Sunday, February 22, 2015

Aviva Premiership: Americas Players Review - Round 15

Photo Sky Sports
Round 15 of the Aviva Premiership came to a close earlier today and with it the competition ladder has a very interesting look to it as three teams are tied on 43 competition points for 5th position. Lower down however there are five teams whose chances of reaching the Semi Finals are all but over. A number of players were missing due to the Six Nations Championship not having yet been completed. There were, nonetheless, places for a number of players from the Americas. The continental region has not hosted a Rugby World Cup but Argentina is interested in hosting in 2023. Europe will host for a fourth time later this year. 

Newcastle Falcons 23-23 Wasps
The opening match of the round was played on Friday evening with the Wasps being unable to win away from home. With a congested table winning in Newcastle was mandatory but instead it was the Falcons celebrating as they have now moved from 11th to 10th position. Starting at inside centre for Newcastle was World Cup hopeful Juan Pablo Socino (pictured above). The uncapped Argentine scored a second half try. On the bench were former Pumas Gonzalo Tiesi and Juan Pablo Orlandi.

Sale Sharks 14-10 Saracens
In a match which Saracens was expected to win the Sale Sharks produced a solid performance to win at home and stay in touch with the top four. In losing Saracens are now three wins behind competition leaders Northampton. Involved in the match was USA fullback Chris Wyles and second-rower Hayden Smith. Pumas Marcelo Bosch and Juan Figallo also both played for the away team.

Gloucester 48-10 London Welsh
A convincing home win on Saturday gave Gloucester five competition points to move above the Harlequins. The West Country club is nonetheless still well behind and faces a very tough path if it is to succeed in reaching the Semi Finals or qualifying for the 2015-2016 European Rugby Champions Cup. 

Harlequins 21-32 Exeter Chiefs
A home loss for the Harlequins on Saturday continues what has been an extremely underwhelming season for the London based side. In order to qualify for the Semi Finals the club cannot realistically afford to lose home matches any longer and requires other results to go its way. Exeter hold on to fourth spot and the club is ties with Saracens on 44 points. 

Bath 13-21 Northampton Saints
The top of the table clash in England's West Country was a highly anticipated match but with players missing to international duty the spectacle was not what it could have been. Weather also played its part which saw a tighter brand of rugby being played that would have otherwise eventuated. Missing through injury was veteran Puma Horacio Agulla. Samu played in the back-row for Northampton.

London Irish 6-12 Leicester Tigers
Sunday's match was a tryless encounter which saw the Leicester Tigers move to within one competition point of the top four. London Irish, remains well down ahead of only London Welsh. Veteran Puma Marcos Ayerza started in the front-row for Leicester while Canadian Jebb Sinclair played second-row for London Irish. 

#
Club
Pts
1
Northampton
56
2
Bath
47
3
Saracens
44
4
Exeter Chiefs
44
5
Sale Sharks
43
6
Leicester
43
7
Wasps
43
8
Gloucester
35
9
Harlequins
34
10
Newcastle
23
11
London Irish
23
12
London Welsh
01

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