Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Aviva Premiership Round 20

The past weekend saw Round 20 of the English Rugby Championship, the Aviva Premiership kicking off on Friday with bottom of the table Newcastle playng host to fourth placed Northampton. Newcastle needed a win to get off the bottom of the table and thus out of the relegation zone. Northampton won the match 22-15 thanks to the teams English internationals showing their worth. Despite the loss, Newcastle scored a bonus point for losing by seven points which sees them move up one place on the ladder and thus, for the moment, be safe.

2006 championship winning side the Sale Sharks have been having a below par season and are third from bottom on the table. They played host to London Irish on Saturday and moved the fixture to the larger Reebook Stadium. London Irish needed nothing less than a bonus point win as the sit in fifth place, four points behind Northampton. They succeeded in scoring four tries in notchin up a 34-20 victory. Argentina international scrumhalf, Alfredo Lalanne did not feature for London Irish.

The match of the season took place at Welford Road in Leicester as the Tigers hosted Gloucester with a total of 82 points scored and incredibly after 80 minutes the scores were tied at 41-41. The result sees Leicester's preimiership lead cut to two points and Gloucester's advantage over Northampton decreased to one point. Argentina international winger, Horacio Agulla started for the Tigers on the wing and Argentina born Italian international prop Martín Castrogiovanni started in the frontrow. Pumas loosehead prop, Marcus Ayerza, missed the match through suspension.

Two teams fighting it out for a place in next seasons Heineken Cup faced off in an important match in western England as Bath hosted and defeated London based side the Harlequins 19-15. The result means little for the Premiership as neither side is likely to make the play-offs. Bath's win, however, seriously harms the Quins chances of playing on Europe's biggest stage next season. Argentina international winger Gonzalo Camacho started for the Harlequins and was joined in the secondhalf by uncapped Argentine backrower Tomás Vallejos Cinalli.

In Exeter on Saturday, second on the premiership ladder, Saracens scored an impressive 33-12 victory over the homeside which sees the London based side close in on Leicester. USA international fullback, Chris Wyles, scored one of Saracens' tries and was joined in the starting lineup by USA Eagles team mate Hayden Smith who started in the secondrow. Argentina born Italian international prop, Carlos Nieto started for Saracens in the frontrow. Uncapped Argentine flyhalf, Ignacio Mieres was on the bench for the Exeter Chiefs and played the final 13 minutes.

The rounds final match took place in London on Sunday with the London Wasps hosting Leeds Carnegie and rthe home side notched up an impressive 51-18 victory which has harmed Leeds Carnegie's chances of remaining in the Aviva Premiership. Former Argentina international prop Juan Gomez started for Leeds. The big win is unlikely to benefit London Wasps, however, as they are too far down the premiership ladder to make the play-offs and being in eighth place also means they are not going to play in next seasons Heineken Cup.

Aviva Premiership Table

1 Leicester Tigers 69
2 Saracens 67
3 Gloucester 58
4 Northampton Saints 57
5 London Irish 53
6 Bath 48
7 Harlequins 46
8 London Wasps 43
9 Exeter Chiefs 37
10 Sale Sharks 31
11 Newcastle Falcons 22
12 Leeds Carnegie 22

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