Roundup: Kiwis in Europe

Leinster are again among the front-runners in the Guinness PRO12 and the highly respected Isa Nacewa is leading the way. Photo / Getty Images.
Leinster are again among the front-runners in the Guinness PRO12 and the highly respected Isa Nacewa is leading the way. Photo / Getty Images.

Leinster are again among the front-runners in the Guinness PRO12 and the highly respected Isa Nacewa is leading the way.

The 34-year-old former Fiji, Blues and Auckland utility is performing well on the left wing, scoring a try and kicking two goals as the Irish province defeated close rivals Munster 25-14 over the weekend.

Another former Blues player, halfback Jamison Gibson-Park, scored a try off the bench for Leinster. Munster No 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, filling Ronan O'Gara's old boots, kicked two conversions.

Ulster is at the top of the standings, but suffered a 30-25 away reverse to defending champs Connacht. Fullback Jared Payne, yet another former Blue, scored a try for Ulster while flanker Sean Reidy came off the pine.

Connacht fielded Bundee Aki at centre and Jake Heenan at openside flanker. Former Auckland threequarter Stacey Ili came off the bench for Pat Lam's side.

Nasi Manu and John Hardie were involved in Edinburgh's 45-10 victory over Filo Paulo's Treviso, while Ma'afu Fia's Ospreys defeated Cardiff Blues 46-24, despite four goals to Gareth Anscombe.

Hadleigh Parkes and his Scarlets edged Nick Crosswell and his Dragons 31-27, while Grayson Hart's Glasgow Warriors beat Zebre 33-28.

In the Aviva Premiership, Sean Maitland's Saracens, the defending champs, beat Wasps 30-14. Jimmy Gopperth kicked three goals for the latter.

Thomas Waldrom, who continues to lead the carry stats, scored a try from No 8 in the Exeter Chiefs' 27-27 stalemate with Gloucester, for whom Manu Samoa and former Hurricanes hooker Motu Matu'u, Joe Latta and Willi Heinz were all replacements.

Nick Evans returned from injury to slot a penalty goal in Harlequins' 20-9 win over the Northampton Saints and their five New Zealanders, including England rep Teimana Harrison.

Fullback Telusa Veainu scored a try in Leicester Tigers' 34-13 defeat of Jackson Willison's Worcester Warriors. Jono Kitto appeared at halfback, Brendon O'Connor at No 7 and Mike FitzGerald on the other side of the scrum for the Tigers, for whom Aaron Mauger is making a good impression as coach.

The coaching team of Todd Blackadder and Tabai Matson at Bath is also making a good impression, as their club shut out Sale 30-3, with halfback Kahn Fotuali'i, who worked with both men at the Crusaders, scoring a try and generally seeing more starting action than he did at Northampton.

Mike Delany kicked two goals as Newcastle edged winless Bristol 19-14.

In the French Top 14, La Rochelle, with Victor Vito, Jason Eaton and Uini Atonio and Hikairo Forbes all in the pack, moved up to second on the log with a 17-17 draw with Toulon.

Hugh Chalmers' Bordeaux-Begles narrowly beat Brive 27-25, while Ben Botica, at fullback, kicked seven goals as his Montpellier beat David Smith's Castres.

Joe Rokocoko's stressful week ended with his Racing-Metro club downing Stade Francais 29-22 in the Parisian derby. Dan Carter did not play, but Casey Laulala, Anthony Tuitavake, Chris Masoe and Ben Tameifuna did. Paul Williams started at No 12 for Stade.

Tries to Sona Taumalolo, Steven Setephano, and Nigel Hunt saw lowly Grenoble home to a 44-16 victory over Bayonne, who had four Kiwis in their line-up, including former All Blacks Tanerau Latimer.

Six goals from No 12 Tom Taylor were not quite enough for Pau who lost 27-22 at Lyon.

Some 11 Kiwis played in this encounter, including former All Blacks Conrad Smith, Colin Slade (Pau) and Rudi Wulf (Lyon) and former Wallaby Mike Harris (Lyon).

Clermont stay top of the standings with a 29-25 win over Toulouse. No 8 Fritz Lee was yellow carded for the victors, while Isaia Toeava appeared off the bench.

Joe Tekori and Census Johnston scored tries for Toulouse, who also had Luke McAlister at fullback and Carl Axtens at No 8.

The two European competitions, the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup, kick off their 2016-17 season this weekend.

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