Eagles Abroad-January 11, 2012
It was another big week for Americans abroad and the action couldn’t have been better for them this last weekend than in England. Samu Manoa started and played 80 minutes in Northampton’s 24-3 victory over league leaders Harlequins. More importantly however, he was named Man of the Match for his outstanding performance! For evidence of his great play, check out this video of Manoa laying down a viscious tackle (which can be seen at about the 1:20 mark):
Chris Wyles also had a big week, starting, playing 80 minutes, and scoring a fantastic try for the Saracens as they topped Bath 26-19. With the victory, Saracens climb ever closer to the top of the Aviva Premiership table and have put themselves in a great position to focus on their upcoming clash with Biarritz in the Heineken Cup. Hayden Smith was still out for Saracens but may play in South Africa this week against Stellenbosch University (Saracens are in South Africa for the week). Chris Biller did not dress for Bath. Video of Wyles’s try can be seen here:
In the RaboDirectPro12 league, Tommy Seymour returned to action after a long layoff and was immediately inserted into the starting lineup for the Glasgow Warriors. He played the whole match as the Warriors lost to Scarlets 16-14.
Hanno Dirksen also started and saw 80 minutes as his Osprey’s lost narrowly to the Dragons 21-20.
Mike MacDonald started and played 72 minutes, while Robbie Shaw came on as substitute in Leeds 42-23 victory over Moseley. The win was bittersweet for MacDonald however as he picked up an injury that will require surgery this week. The injury isn’t season ending but it should keep him out of action for a while.
Down in London, Shawn Pittman was all over the pitch for London Welsh as they squeaked by against Rotherham 21-20. Pittman did about everything but score. He caused turnovers, drew penalties, and came up with some great defensive plays.
It wasn’t as good for Andrew Suniula as he was once again out of the lineup of the Cornish Pirates, who beat Nottingham 26-24.
In France, Scott LaValla put his new contract to work coming on and playing 21 second half minutes for Stade Francais as they beat Castres 38-21.
Taku Ngwenya continues to start and get 80 minutes for Biarritz. After struggling for most of the season, Biarritz have started to pick up their game and post a few victories, like this last week’s 15-6 victory over Agen. Kevin Swiryn is out injured and did not play for Agen.
In Montpellier, Seta Tuilevuka continues to bide his time until he can see some action. He has battled injuries for most of the year and did not play as his team beat Brive 23-9.
Down a rung in France, Inaki Basuari came off the bench and played 13 minutes in Perigueux’s 19-8 loss to Pay d’Aix.
Across the globe, Todd Clever continues to find creative ways of finding the pitch, starting in his second consecutive game at lock for Suntory, who were victorious against the NEC Green Rockets.