Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Aviva Premiership Round Twelve Wrap

Tomas Vallejos Cinalli
Round twelve of the 2011-2012 Aviva Premiership was played in England on Saturday and Sunday to close out the year 2011. It continued the everchanging position of teams in the competition standings with seemingly only the Harlequins and Newcastle Falcons cemented in the standings - top and bottom of the table. Bath´s dreadful season so far may have ended following their New Years Day massacre of London Irish. The Western English clubs victory was its first win in the Aviva Premiership since October.  Another side who started poorly, Gloucester, completed a late draw with the high-flying Saracens but the schokc of the week was the Worcester Warriors lowscoring victory over the London Wasps in London on Sunday. The result makes it highly complicated for Newcastle to stay in the Aviva Premiership. Should The Falcons make the drop then the Sale Sharks would be the only remaining team from the North in the Premiership.

Newcastle Falcons 14-32 Northampton Saints
Northampton are completed a great recovery following poor early season form due to the clubs large list of players who were playing at Rugby World Cup 2011. The clubs latest win sees the side well and truely now in control of its own fate and looking like serious title contenders. USA Eagles secondrower, Samu Manoa started in the secondrow for Northampton.

Exeter Chiefs 9-11 Harlequins
A narrow win was more than enough for the competition leaders to continue their control over the Premiership standings as the Harlequins have a massive lead. Exeter were in the top four but with the rise of the likes of Northampton and Leicester the Chiefs have been dropping down the standings and now sit midtable. Ignacio Mieres played flyhalf for Exeter and kicked two penalties. He was joined by Gonzalo Camacho who played the full 80 minutes on the right wing. Tomas Vallejos Cinalli started in the secondrow for the Quins and played 72 minutes. Benjamin Urdapilleta was unused from the bench.

Bath 30-3 London Irish
The home teams three tries to zero victory will give Bath confidence to turn aournd its poor early season form. Bath have been in the unfamiliar position of third from botoom of the Aviva Premiership ladder and not looking like improving. The sides win over London Irish may well change this. The result also means London Irish drop out of the top four. USA Eagles World Cup hooker, Chris Biller did not play for Bath while Canadian World Cup secondrower, Jebb Sinclair has undergone surgery on his thumb and is expecting to return in March.

Saracens 15-15 GloucesterOne week after defeating the top-of-the-table Harlequins, Saracens went in as firm favorites vs Gloucester but at the end of 80m minutes they had to settle for a draw. It was a tryless match with both bothkickers landing five penalty goals. USA Eagles fullback Chris Wyles played the full 80 minutes for Saracens on the right wing while Argentine born Italian former Italian international tighthead prop, Carlos Nieto came on in the 53rd minute as a replacement. Former Pumas hooker Matias Cortese featured from the bench late in the secondhalf for Gloucester.
London Wasps 0-6 Worcester Warriors
A crucial away victory for the Worcester Warriors puts them well clear of Newcastle ties them with the Wasps on 21 points. The London Wasps must be considering sacking the coaching staff and also recruiting beter players for next season. The team has only won four matches but has lost eight so far in this seasons Aviva Premiership.

Leicester Tigers 28-23 Sale Sharks
Leicester led from start to finish but Sale pushed the Tigers hard in what was the best game of the round. With the win, Leciester mov into third position in the standings while Sale drop to sixth but are less than one win outside of the play-offs zone. Horacio Agulla started at wing and Martín Castrogiovanni at tighthead prop for the Tigers while uncapped Argentine back Joaquín Tuculet played against Agulla as he played on the left wing for Sale. Both wingers played the full match while the Argentine born Italian international, Castrogiovanni was substituted 12 minutes before the interval. Los Pumas loosehead prop, Marcos Ayerza missed the match as he contnues to recover from injury.
Aviva Premiership Standings

1 Harlequins 47
2 Saracens 40
3 Leicester Tigers 32
4 Northampton Saints 32
5 London Irish 29
6 Sale Sharks 29
7 Gloucester 28
8 Exeter Chiefs 27
9 Bath 23
10 Worcester Warriors 21
11 London Wasps 21 
12 Newcastle Falcons 11

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