Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Europe WRap: Gallagher, Guinness and T14

Europe WRap 3.22-24.10: Gallagher, Guinness and T14
Gallagher Premiership
The English League is sorting itself: the top four clubs go to playoffs and currently number four on that list, Harlequins, at 49 tps is better than a bonus-point win (8 table points actually) in front of nearest chaser, Northampton Saints; Saints were the only winning team last weekend of the pack chasing extra time through the 10th place on the chart. That is not to say that the current structure will remain in place until May, but it certainly will keep the alignment for the next round, though the Quins and Gloucester could exchange seats.
The real action on now is the Battle for the Basement, or rather, to keep from the basement and relegation with both numbers 11 and 12, Worcester Warriors and Newcastle Falcons resp., victorious on the day and that opens doors wide at the lower elevations in the  competition.
               Exeter Chiefs v Bath: 29-10                                       Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks: 22-17          
               Bristol v Worcester Warriors: 25-27                       Gloucester v Wasps: 27-14         
               Saracens v Harlequins: 27-20                                    Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints: 15-29 

Guinness Pro14: all home sides won on the weekend
               Group A - with three fixtures remaining, the play surrounds who’ll be number 1, for Glasgow and Munster have been arm-wrestling for that seat since the end of last summer, as well as action at the number three post where Connacht and Cardiff Blues are drawn on table points and Ospreys at their rear, but not mathematically eliminated just yet.
               Group B - only three remaining fixtures and Leinster have taken the bracket already; the reigning champions could field a squad from the convent down the street for their final trio of matches and still be assured of first place in their bunch. It’s do or die in the last three for numbers 2-thru-5 as all: Ulster, Treviso, Edinburgh and Scarlets have opportunity to obtain playoff berths.
Guinness Weekend results:
               Glasgow Warriors v Cheetahs: 35-17                                                   Munster v Zebre 31-12          
               Ulster v Southern Kings: 33-19                                                               Ospreys v Dragons: 29-20    
               Cardiff Blues v Scarlets: 41-17                                                                Connacht v Treviso 29-14    
Edinburgh v Leinster 28-11

French, or Orange, Top14
Toulouse, who appear unbeatable now as they have since September, and Clermont, back on its winning track, look to take numbers one and two on the chart, which will mean a week’s rest when le barrage, or extra time, begins. Numbers three-through-six, however, are anyone’s place and numbers three-through-eight all could see a playoff berth with results in the final half dozen rounds: ding-ding!
Top14 Weekend results:

                              La Rochelle v Toulouse: 19-23                                                  Racing 92 v Bordeaux Bègles: 45-27    
                              Agen v Clermont: 13-28                                                             Section Paloise v Montpellier: 15-24         
                              Perpignan v Grenoble: 22-16                                                   Stade Français v Castres: 32-16  
                                                                                          Lyon v Toulon:  42-33


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