A Scott Higginbotham double wasn’t enough for the NEC Green Rockets to record third win of the 2016-27 Top League season, going down to defending champions, the Panasonic Wild Knights 51-26.
In what just might be a timely reminder for observers back home, Higginbotham was a standout for the Rockets despite the result.
Capped Wallaby Daniel Heenan started at lock for the Wild Knights, who sit fourth in the competition.
Mark Gerrard played a full game for Toyota Industries Shuttles in a 31-14 loss to the Canon Eagles, with the Shuttles still searching for their first win of the season.
Wycliff Palu played 54 minutes in Toyota Verblitz’s 25-19 win over Anthony Fainga’a’s Kintetsu.
Fainga’a was replaced in the 69th minute of the match, for the Liners.Digby ioane played 52 minutes on the left wing for Honda as they fell to another loss in Japan.
Former Wallabies skipper James Horwill played out a full match in Harlequins’ 20-9 win over Northampton, making high 11 tackles in the clash.
Ex-Waratahs back Alofa Alofa nabbed his first Premiership try in the match, playing at outside centre for the ‘Quins.
Lachie Turner is cementing his spot in Exeter’s side, playing at fullback in the Chiefs’ draw with Gloucester, alongside fellow Aussies Greg Holmes and Dave Dennis.
Turner played out the whole game, in which a 79th minute Damian Welch try secured a draw for the Chiefs, while Dennis played 50 minutes and Holmes got through 59.
Peter Betham played a full game at outside centre for Leicester in their dominant 34-13 win over Worcester.
Leroy Houston missed Bath’s 30-3 defeat of Sale, with the 29-year-old making his Wallabies debut at Twickenham.
What an amazing experience my first game with @officielasm a few ups and downs but a big learning experience. Most importantly to come away with the win against @stadetoulousainrugby ... Love the French culture of rugby, tough rugby and great supporters. Great to do it alongside @benjaminkayser and @doming107 .. nice little cut to remind me of it. 🇫🇷
Nathan Charles had his first start with Clermont, in a 29-25 win over Toulouse, with the hooker happy to claim a victory on debut.
Adam Ashley-Cooper crossed for his fifth try in as many games for Bordeaux in a gritty 27-25 win, that came despite the side conceding two yellow cards in the clash.
Peter Kimlin played a full match at blindside flanker for Grenoble, as they defeated Bayonne 44-16.
Nic White played 50 minutes in Montpellier’s 28-19 win over Castres keeping them third on the Top 14 ladder.
Mike Harris played a full match at flyhalf for lyon as they eked out a 27-22 win over Pau, their third victory of the season.
Former Waratah and Brumbies back Matt Carraro crossed in the 52nd minute of Toulon’s draw with La Rochelle, after news that he would be staying with the club for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.
James O’Connor played 80 minutes at fullback in the game, just his second of the season, while Liam Gill started at openside flanker.
This weekend Europe and the UK’s biggest names come together for the start of the Champions and Challenge Cups, with the Top 14 and Premiership competitions taking a break.