Bundee Aki has 12 months to go before he qualifies for Ireland and the former Steelers midfielder underlined his value to Connacht in their 23-21 first round European Champions Cup victory over Toulouse.

Aki, who would have been delighted to see his old Counties Manukau team reach the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership semifinals for the first time since he was in their midfield (2013), scored a try, set one up and was his usual physical presence at the breakdown, alongside teammates Jake Heenan and Stacey Ili.

Toulouse fielded wing Paul Perez, No 8 Carl Axtens, lock Joe Tekori and prop Census Johnston.

Wasps pounded Zebre 82-14, with Frank Halai scoring a try and Jimmy Gopperth, off the pine, slotting five conversions.


Right wing Sean Maitland scored a try as defending champs Saracens edged Toulon 23-21. Ma'a Nonu was back for Toulon, but copped a yellow card.

Leinster's Isa Nacewa kicked four goals from the wing as they beat David Smith's Castres 33-15.

A penalty goal by Ben Botica was not sufficient for Montpellier, who were narrowly defeated 16-14 by Northampton, for whom the Pisi brothers, Michael Paterson and James Wilson featured.

Fritz Lee's Clermont defeated Thomas Waldrom's Exeter 35-8 in the battle of the Kiwi No 8s.

Hadleigh Parkes' Scarlets defeated Bryn Evans' Sale 28-11, while Glasgow hammered Leicester 42-13, despite the efforts of Brendon O'Connor, Mike FitzGerald and Telusa Veainu.

Hugh Chalmers' Bordeaux-Begles, awaiting the arrival of Auckland captain Simon Hickey, defeated Ulster 28-13. Jared Payne was at fullback and Sean Reidy at No 8 for the latter. Reidy received a yellow card.

The Crusaders' No 10 match-up of Dan Carter versus Tyler Bleyendaal is on hold as the Racing-Metro v Munster was postponed after Munster coach Anthony Foley was found dead in his hotel room.

In the European Challenge Cup, Daniel Ramsay was the sole Kiwi in the Pau line-up that lost 25-22 to Bath, who included Kahn Fotuali'i and Dan Bowden.

Gloucester, with Motu Matu'u, John Afoa, Joe Latta and Willi Heinz in the ranks, won 47-27 at Bayonne, who fielded Adam Whitelock at centre, Manu Leiataua and Tanerau Latimer.

There was a plethora of tries by New Zealanders for La Rochelle in their 41-10 victory over Treviso. Prop Uini Atonio scored a double, while Jason Eaton and Hikairo Forbes also scored. Victor Vito and David Raikuna both started for the victors.

Former Fiji and Taranaki rep Michael Tagicakibau, another Wesley College product, was on the Treviso right wing.

Tom Halse, a former Auckland University club player, turned out at fullback in Russian club Enisei's 19-12 home win over Worcester Warriors.

William Whetton;s Brive fell 37-16 to the Dragons, while Ma'afu Fia's Ospreys blanked Newcastle 45-0. Lyon's Ti'i Paulo got one up on Grenoble's Tino Nemani with a 39-13 win.

Mat Luamanu and Winston Stanley came off the bench in Harlequins' 43-21 win over Stade Francais, for whom Paul Williams (13) and Zak Taulafo both started.

Edinburgh No 8 Nasi Manu scored a hat-trick as his club overpowered, to the tune of 59-17, Romanian side Timisoara Saracens, for whom former Tasman and Mid Canterbury rep Jack Umaga played at second five, while on the wing, New Zealand-born former Junior Warrior Stephen Shennan scored a brace.

Rey Lee-Lo scored a try and Gareth Anscombe kicked five goals, alongside Nick Williams and Jarrad Hoeata, as Cardiff Blues triumphed 33-20 at Bristol, who fielded two international props in Anthony Perenise and Soane Tonga'uiha.

Second round fixtures will be played this weekend.