Sunday, February 2, 2014

LV=Cup Americas Exports - Round 4 Wrap

Photo Rugby Champagne:
Pablo Matera scored his first try as
a professional on Friday.
Despite this weekend being intensely focused on international matches there was nonetheless a full round of action in the Anglo Welsh Cup. Known as the LV= Cup for commercial reasons the competition is a distant third for both English and Welsh teams after the Aviva Premiership and Rabo Direct Pro 12 for the respective teams per nation as well as the Heineken Cup. Despite international stars representing England and Wales there were test players of note with Argentina, Canada and the USA all having players in action. 

Newcastle 29-0 Dragons
The round began on Friday with a four tries to zero romp in Northern England which resulted in the Newport-Gwent Dragons being confirmed as the worst of all teams in the competition as it finished with the lowest number of competition points. Argentine international Gonzalo Tiesi started at outside centre for the Newcastle Falcons in what was his debut appearance for the club. Former Argentine front-rower Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro started for the Dragons at tighthead prop. Tetaz Chaparro is the sixth choice for the Pumas tighthead position behind Juan Figallo, Maximilano Bustos, Matías Díaz, Juan Pablo Orlandi and Francisco Goméz Kodela.

Leicester 17-35 Bath
West Country side Bath secured itself a home Semi Final on Friday with a notable away victory at Welford Road. Having won against Leicester recently in the Aviva Premiership Bath has now completed a rare double - two wins at Welford Road in one season. Involved in the match were players from North and South America. USA winger Blaine Scully played fullback for Leicester and scored a try. The Tigers other try was scored by twenty year old Argentina back-rower Pablo Matera who scored his first try in professional rugby. Fourth choice Argentine tighthead prop Juan Pablo Orlandi started for Bath.

Ospreys 37-36 Sale Sharks
A last minute conversion from the touchline saw the Sale Sharks eliminated from the LV= Cup. But despite winning the match the Ospreys will not be involved in the Semi Finals. Canadian international winger Phil MacKenzie started for Sale. With the competition lacking the same importance or value as other leagues the Ospreys moved the fixture to Bridgend.

Cardiff 35-5 Harlequins
The Cardiff Blues will be in the Semi Finals. Having completed an impressive five tries to one victory over the Harlequins the region representing the Welsh capital was able to sneak in to finish in the top six.

London Irish 29-10 Scarlets
The form of London Irish in the Aviva Premiership has been of grave concern and the club has publicly stated that it intends on recruiting six or more players for next season. The club´s big win over Welsh region, the Scarlets was not sufficient to see the club advance in the LV= Cup.

Worcester Warriors 3-42 Exeter Chiefs
The Exeter Chiefs completed a thirty-nine point hammering away to Worcester to secure a place in the Semi Finals. The home side was not at all interested in the match due to the pending relegation. The Warriors remain bottom of the Aviva Premiership and winless with the coming month set to be vital to the chances of avoiding relegation. Pumas second-rower Mariano Galarza started for Worcester while former Argentine international fly half Ignacio Mieres played at pivot.

Northampton 20-16 Saracens
The Northampton Saints will also be appearing in the Semi Finals of the LV= Cup after the East Midlands side completed a narrow victory over Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens. Both clubs were missing a notable number of players to international duty but there were nonetheless players from Argentina and the USA in action. The star performance came from Eagles second-rower Samu Manoa who scored a double for the Saints. Former USA second-rower Hayden Smith started against Manoa while Pumas mid-fielder Marcelo Bosch played inside centre for Saracens. Also involved was young USA prop Titi Lamositele who was a replacement for the visitors.

Gloucester 36-5 London Wasps
Gloucester impressed by scoring five tries to one against the London Wasps on Saturday. Involved for the Wasps was former Puma Esteban Lozada who started in the second-row. Lozada remains a possibility to represent Argentina in June when Patricio Albacete and possibly Mariano Galarza will be missing.

Pool 1
1 Saracens 16
2 Gloucester 10
3 London Irish 6
4 Dragons 4

Pool 2
1 Exeter Chiefs 14
2 Sale Sharks 12
3 Cardiff Blues 10
4 Leicester Tigers 9

Pool 3
1 Bath 19
2 Ospreys 6
3 Harlequins 5
4 Worcester 5

Pool 4
1 Northampton 18
2 Newcastle 9
3 Scarlets 8
4 London Wasps 5

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