Roundup: Kiwis in Europe

By Campbell Burnes

Gareth Anscombe. Photo / Getty Images.
Gareth Anscombe. Photo / Getty Images.

Cardiff Blues may have endured an up and down season in the Guinness PRO12, but they won a crucial 56-8 decision over Treviso on the weekend to keep them in the hunt for a top six finish.

At the heart of their success were former Steelers and Hurricanes second five Rey Lee-Lo, who scored a try, and inside him Gareth Anscombe, 24, and now with six Wales caps to his name, who slotted five goals. How the other Blues, based in Auckland, could do with his direction and class right now. Jarrad Hoeta came off the bench for Cardiff, while Jayden Hayward, one of five Kiwis in the opposition, kicked a penalty goal for Treviso.

Scarlets are flying the Welsh flag in the PRO12, with Wayne Pivac's Scarlets overcoming Brendon Leonard's Ospreys 25-16. Michael Collins, Regan King and Hadleigh Parkes again featured in the Scarlets' backline.

Phil Burleigh's Edinburgh edged Boris Stankovich's Dragons 16-15, while Grayson Hart's Glasgow defeated Ulster 27-17, with Sean Reidy and Nick Williams appearing for the latter.

Pat Lam's Connacht remained top of the standings with four rounds to play in the regular season after a tight 7-6 win over Leinster. Tom McCartney, Nathan White and Bundee Aki, who has played every game in 2015-16, all started for Connacht, while Isa Nacewa (fullback) and Hayden Triggs (lock) turned out for Leinster.

In England's Aviva Premiership, a double by No 8 Thomas Waldrom was insufficient as his Exeter Chiefs lost 36-18 to Saracens.

No 10s Jimmy Gopperth and Mike Delany both slotted four goals, but it was Gopperth's Wasps who defeated Delany's Newcastle 34-20 this morning.

Bryce Heem was on the right wing as his Worcester held off London Irish 12-6. Bath beat Gloucester, with Kiwis Tom Marshall, John Afoa, Jeremy Thrush in the mix, 17-12.

Sale Sharks, who fielded Sam Tuitupou and Bryn Evans, scored a good 27-20 win over Leicester Tigers.

Four goals from the trusty left boot of Ben Botica was not enough for Harlequins, who lost 29-23 to Northampton and the Pisi brothers.

In France's Top 14, Toulon, with Tom Taylor at second five, upset Racing-Metro 21-20 in Paris. Dan Carter also suited up at No 12, and kicked five goals, while Chris Masoe was at No 8.

A try to hooker Hikairo Forbes could not prevent La Rochelle falling 39-23 at Grenoble.

Starting for the victors were Tino Nemani (14), Nigel Hunt (12), Rory Grice (8) and Steven Setephano (6).

Conrad Smith and Colin Slade helped Pau to a 25-6 win over Oyonnax, while David Smith's Castres lost 23-22 to Brive. George Tilsley copped a yellow card in Agen's 45-21 loss to Montpellier. Clermont, with Hosea Gear on the right wing, won 24-19 against Bordeaux-Begles, who fielded Peter Saili, Luke Braid and Hugh Chalmers (off the bench) in their loose trio.

This morning Toulouse belted Stade Francais 36-3. Luke McAlister kicked a goal from No 10, while Corey Flynn started at hooker for the victors. Paul Williams was at centre for Stade.

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