Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Aviva Premiership Round Eight - Cannucks, Eagles and Pumas.

Many players from the Americas were on show in round eight of English Premiership rugby, known as the Aviva Premiership for comercial reasons. A full round of six matches took place across England with a number of surprizing results taking place. The round started on Friday evening in the Far North of England with a bottom of the table clash between the Newcastle Falcons and the Worcester Warriors. Both sides desperately needed to win the match to give itself every chance of avoiding relegation. Neither side will have been happy with the result as the teams fouight to a 16-16 draw. Worcester were in control of the match only for the Falcons to fight back with Mike Mayhew scoring a late try.

Top of the table side, the Harlequins continue to impress as the London based side are in firm control of top spot of the Aviva Premiership. The Quins lattest victims were western English side Bath. With Argentine international secondrower, Tomás Vallejos Cinallli on the bench the Quins completed a 26-13 victory. Vallejos played the final five minutes for the Quins but Benjamin Urdapilleta did not feature. Former Harlequins winger, Gonzalo Camacho made his debut for his new club, the Exeter Chiefs. Exeter hosted Gloucester on Saturday and were looking like winning the match and thus possibly going into the top four. It did not materialize however as Gloucester held on to win 24-19 after Exeter had fought back in the secondhalf. Camacho was joined by uncapped Argentine flyhalf, Ignacio Mieres in the secondhalf. Mieres played the final quarter of the match and converted a try.

In Saturday´s other match the Leicester Tigers were left wondering what went wrong as the most successful team in the history of English rugby let a big lead go as the drew 24-24 with London Irish at Welford Road. Leicester were leading 24-7 midway through the secondhalf only for the London Irish Exiles to score seventeen points in an impressive fifteen minute display. Argentine international winger, Horacio Agulla had out Leicester 24-7 ahead with a try in the 61st minute but, incredibly, it was not enough. Agulla was joined in the starting lineup by Argentine international loosehead prop, Marcos Ayerza and Argentine born Italian international tighthead prop, Martín Castrogiovanni. Canadian World Cup secondrower, Jebb Sinclair featured for London Irish in the backrow, playing at 8.

Whilst Leicester continue to sit in the unusal position of near the bottom of the standings another hit hard by Rugby World Cup 2011 is now well on its way back up the ladder. The Northampton Saints played against the London Wasps in London on Sunday and performed well to win the match 24-13. Both of the Saints tries were scoerd by props with Tongan international Soane Tonga'uiha and former South African international Brian Mujati going over. USA international secondrower, Samu Manoa was on the bench for Northampton. Sunday´s other match was also played in London with the reigning champions, Saracens playeing host to the Sale Sharks. Saracens convincing 23-10 victory keeps the London side well clear of the third placed Exiles while Sale are close to dropping out of the top four. Argentina born former Italian international prop, Carlos Nieto started in the frontrow for Saracens. He was joined in the starting XV by USA Eagles international fullback, Chris Wyles who played on the left wing. USA international secondrower, Hayden Smith also featured for Saracens from the bench. Sale Sharks´ Argentine fullback, Joaquín Tuculet missed the match as he conniues to recover from injury.

Aviva Premiership Standings

1 Harlequins 34

2 Saracens 30
3 London Irish Exiles 20
4 Sale Sharks 19
5 Gloucester 19
6 London Wasps 18
7 Northampton Saints 18
8 Bath 18
9 Exeter Chiefs 17
10 Leicester Tigers 14
11 Worcester Warriors 12
12 Newcastle Falcons 7

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