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Watch: Ngani Laumape's Top 14 debut for Stade Francais

By Sam Smith

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Former All Black and Hurricanes blockbusting centre Ngani Laumape has debuted for his new Top 14 club, Stade Francais, in the opening weekend of league action in France.


The 28-year-old second five took up a three-year deal with the Paris club due to an ‘underwhelming’ offer from NZR to retain him, despite his preference to stay in New Zealand at the time.

The star signing took to the field for the first time in the pink and blue Stade colours against powerhouse Racing 92, who themselves are a star-studded team with the likes of foreign stars Kurtley Beale, Finn Russell and France internationals Teddy Thomas and Virimi Vakatawa.

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Laumape’s first game in the Top 14 showed flashes of the power that made him a household name in New Zealand, despite not making many breaks he proved a handful for Racing’s defence, bumping off multiple players through the afternooon.

Although his afternoon was mixed after a couple of turnovers, a no-look pass that went forward and he was caught holding on after a lack of support after a carry.

Stade Francais used their new power running 12 frequently from the set-piece to set the platform and generate some momentum.

Laumape’s best moment of the day came late in the game in the 66th minute from a direct carry following a lineout where he burst through the first two defenders and was able to poke through the other side.


With defenders draped over him, he offered a one-hand offload to his inside runner to set his loose forward free. The movement was cut down by the Racing cover defence deep inside their 22.

Unfortunately for Laumape, Racing 92 were too strong for Stade on the day. After trading penalties, Racing built a 20-6 halftime lead which extended to 26-9 by the 61st minute all but sealing the match with under twenty to go.

Racing 92 ended up with a 36-21 after two late tries to Stade, including one to former Wallaby winger Sefa Naivalu.

Watch Laumape’s Top 14 debut below



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