Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rabo Direct Pro 12 - Round 5 Wrap

Canada´s DTH van der Merwe
Round five of the Rabo Direct pro 12 wll go down in history. The shock of the season saw Connacht defeat Leinster and also saw surprizing results elsewhere. Strugglers the Newport-Gwent Dragons and Benetton Treviso both defeated noteworthy teams. After five rounds there is no real pattern to determine who is likely to makje the play-off´s at the end of the season. Ulster is the leading team and at this stage isquite superior to all others. The teams ranked from 2-4 are all strong but have not been consistent at all. The competition has been let down by the options of a number of teams to not field their leading players for certain fixtures. It has had the effect of the Celtic-Italian League not having the same prestige as other competitions. 

Connacht 34-6 Leinster
No players from the Americas featured in this match. Leinster fielded a sub standard team due to the competition carrying no consequences unlike in the Aviva Premiership and the Top 14. In these tournaments the danger of being relegated is not to be ignored.

Glasgow Warriors 22-19 Zebre
The new boys in the competition almost made history but the Warriors held on to complete a narrow victory. The star for Zebre was the Argentine-Italian Luciano Orquera. He scored a try and kicked four goals. He formed a 10-12 combination with another Argentine player, Gonzalo Garcia. Prop Mathias Aguero also started. Glasgow hd a Canadian and an American with DTH van der Merwe playing left win and scoring a try. Tommy Seymour was the right winger.

Cardiff Blues 19-48 Ulster
Ulster are leading the compeitiotn desptin having had one game postponed. USA prop Callum Black was on the bench for Ulster. He came on in the 68th minute.

Newport-Gwent Dragons 32-12 Edinburgh
A shocking result for Edinburgh who werein the Semi Finals of last seasons Heineken Cup. No players from the Americas features in this match.

Ospreys 30-15 Munster
USA born Irish international flyhalf, Ronan O´Gara started for Munster and scored 12 points. Former USA junior player, Hanno Dirksen started for the Welsh region.

Benetton Treviso 22-20 Scarlets
The Italians were 17-5 behind at half time but turned the match on its head to complete a famous home victory. Canadian Robert Barbieri scored the third and final try for Treviso. He started in the backrow. Another born in the Americas, Alberto di Bernardo came off the bench to kick seven points while Pedro di Santo and Ignacio Fernández Rouyet were both also amongst Treviso´s replacements. Scarlets secondrower, Tomás Vallejos Cinalli made his debut in The Rugby Championship from the bench v New Zealand on Saturday.

Rabo Direct Pro 12 Standings
1 Ulster 17 *
2 Scarlets 16
3 Munster 14
4 Cardiff 14
5 Glasgow 14
6 Leinster 13
7 Edinburgh 11
8 Connacht 10
9 Ospreys 10
10 Treviso 9
11 Dragons 9
12 Zebre 1 *

* Game in Hand

Connacht v Leinster

Glasgow Warriors v Zebre

Cardiff Blues v Ulster


  1. I love your site but am disappointed that you are following the English and French agenda by criticising the Pro12. Statements like "Leinster fielded a sub standard team due to the competition carrying no consequences unlike in the Aviva Premiership and the Top 14" are ridiculous. Irish players are rested as part of the IRFU's player welfare policy. Naturally the coaches will want to keep their best players for the most important matches but all teams want to win the Pro12. Plenty of French teams have fielded substandard teams in the Heineken Cup because they decided to concentrate on their own league instead, but you don't hear the Celtic/Italian teams complaining about that.

    1. Hi Dave,

      Leinster should not have lost. It is quite unthinkable. But the Leinster team was far from being complete. The English and French have a good point and if there was relegation in the Pro 12 I am quite sure that teams would not rest their players as much as they do.

      Its true about the French teams. However, I have noticed a trend of fielding strong teams in the early pool matches and teams tend to only field experimental lineups if they are out of the play-off´s picture.

      For the record I am not supporting the French view. I would, however, like to see a best Pro 12 and for that there needs to be less resting of the top players. Somehow a balance between the competition and others needs to be found.

  2. but all teams want to win the Pro12....

    .. meaning the competition stinks.

  3. So in your opinion, Leinster take a poor attitude to the Pro 12 and put out sub-standard teams because they do not have to worry about relegation?

    Why then do they so consistently make it into the playoffs?

    1. I see two reasons.

      1. Because many teams do this. Edinburgh, for instance, were 11th in the Pro 12 last season but were Heineken Cup Semi Finalists.

      2. Irish teams have more depth in general than the Scot´s, Welsh and Italians.