Gareth Steenson continues to clog up the points in England while Neil Best looks set for a return to the Aviva Premiership as Worchester run riot in the Championship. A total of 16 players played their part in last weekend’s rugby action.
Sportsnewsireland.com columnist Kyle Tonetti started on the bench but came on 6 minutes before half time in Sale’s crucial 15-12 win over Leeds. Neil McMillan started the man for Sale before coming off with 26 minutes left on the clock. The boot of Charlie Hodgson was instrumental in Sale’s victory with the former England man kicking 5 penalties to seal the win and increase the gap between third from bottom Sale and bottom club Leeds to 12 points.
John Andress played 55 minutes as Harlequins went try crazy against Gloucester. Harlequins scored 7 tries, 5 of which were converted by 21 year old German born Rory Clegg, as they ran out 53-15 winners.
Delon Armitage put his troubles behind him as he scored just 40 seconds in to his return to action following an 8 week ban. The England full back was part of a London Irish side that beat Exeter 39-17 to enhance their playoff hopes. Bob Casey only lasted 20 minutes of the game before going off injured. Steenson continued his good form in front of the posts this season with 4 penalties to take his season’s tally to 149 points, 6th in the standings. Steenson and Tom Hayes both played the full 80 minutes for Exeter.
The return of England star Toby Flood saw Jeremy Staunton drop to the bench although the Limerick man did come on to replace Flood with 6 minutes to go as Leicester beat Bath 37-6. Staunton’s chances to reclaiming the number 10 jersey were made all the more difficult as Flood scored 2 tries in his 22 point haul.
James Downey and Roger Wilson both started as Northampton hammered the Wasps 39-3 to stay fourth in the table. Downey came off with 68 minutes gone while Wilson finished the game.
In the Magners league Tommy Bowe played the entire match as the Ospreys’ went down 23-16 away to Edinburgh. The result keeps the Welsh side fourth, level on 55 points with Ulster and Leinster but 12 behind leaders Munster.
In the English Championship Pool A, Neil Best played the full 80 minutes as Worcester made it three out of three in the play off’s with a 25-19 win over Nottingham. Bangor born hooker Stuart Philpott played the full 80 minutes for Nottingham. While Jack Tovey played the full game for Bristol in their 54-9 thrashing by London Welsh.
In Pool B, Bedford stays second in the standing despite their narrow one point loss to Doncaster, Michael Howard’s 78th minute converted try sealing the win. Winger Matty Williams played the full game for Doncaster. The Cornish Pirates stay tops of the group thanks to their 67-14 win over Rotherham. Rob O’Donnell played the full game for the Titans.
In Pool C, Flanker John Downey played the full game as Esher went down 41-17 away to Moseley to open up the group. Esher stays top of Pool C but they only hold a one point lead over Plymouth in second.
In France, David McGowan started on bench as La Rochelle went down 34-16 to Perpignan. McGowan came on for the second half as La Rochelle outscored their most illustrious opponents 7-5 however the damage was done in a first half that saw 4 tries for Perpignan.