Raptors Take WPL, Toomua, Talebula, Challenge Cup, Rio Qualifying, World Rugby News

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Matt Toomua: “It is a tooma!

NEW YORK, NY – After a weekend that featured much of rugby being influenced by the horrific tragedy of the Paris attacks, we continue to stay on the path of not bowing to those that want us to change our lives, by simply doing what we do – playing, watching and covering rugby.  With that, here’s your quick and easy Global Rugby Recap.

News & Transactions:
Ladies first…

Glendale Raptors Women
Bravo, Raptors!

USA Rugby: The Glendale Raptors won their second Women’s Premier League title in as many years Sunday in a 26-17 defeat of Berkeley All Blues at Infinity Park,Glendale, Colorado. We’d love to have more on this match and all of women’s rugby, but need correspondents. If you or someone you know is keen, please let us know!

Aviva Premiership: Leicester Tigers announced that Wallabies utility back Matt Toomua will join the club in the summer of 2016.

Top 14: Bordeaux-Bègles announced that their exciting Fiji international fullback Metuisela Talebula has signed a three-year contract extension… Racing 92 center Alexandre Dumoulin has signed a three-year contract to join Top 14 rivals Montpellier after this season… South Africa fly-half Morné Steyn has signed a new two-year deal to remain with Top 14 champions Stade Français.

Super Rugby: Former All Blacks flanker Tanerau Latimer will return to Super Rugby in New Zealand with the Blues in 2016, the franchise confirmed.

World Rugby: Springbok veteran lock Victor Matfield will captain a strong-looking Barbarians team that will take on Gloucester at Kingsholm on Tuesday. The full squad list can be found here… The latest version of the World Rugby Rankings are out. View the full rankings.

The weekend’s fixtures:

Again, Ladies first,
Exhibition Match: England’s Izzy Noel-Smith scored a late try to snatch victory against Ireland in a tight game on a wet and windy night at Twickenham Stoop.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 14 Nov 2015

England 8-3 Ireland

European Champions Cup: It is opening weekend in the European (Rugby) Champions Cup. This was good news for fans as there was still a bit of a hangover after the world with all the European teams going out in the quarterfinals. We will have a complete review of all the action as well as the results of the expert panel’s picks later this week.

European_Rugby_Challenge_Cup_LogoEuropean Challenge Cup: The second tier European Challenge Cup has become a quality tournament in its own right, with loads of mid-table European clubs playing exciting rugby and showing their ambition to graduate from this competition and move on to the Champions Cup.The weekend began with Harlequins crushing Montpellier then Brive edging Newcastle, and Edinburgh dominating Grenoble. In the other weekend’s match-ups, Connacht got the win after making nearly a three-quarter’s of a day journey to Siberia to defeat RC Enisei, while Calvisano got squashed by the Cardiff Blues. London Irish crushed Agen, Worcester Warriors crusied by La Rochelle, Gloucester got the win against Zebre and Pau ‘s match with Castres was called off due to the Paris terror attacks and the nationwide state of emergency. The final match of the round will saw Newport-Gwent take down Sale.

Here are the results:
Thu – 12 Nov 2015
Harlequins 41-18 Montpellier
Fri – 13 Nov 2015
Brive 13-9 Newcastle Falcons
Edinburgh 28-10 Grenoble
Sat – 14 Nov 2015

RC Enisei 14-31 Connacht
Calvisano 9-50 Cardiff Blues
London Irish 48-10 Agen
Worcester Warriors 19-3 La Rochelle
Gloucester Rugby 23-10 Zebre
Pau 0-0 Castres
Fri – 15 Nov 2015
Newport Gwent Dragons 30-12 Sale Sharks

Regional Olympic Qualifiers: Each of World Rugby’s regional rugby unions must hold playoffs for their teams to book their places in the XXIX Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 for the Men and the Women. The regional unions are Rugby Afrique, Oceania Rugby, Rugby Europe, Asia Rugby, NACRA, and ConSuR.

Rugby Afrique – In South Africa, Kenya’s men qualified for the rugby sevens event in Rio 2016 a thrilling win over Zimbabwe in the final of the African regional qualifier in Johannesburg. HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series core team Kenya had lived up to their tag as tournament favorites on day one, a combination of power and raw pace seeing them through to the final on day two. In the final, the difference was a last minute try by Dennis Ombachi , just as Kenya looked dead and buried with time on the clock virtually finished, racing 65 metres and fending off a would-be tackler on his way to the line. It was a brave effort by the Sables of Zimbabewe. they now enter the global repechage along with the third and fourth place side, Morocco and Tunisia, respectively.

Qualified to Rio 2016:
Men: Kenya
Qualified to Repechage:
Men: Zimbabwe, Morocco, Tunisia

Fiji Women qualified

Oceania Rugby – The Australia men and Fiji women both won their respective Oceania Sevens titles and were rewarded with places at the 2016 Olympic Games rugby sevens tournament in Rio de Janeiro. Both teams remained unbeaten over the weekend and were clearly the best teams in their respective events as the scores in the finals suggest. Australia beat Tonga 50-0 in their final while Fijiana drubbed Samoa 55-0. The runners-up and third place side for men, Tonga and Samoa, along with the women, Samoa and Cook Islands, qualified for the global repechage.

Qualified to Rio 2016:
Men: Australia
Women: Fiji
Qualified to Repechage:
Men: Tonga, Samoa
Women: Samoa, Cook Islands

rugby europeEuropean 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 this weekend, we had in 1B Poland edging out Moldova, 2A had Israel losing big in Switzerland and in 2C we saw Slovenia outlast Denmark and Luxembourg edge out Serbia.

Here are the results:
Sat – 14 Nov 2015
1B: Poland
18-14 Moldova
Switzerland 28-3 Israel
2A: Croatia
34-27 Malta
2C: Slovenia 21-16 Denmark
2C: Luxembourg
30-24 Serbia

Sudamerica Rugby: Formerly the SAMC now just Sudamerica Ruby is the same as the ENC – except it’s South America, a minor detail – and that it has 4 divisions featuring 15 teams. It is the battle to find the 2nd best team in South America with Argentina the firm number 1. The top division is called the CONSUR division and features Argentina’s B team, Uruguay and Chile. Speaking of the CONSUR, there is a B division and the weekend saw a battle for the B division final. The Colombian Toucans beat a spirited host side Peru to win their second consecutive South American B Championship in Lima. Inspirational captain Sebastián Mejía Gil scored a hat-trick as Colombia recorded a 28-15, four-try win to set up a promotion decider against Brazil, on 12 December, in Sao Paulo, to decide who plays in the region’s top tier next season. In the earlier game on Saturday, Venezuela beat Ecuador 42-11 to secure third place.

Here are the results:
Sat – 14 Nov 2015
CONSUR B Final: Colombia
28-15 Peru
CONSUR B 3rd/4th Playoff: Venezuela
42-11 Ecuador

Hong Kong Cup of Nations: The 2015 Cup of Nations will be the third Cup of Nations tournament, but the first to be held outside the United Arab Emirates. Unlike 2011 and 2012, the Cup of Nations will be staged in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Football Club Stadium from November 13 to 21. The tournament will act as a year ending tournament for tier 3 teams from different continents. The action started on Friday and continues in the midweek with Hong Kong playing Portugal and Zimbabwe taking on Russia.

Here is the schedule:
Wed – 18 Nov 2015

Hong Kong – Portugal
Zimbabwe – Russia

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.