Monday, February 20, 2012

Aviva Premiership Wrap - Round 15

Samu Manoa
The weekend featured round fifteen of England´s Aviva Premiership and it had a number of players on show from the Americas. The only region never to have hosted a World Cup, come 2019 continues to deliver on the global stage as players from Argentina and the United States of America put in quality performances for their English clubs to underline their worth in one of the World´s biggest leagues. With England hosting the World Cup in just over three and a half years from now the need for the World Cup to be taken to Argentina as the first Americas country to host a tournament only becomes clearer. Despite far fewer players from Argentina playing in England than in France followers of the Aviva Premiership are, nonetheless, able to see quality players on show regularly in their country´s competition.

Bath 11-14 Gloucester
The Recreation Ground in Bath had a genuine derby to open the round but fans were not given much to be happy about as a low scoring a unnspiring match took place and the home fans went home after seeing their team lose. Argentina´s Matias Corteze did not feature for Gloucester while Bath´s USA hooker, Chris Biller also did not play. The loss means bath´s chances of appearing in next seasons Heineken Cup are vanishing quickly.

London Wasps 12-15 Exeter Chiefs
The poor season for the London Wasps continues as the Exeter Chiefs pulled off the win at Adams Park on Saturday. The match featured zero tries and it was the boot of Argentina´s Ignacio Mieres that proved the difference as he landed one more kick than his opponent. Mieres kicked all of his sides points and he was joined in the starting lineup by Argentina´s World Cup right winger, Gonzalo Camacho. Curiously, Camacho did not score a try at the World Cup and is yet to score one all season for Exeter. USA international outside centre, Paul Emerick made his debut for London Wasps as he came into the match in just the 21st minute as a replacement.

Newcastle Falcons 19-10 London Irish
Fans at Kingston Park can now start to think positively after the Newcastle Falcons defeated the highly regarded London Irish Exiles to greatly help their chances of staying in England´s top flight. The Falcons have had an aweful season and sit bottom of the table with seemingly no chance of survival. The side has now, however, cut the gap between 12th and 11th to six points and now the pressure on the London Wasps is only going to grow. Canada´s Jebb Sinclair has not yet returned from thumb surgery for London Irish.

Northampton Saints 24-17 Sale Sharks
Franklin's Gardens continues to be a great home venue for the Northampton Saints as close games continue to go the way of the home side. The Saints´s win over Sale means the Sharks are outside of the zone for qualification to the Heineken Cup for now. Argentina´s Joaquín Tuculet did not play for the Sale Sharks but the Saints´ Samu Manoa played the full match in the secondrow with the American showing just why he signed a new three year deal this week with the club.

Harlequins 16-14 Worcester Warriors
The top of the table Harlequins struggled hard to secure a homw win against last seasons Second Division side, the Worcester Warriors. The London based side set the bench mark in the early season but has been unable to perform barely as well sice other teams have been strengthened following the return of players from World Cup duty. The two point victory, nonetheless, keeps the Quins place at the top of the table well intact. Los Pumas secondrower, Tomás Vallejos Cinalli was on the bench for the winners but Benjamin Urdapilleta was no selected.

Saracens 19-20 Leicester Tigers
Saracens looked set t for a home victory at Vicarage Road but the London based side were the victims of a last gasp dropgoal which saw the Leicester Tigers win the match by a single point. Leicester´s two Pumas players started and played the fullmatch with Horacio Agulla on the wing and Marcos Ayerza at loosehead prop. Saracens´ Argentine-Italian prop, Carlos Nieto also featured while the USA pair of Chris Wyles and Hayden Smith both started. Wyles played the match at outside centre and Smith played in the secondrow.
Standings

1 Harlequins 55
2 Saracens 49
3 Northampton 41
4 Leicester Tigers 40
5 Exeter Chiefs 39
6 Gloucester 37
7 Sale Sharks 35
8 London Irish 34
9 Bath 30
10 Worcester Warriors 27
11 London Wasps 23
12 Newcastle 17

* In line for a Semi Final
* In the relegation zone

London Wasps vs Exeter Chiefs

Newcastle Falcons vs London Irish

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