Sunday, September 28, 2014

Aviva Premiership: Americas Players Review - Round 4

Photo: Rugby Tucumano
After four rounds of the Aviva Premiership season the competition is very different to recent seasons. In the top four are three familiar teams with Saracens, Northampton and Bath all having started well. The fourth, though, is Exeter which comes as a surprise. Heavyweights the Harlequins and Leicester Tigers have not started well with both having a 50% winning record. Further down Newcastle and London Welsh have not come close to winning a match while Sale and Gloucester are appearing to be shadows of the teams which were English champions in 2002 and 2006. Involved in the Premiership this weekend were players from the Americas, the only IRB defined region yet to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup. 


London Welsh 10-46 Gloucester
The opening match of the round was the only Friday fixture. As in all of London Welsh's fixtures since returning to the Premiership the club was badly defeated. Suggesting the club was outclassed would be not true though as the match was even until the final quarter. Missing for Gloucester was Puma Mariano Galarza who started against the All Blacks.

Leicester Tigers 19-22 London Irish
A rare home win for the Leicester Tigers sees the East Midland side dropping into the unfamiliar position of eighth place in the standings. The club was missing some players to injury and Marcos Ayerza was involved in Argentina's home test match. USA back Blaine Scully played on the wing for the Tigers Canadian Jebb Sinclair started in the second-row for London Irish and Canadian-Italian Robert Barbieri played as a Tigers replacement back-rower.

Saracens 40-19 Sale Sharks
The London based Saracens were far too strong for the northern visitors in completing a bonus point victory on Saturday afternoon. The win took place without the four players from the Americas contracted to the side. Of them Marcelo Bosch faced the All Blacks.

Northampton Saints 31-24 Bath
A bonus point home win for Northampton on Saturday sees the club climbing to second spot while Bath slip to third. Involved for the winning side was USA Eagles powerhouse Samu Manoa who played at umber eight. His Eagles' colleague Cam Dolan is yet to play for the team. 

Exeter Chiefs 36-13 Harlequins
The dire start to the season continued on Sunday afternoon for the Harlequins. The 2012 English Premiership champions had five of England's best players, all likely to feature in the World Cup starting, but were knocked-over.  Exeter is now in the top four while the Quins sit far further down on two wins and two losses from four matches. 

Wasps 35-18 Newcastle Falcons
An impressive home win on Sunday for the Wasps sees the club remain in check with the top four. Newcastle, on the other hand, remains winless in the competition and has not won a league match for over eight months. Two Argentine players started the match for Newcastle with Gonzalo Tiesi playing outside centre and Juan Pablo Socino being moved from inside centre to fly half. Socino remains uncapped while Tiesi has not been selected by Hourcade this season. Socino kicked two penalties.

1
Saracens
18
2
Northampton
16
3
Bath
15
4
Exeter Chiefs
14
5
Wasps
11
6
London Irish
11
7
Gloucester
10
8
Leicester
10
9
Harlequins
8
10
Sale Sharks
7
11
Newcastle
1
12
London Welsh
1

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