Sunday, September 21, 2014

Guinness Pro 12: Americas Players Review - Round 3

Photo The Scotsman
Three rounds into the Guinness Pro 12 season the bottom three sides do not come as a surprise but there have been stronger than expected performances at the top end of the table. Now that qualification for European competition is based on merit the Celtic-Italian League is a different competition this season with Irish province Connacht being a case in point of a team needing to take the Pro 12 incredibly seriously. Round three featured players from Argentina, Canada and the USA, member unions of CONSUR and NACRA, the last remaining rugby regions to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup. This ought to change in 2023 with Argentina hosting.  

Munster 31-5 Zebre
A home bonus point win for Munster started the round on Friday. Uncapped Argentine prop Luciano Leibson started for Zebre. Leibson has been linked to a possible move to become capped by Italy. On Zebre's bench was Goznalo Garcia from Mendoza who plays at test level for Italy. Former Puma Eusebio Guiñazú is yet to debut for Munster. 

Cardiff Blues 9-26 Ulster
The Cardiff Blues had been spoken of as a team going places. Having signed a former Super Rugby champion player who has also coached multiple teams the region has received praise. It has also assembled a roster which, on paper, is as strong as any in the Pro 12. The team, though, was smashed by North Irish province Ulster and has two losses out of three matches played.. Uncapped USA prop Callum Black was on the bench for Ulster. 

Connacht 10-9 Leinster
Champions Leinster started well against Connacht and were expected to run out easy winners on Friday. Instead Leinster failed to score any point after the fifteenth minute of the match. Connacht's try midway through the second half gave the western Irish province a one point lead and with it an upset was secured.

Dragons 13-33 Glasgow Warriors
Despite having a player red carded the Scottish side was too strong for the Welsh region. The starting wingers for the Scottish side have strong links to North American rugby. DTH van der Merwe has appeared in two Rugby World Cups for Canada while Tommy Seymour is from Tennessee but plays international rugby for Scotland. Seymour scored a second half try which was part of a bonus point victory that places the Warriors in second position. 

Scarlets 43-0 Benetton Treviso
With only one team playing at a professional level the Scarlets were far too strong and with it claimed their first win of the season. Starting against his former side was Tomás Vallejos Cinalli. The former Puma played for the Welsh region before subsequently playing in Japan. 

Ospreys 62-13 Edinburgh
Ospreys lead the Guinness Pro 12 after hammering Scottish side Edinburgh on Sunday. Similar to Glasgow, the starting wingers for the Welsh region both have strong links to North America. Left winger Hanno Dirksen played for the USA at age grade level while Jeff Hassler is one of Canada's best products in recent years. Both Hassler and Dirksen scored while Canadian captain Tyler Ardron, did so from the bench. On the bench for Edinburgh was former Puma Tomás Leonardí.


1
Ospreys
14
2
Glasgow Warriors
13
3
Connacht
12
4
Ulster
12
5
Munster
10
6
Scarlets
8
7
Leinster
7
8
Cardiff Blues
5
9
Edinburgh
5
10
Dragons
2
11
Zebre
0
12
Benetton Treviso
0

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