Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rabo Direct Pro 12 - Semi Finals Wrap

The Celtic-Italian League, known as the Rabo Direct Pro 12 for sponsorship reasons had its Semi Finals played on Friday and Saturday in Wales and Ireland with the two home teams claiming victories to secure their places in the final latter this month. With the Welsh region, the Ospreys´s winning on Friday the Swansea based side is the only thing standing in the way of Leinster picking up a European double of the Rabo Direct Pro 12 and the Heineken Cup.  The Irish province will take on Northern Ireland´s Ulster next weekend in the Heineken Cup Final in London while it will then face the Ospreys in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 Final one week later. In losing it is season over for both Munster and the Glasgow Warriors. It is good news for international rugby with players from both teams to be on international duty next month with more than just Ireland and Scotland being represented.

The Semi Finals were a further indication of the need to take the World Cup to the Americas with Argentina, Canada and the United States of America all having players in action. Of the three countries, Argentina is the highest profile in rugby terms and the country is rapidly developing as the clear choice to host Rugby World Cup 2023. The six home tests this year will be staged in six different cities across Argentina despite the capital and largest city, Buenos Aires not hosting any. Curiously, the Rabo Direct Pro 12 Semi Finals were played in smaller venues than all six of the stadiums that will host Pumas tests in 2012.

Ospreys 45-10 Munster

USA age grade back. Hanno Dirksen played on the right wing, scoring a try for the Ospreys. The Californian born Ronan O´Gara was on the bench for the visitors.

Leinster 19-15 Glasgow Warriors

Former Puma Federico Martín Aramburu started on the right wing for Glasgow, playing his last ever rugby match as he is now officially retired. Canadian international, DTH van der Merwe joined him on the other wing. He is certain to play in the centres for Canada next month. 

Ospreys vs Munster 

Leinster vs Glasgow Warriors

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