The Kiwi influence at Lyon is still palpable as that club makes its way up the French Top 14 table.
In Lyon’s 41-6 defeat of Stade Francais, second five Charlie Ngatai scored an intercept try to go with another five-pointer by former Bay of Plenty wing Toby Arnold. Former All Black Rudi Wulf was at centre. One of the replacement props was South African-born Albertus Buckle, who played for Wairarapa-Bush at the dawn of the Heartland Championship.
Lyon is now up to fourth on the log, while Stade remains third. Tony Ensor and Ziggy Fisi’ihoi turned out for the Parisians.
Racing-Metro upset Montpellier 27-13 in the south of France. Aaron Cruden kicked a penalty goal for the home side, but it was Census Johnston, Dominic Bird, Ole Avei and Ben Tameifuna who tasted a sweet away victory.
Grenoble and Clermont drew 27-all. Alaska Taufa scored a try for the former, while Leva Fifita, Steven Setephano and Taiasina Tuifua all featured for Grenoble. The visitors fielded Tim Nanai-Williams, Fritz Lee, George Moala and Isaia Toeava.
A try to Alex Tulou helped Castres to a 37-10 win over Pau. David Smith came off the pine for Castres. Benson Stanley was in the unfamiliar No 10 position for Pau, while Daniel Ramsay and Peter Saili also played.
Six goals to Ihaia West helped La Rochelle to a 33-29 win over Agen. Hikairo Forbes and Victor Vito started in the pack. Agen fielded Sam Vaka, Tom Murday and hooker Paula Ngauamo.
Playing at second five, Julian Savea broke his try drought as Toulon won a crucial 26-16 victory over Perpignan. Malakai Fekitoa, Brian Alainu’uese and Liam Messam were alongside him. Genesis Mamea and Shahn Eru both played for the Catalans.
In the Guinness PRO14, two conversions by Simon Hickey, who was also binned, helped Edinburgh to a 31-21 win over Scarlets, for whom Johnny McNicholl scored a try. Kieron Fonotia and Blade Thomson also started for the Welsh region.
Callum Gibbins’ Glasgow beat Ma’afu Fia’s Ospreys 29-20. Tom McCartney scored a brace as Connacht defeated Dragons 33-12.
Sean Reidy scored an important try for Ulster in the 15-10 victory at Benetton Treviso, for whom hooker Hame Faiva scored a try. Jayden Hayward, Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara and Dean Budd all featured for the Italian club.
A double to Rey Lee-Lo and a single to Nick Williams highlighted Cardiff Blues’ 37-0 shutout of Zebre.
Former NZ Under 20s captain Tyler Bleyendaal is back from a long injury layoff, turning out at No 12 for Munster in the 30-26 win over the Cheetahs. Alby Mathewson was at halfback for the Irish province.
Jamison Gibson-Park scored a try as Leinster beat the Southern Kings 38-31. The second round of England’s Premership Rugby Cup saw a Bryce Heem double carry Worcester to a 31-12 defeat of Valentino Mapapalangi’s Leicester.
Anthony Perenise and Kahn Fotuali’i were both replacements for Bath. Johnny Leota’s Sale drew 15-15 with Saracens. Ben Franks’ Northampton Saints edged Ambrose Curtis’ Wasps 15-14. Newcastle, with former North Harbour openside Connor Collett in the starting line-up, tipped over Francis Saili’s Harlequins 23-21.
Charlie Piutau finally made his debut for Bristol in the 21-13 win over west country rivals Gloucester. Flanker Jake Heenan scored a try off the bench for Pat Lam’s side.
The French Top 14 and Guinness PRO14 break for two weekends of the November internationals. The Gallagher Premiership resumes on November 17.
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.