Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pro 12 Americas Exports - Round Two Wrap

Photo: This is South Wales Tyler Ardron made his Pro 12 debut against Leinster
The second round of the Celtic-Italian League started on Friday and was completed on Saturday. The full round of six matches saw players from Argentina, Canada and the United States of America taking the field for professional sides from all or Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The Americas remains the last region to host a Rugby World Cup.

Zebre 21-43 Munster
Italian side Zebre is into its second season and is yet to win a match. Fortunes will certainly change at some point but for the meantime Zebre´s woes only provide the English and French clubs with further reasoning to want to leave the Heineken Cup and have the top six from the Rabo Direct Pro 12 qualify rather than having two per nation guaranteed places. Zebre fielded an Argentine 10-12 combination with Luciano Orquera and Gonzalo Garcia playing in the halves. Matias Aguero was also involved as a replacement.

Ulster 12-13 Glasgow
A poor start to the season sees Ulster winless after two rounds and aganist teams it ought to have defeated. Glasgow though was behind until scoring on full time. The Glasgow Warriors´ win in Belfast on Friday underlines the questions in the Irish players of rotating players in the Rabo Direct Pro 12. Indeed with such a low risk of not qualifying for the Heineken Cup Ulster, Leinster and Munster regularly field weak sides and have their stars fresh for the Heineken Cup. Argentina, Canada and the USA all had involvement in this match. Canadian international DTH van der Merwe played on the left wing while USA born Tommy Seymour was the starting right wing. Argentine international centre Gabriel Ascárate made his debut appearance in the competition from the bench.

Cardiff 21-10 Connacht
The Cardiff Blues had few problems in defeating Ireland´s feeder province on Friday. The Blues did, however, have problems scoring tries as all the regions points game from the boot of future Welsh international fly half Rhys Patchell.

Edinburgh 16-13 Dragons
A three point win for Edinburgh completed the Scottish double as both of Scotland´s teams were winners on Friday evening. Playing for the Newport-Gwent Dragons was former Argentine international prop Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. He was a replacement and played 35 minutes for the Welsh region. 

Leinster 29-29 Ospreys
A draw in Dublin sees the Ospreys return home with competition points. While the visitors played well Leinster was not at full strength as the criticized policy of Rabo Direct Pro 12 teams not needing to qualify through their league to the Heineken Cup continues to appear provide the English a French argument with validation. In exciting news for Canadians there were two of the country´s young and promising players on the bench for the Welsh region. Jeff Hassler was a replacement outside back while Tyler Ardron covered the back-row. Both players are likely to be key components of Canada´s team at Rugby World Cup 2015 and by virtue of having both Italy and Ireland in the same pool they will benefit themselves and the national team greatly.

Scarlets 26-10 Treviso
A horror start to the season sees the two Italian teams winless and at the botton of the table. Treviso should be very nervous considering how many Italian test players have featured. Three from the Americas played against the Scarlets. Toronto´s Roberto Barbieri started in the back-row while Argentina´s Alberto di Bernardo was the starting flyhalf. Both players are Italian internationals as is Ignacio Fernández-Rouyet who is another from Argentina. He was on the bench as a replacement prop.

Standings
1 Munster 10
2 Glasgow 8
3 Leinster 7
4 Ospreys 6
5 Dragons 5
6 Cardiff 5
7 Connacht 4
8 Scarlets 4
9 Edinburgh 4
10 Ulster 2
11 Treviso 1
12 Zebre 0

Zebre v Munster

Ulster v Glasgow

Cardiff v Connacht

Edinburgh v Dragons

Leinster v Ospreys

Scarlets v Treviso

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