Bryn Evans helps Sale to Aviva Premiership win over Newcastle

By Campbell Burnes

All Black Bryn Evans in action against France, 2009. Photo/NZPA
All Black Bryn Evans in action against France, 2009. Photo/NZPA

Bryn Evans continues to prove his worth for Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership.

The 32-year-old Hastings-born lock, who played two tests for the All Blacks in 2009, scored a crucial try for the Sharks in their tight 26-24 win over the Newcastle Falcons over the weekend.

Evans found himself in space with plenty to do, ran hard and showed some guile, with a slight feint to secure the five-pointer in the 51st minute.

The victory keeps the Sharks clear of the relegation zone. Evans' team-mates included prop Halani Aulika, loose forward TJ Ioane and replacement back Johnny Leota. Newcastle halfback Tane Takalua kicked a conversion, while both Nili Latu and Mike Delany came off the bench for the Falcons.

Harlequins crushed Bristol 42-8, aided by a try off the bench to Mark Reddish. Alongside him were George Naoupu, Alofa Alofa and Mat Luamanu. For the vanquished, Jason Woodward slotted a penalty goal, while Tusi Pisi, Mark Sorenson, Jack Lam and Alby Mathewson also featured.

Leicester's 34-9 win over Gloucester eased some pressure on coach Aaron Mauger. Starting for the Tigers were Jono Kitto (9), Mike FitzGerald (6) and Brendon O'Connor (7).

Gloucester fielded props Josh Hohneck and John Afoa, plus Jeremy Thrush, Willi Heinz, Tom Marshall and Motu Matu'u.

Worcester Warriors, with Bryce Heem, Jackson Willison and 2016 North Harbour captain Chris Vui in the ranks, upset Saracens 24-18.

Jimmy Gopperth was in the unfamiliar No. 13 jersey, but slotted five goals for Wasps in their 35-all draw with Exeter Chiefs. Off the bench for Wasps came threequarters Alapati Leiua and Frank Halai.

A try to No. 8 Paul Grant proved decisive for Bath in their 32-30 result over Northampton Saints. Alongside the former Otago loose forward were Kahn Fotuali'i (9) and Jack Wilson (11).

The Saints fielded no less than six players of New Zealand origin - Michael Paterson, loose forward Teimana Harrison (who is on the fringes of the England squad), Nafi Tuitavake, Ken Pisi, Ahsee Tuala and James Wilson.

In the Guinness PRO12, Pat Lam's Connacht won an important 19-13 victory at Cardiff Blues. Stacey Ili (13), Jake Heenan (7) and Tom McCartney (2) started for Connacht, with loosies Naulia Dawai and Nepia Fox-Matamua off the bench.

Gareth Anscombe kicked three goals for Cardiff, while No. 8 Nick Williams scored their sole try. Also appearing for the Blues were midfielders Rey Lee-Lo and Willis Halaholo, and lock Jarrad Hoeata.

Leinster, with prop Michael Bent and halfback Jamison Gibson-Park in the mix, beat Treviso 40-14. Former Manu Samoa and Blues lock Filo Paulo scored a try for Treviso, while Dean Budd wore the unfamiliar No. 7 jersey. Michael Tagicakibau came off the bench.

Scarlets, who included Johnny McNicholl and Hadleigh Parkes, beat Glasgow 26-14, with Brian Alainu'uese at lock for the Warriors.

Nick Crosswell's Dragons were belted 45-17 by Munster, for whom Tyler Bleyendaal kicked seven goals. Francis Saili and Rhys Marshall also played for the PRO12 leaders.

Ulster, who are set to have Jono Gibbes as their new head coach, defeated Edinburgh 24-18. Charlie Piutau (11) and Sean Reidy (20) played for the victors, while Edinburgh fielded Phil Burleigh at second five and former Steelers loose forward Viliami Fihaki.

Kieron Fonotia's Ospreys hammered Kurt Baker's Zebre 40-10. The All Blacks Sevens could do with some of the starch that Baker provides.

There were two catch-up games in the French Top 14.

Racing-Metro started No. 8 So'otala Fa'aso'o with Chris Masoe off the pine in their 59-20 victory over Bayonne, who had Manu Leiataua and Tom Donnelly in the mix.

Colin Slade kicked five goals, as Pau moved further clear of the relegation zone with a 38-15 home win over Lyon. Jamie Mackintosh and Daniel Ramsay also featured, while Toby Arnold scored a try for Lyon, with Hosea Gear starting at centre.

Ti'i Paulo, Josh Bekhuis and Mike Harris were all replacements.

In the Rugby Europe Championship, Germany upset Romania 41-38. Wing Steve Shennan and centre Jack Umaga appeared for the Oaks, while former Otago and Hawke's Bay five-eighths Dan Snee and former NZU fullback Brad Linklater played for Spain in their 16-6 victory over Russia.

- NZ Herald

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