Irish heavyweights Munster and Leinster battled it out for the Magners League title. Again, the two top teams from the regular season standings prevailed and it is was Munster who were victorious at Thomond Park. Elsewhere in the Magners League the Ospreys and Ulster reached the semi-finals while Benetton Treviso will see their 10th place as a success in their debut season. Many Essentially clients impressed in this season's competition, most notably Ruan Pienaar (Magners League Player of the Season), Isa Nacewa (IRUPA Players' Player of the Year) and Richardt Strauss (IRUPA Nokia Unsung Hero). We also extend our congratulations to Dan Biggar who was this season's highest points scorer in the Magners League with 248. The Amlin Challenge Cup final promised to be a fantastic spectacle with two sides known for their running rugby going head to head. Harlequins eventually managed to narrowly beat Stade Francais at Cardiff City Stadium thanks to a last minute touchline conversion from Essentially's Nick Evans.The following day saw the Millennium stadium welcome Northampton Saints and Leinster in a mouth-watering encounter to decide who will be crowned champions of Europe. Leinster produced a fantastic second half display to beat Northampton 33-22, giving them their second Heineken Cup title in three years while Saints were unlucky to end the season without any silverware. We would like to congratulate all our clients who appeared in these games.With club's recruitment for 2011/2012 coming to a close, Essentially are looking forward to seeing all clients with new clubs testing themselves at pastures new. Here are a few to whet the appetite.Bakkies Botha will join Toulon's all-star roster, Nathan Hines is heading back to France's Top 14 with Clermont whilst Saints have snapped up England Saxons star Noah Cato and former England international Tom May.An interesting few months lie ahead with the Rugby World Cup just around the corner. We hope that the numerous Essentially clients heading to New Zealand have a great tournament and enjoy what is the pinnacle of any rugby player's career.ACTION IMAGES
SUMMER 2011WWW.ESSENTIALLYGROUP.COMCRICKET UPDATEThe start to 2011 saw Essentially's Ian Bell, Steve Finn and Chris Tremlett all play their parts in England's Ashes victory. All three played key roles in the series as England retained the Ashes, with Ian starring with bat in his hand while Finn and Tremlett picked up thirty-one Australian wickets between them. The T20 and one day series that followed was a little less successful for England but did see the emergence of a new star. Chris Woakes made his debut in the first T20 and scored a match winning nineteen off fifteen balls including a huge six off the lightening quick Shaun Tait. Chris then followed this performance with 6/45 in the fifth ODI to record the best ever bowling figures overseas for England. He also finished the series as England's leading wicket taker despite playing only three of the seven ODIs.Further congratulations go to Jade Dernbach who was called up to England's World Cup as a replacement player. Jade had an outstanding tour of the Caribbean with the England Lions and his selection was fully justified. The fact he was called up ahead of the more established Finn and Woakes is testament to the esteem in which Jade is held in by the selectors and an international debut is surely on the horizon this summer.Elsewhere in the UK, the county season is now underway with Essentially boasting the leading run scorer and leading wicket takers in four day cricket. Varun Chopra has been in prolific form, with two double hundreds already under his belt to lead the four day run scorers list by more than a hundred runs, whilst Woakes leads the wicket takers with twenty-four wickets. Elsewhere, Essentially's Stuart Meaker has started the season with a bang with sixteen wickets in only three championship appearances whilst Zander de Bruyn has settled nicely into life with Surrey with in excess of four hundred ACTION IMAGES championship runs.