Sunday, November 30, 2014

Aviva Premiership: Americas Players Review - Round 9


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Despite England hosting Australia this weekend there was still room for a full round of Aviva Premiership rugby. While it was a round without England's leading test players at this point in time there were still many international players involved with Argentina, Canada and the USA all being represented. The Americas trio will all be playing in Rugby World Cup 2015 which is to be the eighth Rugby World Cup and the fourth with matches in Wales. The Americas is the only World Rugby defined continental region never to have been allocated hosting rights to a World Cup but this ought to change in 2023 as Argentina offers a compelling option and one which others cannot match.

Bath 25-6 Harlequins
The London based Harlequins continue to slide down the standings. The team is now positioned in ninth place ahead of only the Newcastle Falcons, London Irish and London Welsh. Bath, on the other hand, is enjoying a good season, currently occupying second place. Involved this weekend was Argentine international outside centre / wing, Horacio Agulla. He played the match at fullback for the west country side. 

Exeter Chiefs 27-19 Saracens
With the Exeter Chiefs not missing players to international duty the wouth-western English side was able to take full advantage of hosting a team missing a notable number of players. The win sees Exeter move seven points clear of Saracens who are tied with the Leicester Tigers for fourth postion. Involved for the London based side were Chris Wyles and Juan Figallo. The American started at inside centre while the Argentine was a 43rd minute replacement. 

Leicester Tigers 18-16 Wasps
The Leicester Tigers have suffered from injuries this season yet somehow remain highly positioned in fourth place. Such a standing is a reflection of the pulling power of the club to sign players that rivals annot secure despite operating under the identical salary cap. Back from international duty with Argentina was Marcos Ayerza who started at loosehead prop while USA Eagle Blaine Scully started on the right wing. Canadian Robert Barbieri was on the Tigers bench. He is capped by Italy. 

Newcastle Falcons 13-18 Sale Sharks
Despite having held the lead for the vast duration of the contest the Newcastle Falcons were not able to complete the job and win at home. In losing the match in the final quarter Newcastle was, nevertheless, able to collect a bonus point to move further away from the relegation zone. Starting in the centres were two Argentine players unwanted for international duty in 2014 by Daniel Hourcade - Juan Pablo Socino and Gonzalo Tiesi. Socino scored the first try of the game while Tiesi was forced off in the first half through injury. USA prop Eric Fry was on the bench. 

London Welsh 14-43 Northampton Saints
The battle between the championship winning teams from England's first and second divisions last season was yet another instance to showcase just how poor London Welsh is. The club remains winless after nine rounds and the extent of the struggles are clear in the 412 conceeded points total which amounts to 45.7 per match. Even without a number of English international players the Saints won with ease. USA Eagle Samu Manoa was amongst the try scorers. He played in the second-row.

London Irish 9-21 Gloucester
The bottom two in the table are both Exiles teams in name as London Irish sits one place above London Welsh. London Irish, like Newcastle, have failed to spark but with London Welsh being in such a dire state the chances of avoiding relegation are extremely strong. Canadian Jebb Sinclair played in the back-row for London Irish while Puma Mariano Galarza is expected to be fit to debut for Gloucester next month.

#
Club
Pts
1
Northampton
35
2
Bath
33
3
Exeter
32
4
Saracens
25
5
Leicester
25
6
Sale Sharks
24
7
Wasps
21
8
Gloucester
20
9
Harlequins
19
10
Newcastle
14
11
London Irish
12
12
London Welsh
01

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