Monday, January 30, 2012

LV= Cup Round 3 Wrap

Hanno Dirksen
Three months after round two, this past weekend saw the return of the LV= Cup. The tournament has become known as an event for the English and Welsh clubs to try some younger, less experienced players as well as give game time to those who are usually not selected in match day 22´s. The scenario was indeed what happened with the weekends matches involving plenty lesser known players. There were, nonetheless, players from the Americas in action with Argentina, Canada and the United States of America all being represented.

Ospreys 26-21 Dragons
The Ospreys relocated their match vs the Newport-Gwent Dragons to Bridgend. The city was the home of the defunct Celtic Warriors when Wales had five regions instead of four. Both teams were missing Welsh internationals due to the up-and-coming Six Nations tournament. The Ospreys four tries to two victory featured one try to the USA´s Hanno Dirksen who played the full match on the right wing. Canada´s Chauncey O´Toole started in the 6 shirt and played 70 minutes before being replaced.

Bath 46-14 Northampton Saints
Bath´s comfrtable home win at the Recreation Ground featured USA secondrower Samu Manoa. His reputation as being a hard-hitting tackler continues to grow and the Saints are happy to use him at the back of the scrum. He started at 8 and played the full 80 minutes. USA Eagles hooker, Chris Biller did not feature for Bath.

Gloucester 40-3 Cardiff Blues
Gloucester´s huge victory came not because of the match being played at Kingsholm, but rather, because of the lack of Welsh internationals on show. The team was a shadow of the one which last weekend qualified for the Heineken Cup Quarter Finals. Former Pumas hooker, Matias Corteze started for Gloucester and played 56 minutes.

Harlequins 9-19 Leicester Tigers
The Harlequins perfect start to the season seems now to be a distand memory as the side has been able to string together wins as of late. The Londoners blew their home advantage at the Stoop as the Leicester Tigers ran out winners with a three tries to nil display. Argentine pivot, Benjamin Urdapilleta started at outrside centre for the Harlequins and played 62 minutes. Los Pumas Secondrower, Tomás Vallejos Cinalli played the final 15 minutes as a replacement. Horacio Agulla, Marcos Ayerza and Martín Castrogiovanni were all rested by Leicester.

London Wasps 16-30 Exeter Chiefs
Exeter´s continued run of good results did not end even at the formidable Adams Park as the Chiefs ran out comfortable winners, even without most first choice players. Both Ignacio Mieres and Gonzalo Camacho were rested for this match.

Scarlets 27-19 London Irish
While other Welsh sides were strugglers the Scarlets were not as the Llanelli based side came out on top at the Parc Y Scarlets. Canada´s Jebb Sinclair continues to recover from injury.

Saracens 41-14 Worcester WarriorsSunday´s first match saw Saracens crush Worcester at Vicarage Road. Neither side fielded leading players and as such both of Saracen´s USA internationals, Chris Wyles and Hayden Smith did not feature. Similarly the Argentine-Italian, Carlos Nieto was given the weekend off.

Newcastle Falcons 37-7 Sale Sharks
Falcons fans had a rear sensation as Kingston Park saw witness to a Newcastle victory with the home side smashing apart Sale under the command of new coach, Gary Gold. Joaquin Tuculet played the match at fullback for the Sharks. Newcastle now have the tough task of facing Leicester next Saturday in the final round of pool play.

Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers

Bath vs Northampton Saints

London Wasps vs Exeter Chiefs

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