Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pro 12 Americas Exports - Round Five Wrap

Leonardí, pictured playing Super Rugby, made his debut for Edinburgh on Sunday
The fifth round of the Celtic-Italian League was played from Friday through Sunday with six matches taking place. With the Heineken Cup starting in less than a week from now round five of the Pro 12 was an oppotunity of better understanding the chances of Celtic and Italian sides. Like previouis rounds it was another featuring international players with Argentina, Canada and the USA all represented. 

Dragons 30-7 Zebre
Welsh region the Newport-Gwent Dragons completed what is likely to be its biggest win of the season on Friday evening. But the big win was not perfect as it did not include a bonus point.  Former Puma Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro started at tighthead prop for the Dragons while two from Argentina started for Zebre - Luciano Orquera and Gonzalo Garcia. Both players are capped by Italy as is Matias Aguero who was a replacement.

Treviso 23-3 Connacht
Irish province Connacht is in the Heineken Cup as is Treviso. The Italian side qualifies as one of the two Italian professional sides from a top level competition while Connacht is there based on the performances in Europe from other Irish sides. Arguments have been made suggesting neither side should be in the Heineken Cup. Based on the match in Italy on Friday Connacht certainly is not up to standard. In winning Benetton Treviso have closed the gap on a number of sides including Leinster and the Scarlets. The Italian side had a number of players from Argentina including Alberto di Bernardo who played fly half and scored nine points, Ignacio Fernández-Rouyet who was a replacement and Pedro di Santo. Canada´s Robert Barbieri also played but like the Argentine players he is capped by Italy.

Ospreys 12-18 Ulster
An uninspiring tryless match in Swansea saw Northern Irish side Ulster complete an important away victory on Friday. The match involved players from both Canada and the USA with Canadian international winger Jeff Hassler starting on the right wing for the Ospreys and Tyler Ardron starting in the back-row. Ardron had a good run-on debut leaving his mark on Irish test centre Paul Marshall.A player yet to be capped by Ireland but from the USA is Callum Black. He was on Ulster´s bench.

Scarlets 12-17 Glasgow
Another impressive away victory sees the Glasgow Warriors hold on to top position in the Rabo Direct Pro 12. Although there are fears for Scottish rugby should only the top six from the Pro 12 qualify for the new European club competition the side does, unlike its Welsh and Irish counterparts, tend to use its leading players more often. The Warriors´ win in Llanelli featured an appearance from the bench from Canadian international DTH ven der Merwe. Argentina´s Gabriel Ascárate was also a replacement but did not recieve game time.

Munster 19-15 Leinster
The Irish classic went the way of the home side as Munster completed a narrow victory over Leinster in Limerick on Saturday evening. Despite having plenty of Irish test players Leinster was unable to score a try. The side is now outside of the play-offs zone but is not likely to stay there.

Cardiff 29-12 Edinburgh
In a rare Pro 12 match the Cardiff Blues hosted Edinburgh in a Sunday afternoon fixture. The Welsh region won by two tries to zero to improve its standing in the table while Edinburgh remain in bottom position. Starting for the Scottish side were two Argentine players. Tomás Leonardí made his debut for the side and had a disallowed try as he started in the back-row while the uncapped Argentine centre Joaquín Domínguez started in the mid-field.

1 Glasgow 20
2 Munster 18
3 Ospreys 17
4 Ulster 15
5 Leinster 14
6 Dragons 13
7 Scarlets 10
8 Cardiff 10
9 Treviso 9
10 Zebre 5
11Connacht 4
12 Edinburgh 4

Dragons v Zebre

Treviso v Connacht

Ospreys v Ulster

Scarlets v Glasgow 

Munster v Leinster

Cardiff v Edinburgh

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