Best of the Domestic Weekend: LV=Cup semi-finals take shape

Saints put 8 tries past Wasps in Anglo-Welsh Cup destruction

Stephen Myler remained reliable with the boot throughout this match and converted all eight of Northampton’s tries. He opened the scoring with a penalty goal and it took until the end of the first quarter for hooker, Andy Long, to cross the line. Lock, James Craig, saw an opportunity and made a quick tap-and-go to score Northampton’s second. Young winger, Jamie Elliott, scored just before the break and Will Robinson kicked Wasps’ only points of the half minutes before. That put Northampton in an almost unsurpassable 22-3 lead at half time.

But the rout didn’t stop there. A penalty try was awarded to Northampton by referee Dean Richards after a powerful driving maul from a Northampton pack including the likes of Brian Mujati, Soanne Tonga’uiha and Calum Clark. Elliott got his second score on the seventy minute mark which was closely followed by Wasps’ only try from Joe Simpson with Robinson adding the extras. Waller and Cato scored tries in the closing three minutes to end an eight try deconstruction with the final score at 57-10.

Irish end Gloucester’s LV Cup defence

Bryan Redpath announced a makeshift team for this encounter, with England reject, Mike Tindall, leading the backs at fly-half. London Irish were less affected by internationals and announced a much stronger side which included on form Tom Homer, who eventually won the game for the hosts. An early try from Brian Blaney in the corner gave the Irish the lead but Tom Homer couldn’t manage the tough conversion. Following a penalty kick in the early moments it put the hosts into an 8-0 lead. Two further penalties from Homer meant Gloucester trailed by 14 points at the break.

But ten points in the first nine minutes of the second half from an Ian Clark try and five points from the boot of Tindall put Gloucester in a better position as they closed the gap to just four points. Two further Homer penalties came before Clark’s second try and one followed it five minutes from time. London Irish put Gloucester’s LV Cup title defence to bed with the final score at 23-15.

The other Anglo-Welsh Cup results included Leicester beating Newcastle 24-13, Sale shocking Scarlets with a 19-14 victory, Worcester defeating Ospreys 24-14, Cardiff Blues narrowly beating Harlequins 45-40 and Newport vs Saracens was postponed.

Try of the Weekend goes to Worcester’s Josh Drauniniu. The England Sevens flyer scored two early second half tries but it was his second score that stood out. Sam Betty battered his way through the Ospreys defenders and an Andy Goode offload made way for Drauniniu to score.

The Hero of the weekend has to be Gloucester’s 18-year-old academy player, Ian Clark. Clark not only made his first ever start for Gloucester but also scored two tries and would have won the Cherry-and-Whites the game had it not been for Tom Homer’s boot.

Finally, the Villains of the weekend were London Wasps. Wasps conceded eight tries against Northampton Saints and failed to put an end to recent bad form. Things now look bleak for London Wasps and if they can’t improve league form there is a real chance of relegation.

by Sam Durham