Sunday, October 20, 2013

Amlin Challenge Cup Americas Exports - Round Two Wrap

The Worcester Pumas - Senatore, Mieres, Galarza and Creevy
A total of seventeen Argentine players were involved in the second round of the Amlin Challenge Cup. Mathces were played from Thursday to Saturday and in addition to there being Pumas players there were also test stars from Canada and the USA in action. 

Pool 1
Biarritz 26-6 Oyonnax
Neither club is overly interested in the Amlin Challenge Cup due to the fight they both face to retain their Top 14 status. Oyonnax was happy to rest some leading players but regular first choice scrumhalf and former Puma Agustín Figuerola started. Also appearing was Lucas González Amorosino with the current Puma making his debut for the club. He is certain to feature for Argentina next month while a player in consideration is Biarritz prop Francisco Goméz Kodela who started. USA winger Taku Ngwenya also started in what was the clubs best win performance so far this season.

Worcester Warriors 15-29 Sale Sharks
The all-Aviva Premiership match saw the Sale Sharks secure top spot in the group but with the Worcester Warriors yet to win all season the clubs focus is, without question, on the English competition. The Worcester side was not full strength with an example being Pumas hooker Agustín Creevy who made is debut from the bench as he played the second half of the match. Starting in the team was Pumas second-rower Mariano Galarza while regular first choice fly half and former Puma Ignacio Mieres was also a reserve Warrior.
Standings
1 Sale 9
2 Biarritz 5
3 Worcester 2
4 Oyonnax 2

Pool 2
Bath 26-10 Dragons
English club Bath is in form control of Pool 2 after defeating Welsh region the Newport-Gwent Dragons on Saturday to be the only undefeated side in the group after two rounds. Involved in the match were three Argentine front-rowers with Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro on the bench for the Dragons while 2013 Pumas Eusebio Guiñazú and Juan Pablo Orlandi were both replacements for the winners.

Mogliano 20-32 Bordeaux
A bonus point away victory for French Top 14 club Bordeaux-Begles in Italy saw the return of Pumas fly half Nicolás Sánchez after the completion of the Rugby Championship. He was joined in the starting lineup by former Pumas winger Rafael Carballo. Sánchez´s return match was a success as he kicked twelve points. The one time capped Puma Agustín Costa Repetto played for Mogliano.

Standings
1 Bath 8
2 Dragons 5
3 Bordeaux 5
4 Mogliano 0

Pool 3
Brive 23-16 Newcastle
Both Brive and Newcastle are clubs likely to be battling it out this season to avoid relegation. Indeed both clubs played last season in the second division and neither can be said to have impressive player rosters. No player from the Americas featured in the match. 

Bucuresti 37-15 Calvisano
Romanian side Bucuresti impressed with a win over Italian side Calvisano on Saturday. The result means that the battle to avoid the bottom spot in the pool is now firmly in favor of the second tier nation´s team. There were two Argentine players involved for Calvisano as uncapped second-rower Agustín Cavalieri and the Argentine-Italian Pablo Canavosio took to the field. 

Standings
1 Brive 6
2 Bucuresti 5
3 Newcastle 5
4 Calvisano 2

Pool 4
Grenoble 40-7 Arix Viadana
A solid home victory for Grenoble suggests that London Wasps have some genuine competition in Pool 4 despite Grenoble being a possible contender for relegation in the Top 14. Starting in for the visiting side was uncapped Argentine outside back Juan Pablo Sánchez

London Wasps 26-10 Bayonne
Bayonne is in far greater danger of being relegated right now than Grenoble. The Basque club is presently in thirteenth position but should have the players to improve its position. The clubs new arrival, Santiago Fernández made his debut for the club with the Pumas inside centre playing the match at outside centre. He should be selected again for Argentina´s November test matches.

Standings
1 London Wasps 9
2 Grenoble 5
3 Bayonne 5
4 Arix Viadana 2

Pool 5
Cavalieri Prato 16-17 Stade Français Paris
A depleted Stade Français team was lucky to have returned from Italy with any competition points let alone a victory. The win came with one minute left on the clock with the Parisians scoring their second of two tries in the match. Emiliano Coria made his first start since joining the Italian side playing loosehead prop. He was joined by another Argentine prop in the starting lineup in the form of Nicolás de Gregori. USA Eagles forward Scott LaValla was on the bench for the Parisians who are coached by former Puma Gonzalo Quesada.

Lusitanos XV 6-67 London Irish
The first match in Portugal for the new edition to this seasons competition highlighted the significant gap in quality between Europe´s premier and lower tier club teams. It is hoped that by having a composite team featuring a variety of Portuguese players that it will help rugby in the country by developing the players which in turn could help the test team. Canadian international second-rower Jebb Sinclair played in the back-row for London Irish.

Standings
1 London Irish 10
2 Paris 9
3 Cavalieri Prato 1
4 Lusitanos XV 0

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