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Kiwis carving up the north - Warriors on the warpath

Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie. Photo / Getty Images.

The Glasgow Warriors, coached by Dave Rennie, continue on their merry way.

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They are now 9-0 for the season and clear leaders of Conference A in the Guinness PRO14.

On the weekend, they cleaned out Ospreys to the tune of 47-6, with former All Blacks wing Lelia Masaga, former Taranaki No 8 Samuela Vunisa, former Hurricanes and Manawatu No 7 and Highlanders and Ikale Tahi prop Siua Halanukonuka, all in the mix. Former Manawatu and New Zealand Under 20s prop Ma’afu Fia was a replacement for Ospreys.

Rhys Marshall’s Munster defeated Zebre 36-19. Waikato lock James Tucker turned out for the Italians.

Johnny McNicholl was at fullback as Wayne Pivac’s Scarlets stayed top of Conference B with a 34-30 away win against the Southern Kings of South Africa.

Gareth Anscombe contributed a crucial four goals off the bench as Cardiff Blues edged Connacht 36-30. No 8 Nick Williams copped a yellow card, while Willis Halaholo was in the midfield. Connacht fielded flanker Jake Heenan and former Blues, Hurricanes, North Harbour, Waikato and All Blacks Sevens rep Pita Ahki.

Isa Nacewa shows few signs of age, the 35-year-old running in a double as Leinster dispatched Dragons 54-10. Former Taranaki reps Jamison Gibson-Park and Michael Bent both started for the Irish province.

Charlie Piutau’s Ulster beat a Treviso side, 23-22, which included Whetu Douglas and Nasi Manu in the loose forwards, while Marty Banks, off the pine, landed a late penalty goal.

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In the French Top 14, La Rochelle beat Pau 44-14 in a clash which featured no less than nine former All Blacks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G6Vb13sc8Y

For the victors, Rene Ranger, Victor Vito and Jason Eaton all started, Vito scoring a try and Eaton incurring a yellow card. Former Wesley College and France prop Uini Atonio was at tighthead, while former Waikato hooker Hikairo Forbes was used off the bench.

Pau used an extraordinary six All Blacks – Colin Slade, Conrad Smith, Tom Taylor, Jamie Mackintosh, Benson Stanley and Frank Halai. The odd one out was No 8 Peter Saili. Slade kicked a goal, while Taylor slotted two goals.

George Tilsley’s Agen defeated Tony Ensor’s Stade Francais 29-13.

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Bordeaux-Begles’ New Zealand wings Ed Fidow and Fa’asiu Fuatai appeared in their club’s 27-all draw with Brive.

The Toulouse trio of Charlie Faumuina, Joe Tekori and Carl Axtens helped their club to a 17-9 win at Lyon, who included Toby Arnold (sinbinned), Rudi Wulf and Mike Harris.

Racing-Metro, with Joe Rokocoko, Ben Tameifuna and So’otala Fa’aso’o, blanked Montpellier 26-0.

David Smith’s Castres beat his old club Toulon 20-19. The midfield pairing of Malakai Fekitoa and Ma’a Nonu both scored tries for the vanquished.

A New Zealand-laden Oyonnax drew 32-32 with Clermont, who fielded Isaia Toeava, Luke McAlister and Fritz Lee. Oyonnax started Ben Botica, who kicked two goals, Hika Elliot, Rory Grice and Hoani Tui, while Quentin MacDonald, Vili Ma’afu and Roimata Hansell-Pune all entered the fray from the bench.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ3uah8AdEk

Todd Blackadder’s Bath are travelling well in England’s Aviva Premiership and put paid to Harlequins 38-14 on the weekend. Former Otago No 8 Paul Grant scored a try, while the two outside back Wilsons, Jack and James, started, as did Samoa duo Anthony Perenise and Kahn Fotuali’i.

Michael Paterson’s was one of three yellow cards against Northampton in the 18-15 defeat by Bryn Evans’ Sale Sharks.

The resurgence of Worcester Warriors, club of Bryce Heem and Jackson Willison, continues with a 31-27 win at Leicester, for whom former Chiefs lock Mike FitzGerald copped a yellow, while Telusa Veainu, Brendon O’Connor and Valentino Mapapalangi also started for the Tigers.

Jeremy Thrush scored a try for Gloucester in the 29-7 victory over Nili Latu’s Newcastle. Willi Heinz, Josh Hohneck and John Afoa also appeared for Gloucester.

Reigning Premiership player of the year Jimmy Gopperth kicked a goal for Wasps in the 17-13 win over London Irish, whose Kiwi contingent was James Marshall, Ben Franks, Filo Paulo and Mike Coman.

 

 

 

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Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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