Sunday, September 15, 2013

Aviva Premiership Americas Exports - Round Two Wrap

Argentina´s Ignacio Mieres performed well on Saturday
The action from the first two rounds of the Aviva Premiership suggest that the battle to make the play-offs should involve more teams than last season and also that the battle to avoid relegation should be hot. Two rounds into the competition there are teams yet to win matches but all sides have competition points.

Harlequins 6-13 Northampton
The Harlequins won the 2012 Aviva Premiership and did so convincingly. The London based club was also very strong last season but so far the Harlequins are yet to shine. Northampton´s away win sees the side undefeated after two rounds. Starting in the back-row was USA international Samu Manoa.

Sale Sharks 14-15 Newcastle
Northern England´s two teams in the Aviva Premiership are not expected to be in the running for a place in the play-offs. Indeed both are thought of as being contenders for relegation. Two rounds into the Aviva Premiership season, however both have won one match each. Both teams have players from the Americas. Canadian winger Phil MacKenzie started for Sale while Newcastle prop Nahuel Lobo was involved in Argentina´s match against Australia in Perth. 

Exeter Chiefs 30-26 London Wasps
A highly entertaining match went the way of the home side as the Exeter Chiefs won at Sandy Park, a Rugby World Cup 2015 venue. Neither Argentina nor Canada will play at Sandy Park and nor will the Americas 2 qualifier or the Play-Off winner. In other words there is no chance of having a country from the Americas playing at Exeter. 

Worcester 18-20 London Irish
The Worcester Warriors are looking to perform better this season than has been the case previously. The club signed three Pumas as part of building a more competitive team. Of the three two are in the Pumas squad while the third, Ignacio Mieres started at fly half on against London Irish. Mieres scored a try and kicked goals for a personal tally of thirteen points but the win went the way of the Irish who won wth a late penalty. Canadian second-rower Jebb Sinclair was on the bench for London Irish.

Bath 27-20 Leicester
Both clubs were missing players involved in the Rugby Championship match in Perth but the form of Horacio Agulla could well see him released earlier than expected to return to England. He is a rare example of a star club player in the Aviva Premiership who is able to score with regularity but not transform this onto the test arena. 

Saracens 44-12 Gloucester
A fifteen v fourteen man match took place on Sunday as veteran Gloucester prop Nick Wood was red carded in just the first minute of the match. Saracens made the visitors pay as a bonus point victory saw the London based side go top of the table as the only club with two bonnus point victories after two rounds of play. Chris Wyles was the starting Saracens fullback while his USA Eagles teammate, Luke Hume has been involved with Gloucester´s development team and may feature in the Aviva Premiership. 

1 Saracens 10
2 Northampton 9
3 Bath 8
4 Leicester 6
5 Sale 5
6 Harlequins 5
7 London Irish 4
8 Newcastle 4
9 Exeter 4
10 London Wasps 2
11 Worcester 1
12 Gloucester 1

* Play-Offs Zone
* Relegation Zone

Harlequins v Northampton Saints

Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs v London Wasps

Worcester Warriors v London Irish

Bath v Leicester Tigers

Saracens v Gloucester

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