Sunday, December 29, 2019

Europe Pro WRap: Gallagher, Guinness and the Top 14

Gallagher Premiership Round 7 WRap - By the Numbers

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

Home Happy: Bath, Exeter, Northampton, Worcester
Road Warriors: Wasps
Sis-Kiss: Harlequins-Leicester

Saracens lost on the weekend a misstep the Corsairs can ill afford. Chiefs and Saints are up top by a bonus point, while numbers three through eight are within a single table point of each other.

On the Weekend, By the Numbers

                3              down at the half, 0-3, not a problem for Wasps, who’d not had happiness since Thanksgiving (a famous English holiday), but they returned to triumph, 26 - 21, at Ashton Gate; 5 lead changes in the match, the last on the conversion of a grounding by 4, South African Nemo Carr, and completed by 10, Jake Umaga, at ’80 for the result and former frontrunning Bristol Bears are now winless in their last three league decisions;

                3              trys for 18 years old Gloucester flyer, Lionel Zammit, in defeat on the trot though, as Northampton 9, Cobus Reinach, grounded a brace to open the second stanza and Saints made 13-7 halftime lead a 33 - 26 record;

                13           in the first forty for Worcester 10, Duncan Weir, on a 1-2-1 triple enough for home side to prevail over London Irish, though relief 10, Jono Lance, added his own converted try for the 20 - 6 result at Sixways; 

                11           for Bath 10, Rhys Priestland, on 1-and-3 from the tee, the conversion coming from completion of a grounding by 13, Jamie Joseph, to open the second stanza, against brace of Sale Sharks converted touch downs made for a 16 - 14 home happy at the Rec;

                15           for traveling Leicester Tigers 10, George Ford, on 3-and-3, the last conversion to draw level at 30s for the middling record with Harlequins at Twickers; 20 for oppo 10, Marcus Smith, on a 3-3-1 triple in the failed effort;

                3              cards for Exeter, including a 24th minute yellow gone to red at ’76, and still El Jefes managed to hold off Saracens at Sandy Park, 14 - 7, putting the reigning Premiership champs hopes for an  extended season in serious straits right now;

upcoming Round 8

                Friday, 1.3.20:

                                Sale Sharks (17) v (17) Harlequins at Salford City: both just outside the playoff frame and drawn on table points; gonna be a doozy!

                Saturday, 1.4.20:
                                Leicester Tigers (6) v (18) Bristol Bears at Welford Road: travelers looking to rebound from last week’s unexpected defeat; Cats seek any sort of points to keep them from the reach of avenging Corsairs;
                                Gloucester (18) v (17) Bath at Kingsholm: third versus fifth on the chart and the English League hots up nicely!

                                Saracens (-12) v (17) Worcester Warriors in Barnet Copthall at Allianz Park: next loss for the home side pretty much removes them from the extra time frame, while travelers in the thick of it now-now at the last playoff seat;

                Sunday, 1.5.20:

London Irish (12) v (24) Exeter Chiefs at Madejski Stadium: should be an away win;

                                Wasps (11) v (23)  Northampton Saints at the Ricoh: homeboys will like to keep their win streak going, while their guests won’t be planning on that outcome; 

Guinness Pro14 Round 9 WRap
14 teams = 2 conferences of 7 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
While Leinster continues to perform with perfection, earning better than a two b-p advantage in their bracket, Group B is filled with fractivity as six-of-seven clubs are within seven points of each other with idle SoKings completing that chart.

Home Happy: Benetton, Blues, Edinburgh, Scarlets, Ulster
Road Warriors: Leinster

By the Numbers

                5              the measure of separation at the half, 10-5, in favor of home Cardiff made 4 by the end of ’80, and Blues got the win, 16 - 12, over Dragons at the Arms Park on Boxing Day;

                2              Scarlets flyers, Steff Evans and 20 years old Ryan Conbeer, grounded doubles in the home side’s 44 - 0 throttling of Ospreys at Parc y Scarlets;

                             try Ulster, all converted - 4 by 9, John Cooney, and the last by relief three-quarters, Bill Johnston - and the home side got the best of their rivals from the West, Connacht, at Ravenhill, 35 - 3;

                1              hat-trick by Benetton 2, Hame Faiva, and 6-try Treviso earned the Azzurri Double over Zebre at the Comunale, 36 - 25, despite receiving red in the early goings at ’17;
                2              Glasgow yellows assessed past the hour mark enabled the return of Edinburgh to record 29 - 19 victory at Murrayfield; homeboys flyer, Darcy Graham, got a brace of trys in the bonus-point win;

                13           first forty counts sufficient the task of maintaining perfection as Leinster achieved 13 - 6 victory on the trot at Thomond Park over Munster;

Upcomes Round 10
                Friday, 1.3.20:
                                Scarlets (27) v (23) Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets: kicking off the weekend with the Match thereof;
                                Ulster (31) v (30) Munster in Kingspan at Ravenhill: and another M-o-W sure to be a place-shifter at table;
                Saturday, 1.4.20:
                                Benetton Treviso (23) v (19) Glasgow Warriors at the Comunale: travelers need this one fair badly while homeys on a bit of a roll and looking to remain tracking in that manner; Saturday M-o-W;
                                Dragons (14) v (8) Ospreys on Rodney Parade: home side will be looking to exploit and exacerbate the struggles that are their guests this season;
                                Zebre (9) v (21) Cheetahs at the Lanfranchi: home team’s shown improvement, but travelers are coming off  their holiday bye, which could prove either very good or abysmal;
                                Leinster (42) v (25) Connacht at the RDS: speaking of the abyss, visitors not quite there yet, but they’re en route should they not mind their steps, while their hosts have yet to lose this season at 12-0-0 overall;
                                Edinburgh (28) v (6) Southern Kings at Murrayfield: might be a rude re-entry into the GPro14 race for the Monarchs of the SoHemi;  

Top 14 Wrap - Round 12

Home Happy: Clermont, La Rochelle, Lyon,
Road Warriors: Bordeaux Bègles, Racing 92
Sis-Kiss: Montpellier-Stade Français; Toulon-Toulouse

Approaching the midpoint in the season, Bordeaux and Lyon are yet head and shoulders above their peers while numbers three through eight are all within a wild, weekend’s joy of one another.

On the Weekend, By the Numbers

                15           for Montpellier Springboks 10, Handre Pollard, on a 3-2-1 triple and 20 for everyone at the Altrad as Stade Français have now not lost for two weeks in a reversal of their trend thus far, while Montpellier have drawn now for the 3rd time this season;

                2              groundings for Racing 92 number 2, Camille Chat, in the latter stages of the first forty, provided a lead, 29-13, the travelers wouldn’t forsake and 92 went on to wallop Brive at Amédée-Domenech 44 - 20;             

                2              trys, too, for Lyon lock, Hendrik Roodt, and the home team triumphed over Bayonne in Stade Gerland, 52 - 9;

                6              try La Rochelle steamrolled Agen at the Deflandre, 44 - 8, breaking out in the second stanza from 14-3 advantage;

                2              trys for Bordeaux Bègles Pumas flyer, Santiago Cordero, and travelers stayed just ahead of their hosts, 27 - 23, to record victor over Section Paloise at Stade du Hameau;

                18           for Clermont 9, Morgan Parra, on 3-and-4 from the floor and Castres were served the dog end, 39 - 22, at the Michelin;

                13           for the house as Toulon returned from 0-10 halftime deficit to draw level Toulouse on an 80th minute Adrienne Belleau penalty strike;

Upcomes Round 13
                Saturday, 1.4.20:

                                Agen (17) v (40) Lyon at Stade Armandie: could be a road happy for travelers;

                                Racing 92 (28) v (28) Clermont at La Défense: M-o-W;

                                Bordeaux Bègles (42) v (23) Bayonne at Chaban-Delmas: should be a comfortable win for homeys;

                                Montpellier (27) v (24) Brive at the Altrad: numbers eight and nine resp. at table, but home team should not make the outcome a close-run thing;

                                Section Paloise (23) v (28) La Rochelle at Stade du Hameau: Pau looking to bounce from last week’s disappointment and that should happen;

                Sunday, 1.5.20
                                Toulon (24) v (23) Castres at the Felix Mayol: home team high-flying just now; notso their guests;
                                 Stade Français (28) v (25) Toulouse at Jean Bouin: visiting French Giants will not like their recent performance and may be looking for someone to punch... why Hello, Stade!


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