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Kiwis carving up the north - Tigers missing Veainu

Dejected Leicester players during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Leicester Tigers and Munster Rugby

Despite the efforts of forwards Mike FitzGerald, Valentino Mapapalangi and Logovi’i Mulipola, the Leicester Tigers have fallen 25-16 to Munster in round four, pool four European Champions Cup play.


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.

Charles Piutau, who never seems to turn in a bad game, scored a try as Ulster hammered Harlequins 52-24. The English club fielded Winston Stanley, Alofa Alofa and Mat Luamanu.

Ospreys, with Kieron Fonotia at centre, did a 32-15 number on Northampton Saints, whose line-up included Ahsee Tuala, Piers Francis, Michael Paterson, Teimana Harrison and Ken Pisi.

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.


Isa Nacewa kicked 17 points, operating off the tee in place of Johnny Sexton, as Leinster beat Thomas Waldrom’s Exeter Chiefs 22-17.

Anthony Tuitavake, now 35, was in the No 12 jersey as his Racing-Metro beat Castres 29-7. Former Wellington and Taranaki loose forward Alex Tulou was at No 8 for the latter.

A Johnny McNicholl try helped Scarlets to a 31-12 result at Treviso, despite an early double to wing Monty Ioane. Other Kiwis starting for Treviso were Dean Budd, Nasi Manu and Jayden Hayward.

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.

Hika Elliot’s Oyonnax beat Worcester 27-20, while Pau – featuring Benson Stanley, Jamie Mackintosh and Peter Saili – defeated Agen 26-12.

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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Turlough 4 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

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