predictions, CLICK HERE. The Championship (lower division) semi-finals saw Hawkes Bay, who recently lost the Ranfury Shield to Waikato, won versus Bay of Plenty and the other semi-final saw Wellington easily dispatch Otago. In the Premiership, it was the battle of the old guard versus the leaders of the new school. Canterbury and Auckland who have won 15 titles between them and traditionally dominated the ITM (Auckland in the ’90s and early ’00s and Canterbury in late ’00s and ’10s) will tackle Taranaki who have been around for years but are experiencing a resurgence and are shaking things up and Tasman who were only created a few years back and have been very competitive, including losing last year’s final to Taranaki. It turned out to be the old guards day as both Auckland and Canterbury handling took down the new school.

Here are the results:
Sat – 17th Oct 15
Semi-Final 1: Hawkes Bay 33-26 Bay Of Plenty
Semi-Final 2: Wellington 34-14 Otago

Semi-Final 1: Auckland 44-24 Tasman
Semi-Final 2: Canterbury 46-20 Taranaki

Currie Cup: The 77th edition of the Currie Cup is also in its playoffs. In the first semi-final, the Blue Bulls welcomed Western Province to the highveld and were too gracious as hosts as Province snuck out with the win. The Golden Lions managed tow in a high scoring thriller against the Free State Cheetahs for the honor to play for the Cup.  It will be a rematch of the 2014 final as Province will on the Lions in the 2015 final.

Here are the results:
Fri – 16 Oct 2015
Semi-Final 1: Blue Bulls 18-23 Western Province
Sat – 17 Oct 2015
Semi-Final 2: Golden Lions 43-33 Free State Cheetahs

Brisbane City in action
Brisbane City in action

Aus. NRC: Australia’s third tier competition goes into its second year as the National Rugby Championship has kicked off. We took the time to provide a preview and explain the competition, just CLICK HERE. Those with New York Rugby Club ties like me, will be supporting the defending champs Brisbane City since one of their feeder clubs, is New York’s sister club West (Brisbane) Bulldogs. With the final round being played this weekend, Brisbane City and the UC Vikings have already locked in the top two spots on the competition ladder, ensuring home semi-finals. The team that tops the table at the end of the regular season plays the fourth-placed side, with second playing third. Five teams can still take the two remaining Buildcorp NRC berths. UC Vikings romped over Queensland Country to start the weekend, while Brisbane City absolutley destroyed the Greater Sydney Rams and kept hold of the Horan-Little Shield (the Aussie version of the Ranfury Shield). NSW Country Eagles easily defeated North Harbour and Melbourne did enough to get by Sydney. Despite the loss for Sydney they still managed to claim the final playoff spot courtesy of points difference over NSW Country. Melbourne secured 3rd place.

Here are the results:
Thu – 15th Oct 15
Queensland Country 8 – 42 University of Canberra Vikings
Sat – 17th Oct 15
Brisbane City 7124 Greater Sydney Rams
NSW Country Eagles 5024 North Harbour Rays
Sun – 18th Oct 15
Melbourne Rising 1810 Sydney Stars

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, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Nick Hall, DJ Eberle, Jake Frechette, Scheenagh Harrington, Jamie Loyd, Cody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter, Ronan Nelson, Kaitlin McCabe, Rocky Brown and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And remember to 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.