Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rabo Direct Pro 12 - Round 20 Wrap

Tommy Seymour

Leinster 54-13 Edinburgh
Another inadequate display from Edinburgh in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 places further questions over how much the teams actaullay value the Celtic-Italian League. Six days earlier, Edinburgh had defeated Toulouse in front of a record crowd at Murrayfield to qualify for the Heineken Cup Semi Finals. The same club is near the bottom of the Rabo Direct Pro 12 and has no chance of making the play-offs. Leinster ran in eight tries in the Irish provinces massive triumph. Former Pumas secondrower Esteban Lozada started for the Scots.

Newport-Gwent Dragons 32-33 Benetton Treviso
After having had a good start to the season but failing to win matches since the turn of the year, benetton Treviso completed an excellent win, by a mere point, in Wales on Friday evening. The Dragons fielded it Welsh stars Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau which made the Italians win all the more sweeter. There were Argentine players and a Canadian playing for Benetton Treviso. Toronto´s Robert Barbieri started in the backrow while Alberto di Bernardo, Diego Vidal and Ignacio Fernández Rouyet were all on the bench.

Connacht 26-21 Ulster
Despite being a Heineken Cup Semi Finalist, Ulster further underlined the lack of importance placed on the Rabo Direct Pro 12 by the teams compared to the European competition. Ulster´s selection of some secondsring players contributed to the teams downfall in Galway as Connacht notched up a major scalp., The result may well hurt Ulster as the club may, indeed, miss out on a place in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 Semi Finals. As it stands the team is outside the Top Four, albeit only just. The USA´s Callum Black came on as a 68th minute replacement for the visitors.

Cardiff Blues 12-33 Ospreys
Another example of a Heineken Cup hangover saw the Cardiff Blues get slaughtered in their own backyard as last weeks Quarter Finalists were humiliated in Cardiff by the Ospreys to complete back-to-back poor performances after Leinster had no troubles in knocking over the Welsh region in last the Heineken Cup seven days prior. Former USA age grade player, Hanno Dirksen featured for the winners, continuing his impressive run in the 14 shirt.

Munster 35-29 Glasgow Warriors
A great match in Limerick saw an understrength Munster hold off a fighting Glasgow. The exciting Scottish fullback, Stuart Hogg scored three tries for the visitors who were beaten thanks to superior goalkicking with Ian Keatley landing 20 points. Former Pumas winger, Federico Martín Aramburu played 70 minutes on the right wing for the Warriors. His match ended by a yellow card in the 70th minute. The USA´s Tommy Seymour was on the bench. 

Aironi 23-26 Scarlets
The Italian side is soon to disappear, being replaced by a different, yet to be confirmed, team from Italy in next seasons competition. Aironi are nethertheless not looking to end on a negative note and with the players needing to impress to secure contracts elsewhere the team put in a great performance vs Welsh region, the Scarlets. The scores were tied at 16-16 with 20 minutes remaining and, in the end, the Welsh side won by three points. The Argentine-Italian flyhalf, Luciano Orquera started at flyhalf. he recovered rom an early yellow card to kick two penalties and two conversions. Matias Aguero also featured for the Italians, coming on from the bench.

Rabo Direct Pro 12 Standings
1 Leinster 73 
2 Ospreys 62
3 Munster 60
4 Glasgow 57
5 Ulster 56
6 Scarlets 55
7 Cardiff 45
8 Dragons 35
9 Treviso 35
10 Connacht 33
11 Edinburgh 27
12 Aironi 20

Leinster vs Edinburgh

Newport-Gwent Dragons vs Benetton Treviso

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