Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aviva Premiership - Round 11

Round 11 of the English Rugby Premier League - the Aviva Premiership saw three of the weekends six matches cancelled due to snow. The battle of the north of Newcastle vs Leeds had to be called off as did two matches scheduled for the west country - Bath vs Exeter and Gloucester vs Northampton. Three matches did go ahead, however, two of which were played in London with the country´s two largest stadiums both hosting sunday matches as Saracens took on London Wasps in a home match at Wembley and Harlequins hosted the second London derby at Twickenham against London Irish. The third match saw the Leicester Tigers host the Sale Sharks at Watford Road. All three venues are scheduled to host Rugby World Cup matches in 2015 when England will host the tournament.

Saracens managed a hardfought victory in a low scoring match as they defeated London Wasps 13-6 on Sunday. The games only try was scored by Saracens replacement backrower Andy Saull in the second half. The winning side had players from the Americas in the form of tighthead prop, Carlos Nieto who is from Argentina but plays for Italy and two stars from the USA - fullback Chris Wyles and secondrower Hayden Smith who was on the bench. Around 50,000 fans attended the match at the home of English soccer.

Leicester notched up an impressive win over Sale on Monday in defeating the former club of the Fernández Lobbe brothers 54-21. Sale had fired their coach, former All Black Mike Brewer during the week and the result was considerably worse than what the team had achieved under Brewer. Leicester´s pair of Argentine props played yet again for the Tigers as Marcos Ayerza played loosehead prop and Martín Castrogiovanni who represents Italy despite being from Argentina packed down for the English champions. Castrogiovanni looks set for a move to Stade Français which would see him join two Argentine props in Rodrigo Roncero and Pedro Ledesma. The Pumas outside backs of Horacio Agulla and Lucas Gonzalez Amorisino both missed the game for Leicester.

Harlequins vs London Irish attracted a huge crowd of 74,212. The Harlequins came out on top with a one try to nil victory that was dominated by goalkicking as the Quins won 28-18. Former All Black flyhalf, Nick Evans kicked 23 points for the Quins with non-capped Argentine secondrower Tomás Vallejos Cinalli playing in the second half for the winners. Pumas winger Gonzalo Camacho and one time capped Pumas flyhalf Benjamín Urdapilleta  both missed the game as did London Irish and Pumas scrumhalf Alfredo Lalanne.

Round 12 will take place on Saturday and Sunday to start 2011 in style:

Leeds Carnegie vs Gloucester Rugby
Northampton Saints vs Harlequins
London Irish vs Bath Rugby

Sale Sharks vs Saracens
London Wasps vs Newcastle Falcons
Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers

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