Fixtures - Top Bar

Vincent Koch, Zach Mercer and George Worth top the Anglo-Welsh Cup Opta Rankings

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

A slew of new heroes emerged as the Anglo-Welsh Cup returned with a bang last weekend and England Under-20s No.8 Zach Mercer showed why it was not all bad news for Bath Rugby in the opening round.

In a thrilling contest at the Rec, Leicester Tigers held off a brave comeback from Bath and headed back to the East Midlands with a 21-20 victory in the bag.

But it was not for the want of trying by Mercer, who according to the Opta stats churned out 19 carries and 83 yards – beating three defenders in the process – and even won four lineouts in an all-action display.

 


Leicester took the opportunity to award Fred Tuilagi his senior debut as the back-rower became the eighth member of his family to pull on a Tigers jersey in a competitive match.

Click here for the latest fixtures and results from the Anglo-Welsh Cup

And on his first senior start, full-back George Worth racked up 113 metres for Leicester – pipping Worcester Warriors and England man Chris Pennell (105) to lead all players in the round – as well as three offloads.

Kingsholm was treated to a spectacle on Saturday as remarkably, from 25-5 down, David Halaifonua’s 79th-minute try sealed a 36-32 win for Gloucester Rugby over reigning champions Saracens.

There would perhaps have been even more tries if not for the number of tackles put in by Gloucester duo Freddie Clarke and Dan Thomas (both 18) and Saracens prop Vincent Koch (19).

Thomas also carried the ball into contact 15 times and created two turnovers while among Gloucester’s backs division, Mat Protheroe was the standout – he beat a round-best six defenders and gained 85 metres.

A superb second-half performance saw Harlequins down Exeter Chiefs by 29-15 at the Stoop and it was Charlie Matthews who ruled the skies in south west London.

The lock claimed the ball at the lineout an eye-catching 11 times – three clear of the next man, Sale Sharks’ Lou Reed, on the weekend – while Dave Ward, playing in the back row, was his usual threat in the loose with a joint best three offloads.

 

Bristol Rugby threatened a late comeback at Sixways but Worcester Warriors denied them a first win of the season as some effective running rugby sealed the game 31-25.

Click here for the latest Anglo-Welsh Cup tables and an explanation of the format of the tournament

Four Worcester players – Pennell, Josh Adams (95), Matt Cox (68) and Max Stelling (59) – all finished inside the round’s top 20 players for metres made.

Northampton Saints came away with an impressive 24-16 win over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park and they dominated the lineout thanks to the old and the new.

Star flanker Jamie Gibson stole the ball three times and 21-year-old lock Jordan Onojaife did so twice, while Tom Collins also played a part in securing possession with two turnovers.

Elsewhere, though Wasps lost to Sale by 17-13, 19-year-old back-rower Jack Willis showed that his side do not lack for depth in the back row as his round best three turnovers was only matched by Worcester’s Andrew Kitchener and Bristol’s Olly Robinson.

Tackles
Vincent Koch (Saracens) 19
Freddie Clarke, Daniel Thomas (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Gray (Harlequins) 18
Will Collier (Harlequins) 16
Harry Wells (Leicester Tigers), Joel Conlon, Scott Spurling (Saracens), Andrew Kitchener (Worcester), Jack Willis (Wasps) 15

Carries
Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby) 19
Alex Tait (Newcastle Falcons) 17
Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors), Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers), Matt Cox (Worcester Warriors) 16

Metres made
George Worth (Leicester Tigers) 113
Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors) 105
Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors) 95

Defenders beaten
Mat Protheroe (Gloucester Rugby), Charlie Walker, Charlie Mulchrone (Harlequins) 6
Andrew Fenby (Saracens), Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers) 5
Ben Spencer (Saracens), Ollie Thorley, Lloyd Evans (Gloucester Rugby) 4

Turnovers won
Jack Willis (Wasps), Andrew Kitchener (Worcester Warriors), Olly Robinson 3
Mat Luamanu, Dave Ward (Harlequins), Will Safe, Daniel Thomas (Gloucester Rugby), Tom Collins (Northampton Saints), Dewald Potgieter, Matt Cox (Worcester Warriors), Mark Jennings (Sale Sharks), Beno Obano (Bath Rugby), Will Evans (Leicester Tigers) 2

The second round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup kicks off this weekend. For full details of the tournament and tickets for the Final at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 19 March see www.new-heroes.com

Latest News

Newcastle Falcons sign Josh and Joel Matavesi

Newcastle Falcons’ ambitious recruitment plans for the 2017-18 season have advanced with the news that Fijian international Josh Matavesi and…

Josh Matavesi

Darren Allinson to re-join Bath Rugby on a two-year deal

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce that scrum-half Darren Allinson has agreed a deal to re-join the Club on a…

Darren Allinson

Northampton Saints confirms coaching structure

Northampton Saints has today confirmed the club’s new coaching structure for the 2017/18 season onwards. The structure both builds on…

Phil Dowson

Denny Solomona stars in remarklable Aviva Premiership Rugby weekend

The weekend’s remarkable action saw a number of Aviva Premiership Rugby records tumble, with Sale Sharks wing Denny Solomona leading…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

RFU Disciplinary: Steve Diamond

Steve Diamond of Sale Sharks will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Exeter Chiefs’ Thomas Waldrom eyeing trophy charge

Exeter Chiefs No. 8 Thomas Waldrom insists his sights are firmly set on bringing silverware back to Sandy Park this…

Exeter Chiefs' Thomas Waldrom believes his side are well placed to target silverware this season

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Steve Diamond heaped praise on his home-grown Sale Sharks squad after they ran in four tries to claim a bonus-point…

Sam James, 22, was starting his 13th Aviva Premiership Rugby game of the season.

Bath Rugby set to bring the entertainment on and off the pitch at Twickenham Stadium for ‘The Clash’

Bath Rugby have announced that The Clash, one of the biggest domestic sporting events of 2017, will see an incredible…

Bath Rugby with the Wurzels

Match Reaction: Sale Sharks 34 Wasps 28

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond heaped praise on history-maker Denny Solomona as his hat-trick laid the foundations for…

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 46 Northampton Saints 31

Sonatane Takulua scored a hat-trick as Newcastle Falcons staged a roaring second-half comeback to defeat Northampton Saints in a pulsating Aviva…

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Match Report: Sale Sharks 34 Wasps 28

Denny Solomona delivered one of the best individual displays ever seen at the AJ Bell Stadium as his hat-trick helped…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Under 18s Academy Finals Day – Reaction: Reffell delight at Saracens progress

Sean Reffell is confident Saracens Academy U18s have improved beyond recognition despite being beaten 36-26 by Worcester Warriors at the…

700001073_tm_7171_d6698f691e8f9dc1b10b6f49ee601ffe.jpg

Under 18s Academy Finals Day – Reaction: Rigby and Warriors gave everything

Young prop Nick Rigby admitted he could not have asked for anything more after finishing the Premiership Rugby U18 Academy…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 50 Bristol Rugby 17

Aaron Mauger has backed his Leicester Tigers side to make the top four and qualify for the Aviva Premiership Rugby…

Telusa Veainu scored a brilliant first-half try on his return to Leicester Tigers colours

Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 22 Harlequins 12

Bath Rugby director of rugby Todd Blackadder admits his side were not at their best but was still delighted to…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library