Sunday, February 1, 2015

LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup: Americas Players Review - Round 3

Photo Northampton Saints
Despite there being no Aviva Premiership or Guinness Pro 12 fixtures this weekend there was still rugby being played by English clubs and Welsh regions, many of whom have players from the Americas. Round 3 was the third of four in the competition which is used by most as a developmental competition. Leading players who tend to start for their clubs or regions at European level or on the international stage are more often than not rested from the LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup. This enables wider squad members opportunities which saw players from both Canada and the USA playing and doing well with Cam Dolan (pictured to the right), in particular, being impressive. Argentina also had some Rugby Championship players involved this weekend. 

Harlequins 21-23 Bath
The opening fixture of round three saw the on-form Bath defeating the Harlequins at the club's home ground in London. With both teams missing regular players it was an opportunity for some experimentation which included Puma Horacio Agulla playing out of position at fullback. 

Gloucester 32-25 Ospreys
A four tries to three performance by Gloucester saw the west country side coming out on top against Welsh region the Ospreys. With the tournament lacking the interest of other competitions both sides were understrength which saw those from the Americas not involved in this match.

Leicester Tigers 17-8 Northampton Saints
The battle of the East Midlands was a fixture deprived of many top players but the rivalry nonetheless continued during this fixture on Saturday. Playing at home Leicester won the match by scoring two tries to one and did so with USA second-rower Greg Peterson playing in the second-row. There was also a rare start for Cam Dolan. The Eagles back-rower played at the back of the scrum for Northampton. Canadian Robert Barbieri was involved for Leicester. He is capped by Italy.

Scarlets 27-18 London Irish
Western Welsh side the Scarlets won by three tries to two over London Irish on Saturday. With the Scarlets having exited the European Rugby Champions Cup at the group stage and being well off the pace in the Guinness Pro 12 the LV=Cup offers the region a chance at a title. 

Wasps 42-45 Cardiff Blues
The relocated Wasps were defeated in Coventry by Welsh region the Cardiff Blues on Sunday. In a match featuring twelve tries Puma Lucas González Amorosino crossed for the winning team. He played on the left wing while Joaquín Tuculet was at fullback. The win places the Cardiff Blues at the top of Pool 2. 

Dragons  32-37 Exeter Chiefs
The Newport Gwent Dragons are preparing for a rare home Quarter Final in the European Challenge Cup and will be able to do so without being to disrupted by the Six Nations or Guinness pro 12 competitions. In the LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup, though, the Dragons are at the bottom of Pool 1. 

London Welsh 15-20 Saracens
The bottom placed side on points in all European professional leagues, London Welsh, came close to winning a match for the first time this season as it hosted Saracens on Sunday. Saracens, though, overcame a deficit to go top of Pool 1. Involved for London Welsh was Canadian international Richard Thorpe while USA Eagle Thretton Palamo played inside centre for Saracens.

Newcastle Falcons 39-19 Sale Sharks
A big home win by the Newcastle Falcons on Sunday sees the Falcons claiming Northern England bragging rights. Despite the win Newcastle remain well down in Pool 3. The Sale Sharks, meanwhile, are off the pace in Pool 2. USA prop Eric Fry played loosehead prop for Newcastle while Canadian Phil MacKenzie was left wing for Sale.

Pool 1

Saracens
12
Gloucester
10
Bath
9
Dragons
7
Pool 2

Cardiff Blues
13
Northampton
9
Sale Sharks
5
London Irish
1
Pool 3

Leicester
13
Wasps
9
Scarlets
5
Newcastle
1
Pool 5

Exeter Chiefs
13
Harlequins
6
Ospreys
2
Lon. Welsh
1

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