Monday, February 14, 2011

Aviva Premiership - Round 14


Round 14 of the current English Rugby Premiership, known as the Aviva Premiership took place over the weekend with international players from Argentina and the United States involved. The round started on Friday evening as strugglers the Sale Sharks hosted Bath with Sale needing a win to stay as far ahead of the bottom placed Leeds Carnegie as possible. In contrast, Bath were in need of a win to keep in touch with the top four. Bath succeeded as they scored two tries to one and notched up a 19-7 victory. Former Argentina international secondrower, Ignacio Fernández Lobbe came on for bath as a replacement.

Despite playing at the top table of English rugby for the first time ever, the Exeter Chiefs have already established a reputation as being a competitive side. This weekend they placed host to Harlequins, a side packed with big name players including former New Zealand flyhalf, Nick Evans, and the English international trio of Mike Brown, Ugo Monye and Chris Robshaw. Exeter in contrast are a team working on a low budget and without players who have represented England or other leading rugby nations. They were, however, better organized than the London based Harlequins and won the match 20-6. The win sees the Chiefs break clear of the Sale Sharks in tenth spot. Argentine international winger, Gonzalo Camacho played right wing for the Quins and was joined in the second half by uncapped Argentine secondrower Tomás Vallejos Cinalli.

London Irish have been up and down recently but were lucky to take on premiership strugglers, Newcastle on Saturday and notch up an important 23-14 victory which sees then jump ahead of the Harlequins and London Wasps and claim fifth place. Pumas international scrumhalf, Alfredo Lalanne did not play for London Irish. The second match of the round in London saw London Wasps hosting Gloucester in what was a dull match with less than twenty points scored in total as Gloucester secured an 10-9 important away victory to enter the top four and thus the semi final zone.

While winger Chris Ashton was scoring four tries for England in his country´s match vs Italy in the Six Nations his club continued to have a tough time in the Aviva Premiership. Northampton hosted London based side Saracens on Saturday and were overpowered by the visitors who turned around a 10-6 half time score to win 29-15 and claim second spot in the Aviva Premiership. Argentine born Italian internationa prop Carlos Nieto played for Saracens at tighthead prop. The USA international pair of secondrower Hayden Smith and wing Chris Wyles both played the full 80 minutes for Saracens.



The rounds final match took place in Northern England as bottom placed Leeds Carnegie hosted Premiership leaders, the Leicester Tigers and pushed the champions far with the Tigers unable to control proceedings and in the end managing to hold out Leeds and walk away with a 15-9 victory. The win sees the Tigers maintain their place at the top of the ladder and sees Leeds claim a bonus point which cuts the difference between Newcastle and Leeds to three points. USA Eagles international prop, Mike MacDonald played for Leeds as did former Argentine international prop Juan Gomez. Argentina international winger, Horacio Agulla and loosehead prop Marcos Ayerza both started and played the full 80 minutes for Leicester.

Standings
 
1 Leicester 48 
2 Saracens 42 
3 Northampton 38
4 Gloucester 36 
5 London Irish 35 
6 Harlequins 34 
7 London Wasps 34 
8 Bath 31
9 Exeter Chiefs 27
10 Sale Sharks 20 
11 Newcastle 12
12 Leeds Carnegie 9

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