Kiwis in Europe: Francis Saili scores late as Munster clinch top spot

By Campbell Burnes

; Francis Saili of Munster celebrates with supporters. Photo / Getty
; Francis Saili of Munster celebrates with supporters. Photo / Getty

Munster continue to fly high in all competitions and a late Francis Saili try on the weekend has sealed their European Champions Cup quarter-final qualification.

Former All Black Saili, a replacement who is not long back from a long-term injury, hared for the corner in the 72nd minute and his score, coupled with three goals to first five Tyler Bleyendaal, carried Munster to a 14-12 victory over Glasgow at Scotstoun, clinching the top berth in Pool One.

In the other Pool One clash, Dan Carter slotted four goals in Racing-Metro's 34-3 win over Leicester. Neither he, nor Ali Williams, who was a sub, could be in New Zealand for Richie McCaw's wedding. Other Kiwis in the home side were Joe Rokocoko, So'otala Fa'aso'o and Ben Tameifuna, while the Tigers brought Mike FitzGerald and Jono Kitto off the bench.

Jimmy Gopperth, wearing the No 12 jersey, kicked four goals as Wasps edged Joe Tekori's Toulouse 17-14.

A try and a conversion to fullback Isa Nacewa highlighted the Kiwi contribution to Leinster's 57-3 pumping of Montpellier. Hayden Triggs started at lock, and Jamison Gibson-Park came off the pine.

Tom McCartney and Naulia Dawai were in the Connacht team that thrashed Kurt Baker's Zebre 66-21.

No 8 Teimana Harrison scored a brace in Northampton's 28-21 win over Castres, for whom David Smith and Maama Vaipulu featured.

Ma'a Nonu scored a try as Toulon beat Bryn Evans' Sale Sharks 27-12.

Hadleigh Parkes (13) and Johnny McNicholl (14) played for Scarlets in their 22-all draw with defending champion Saracens.

Clermont won a tryless French encounter 9-6 at Bordeaux-Begles. Isaia Toeava copped a yellow card at fullback, while Fritz Lee and Benson Stanley also appeared. Hugh Chalmers and Jayden Spence started for the home team.

The Kiwis were in the thick of the tries in the Exeter-Ulster match this morning. Thomas Waldrom scored a double from No 8 for the Chiefs, who won 31-19, while Ulster wing Charles Piutau emulated the feat and No 8 Sean Reidy also crossed the whitewash.

In the Challenge Cup, Kieron Fonotia scored one of several tries for Ospreys in their 47-7 defeat of Lyon, for whom Mike Harris kicked a conversion. Ti'i Paulo was sinbinned for Lyon.

Cardiff Blues can largely thank a second stanza score from Willis Halaholo for the 22-21 win at Pau, who fielded Daniel Ramsay and Taniela Moa. Jarrad Hoeata suited up at lock for Cardiff.

A try to Mat Luamanu was not quite enough for Harlequins, who fell 23-18 at home to Phil Burleigh's Edinburgh.

Nick Crosswell's Dragons dispatched Tom Halse's Enisei 34-10, while Gloucester's Kiwi quintet of John Afoa, Josh Hohneck, Jeremy Thrush, Joe Latta and Willi Heinz enjoyed a 41-0 blanking of Filo Paulo's Treviso.

A double to Kahn Fotuali'i and a try to Robbie Fruean highlighted Bath's 57-22 thrashing of Bristol, who had Tusi Pisi at second five and Jack Lam at blindside flanker.

The La Rochelle trio of Jason Eaton, Hikairo Forbes and David Raikuna celebrated a 24-14 win at Bayonne, who started Adam Whitelock (12), Tanerau Latimer (6) and Manu Leiataua (2).

The final round of pool play in Europe will be this weekend.

- NZ Herald

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