West-country sides take big victories in Aviva Premiership
Bath, Gloucester and Exeter all took important wins in the Aviva Premiership this weekend. Bath, who currently sit at the wrong end of the Aviva Premiership table nearly lost out to Newcastle when the bottom-of-the-table side took the lead but Bath fought back for a 30-24 win. Two tries from Woodburn, one from Perenise and a penalty try after 55 minutes sealed the win for Bath who were nearly upset by the Falcons.
Newcastle’s Gopperth kicked all of his conversions and one penalty goal whilst Bath’s Birthday Boy, Heathcote, only managed two conversions for his side whilst he and Olly Barkley scored a penalty apiece.
Gloucester impressed from the start against Northampton with Charlie Sharples crossing the line after six minutes and May did the same on the stroke of halftime. Northampton also got two tries, within five minutes of each other. Tonga’uiha crossed first just after the hour mark and Pisi scored in the same place shortly after. In the end, it came down to the boot of Freddie Burns and the young fly-half kept his cool to win Gloucester the match in the closing stages.
Exeter also took a big victory at Sandy Park over Leicester and Richard Cockerill admitted his side were “rubbish”. Baxter crossed the line on the 55 minute mark and Alesana Tuilagi did the same for Leicester after just ten minutes of play. However, Leicester’s Toby Flood managed just two penalties with opposite number, Ignacio Mieres, kicking 12 points worth of penalties for Exeter.
The other results from round 14 of the Aviva Premiership included Sale beating Worcester 15-12 at Edgeley Park, Harlequins coming back to beat London Irish 30-23 at The Stoop and Wasps losing out to Saracens by 22 points to 17 at Adams Park.
Home teams take victories but Ospreys upset Edinburgh in Pro 12
Edinburgh had the chance to round-off a weekend of wins for the home sides in the RaboDirect Pro 12 but after Hanno Dirksen’s try for the Ospreys on the 55 minute mark, Biggar’s conversion confirmed the victory and Edinburgh could do no more. Meanwhile at the Cardiff City Stadium, Connacht crossed the line twice, Moore and O’Halloran both scoring, and along with one conversion and one penalty it looked as though they could have done enough but were denied by a resilient Cardiff Blues. Blair converted Sam Hobbs’ try under the posts with ease and also kicked another five penalty goals, rounding off a win for the Blues.
Leinster dismantled Italian minnows Treviso by 42 points to 8 at the Royal Dublin Society after leading by just eight points at half time. Carr, Cooney, Madigan, Nacewa and Strauss all scored for Leinster with Nacewa kicking three points, on top of his try, amounting to 20 points during the match. Treviso could manage just a single try from Muccignat and one drop goal came from Di Bernado for the visitors.
The other results of the weekend included Glasgow defeating Scarlets 19-9 at Firhill and Ulster slaying the Dragons at Ravenhill by 30 points to 12.
Try of the Weekend goes to Alesana Tuilagi for his score nine minutes into Leicester’s encounter with Exeter at Sandy Park. It came from a lineout and when Sam Harrison played a long ball to Flood who got it swiftly away to Murphy out wide, it allowed Tuilagi to bash his way past Exeter defenders Phil Dollman and Nic Sestaret and score.
The weekend’s Hero is Isa Nacewa, who not only scored a try but also kicked 15 points with the boot, scoring a total of 20 points in Leinster’s match against Treviso.
Finally, the Villains of the Weekend, for a second week running, are London Wasps. The Wycombe based side recorded their seventh consecutive defeat in the Aviva Premiership at home to Saracens, further dampening spirits at Adams Park in a very worrying time when relegation remains a real concern.
by Sam Durham
Photo by Patrick Kchiafe/Onside Images