Saturday, December 25, 2010

Argentina Players in Amlin Challenge Cup Round 4


Pumas outside centre, Gonzalo Tiesi has been having a good season for Parisian team Stade Français but going into this past weekend was yet to score a try for the clubs since arriving from English Premiership side Harlequins for the new season. Stade Français played host to Romanian club Bucuresti last Friday at the Stade Sebastien Charléty in Paris in round four of the Amlin Challenge Cup with the Parisians continuing their unbeaten run in the tournament, winning 35-7 and Tiesi scoring his first try for the club. The win puts Stade Français on 19 points while Enlgish side Leeds Carnegie are the next best in the group with 14 points. With two rounds remaining it seems like Stade Français have the top spot in the bag.

Gonzalo Tiesi played in the unfamiliar position of inside centre with France´s huge outside centre Mathieu Bastareaud playing in the 13 shirt. Tiesi was joined by three other Argentine international players in fullback Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga, backrower Juan Leguizamón and the recently returned tighthead prop Pedro Ledesma who was out injured for ten months until making his return two weeks ago.


Elsewhere in the Amlin Challenge Cup Irish side Connacht played host to Tiesi´s former club the Harlequins in Group 1 in Galway and the London side came out on top 15-9 in a tryless match. Pumas winger Gonzalo Camacho played in the 14 shirt for Harlequins and was joined by uncapped Argentine secondrower Tomás Vallejos Cinalli. Italian side Cavalieri hosted France´s Bayonne in the groups other match with the French team winning 31-7 on Monday. Argentina was represented by Gabriel Bocca who played for Cavalieri.

Former English Premiership Champions Sale Sharks played host to former French Top 14 champions Brive in a pivotal clash in Group 2 on Monday. Former Pumas props Pablo Cardinali and Pablo Henn both played for the winning side. The win puts Brive at the top of the group. One day earlier Spain´s El Salvador hosted Italy´s Petrarca and won 37-16 in what was a historical triumph for and an important win for Spanish rugby. El Salvador had an Argentine in the form of Juan Manuel Murré, whilst prop Agustín Costa Repetto scored a try for the Italian side and four other Argentine players were in the Petrarca side in the form of Agustín Cavalieri, Santiago Sodini, Juan Pablo Sánchez and Martín Acuña.

Two Top 14 sides played at the foot of the French Alps as last placed side Bourgoin played host to the second placed side in the French league. Montpellier, undefeated in the Amlin Challenge Cup opted to field a second string side to give players a larger christmas rest period and this meant none of the teams three Argentine players were involved in the match. Bourgoin were too strong for the understrength Montpellier team and notched up a comfortable 36-18 victory. Rosario´s Alberto di Bernardo played flyhalf for Bourgoin and Matias Viazzo was on the bench. USA Eagles centre Seta Tuilevuka played 13 for Montpellier. An emotional match took place at Kingston Park as Newcastle hosted the surprize side from the Aviva Premiership Exeter in the other Group 3 match on Sunday. Argentine prop Ignacio Elosu was on the bench for Exeter.

In addition to Stade Français´s triumph in Group 4 there was also a big win for Aviva Premiship side Leeds on Sunday as they defeated Italian side Crociati 44-6 in Italy. Despite being winless in the Aviva Premiership the English side have been having a good campaign in the Amlin Challenge Cup. Their win invovled USA international prop forward Mike MacDonald.

Gloucester hosted the newcomers to the Top 14 this season - La Rochelle in a Group 5 match on Sunday looking for back to back wins after defeating the French club the previous week. It was not to be however as La Rochelle won 24-18. Uncapped Argentine frontrower Andrés Bordoy played again for La Rochelle. The loss for Gloucester all but ends their chances of qualifying for the play-offs. Last season La Rochelle were in the Pro d2 as were Agen who are also in Group 5. The French club played host to Italy´s Rovigo on Saturday and played their best rugby of the year in winning 61-11. Argentine centre Miguel Avramovic scored a try for Agen.

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