Monday, January 3, 2011

Magners League - Round 12

Round 12 of the Magners League kicked off on Friday with two matches, the first of which at the Stadio Luigi Zaffanella in Viadana, Italy as the two leagues two Italian teams, Aironi and Benetton Treviso, played each other for the second consecutive weekend.  Benneton Treviso were the winners of the previous encounter and they were againa successful in the rematch winning a nail-bitter 16-15. Aironi were winning 8-6 at halftime after Italian international backrower, Josh Sole scored the only try of the half. South African secondrower, Corniel Van Zyl, scored for Treviso in the second half as the visitors came back from a 15-6 deficit following a penalty try in the 51st minute. The winners, Treviso, had five Argentine players in Italian international centre Gonzalo García as well as Ignacio Fernández Rouyet and Pedro Di Santo in the starting XV Augusto Allori and Franco Sbaraglini on the bench. Aironi had three Argentine players with Gabriel Pizarro and  Matías Agüero in the starting XV and Pablo Canavosio on the bench but not playing as Tito Tebaldi was playing a good match.

Fridays other match was an all-Welsh derby with the arch rivals of  the Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys battling it out in front of a loud and large crowd at Cardiff City Stadium. It was a great match to close the year with the Ospreys coming back from the dead as the Blues were winning 24-3 after 45 minutes. In the end the home side won 27-25. The Cardiff Blues scored two tries , both scored by their wingers Richard Mustoe and Welsh international Tom James. Scottish international flyhalf, Dan Parks kicked 14 points and former Welsh international Ceri Sweeny slooted one. The Ospreys did better in terms of tries - scoring three through Welsh international prop Paul James, centre Andrew Bishop and Irish international winger Tommy Bowe.

The former club of Pumas captain, Felipe Contepomi, Leinster hosted Irish strugglers Connacht on Saturday and were far too strong for the Western Irish province in securing a 22 point vicitory in winning 30-8 in Dublin. The win gave the hosts a bonus point as they scored four tries with winger David Kearney scoring two and centre Fergus McFadden replacement Niall Morris each scoring one try. Connacht´s only tryw as scored by Eoin Griffen in the 79th minute. Leinster´s Argentine secondrower Mariano Galarza was not involved in the match. Saturday also featured Munster vs Ulster as Ireland´s two other provinces battled it out at the home of Munster Rugby - Thomond Park in Limerick. The hosts showed why they are competition leaders in winning 35-10, scoring four tries to one. USA international winger Paul Emerick was not in the Ulster 22.

There was also a Welsh derby on Saturday with Scarlets hosting the Dragons in Llanelli at their homeground of Parc Y Scarlets and coming out on top with a 21-15 victory after the Dragons had been winning 10-3 at halftime. Both sides scored two tries each but it was the goalkicking of Rhys Priestland that proved the difference as he slotted eleven points - six more than his opponent. The flyhalf also scored a try in the 72nd minute of play. Canadian international fullback Matt Evans continues to not feature for the Dragons as he recovers from injury. The club has just announced that USA scrumhalf Mike Petri has joined the club for the rest of the season after transfering with immediate effect from English club the Sale Sharks.

Scotland´s two sides went head-to-head for the second week in a row with Edinburgh hosting rivals the Glasgow Warriors at the home of Scottish rugby, Murrayfield in sundays only Magners League match. Glasgow had won the week before but this time it was Edinburgh as the hosts scored three tries to one to win 28-17. Argentine backs Bernardo Stortoni and Federico Martín Aramburu both played for Glasgow as did Canadian internationals DTH van der Merwe and Kevin Tkachuk.

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