Gloucester youngsters run riot to take down Quins
Gloucester’s youthful collection of talented backs proved themselves to England selectors at Kingsholm against an experienced Harlequins side. Charlie Sharples had clearly shrugged off any injury concerns when he crossed the line after 10 minutes of play. Jonny May added a try of the season contender a few minutes later and one of the Harlequins youngsters, Ross Chisholm, proved he was a suitable cover to Mike Brown scoring two during the match and Akapusi Qera remained reliable as ever, scoring in the corner for the Cherry and Whites. The full time result at Kingsholm was 29-23 to the hosts.
Sale defeat Wasps to remain in Top 4 contention
The bad form of London Wasps continued at Edgeley Park as they lost their 9th match in a row. Sam Tuitupou crossed early on to give Sale a healthy lead before Daly put Wasps on the score sheet with three penalty goals. Waldouck scored Wasps’ only try of the half 23 minutes in, just after Dwayne Peel’s score for Sale. Tuitupou crossed for a second time late on to give Sale a 25-14 half time lead. Powell, Leota and Miller all scored converted tries in the second half after Wasps had Wallace put in the sin bin. Two late Joe Simpson tries were not enough to get Wasps back in the match and they eventually lost 46-34.
The other Aviva Premiership results of the half saw Worcester beat Saracens 16-11, Leicester worsen Newcastle’s campaign with a 42-15 victory, Exeter losing 9-12 to Bath in a West-Country derby and Northampton beating London Irish 30-23 at the Madejski Stadium.
Newport and Connacht take important wins in Pro 12
It was a big weekend for the bottom-of-the-table sides Connacht battled with Edinburgh and Newport took on Aironi. O’Connor kicked five out of Connacht’s ten points in the first half at the Sportsground, the other five coming from a Vainikolo try. Tim Visser got Edinburgh back in the match with a 48th minute try only for Brown to be sent to the sin bin. The visitors were lucky that Connacht only gained three points during Brown’s absence and when Paterson crossed after 54 minutes, Edinburgh looked the favourites. A late McCarthy try ensured that Connacht took a 26-13 victory.
Two first half penalties were all that came for the first hour of the match before Olivier added two more for Aironi against Newport at the Stadio Zaffanella. Ongaro was put in the sin bin, the third sinbinning of the match, for Aironi and this lead to Newport receiving a penalty try and the easy conversion gave them a narrow 10-9 victory.
The other results of the week in the Pro 12 included Glasgow finishing level with table-toppers Leinster at 10-10, Ulster edging past Ospreys 15-14, Scarlets beating Treviso 34-20 and Munster beating Cardiff 16-13 at Thomond Park.
Reds and Crusaders take narrow wins in opening week of Super Rugby
In the opening week of the new Super Rugby Series, reigning champions the Reds left it late to beat rivals the Waratahs whilst the Crusaders beat the Blues by a margin of just one point.
When Sarel Pretorious scored late on for the Tahs, the win looked secure after Palu had scored and Halangahu had kicked 11 with the boot. But on top of 18 points from Harris’ kicks, Shipperley crossed the line and secured victory a 25-21 victory on Derby day.
Without Tyler Bleyendaal’s superb kicking, the Crusaders would have been nowhere in this match. Bleyendaal kicked seven penalties in total and despite the Blues scoring two tries from Lowrey and Raikuna, a single score from Fruean was enough for the Crusaders. The final score at Eden Park was 19-18 to the Crusaders.
The other results from the opening round of matches saw the Brumbies beat the Force 19-17, the Bulls take down the Sharks 18-13, the Chiefs failing to beat the Highlanders losing 19-23, the Stormers winning 39-26 over the Hurricanes and the Lions narrowly beating the Cheetahs 27-25 in the final match of the weekend.
Try of the Weekend goes to Gloucester’s Jonny May for his score against Harlequins in which he dodged his way past five members of the visiting defence.
The Heroes of the weekend are Connacht for putting on a valiant display to beat Edinburgh and distance themselves from the foot of the table.
The Villain of the weekend is Fabio Ongaro after the hooker was sinbinned against Newport and probably cost his side an important win.
by Sam Durham