Monday, February 13, 2012

Aviva Premiership Round 14 Wrap

Matías Corteze
The fourteenth round of the Aviva Premiership took place this weekend despite the Six Nations also being placed. This meant that clubs were missing players to international duty during the season which is exactly why the Leicester Tigers are not wanting to extend Horacio Agulla´s stay at the club. Agulla started for Leicester as did another Pumas player. The club, meanwhile, was missing Martín Castrogiovanni, Ben Youngs, Dan Cole, Geoff Parling and Tom Croft to Six Nations duty. Such is the controversy surrounding the Agulla saga that significant changes may well be in store not only for Argentina but for all inernational sides. Without England´s internationals playing for the Tigers, Leicester lost to the Exeter Chiefs for the second time this season and the second time ever. The defeat goes to show that the situation goes far beyond just Argentina´s involvement in The Rugby Championship. Had Leicester been at full strength the result would never possibly been as it was. Curiously, the main destroyer over Leicester was an Argentine player but not an  established international. Simply put, Argentina has a lot to offer European rugby and clubs not signing players due to The Rugby Championship ought to rethink thinks through.

Sale Sharks 15-12 Worcester Warriors
A tryless match started the round with Sale´s Nick Macleod landing one more penalty that Worcester´s Andy Goode. The win means Sale continue to press for a place in the top four while Worcester are just hopeing that Newcastle continue losing. Joaquin Tuculet did not play for Sale.
Harlequins 30-23 London Irish
One of the rounds two all London matches saw the Quins maintain its place at the top of the table. With Argentine secondrower, Tomás Vajellos Cinalli on the bench the Harlequins scored a three tries to two victory. Benjamin Urdapilleta was not selected for the match. Canada´s Jebb Sinclair is in the final stages of recovering from thumb surgery.

Bath 30-24 Newcastle Falcons
Bath move ahead of Worcester on the ladder after completing a win over the bottom palced Newcastle Falcons. The win was little to celebrate, however, as Bath remain well outside of contention for a Semi Finals place and a place in next seasons Heineken Cup. USA hooker, Chris Biller did not play for Bath.

Gloucester 27-24 Northampton Saints
The match of the round saw Gloucester pull off a superb victory. It was ihstorical for South America as it was the first match eer broadcast in Brazil as it was aired on delayed coverage starting at midnight, Brasilia time. Itr alson featured an Argentine player with Matías Cortese playing hooker for the final four minutes for Gloucester. Samu Manoa of the USA played in the secondrow for the visitors.

Exeter Chiefs 19-11 Leicester Tigers
He may not have played many tests, ansd none at all against first tier opposition but Ignacio Mieres is a player on top of his game and contributing significantly to the Exeter Chiefs. Against the powerful and most successful team in the history of Engllish rugby, he kicked 14 points. Gonzalo Camacho joined Mieres in the starting lineup. Horacio Agulla and Marcos Ayerza played for Leicester.

London Wasps 17-22 Saracens
The rounds second all-London clash  followed the script with Saracens winning again at the London Wasps losing again. The boot of Alex Goode was the deciding factor in this match as he kicked 17 points for the visitors. Saracens had three players from the Americas in the starting XV with the Argentine-Italian prop Carlos Nieto starting at tighthead prop, Hayden Smith in the secondrow and Chris Wyles at outside centre. Smith and Wyles´ USA Eagles teammate, Paul Emerick watched after arriving last weekend on a contract with the Wasps.

Aviva Premiership Standings
1 Harlequins 51
2 Saracens 48
3 Northampton Saints 37
4 Leicester Tigers 36
5 Sale Sharks 34
6 London Irish 33
7 Gloucester 33
8 Exeter Chiefs 31
9 Bath 29
10 Worcester Warriors 26
11 London Wasps 22
12 Newcastle Falcons 12

Sale Sharks vs Worcester Warriors

Harlequins vs London Irish

Bath vs Newcastle Falcons

Gloucester vs Northampton Saints

Exeter Chiefs vs Leicester Tigers

London Wasps vs Saracens

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