Weekend Rugby Review – 21 November

Another big weekend of International rugby and the return of the Aviva Premiership, here’s my round-up of all the action.

Mens Internationals

Georgia 20 – 16 Samoa
Italy 20 – 18 South Africa
England 58 – 15 Fiji
Wales 33 – 30 Japan
Scotland 19 – 16 Argentina
Ireland 9 – 21 New Zealand
France 23 – 25 Australia

Harlequins 10 – 26 Māori All Blacks
Germany 16 – 6 Brazil
Spain 33 – 16 Uruguay
Romania 21 – 16 Canada
Tonga 20 – 17 United States
Chile 36 – 38 South Korea

9 from 13, did rather poorly with the T2 games.

Georgia picked up an important victory over Samoa to complete a very successful year against the Pacific Island teams. After losing to Japan last weekend this was exactly the win they needed going into the game with Scotland next weekend.

Italy recorded their first ever victory over the Springboks and we just have to see if this is a 1 off or are we seeing improvements from Italy? South Africa are in a very poor state and the post tour recriminations could be messy.

England got the expected win over Fiji whilst in contrast it took a late drop goal for Wales to see off Japan. Japan have really impressed after a big loss to Argentina and are rebuilding after loosing so many players post Rugby World Cup. Scotland also registered a narrow late victory over Argentina who look like they are taking the toll of a long season and only 1 domestic team.

New Zealand brought a high level of intensity especially in defence to win against Ireland. It was a cracking old-fashioned style test. I think Ireland played a bit too narrow to break down the All Blacks defence as they had the possession and men advantage to win this.

France narrowly lost to Australia and a missed late kick could have won it for them. This Australian side is much better than we saw against England back in June. The true revolution though is France who are playing with much more width and back play of old and the 6 Nations are going to be really interesting.

Of the remaining T2 games, Germany’s and Spain’s performances have been impressive. Also Romania have defied those that said they were an ageing declining force.

Women’s Internationals

New Zealand 25 – 20 England
Canada 48 – 7 Ireland
Spain 10 – 5 Scotland

Spain take a 5 point advantage in the 2 match qualification series with Scotland for final Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 spot. All to play for in Madrid on Saturday in the return match.

A big thank you to Women’s Rugby Comp for these updates, follow them @WomRugbyComp on Twitter.

Aviva Premiership

Bath 16 – 9 Bristol
Worcester Warriors 17 – 18 Northampton Saints
Newcastle Falcons 19 – 32 Exeter Chiefs
Gloucester Rugby 36 – 18 Wasps
Sale Sharks 13 – 28 Saracens
Leicester Tigers 25 – 6 Harlequins

5 from 6, so close but yet so far.

The table appears to have settled down to something like I predicted before the season started. Saracens, Bath and Wasps lead the way with Bath performing better than predicted. Leicester and Exeter chase with a tight group of Northampton, Sale, Quins and Gloucester close behind. Finally we have Newcastle & Worcester slipping back after good starts to the season and Bristol 7 points off the bottom.

Top 14

Castres 34 – 17 Toulon
Clermont Auvergne 16 – 13 Lyon
Racing Metro 92 29 – 24 Grenoble
Bordeaux Begles 26 – 0 La Rochelle
Brive 38 – 25 Pau
Stade Francais 21 – 17 Montpellier
Bayonne 16 – 13 Toulouse

5 from 7, all good until the last 2 games.

Clermont remain top of the table and are 6 points clear of La Rochelle and Bordeaux who met last weekend. Montpellier and Toulon lost ground as Castres overtook Toulon in the table. At the bottom Bayonne climbed 1 point above Grenoble but are still 5 points behind Pau and safety.

Anglo-Welsh Cup

Cardiff Blues 7-31 Ospreys
Newport Gwent Dragons 36-21 Scarlets

Ospreys went top of pool 2 with that win as all the teams have a win and a loss. Cardiff are bottom of pool 3 and 7 point behind Quins so can write this competition off after 2 losses.

Dragons win means they are third in pool 1 and being 3 points behind Saints are looking for them and Saracens to slip up. Scarlets are in a similar position in pool 4 being 4 points behind Tigers and 1 behind Gloucester.

#RugbyChat

Join the #RugbyChat on twitter for an hour of discussion about the action this weekend. If you can’t make the hour then you can still give your view as the conversation keeps going over the following day.

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