Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rabo Direct Pro 12 - Round 2 Wrap

Alberto di Bernardo
The second round of the Celtic-Italian League dished up some upset results. A number of teams have not been fielding their first choice players and it has had an impact on how some teams have performed. This has seen the competition come under heavy fire from English and French officials who are threatening to leave the Heineken Cup if it is not changed. Clubs from England and France have to finish in the Top six to qualify while those in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 are granted entry based on which nation they are from rather than how good they are. 

The second round featured players from the Americas with Argentina, Canada and the United States of America all having players in action. 

Zebre 17-30 Connacht
A big chance for a home win for the Italian side was missed as the weakest Irish province was far too good for the league´s newcomers. Luciano Orquera started at flyhalf for Zebre and scored seven points. He was joiend by fellow Argentine-Italian Gonzalo Garcia in the starting lineup. The USA´s Dave Ryan started at tighthead prop. 

Cardiff Blues 19-21 Edinburgh
A good away win for the Scottish side sees Edinburgh make up for its first round defeat. It also means that after two rounds only three teams are undefeated.

Glasgow Warriors 13-18 Scarlets
The Glasgow Warriors´ poor start to the season continues as the Scottish side has lost its first two matches. Canadian DTH van der Merwe started on the left wing for the home side. The Scarlets were without Tomás Vallejos Cinalli who is with Los Pumas as part of The Rugby Championship. He is yet to play in the tournament however.

Munster 19-6 Benetton Treviso
A depleted Munster side was still strong enough to win at home against the Italians. A number of Munster´s star players are on ice after having toured New Zealand in June. Benetton Treviso had a number of players from the Americas. Argentine flyhalf Alberto di Bernardo started at pivot ahead of Kris Burton. di Bernardo kicked two penalties to score all of his teams points. Ignacio Fernández Rouyet was a frontrow replacement while Canadian Robert Barbieri came on as a backrow replacement.

Leinster 45-25 Dragons
The reigning Heineken Cup Champions completed a demolition job of the Newport-Gwent Dragons to lay down a warning to all teams in the Rabo Direct Pro 12. 

Ospreys 13-16 Ulster
Neither team was at full strength and it worked in favor of the visitors who remain winless after two rounds despite winning last seasons competition. Two players associated with the USA were involved in this match. Former age grade player, Hanno Dirksen scored the home side´s only try while Callum Black started at loosehead prop for Ulster. 

Rabo Direct Pro 12 Standings
1  Scarlets 9
2 Munster 8
3 Ulster 8
4 Dragons 5
5 Connacht 5
6 Cardiff 5 
7 Leinster 5
8 Edinburgh 5 
9 Treviso 4
10 Ospreys  2
11 Glasgow 1
12 Zebre 0

Leinster v Dragons

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