Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Amlin Challenge Cup - Round 1 Wrap


Pool 1

Bordeaux-Begles 16-43 London Irish
Bordeaux is facing relegation in the Top 14 and this no doubt had a lot to do with the club fielding a second string side. The club needs to focus on survival in the Top 14 now before it gets too late. Neither of the clubs Pumas featured with Rafael Carballo under an injury cloud and Nicolás Sánchez being rested after he played from the bench against Australia six days earlier.

Mont de Marsan 6-11 Gloucester
Mont de Marsan is yet to win a match in the Top 14 and it is already looking certain to be relegated. The club is in a tough pool in the Amlin Challenge Cup - there are only French and English clubs. It lost to Gloucester on Thursday in a match dominated by violence.

Standings
London Irish 5
Gloucester 4
Mont de Marsan 1
Bordeaux-Begles 0

Pool 2

Standings
Worcester Warriors 5
Perpignan 5
Bizkaia Gernika RT 0
Rovigo 0

Rovigo 12-79 Perpignan
The differences between the domestic competitions of Italy and France were highly evident in this match. Desptie fielding a second string side Perpignan nonetheless played its best rugby of the season. Scrumhalf David Melle kicked two penalties and converted nine tries.

                                       Bizkaia Gernika RT 5-85 Worcester Warriors
The Worcester Warriors did even better than Perpignan. Both clubs are off the pace in their respective national competition but they are still far too good for teams from Italy and Spain. Bizkaia Gernika RT ahd two Argentine players with Federico Mazzochi playing on the right wing and Alessandro Torres Suar at outside centre. Mazzochi scored for the Spanish side.

Pool 3
London Wasps 38-25 Newport-Gwent Dragons
Both sides are not performing well in their respective leagues but the danger of relegation is low for the English side and impossible for the Welsh region. As such they can concentrate on the Amlin Challenge Cup is they desire to. USA international centre Paul Emerick did not feature for the Wasps.

Bayonne 71-7 Mogliano 
French Top 14 side Bayonne has been having an un and down season but it can use the Amlin Challegne Cup to its advantage. It can play better rugby here and transfer it back to France. Its first round match gave it such an opportunity as it smashed Italian side Mogliano on Friday. Mogliano featured two Argentine players with both Agustín Costa Repetto and Augusto Allori starting.

Standings
Bayonne 5
London Wasps 5
Dragons 0
Mogliano 0

Pool 4

Bucharest 17-40 Bath
A bonus point win for Bath gets the club off to the perfect start. Its pool only has two contenders with the other being Top 14 club Agen. Horacio Agulla has arrived at the English club and is likely to make his debut for the round two match against Agen on Thursday. 

Calvisano 31-36 Agen
Agen fielded a weakened side and also paid the price as the Italian side gave them a real contest. Former Puma Miguel Avramovic started for Agen at outside centre. 

Standings
Bath 5
Agen 5
Calvisano 2
Bucharest 0

Pool 5 

London Welsh 19-68 Stade Français 
An impressive performance from Felipe Contepomi saw the Parisians claim a huge away victory to state its claim in this pool. Stade Français actually qualified for the 2012-2013 Heineken Cup but lost its place to Biarritz after the Basque club won the 2012 Amlin Challenge Cup Final. The 35 year old Contepomi scored a try, kicked two penalties and seven conversions. He started at inside centre. A future Pumas made his professional debut as Juan Cruz Guillemaín played in the secondrow. He was also a try scorer. Los Pampas XV centre, Lisandro Goméz Lopéz also made his first appeance for Stade Français as a secondhalf replacement. 

Grenoble 59-3 Cavalieri Prato
Grenoble has been causing plenty of surprizes in the Top 14. It is doing much better than Amlin Challenge Cup rivals Stade Français. The teams nine tries to zero demolition of Italy´s Cavalieri Prato sets it up for the competition. Argentine international Joaquin Tuculet started at fullback for Grenoble.

Standings
Grenoble 5
Stade Français 5
London Welsh 0
Cavalieri Prato 0

* Currently Qualifying for Quarter Finals

Mont de Marsan v Gloucester

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