Sunday, December 30, 2012

Aviva Premiership - Round 12 Wrap

Sale Sharks 33-27 Worcester Warriors
A welcome result for not only the Sale Sharks but also for the IRB and the RFU. Sale is the only remaining club in the Aviva Premiership from Northern England and before this weekend had only won one match all season in the Aviva Premiership. Its second win narrows the gap between itself and London Irish while it is a wake up call for not only Worcester and London Irish but also London Welsh. One of these sides should be relegated. Sale is located in Greater Manchester and the city is expected to be a major player at Rugby World Cup 2015 with Old Trafford being one of the non-London stadiums in line for play-off´s matches.

Harlequins 26-15 London Irish
Sale supporters can thank the Harlequins not only for defeating London Irish but by scoring a late penalty try which meant London Irish missed out on scoring a bonus point. The Exiles had been looking very much like collecting a bonus point until the referee awarded a penalty try for two consecutive scrum penalties on their five metre line. Canada´s Jebb Sinclair played the full 80 minutes in the backrow for London Irish. 

Exeter 12-12 Bath
A draw at Sandy Park sees Bath move ahead of Worcester while Exeter has dropped behind the London Wasps. Bath secured the draw with a penalty try in the 75th minute which was the games second try after Bath had also scored early in the first half. Exeter´s points were all scored from the boot of Gareth Steenson who may well be considered for Ireland´s squad for the 2013 Six Nations. He has kept Ignacio Mieres on the bench throughout much of this season. The Pumas flyhalf has been overshadowed by the Irishman while Horacio Agulla has been overshadowed by Gonzalo Camacho in national colors in 2012. They faced eachother at Sandy Park with both starting on the right wing for their English clubs.

London Welsh 15-34 London Wasps
A big away victory sees the London Wasps improve its position in the Aviva Premiership while London Welsh are looking increasingly like a team with little on offer in attack. Canada´s Phil MacKenzie did not feature for the Exiles who lost by four tries to zero.

Leicester 17-12 Gloucester
Yet another home victory for the mighty Leicester Tigers took place on Saturday afternoon but the club was far from happy with the referee. The Tigers one try to zero victory was nonetheless sufficient to see Leicester get the competition points and enhance its position in the Aviva Premiership. First choice Pumas loosehead prop, Marcos Ayerza played 60 minutes for Leicester and played very well.

Saracens 17-16 Northampton 
The 2011 Champions fought back well to defeat Northampton in what was more of a home match for the Saints than it was for Saracens. The London based Saracens moved the clash to Stadium MK in Milton Keynes. 18,865 people attended the match to make it an impressive holiday weekend for the Aviva Premiership after there were 82,000 people at Twickenham to see the Harlequins defeat London Irish on Saturday. The result in Milton Keynes sees Northampton drop to sixth position while Saracens continue to sit in second place one point ahead of Leicester and one behind the Harlequins. The clash featured players from the USA and Argentina. USA Eagles fullback Chris Wyles started in the same position for Saracens and Samu Manoa started in the secondrow for Northampton. Argentine-Italian prop Carlos Nieto was a replacement for Saracens.

Aviva Premiership Standings
1 Harlequins 41
2 Saracens 40
3 Leicester 39
4 Gloucester 34
5 London Wasps 33
6  Northampton 32
7 Exeter 31
8 Bath 27
9 Worcester 25
10 London Welsh 20
11 London Irish 12
12 Sale Sharks 11 

* Play-off´s Places 
* Facing Relegation

Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors

Exeter Chiefs v Bath


London Welsh v London Wasps


Leicester Tigers v Gloucester


Saracens v Northampton Saints

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