Sunday, January 11, 2015

Guinness Pro 12: Americas Players Review - Round 13

Photo South Wales Evening Post
Round thirteen of the Guinness Pro 12 came to a close earlier this afternoon and with it the competition leader held onto the top spot in the competition. With nine rounds to go there are places up for grabs both in the Semi Finals of the Celtic-Italian league and in qualifying for next season's European Rugby Champions Cup. Currently there are five teams fighting for the top four spots but a lot could change. Involved in round 13 were a number of players from the Americas who are to be involved in Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and Wales. The Americas is the only region yet to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup. 

Connacht 13-16 Edinburgh
An away win for Edinburgh sees the Scottish side continuing its superb start to 2015. With additional wins Edinburgh can target a place in nest season's European Rugby Champions Cup. For Connacht the loss was disappointing. The western Irish province had been undefeated at home this season in the Guinness Pro 12 until losing the Friday fixture. It is, nonetheless, still well placed to qualify for Europe. Involved for Edinburgh was former Puma Tomás Leonardí.

Glasgow Warriors 22-7 Scarlets
In the second of two Friday fixtures the Glasgow Warriors made it a memorable day for Scottish rugby with a home win over Welsh region the Scarlets. The win sees the Glasgow Warriors remaining on track for consecutive home Semi Finals in the Celtic-Italian league. Two-time Canadian Rugby World Cup participant DTH van der Merwe scored the third and final try for Glasgow. Tommy Seymour of the USA started for Glasgow. Seymour plays his test rugby for Scotland but is from Tennessee.

Cardiff Blues 13-22 Leinster
An opportunity went missing for the Cardiff Blues on Saturday as the chance to win at home and move closer towards the play-offs and European qualifying went begging. To blame was former All Black Jarrad Hoeata who was red carded in the first half leaving the Welsh region a man down for 48 minutes. Upon his sending-off the Cardiff Blues held a 13-5 lead. Starting for the Welsh team were Pumas Lucas González Amorosino and Joaquín Tuculet. The latter of the two has been offered a new contract to remain in Wales.

Zebre 7-31 Munster
A big away win from the southern Irish province sees Munster move one point ahead of Leinster in the standings. Zebre remain rooted to the bottom of the table but still in with a strong change of qualifying for the European Rugby Champions Cup. To do so Zebre must merely finish above Benetton Treviso. Involved in Saturday's fixture in Parma for Zebre were Argentine players Luciano Orquera and Luciano Leibson. Of them the former is capped by Italy and the latter has been on the radar throughout the season. Starting at prop for Munster was former Pumas hooker Eusebio Guiñazú.  

Benetton Treviso 20-24 Ulster
Zebre's task was complicated as Benetton Treviso collected a losing bonus point on Sunday against Ulster. Playing at home the Italians came back from a 24-7 halftime deficit to keep Irish side Ulster pointless in the second half. Involved from the Americas was uncapped loosehead prop Callum Black who is American and could play for the USA Eagles at the World Cup. Former Puma Tomás Vallejos Cinalli started in the second-row for Treviso.

Ospreys 22-11 Dragons
The final match of the round saw a Welsh derby played in Swansea which was won by the home team. It sees the Osperys holding on to top spot in the Guinness Pro 12 but all of Glasgow, Munster and Leinster are less than one win league behind. The first try of the game and the only try scored by the Ospreys was by Canadian captain Tyler Ardron who started at the back of the scrum. Former USA junior Hanno Dirksen was on the bench. 

#
Team
Pts
1
Ospreys
44
2
Glasgow
43
3
Munster
42
4
Leinster
41
5
Ulster
39
6
Connacht
33
7
Edinburgh
28
8
Scarlets
28
9
Cardiff Blues
22
10
Dragons
17
11
Treviso
13
12
Zebre
10

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