Leicester crowned LV=Cup Champions
After a narrow victory in last week’s semi-final against Bath, Leicester overcame Northampton with a margin of 26 points to 14 at Sixways.
Northampton made a strong start to the encounter with Stephen Myler kicking two early penalties but the Tigers soon clawed back, George Ford putting the scores level with the boot. After an additional penalty from the youngster, Leicester scored the game’s first try as Steve Mafi crashed over.
Leicester’s solid defence remained strong throughout the remainder of the match, sustaining attack-after-attack from the try-hungry Saints. However, Leicester’s attacking assets remained alert through the consistent defensive periods and when the opportunity came they pounced on it with both hands. A Northampton pass went astray and Scott Hamilton collected it allowing him to freely run nearly the length of the field for Leicester’s second score.
When the opportunity did come for 2010 Anglo-Welsh Cup champions, it was all too late. Christian Day stumbled over from close range and didn’t adequately reward Northampton for their valiant attacking throughout. Leicester went home the victors with silverware and a place in the Heineken Cup, Northampton on the other hand will return to the East-Midlands empty handed and with problems to solve.
Dragons take crucial win over Cardiff in Pro12
The only game of the Pro 12 came on Thursday evening when Newport hosted Cardiff at Rodney Parade.
Newport made the best possible start when Robling kicked a penalty and the conversion of Groves’ fifth minute try. Cardiff’s Dan Parks would have been training with Scotland had he not retired following their opener with England a few weeks ago, instead he was taking the kicking duties for the Blues and scored an early penalty get the visitors on the score sheet.
Parks also added the extra two points for James’ try to bring the scores level. The two kickers exchanged points for their respective sides before Chavhanga scored the crucial points with a try at the death to secure Newport a vital win.
Chiefs, Highlanders, Sharks and Western Force take narrow wins in Super Rugby
Sona Taumalolo scored the game’s first try for the Chiefs following 5 penalties each from both Cruden and Lealiifano for their respective sides. Sam Carter crossed 7 minutes later for the Brumbies and with just a few minutes on the clock it looked as though the scores would be tied but Jackson Willison crossed in the dying moments to complete a 29-22 victory for Chiefs.
In an equally close encounter between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders, Colin Slade was the hero scoring 16 points in total for his side. Cory Jane and Slade were the game’s only try scorers and following 4 penalty kicks from Barrett for the Hurricanes and only 3 from hero-of-the-hour Slade it was left down to Chris Noakes to kick the winning points 5 minutes from time.
The Waratahs and the Force ended up with an even narrower score line of just one point. Adam Ashley-Cooper scored and an early try for the Tahs and Kingston did the same just before time. The Force got their points through a first half try from David Harvey and 3 more penalty kicks from the debutant. Halangahu kicked 2 penalties for the Waratahs, one coming just before Ward’s try for the Force. However, the Waratahs held the crucial one point lead for the remainder of the game, just enough for the win.
Reigning Super Rugby Champions the Reds travelled to the Sharks hoping to continue their winning streak but failed to do so as the game ended with another equally close score line of 27-22. Other Super Rugby results included the Stormers beating the Blues 27-17 and the Melbourne Rebels losing 26-33 to the Cheetahs.
Danny Cipriani signs for Sale Sharks
The news this morning is that Danny Cipriani will join Sale on a 3-year deal from next season.
After 2 years with the Melbourne Rebels, Cipriani returns to the English rugby setup, no doubt determined to push for international honours again.
Has he matured enough? Do England need him with Owen Farrell impressing so much?
Try of the Weekend goes to Scott Hamilton for his length of the pitch run.
The Heroes of the weekend have to be Leicester Tigers for their incredible defensive efforts during their LV=Cup triumph over Northampton on Sunday.
Villain of the weekend is Calum Clark for some foul play… also in the LV=Cup final!
by Sam Durham