Eagles Abroad - March 20, 2012
What is this, off-season? The culmination of the Six Nations combined with the final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup meant that for many Americans it was a week to rest and rejuvenate the body.
One player that was looking to get back at it after a long rejuvenation was J.J. Gagiano. The Eagles Number 8 signed a contract with the Golden Lions to play in this year’s Vodacom Cup. With the number of players needed for Super Rugby, Gagiano was a player picked out to help the squad. He immediately contributed by starting in the Golden Lions 59-19 victory over the Falcons. Congrats to J.J. on the contract and the start.
Todd Clever’s time in Japan was supposedly up but he found the time to come off the bench and play the last 8 minutes of the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship. He and his Suntory team picked up their second piece of silverware on the season after beating the Panasonic Wild Knights 21-9.
In England, Andrew Suniula started his first match and played 80 minutes since coming back from injury. Suniula contributed in a big way by scoring an early try for the Cornish Pirates but it wasn’t enough as they lost to the Bedford Blues 26-25 in the RFU Championship playoffs.
Elsewhere in the RFU Championship playoffs, Robbie Shaw came off the bench as Leeds lost to Rotherham 20-3. Mike MacDonald is out of his cast but was still not fit enough to play.
Shawn Pittman was presumably out injured, as he was not in the lineup for London Welsh as they drew 12-12 with Bristol.
The Aviva Premiership was silent this week in large part because of the Anglo-Welsh Cup final between Leicester and Northampton. Neither Samu Manoa nor Chris Biller was in the lineup for the Saints as they lost to the Tigers 26-14. Biller is on the bench for Northampton Wanderers as they take on the British Army this week.
Paul Emerick (Wasps), Chris Wyles, and Hayden Smith (Saracens) had the week off in the Premiership while it was the same for Tommy Seymour (Glasgow) and Hanno Dirksen (Ospreys) in the RaboDirect Pro12.
Not to be left out, the Top 14 was silent, meaning Taku Ngwenya (Biarritz), Seta Tuilevuka (Montpellier), and Scott LaValla (Stade Francais) had the weekend off.
Still in France but in the ProD2, Inaki Basauri continued to put in a good season for Perigueux after playing the last fifteen minutes of the 22-15 victory over Aurillac.
Lastly, Tim Usasz and his Barking team had the weekend off, as did Derek Asburn, Jason Law, and Oxford after their match with Durham was called off. Unless the match is replayed, that concludes Oxford’s season.
Curtis Reed is the editor and founder of This Is American Rugby and can be found at www.thisisamericanrugby.com or on Twitter @ThisIsAmerRugby