There were contrasting fortunes for the eight New Zealanders in the thick of Six Nations action over the weekend.
Wing Sean Maitland and prop Simon Berghan tasted 32-26 victory for Scotland over France at Murrayfield. Maitland finished a well-worked team movement for his seventh try in 31 tests to open the home side’s account, while Christchurch-born tighthead Berghan played well in his sixth test after being called up by Gregor Townsend.
Gareth Anscombe, a late replacement for Leigh Halfpenny with Wales versus England, was elusive for Wales and probably their best back from fullback. Hadleigh Parkes was not quite as influential as in the win over Scotland, and his attacking game was often restricted to grubbers in behind the pressing England defence.
England hooker Dylan Hartley was in the wars, off for an early HIA, and then bleeding for the cause before his 52nd-minute exit.
Bath, with James Wilson, Kahn Fotuali’i and Paul Grant in the ranks, dispatched Northampton 32-9. Piers Francis kicked three goals for the Saints, while Ahsee Tuala, Ken Pisi, Teimana Harrison and Nafi Tuitavake all appeared.
Gloucester moved into the top four after defeating Leicester 24-17. The Kiwi sextet for the west country club was Jason Woodward, Tom Marshall, Willi Heinz, Josh Hohneck, John Afoa and Motu Matu’u. The Tigers included Telusa Veainu, Mike FitzGerald, Brendon O’Connor and Logovi’i Mulipola, who was sin-binned.
In the Guinness PRO14, one of the highlights was a hat-trick to former Bay of Plenty wing Monty Ioane in Treviso’s 22-12 upset over Johnny McNicholl’s depleted Scarlets. Hame Faiva, Whetu Douglas and Marty Banks were in the trenches alongside Ioane.
Former North Harbour No 8 Jimmy Tuivaiti, husband of Silver Ferns shooter Cat Tuivaiti, was at No 8 for Zebre in the 33-5 loss to Munster.
Jordan Lay and John Hardie, back from a three-month ban, played for Edinburgh in the 29-24 defeat of Leinster, who fielded Jamison Gibson-Park and Michael Bent.
The French Top 14 resumes this weekend.
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