Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pro 12 Americas Exports - Round Three Wrap

Canadians Tyler Ardron and Jeff Hassler have started well for the Ospreys
History was made on Friday in the third round of the RaboDirect Pro 12 as Italian side Zebre won for the first time. It occured on the same say that Treviso and the Dragons also both won and did so against Heineken Cup regulars Munster and the Scarlets. With Leinster also losing there was plenty of reason to question the under fire situation that sees Pro 12 sides qualify for the Heineken Cup based on nation and not league position. Indeed, round three continued with the tradition of powerful sides not playing with their strongest lineups.

Cardiff 25-30 Zebre
After being winless all last season Zebre has now claimed its first ever professional victory with an away win over the Cardiff Blues in Wales. The Blues side was not at full strength but it did contain British and Irish Lions players Leigh Halfpenny and Alex Cuthbert. The Argentine-Italian Luciano Orquera scored fifteen points for Zebre while Matias Aguero was also involved. 

Treviso 29-19 Munster
An Italian double occured with Benetton Treviso defeating Irish province Munster also on Friday. The Celtic position in regards to the Heineken Cup really took a hit as A munster side without a number of Heineken Cup regulars went to Italy and lost. Involved in the match for Treviso was the Canadian Italian Roberto Barbieri in addition to three Italian test players from Argentina - Alberto di Bernardo, Pedro di Santo and Ignacio Fernández-Rouyet.

Dragons 23-16 Scarlets
With the Newport-Gwent Dragons having long been the bottom performers of the four Welsh regions there was room for celebration on Friday as the Dragons defeated the Scarlets at Rodney Parade. The Scarlets team had an impressive list of international players but the Dragons got the job done. Starting at tighthead prop for the Dragons was Argentina´s Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

Glasgow 12-6 Leinster
Leinster with no Brian O´Driscoll, no Jamie Heaslip or Sean O´Brien would be very unlikely to take the field in a Heineken Cup match but the policy of resting stars for Pro 12 matches continues and has certainly not impressed authorities from England or France. Leinster did field a number of leading players but it was far from being the genuine article. Ian Madigan, for instance, was out of position at fullback as the flyhlaf position was taken by New Zealander Jimmy Gopperth, a player in the English second division last season. The Glasgow Warriors side was strong and included a player from the Americas as USA born Tommy Seymour started on the wing.

Ospreys 44-10 Edinburgh
Edinburgh is now bottom of the table after the Scottish side lost in Wales on Saturday. The home side was far too strong and its impressive win occured with two Canadians. Jeff Hassler staretd on the right wing and made an ideal debut start by scoring in the first half. He was joined by back-rower Tyler Ardron who was on the Ospreys bench. Phil Mack is in Wales now officiallly as an Ospreys player too.

Connacht 7-18 Ulster
Two tries to one in Galway saw the visitors from the North defeat Connacht on Saturday. It was Ulster´s first win of the season but the side is, nonetheless in sixth position. Connacht has also won only one match so far but is two points behind due to it not having collected any bonus points thus far.

1  Glasgow 12
2 Ospreys 11
3 Munster 10
4 Dragons 9
5 Leinster 8
6 Ulster 6
7 Cardiff 6
8 Treviso 5
9 Scarlets 5
10 Connacht 4
11 Zebre 4
12 Edinburgh 4

Treviso v Munster

Dragons v Scarlets

Glasgow v Leinster

Ospreys v Edinburgh

Connacht v Ulster

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