Turner’s turning up trumps, Exiles are excellent but Bay watch isn’t pretty...
It was something of a low key weekend for Welsh rugby all round, with European semi-finals involving two regions just around the corner.
But it didn’t stop a plethora of Welsh winners and losers being thrown up.
We give you the pick of the bunch... been achieving in the round ball game.
Heading to Turner’s side on Saturday, they had won 26 out of 27 games and the title was already theirs. Back in December, Ampthill were crushed 63-14 at Coventry but on Saturday in the return game they overturned the tables spectacularly to win 22-10.
“After our cave-in at Butts Arena before Christmas, this was always a game firmly in our sights,” said Turner.
“To a man the team and the bench were outstanding. We followed out game plan and although behind at half time stuck at it. The players deserve huge credit for beating a team as good as Coventry.”
AFTER their free-fall from the second tier Greene King IPA Championship to the ninth division of the English game London & SE Division Herts/ Middlesex One in one fell swoop, there’s some good news at last for the Exiles.
It’s not exactly a phoenix rising from the ashes of their welldocumented money worries that saw the professional arm of London Welsh fall into liquidation, but they are on an upward curve.
And they rounded off their title-winning Herts/Middlesex Division One campaign in style on Saturday with an 80-0 rout of Watford.
It was their 21st win from 22 games this term with the only blot on the season coming back in October when they lost 17-7 at UCS Old Boys, who would only go on to finish 10th in the table.
For London Welsh, however, it was a kick up the backside needed to go on and record some pretty hefty wins to make the long journey back to former glories in the Greene King IPA Championship and Aviva Premiership a successful one.
BEING named man of the match for Saracens is somewhere very close to winning World Rugby’s player of the year gong, given the embarrassment of riches Mark McCall has at his disposal at Allianz Park.
But on Sunday the Lions and Wales star achieved just that in the No.15 jersey as Saracens’ 41-6 drowning of Bath saw a ticket booked to the Aviva Premiership play-offs for the ninth season in a row.
And Williams was very much the fulcrum of the win, making a lung-busting 13 carries and 208 metres made.
He also got a try and helped make on for scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth as Sarries set out their stall to be Aviva Premiership kings having lost the crown to Exeter Chiefs last season.
LLANYBYDDER AND TUMBLE
UNFORTUNATELY 120 points scored in a Welsh grassroots rugby match is not as eye-popping as it once was.
But the Division Two West clash between Llanybydder and Tumble on Saturday is unlikely to ever see its like again as the home side piled up 56 of those points only for Tumble to reply with 64 of their own.
In a match like this there’s no losers and the home side deserve a huge amount of credit after being 38-17 down at half-time only to lead 48-38 with 10 minutes to go.
It’s not going to stop Llanybydder facing the dreaded drop from Division Two as they are 12 points adrift of Amman United and 19 behind Fishguard.
DINAH Washington and Esther Phillips may have smashed the US charts with their versions of ‘What a Difference a Day Makes’, but maybe North and his Northampton teammates can rework the lyrics following their epic Aviva Premiership win at Leicester Tigers on the weekend.
For a week after being embarrassed 63-13 by Saracens at Franklin’s Gardens, Saints ended an 11-year wait for victory at their great East Midlands rivals.
And a week after only earning a three out of 10 rating from his local Northampton newspaper for the performance against Saracens, the Wales wing was a seven this time around.
Though the only concern for the player heading back to Wales this summer was probably the bloodied face he picked up in an heroic defensive display.
NOSTRADAMUS would be at a loss to explain the turnaround in fortunes at the Cardiff Blues, had the 16th century French physician and reputed seer lived 500 years later and been a keen observer of events at the Arms Park.
Wilson’s region had started the season with three defeats in a row, and after announcing his intention to leave, the chances of success in the months ahead looked slim.
Yet here we are, seven months later, with the Blues having secured qualification for next season’s Champions Cup and preparing for a home European Challenge Cup semi-final. Wilson has built a successful season out of the rubble of September. It has been some effort.
For he has managed to get the best out of a group of players who have known for months that their boss would not be around next term.
If the input of Wilson and backs coach Matt Sherratt is obvious, then so is the work in defence of Shaun Edwards, who has been working with the Blues on a consultancy basis. On Saturday against Southern Kings, the capital city region were 38 points to the good and still doing all they could to keep the hosts out.
WITH a cash-laden squad and an ambitious billionaire owner, it takes a brave man to accept a coaching job at Bristol these days.
It’s something of a no-win situation even though the west country club racked up 20 of them from 21 games this season to earn promotion back
> Blues coach Danny Wilson, who leaves the region in the summer, has masterminded an impressive turnaround in form at the Arms Park this season
> Liam Williams was the star man for Saracens last weekend; quite an achievement given their array of stars