There were mixed fortunes for New Zealanders in European rugby action over the weekend.
The 40-year-old Brad Thorn signed off on his professional career with a try and yellow card in the UK Barbarians' 73-12 loss to an England XV at Twickenham.
The yellow card was for a dangerous tackle, and so Thorn finished the game on the sidelines. His teammate, No 8 Thomas Waldrom, scored the other Barbarians' try, though he too copped a yellow card. Other Kiwis among the Barbarians were wing David Smith, centre Joe Rokocoko, first five Tusi Pisi, prop Saimone Taumoepeau, flanker George Whitelock and replacement back Stephen Brett.
Several of these players also played three days earlier as the Barbarians edged an Ireland XV 22-21, with Leinster's Jimmy Gopperth kicking three decisive goals.
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French club Bordeaux-Begles, who will welcome Luke Braid next season to join fellow Kiwi loose forwards Peter Saili and Hugh Chalmers, will play in the European Champions Cup in 2015-16 after a narrow 23-22 win over John Afoa's Gloucester in a playoff. Afoa was binned after a scrum collapse.
In the first round of the French Top 14 playoffs, perennial heavyweights Toulouse beat Oyonnax, in their first ever top division finals fixture, 20-19. Toulouse coach Guy Noves, who has been at the helm since 1993, and has been announced as the coach of France post-Rugby World Cup, guided his side through to a semifinal at Clermont after an up and down season.
Starting for Toulouse were Luke McAlister, at second five, and front-rowers Corey Flynn and Neemia Tialata. Manu Samoa lock Joe Tekori entered the fray off the pine.
Oyonnax included former Taranaki lock Leon Power and No 8 Viliami Ma'afu, while Paul Ngauamo, Roimata Hansell-Pune and Soane Tonga'uiha were subs.
The boot of Morne Steyn, who kicked 28 points, saw Stade Francais to a 38-15 win over Racing-Metro in a Parisian derby. Former Tasman and Manu Samoa prop Zak Taulafo came on as a replacement for Stade, who now face Toulon in the other semifinal.
Glasgow Warriors won their first Guinness PRO12 title with a convincing 31-13 victory over Munster in the final, while Saracens won their second Aviva Premiership crown, 28-16 over Bath, in the decider.