Rugby: Tries galore for Kiwis in Europe

By Campbell Burnes

Charles Piutau of Ulster dives over to score his side's third try. Photo / Getty
Charles Piutau of Ulster dives over to score his side's third try. Photo / Getty

Ulster's trio of New Zealanders all made palpable impacts on the Irish province's 19-7 win over Treviso in the Guinness PRO12 over the weekend.

Centre Jared Payne, on the comeback trail from a long-term injury, wing Charlie Piutau and openside flanker Sean Reidy all scored tries for Ulster, while former Blues and Manu Samoa lock Filo Paulo scored Treviso's sole try. Dean Budd was alongside him in the Italian club's second row.

The result sees Ulster stay well in touch with the top four, trailing Scarlets by just one point with five rounds to play and a game in hand.

Scarlets themselves, with Johnny McNicholl and Hadleigh Parkes again starting, struck a Leinster roadblock, falling 45-9 to the leaders, for whom Jamison Gibson-Park scored a try off the bench, while Hayden Triggs started at lock.

Connacht defeated Zebre 33-3, Naulia Dawai crossing for a try. Also in the line-up were Tom McCartney, Bundee Aki, Stacey Ili, and former Northland prop Dominic Robertson-McCoy.

Kieron Fonotia's Ospreys edged Edinburgh 13-9, while Corey Flynn's Glasgow dispatched the Dragons 47-17.

A try to Francis Saili helped Munster to a 23-13 win at Cardiff Blues, for whom Willis Halaholo copped a yellow card. His teammates included Gareth Anscombe, Nick Williams, Jarrad Hoeata and former Blues (of Auckland) prop Taufa'ao Filise.

In the French Top 14, Stade Francais, with Paul Williams and Aled de Malmanche featuring off the bench, beat Bordeaux-Begles 32-9. Simon Hickey kicked two penalty goals for the latter, while Luke Braid and Hugh Chalmers were in the loose forwards.

La Rochelle went top again with a 27-21 away win at Toulouse, Victor Vito and Jason Eaton in the mix. Joe Tekori scored a try for the home side, who also fielded Luke McAlister at first five and Census Johnston.

Mike Harris kicked four goals as Lyon downed Montpellier 16-3. Ti'i Paulo, Josh Bekhuis, Toby Arnold and Hosea Gear, at centre, also appeared for Lyon.

Brive upset Toulon, for whom Ma'a Nonu was yellow-carded, 15-5.

David Smith and Maama Vaipulu tasted victory as Castres defeated Clermont 26-16. Stephen Brett kicked three goals for the vanquished.

Relegation-threatened Bayonne, with Manu Leiataua and Tanerau Latimer in the ranks, drew 25-all with Pau, for whom Colin Slade and Tom Taylor shared seven goals.

Jarrod Firth, Rory Grice and Nigel Hunt all enjoyed Grenoble's 19-10 win over Racing-Metro, coming off a turbulent week. No 8 Chris Masoe was red-carded for a high tackle. Also in the side were Joe Rokocoko, So'otala Fa'aso'o and Ben Tameifuna.

In the Aviva Premiership, Northampton Saints beat Sale Sharks 32-12. Ken Pisi and lock Michael Paterson, who was once not far off the All Blacks, scored tries, while Nafi Tuitavake, Ahsee Tuala and Teimana Harrison were alongside them in the trenches. Bryn Evans scored a try for Sale, while Johnny Leota and Denny Solomona were in the threequarters.

Thomas Waldrom's Exeter repelled Leicester 34-15. Brendon O'Connor, Mike FitzGerald, Jono Kitto and Telusa Veainu all played for the Tigers.

Bryce Heem's double was instrumental in Worcester's crucial 41-24 win over Bristol, which almost certainly consigns the west country club to relegation. Jackson Willison and Chris Vui also featured for the Warriors, while Jason Woodward scored a try and kicked a goal for Bristol. Siale Piutau, Tusi Pisi, Alby Mathewson and Jack Lam all featured too.

Sean Maitland's Saracens won 35-27 at Newcastle, for whom Tane Takalua and Mike Delany shared five goals. Nili Latu was at No 8 for the Falcons.

Mat Luamanu's Harlequins won an important 30-27 victory at Gloucester, who again fielded six New Zealanders - Motu Matu'u, Josh Hohneck, Jeremy Thrush, John Afoa, Willi Heinz, and Tom Marshall.

Wasps, with Jimmy Gopperth this time in the No 12 jersey kicking four goals, beat Bath 24-3. Gopperth formed a midfield partnership with Alapati Leiua.

- NZ Herald

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