Once again we start with the Autumn Internationals but not in Europe. Less well publicised than some of the other test series Spain, Zimbabwe and Namibia have been playing a Tri-Nations tournament in Windhoek; Cesar Sempere played as Spain won both matches in the series, the Namibian encounter being particularly close as Spain triumphed 38-37. In Lille and a little higher profile Ben Kayser came off the bench as France beat Argentina 39-22, Lucas Amorosino and Horacio Agulla started the match for the Argentines. In the UK Jim Hamilton was part of the Scotland XV that succumbed to Heyneke Meyer’s Springboks 21-10 at Murrayfield. Darren Morris’s Russian pack was again outmuscled as they went down to Canada 35-3 in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.
There was a battle of the former Tigers centres turned backs coaches as Diccon Edwards and Daryl Gibson coached the backs of a Championship XV and the Maori respectively. Jaime Hamilton is also on the coaching staff of the touring Maori who trounced the composite XV 52-21. Dante Mama got on the score sheet to give the second tier side an early lead but the result was never in doubt. Ben Pienaar started at number 8 and Calum Green came off the bench. Gibson was also confirmed as the new backs coach of the New South Wales Waratahs this week.
As Tigers were beating the Maori Dean Richards and John Wells’s Newcastle side were beating the touring Tongans 24-13.
In the second round of the LV Cup Adam Balding made his first start for London Welsh against former club Gloucester, Billy Twelvetrees started for the Cherry & Whites in the 46-20 trashing. Ian Nimmo featured from the bench as Newport lost at home to Northampton 30-20. Brian Smith brought his London Irish side to Welford Road, Ian Humphreys and George Skivington started as the Exiles were squeezed out 22-15. 4 Ex-Tigers faced off as Wasps beat Worcester 28-19, Tom Varndell and Matt Everard started for the home side as Richard De Carpentier started for the Warriors and Andy Goode featured from the bench.
Pro D2 in France; Phil Christophers played his 9th game of the season as Aix-en-Provence won 28-19 at home to Dax. Down in Federale 3 Corey Venus has been playing for Lons Le Saunier. Across the Alps in Italy Dave Young continued his ever present season for Lazio in the Excellenza, unfortunately they slipped to another defeat 25-19 at home to Petraca. In Serie A1 Mitchell Turner has been turning out for Romagna RFC starting their first 3 games and featuring from the bench in the next 3, they find themselves in 9th with two wins to their name.
In National 1 Ollie Smith’s Esher side lost out in a Friday Night derby to Rosslyn Park with Charlie Walker playing the last ten minutes. Scott Bemand’s Loughborough Students chalked up another win as they get used to the intensity of the third tier, they won away at Richmond 25-24 as Joe Atkinson started but Tom Bliss was an unused substitute. Mike Gillick and Rob Conquest were both in the Cambridge side suffered a 31-46 reverse at home to Old Albanians.
National League 2 North Stourbridge maintained Britain’s only 100% record in dramatic fashion as they required a 75th minute penalty try to not only win the match but also seal the bonus point. Rob and Will Hurrell played the whole game for the Saxons as they aim to bounce straight back to National League 1. Luke Veebel and Marc Howgate played for Leicester Lions as they lost out to the other promotion chasers Darlington MP.
In the 5th tier and National League 3 Midlands Ex-Academy captain Mitch Culpin pulled the strings from fly half as Hinckley saw off Scunthorpe 35-11. Connor Smith bagged a brace for South Leicester in their bonus point win at home to Mansfield.