It was a big weekend for Americans playing professionally overseas.
Samu Manoa (Northampton), Taku Ngwenya (Biarritz), Colton Cariaga (Trinity), John Quill (Dolphin), and Seta Tuilevuka (Beziers) all scored tries for their clubs. Several other players at top tier clubs and in lower division saw significant time. Also on the Eagles overseas front, Titi Lamositele has officially joined Saracens, as has former Eagle Hayden Smith, who now rejoins the club. Cam Dolan is also set to sign overseas with Northampton appearing the most likely of destinations.
Heineken Cup Crisis Continues
Despite the Top 14 teams participating in next year’s Heineken Cup the Premiership teams appear to be staying firm in their position of playing in the Rugby Champions Cup. There had been talk late last week that the Premiership clubs had been hedging and could possibly play in the Heineken Cup but it now that appears unlikely. Still no word yet and which way the Welsh clubs will land.
Disaster In Dubai
The Eagles 7s team slumped out of last weekend’s Dubai 7s in the Shield semi-finals with an embarrassing 0-5 record. Throughout the tournament the team seemed a step or two slow and didn’t really compete in their matches with the exception of one. In pool play they were beaten handily by England, the eventual champions Fiji, and Canada. On day two in the Bowl quarterfinals they handed another large defeat, this time by Australia. Throughout four matches they gave up a total of 152 point (38 per match) while only scoring 24. The only match in which they looked decent was their Shield semi-final against France. But even holding a 14-0 halftime lead they managed to surrender three tries in the second half and lose 19-14. The team will now regroup for the Port Elizabeth 7s where they will face New Zealand, Wales, and Portugal.
Women Take 7th
The Women Eagles had a much better time than the men at the tournament. The came in 7th place after beating Brazil in the 7th/8th place match. To reach that point they narrowly lost to England 10-12 in the Plate semi-final. The team finished pool play at 1-1-1 with a loss to New Zealand, a win over Fiji, and a draw with Ireland. On day two they lost to Russia in the Cup quarterfinals. The team will now have some time off before the Atlanta 7s in February.
Autumn Internationals Come To A Close
The Autumn Internationals came to a close this last weekend with Australia beating Wales 30-26 and the Barbarians beating Fiji 43-19. The Australia-Wales encounter was one of the best matches of the year featuring great tries, hard hits, and a bit of controversy. Wales took the lead early through George North but Australia came back to old on late despite another North try and a late yellow card to Adam Ashley-Cooper. The controversy came as Wales claimed one of the Australian tries only happened thanks to a forward pass. Wales will not have to regroup as they look to defend their Six Nations title.