Kiwis in Europe: Simon Hickey steps up for Top 14 side

By Campbell Burnes

Simon Hickey. Photo / Photosport
Simon Hickey. Photo / Photosport

Simon Hickey has slotted seamlessly into the Bordeaux-Begles ranks again with a 17-point haul, including a drop goal, in the French Top 14 club's 37-19 win over Stade Francais on the weekend.

The 2015-16 Auckland captain and No 10 was having the first match of his second stint at the club. His Auckland teammate, loose forward Joe Edwards, made his first appearance off the bench after overcoming concussion issues which curtailed his Mitre 10 Cup season. Flanker Hugh Chalmers scored a try for the home side, while centre Jayden Spence and No 6 Luke Braid also appeared. Bordeaux-Begles rise to fourth on the table.

For Stade Francais, fullback Paul Williams kicked a conversion, while Zak Taulafo suited up at tighthead prop.

La Rochelle's 27-6 victory over Pau takes them to second in the Top 14, their four Kiwi forwards - Hikairo Forbes, Romana Graham, Jason Eaton and Victor Vito - all to the fore. Tom Taylor, from fullback, kicked Pau's six points. His teammates included Jamie Mackintosh, Chris King, Daniel Ramsay, Colin Slade and Conrad Smith.

Lyon, who could boast Toby Arnold, Rudi Wulf, Mike Harris, Ti'i Paulo, Josh Bekhuis and Taiasina Tuifua, defeated Ma'a Nonu's Toulon 27-13.

Ben Botica kicked three goals for Montpellier in their 21-9 loss to Racing-Metro, whose New Zealanders were Joe Rokocoko, Ali Williams, Anthony Tuitavake, Chris Masoe and Ben Tameifuna.

Manu Leiataua and Tom Donnelly featured in Bayonne's 26-9 defeat by Brive.

Benson Stanley's Clermont edged Grenoble 21-20, for whom Rory Grice, Nigel Hunt, Steven Setephano appeared.

David Smith's Castres went down 16-15 in their local derby with Toulouse, who fielded Luke McAlister, at fullback, Paul Perez, Carl Axtens, Joe Tekori and Census Johnston.

In the Guinness PRO12, Hadleigh Parkes' Scarlets beat Corey Flynn and Grayson Hart's Glasgow 27-3.

No 10 Tyler Bleyendaal kicked four conversion as Munster, who face the Maori All Blacks this weekend, blanked Ospreys 33-0. Former Chiefs and Taranaki hooker Rhys Marshall came off the bench for the victors, while Brendon Leonard and Ma'afu Fia were replacements for Ospreys.

Fullback Isa Nacewa kicked four goals for Leinster in their 33-10 win over Zebre. Also playing for Leinster were Jamison Gibson-Park, Hayden Triggs and Michael Bent.
Phil Burleigh's Edinburgh saw off Charlie Piutau's Ulster 28-17.

Willis Halaholo, fresh from a big season with the Hurricanes and Waikato, scored a try in Cardiff Blues' 34-28 win at Treviso. Outside him was Rey Lee-Lo, while Jarrad Hoeata was at lock. Michael Tagicakibau scored a try from the Treviso right wing.

Nick Crosswell's Dragons beat Connacht 21-16, the latter fielding Bundee Aki, Stacey Ili and Jake Heenan.

In the Anglo-Welsh Cup, a round of English fixtures only took place, with clubs opting to rest several of their New Zealand stars.

First five Mike Delany did kick four goals in Newcastle's 16-24 loss to James Wilson's Northampton Saints.

Harlequins defeated Exeter 29-15, with Nick Evans contributing 14 points in a man of the match display. No 8 Mat Luamanu copped a yellow card, while forwards Mark Reddish, of Highlanders, NZ Barbarians and Wellington fame, and George Naoupu, came on as subs.

Jack Umaga's try was not enough as his Wasps club lost 17-13 to Sale Sharks.

Likewise, Dan Bowden's second half try for Bath was too late as the west country side fell 21-20 to Jono Kitto's Leicester Tigers.

Jackson Willison's Worcester Warriors beat Soane Tonga'uiha's Bristol 31-25.

This weekend sees the start of the official November international window, meaning there will only be Top 14 action.

- NZ Herald

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