Wallabies Abroad: Centurians set up Champions Cup showdown

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Two Wallabies centurions have set up a massive Champions Cup encounter with wins in the tournament over the weekend.

Matt Giteau led Toulon to a 20-16 win over Leinster, killing off the Irish side’s chances of progressing through the tournament.

Giteau and Drew Mitchell made up the Aussie contingent of the Toulon side, as the team’s form resurgence continued.

Former Wallabies flanker George smith featured heavily in the Wasps’ big win over Bath on Saturday night.

The win keeps them on top of their Champions Cup pool, setting up a monster clash against Toulon on the weekend of January 15-17, that will be key to deciding their final placings.

Wasps thumped Toulon in their last meeting but the French side has bolstered its ranks since that match-up.

Wallabies back Adam Ashley-Cooper made his debut for Bordeaux in a 33-27 win over Ospreys.

Playing at outside centre, the 114-Test veteran played all 80 minutes, joining his Wallabies teammate prop Sekope Kepu in the maroon line up.

Taqele Naiyaravoro couldn’t deliver another hat-trick performance for Glasgow in a grinding 9-6 win over Scarlets.

Neither side managed a try in the low-scoring game.

Halfback Will Genia was a late change for Stade Francais, absent from the side’s easy 40-14 win over Italian team, Bennetton Treviso.


Three Aussies featured in a dramatic last-minute Montpellier win over Cardiff, with former Queensland Reds back Ben Lucas lining up at fullback and former Brumbies halfback Nic White playing nine.

Former Brumbies and Waratahs forward Sitaleki Timani came off the bench for the French side.

Montpellier scored a converted try in the 82nd minute to clinch the thriller by just one point, 23-22.

Peter Kimlin came off the bench for Grenoble against Agen in a high-scoring encounter on Friday night, with his side winning 48-45.

Former Rebels back Luke Burgess played a full game at scrum half for Zebre in their 25-5 win over La Rochelle.

James Horwill’s Harlequins played out a 59-7 win over Rugby Calvisano in the Challenge Cup.


Nick Cummins played the second half for Coca Cola Red Sparks but it wasn’t enough to clinch a win as his side went down 20-12.

Digby Ioane’s Honda Heat went down to the Shining Arcs, 29-15.

Wallabies back rower Ben McCalman scored a try for the Panasonic Wild Knights as they beat the Kubota Spears, 30-27.

Berrick Barnes was injected into the game in the second half, booting three conversions in the win, keeping them undefeated.

Bernard Foley’s Ricoh Black Rams had another tough week at the office, going down to Suntory Sungoliath 37-20.

Foley kicked one conversion and two penalty goals in 50 minutes of game time.

Mark Gerrard played at flyhalf for the Toyota Industries Shuttles in their 29-28 win over the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

Gerrard booted 19 points ( five penalties and two conversions) in the thriller.