Sunday, December 21, 2014

Guinness Pro 12: Americas Players Review - Round 10

Photo Apleno Rugby
The tenth round of the Celtic-Italian league came to a close earlier today. With the Guinness Pro 12 approaching the midway point half of the teams could be said to have little to know chance of making the play-offs unless patterns change significantly. Involved were players from three Americas countries that will be a part of Rugby World Cup 2015 - Argentina, Canada and the USA. The Americas is, however, the only region not to have been allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup. In 2015 Wales will host World Cup matches for a fourth time while England will do so for a third. 

Cardiff Blues 21-9 Scarlets
An impressive first half showing from the Cardiff Blues was sufficient for the region to defeat the visiting Scarlets on Friday. A number of players gave Welsh coach Warren Gatland plenty to think about ahead of the Six Nations. Pumas Joaquín Tuculet and Lucas González Amorosino both played the full 80 minutes for the Cardiff Blues.

Edinburgh 48-0 Benetton Treviso 
A home bonus point win for Edinburgh on Friday sees the Scottish capital side moving towards the top half of the standings. Edinburgh dominated the match by scoring six tries to zero but it got ugly as  over-agressive players from both teams were involved in a brawl. The fighting saw uncapped Argentine prop Romulo Acosta red carded. Invovled in the match was uncaped Argentine mid-fielder Joaquín Domínguez who played 40 minutes as a replacement. Former Puma Tomás Vallejoc Cinalli started in the second-row for Treviso

Leinster 21-11 Connacht
Also on Friday was an all-Irish fixture in which The Eastern Irish province Leinster hosted and defeated the western Irish province of Connacht. The hard-fought victory was won by two tries to one  and sees Leinster continuing to edge closer to the top of the table.  

Glasgow Warriors 21-18 Munster
A home win by the Glasgow Warriors on Saturday sees Munster knocked-off the top of the table. The Scottish side was forced to work hard after Munster had been leading 18-9 at half time. A late try to Jonny Gray, though, saw the home side winning. Starting was Canadian international DTH van der Merwe on the left wing while the USA born Tommy Seymour was on the bench. Former Puma Eusebio Guiñazú was also involved as a replacement for Munster.

Ospreys 31-20 Ulster
Welsh region the Ospreys went top of the table with a bonus point victory over Northern Irish province Ulster on Saturday. Scoring the fourth try for the Welsh team was Hanno Dirksen a former USA junior who also played at the senior level in a non-capped match against Munster. Dirksen remains uncapped and turned down selection for the USA at Rugby World Cup 2011. He is chasing a place in Wales' team and could debut in 2015. Another uncapped USA player, Callum Black was on the Ulster bench while Canadian captain Tyler Ardron played in the Ospreys' back-row.

Dragons 25-11 Zebre
The sixth and final match of the round was played in Newport earlier today and it saw the home side, the Dragons, overtaking Zebre in the Guinness Pro 12 standings. After ten rounds of the competition the two Italian teams are now bottom of the table. Argentine players Luciano Orquera and Luciano Leibson were both on the bench for Zebre. Orquera is credited with being responsible for Italy's 2013 win over France while Leibson is a prop who could be capped by Italy in 2015.

#
Club
Pts
1
Ospreys
36
2
Glasgow Warriors
35
3
Munster
33
4
Leinster 
32
5
Ulster
31
6
Connacht
27
7
Scarlets
23
8
Edinburgh
20
9
Cardiff Blues
17
10
Dragons
12
11
Zebre
9
12
Benetton Treviso
4

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