Monday, March 5, 2012

Aviva Premiership - Round 17 Wrap

Newcastle Falcons 9-9 Harlequins
A dour match in Northern England went the way of the London based Harlequins who snatched a draw with a late dropgoal to former All Black, Nick Evans. The Falcons get two points which was not enough as the next from bottom side, the London Wasps, won its league match to go further ahead of Newcastle. Argentine secondrower, Tomás Vallejos Cinalli started for the Harlequins and played the full 80 minutes. His Argentine teammate, Benjamin Urdapilleta did not play however. 

Jebb Sinclair
London Wasps 18-13 London Irish Exiles
A good home win for the London Wasps and Adam Parks continues the misery for the Exiles who have been on a horror run as of late. It put the Wasps ten points clear of the bottom of the table Falcons while the Exiles now look like being a no chance of qualifying for next seasons Heineken Cup. USA Eagles outside centre, Paul Emerick featured for the Wasps from the bench. Canada´s Jebb Sinclair started at 8 for London Irish.

Exeter Chiefs 37-12 Sale Sharks
Exeter´s great season continues as the Chiefs are looking likely for a place in next seasons Heineken Cup. As unlikely as that was at the start of the season it may only be the tip of the iceburg as the Exeter Chiefs are also close to a place in the Semi Finals. Two Argentine players started for the Chiefs with Ignacio Mieres continuing his good form, scoring ten points and Gonzalo Camacho again playing the full match on the right wing. Camacho is a permanent fixture for the team but, oddly, is yet to score a try since moving to the club from the Harlequins. Joaquín Tuculet featured for the Sale Sharks for the final ten minutes. 

Bath 36-17  Worcester Warriors
A great hom win for Bath gets the side closer to sixth place which is key if Bath is play in next seasons Heineken Cup. A place in the Aviva Premiership Semi Finals is not likely, however, with the team currently  well behind the top four sides.

Leicester Tigers 36-3 Gloucester
Marcos Ayerza
Sunday´s only match saw Leicester underline its premiership credentials with a thumping home win over Gloucester. It keep the Tigers pressure mounting on Saracens who, until recently, had been well ahead of the likes of Leicester, Northampton and Exeter until recently. The win is a strong indication that Leicester, despite being in third place, are the form team of the Aviva Premiership and right now look like favorites for another title. Leicester´s two Pumas players started as per normal with Horacio Agulla playing right wing and Marcos Ayerza playing loosehead prop.

Saracens 18-12 Northampton Saints
Chris Wyles
The round ended as it started - with a tryless match. The reigning champions won´t mind, however, as it cuts the Harleqquins Premiership lead to just four points and also maintains Saracens´ four point advantage over the Leicester Tigers. The Saints stay in the top four, two points ahead of Exeter. Both teams had players from the USA in the starting lineups with Chris Wyles playing outside centre for Saracens and Samu Manoa playing secondrow for Northampton. The Argentine-Italian, Carlos Nieto also played, starting in the frontrow for Saracens.

Aviva Premiership Standings

1 Harlequins 58
2 Saracens 54
3 Leicester Tigers 50
4 Northampton Saints 47
5 Exeter Chiefs 45
6 Gloucester 41
7 Sale Sharks 40
8 Bath 39
9 London Irish 35
10 Worcester Warriors 31
11 London Wasps 29
12 Newcastle Falcons 19

* In line for a place in the Semi Finals
* Facing Relegation

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