Saturday, May 16, 2015

Aviva Premiership: Americas Exports - Final Round

The final round of the 2014-2015 Aviva Premiership took place this afternoon in England. Of the top twelve professional clubs in the country the domestic season ended for eight of them. Northampton and Bath are to be joined by Leicester and Saracens in the Semi Finals to be played next weekend. Involved in the final round were players from Argentina, Canada and the USA. All three are to play in Rugby World Cup 2015 and will have players based in England in the tournament.   


Newcastle Falcons 37-21 Harlequins
Playing at home the second to bottom Newcastle Falcons completed a quiet remarkable win to end their season. It sees the club finishing a staggering thirty-three competition points ahead of London Welsh but thirty-four points behind the fifth placed Exeter Chiefs. Neither team finished high enough to qualify for the 2015-2016 European Rugby Champions Cup. USA prop Eric Fry started for Newcastle while uncapped Argentine Juan Pablo Socino played inside centre. Fry is likely to play in the World Cup.  

London Welsh 17-68 Saracens
A winless season for London Welsh was confirmed this afternoon as the club ended the season without winning at all. The away bonus point win sees Saracens sealing fourth place and, with it, an away Semi Final against Northampton. Scoring for Saracens was Juan Figallo who continues his injury recovery program. Figallo was named best player of Argentina's Pool in Rugby World Cup 2011. He last played a test in the 2013 Rugby Championship. Figallo was a replacement v London Welsh while Chris Wyles and Marcelo Bosch were the starting centres. Both are certainties for Rugby World Cup 2015. 

London Irish 40-40 Wasps
Another high scoring fixture saw London Irish finishing on a high. The Wasps went into the game knowing the team was out of the running for the Semi Finals but has qualified for the 2015-2016 European Rugby Champions Cup. London Irish, in contrast, will play in the European Challenge Cup. Canadian Jebb Sinclair played second-row for London Irish.

Leicester Tigers 22-14 Northampton Saints
A home win over the Northampton Saints was sufficient for the Leicester Tigers to finish third and therefore qualify for an away Semi Final next weekend. The fixture was not without controversy as Leicester finished on 68 points as did both Saracens and the Exeter Chiefs. Of them Exeter miss out on points difference but Northampton's team that Leicester defeated was depleted with players being put in cotton wool ahead of the Semi Final. Puma Marcos Ayerza was involved for Leicester from the bench. 

Exeter Chiefs 44-16 Sale Sharks
A big win for Exeter meant the club collected the maximum five competition points but missed out on a historical Semi Final due to Leicester and Saracens both winning. The silver lining for Exeter is qualification for the 2015-2016 European Rugby Champions Cup. 

Bath 50-30 Gloucester
The local derby in the west country saw Bath running out convincing winners to be in a strong position to take-on the Leicester Tigers next weekend. Gloucester rested a number of players for the fixture due to the club a European Rugby Champions Cup Qualifier next weekend against Irish province Connacht. Involved for Bath was Puma Horacio Agulla who scored a try. Agulla is chasing a place in a third consecutive Rugby World Cup. 

#
Team
Pts
1
Northampton
76
2
Bath
75
3
Leicester
68
4
Saracens
68
5
Exeter
68
6
Wasps
61
7
Sale Sharks
54
8
Harlequins
49
9
Gloucester
48
10
London Irish
40
11
Newcastle
34
12
London Welsh
01

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