Defending champions Saracens have reached the last eight at the European Champions Cup this season. The back to back title winners defeated Northampton Saints over the weekend to get their campaign back on track and as Wasps defeated Ulster on Sunday, their spot was confirmed.
Saracen’s own their victory to Wasps victory at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday as it made them the third-best second-placed side. They are now the only English side to have made this next stage but they face a tough clash against Leinster away. In other fixtures, Scarlets face La Rochelle while Munster play Toulon and Clermont Auvergne meet with Racing 92.
It is the third consecutive time that he wasps have won in their home turf since 2013. They defeated Newcastle falcons at Adams Park last Sunday. It is the 20th time that Newcastle has lost successively. Their last win away from home was in the 5th round of last season when they competed in Worcester.
Tom Varndell of the Wasps team made two tries, which contributed greatly to their win.
Before the interval, tries made by Varndell and James Gaskell led their team gain the lead, the score stood at 17-11. Newcastle’s Juan Pablo Socino’s penalties and Ruki Tipuna’s try was a befitting reply, but was not enough evidently.
But after the break, Newcastle was completely dominated by wasps, and Varndell and Rob Miller’s performance sealed their victory.
Newcastle is at the 11th place currently, they always intended to play a good game which they had and it was apparent from how much pressure they put the home team in.
The final score stood at 35-18.
Though the London wasps were the victors, but dean Richards, the director of Newcastle can arguably regarded as a better director than Dai Young, whose team’s performance can be regarded to be little better than satisfactory
Dai young said regarding the performance that their game was partly messy and he doesn’t consider it to be inspiring in any way though winning the game and getting as much bonus point as they can were their main objectives which they were able to secure.
He said that Newcastle were a very hard team to defeat, he also said that they should get all the credits for putting up and maintaining such a spirited performance till the end of the match.
Young admitted that his team’s performance was “shaky” and they were practically given quite a few opportunities to score and sure enough they did.
Nick Easter had been one of the most prolific performers for England over the years. In fact he was the last man to lead his nation into the Six Nations tournament as the winners. Easter had made his debut for England in 2007 Six Nations against Italy just one week after representing England Saxons. It did not take him much long to cement his place in the national side as he went on to represent England in each of their six World Cup games in 2007. The 2008 and 2009 seasons were not quite fruitful for Nick Easter as he suffered from a number of injuries. The 2011 season was the highest point of his career as far as the international matches were concerned. He was awarded the captaincy against Ireland in the Grand Slam deciding match. His campaign in 2012 was as shabby as his team’s performance. The famous comment that he made on the debacle did not go quite well with the Rugby Union and the fans. “That’s 35000 pounds down the toilet,” said he which led to some huge controversy in the press.
However Nick Easter has received humongous support from his club Harlequins in the worst part of his career. Even at thirty seven years of age he remains one of the major cogs in the wheel for his domestic club side. He was also given the responsibility of leading the side which lacked players like Chris Robshaw, Mike Brown and Danny Care. Conor O’Shea who is the boss of Harlequins has expressed his confidence in his veteran player. He believes that their star can still be in contention for a spot in the England national squad. The player himself remained doubtful about his own position and ability to do so. But he has to remain optimistic in order to make the big move.
Jonny Wilkinson and Brian O’Driscoll are the two players of legendary status bid adieu to the sport recently. It was a fitting conclusion to their careers as both of them ended on a winning note. Jonny Wilkinson became the third captain to win back to back European Cups joining the likes of Leicester’s Martin Johnson and Leinster’s Leo Cullen. Wilkinson’s team Toulon won the Heineken Cup thanks to some of his trademark moves on the field. He received a huge response from the crowd as every on stood on their feet and cheered their hero. His all important performance for England in 2003 had made him a superstar overnight. The last game that he played in his career was the final of the French Championship against Castres. The Toulon coach hailed his most trusted player adding the fact that he was successful in bringing a new dimension to the sport.
The greatest salutation that Jonny Wilkinson received was from his teammates. Each of them had the name of the legend stitched on the collar of their jerseys along with the message ‘Merci Jonny’. The club has already taken steps to ensure that the number 10 jersey which their talisman wore be retired from consideration. Toulon boss Bernard Laporte confirmed the news that Jonny will be a part of the coaching staff of the club from now onwards. Jonny spent five years at Toulon after leaving Newcastle Falcons. He himself was quoted saying that he had no regrets in the decision that he had to finally undertake. It was becoming difficult for him at his age to compete with the young and agile players. However he shall still remain in a league of his own as the youngsters will be looking up to him for inspiration. He might be seen in coaching jobs from now onwards.
Edward Griffiths, the chief of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club Saracens FC has blasted the Welsh Rugby Union or the WRU for being erratic during negotiations for the format of a new European competition.
An imminent announcement regarding a new European competition that will replace the Heineken Cup is expected which will bring to an end the long and bitter row over the future of the tournament.
And although Griffiths had a lot of praise for the Welsh regions, he had choice words for the WRU and its bosses.
He stated that he though some of the WRU’s behavior over the course of the negotiations had been erratic and unpredictable at best. However, he added that they might have come round and saw a bit of sense now as well.
The new European competition is expected to be organized by a company based in Switzerland rather than the ERC or the European Rugby Cup which was based in Dublin. It will consist of twenty teams compared to the 24 now and will also run a challenge cup and a development tournament alongside the major competition.
Although the Saracens FC boss did not personally appear in the peace talks, with Premiership Rugby representing the English clubs, he believes everyone should be happy with the outcome.
He stated that the Welsh regions had been very clear from the beginning about their plans and they deserve a lot of credit for sticking to their plans and not buckling under pressure from the WRU. And the Saracens FC chief thinks that the new competition will usher in a new age for European rugby and not consolidate the powers of the French or English clubs.
He hailed the efforts made by all those involved to return such a massive referendum in favor of the new tournament.
Mark McCall, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club Saracens FC has expressed his delight at a great performance by the Aviva Premiership leaders as they crushed a stubborn Gloucester Rugby side 29-8 away from home at Kingsholm.
McCall was particularly happy with his side’s showing in the first half adding that he thought that their showing in the first thirty minutes was as good as the team could have played in terms of their overall game. He mentioned that the set pieces were dominant, the intensity as well as their kicking game was a very high level and the team managed to combine all that with a good quality of rugby as well.
McCall went on to add that to go 19-0 up against a side like Gloucester Rugby, especially away from home takes some work and hailed his side’s showing as a great performance by any standards.
Saracens FC also managed to keep the hosts out even when they had two players sin binned and according to McCall, the team showed great togetherness, they fought for anything and everything and the very fact that they didn’t concede when they didn’t have two players on the field was absolutely outstanding.
He also added that the team has showed immense togetherness to follow up their performance against the Leicester Tigers before Christmas to follow it up with two away wins against tough teams like Gloucester Rugby and the Worcester Warriors inevitably shows their credentials as strong contenders for the title come May.
The London club won the Aviva Premiership title back in 2011 and if Saracens FC can hold on to their performances till the end of the season, then they will prove why the bookies tipped them as hot favorites to win the title again this season.