Thursday, March 3, 2011

Americas Players in Magners League - Round 16

Despite the Six Nations taking place with matches on Saturday there was a full round of Magners League action from Thursday through Sunday and there were players involved who will represent the three countries from the Americas - Argentina, Canada and the United States at this years Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The round started in Llanelli on Friday as Welsh side the Scarlets defeated Scottish side Edinburgh 11-3 in a dour match. The victory saw the young and impressive Welsh winger George North score the games only try. A player on track to play at Rugby World Cup 2011, Argentina secondrower, Esteban Lozada completed his return from injury in returning for Edinburgh as he came of the bench.

The rounds next match took place in Scotland as the Glasgow Warriors played host to Welsh side the Newport Gwent Dragons in Glasgow. The teams fought to a 16-16 draw with Glasgow secondrower Aly Muldowny scoring a try on fulltime. Canadian international DTH van der Merwe started on the left wing for Glasgow and Canadian prop Kevin Thachuck came off the bench as did the Argentina pair of fullback Bernardo Stortoni and wing Federico Martín Aramburu. The Canadian duo look set to be key players for Canada at the World Cup while the former Pumas duo look to be rank outsiders. A player certain to play at the World Cup, USA international scrumhalf Mike Petri, was on the bench for the Dragons.

Another Friday matches saw last seasons beaten finalists, Leinster hosted the Italian side Benneton Treviso in Dublin and showed their superiority in notching up an impressive 30-5 victory. The Italians had Argentine players in the starting lineup in Ignacio Fernández Rouyet and the scorer of Benneton Treviso´s only try, Gonzalo Padro. Two others were in the bench abd both came on in the second half - Franco Sbaraglini and Pedro Di Santo. Another Irish side impressed as Ulster notched up a bonus point 32-13 win over Welsh side the Cardiff Blues on Friday.

The second of two Italy vs Ireland matches took place in Viadana, Italy on Sunday as Aironi hosted tournament leaders Munster. The visitors got the win but were far from impressive and anything from being their usual dominant selves as the top of the table side scored a 20-10 win over the bottom of the table Italians. Both sides were missing a number of players to Six Nations duty but Munster were still packed with stars such as the future Stade Français player, Paul Warwick who scored ten points. Munster, however, scored only two tries and one of which was a penalty try. Aironi scored one try themselves through new Zealander Nick Williams. Argentina had a player in the Aironi side as Gabriel Pizarro was on the bench. Shortly thereafter, Welsh side the Ospreys hosted Irish province Connacht and convincingly won 33-18 in Swansea. The four try bonus point victory sees the Ospreys rise to second place on the table.

Magners League Table

1 Munster 58
2 Ospreys 49
3 Leinster 47
4 Scarlets 46
5 Cardiff Blues 45
6 Ulster 43
7 Dragons 33
8 Benetton Treviso 28
9 Edinburgh 28
10 Connacht 26
11 Glasgow 23
12 Aironi 5

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