Women’s Rugby, Lions 2017 Tour, Davis, The Rugby Championship

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BIL NZ Tour 2017
Lions 2017

NEW YORK, NY – The weekend being over is a disappointment to all. However, there is always the recap to remind you of all the action/fun that went down. In addition to results on the fixture list, this Global Rugby Recap has some fascinating rugby morsels to devour re the British & Irish Lions 2017 Tour, Davis, Women’s Rugby and The Rugby Championship and more… so without further adieu, let’s get to it.

News & Transactions:

Aviva Premiership: The schedule for the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017 has been heavily criticized by English rugby bosses. Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty labelled the 10-match tour “not sustainable” for players. The squad is scheduled to depart for New Zealand before the Premiership and PRO12 finals as the first match takes place on the same weekend as the Top14 final in France. Coincidentally, the schedule was confirmed in 2015, so it was out before this year’s AP schedule was confirmed. For more info on what the spivs, ahem, rugby bosses are complaining about, click hereHarlequins announced that Olympic silver medalist Ollie Lindsay-Hague has left the club to pursue other options in his playing career.

Spike Davis
Spike Davis

PRO Rugby: PRO Rugby sensation Spike Davis was on the bench for the Tasman Griffins in their reserve-grade fixture against Otago ‘B.’ Davis is hoping to ascend into the senior Tasman Makos Mitre 10 Cup team rapidly and possibly catching the eyes of Super Rugby selectors. Should Davis crack the Makos lineup, he will join three other PRO exports in the Mitre 10 Cup. Denver Stampede and USA international prop Chris Baumann is at Wellington, San Francisco Rush loose forward Bill Fukofuka at Southland, and San Diego Breakers and Canada international prop Jake Ilnicki has joined Manawatu.

usa_rugby_logoUSA Rugby: One of the best 7s tournaments of the US domestic calendar was played this weekend when some of the best teams in the country arrived at Infinity Park, in Glendale, Colorado for the Serevi RugbyTown 7s. With the USA now focused on an Olympic cycle, this tournament and its tradition of launching players into the national team conversation becomes more important. This years winners were:

Champions: Denver 7s
Second place: Glendale Raptors
Third Place: Rambling Jesters
Plate: British Army
Bowl: Rugby Utah

World Rugby LogoWorld Rugby: All Black prop Owen Franks has escaped punishment after SANZAAR determined he did not eye-gouge an Australian player during Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test. New Zealand won the contest but afterwards footage emerged of an incident where it appears Franks tries to put his fingers in Kane Douglas’ face… Meanwhile, Springbok back-rower Tebojo Mohoje has been called upon by the SANZAAR, citing commissioner to declare and may be sanctioned for his dangerous and over-zealous tackling... With exactly a year to go until the final of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 takes place in Ireland, tickets for the semi-finals and finals days have gone on sale. Kingspan Stadium in Belfast will be the venue for the final on 26 August, 2017 and semi-finals day on 22 August with hosts Ireland guaranteed to play on both days. Why are they guaranteed, you ask? Click here for the explanation… For all those concerned when we published the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series for the upcoming 2016/2017 schedule and saw no USA venue listed, relax. World Rugby has stated in a press release that a sixth leg will will be added to the schedule in due course. We can only assume the sixth leg will be the USA leg. However, we have been surprised before so stay tuned. And in case you missed it, here are the confirmed 5 legs.

HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2016-17 dates and venues:

Dubai: 1-2 December, 2016
Sydney: 3-4 February, 2017
Kitakyushu: 22-23 April
Victoria/Langford: 27-28 May
Clermont-Ferrand: 24-25 June

 The weekend’s fixtures:

top14logo on grassTop 14: If it feels like the Top 14 season just ended, it did. It was less than 60 days between the end of the Top14 final and the start of the season, not to mention the players also had to deal with pre-season. The season was extended a month because of the Rugby World Cup so hopefully this year, it won’t last as long. The twelve returning teams this season are champions Racing 92, runners-up Toulon, Clermont, Montpellier, Toulouse, Castres, Bordeaux, Brive, La Rochelle, Grenoble, Pau and Stade Français . Two new teams from the 2015–16 Pro D2 season were promoted to Top 14 this year, Bayonne and Lyon in place of the two relegated teams, Agen and Oyonnax. It marks the first time that both teams relegated are both promoted in the following season (Bayonne and Lyon where both relegated during the 2014–15 Top 14 season). The line-up for the weekend began with Toulon bouncing back from last week’s shock loss at Bayonne as they defeated Pau. In the other fixtures, La Rochelle won at Grenoble, Racing 92 proved too strong for Lyon while Bayonne and Castres played out a draw, while Brive saw off Stade Français on home soil and Toulouse got the better of Bordeaux-Bègles in the late Top 14 game. In the final match of the weekend, Clermont-Auvergne recorded their first win of the new season as they edged out hosts Montpellier.

Here are the results:
Sat – 27 Aug 2016
Pau 18-22 Toulon
Grenoble 19-22 La Rochelle
Racing 92 29-16 Lyon
Bayonne 12-12 Castres
Brive 28-20 Stade Français
Toulouse 22-17 Bordeaux-Bègles
Sun – 28 Aug 2016
Montpellier – Clermont-Auvergne

The All Blacks celebrate with the Bledisloe Cup as their reign continues (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

The Rugby Championship: New Zealand will hold onto the Bledisloe Cup for another year. It the  opening match of the second weekend for The Rugby Championship, the All Blacks proved to be once again too strong for the Wallabies. In the other match, Argentina manged to do what they couldn’t do last weekend and hold on against South Africa. The long trip from the Republic forced a slow start but in front of their fans in Salta, the Pumas for once found a way to avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against the Bokke.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 27 Aug 2016
New Zealand  29-9 Australia
Argentina 26-24 South Africa

The Currie Cup

2016 Currie Cup qualification: The tournament is a competition that will be played between 5 August and 15 October 2016 and will feature nine teams that qualified through the 2016 Currie Cup qualification competition. The 9 South African provincial unions are Pumas, Sharks, Blue Bulls, Western Province, Eastern Province, Boland, Griquas, Free State and Golden Lions. This will be the 78th edition of South Africa’s premier domestic rugby union competition. The fourth round of fixtures began with the Golden Lions bouncing back from their shock defeat last week by smashing Boland. While the Pumas fell short against Griquas and in the battle of the Provinces, Eastern got smashed by Western. Finally, the Sharks knocked off their long time rivals, the Blue Bulls.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 26 Aug 2016
Golden Lions 60-12 Boland Kavaliers
Pumas 35-41 Griquas
Sat – 27 Aug 2016
Eastern Province Kings 6-36 Western Province
Sharks 26-19 Blue Bulls

The Kel Tremain Memorial Trophy now the Mitre 10 Cup rugby trophy.

Mitre 10 Cup: The Mitre 10 Cup (formally known “National Provincial Championship” or “NPC“) is the highest level of New Zealand domestic professional rugby union competition, contested annually from late August to early November and managed by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU). Building off competitions dating back to the National Provincial Championship in 1976, with teams from a number of provinces, the Mitre 10 Cup officially started with the 2006 season with 14 teams after the National Provincial Championship (NPC) was split into this professional competition and the amateur Heartland Championship competition. The competition was known as the Air New Zealand Cup to the end of the 2009 season; the name then changed to the ITM Cup for the 2010 season after ITM, the trading name of Independent Timber Merchants Co-operative Ltd., a New Zealand building supplies retailer took over as lead sponsor. In 2016 the New Zealand-owned home improvement and garden retailer, Mitre 10 took over sponsorship after out-bidding ITM. For the Mitre 10 Cup competition it will involve the top 14 provincial unions of New Zealand. It was a home team sweep this weekend in the M10. The schedule began with Otago topping Wellington, Manawatu edged out Southland, and Auckland won comfortably against neighborly rival Northland going at it. The action continued with Waikato taking down North Harbour, Taranaki thumping Hawkes Bay, Canterbury crushing their little brother union, Tasman and finally Counties-Manukau were able to fight off a stern challenge from Bay of Plenty.

Here is the schedule:
Thu – 25 Aug 2016
Otago 44-21 Wellington
Fri – 26 Aug 2016
Manawatu 34-31 Southland
Auckland 37-15 Northland
Sat – 27 Aug 2016
Waikato 26-15 North Harbour
Taranaki 55-28 Hawkes Bay
Sat – 28 Aug 2016
Canterbury 45-14 Tasman
Counties-Manukau 39-34 Bay Of Plenty

Aus. NRC: Australia’s third tier competition goes into its third year as the National Rugby Championship kicks off. Those with New York Rugby Club ties like me, will be supporting the two-time defending champs Brisbane City since one of their feeder clubs, is New York’s sister club West (Brisbane) Bulldogs. This weekend saw the Perth Spirit open the festivities by defeating the Melbourne Rising. New South Wales Country Eagles upset Brisbane City, while in the Sydney derby Sydney Rays smashed the Western Sydney Rams. Finally, Queensland Country had no answer for University of Canberra Vikings to close out the weekend.

Here is the schedule:
Fri – 26 Aug 2016
Perth Spirit 20-16 Melbourne Rising
Sat – 27 Aug 2016
NSW Country Eagles 22-12 Brisbane City
Sydney Rays 50-30 Western Sydney Rams
Sat – 27 Aug 2016
Queensland Country 20-58 UC Vikings

Sudamerica RugbySudamerica 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 was a B/C division relegation-promotion match this weekend. Guatemala are the C division champions and played Ecuador, the last place team in the B division. Ecuador by the slimmest of margins possible won the match and the right to stay in the B division. Don’t be surprised if these two sides face off again next year in the same match.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 27 Aug 2016
B/C Promtion/Relegation Playoff: Ecuador 26-25 Guatemala

Exhibition: In an exhibition match, granted test status by World Rugby, to help improve each sides depth against international competition, Kenya defeated Hong Kong in Nairobi.

Here is the schedule:
Sat – 27 Aug 2016
Kenya 34-10 Hong Kong

“That’s all for now, please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Pageand follow us on Twitter@: @RugbyWrapUp,@Junoir Blaber, @MeetTheMatts, @Luke Bienstock,@Ronan Nelson, @Zack Stryfeller, @Brian C Cole,@Garrett Harper, @James Harrington and @Declan Yeats.

And as always, 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.