Monday, December 23, 2019

Europe WRap: Gallagher, Guinness and the Top 14

On the Weekend, By the Numbers

Gallagher Premiership Round 6 WRap - By the Numbers

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

Home Happy: Gloucester, Sale, Saracens
Road Warriors: Bath, Exeter, Harlequins

Can Saracens still earn a playoff berth after the GP death sentence? Short answer: YES... but they’ll have to be damned near perfect to do so as their ship is yet charting negative straits. New club in the ordering seat as Los Jefes slipped ahead of Los Santos at the English feast.

On the Weekend, By the Numbers:

                3              for everybody after the first forty at Kingsholm before Gloucester abso ripped Worcester for a handful of second stanza scores to record 36 - 3 victory; double for Cherry-and-Whites 18 years old flyer, Louis Rees-Zammit;

                13           for Harlequins 10, Marcus Smith, on 1 try and the conversion of all 4 Quins touch downs in the 28 - 22 away win over Wasps at the Ricoh; homeboys were up at the half, 17-14, but were unable to hold that lead as a brace of second stanza groundings prior to the hour mark made for the record and the bonus-point happy;

                33           second half points against nil for their guests made a 14-13 midpoint advantage a full on rout as Saracens got it done, 47 - 13, over Bristol Bears; braces for numbers 13, Nicky Tomkins, and 15, Max Malins; 10 for 10, Owen Farrell, on 5 converted;
                12           against 0 in the last half made for Sale Sharks Happy Holidays present and a 22 - 10 joy over frontrunning Northampton Saints at Salford City;

                17           unanswered second stanza points for Exeter enabled Chiefs to return from a 14-22, deficit at midpoint, and travelers moved into the ordering seat at table with 31 - 22, 5-point victory over Leicester Tigers at Welford Road;

                6              try Bath rogered the Irish in their London digs at the Madejski, 35 - 10, after making 31-3 opening half numbers and earning the bonus-point on a 26th minute grounding in the rout;                

upcoming Round 7

                Friday, 12.27:

                                Bristol Bears (17) v (6) Wasps at Ashton Gate: home team will want its best performance to rebound from last weekend’s loss as seemingly stingerless hornets fly about aimlessly yet angrily;

                Saturday, 12.28:
                                Northampton Saints (19) v (16) Gloucester at Franklin’s Gardens: Saints looking for the correct carom as well after their pre-Xmas tumble from the top; their guests will like to represent now-now;
                                Bath (13) v (16)  Sale Sharks at the Rec: hosts look to remove their guests from the last playoff spot and possibly replace those Fishsters with a win;
                                Worcester Warriors (13) v (12) London Irish at Sixways: joy either way result in ascension unto the realm of the extra-time for now;

                                Harlequins (15) v (4) Leicester Tigers at Twickenham: Quins’ll be looking for five here-now;

                                Exeter Chiefs (20) v (-13) Saracens at Sandy Park: Top-to-bottom clash of the highest order with home side looking to remain in the rarefied air at the height of the English League while travelers next loss may be their last gasp at extra time six months hence

   Guinness Pro14 Round 8 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.
With Leinster cruising their conference as Northern Hemisphere Crusaders, and Munster emerging from the obstreperous pack at the head of the second seven, GPro14 enters its second trimester upcoming the end of the year.

Home Happy: Dragons, Glasgow, Leinster
Road Warriors: Benetton, Cardiff, Munster

By the Numbers

                14           touch downs in all and 96 total points counted as Leinster kept its league record perfect in defeating Ulster at the RDS, 54 - 42; numbers 7 and 8 for the homeside, Scott Penny and Max Deegan, each grounded a brace as did opposing 8man, Greg Jones, in the tryfest;

                3              points adrift at the half, 0-3, no problem for Tommaso Allan-less Benetton as Treviso returned for 13 in the second stanza, sufficient to top hosts, Zebre, at Lanfranchi, 13 - 8; 3 yellow tickets for traveling Benetton baddies, too;

                17           for Dragons 10, Sam Davies, on the conversion of a grounding in the 35th minute grounding by 9, Rhys Williams, 4 penalties and an 80th minute dropped goal to winnit, 22 - 20, over Scarlets;

                14           for travelers 10, JJ Hanrahan, on 1-and-4 from the floor as Munster got the huge decision over Connacht at the Sportsground, 19 - 14;

                             yellows, 2 for Glasgow and 3 for Edinburgh awarded as Warriors won, 16 - 12, in the fister at Scotstoun;         

                3              points in the 72nd minute by Cardiff relief 10, Jason Tovey, and Blues went on to top hapless Ospreys who’ve not experienced a happy ending in nearly 3 months, at Liberty Stadium, 19 - 16;

Upcomes Round 9
                Thursday, 12.26:
                                Cardiff Blues (19) v (13) Dragons at the Arms Park: Blues making a move now;
                                Scarlets (22) v (8) Ospreys at Parc y Scarlets: very well could be just what Scarlets doctor ordered;
                Friday, 12.27:
                                Ulster (26) v (25) Connacht in Kingspan at Ravenhill: both are seeking to rebound from last outings;
                Saturday, 12.28:
                                Benetton Treviso (18) v (8) Zebre at Comunale: homeys looking to close the Italian double on the season today;
                                Edinburgh (24) v (19) Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield: home side will want to right last week’s wrong;

                                Munster (26) v (38) Leinster Thomond Park: could be travelers last real test this season;
                                * Cheetahs and Southern Kings are off over the winter holidays and will make up those matches during the first round of 6 Nations and at the end of May;

 Top 14 Wrap - Round 11

Home Happy: Bordeaux, Castres, Racing, Stade Français
Road Warriors: Toulouse
Sis-Kiss: Bayonne-Brive

While Bordeaux and Lyon contest the topspot in the league, numbers three through nine are within a weekend happiness of one another and numbers four through eleven chart up inside a three table-point range. Expect significant shuffling of sequence of the 14 in the New Year.

On the Weekend, By the Numbers

                16           for home 9, Max Machenaud, on 2-and-4 from the floor, and Racing 92 got the important victory over Montpellier at La Défense, 26 - 22;          
                5              for  home-happy Castres over Lyon at Pierre Fabre in the 29 - 12 victory that knocked travelers from topspot in the league, because...

                5              for Bordeaux Fijian-born front row, Peni Ravai, made the difference after each standoff, Mati Jalibert for homeboys and Jules Plisson for LaRochelle, had slotted 5 penalty goals for the 20 - 15 win;

                3              of 4 flyers received cards, a brace of yellows for Stade Français at ’67 and ’76, and a red for Pau at ’50, meant 21 - 18 win for Stade at the end of the day in La Défense when all the fighting was said and done;

                             for Toulouse flyer, Arthur Bonneval, the sole second stanza score and travelers topped Agen on the trot, 13 - 8;

                2              3-pointers for each and Bayonne drew with Brive at Jean Dauger 6 - 6;

                5              points in the 4th minute for newly-arrived Springbok, Eben Etzebeth, the first of 5 Toulon trys and home side knocked Clermont about the Mayol, 41 - 19 to rise to 3rd on the chart

Upcomes Round 12
                Saturday, 12.28:

                                Lyon (35) v (23) Bayonne at the Matmut: home team would like to return to winning ways and end their three-game slide;

                                Brive (24) v (23) Racing 92 at Amédée-Domenech: Match of Weekend pure and simple;

                                Montpellier (25) v (14) Stade Français at the Altrad: home team looking for five here-now?

                Sunday, 12.29:  
                                La Rochelle (23) v (17) Agen at Marcel Deflandre: homeboys need it, but guests may surprise;
                                Section Paloise (22) v (38) Bordeaux Bègles at Stade du Hameau: careful Bègles, if you want to remain in the ordering seat!

                                 Clermont  (24) v (23) Castres: winner may wind up in third at the end of ’80; other M-o-W;

                                Toulouse (28) v (25) Toulon at Ernest Wallon: this, for third freal; other-other M-o-W



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