Sunday, November 30, 2014

Guinness Pro 12: Americas Players Review - Round 9


Photo: Comunidade del rugby
The ninth round of the Guinness Pro 12 came to a close this afternoon as Welsh region the Newport-Gwent Dragons faced Scottish city side the Glasgow Warriors in Scotland. With Glasgow winning it brought to an end a weekend in which all home teams won their matches in the Celtic-Italian league. Many teams welcomed back test players from international duty but Welsh sides were disadvantaged due to missing players to a test in Cardiff on Saturday. Involved were players from Argentina, Canada and the USA of whom many are in contention for spots at Rugby World Cup 2015 which will be played in England and Wales. 

Munster 21-20 Ulster
A late comeback saw Ulster falling to Munster on Friday and with it Munster have ousted the Ospreys from top spot of the Guinness pro 12. Featuring in the match was the uncapped Callum Black who played loosehead prop for Ulster. Black remains eligible to play for the USA and may yet do so with ther Eagles in great need of quality front-rowers for the World Cup.

Cardiff Blues 36-25 Benetton Treviso
In his first appearance for the Cardiff Blues Argentine fullback Joaquín Tuculet scored a try. He played the match at the back for the  Blues while former Puma Tomás Vallejos Cinalli started in the second-row. Missing was Lucas González Amorosino who flew home to Buenos Aires for family reasons. The win sees the Welsh region edge closer to Edinburgh while Benetton Treviso continue bottom of the standings.

Connacht 14-8 Scarlets
A home win for western Irish province Connacht on Saturday sees the side maintain pressure on the five teams with more competition points. As Ireland's only team not involved in the European Champions Rugby Cup and being a team wth few players in the Irish test squad it is a team with everything to play for in the Guinness Pro 12. The Scarlets were without a number of players involved for Wales who defeated South Africa for the first time in fifteen years. 

Leinster 18-12 Ospreys
The top of the table Ospreys came unstuck in Dublin as Leinster was too strong for a Welsh region missing players to international duty. Canadian captain Tyler Ardron started the match in the second-row while former USA junior Hanno Dirksen played at inside centre. Dirksen turned down a place in the USA's World cup squad for 2011 in favor of a possible future position in the Welsh test team. 

Zebre 18-10 Edinburgh
Edinburgh was denied in Italy again with Zebre completing an eight point win to move five competition points clear of last place in the standings. On the bench was Argentina's Luciano Orquera who has been an instrumental player for Italy in wins v France and Ireland in recent years. Former Puma Tomás Leonardí was also on the bench but for Edinburgh. 

Glasgow Warriors 19-15 Dragons
Glasgow moved ahead of Northern Irish province Ulster with a narrow victory earlier today over the Newport-Gwent Dragons. Despite picking up a bonus point the Dragons dropped to eleventh spot, ahead only of Benetton Treviso. Canadians DTH van der Merwe and Connor Braid both received game time with the former starting on the left wing and the latter replacing him late in the second half. Both are expected to play in Rugby World Cup 2015.

#
Club
Pts
1
Munster
32
2
Ospreys
31
3
Glasgow
31
4
Ulster
31
5
Leinster
28
6
Connacht
27
7
Scarlets
23
8
Edinburgh
15
9
Cardiff Blues
13
10
Zebre
9
11
Dragons
8
12
Treviso
4

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