Monday, November 11, 2019

European Professional Competitions: GP, GPro14, T14 WRaps

Gallagher Premiership, Guinness Pro14, Top 14 WRaps 

Gallagher: 12 teams, all in England; 22-match, home-away schedule; semifinals June 12, Grand Final, June 20

Gallagher Premiership Round 4 Wrap - By the Numbers

Home Happy: Bath, London Irish, Sale
Road Warriors: Bristol, Saracens, Worcester

Saints yet in the ordering spot at table, but Saracens most definitely at Northampton’s gate and now those corsairs have their nine England internationals returned from RWC duty, one may expect those holy gates to crash asunder in good time. However, 7,000,000... that’s a significant figure of 7.0 X 106 in pounds of scientific notation and that, purportedly, is the salary cap for any Gallagher Premiership squad, though that number may be bumped up 2,000,000  to 9,000,000 in allowable backroom shenanigans, errh,  “add-ons.” Evidently, Sarries got some ‘splaining to do as they’re under investigation for what Robert Kitson of The Guardian calls, “financial doping.” The London club was assessed a L5,300, 000 penalty and 35 table-points hit, which if their appeal, now underway, is not honored, puts them in today’s table, at negative 22 table points... not even in the kitchen, let alone at table, but such is the Saracens might, they’re likely to return for a 3rd Premiership Championship running on June 20... barring a tsunami of attrition, of course.

On the Weekend, By the Numbers:

                2              points the difference midway, 10-8, and Bath closed out league-leading Northampton Saints at the Rec, 22 - 13, despite seeing red in the 47th;  for their own badness, travelers got a brace of yellows after the 60-minute mark to confound themselves;

                11           for Saracens 19 years old 10, Manu Vunipola, on 1-and-3 from the tee and travelers topped Gloucester at Kingsholm, 21 - 12; Cherry-and-Whites dropped from 3rd-to-5th on the chart with the loss, while Saracens climbed into the third slot;

                14           for Worcester 10, Jono Lance, on 1-and-4 from the floor and Harlequins could not hold their 5-point halftime advantage, yielding 10 unanswered in the second stanza as Warriors overtook their hosts, 19 - 14, by the end of the day;

                22           for Sale 10, Ruan du Preez, on a 1-5-1 triple and 2 yellows for Sale, one to open innings and the second at the latter stages, against a late red for Wasps, made for fractivity at Salford City Stadium, but Sharks prevailed, 28 - 18; USA Eagles and Sharks 10, AJ MacGinty, came on in relief of du Preez with a brace of sticksplitters to seal the victory and Sale are now in playoff position;

                5             try, 5-point London Irish knocked Leicester Tigers back down the stairs to the bottom of the basement with the 36 - 11 joy at Madejski Stadium;

                17           in Exeter account and naught for guests, Bristol Bears, before stirring speech at the break inspired a 20-point second stanza return and Bears bit Chiefs hard, 20 - 17, at Sandy Park; Bristol now in topspot on equal table points with Northampton;

upcoming Round 5: THE Premiership continues to provide a fine fare at table, but it won’t be back on until post-Thanksgiving with...

                Friday, 11.29:

                                Bath (8) v (13) Saracens at the Recreation Ground: having recently risen from the basement, Bath will like to maintain their upward movement; tough ask against marauding Saracens;


                Saturday, 11.30:

                                Exeter Chiefs (10) v (5) Wasps at Sandy Park: home team need the win;                             

                                Northampton Saints (14) v (4) Leicester Tigers at Franklin’s Gardens; Saints will want this win with as many points as possible; Angry Cats in the musty-dusty cellar just now;

                                Worcester Warriors (9) v (11) Sale Sharks at Sixways: both require victory here; this’ll be a banger;

                                Bristol Bears (10) v (9)  London Irish at Ashton Gate: see above; each punching well above their respective weights just now;

                                Harlequins (6) v (10) Gloucester at Twickenham: travelers looking to make last week’s home loss an anomaly, while it’s kind of early for Quins to be this desperate

Guinness:14 teams = 2 conferences in 5 countries on 2 continents playing home-away within the conference, plus non-conference teams once, plus 2 additional games for a 21-match schedule; Grand Final on June 20th at Cardiff City Stadium, with playoffs on the four weekends preceding that date.

Guinness Pro14 Round 6 Wrap
Home Happy: Blues, Edinburgh, Munster, Scarlets
Road Warriors: Glasgow, Leinster, Southern Kings

Group A sees Leinster, who are on track for their third GPro14 championship running, nearly two bonus-point victories in front, while much more interesting the race in Group B with the front four-of-seven XVs within a weekend happiness of one another; all on break until the end of this month;

By the Numbers:

                12           for travelers 10, Tommie Allan on four sticksplitters from the floor, the last in the 78th minute to draw level Scarlets at 17s for each and every, before his oppo, Dan Jones,  nailed an 81st minute strike truly and 20 - 17 the Welsh joy over Treviso after that; 10 in the Jones account on 2-and-2 off his shoe, too;

                14           for Cardiff 10, Jarrod Evans, on 1-and-4 struck from the floor and Blues made a 17-14 midpoint lead a 30 - 17 record over traveling Cheetahs;

                5              in the 64th minute for the go-ahead try by Munster flyer, Andrew Conway, converted by relief 10, Tyler Bleyendaal, for 22 - 16 victory over traveling Ulster at Thomond Park;

                11           for traveling Southern Kings 15, Scott van Breda, on 1-and-3 from his tee and Monarchs broke into the win column in stunning fashion, making a 13-nil halftime lead a 16 - 14 final score over host Ospreys;

                1              brace of touch downs for Glasgow 9, George Horne, in aid of the Warriors bonus-point, happy road show and 31 - 7 that final past Zebre at Sergio Lanfranchi;

                20           points in a brace of first forty suspenders from Leinster frontrowmen, Ronan Kelleher and Andrew Porter, and the Irish Province went on to top their Brethren from the West, Connacht, at the Sportsground, 42 - 11;

                10           nil for Edinburgh after forty and 20 - 7 the final at Murrayfield over Dragons;                             

Top 14: 
Top 14 Wrap - Round 9

Home Happy: Bordeaux, Castres, Lyon, Toulouse
Road Warriors: Pau, Racing
Sis-Kiss: Montpellier, Toulon

Pau supplanted Bayonne in third position at table, rising from seventh in that action, while Bayonne dropped to fourth on their second loss in succession; in the Battle of the Basement, 92 formatted Stade at the Jean Bouin.

On the Weekend, By the Numbers:

3              trys for Racing flyer, Teddy Thomas, early then mid-match and also late at ’79, led 92 over Stade Français in Paris, 25 - 9;  3 Nico Sanchez sticksplitters the only count for homeys;

18           for Lyon 10, Jonathan Wisniewski, on 3-and-4 from the floor, aided by a brace of groundings by his halfback partner, Baptiste Couilloud, and the frontrunners have opened a bonus-point lead at the topspot after 45 - 17 throttling of La Rochelle at Stade Gerland, knocking  La Rochelais from the playoff frame for the moment;

14           for Toulouse 15, Tommie Ramos, on 4-and-2 struck from his shoe and home XV leveled their guests, Clermont, at the Ernest Wallon, 34 - 8;

3              sticksplitters for 22 years old Section Paloise 10, Antoine Hastoy, against a lone penalty notched by Bayonne 12, Romi Barthelemy, and 9 - 3 the result of that arm wrestle in Stade du Hameau;

6              nil at the half made 23 - 0 by ’80 and Bordeaux kept close on the table leader’s hind after their stymying of Agen;

13           point halftime advantage, 22-9, for Castres nearly lost after a second stanza return by Brive fairly undid the home team, but a sticksplitter in extra time by Julien Dumora made a 25-26 deficit 28 - 26 victory;

3              points in the 75th minute by Adrienne Belleau made for drawn scores at Felix Mayol and Toulon came back to tag Montpellier  at 19s in front of their faithful;

Upcomes Round 10: though it’ll happen post-Thanksgiving, thanks to EPCR!
                Saturday, 11.30:

                                Racing 92 (18) v (30) Bordeaux Bègles at La Défense: home team, with international players returned, far more formidable than before; this could very well be an early season solidification for the winner;

                                Clermont (20) v (16) Agen at Marcel Michelin: this result may not be as close as the points may indicate;

                                La Rochelle (18) v (18) Castres at Stade Marcel Deflandre: homeboys recently removed from playoffs picture will want to renounce that direction, while cagey travelers may surprise and that is why this is... Match-of-Weekend;

                                 Section Paloise (21) v (20) Toulon at Stade du Hameau: home side look to make it two in a row at Stade du Hameau, however, sister-kissing Toulon have a different outcome in mind; other M-o-W;

                                Toulouse (19) v (21) Bayonne at Ernest Wallon: see what travelers take on the road with them to la Ville Rose, but homeys are flexing muscularly right now;

                Sunday, 12.1:
                                Montpellier (19) v (35) Lyon at the Altrad: could be a stumble for the hot, high-stepping frontrunner in La Surdouée where Aaron Cruden and company may have a surprise gift in store their guests;

                                Brive (18) v (9) Stade Français at Stade Amédée Domenech: visitors in the deepest, darkest part of the cellar and it doesn’t appear they’ll find their way clear anytime soon; hosts are drawn on points with the other basement dweller, Agen, and can take this opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the relegation stations.




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