Sunday, April 12, 2015

Guinness Pro 12: Americas Exports - Round 19

Photo Rugby News
With three rounds left to play it appears that the Semi Finals spots have already been taken. Sitting in the top four are the Glasgow Warriors, Munster, Ulster and the Ospreys. In order for one of these to not make the final four upset results will need to transpire in the closing rounds. Only Leinster is a realistic possibility but in being eight points outside of the top four the Irish province's chances are minute. Involved this weekend were a number of players from the Americas of whom  many are in consideration for squad places at Rugby World Cup 2015.

Glasgow Warriors 36-17 Cardiff Blues
The top of the table Glasgow Warriors played host to the under performing Cardiff Blues to open the round on Friday evening. With a home Semi Final within reach the Scottish side gave their home fans plenty to cheer about by completing a five tries to two victory. The starting wingers have strong ties to the Americas. On the left wing was DTH van der Merwe who has appeared, to date, in two Rugby World Cups for Canada while Tommy Seymour from Tennessee played on the right wing. 

Benetton Treviso 13-33 Ospreys
Italian city side Treviso has one foot in the door for the 2015-2016 European Rugby Champions Cup season. to qualify the team simply needs to remain above Zebre in the Guinness Pro 12 standings. The four point gap between the teams means that the team is relatively safe, albeit not guaranteed. Treviso fielded a below-strength side and failed to collect points. The Ospreys took advantage to return home with five competition points. Uncapped Argentine prop Romulo Acosta was on the bench for the Italians while Canadian captain Tyler Ardron played in the second-row for the Ospreys. 

Edinburgh 3-34 Munster
Scotland's chances of having two teams in the European Rugby Champions Cup were significantly dented on Saturday evening as the capital city side Edinburgh was badly defeated by Irish province Munster. The result sees Edinburgh falling behind Welsh region the Scarlets but still well within reach of sixth position, the position teams must be no lower than to guarantee European qualification. Involved in the match in Scotland were former Pumas Tomás Leonardí and Eusebio Guiñazú who were both replacements. 

Connacht 20-27 Ulster
The impressive early season form of Connacht has deserted the team in recent times and with significant consequences. In failing to win in Galway on Saturday the western Irish province is now just one point ahead of the Scarlets. Featuring for Ulster at loosehead prop was the uncapped Callum Black who is from the USA and could yet play for the Eagles at the World Cup. 

Zebre 26-28 Scarlets
Two teams chasing European qualification for next season met in the match of the round in Italy on Saturday. With Zebre needing to catch Benetton Treviso and the Scarlets requiring to finish above Connacht and Edinburgh the match was one of great value to both teams. The Italians appeared on course for victory only for the Scarlets to snatch a late victory via a penalty. Luciano Orquera and Gonzalo Garcia are both from Argentina but capped by Italy. They formed a 10-12 combination for the home side. 

Dragons 25-22 Leinster
The round came to a close in eastern Wales this afternoon with the Newport Gwent Dragons hosting Irish province Leinster. The importance of the upcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Semi Finals was such that Leinster's team was missing the bulk of those expected to start against Toulon next weekend. In winning the Dragons have closed the gap between itself and the trio of Connacht, the Scarlets and Edinburgh who are all fighting it out for sixth position. Leinster, for it's part, is now two wins outside of the play-offs zone.

#
Team
Pts
1
Glasgow
65
2
Munster
63
3
Ulster
63
4
Ospreys
61
5
Leinster
53
6
Connacht
44
7
Scarlets
44
8
Edinburgh
43
9
Dragons
37
10
Cardiff
30
11
Treviso
18
12
Zebre
15

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