Kiwis in Europe: NZers impress as Toulouse win again

By Campbell Burnes

Hooker Corey Flynn scored a try for Toulouse. Photo / Getty
Hooker Corey Flynn scored a try for Toulouse. Photo / Getty

Toulouse is presenting a solid case for being the in-form French Top 14 team as the business end of the season fast approaches.

One of the great clubs of Europe hammered neighbours Agen 52-19 to send them back into Pro D2 for next season. Hooker Corey Flynn scored a try for the victors, lining up alongside the likes of Census Johnston, Joe Tekori, Luke McAlister and Paul Perez. George Tilsley played on the left wing for Agen. Toulouse is still only fifth on the French table, but has played some good rugby since Christmas and has not lost in over a month.

Toulon, with Ma'a Nonu scoring a try, beat Castres 17-7, for whom David Smith and Rudi Wulf both appeared.

Racing-Metro was clearly keeping its powder dry for this Saturday's European Champions Cup final against Saracens.

The Parisians lost 33-27 at Brive, with 37-year-old lock Ross Filipo the only Kiwi suiting up.

Zak Taulafo's Stade Francais cut loose, trouncing hapless Oyonnax 69-8. Clermont remains on top of the log following a 16-10 win at Pau, Benson Stanley and Fritz Lee in the starting XV, while Colin Slade kicked two goals for Pau. Conrad Smith played centre and Daniel Ramsay lock.

La Rochelle comfortably defeated Anthony Tuitavake's Montpellier 36-10. Hikairo Forbes, French tighthead prop and former Wesley College product Uini Atonio, and Alofa Alofa all featured for La Rochelle, destination for Victor Vito.

Three goals to Simon Hickey helped Bordeaux-Begles to a 20-14 away win at Grenoble. Hickey's 2014 Blues teammate Luke Braid wore the No 7 jersey.

Leinster topped the final table in the Guinness PRO12 league, crushing Treviso 50-19, with wing Isa Nacewa contributing a try and four goals, while lock Hayden Triggs came off the bench. Jayden Hayward kicked two conversions for Treviso.

Connacht sealed second position and a home semifinal fixture with a 14-7 win over Glasgow, whom it will face again on May 21. Midfielder Bundee Aki was amongst the tries. Tom McCartney and Jake Heenan also started for Pat Lam's side.

Mils Muliaina signed off from Italian club Zebre with a 47-22 win over the Dragons, who included his 2014 Chiefs teammate Nick Crosswell.

Ulster, who will play Leinster in the semis in just under a fortnight, won 46-26 at Ospreys, with Jared Payne and Sean Reidy in the mix.

Munster's Francis Saili scored a try in the 31-15 victory over Hadleigh Parkes' Scarlets, while Nasi Manu returned at No 6 for Edinburgh in the 17-21 defeat to Cardiff Blues. Rey Lee-Lo scored a try for the Blues, and Gareth Anscombe added three conversions.

In the final round of the Aviva Premiership, Harlequins had a bad dress rehearsal for Friday's European Challenge Cup final in Lyon, falling heavily to a 62-24 at home to Exeter. Winston Stanley scored a try and Nick Evans and Ben Botica shared four goals, but Thomas Waldrom's Chiefs ran rampant.

Former Rotorua Boys' High First XV skipper Teimana Harrison, just included in England's training squad, was at No 8 as his Northampton Saints scored a 28-20 away win at Gloucester. George Pisi scored a try for Saints.

Bath beat Leicester, already into the semis, 38-27, with former Bay of Plenty halfback Jono Kitto coming off the pine for the Tigers. Former Taranaki No 8 Samuela Vunisa scored a try for Saracens in their 43-19 win over Bryce Heem's Worcester.

Nili Latu's hat-trick of tries was to no avail as Sale Sharks sealed a Champions Cup berth for 2016-17 with a 21-15 defeat of his Newcastle Falcons. The Sharks started Johnny Leota, Bryn Evans and TJ Ioane.

Charlie Piutau scored a try and Jimmy Gopperth slotted a conversion as Wasps took out London Irish 38-12. The Exiles had Ben Franks and Asaeli Tikoirotuma in the starting XV.

- NZ Herald

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