Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Amlin Challenge Cup - Round 2 Wrap

Pool 1
London Irish 69-26 Mont de Marsan
An eleven tries to two performance sees London Irish stake its claim as a genuine title contender in the Amlin Challenge Cup. Mont de Marsan is yet to win a game all season and should already be looking at recruiting for the 2013-2014 season which is all but certain to see the club playing in the Pro d2.

Gloucester 25-13 Bordeaux-Begles
Pool 1 will likely see an Aviva Premiership side in the Quarter Finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup after the group´s two English sides have won both matches while the two French sides are winless. Nicolás Sánchez started at flyhalf and had a fine match for Grenoble. Rafael Carballo did not feature however. 

Standings
London Irish 10 
Gloucester 9
Mont de Marsan 1
Bordeaux 0

Pool 2
Worcester Warriors 90-3 Rovigo
Questions remain over the structure of the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup and they will not go away easily. Worcester´s huge win over Italian side Rovigo is a reminder that the competitions need to be rethought. 

Perpignan 90-12 Bizkaia Gernika
This Pool is a two horse race with either the English or French club to be in the Quarter Finals. Both are far too good for their Italian and Spanish opponents. 

Standings
Worcester 10
Perpignan 10
Bizkaia Gernika 0
Rovigo 0

Pool 3
Mogliano 12-59 London Wasps
The London Wasps´ big win sees the side locked into a battle with Bayonne for the Quarter Finals place. USA international Paul Emerick did not feature for the winners. Former Pumas hooker Agustín Costa Repetto was on the bench for Mogliano.

Newport Gwent Dragons 19-22 Bayonne
The only side who can challenge the London Wasps is French club Bayonne. Both clubs have been having up and down seasons thus far in their domestic competitions but neither are currently in danger of relegation unlike last season. 
Standings
London Wasps 10
Bayonne 9
Dragons 1
Mogliano 0

Pool 4
Bucharest 42-27 Calvisano
A further indication that the Italian sides are not competitive saw the Romanian side, Bucharest defeat Calvisano convincingly. The bottom placed side in each pool after two rounds in Italian. The Argentina-Italian Pablo Canavosio started at outside centre. 

Agen 22-27 Bath
This Pool looks like being Bath´s for the taking. The English side´s away victory is key with Agen being the only club able to compete against it. Pumas winger Horacio Agulla did not play for Bath and is yet to debut for the club after leaving the Leicester Tigers. His brother, Belisario Agulla started for Agen on the wing. Argentine secondrower Esteban Lozada missed out due to suspension. 

Standings
Bath 10
Agen 6
Bucharest 5
Calvisano 2

Pool 5
Cavalieri Prato 31-32 London Welsh
An understrength London Welsh side claimed a one point victory to get its first points of the competition. Canadian international Phil MacKenzie was amongst the London Welsh rested players. Two Argentine players started for Cavalieri Prato. Guillermo Roan played tighthead prop and Agustín Cavallieri was in the secondrow.

Stade Français 28-25 Grenoble
Tied at 25 all with time running out former Pumas captain Felipe Contepomi kicked the Parisians to a three point victory. In the Top 14 Grenoble has been impressive while Stade Français has been poor. This result could be key for Stade Franlais to move forward and get back into the play-off´s and the Heineken Cup where it belongs. Contepomi was joined by 20 year old future Pumas secondrower Juan Cruz Guillemain in the starting line up and USA international Scott LaValla. The Argentine-Italian, Sergio Parisse was on the bench. Pumas fullback Joaquin Tuculet started for Grenoble.

Standings  
Stade Français 9
Grenoble 6
London Welsh 4
Cavalieri Prato 2

* Currently qualifying for Quarter Finals

Gloucester v Bordeaux

Stade Français v Grenoble

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