The Rugby Wrap : Weekend Review (Friday, 26th, April, 2019 – Sunday, 28th, April, 2019)

The Cheetahs second-rower Walt Steenkamp scored a try against the Southern Kings during the last 2018-2019 Pro14 Round in Bloemfontein

This weekend was definitely a crucial weekend in both Hemispheres. First of all, in the North, it was the last round in the Pro14. Given the new format for the last two seasons, two sides would qualify for the semi-finals while other sides would play qualifiers.

Meanwhile, about the Premiership and the Top14, the regular season was not over but the last rounds were taking place. There was plenty at stake for all the clubs. Moreover, in the Southern Hemisphere, the Super Rugby competition was just unpredictable.

With the end of the regular seasons in the Northern Hemisphere, a few teams were going to get promotion from lower leagues. It was all about planning already for all these sides. The target was just preparing to be ready for next season and stay in the main league.

* Crusaders vs. Lions : Super Rugby (AMI Park, Christchurch, New Zealand)

The Crusaders unleashed an early build-up and centre Braydon Ennor got the try. Richie Mo’unga kicked a penalty as the Lions replied with a penalty as well from Elton Jantjies. The Crusaders kept the possession and winger Sevu Reece scored an outstanding try.

In the second-half, the Crusaders still applied the pressure and George Bridge got the inside ball from a lineout to touch down. On the resulting re-start, the Crusaders found more spaces in the midfield and George Bridge finished the build-up for his brace.

The Lions came back with a try from Ruan Combrinck who intercepted a pass. However, from a powerful scrum, the Crusaders made the chip-kick and Sevu Reece got his brace, too. It was another home bonus point win for the Crusaders who impressed (FT : 36-10).

* Hurricanes vs. Chiefs : Super Rugby (Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand)

The Hurricanes were on the attack early as fullback Jordie Barrett touched down after gathering an inside ball. He got a stunning brace later on as he beat a few defenders. Building the phases, the Hurricanes added another try with forward Kane Leaupepe.

However, the Chiefs came back with Luke Jacobson finding the try line and Ataata Moeakiola who carried over the line. The Hurricanes hit back with TJ Perenara after some great offloads. In the second-half, the Chiefs had a try with Lachlan Boshier.

The Hurricanes kept the composure and Wes Goosen touched down in the right corner. Ardie Savea concluded an astonishing counter-attacking play and winger Salesi Rayasi also scored on debut. The Hurricanes defended and secured the home win (FT : 47-19).

* Stormers vs. Bulls : Super Rugby (Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa)

The Stormers were playing some outstanding attacking rugby from the beginning. Sergeal Petersen touched down after some great work from skipper Siya Kolisi. Handré Pollard closed the gap for the Bulls with a penalty but the Stormers were just there.

On for Dillyn Leyds, Seabelo Senatla took the ball and got a stunning individual try. The Bulls came back again with two more penalties from Handré Pollard. In the second-half, the Bulls got the advantage when Ivan van Zyl scored from close range in a big build-up.

Though, the Stormers kept the composure and Josua Stander kicked a penalty. Then, the home side still played and Dillyn Leyds, back on the field, scored. The Bulls scored a consolation try with Mannie Libbok as the Stormers got the very good win (FT : 24-23).

* Exeter vs. Harlequins : Premiership (Sandy Park, Exeter, England)

The Exeter Chiefs were accurate in their passes and it brought them rewards early. Finding the space, the players delivered and centre Ollie Devoto was the try scorer. Maintaining the pressure, the Exeter Chiefs still attacked and Nic White touched down.

The Harlequins had a penalty in that first-half with Marcus Smith. In the second-half, the Exeter Chiefs relied on their forwards pack and prop Harry Williams carried over the line. The try was awarded after a TMO (Television Match Official) call from the referee.

However, the home side could not control the scrum well and Ben Moon was yellow-carded. The Harlequins unleashed a come back with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Charlie Walker both scoring tries. The Exeter Chiefs held their lines to get the win (FT : 17-15).

* London Irish vs. Ealing : Championship (Madejski Stadium, London, England)

The London Irish had the initiative first and centre Brendan Macken concluded a counter-attacking play for the try. They got a second try later on thanks to their fullback Alivereti Veitokani. However, the Ealing Trailfinders were not out of the contest.

Reon Joseph scored a good try for the team but Albert Tuisue concluded a nice build-up for the London Irish. Ealing Trailfinders still attacked and Segundo Tuculet replied with the try as London Irish lacked discipline. In second-half, the London Irish re-gathered.

In fact, they turned the ball over a few times before Matt Williams crossed the whitewash for the bonus point try. Later on, Fergus Mulchrone made the grubber kick as the ball was loose and he scored the great try. The London Irish just won (FT : 33-12).

* Castres vs. Toulouse : Top14 (Pierre Antoine, Castres, France)

Stade Toulousain played with composure from the beginning of the game. Fullback Thomas Ramos kicked two consecutive penalties. However, they lacked discipline as Pita Ahki and François Cros were both yellow-carded. Castres Olympique had all the ball.

The home side earned a penalty try just before the Half-Time. Nevertheless, Stade Toulousain were stronger in the second-half and Thomas Ramos landed three more penalties. Castres Olympique replied with tries from Florian Vialelle and Rory Kockott.

Thomas Ramos got a kick and so did Benjamin Urdapilleta for Castres Olympique. Though, Thomas Ramos landed another kick. Castres Olympique went for the drop-goal but Benjamin Urdapilleta knocked the ball on as Stade Toulousain won (FT : 20-21).

* Cheetahs vs. Kings : Pro14 (Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa)

The Southern Kings got a penalty with Maxisole Banda. The Cheetahs moved the ball and Abonghile Nonkontwana scored. Maxisole Banda got another kick for the Southern Kings. Then, the Cheetahs added a try with Walt Steenkamp as Meli Rokoua was binned.

The Cheetahs attacked well and Joseph Dweba scored from a maul. Harlon Klaasen got a try for the Southern Kings but Shaun Venter replied with a stunning try for the Cheetahs. In the second-half, Louis Fouché crossed the line but the Southern Kings hit back quickly.

Harlon Klaasen got a brace and Bjorn Basson scored. The Cheetahs still played with Benhard Jansé Van Rensburg scoring as Shaun Venter got a brace. Malcolm Jaer touched down on the wing and Boan Venter sealed the win with a very powerful try (FT : 61-25).

* Agen vs. Lyon : Top14 (Stade Armandie, Agen, France)

The home side had all the possession in front of their home crowd. Léo Berdeu kicked the penalty before Facundo Bosch got a great try for the home side. Lyon were back in the game when Jean-Marc Doussain kicked a penalty but Agen had the physicality.

Léo Berdeu kicked a penalty at the end of the first-half. In the second-half, Antoine Miquel concluded a nice build-up before Léo Berdeu chased a kick to get a stunning try. Lyon needed a strong reaction and they scored a try thanks to forward Virgile Bruni.

In the last quarter of the game, they were attacking from all parts of the field. Centre Charlie Ngatai was also the try scorer. The home side had to handle the pressure. Agen finally managed to get the turnover and they earned the defining win (FT : 25-15).

* Munster vs. Connacht : Pro14 (Thomond Park, Limerick, Ireland)

The Connacht players started well but Jack Carty missed his attempt at goal. Later on, Munster built a few phases as Tyler Bleyendaal kicked the penalty. Though, Connacht relied on their forwards pack and prop Finlay Bealham managed to carry over the line.

Munster played better after that but Andrew Conway was denied a try for a knock-on. The home side kept their structure with second-rower Tadgh Beirne finding the space and touching down. Fullback Mike Haley concluded a stunning counter-attacking try.

Tyler Bleyendaal kicked a second penalty but Jeremy Loughman was yellow-carded after a scrum infringement. Connacht threw everything and Eoin McKeon scored. Munster were composed and JJ Hanrahan sealed the good win with a superb score (FT : 27-14).

* Glasgow vs. Edinburgh : Pro14 (The Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland)

The Glasgow Warriors played their expansive rugby brand from the beginning. Adam Hastings was on target with his penalty attempt as centre Sam Johnson was the try scorer. Edinburgh closed the gap with a penalty from their playmaker Simon Hickey.

The Glasgow Warriors found spaces around the fringes and scrum-half Ali Price touched down. Adam Hastings also added another penalty. In the second-half, Edinburgh had many opportunities but the Glasgow Warriors were just outstanding defensively.

Spreading the ball, the home side got another try with Niko Matawalu. Winger Tommy Seymour later concluded another stunning build-up. Duhane van der Merwe got a consolation try for Edinburgh as the Glasgow Warriors won the fixture (FT : 34-10).

* Perpignan vs. La Rochelle : Top14 (Aimé Giral, Perpignan, France)

Perpignan got the first points with Enzo Selponi as Ihaia West also kicked a penalty for La Rochelle. Arthur Retière got a great try for Stade Rochelais while back-rower Gregory Alldritt carried over the line. Wiaan Liebenberg also touched down after a great move.

Perpignan replied with Jean-Bernard Pujol. In the second-half, Ihaia West kicked a second penalty. Perpignan got back again with Masalosalo Tutaia. Jean-Charles Orioli and Marcel Boughanmi showed their respective power to get two tries for La Rochelle.

Perpignan threw everything in attack as Sione Piukala and Tom Ecochard garbbed quick tries. La Rochelle stayed composed with Ihaia West touching down on the wing. Playing expansively, they reclaimed the bonus point win when Marc Andreu scored (FT : 29-51).

* Jaguares vs. Brumbies : Super Rugby (José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

The Jaguares went quickly for their entertaining brand of rugby and Sebastian Cancilliere scored the try. The Brumbies were back in it when Folau Fainga’a scored from a big maul. Later on, fullback Tom Banks got a try from a strong set-piece play.

However, the Jaguares tied the game up when centre Matias Orlando found the way to the try line and touched down. Hooker Agustin Creevy also scored a great try. Christian Leali’ifano kicked a penalty for the Brumbies just before the Half-Time to close the gap.

In second-half, the Jaguares had possession. Domingo Miotti kicked a penalty but Marcos Kremer was yellow-carded for foul play. The Jaguares held their lines and made some defining turnovers as one last big defensive play earned them a great win (FT : 20-15).

* Toulon vs. Bordeaux : Top14 (Felix Mayol, Toulon, France)

In windy conditions, Bordeaux Bègles started with a try from Alexandre Roumat. However, Toulon went through the phases and winger Filipo Nakosi touched down. Later, Rhys Webb played the quick-tap and Mathieu Bastareaud carried over the line.

Julien Ory also touched down for Toulon after a great build-up. Baptiste Serin kicked a penalty for Bordeaux Bègles as Antony Belleau missed one for Toulon. In the second-half, Baptiste Serin missed a penalty, too. Greg Peterson was binned for Bordeaux Bègles.

Julian Savea concluded a nice build-up while Florian Fresia also scored. Bordeaux Bègles scored a late try with the prop Peni Ravai. Toulon finished well with Guilhem Guirado scoring from a strong maul. Facundo Isa sealed the win with one last try (FT : 45-17).

* Colomiers vs. Angoulême : ProD2 (Michel Bendichou, Colomiers, France)

The home side got a penalty but fly-half Sebastian Poet missed. Soyaux Angoulême got a few penalties but Jean Ric missed both attempts which were difficult. However, he was successful with his third attempt. However, they had a player binned with Paul Belzons.

Sebastian Poet kicked a penalty but missed another. In the second-half, they found the space and Kylian Jaminet scored a stunning counter-attacking try. Romain Bézian for Colomiers and Paul Huette for Soyaux Angoulême were both binned after foul play.

Colomiers had a try from a maul with Agustin Costa Repetto. Following another brawl, Adrien Bécaux and Jean Ric were both red-carded. Soyaux Angoulême came back with a try from Paul Belzons. Though, Colomiers managed well and secured the win (FT : 15-08).

* Stade Français vs. Clermont : Top14 (Jean Bouin, Paris, France)

The home side were on the attack early as Jules Plisson kicked two consecutive penalties. Sitareki Tuicuvu was yellow-carded for Clermont after foul play. Stade Français applied pressure and Rémi Bonfils got the try. However, they also lacked discipline, after that.

Julien Arias and Gaël Fickou were both yellow-carded as Clermont hit back with a penalty try and Apisai Naqalevu showing his power. Jules Plisson landed two more penalties while Greg Laidlaw got one for Clermont. Jules Plisson later kicked another.

Apisai Naqalevu got his brace after gathering a chip-kick. John Ulugia carried over the line for the try. Morné Steyn landed a kick for Stade Français but Greg Laidlaw had one and Étienne Falgoux sealed the win for Clermont with a try from close range (FT : 25-41).


This weekend was outstanding. In the Top14, Stade Toulousain earned a defining away win while Agen secured their league spot. Stade Rochelais clinched a bonus point win while Toulon got the bonus point win. Moreover, Clermont got a key away win in Paris.

In the ProD2, Colomiers secured their spot. In the Premiership, the Exeter Chiefs won their fixture and London Irish won their Championship game. Besides, with the Pro14, the Cheetahs got an entertaining win. Munster and Glasgow Warriors convincingly won.

Finally, in Super Rugby, the Crusaders and the Hurricanes kept the momentum. The Stormers snatched a key win while the Jaguares performed well. Next weekend, the leagues will go on with qualifiers in the Pro14 as the World Cup is coming quickly.



The Barrett Review : Super Rugby 2019 (Round 11 – Chiefs)

The Hurricanes offered some brillant tries against the Chiefs in front of their home crowd

Following a a two-week break, Beauden Barrett was back on the pitch for the Hurricanes. He had the bye weekend and was rested for the fixture against the Sunwolves in Japan, the week after.

I- Background

Just like the Highlanders clash a few weekends before, this also was the return leg between the two franchises. Earlier in the season it was a draw in Hamilton so both sides were there for the taking.

II- Game Summary

The Hurricanes offered some brillant running rugby. Ngani Laumape was outstanding one again. So was Ardie Savea. Jordie Barrett also got a brace as the Chiefs could not do anything in Wellington.

III- The Barrett Review

Beauden Barrett created many tries in that game. He did not score but he was absolutely instrumental on the pitch. It was one of his most commanding games of the season in Super Rugby.


The Rugby Wrap : Weekend Review (Friday, 19th, April, 2019 – Saturday, 20th, April, 2019)

Winger Alivereti Raka is tackled by the Harlequins defence during the Clermont 2018-2019 Challenge Cup semi-final win in Clermont, France

This weekend was going to be interesting because it was the european play-offs again with the semi-finals taking place. The Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup were the two coveted trophies in the Northern Hemisphere. Teams involved were not far away.

Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, Super Rugby was reaching the second-half of the season. The competition was always going to be unpredictable with almost all the franchises involved for the play-offs. It was going to be a great battle in all the fixtures.

With the World Cup coming even closer, the players were trying to perform well. They wanted to be in contention to be included in their respective country’s squad. Each World Cup, there are always surprises in the team’s naming so they were fighting.

* Sunwolves vs. Hurricanes : Super Rugby (Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo, Japan)

The Sunwolves started pretty well with an opening try from Semisi Masirewa and a penalty from Hayden Parker. The Hurricanes hit back with a superb individual try from TJ Perenara. However, the Sunwolves added two more penalties with Hayden Parker.

Semisi Masirewa got a brace after that and the Hurricanes needed a reaction. Fletcher Smith kicked a penalty before the Half-Time. In the second-half, winger Ben Lam concluded a nice move. Fullback Chase Tiatia charged a kick down and got the try.

Moving the ball wide, winger Wes Goosen made a chip-kick. He re-gathered it and touched down. The Hurricanes remained strong in defence in the last quarter of the game. They managed to get a good away win in a very tough game in Tokyo (FT : 23-29).

* Waratahs vs. Rebels : Super Rugby (Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia)

The Melbourne Rebels began the game well with a penalty from Quade Cooper. Though, the Waratahs spread the ball and Adam Ashley-Cooper touched down. The Melbourne Rebels shifted the ball as well and Bill Meakes got his try after a godd attacking build-up.

The Melbourne Rebels got a second try with Reece Hodge as Quade Cooper kicked a penalty. In second-half, the Waratahs were composed and Bernard Foley kicked two penalties. On a missed lineout from the Melbourne Rebels, Bernard Foley was there.

He took the ball and raced to the try line for the score. He got the Waratahs back in front with a penalty. Sam Talakai was yellow-carded for the Melbourne Rebels after too many infringements. The Waratahs made the turnover in defence to get a big win (FT : 23-20).

* La Rochelle vs. Sale : Challenge Cup (Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle, France)

The two kickers, Ihaia West for La Rochelle and AJ McGinty for Sale Sharks, both missed their first penalty. Sale Sharks got a penalty try as Victor Vito was yellow-carded for a maul infringement. After that, Ihaia West and AJ McGinty both kicked a penalty.

Stade Rochelais came back with a penalty try as Denny Solomona was binned for Sale Sharks after a high tackle. Fullback Kiriki Murimurivalu touched down as well for the home side. Though, Sale Sharks came back with Chris Ashton who picked up a loose ball.

Stade Rochelais got one more try with Gregory Alldritt. AJ McGinty kicked another penalty while Ihaia West missed his kick. Julien Favre was binned for Stade Rochelais for foul play. The home side made one last turnover at scrum time to win it (FT : 24-20).

* Clermont vs. Harlequins : Challenge Cup (Marcel Michelin, Clermont, France)

First of all, Camille Lopez scored a drop-goal for Clermont as Marcus Smith replied with a penalty for the Harlequins. Camille Lopez added a second drop-goal and Morgan Parra kicked a penalty before Fritz Lee carried powerfully over the line for the first try.

He was followed by winger Damian Penaud who got a stunning try. The Harlequins replied with a try from Mike Brown but Morgan Parra kicked a penalty. In the second-half, Morgan Parra scored two more penalties but the Harlequins still came back.

They had a try denied for a foot in touch but flanker Chris Robshaw scored. James Lang got another try after a mistake in defence from Clermont. Also, Alex Dombrandt scored from a maul. Clermont won the re-start and kicked the ball out to win (FT : 32-27).


This weekend was great and entertaining. To start with, in Super Rugby, the Hurricanes managed to snatch the win in Tokyo. Besides, the Waratahs got back to winning ways. In the Challenge Cup, there were some great fixtures as well with the French clubs.

Stade Rochelais got the scrappy home win on a last scrum. Clermont secured the semi-final win as well. It means that the Challenge Cup will come to France as two French clubs will face each other in Final. It will take place in May, in Newcastle, England.

Next weekend, the league games will come back again. It will be the final Round in the Pro14 with the qualifiers to take place as well. In the other leagues such as Top14, Premiership and Super Rugby, the regular season will go on with play-offs coming.



The Rugby Wrap : Weekend Review (Thursday, 11th, April, 2019 – Sunday, 14th, April, 2019)

Super Rugby Rd 9 - Chiefs v Blues

This weekend was going to be another defining weekend for all the rugby sides involved. In both Hemispheres, the pressure was there to deliver. Some sides were playing the play-offs and wanted to make a few statements on the field and pick up some points.

On the other hand, there were other sides fighting to remain in their respective leagues. The relegation battles were on and some teams were still not safe from that perspective. It was one of these weekends where all the sides could deliver a good result, definitely.

In Europe, the clubs still involved in the european play-offs had to manage their squad during these league fixtures. With the World Cup coming closer as well, some coaches started to release their provisional squad such as Steve Hansen for New Zealand.

* Nevers vs. Béziers : ProD2 (Stade du Pré Fleuri, Nevers, France)

From the start. Béziers made many infringements and Jordan Puletua was yellow-carded as Nicolas Vuillemin kicked the penalty. However, Samuel Katz replied for Béziers with a penalty in the first-half. Béziers had a second player binned with Jean-Baptiste Barrère.

Nicolas Vuillemin kicked two more penalties with Tyrone Viiga, the third Béziers player to get binned for foul play. Nicolas Vuillemin missed the resulting kick. In the second-half, Benjamin Lapeyre missed a penalty for Béziers but Victor Dreuille nailed two kicks.

Nicolas Vuillemin and Victor Dreuille both added one more penalty. Nevers got back in front with a fifth penalty from Nicolas Vuillemin. Victor Dreuille missed a kick before succeeding with his next penalty to draw it. Nevers defended to keep it (FT : 15-15).

* Crusaders vs. Highlanders : Super Rugby (AMI Park, Christchurch, New Zealand)

The Highlanders started well with fullback Ben Smith crossing the line early. Playmaker Josh Ioane kicked a penalty as well. The Crusaders played the counter-attack and Braydon Ennor finished a great build-up. Fullback David Havili added another one.

Richie Mo’unga kicked a penalty for the Crusaders before the home side earned a penalty try. Keeping the intensity, they got on the attack again and Richie Mo’unga made a cross-field kick which set up a try for winger Sevu Reece. The Crusaders were impressive.

Mitchell Drummond touched down. The Highlanders scored a consolation try with Josh Ioane. Meanwhile, Will Jordan, coming from the bench, sealed the win with a stunning try as Ben Funnell was yellow-carded for foul play but it had no effect (FT : 43-17).

* Kings vs. Ospreys : Pro14 (Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa)

The Ospreys were focused on the task and had a good expansive game. Fullback Dan Evans found the space in the midfield and scored. He got a brace later after gathering Keelan Giles’ offload. From the re-start, centre Cory Allen touched down in the corner.

Playing with freedom, the Ospreys winger Hanno Dirksen even scored the bonus point try in that first-half. The Ospreys relied on their maul and second-rower Bradley Davies touched down. In the second-half, the Southern Kings were denied a try by the referee.

There was a knock-on. Managing well, the Ospreys kept the possession and Dan Evans got his Hat-Trick. The Southern Kings got a consolation try with Michael Willemse. The Ospreys sealed the win with Bradley Davies scoring his brace on the wing (FT : 07-43).

* Treviso vs. Munster : Pro14 (Stadio Monigo, Treviso, Italy)

The home side began well with a penalty from Tommaso Allan and a try from Tommaso Benvenuti. Munster replied with Rhys Marshall getting the try and Dan Goggin finishing a nice move. Tommaso Allan got two more penalties while JJ Hanrahan landed a kick.

Just before Half-Time, the Bennetton Treviso winger Monty Ioane got the try. In the second-half, they got a penalty try as Darren Sweetman was binned for a deliberate knock-down. Munster kept the composure and fly-half JJ Hanrahan nailed the penalty.

Tommaso Benvenuti was also binned as JJ Hanrahan got another kick. Munster spread the ball wide and Shane Daly touched down. Then, Alby Mathewson concluded a stunning counter-attacking play. Munster managed well to get the win (FT : 28-37).

* Chiefs vs. Blues : Super Rugby (FMG Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand)

The Blues opened with a penalty from Otere Black. The Chiefs got the interception and Brad Weber got the try. Flanker Lachlan Boshier carried over the line for the second try. Damian McKenzie missed a penalty as the Blues got a try with winger Melani Nanai.

In the second-half, Marty McKenzie also missed a kick but Ataata Moeakiola touched down. The Blues were not out of it and Ma’a Nonu scored from a set-piece play. In a game with much intensity, the Chiefs threw the offloads and Lachlan Boshier got a brace.

The Blues came back straight away with Rieko Ioane finding the corner. The Chiefs got the ball back and Jesse Parete concluded the try. The Blues remained in the game with a brace from Ma’a Nonu. Finally, the Chiefs got their defensive play and won (FT : 33-29).

* Leinster vs. Glasgow : Pro14 (RDS Stadium, Dublin, Ireland)

The Leinster province did not start well as Ross Byrne was yellow-carded for foul play. Adam Hastings kicked the penalty for Glasgow Warriors. Leinster had a try with Dave Kearney. Though, Glasgow Warriors replied with a penalty from Adam Hastings.

Centre Sam Johnson also got a try before Rob Kearney was on the scoreboard for Leinster. Glasgow Warriors were still in it with a Tommy Seymour try. In the second-half, Rob Kearney got a brace and so did Dave Kearney. Glasgow Warriors relied on the pack.

Flanker Matt Fagerson scored after a good maul. Building phases, prop Zander Fagerson carried over the line for another try. Making the turnovers, Glasgow Warriors sealed the win with one last try from George Horne. It was a stunning away win (FT : 24-39).

* Connacht vs. Cardiff : Pro14 (The Sportsground, Galway, Ireland)

The home side played their expansive game and scrum-half Caolin Blade dotted down under the sticks. Cardiff Blues tied the game up when Owen Lane got a try. Connacht kept the same intensity in their game and Gavin Thornbury scored from a big maul.

In the second-half, Jack Carty kicked a penalty and orchestrated things well. He got a great try after gathering a grubber kick. The Cardiff Blues were not out of it as Gareth Anscombe got a penalty with Josh Turnbull showing a great carry to get a good try.

Though, Connacht were still playing their attacking game. Winger Matt Healy touched down on the left wing. The Cardiff Blues came back again with Jason Harris getting a try. Connacht set up some great defence and managed to get the good home win (FT : 29-22).

* Bulls vs. Reds : Super Rugby (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, South Africa)

The Queensland Reds scored first as Bryce Hegarty kicked a penalty. The Bulls built some phases and prop Lizo Gqoboka carried over the line for the try. Jade Stighling was denied a try for knock-on. Handré Pollard landed a penalty while Marco van Standen had a try.

In the second-half, the Bulls gathered the ball on the re-start and Handré Pollard scored the try. The Queensland Reds hit back with a try from powerful centre Samu Kerevi. Though, the Bulls threw the offloads and Harno Liebenberg scored a stunning try.

Later in the second-half, Handré Pollard unleashed the cross-field kick gathered by Jade Stighling who was not denied this time. Samu Kerevi got a brace for the Queensland Reds but it was not enough. The Bulls got the impressive bonus point win (FT : 32-17).

* Scarlets vs. Zebre : Pro14 (Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wales)

The Scarlets began with some scrappy plays but got the upper hand at scrum time. From a big scrum, number 8 Uzair Cassiem picked the ball up and scored. Zebre had Marco Ciccioli was yellow-carded after scrum infringements. The Scarlets had momentum.

From the resulting set-piece play, centre Hadleigh Parkes found the space to touch down. In the second-half, the Scarlets still played expansively and Johnny McNicholl finished on the corner. Zebre had another player binned with Giorgio Biagi because of foul play.

Uzair Cassiem carried over the line for his brace and the bonus point. The Scarlets were rampant and Kieran Hardy, with Ioann Nicholas both scored counter-attacking tries. Kieran Hardy had his brace denied for a forward pass as the Scarlets won (FT : 42-00).

* Bristol vs. Saracens : Premiership (Ashton Gate, Bristol, England)

The Saracens started well with an opening try from Tom Whiteley after a good attacking play from Max Malins. Though, the Bristol Bears came back with two consecutive penalties from Callum Sheedy. The home side was showing some great ambition, really.

In the second-half, the Bristol Bears had the possession and Steven Luatua got the great try. However, Harry Thacker was yellow-carded and Marcelo Bosch had the try for Saracens. The Bristol Bears kept attacking and flanker Dan Thomas got a stunning try.

Saracens were not out of it with Ralph Adams-Hale carrying over the line. The Bristol Bears kept the possession and they were awarded a penalty. Fly-half Ian Madigan kicked the penalty and it was an outstanding win for the Bristol Bears at home (FT : 23-21).

* Racing 92 vs. Montpellier : Top14 (Paris La Défense Arena, Nanterre, France)

The home side began well with two penalties from Maxime Machenaud. Nevertheless, Benoit Paillaugue scored for Montpellier on a counter-attack. Later on, Benoit Paillaugue hit the post on a penalty but it set up a try out wide for the centre Jan Serfontein.

Though, They lacked discipline and Levan Chilachava was yellow-carded. Racing 92 relied on their pack and Baptiste Chouzenoux touched down. In the second-half, Benoit Paillaugue kicked a penalty but Maxime Machenaud landed two kicks for Racing 92.

Benoit Paillaugue kicked one more penalty and he got a brace. Montpellier had another player binned with Jacques du Plessis. Racing 92 put pressure and Henry Chavancy scored the try. Maxime Machenaud converted and Racing 92 defended to win (FT : 26-25).

* Toulouse vs. Clermont : Top14 (Stadium, Toulouse, France)

Thomas Ramos and Greg Laidlaw kicked a penalty each. Sofiane Guitoune got a try on a counter-attack as Greg Laidlaw kicked two consecutive penalties. Thomas Ramos added his second penalty but Damian Penaud scored a try with Thomas Ramos getting a kick.

In the second-half, Stade Toulousain got a good try with Cheslin Kolbe. Clermont replied quickly with Peceli Yato with Jerome Kaino binned for foul play. Thomas Ramos kicked one penalty and Richie Gray touched down but Damian Penaud got two more tries.

He got a brace and a Hat-Trick. Clermont got a penalty try with Joe Tekori binned. Stade Toulousain kept coming. Romain Ntamack scored in the wing with Fritz Lee was binned. Sofiane Guitoune got a stunning brace. Stade Toulousain won a thriller (FT : 47-44).


This weekend was another entertaining weekend. In Super Rugby, the Crusaders were outstanding once again while the Chiefs snatched the win. Also, the Bulls got a good home win with some great tries. In the ProD2, in France, Nevers got a defining draw.

Meanwhile, in the Pro14, the Ospreys and Munster clinched away successes. Connacht qualified for the play-offs with a good win. Glasgow Warriors got an impressive away win in Dublin. Also, the Scarlets played well to get a bonus point win in Llanelli.

In the Premiership, Bristol Bears got a stunning home win. Finally, in the Top14, Racing 92 cliched a good win and Stade Toulousain won an absolute thriller. Next weekend, the Super Rugby would carry on while the european Cups semi-finals would be played.



The Rugby Wrap : Weekend Review (Friday, 05th, April, 2019 – Sunday, 07th, April, 2019)

Flanker Ardie Savea scored two tries during the Hurricanes win against the Highlanders during the 2019 Super Rugby season in Dunedin

This weekend was key because all the games were starting to become defining. In the Northern Hemisphere, following the european games, the leagues fixtures were coming back. It was defining because the play-offs race was there and many sides were battling.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the Super Rugby competition was going on. The franchises were going to enter the second part of the season. With many franchises competing for the play-offs, it was just unpredictable with many fixtures being impossible to call.

With the World Cup closing in, the coaches from all the nations involved were considering their options. They were preparing their respective squads and many players could still pretend to be included. The global showpiece was not so far away.

* Highlanders vs. Hurricanes : Super Rugby (Forsyth Barr, Dunedin, New Zealand)

The Hurricanes threw the offloads early but could not get the control. The Highlanders put phases together and flanker Shannon Frizell scored from close range. The Hurricanes replied straight away with TJ Perenara but the Highlanders bounced back.

Going for the maul, Ash Dixon got the try after a TMO (Television Match Official) review. However, the Hurricanes tied the game up a second time when Ardie Savea scored from an interception. Beauden Barrett kicked a penalty but the Highlanders were still there.

Kayne Hammington scored from a scrum as James Lentjes got one from a maul. Though, Ardie Savea got a brace while Ngani Laumape concluded a superb move. Liam Mitchell was binned for the Hurricanes who had to defend on their line to win it (FT : 28-31).

* Oyonnax vs. Nevers : ProD2 (Charles Mathon, Oyonnax, France)

The two sides started well with the two kickers, Loïc Le Gal and Ben Botica, nailing two penalties for Nevers and Oyonnax. After that, Nevers were on the attack and Jason Collin Frasier scored. Loïc Le Gal and Ben Botica kicked one more penalty in a close game.

Oyonnax had Thibault Tauleigne binned as Loïc Le Gal and Ben Botica once again kicked a penalty each. In the second-half, Ben Botica kicked a penalty while Loïc Le Gal missed one. Frédéric Urruty was yellow-carded for Nevers and Ben Botica nailed another kick.

Pushing, Oyonnax got the try as prop Hoani Tui carried over the line. Nicolas Vuillemin closed the gap for Nevers with a penalty. Though, Oyonnax kept the ball and despite a missed kick from Ben Botica, Quentin MacDonald sealed the win with the try (FT : 30-22).

* Munster vs. Cardiff : Pro14 (Independent Park, Cork, Ireland)

The Cardiff Blues opened the scoreboard with a try from Tomos Williams. Tyler Bleyendaal kicked a penalty as Munster went through the phases. Centre Chris Farrell replied with the score. Forward Jean Kleyn carried over the line for the second try.

However, winger Aled Summerhill had a try for the Cardiff Blues. In the second-half, they got back in front with Rey Lee-Lo following a quick-tap. The home side remained composed and back-rower CJ Stander had a great running line and he touched down.

Later, scrum-half Conor Murray scored from close range following a TMO (Television Match Official) review. Moving the ball wide, Munster were rewarded as Andrew Conway finished while Sam Arnold got one last try after great offloads (FT : 45-21).

* Glasgow vs. Ulster : Pro14 (The Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland)

The Glasgow Warriors had to handle some pressure as Ulster scored the first try with Rob Herring. The home side replied with a big maul resulting in a try scored by Fraser Brown. Later on, playmaker Adam Hastings found a gap and scored a stunning try.

The Glasgow Warriors playmaker kicked a penalty before winger Tommy Seymour got the third try before the Half-Time. In the second-half, the home side still applied the pressure as forward Zander Fagerson managed to score. It was the bonus point try.

In that second-half, Ulster Rugby were denied twice with Luke Marshall and Rob Lyttle knocking the ball on before scoring their respective try. Adam Hastings nailed one more penalty for the Glasgow Warriors who got a very comfortable home win (FT : 30-07).

* Blues vs. Waratahs : Super Rugby (Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand)

The Blues played brillantly in the opening half. Otere Black first kicked a penalty before Ma’a Nonu threw the assist to Tom Robinson. Ma’a Nonu got his second assist for Caleb Clarke who scored from a set-piece. The Waratahs hit back with Israel Folau for the try.

Relying on their pack, the Waratahs got a second try thanks to Will Miller. In the second-half, the Blues kept playing and TJ Fa’iane touched down. However, the Waratahs were not out of it with Alex Newsome concluding a build-up. It definitely was a big battle.

The Blues got a loose ball and Ma’a Nonu scored the try. Bernard Foley and Otere Black both kicked a penalty. The Waratahs came back again with Jake Gordon scoring from a set-piece play as well. The Blues managed very well and clinched the win (FT : 32-29).

* Rebels vs. Sunwolves : Super Rugby (AMI Park, Melbourne, Australia)

The Melbourne Rebels fullback Reece Hodge attacked the line to get the try. The Sunwolves kicked a penalty thanks to Hayden Parker but Reece Hodge got a brace. Bill Meakes got a good try too but the Sunwolves replied with winger Semisi Masirewa.

Quade Cooper got a great try as Reece Hodge offloaded. In second-half, Semisi Masirewa got a brace but Reece Hodge charged a kick down for his Hat-Trick. From a lineout, Will Genia found a gap in midfield and scored as both franchises lacked discipline, later on.

Semisi Tupou was binned for the home side after an infringement. It was the same for Nathan Vella for the Sunwolves after a shoulder charge. Campbell Magnay was binned for the Melbourne Rebels too after a high tackle. The Melbourne Rebels won (FT : 42-15).

* Toulon vs. Toulouse : Top14 (Vélodrome, Marseille, France)

The Toulon team began well with a penalty from François Trinh-Duc. Romain Ntamack replied for Stade Toulousain with a penalty as well. Though, Toulon went through the phases and JP Pietersen scored the try while Malakai Fekitoa scored on a counter-attack.

Before the Half-Time, Josua Tuisova was binned for Toulon because of a high tackle. Though, Toulon managed the yellow card well before a brawl started. The Toulon prop Florian Fresia was sent off after throwing a punch but Toulon still held their lines.

Malakai Fekitoa even got a brace for Toulon who were playing very well. Antony Belleau also kicked a penalty. Stade Toulousain scored a consolation try with youngster Pierre Pagès. It was a very good win for Toulon who managed to play a great game (FT : 25-10).

* Bath vs. Bristol : Premiership (Twickenham, London, England)

The Bath Rugby players did not waste time as Jonathan Joseph scored from a set-piece play in the opening stages. Callum Sheedy closed the gap for Bristol with a penalty. Bath Rugby came back and Rhys Priestland made a grubber kick for centre Jamie Roberts.

It was a great try from Bath Rugby who even got a third thanks to Joe Cokanasiga. Nevertheless, they lacked discipline and Callum Sheedy nailed three consecutive penalties. In the second-half, Rhys Priestland missed a penalty as he hit the post.

He made amends later when he kicked in the loose ball and he dove on it for the try. The Bristol Bears were not out of it as Dan Thomas scored the try on the left corner. Bath Rugby were strong in defence and they secured the bonus point win (FT : 26-19).

* Wasps vs. Worcester : Premiership (Ricoh Arena, Coventry, England)

The Worcester Warriors opened the scoreboard with Duncan Weir kicking a penalty. The Wasps reacted strongly with Nathan Hughes first thanks to their pack. Winger Marcus Watson showed his pace to get a try while Zurabi Zhvania also got the score.

After that, the Worcester Warriors scored with Sam Lewis. The Wasps centre Gabriele Lovobalavu was yellow-carded because of foul play as Duncan Weir kicked a penalty. Chris Pennell also got a long-range penalty in the second-half as the Wasps kept playing.

Following some good passes, back-rower Nathan Hughes managed to get a good brace. The TMO (Television Match Official) checked it but it was awarded. The Wasps had to defend in the last quarter but they got the great home bonus point win (FT : 28-16).

* Zebre vs. Connacht : Pro14 (Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma, Italy)

The Connacht province had all the possession in the first-half but could not find a way to score a try. Playmaker Jack Carty kicked two consecutive penalties to get a 6-point advantage. Zebre could not generate any go-forward in that scrappy first-half from them.

In the second-half, Zebre came back with a better intensity and they got a reward. Following some quick phases, winger Mattia Bellini scored the try and it was a 1-point gap in Connacht’s favour. Zebre pushed and even got two penalties to get in front.

However, there were two missed kicks from the Zebre players. Connacht tried to spread the ball as they were denied a try in that game for a forward pass. Finally, they managed to get one last turnover and they clinched a valuable away win in Italy (FT : 05-06).

* Mont-de-Marsan vs. Angoulême : ProD2 (Guy Boniface, Mont-de-Marsan, France)

The two sides started with a penalty as Steve Shingler for Stade Montois and Dorian Jones for Soyaux Angoulême nailed them. Mont-de-Marsan got a set-piece play and winger Waime Naituvi scored. However, Soyaux Angoulême replied stronger.

Dorian Jones kicked a penalty while Julien Sclavi got a try from a lineout. Dorian Jones got another penalty as Steve Shingler landed two kicks for Stade Montois. In the second-half, Waime Natuvi was binned as Dorian Jones kicked three consecutive penalties.

Stade Montois went through the phases and forward Romain Laterrade concluded the try as the game was all square after the conversion. Steve Shingler kicked a penalty to get Stade Montois back in front. The home side held their lines for the win (FT : 26-23).

* Kings vs. Dragons : Pro14 (Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa)

The Dragons played well at the beginning as Adam Warren finished a build-up. However, the Southern Kings replied with Stefan Ungerer scoring from close range and Bjorn Basson gathering a kick for the try. Harlon Klaasen even got one more try.

The Dragons had to come back and Jordan Williams managed to score. Both teams were guilty of indiscipline. Alulutho Tshakweni for the Southern Kings and Leon Brown for the Dragons were yellow-carded because of repeated scrum infringements in the game.

It did not stop as Lloyd Fairbrother was also binned for the Dragons for a shoulder charge. Michael Makase for the Southern Kings was binned after an aerial tackle. The Dragons still played and Josh Lewis kicked the penalty to get the draw (FT : 18-18).

* Clermont vs. Racing 92 : Top14 (Marcel Michelin, Clermont, France)

The home side did not waste time as Wesley Fofana got the opening try. Racing 92 were not out of it as Louis Dupichot gathered the reverse pass for the score. Maxime Machenaud also kicked a penalty before Apisai Naqalevu got a great try for Clermont.

Later on, Rémy Grosso gathered a cross-field kick for the try. Maxime Machenaud got a penalty for Racing 92. John Ulugia got the try from a maul for Clermont with Camille Lopez kicking a penalty. Though, Olivier Klemenczak scored for Racing 92 at Half-Time.

In second-half, Morgan Parra kicked two penalties and Maxime Machenaud kicked one. Racing 92 got a penalty try with Damien Chouly binned. Maxime Machenaud kicked a penalty but missed the winning kick. Clermont got the good home draw (FT : 31-31).


This weekend was very entertaining. In the ProD2, in France, Oyonnax and Stade Montois both got scrappy wins. Meanwhile, in the Top14, Toulon made a statement while Clermont managed to get the home draw. In the Premiership, there were some games.

Bath Rugby won their Twickenham derby while the Wasps finally got some momentum. About the Pro14, Munster got the bonus point win and so did the Glasgow Warriors. Connacht had a tough away win and the Dragons got a deserved draw in South Africa.

In Super Rugby, the Hurricanes snatched the away win in Dunedin while the Blues kept impressing. The Melbourne Rebels performed well at home. Next weekend, the leagues games in both Hemispheres would take play with greater events to come very quickly.


The Barrett Review : Super Rugby 2019 (Round 8 – Highlanders)

The Hurricanes and Beauden Barrett clinched a defining away win at Forsyth Barr, Dunedin

It was the return fixture for these two New Zealand franchises. In the first fixture between these two sides earlier in the season, the Hurricanes claimed the bragging rights thanks to a late penalty.

I- Background

Before the bye weekend, the Hurricanes wanted to put a decent performance in Dunedin. They also had to make amends for their terrible display the weekend before against the Crusaders.

II- Game Summary

That Super Rugby fixture was just outstanding. The two franchises played to their strength. The Highlanders relied a lot on their maul to score tries and so did Kayne Hammington who grabbed a try.

The Hurricanes were always in the contest. TJ Perenara led by example, Ngani Laumpe also scored and Ardie Savea got a brace. The Hurricanes earned the win with one last outstanding turnover.

III- The Barrett Review

That was a very good performance from Beauden Barrett. He was flawless from the kicking tee and combined well. His penalty kicked at the 43rd minute was the difference between the sides.