Sunday, December 23, 2018

Europe: Aviva, GPro14, T14: By the Numbers

5             the points haul for new headboy, Exeter Chiefs, after El Jefes significant win over previously unbeaten Saracens in the battle for 1st in the English League as home team topped the former number 1, 31-13, at Sandy Park;

15           for Tigers 10, George Ford, on 3-and-3 from the tee and Leicester topped Harlequins at Welford Road, 35-24; brace of scores for the Cats flyer Jonah Holmes;              

17           by Sale Sharks 10, Robbie Du Preez, on 1 conversion and a handful of penalties in the 27-10 victory over Bristol Bears at Salford City;

20           by Saints 10, Dan Biggar, on 1 conversion and six penalties struck and Northampton got just what was needed on the road at Sixways in the 32-10 win over Worcester;

3             the measure of separation after ‘80 as Gloucester got the road win over Newcastle at Kingston Park, 20-17;

19          for Bath 10, Freddie Burns, on 1 try, its conversion and 4 penalties as Bath found road joy over Wasps at the Ricoh,  24-14

 Upcomes Aviva:
               Friday, 12.28
                              Northampton Saints (21) v (44) Exeter Chiefs at Franklin’s Gardens: homeboys do not have a winning home record this season at 2-3-0, while newly-minted frontrunner (for now!), Jefes, have only lost one on the trot:
                      Saturday, 12.29
                              Gloucester (32) v (20) Sale Sharks at Kingsholm: could be the bonus-point for homeys;
                              Saracens (42) v (17) Worcester Warriors at Barnet Copthall: Sarries will not like last week’s beating suffered and are looking for someone to punch... why, hello Warriors!
                              Harlequins (24) v (24) Wasps at Twickers: visitors have lost four from their last five, while home team is inconsistent at the Stoop:
                              Bath (23) v (23) Leicester Tigers at the Rec: Bath are less than stellar at home (2-2-1), while Cats have only a single road win;
                              Bristol Bears (18) v (17) Newcastle Falcons at Ashton Gate: numbers 10 and 11 resp. on the chart; could be an opportunity for Bears put some distance between themselves and relegation;

21           in the final ’10 had Leinster comeback for joy over Connacht at the RDS, 32-29; it was 11-29 heading into the last 10 minutes and travelers must have thought it was all over but the unwrapping of the Christmas gifts          before homeboys return for the bonus point;

13           for Edinburgh 10, Jaco Van der Walt on 2-and-3 off his tee and a brace of groundings by flyer Duhan Van der Merwe as home XV earned 23-7 honors at Murrayfield over Glasgow;

14           from the talented toe of Ospreys 10, Sam Davies, on 1 conversion and 4 penalties in the birds 19-12 win over Scarlets at Liberty;

14          too, off the boot of Blues 10, Gareth Anscombe, on 1-and-4 as Cardiff bested Dragons, 19-16, at the Arms Park;

19           points on 3 Ulster trys and two conversions enough to defeat Munster at Ravenhill, 19-12;

10          points by the 43rd minute all for Treviso and sufficient for the 10-8 road joy at Sergio Lanfranchi over Zebre;

*     South African sides are off for the holidays and will makeup their 11th and 12th Rounds against one another during the 3rd EPCR fortnight in January;

Upcomes GP14:
               Friday, 12.28
                              Connacht (32) v (33) Ulster at Galway Sportsground: Match-of-Weekend;

               Saturday, 12.29
                              Munster (35) v (49) Leinster at Thomond Park: big chance for homeys here;
                              Scarlets (30) v (27) Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets: ditto Reds:
                              Glasgow Warriors (41) v (26) Edinburgh at Scotstoun: Warriors revenge?
                              Benetton Treviso (27) v  (16) Zebre at Stadio Communal: homeys would like to do the double on their Italian brethren this season; here it is!

               Sunday, 12.30
                              Dragons (14) v (32) Ospreys at Rodney Parade: could be much needed road joy for travelers

1             3-pointer by Grenoble 15, Gaetan Germain, in the 66th minute put the home team ahead by 1 and mountaineers shut down Montpellier to gain the 17-16 victory;

92          points in all as 10-try Racing 92 hammered Perpignan at La Défense, 64-28, on the day; a brace of scores for Fijian second row, Leone Nakawara in the win;

13           for La Rochelle 10, Ihaia West, on 2 conversions and 3 penalties, and the Rochellais were able to hold off Pau at Stade du Hameau, for the 28-23 road happy;

3             trys for Toulon flyer, Filipo Nakosi, 2 walk-ins due to outside center JP Pietersen’s precise passes, and homeboys got a much needed 5-point victory at the Mayol, 42-7, over an error-prone Lyon; Adrienne Belleau at 10 for Toulon and the return of Rhys Webb at 9 made for slick communication between the halves that Toulonnais have not seen yet this year; travelers had advantage of possession, but hosts made far better use of theirs for half dozen touch downs;

14           for 10, Nico Sanchez, on 2-and-3 from his tee and Stade Français got the road win over Agen at the Stade Armandie, 19-6;

22           for Bordeaux 9, Baptiste Serin, on 2 conversions and 6 penalties and Bègles got the 32-13 away win over Castres despite a 28th minute red card for blindside, Mahamadou Dialby;  

10          points in the last 10 minutes enabled visiting Toulouse to draw level with 1st-placed Clermont at 20-all at the Michelin and numbers 1&2 maintained their distance at the top of the Top14;

Upcomes the Top14:
               Saturday, 12.29
                              Lyon (31) v (17) Agen at Matmut: home side have only lost once at the Matmut, while travelers have only won one on the road;                                                     Stade Français (32) v (19) Grenoble at Stade Jean-Bouin: travelers haven’t won on the road this season;
                              La Rochelle (37) v (29) Castres at Stade Marcel-Deflandre: Rochellais have yet to lose at home;
                              Perpignan (4) v (43) Clermont at Aimé Giral: visitors looking to bounce back from last weekend’s loss; not good news for winless Perpignan;
               Sunday, 12.30
                              Montpellier (27) v (19) Pau at the Altrad: homeys need as many points as they can get here;
                              Bordeaux Bègles (34) v (36) Racing 92 at Chaban-Delmas: Match-of-Weekend;
                              Toulouse (40) v ((24) Toulon at Ernest Wallon: time for travelers to make their move; we’ll see if they                                                can here and now;

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