Kiwis in Europe: Carter leads Racing into semifinals

By Campbell Burnes

Dan Carter kicked Racing into the Champions Cup semi-finals by knocking out reigning champions Toulon in the quarter-finals. Photo / Getty Images
Dan Carter kicked Racing into the Champions Cup semi-finals by knocking out reigning champions Toulon in the quarter-finals. Photo / Getty Images

Four of European club rugby's heavyweights - including Dan Carter's Racing-Metro - will do battle in the Champions Cup semifinals after the weekend's quarter-finals action.

Carter kicked two goals for his club in their 19-16 victory over Toulon at Colombes, but then handed over the kicking duties after tweaking his knee. No 8 Chris Masoe and wing Joe Rokocoko also started for the Parisians, while Ma'a Nonu and Tom Taylor (off the bench) fronted for Toulon.

Racing-Metro will now face Leicester, coached by Carter's old Crusaders and All Blacks teammate Aaron Mauger after the Tigers walloped Stade Francais 41-13. Wing Telusa Veainu scored another try, while loose forwards Brendon O'Connor and Mike FitzGerald, plus replacement halfback Jono Kitto, also appeared.

Saracens defeated Northampton Saints 29-20, ending the title hopes of Ken Pisi - who scored a try - George Pisi, Kahn Fotuali'i, Teimana Harrison, and Michael Paterson.
A brace to fullback Charlie Piutau was decisive in Wasps' 25-24 win over Exeter Chiefs.

Jimmy Gopperth kicked four goals from first five, while wing Frank Halai also crossed for a try. Siale Piutau (12) and Nathan Hughes (8) were other New Zealanders to feature. Thomas Waldrom battled valiantly and scored two tries for the Chiefs.

In the second tier Challenge Cup quarter-finals, Anthony Tuitavake's Montpellier upset Sale Sharks 25-19. Lock Bryn Evans, No 8 TJ Ioane and second five Johnny Leota started for the Sharks.

Ben Botica kicked five goals as his Harlequins defeated London Irish 38-30. Sean Maitland scored a try from the wing for the Exiles, while former Auckland lock William Lloyd also played.

Nick Crosswell, who suited up at lock, and his Dragons edged Gloucester, who included Tom Marshall and John Afoa, 23-21.

There were eight of New Zealand rugby origin in action as Grenoble beat Connacht 33-32. The French club had Tino Nemani, Nigel Hunt, Rory Grice, Steven Setephano and Sona Taumalolo. Connacht played Bundee Aki, Tom McCartney and George Naoupu.

The European semifinals will take place from April 22-24. This weekend sees the resumption of the Top 14, PRO12 and Aviva Premiership.

- NZ Herald

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