Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rabo Direct Pro 12 Americas Exports - Round Seven Wrap

Canadian DTH van der Merwe scored a match winner in Ireland on Saturday
The seventh round of the Celtic-Italian league was played on Friday and Saturday giving some players one final chance of playing before the autumn internationals. Both Argentina and Canada had players on the park who are in their countries squads for the November test matches. 

The Newport-Gwent Dragons held a half time lead and the team was looking like having a rare win over Leinster only for the Dublin based side to score tries in the 58th and 62nd minutes to take the lead. Argentine front-rower Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro came off the bench in the second half for the Welsh region.

Having held a 17-12 half time lead Zebre was pushing hard for a second win in the Rabo Direct Pro 12.  But in only scoring six second half points the Italians were unable to capitalize which enabled Edinburgh to take the lead in the 55th minute and do enough to hold on for victory. Starting for Edinburgh was former Puma Tomás Leonardí who started in the back-row. Also in the run-on XV was uncapped Buenos Aires mid-fielder Joaquín Domínguez. Neither player was selected by Daniel Hourcade for the November internationals. Zebre fielded Gonzalo Garcia and Luciano Orquera who are Argentine players that have been capped by Italy. The USa eligible Dave Ryan was on the bench.

The up and down season for both teams saw a close encounter unravel in the Welsh capital on Saturday. By virtue of winning the Welsh region overtook the Italian side in the rankings.Benetton Treviso, like Zebre, had a number of players from the Americas who have been capped by Italy. Canadian Robert Barbieri was a starting back-rower and Ignacio Fernández-Rouyet layed in the front-row. The bench featured Pedro di Santo and Franco Sgaraglini.  

Scottish side the Glasgow Warriors remain well placed after an awy victory over Irish province Connacht on Saturday. It sees Glasgow sit one point behind competition leaders, Munster while Connacht is bottom of the table. Canada and Argentina were both represented in the Warriors team with DTH van der Merwe scoring the games only try as he started on the left wing. He was joined in the backline by Argentine international Gabriel Ascárate who started at inside centre.

Northern Ireland side Ulster fell out of the top four after losing against Welsh region the Scarlets in Llanelli on Saturday. Scarlets, in contrast, is now moving closer to the play-offs zone after it had started the season poorly. Uncapped USA prop Callum Black started in the Ulster front-row.

A tryless match in Limerick went the way of the home side. Missing were the Ospreys´ Canadian players who are on international duty. Former USA age grade representative Hanno Dirksen was on the bench and entered the match in the 50th minute. Dirksen remains uncapped having turned down selection for the USA for Rugby World Cup 2011. He is to become eligible for Wales in 2014 and, at which time, could well be selected for his adopted country. He has a Welsh wife.

1 Munster 26
2 Glasgow 25
3 Ospreys 23
4 Leinster 22
5 Ulster 20
6 Scarlets 16
7 Dragons 14
8 Cardiff 14
9 Edinburgh 12
10 Treviso 11
11 Zebre 8
12 Connacht 6

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