Sunday, December 22, 2013

Aviva Premiership Americas Exports - Round 10 Wrap

Photo Credit Worcester Standard: Mieres kicked two goals for Worcester
After ten rounds of the Aviva Premiership the competition can lay claim to having closer matches than those in any other professional competition in the world. This fact does not change the reality that the Worcester Warriors in 12th position are winless while the eleventh placed London Irish is fourteen points behind the sixth placed Leicester Tigers. By way of comparison in the Top 14 Bayonne in thirteenth position is eight points behind Montpellier in sixth. With the competition now one round away from the half way stage it seems that all of Sale, London Wasps, Gloucester, Newcastle, London Irish and Worcester can already be said to be out of contention unless things dramatically chance in the remainder of the competition. 

Sale Sharks 15-3 London Irish
London Irish´s struggle continues as the Greater London club has failed to be competitive. There is no reason to panic though as there is a notable gap between the eleventh placed Exiles and the botton of the table Worcester Warriors. Canadian forward Jebb Sinclair played in the back-row for London Irish while Canadian utility back Phil MacKenzie was on the bench.

Bath 14-3 Harlequins
Fans at the recreation ground in Bath were treated to an important home victory over the capital based Harlequins. The eleven point wins sees the Quins return home from the West Country without any competition points while Bath is now sitting in third place in the competition. Puma Horacio Agulla played the match for Bath on the right wing while Juan Pablo Orlandi was a late replacement in the front row as was Eusebio Guiñazú.

Exeter Chiefs 16-3 Newcastle Falcons
The performances of the Newcastle Falcons have appeared any thing other than of Premiership quality recently. The northern most based side in the Aviva Premiership is glad that Worcester has been unable to get it together. Pumas centre Gonzalo Tiesi is yet to play for Newcastle due to injury.

London Wasps 15-17 Northampton Saints
After facing Leinster home and away over previous weekends the Northampton Saints players were never going to be likely to produce their best rugby. Indeed the Saints only scored one try against the Wasps but it was one more than what the home side managed. USA international powerhouse Samu Manoa played in the second-row for Northampton while centre Andrew Suniula was on the bench. Argentina´s Esteban Lozada was not involved for London Wasps nor was the USA´s Cam Dolan for the Saints. A feature of the match was a wedding proposal.

Saracens 49-10 Leicester
The top of the table Saracens extended its advantage over all others with a comprehensive thrashing of the Leicester Tigers at Allianz Park on Saturday. Despite having been named to start at outside centre Marcelo Bosch did not play. He was to form a 12-13 mid-field combination with USA Eagles fullback Chris Wyles. The American impressed in setting up a try for Chris Ashton. Leicester fielded many fringe players which saw Marcos Ayerza on the bench for the fixture. Ayerza came on in the 45th minute. Starting was 20 year old Pumas back-rower Pablo Matera who set up the only try of the match for Leicester as he charged down a kick from Owen Farrell.

Gloucester 12-6 Worcester
The only match this round to be played on Sunday was delayed by thirty minutes due to pre-match entertainment going wrong when an inflatable rugby ball knocked over the cross bar at Kingholm Stadium in Gloucester. When the match got underway it was a highly disputed contest and one lacking tries. All points were scored from the boot with former Pumas fly half Ignacio Mieres kicking six points for Worcester. Mieres was joined in the starting lineup by Mariano Galarza who played in the second row. Both Agustín Creevy and Leonardo Senatore are sidelined through injury. In collecting a bonus point the good news is that Worcester reduced the gap between itself and London Irish to nine competition points. The bad news is Worcester face Saracens next round while London Irish host Gloucester.

1 Saracens 41
2 Northampton 38
3 Bath 34
4 Harlequins 28
5 Exeter 27
6 Leicester 26
7 Sale 24
8 London Wasps 23
9 Gloucester 17
10 Newcastle 13
11 London Irish 12
12 Worcester 3

* Play-offs Zone
* Relegation Zone

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