Monday, December 24, 2012

Aviva Premiership - Round 11 Wrap

Worcester Warriors 13-6 London Welsh
Two of the leagues lower ranked sides started Round 11 on twenty competition points but with the win the Warriors move to twenty-four. London Welsh are still far from being threatened with relegation due to the terrible performances of London Irish and the Sale Sharks. Canada´s Phil MacKenzie did not play for London Welsh this weekend. 

Bath 0-22 Saracens
Stephen Donald kicked New Zealand to World Cup glory in 2011 but since moving to Bath he has been unable a poor performer. The former All Black was outplayed by former English international Charlie Hodgson with the New Zealander missing kicks at goal, passing poorly and not creating opportunities for his backs. Argentina´s Horacio Agulla played the full match on the right wing but recieved enxt to no ball. The conditions were not great but it was the playmaking of Donald that really hurt Bath. Saracens had few problems in closing out the match after going 10-0 ahead ni the 22nd minute. USA Eagles fullback Chris Wyles played the full 80 minutes for Saracens. 

London Irish 9-31 Leicester Tigers
London Irish had another bad performance with the Leicester Tigers gladly returning home after completing a bonus point victory. After eleven Aviva Premiership matches this season the London Irish Exiles have a record of only two victories. Canada´s Jebb Sinclair started in the backrow for London Irish, playing 59 minutes while Argentina´s Marcos Ayerza played 74 minutes for Leicester at loosehead prop. Remarkably the same two teams contested the 2009 Final with Leicester winning its eighth premiership title with a 10-9 victory at Twickenham.

Gloucester 18-16 Exeter Chiefs
Overall this weekends rugby was not the greatest in England. Similar to west country rivals Bath, Gloucester were tryless. But unlike Bath, Gloucester completed a victory with Freddie Burns slotting six goals, enough to claim a narrow victory. Exeter scored the games only try to go ahead 16-12 in the 57th minute. Indeed the Chiefs should have gone on to win but failed to do so. Gonzalo Camacho played the full 80 minutes on the wing for Exeter while Ignacio Mieres got some minutes off the bench. 

Northampton Saints 9-18 Harlequins
Hot off an impressive victory in Belfast the Northampton Saints had a great opportunity to complete back-to-back wins against first class opponents. The Saints were not able to score a try though and nor were the London based Harlequins. The Quins away victory sees the club hold on to first place in the Aviva Premiership while the Saints are in fifth place due to its loss and Gloucester´s win. USA international secondrower Samu Manoa started for the Saints.

London Wasps 25-18 Sale Sharks
Sale managed to get a bonus point out of this match after scoring a try in the last play of the match. Since London Irish got nothing from its match against Leicester it should be considered a good result. The IRB and the RFU need Sale to stay in the Aviva Premiership and not be relegated due to its location as the only remaining top flight club from Northern England and its base at Stockport which is a part of the Greater Manchester area. Manchester´s Old Trafford is highly likely to host at least one Quarter Final match of Rugby World Cup 2015. Sale´s star players were poor again with its past or present international players from England, New Zealand, Samoa and Scotland being unable to deliver.

Aviva Premiership Standings
1 Harlequins 37
2 Saracens 36
3 Leicester 35
4 Gloucester 33
5 Northampton 31
6 Exeter 29
7 L Wasps 28
8 Bath 25 
9 Worcester 24 
10 L Welsh 20
11 L Irish 12 
12 Sale 7

* Play-off´s Places
* Facing Relegation

Worcester Warriors v London Welsh

Saracens v Bath

Leicester Tigers v London Irish

Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs

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