Sunday, March 8, 2015

Aviva Premiership: Americas Players Review - Round 17

Photo Rugby Redefined
Several rounds ago the standings in the Aviva Premiership were very close from second to seventh. After seventeen rounds though the competitiveness has been altered as both the Sale Sharks and Wasps have dropped and for either to reach the Semi Finals they will need to perform better. Lower down the bottom three remain notably behind the rest with London Welsh still failing to come close to winning a match. Involved this weekend in English rugby were a host of players from the Americas. With the rebranding of the IRB to become World Rugby and statements made from senior staff the host nation of Rugby World Cup 2023 will be a first time host. Argentina is the world's best team never to have played at home during a World Cup. 

Bath 12-3 Sale Sharks
A home win for Bath on Friday evening keeps the club well positioned for a place in the Semi Finals. In losing, and missing out on a bonus point, the Sale Sharks are two wins behind the play-offs. Horacio Agulla remains sidelined and is likely to be back playing for Bath next month. 

Exeter Chiefs 74-19 London Welsh
The common claims from Premier Rugby authorities throughout last season that the Aviva Premiership is the world's most even competition continued to be proven inaccurate on Saturday as London Welsh received its latest heavy loss. The Oxford based side remains winless this season and is headed to set a new record for the most points conceded in a season. Canadian international Richard Thorpe played openside flanker for London Welsh. 

Harlequins 26-20 London Irish
The London based Harlequins have failed to deliver this season. Currently played eighth in the premiership the Harlequins are dangerously close to missing out on qualifying for Europe next season. The tenth placed London Irish will not feature next season either with the club having a record of 5 wins and 12 losses thus far this season. Canadian international Jebb Sinclair played in the second-row for London Irish. 

Gloucester 22-22 Northampton Saints
Ninth hosted first as Gloucester took on Northampton on Saturday in a match the team needed to win to give itself a realistic opportunity of qualifying for the 2015-2016 European Rugby Champions Cup. Playing at his best position of number 8 the Toulon bound Samu Manoa scored a 78th minute try to see the visiting Saints complete an away draw. The result keeps Gloucester well outside of the top six. 

Wasps 17-26 Saracens
In the first of two Sunday matches the London based Saracens completed an away victory to move to 52 competition points and see the Wasps three points outside of the top four. Early in the first half the Wasps was well in control leading 17-3 but Saracens subsequently took over. USA fullback Chris Wyles (as pictured above) crossed for a try on the left wing while Puma Marcelo Bosch also started, playing outside centre. Former Puma Juan Figallo was a replacement prop.

Newcastle Falcons 12-16 Leicester Tigers
Playing at home the Newcastle Falcons had a rare opportunity to defeat the most successful club in the history of English rugby. With the Tigers missing several players to international duty and the club not enjoying the best of seasons Newcastle was well placed at half time but Leicester was able to recover and win. Veteran Puma Marcos Ayerza started for Leicester at loosehead prop while former centre Gonzalo Tiesi was a replacement for Newcastle. The uncapped Juan Pablo Socino started at inside centre.

#
Team
Pts
1
Northampton
62
2
Exeter Chiefs
53
3
Saracens
52
4
Bath
51
5
Leicester
51
6
Wasps
48
7
Sale Sharks
43
8
Harlequins
39
9
Gloucester
37
10
London Irish
27
11
Newcastle
25
12
London Welsh
01

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