Kiwis in Europe: Hughes leads Wasps closer to semis
Total Kiwis: 90
Former Auckland No 8 Nathan Hughes will be the toast of Coventry after inspiring Wasps to a vital 26-19 Gallagher Premiership victory over Exeter Chiefs.
The 27-year-old made 19 carries for 93 metres and 19 tackles, along with a try assist for Juan de Jongh as Wasps won their first ever victory at Sandy Park and moved up to fifth position, just three points shy of Harlequins with three rounds to play.
Brad Shields and Lima Sopoaga, who slotted two goals, also featured for the victors.
A yellow card to Bryce Heem did not stop Worcester inflicting a 39-17 defeat on Denny Solomona’s Sale Sharks. Ben Te’o was in the No 12 jersey for the Warriors.
A try to Ahsee Tuala was critical to Northampton Saints’ 20-19 win at Harlequins which keeps Saints’ semifinal hopes alive. Alongside Tuala were Ben Franks, Teimana Harrison and Piers Francis. Quins fielded Alofa Alofa and Francis Saili.
Josh Hohneck scored a try to help Gloucester to a 27-23 win over Bath. Willi Heinz was at halfback for the cherry and whites. Kahn Fotuali’i and Anthony Perenise turned out for Bath.
Desperate Bristol, still with designs on a top six finish, won 23-21 over Sean Maitland’s second-placed Saracens. Steven Luatua scored a try for the Bears, while Alapati Leiua, John Afoa, Chris Vui, James Lay and Jake Heenan all featured for Pat Lam’s squad.
Mike FitzGerald and Brendon O’Connor both tasted a relieving 27-22 Leicester win at Newcastle. Tane Takalua did his best to keep the Falcons in touch with a try and four goals. His teammates included Sinoti Sinoti, Logovi’i Mulipola, Rodney Ah You, John Hardie and Evan Olmstead, the latter whom should be playing Super Rugby back in New Zealand.
In the Guinness PRO14, Sean Reidy’s Ulster won 29-7 at Edinburgh, for whom Simon Hickey kicked a conversion. Simon Berghan was a front-row replacement.
Rhys Marshall scored a try as Munster beat Treviso 37-28 away from home. Alby Mathewson was at halfback for Munster. For the Italians, Monty Ioane scored a try, while Jayden Hayward, Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara, Toa Halafihi and Hame Faiva all played.
Ma’afu Fia’s Ospreys defeated the Southern Kings 43-7.
Johnny McNicholl and Hadleigh Parkes were among the tryscorers for Scarlets in their 42-0 blanking of Josh Renton’s Zebre. Kieron Fonotia was used off the bench for Wayne Pivac’s side.
Bundee Aki and Dominic Robertson-McCoy played for Connacht in the 29-22 win over a Cardiff Blues outfit that included Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo and Gareth Anscombe.
Glasgow beat Leinster 39-24, the latter fielding Jamison Gibson-Park and Michael Bent.
In the French Top 14, a try to Lolagi Visinia helped Grenoble defeat Toulon 19-18. His teammates included Alaska Taufa, Steven Setephano, Leva Fifita, Taleta Tupuola and Halani Aulika. Toulon, bizarrely, fielded Julian Savea in the No 13 jersey (he scored a try) and Malakai Fekitoa in the No 11 shirt. Brian Alainu’uese was in his rightful position of lock.
Fullback Toby Arnold scored a try as Lyon smashed Perpignan 47-9. Rudi Wulf and Charlie Ngatai again partnered in the Lyonnais midfield. Les Catalans fielded Tima Faingaanuku on the wing and Manu Leiataua and Michael Faleafa in the pack.
Stade Francais edged an Agen unit, 25-22, that saw Sam Vaka cross for a try. Paula Ngauamo and Tom Murday also turned out for the south-west French club.
Ihaia West helped himself to a try and six goals as La Rochelle belted hapless Pau 71-21. Victor Vito and Uini Atonio were in the winning pack. Colin Slade was at fullback for the vanquished, slotting three goals and receiving a yellow card. Tom Taylor and Daniel Ramsay also appeared for Pau.
Seta Tamanivalu’s Bordeaux-Begles, scrapping hard for a playoffs berth, fell 16-12 to a Castres squad that fielded Maama Vaipulu, David Smith and Alex Tulou.
Charlie Faumuina, Jerome Kaino and Joe Tekori, despite a yellow card, enjoyed a 47-44 win over Clermont which keeps the red and blacks at the top of the log. Tim Nanai-Williams, at No 10, and Fritz Lee, who also copped a yellow, were in the Clermont side.
Racing-Metro, with Ben Volavola, Ben Tameifuna and Dominic Bird in the ranks, edged Montpellier 26-25. Aaron Cruden kicked two goals off the bench in his return from injury for the latter.
This weekend sees the semifinals in the European competitions.
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