Munster was missing former Chiefs and Taranaki hooker Rhys Marshall, but Leicester, two-time champs, may have missed fullback Telusa Veainu more, after the former Canterbury wing, who has been great value for the Midlands club, broke his jaw last weekend. The rare home defeat at Welford Road leaves the Tigers on the cusp of elimination and was their first loss at home to the Irish province since 2006.
Isaia Toeava wore the No 10 jersey, where he debuted for Auckland way back in 2005, in Clermont’s 24-21 victory over Saracens. Fritz Lee was at No 8. Sean Maitland was on the wing for Sarries.
Jimmy Gopperth’s Wasps turned the tables on La Rochelle to the tune of 21-3. Gopperth was at second five and did not take the goalkicks. The French club’s Kiwi contingent included Rene Ranger, Uini Atonio, Hikairo Forbes, with Victor Vito off the pine.
Ma’a Nonu set up a try with a surging run and Alby Mathewson scored himself, but Toulon fell 26-21 to Bath, who started Paul Grant at No 8 and Jack Wilson and Kahn Fotuali’i off the bench.
Montpellier’s 36-26 win over Glasgow came at a cost, Aaron Cruden departing with a worrying knee injury. Dave Rennie’s Glasgow fielded Samuela Vunisa and replacement Siua Halanukonuka.
In Challenge Cup action, three Gareth Anscombe goals helped his Cardiff Blues to a tight 14-6 win over Sale Sharks. Toby Arnold, Josh Bekhuis and Mike Harris were victorious, 21-11, in Lyon’s clash with Toulouse. Charlie Faumuina and Carl Axtens were subs for Toulouse, while Paul Perez and Jarrod Poi combined in the midfield.
Gloucester’s strong form continued, shutting out Zebre 69-12, hooker Motu Matu’u crossing for a try.
Bundee Aki, Pita Ahki, Tom McCartney and coach Kieran Keane all tasted victory in Connacht’s 55-10 scoreline against Brive.
A late Tony Ensor try carried Stade Francais to a 26-20 win at Will Lloyd’s London Irish. Paul Williams and Ziggy Fisi’ihoi also started for the Parisians.
Ben Volavola’s three goals helped Bordeaux-Begles to a 36-27 win over Russian club Enisei.
The big three domestic competitions resume over the Christmas period.
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