Hamilton gives Tigers reason to smile
September 13, 2010
Scott Hamilton scored his third try of the season against Exeter © Getty Images
Round two of the Aviva Premiership again provided plenty of action as several of the league's big guns got off and running - but how does the land lie in ESPNscrum's Premiership Fantasy Rugby?
Leicester and Saracens, last season's finalists, bounced back from opening day defeats as Exeter and Sale were beaten at Welford Road and Vicarage Road respectively. Kiwi wing Scott Hamilton was again on target for the Tigers, scoring his third try in two games, while Jeremy Staunton slotted his kicks for a personal game haul of 11 points. Mark Foster scored his second try in as many games for the Chiefs but was upstaged this week by midfielder Phil Dollman, whose brace puts him on 19 game points after the opening couple of fixtures.
It was two members of Saracens' front-row union who hit the headlines as Sale were beaten 28-13, with the irrepressible Schalk Brits being joined on the scoresheet by Deon Carstens. Brits has now bagged two tries in two for 14 game points - although he left the field with a head knock on Sunday. Sarries wing David Strettle also notched a try after coming off the bench - a possible sign of things to come.
Northampton's prolific wing Chris Ashton opened his account for the new season as they beat Harlequins 20-16 at the Stoop - where his skipper Dylan Hartley provided the winning try. Harlequins centre George Lowe scored their only try, making it a productive opening fortnight with 14 individual points.
Newcastle fly-half Jimmy Gopperth made his first start of the season as they beat Wasps 29-17 at Kingston Park on Friday night. Tom Varndell was again on the scoresheet for the visitors but the headlines were reserved for Gopperth, last season's Golden Boot winner, as he kicked five penalties and a conversion. Redford Pennycook and Tim Swinson scored tries for the home side.
At the Recreation ground, Olly Barkley slotted five kicks while Nick Abenanon scored a try as Bath beat London Irish 20-13. Youngster Jonathan Joseph scored the Exiles' try but there was trouble for anyone who had selected Samoan Powerhouse George Stowers in their back-row as he was sent off for a swinging arm - losing two game points in the process. Ryan Lamb's promising start to the season continued however, with the playmaker having laid on three tries so far as well as landing eight kicks.
There were more front-row heroics at Kingsholm on Saturday, where Scotland international prop Alasdair Dickinson scored a solo try, while No.8 Luke Narraway and centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu also scored five-pointers before Nicky Robinson kicked the winning points with a 78th minute penalty. Leeds fly-half Chris Lewis-Pratt scored 12 game points in his first start of the season, picking up a try as well as three penalties and a conversion.
"It does sometimes get tough as you get older, but there's nothing else I'd rather do." Tom Hamilton talks to fly-half Dan Carter
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds