Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Magners League - Round 14

Round 14 of the 2010-2011 Magners League took palce over the past weekend and saw some surprizing results with the Italian sides both doing very well vs the Irish giants of Leinster and Munster. On Sunday, Benetton Treviso shocked the world in defeating top of the table Munster 19-18 and the decisive blow was scored by a player from Argentina as Treviso´s backrower, Gonzalo Padró, scored the winning try for the Italian side. Both Munster and Treviso were missing players to international duty as Ireland faced France and Italy faced England in the Six Nations. But the loss couldcertainly not be attributed to the missing players as both teams, not only Munster, had players missing. Munster still fielded elite players including former All Black Doug Howlett and the Stade Français bound Australian Paul Warwick. Gonzalo Padró was joined by fellow Argentine players Franco SbaragliniPedro Di Santo and Ignacio Fernández Rouyet. Despite the loss Munster remain in first place but Benetton Treviso rise up to seventh position. Sundays other match took place in Liberty Stadium, Swansea in what was a Wales vs Ireland affair as the Ospreys hosted the Irish province of Ulster. The two sides were also missing players to Six Nations duty but this did not stop them putting on a highly competitive match which saw the home side pull off a 23-22 victory.

Irisih province Connacht hosted Welsh franchise the Scarlets on Saturday and pulled off an upset in defeating the Scarlets 17-13. The result keeps Connacht in second to bottom position and has allowed the Scarlets to slip down the ladder. Welsh team the Newport Gwent Dragons hosted Scottish side Edinburgh at Rodney Parade in Newport in Saturday´s other match and the Welsh side were impressive in defeating their higher placed opposition. USA Eagles international scrumhalf, Mike Petri was on the bench for the Dragons and Argentina international secondrower Esteban Lozada was on the bench for the Scot´s. The Dragons won 30-22.

Another Scotland vs Wales clash took place in Glasgow on Friday evening as the Glasgow Warriors hosted the Cardiff Blues at Firhill and completed a double as the Welsh side won 26-15. The Scottish side had two former Argentina international players in the starting XV with Bernardo Stortoni playing fullback and Federico Martín Aramburu playing outside centre. The Canadian try scoring machine, DTH van der Merwe was unable to score this time around as Glasgow were tryless. van der Merwe was joined by fellow Canadian international, Kevin Tkachuk off the bench in the second half.

It was on Thursday evening, however, that the round started as the Irish capital of Dublin very nearly saw a history making home loss for the worldclass side of Leinster. In the end the Irish side got home to win 21-16 over Italian side Aironi. Leinster were without Mariano Galarza who is now in South Africa playing with Los Pampas XV in the sson to start Vodacom Cup. Aironi had Argentine players in theitr side with inside centre Horacio San Martín impressing in his debut for the club. He was joined by Gabriel Pizarro in the Italian lineup.

Magners League Table

1 Munster 50
2 Leinster 43
3 Cardiff Blues 41
4 Scarlets 41
5 Ospreys 39
6 Ulster 34
7 Benetton Treviso 28
8 Edinburgh 28
9 Dragons 27
10 Glasgow 21
11 Connacht 21
12 Aironi 5

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