Manu’s not rusty
Leicester Tigers welcomed back Ben Youngs, Toby Flood and Manu Tuilagi this weekend, and the young England centre showed no signs of his recent injury in his first competitive game since the Lions tour. He set up Graham Kitchener’s try by breaking through no less than five tackles before finally being felled, and he kept up that form all game, giving the Newcastle defence a torrid time and ensuring former boss Dean Richards had a miserable return to Welford Road. Devastatingly for Tigers and England fans it seems he is now set to be out for a while with injury.
Injuries are going to take their toll
London Irish lost 29-23 to Exeter Chiefs despite being the better side for most of the game, but what might make Head Coach Brian Smith more depressed is the fact that his side suffered three fresh injuries. Topsy Ojo, Halani Aulika and Jebb Sinclair are the new players spending time in the treatment room, meaning that there are now an incredible 14 players out injured. At this rate, Irish’s lack of strength in depth is going to be exposed and with games against Bath and Harlequins coming up, they are going to struggle.
Fans deserve a pat on the back
It’s safe to say that the weekend’s game between Gloucester and Northampton ended in controversial circumstances, but what has gone relatively unnoticed is the fans’ behaviour during all of this. In any other sport (or as has been the case in some international matches), Billy Twelvetrees’ match-winning kick would normally come under an intense barrage of boos and jeers, but the Saints’ fans were so quiet you could hear a pin drop. For that they deserve praise and a huge amount of credit.
Robshaw is still the man
There has been a lot of speculation recently about whether Chris Robshaw deserves to be England captain or whether he should actually be playing at all, but on Friday night he finally got the chance to shut his critics up. He inspired his Quins side to an easy 37-13 victory away at Worcester with his dominance around the breakdown and many impressive turnovers. If he carries on this form, Stuart Lancaster won’t have a choice other than to start him at openside during the Autumn internationals.
Gary Gold is no fun
Bath were well and truly out of the game by half time during their clash against Saracens, so could Gary Gold have afforded to keep Gavin Henson on the field just a little bit longer? The Saracens PR team whipped up a cheeky little offer for Bath fans that if Henson scored at any point during the match, they could get their tickets refunded. Four minutes after Henson was substituted, Semesa Rokoduguni crossed for the visitors. Come on Gary! Do it for the fans!
By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images