Rugby Premiership 18th round review
Last weekend we had the opportunity to watch some very interesting matches as part of the Rugby Premiership. Matches of 18 rounds were played from Friday to Sunday, and interesting matches were seen at both ends of the table. When it comes to the top of the table, the leading Leicester defeated Glouchester while the last-placed Bath on the road to the Newcastle Falcons came to only the third victory of the season. In this way, Bath reduced the gap for the Worchester Warriors to the now achievable five points less.
As for the match in which the teams from the top of the table met, the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Leicester Tigers won. Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins achieved valuable victories in the fight for the semifinals. The Chiefs were better than the Northampton Saints 34-31 while the Harlequins defeated the Worchester Warriors away 29-21.
The return of Joe Cokanasiga
Bath Rugby reached just their third win of the season, but it wasn’t the only good thing in the backcourt derby against Newcastle. In the victory against Newcastle 30-25, the legendary Joe Cokanasiga returned, who has twice suffered a serious knee injury in the past, due to which he has been much more off the field in recent years than on it. His return to the field is probably the main news of the previous weekend in the world of rugby. Cokanasiga returned to the field after a five-month break. The return of Joe Cokanasiga was central to Bath's 30-25 victory over Newcastle, with the England international scoring two tries in his first game for five months.
Cokanasiga participated in this victory with two attempts. Newcastle opened the game better with McGuigan scoring their ninth try of the season, but the last-placed team quickly returned to the game via Ewan Richards and Danny Cipriani. The home team left at halftime with an 18-8 advantage. In the second half, Cokanasiga took the stage and, along with Lewis Boyce, helped his team reach its third victory of the season. It was the best possible return for Cokanasiga, and his team coach Neal Hatley was delighted after the win.
"I'm delighted for the boys, especially to see Joe getting himself back on the pitch and the scoresheet. Being able to bring him on has made a huge difference and he's turned the game for us. "We've fought hard for that and put in a committed performance and showed our resilience when we went down to 14 men in the second half for a spell as well. It's always a tough place to come up here so to be heading home with a win and a bonus point is fantastic."
Sale Sharks and London Irish shared the points
The eighteenth round opened with three games played on Friday. The most exciting match was played by Sale Sharks and London Irish, whose match ended in a draw 27-27. Fans at AJ Bell Stadium had a chance to watch the fantastic match between teams in the middle of the Rugby Premiership table. What was especially interesting in this match, the fans did not have the opportunity to see the try for almost half an hour, and then, through Terrence Hepetem, they finally scored the first points on the scoreboard.
Although the audience initially watched the lullaby, all the visitors attended a real thriller. The Sharks took advantage of the numerical advantage in the second half as the guests played with 14 players. Through twin brothers Dan and Jean Luc du Preez and Arron Reed they reached a 27-22 advantage. Nick Phipps made a points for the visitors with a late try, although Paddy Jackson missed the opportunity to bring victory with a missed penalty. The previous match that these two teams played in September also ended in a draw 31-31.
The coach of the visiting team, Les Kiss, even though his team missed the opportunity to win this match, was satisfied with this result because he was aware of how difficult it is to score points on this field. "They've got an imposing home record so to get three points I'm very happy. You don't come here and take points easily off this team. "There's a little bit of mixed emotions as we've played the attacking rugby we like. We just didn't put another one over the line and Paddy missed a couple of kicks, but those things happen. "We've got to pack away the good things that came out of it. They scored their tries when we had the yellows, so discipline was costly, but it's not a habit of ours. We've been a disciplined team most of the time, so we'll have a look at it."
Bristol Bears defeated Wasps 31-19
The Bristol Bears had a slight win against Wasps at Ashton Gate, moving away from the bottom of the table as the visitors reduced their chances of entering the top 4. In front of 16,000 fans, The Bears had a strong start and took a 21-0 lead in the first half. and tries were scored by Harry Thacker, Antoine Frisch, and Niyi Adeolokun. Gabriel Oghre managed to reduce the score to 21-7 by the end of the half. In the continuation of the game, the Wasps played better, but the Bears kept the advantage and reached the sixth victory of the season, and only the third in the last nine games.
Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam nakon pobede je izjavio: "It has been one of the toughest weeks I have known and I told the boys to go out there, express themselves and enjoy it, just make the most of it. "I hope to get some reinforcements next week and we will need some tight-head props from the academy as Max Lahiff suffered a calf injury at a time when we are without Kyle Sinckler and John Afoa. "It is a big win for us. After we lost at Worcester last week, the players called a meeting. They were annoyed that we had wasted so many chances through individual errors and were determined to front up against Wasps, which they did."
Defending Champions Harlequins break a bad run
The Harlequins achieved an important victory at Sixways against the Worchester Warriors 29-21. Danny Care became Quins' all-time leading try scorer with his 100th try for the South West Londoners. At half time, the result was a draw 14-14. In the second half, the Harlequins took control of the game and achieved a valuable victory. Tabai Matson said after the game: "We haven't won here in five visits and it was a fantastic challenge for the guys. I'm delighted that they stuck it out to sneak home in the last 10 minutes."When Danny Care was absent for those 10 minutes, it was really hard and it was a magnificent effort to keep our line intact. "Their kicking game was better than ours and we gave them scoring opportunities but I'm really pleased that despite playing a very young side we came away with a win."
Leicester and Exeter win
The Leicester Tigers continue to have great results and beat Glouchester Rugby 35-23 in 18 rounds. The guests of the current leader were tormented, but they did not manage to record their fourth consecutive victory in the Premiership. Steve Borthwick was pleased with the win "Gloucester are a really good team, who really stretched us in that period before half-time so it was a tough old game. "I thought we were in control when we took a 14-6 lead but Gloucester are a smart side and were able to come back and put us under pressure. "In the first half it was two good teams trying to work each other out so we needed to be close to near our best to get the win."
The last game of the eighteenth round was played on Sunday and Exeter Chiefs defeated Northampton Saints 34-31 at Franklin's Gardens. With this dramatic victory brought to them by captain Joe Simmonds with a successful penalty in the 80th minute, Exeter entered the top 4. Exeter won this game after falling behind 17-28. After this victory, the guest coach Ali Hepher was satisfied after the great victory, noting that the team recorded several close defeats during the season and now luck was on their side. "We've lost four games this season with very late scores, so we are owed a few."It was a day for attacks with lots of breaks and in the end our spirit came through. "It's hugely exciting to come away at this time of year with a bunch of youngsters and get a big win for us."
Premiership 19th Round
FRIDAY 4TH MARCH
SATURDAY 5TH MARCH
SUNDAY 6TH MARCH
Six Nations Third Round Review
The third round of the Six Nations Championship was played last weekend. It is now clear that Wales have no chance of defending the title from last year as they suffered another defeat, this time from England. France played another great game and beat Scotland without any major problems. As expected, Italy suffered another convincing defeat.
The French are better than the Scots, England beat Wales.
France continued a series of great games in the "Six Nations" rugby tournament and are the only ones to have the maximum effect. The French reached the third victory against Scotland with the result 36:17. The home team was equal in the first half, they missed the chance to go on vacation with an advantage. France defended themselves and then left with Fickou's try at 19:10. In the continuation, the tricolors quickly went to plus 16 and routinely kept the advantage. Defenders of the Welsh title lost almost all chances to defend the throne. In the derby, the Islands were defeated by England 23:19. The English led all the time, Wales only managed to mitigate the defeat in the very finish.
Ireland declassified Italy
In the last match of the third round of the Six Nations Cup, Ireland justified its role as the favorite against Italy by winning 57: 6 and thus remained in the race for the title. As expected, the Irish justified the role of favorites against the weakest team in the competition. The home team started aggressively and already in the third minute Carbery scored an try. In the 13th minute, the Italians responded by scoring Padovani by three points and reducing it to 7:3. However, in the 18th minute, the Azurians had an additional difficult job, as Faiva received a red card and the guests practically played with a player less for an hour. The Irish took advantage of this and achieved try after try. He was led by Lowry and Love who scored two tries (10 points each) and one each was added by O’Mahony, Baird, and Treadwell.
Ireland thus won a maximum of five points, which can be extremely important in the fight for the title. Ireland broke into second place with those five points, and two rounds before the end, they have only three points less than the leader of France, and one more than England, which they will play in the next round on March 12.
France has 14 points, Ireland is second with 11, and England is third with 10 points.
Round 4 fixtures
Friday 11 March 2022
Wales vs. France (8pm; Principality Stadium, Cardiff; BBC/S4C)