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Monday, September 14, 2015

World Rugby Weekend Review

Top 14

Without their stars Toulon picked up an important win in the Top 14 to move to 2-2. They beat La Rochelle 45-24. Clermont still claim the top spot in the table and an early seven point lead over Toulon. Clermont drew with Bordeaux 26-26 last weekend. Montpellier are second in the table thanks to their 44-20 win over Stade Francais. Toulouse and Racing Metro and third and fourth. Toulouse lost to Pau 9-6 while Racing Metro beat Grenoble 23-14. Joining Grenoble and Toulon on ten points is Castres who beat Oyonnax 35-26. Bringing up the bottom of the table is Stade Francais, La Rochelle, and Agen. Agen lost to Brive 18-12.

Guinness Pro12

The second week has come and gone in the Pro12 with Scarlets, Edinburgh, and Munster all at 2-0. The fact that the Scarlets are up there is a bit of a surprise but with several teams missing their international stars the beginning of the Pro12 season was always going to be a free for all. The Scarlets beat Ulster 22-12 in their match on the back of a try from Haidlegh Parkes and four penalties from Dan Jones. Edinburgh beat Benetton Treviso 27-24 while Munster edged the Ospreys 20-18. Joining Benetton and the Ospreys without a win is Zebre, who lost to the Dragons 13-0. In other scores, Glasgow beat Connacht 33-32 and Leinster beat Cardiff 23-15.

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ITM Cup

Tasman and Canterbury are still unbeaten in the Premiership but are only points ahead of Auckland in the standings. In the Championship it's still Hawke's Bay and Wellington with a good sized lead. In this last round, Tasman beat Wellington 36-17 and Canterbury beat Hawke's Bay 29-14. Auckland beat Manawatu 45-28 in a solid effort and they beat Otago 35-29.  Also, Taranaki beat Bay of Plenty 32-9, North Harbour beat Counties Manukau 28-20,  Waikato beat Southland 30-25, and Manawatu beat Northland 42-17.

Currie Cup

Not many weeks remain in the Currie Cup and the biggest questions are will anyone beat the Lions and who will grab the last playoff spot. The Lions are 6-0 on the season thanks to their 36-28 win over the previously unbeaten Blue Bulls. Western Province, who beat the Sharks 37-27, hold the third spot while the Sharks are fourth. They are only one point ahead of the Cheetahs who lost to the Kings 32-24. That puts the Griquas, who beat the Pumas 32-15, on the bottom of the table.

NRC

Through four rounds of the NRC Brisbane City and the Canberra Vikings have perfect records. Brisbane City beat the North Harbour Rays 55-29 to move to 4-0 while the Vikings beat the winless Perth Spirit 26-23. In the other two matches the Country Eagles handed the Sydney Stars their first loss of the season in a 37-31 win while Queensland Country also beat the Greater Sydney Rams 37-31.

RFU Championship

Bedford and Yorkshire look like the teams to beat early in the RFU Championship season. Bedford beat Moseley 38-32 to move to 2-0 while Yorkshire beat Rotherham 20-11 to do the same. Doncaster and London Scottish aren't far behind. The Exiles beat Ealing 37-17 while the Knights beat Nottingham 36-30. Finally, Jersey beat the Cornish Pirates 17-15 and Bristol beat London Welsh 36-22.

Pro D2

Lyon and Aurillac have been perfect so far in the Pro D2. Lyon beat Montauban 44-14 while Aurillac beat Tarbes 39-14. The hot start for Aurillac is a bit of a surprise but it could continue to hold up. In other scores, Albi beat Perpignan 23-19, Aix-en-Provence beat Biarritz 22-11, Beziers topped Narbonne 18-13, Mont-de-Marsan beat Colomiers 33-20, and Bayonne beat Bourgoin 36-14.

All Ireland League

The All Ireland League began over the weekend with Lansdowne, Old Belvedere, Clontarf, Garryowen, and Galwegians all registering wins. Old Belvedere beat Terenure College 27-8, Clontarf beat UCD 24-16, Galwegians beat Cork Constitution 12-11, Garryowen beat Ballynahinch 14-10, and Lansdowne beat Young Munster 29-4.

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