Monday, January 27, 2014

LV=Cup Americas Exports - Round 3 Wrap

Photo Inside Rugby: Jebb Sinclair
The third round of the Anglo Welsh Cup, or the LV= Cup as it is known for commercial reasons was played over the past weekend. Welsh regions from the Rabo Direct Pro 12 and Aviva Premiership clubs were involved with players from the Americas in action. The round was dominated by extreme weather conditions.

Scarlets 13-7 Gloucester
Welsh region the Scarlets occupy second position of pool three after completing a home victory in a low scoring matches over Gloucester.

Sale Sharks 20-6 Worcester Warriors
The Sale Sharks lead pool two after winning well against the Worcester Warriors. Canadian international Phil Mackenzie started for the Sale Sharks on the wing. None of Worcester´s Pumas players were involved due to the club approaching crisis point toa void relegation from the Aviva Premiership. 

Dragons 16-34 Northampton
With neither side being at full strength there was further argument for replacing the LV=Cup with a different competition that could be a commercial success by attracting more supporters to matches and being taken more seriously by the teams. Should the regions have their way and win the Welsh rugby war then the regions would be playing in the Aviva Premiership with an expanded competition replacing the LV=Cup and the regions not playing any part in the Rabo Direct Pro 12.

Bath 24-13 Cardiff
English club Bath has been in fine form in both the Aviva Premiership and the Amlin Challenge Cup. With it dominating pool three of the LV= Cup there is reason to believe it has a genuine opportunity of playing in the Finals of all three competitions. Pumas winger Horacio Agulla played the match for Bath at fullback while fourth choice tighthead Juan Orlandi started in the front-row. On the bench was first choice Pumas hooker Eusebio Guiñazú who came on in the 56th minute.

Exeter 36-22 Ospreys
The Exeter Chiefs are just one point behind the Sale Sharks thanks to a convincing home victory over Welsh region the Ospreys. Starting in the back-row for the Ospreys was Canadian Tyler Ardron who continues to enhance his reputation.

Harlequins 20-6 Leicester
The match between the Harlequins and Leicester Tigers on Saturday had to be ended early due to tornado danger. As such the Harlequins won with ten minutes remaining. Involved for the Tigers were two players from the Americas - USA winger Blaine Scully and twenty year old Argentine back-rower Pablo Matera.

London Wasps 22-15 London Irish
Thje London Wasps are enjoying good form this season while London Irish is not. The Wasps´ second point win will not translate into a Semi Finals appearance in the LV= Cup but the club has plenty to play for in the Aviva Premiership and the Amlin Challenge Cup. Starting in mid-field for the Wasps was USA international inside centre Andrew Suniula while Canadian international Jebb Sinclair played flanker for London Irish.

Saracens 41-8 Newcastle
The match was played one day after Saracens took on South African Super Rugby franchise the Sharks in a friendly. Involved for Saracens on Saturday were Puma Marcelo Bosch and USA Eagles utility Chris Wyles. Former USA Eagle Hayden Smith played against Newcastle making his run-on return after leaving rugby to play in the NFL for the New York Jets. Smith started in the second-row.

Pool 1
1 Saracens 15
2 Gloucester 5
3 Dragons 4
4 London Irish 1

Pool 2
1 Sale 10
2 Leicester 9
3 Exeter 9
4 Cardiff 5

Pool 3
1 Bath 14
2 Harlequins 5
3 Worcester 5
4 Ospreys 1

Pool 4
1 Northampton 14
2 Scarlets 8
3 London Wasps 5
4 Newcastle 4

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