Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Amlin Challenge Cup Round 5 Wrap

Bordeaux-Bègles 6-12 Bayonne
Argentine fly half Nicolás Sanchez went off early with a fractured fibula, and will be out for at least 6 weeks. Rafael Carballo came off the bench. I am surprised that Sanchez has been used as little by Bordeaux-Bègles this season, he was impressive into the lead up to the World Cup. But the side with lowest budget in the Top 14 are overachieving so you can't argue with them, a side which that can't be said of is Bayonne who are currently 13th in the Top 14. And they have just sacked their second coach of the season, typical Bayonne. Bordeaux lost this dead rubber Amlin Challenge Cup match but won't mind as they defeated Bayonne away in the Top 14 which will mean much more to them.
Belisario Agulla

Brive 50-13 Agen
A weakened Agen side were thrashed by Brive, who will play Sale next week in what will be basicly a knockout match. Agen won't care about this result too much as they try and achieve an unlikely playoff spot. For Brive who are struggling in the Top 14, it may be a confidence boost. Belisario Agulla played full back and got Agen's only try, Agustín Figuerola also started for Brive, whilst props Pablo Cardinali and Martín Scelzo came off the bench for their respective sides.

Bucharest Wolves 13-34 Stade Français
Stade easily overcame their Romanian counterparts securing a bonus point as well, Scott LaValla started at 6 for the weakened Parisian side. I'm not sure the Amlin Challenge Cup really helps the minor European sides that much, there was a very small crowd at this match, and the Italian/Romanian/Spanish sides really struggle. It is a much better tactic to get as many players as possible playing in France, invest in a youth system and try and get the national team big matches against the sides a level above.

I Cavalieri Prato 10-50 Exeter Chiefs
This match is the top side in the Italian domestic league, yet they put in a poor effort against a weakened Exeter and also got the lowest attendance of the round. Buenos Aires born prop Nicolas de Gregori started his first match of the season for Prato and lasted 41 minutes in a match which Exeter got 2 penalty tries. For Exeter Ignacio Mieres came on and scored a try and a conversion.

Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo 11-32 London Wasps
Rovigo who are third in the Italian Super 10, fared slightly better than the leaders but were still comfortably beaten by another very much weakened side. 34 year old Argentine German Bustos came off the bench for Rovigo.

Worcester Warriors 55-10 Banca Monte Crociati
Worcester scored 9 tries and thumped the bottom side of the Italian Super 10 Crociati, who were hopelessly outclassed by Worcester. There were no Americas players involved in this match. Worcester must now beat Stade Français away to qualify.

Rugby Club La Vila 10-69 Sale Sharks
The Spanish side were thumped, but got a bigger crowd than the Italian or Romanian teams, but still only 2,000. Joaquín Tuculet scored one Sale's 11 tries. La Vila had Argentine Pablo Previtera playing off the bench and Argentine born Spanish international Hernan Quirelli starting at scrum half. La Vila's Ecuadorian full back/winger Miguel Angel Coronel Densy didn't play, but has been playing and appeared in their most recent league match.

Perpignan 27-13 Newport Gwent Dragons
The Catalan side easily overcame the Dragons at home, neither team was totally second choice but neither at first choice either. There were no Americas players involved in this match. Perpignan will now play effectively a knockout match away to Exeter next week.

Newcastle Falcons 43-0 Petrarca Padova
The 4 Italian sides scored a total of 31 points between them, Petrarca Padova contributed 0 to that total and were thrashed by Premiership bottom side Newcastle. Argentine Juan Pablo Sanchez started at centre for the Italian side, Miguel Alonso came off the bench.

Toulon 29-10 Lyon Rugby
Argentine number 8 Leonardo Senatore scored Toulon's first try in a bonus point victory over the bottom side in the Top 14 Lyon, who had Juan Manuel Leguizamón come off the bench, and was also sin binned. Toulon are now through to the quarter finals barring a miracle from Petrarca Padova in the next round. With a home draw in the next round they will be a very hard side for any Heineken Cup side to come up against.

Try Senatore

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