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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

World Rugby Weekend Review

Internationals

Most teams around the globe finished their Rugby World Cup preparation with a match over the weekend. Among the Six Nations teams France and England earned wins while Wales were the biggest losers despite beating Italy by losing key players Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb to injury for the World Cup. Halfpenny led the way for Wales with five penalties before being stretchered off with ten minutes to go. Wales were in control for most of the match with Italy scoring a late try.

At Twickenham Jonny May scored a try in the second minute and Anthony Watson in the 13th minute to give England a 12-3 lead over Ireland. The Irish took the match to within two in the second half when Paul O'Connell scored but two late penalties from Owen Farrell sealed the match for England. Meanwhile, in France a penalty from Scott Spedding was the difference as France beat Scotland 19-16.

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In other international play Tonga beat Romania 21-16. Canada played two matches over the last week, the first a 16-15 win over Georgia and the second a 47-18 loss to Fiji who look like real threats at the World Cup. Georgia also played two matches with their second a 13-10 loss to Georgia.


Top 14

After going winless in their first two matches of the season Toulon are finally in the win column after beating Stade Francais 20-13. The results puts both teams at 1-2 on the season. Clermont and Toulouse are the only two teams without a loss. Clermont beat Oyonnax 41-24 and Toulouse beat Castres 37-20. Other winners include Grenoble 41-15 over Pau, La Rochelle 31-18 over Brive, Agen 30-18 over Racing Metro, and Montpellier 24-22 over Bordeaux.

Guinness Pro12

The Pro12 opened up over the weekend with most teams missing their international players. Still, things played out as normal. with the favorites winning. The biggest win went to the Cardiff Blues who beat Zebre 61-13. They were one of two Welsh teams to win with the Dragons losing to Connacht 29-23, the Ospreys losing to Ulster 28-6, and Scarlets beating the Glasgow Warriors 16-10. Edinburgh salvaged a win for Scotland with a 16-9 result over Leinster. Lastly, Munster beat Benetton Treviso 18-13.

ITM Cup

The ITM Cup is at the halfway point and so far Tasman and Canterbury are still unbeaten in the Premiership. Tasman beat Otago 34-17 and Canterbury beat Manawatu 57-7. Hawke's Bay and Wellington are unbeaten in the Championship. Hawke's Bay beat North Harbour 48-32 and Wellington beat Southland 53-3. In other scores, Taranaki beat Counties Manukau 17-10 and Northland 50-7, Auckland beat Waikato 50-28, and Counties Manukau beat Bay of Plenty 37-26.

Currie Cup

It's still the Golden Lions and the Blue Bulls that are unbeaten in the Currie Cup. The Golden Lions beat the winless Eastern Province Kings 37-21 and the Blue Bulls beat the Cheetahs 24-17. Also, Western Province beat the Griquas 33-15 and the Sharks edged the Pumas 27-26.

NRC

Three teams remain unbeaten in the Sydney Stars, Canberra, and Brisbane City. The Stars beat the Perth Spirit 45-24 and Brisbane City beat Queensland Country 44-24 in the Queensland derby. Canberra beat the Greater Sydney Rams 58-26 but have played one less match than the other teams. Finally, Melbourne Rising beat the North Harbour Rays 45-40.

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