Wallabies abroad: Mixed record in European pools

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Europe's major tournaments kicked off last weekend, with mixed fortunes for some of the Aussies overseas.


Montpellier’s hopes of an opening Champions Cup win were snuffed out by a penalty after the final siren.

Nic White started at scrumhalf in the clash, in which Northampton’s Stephen Myler stole the win.

Matt Toomua’s Champions Cup debut was memorable, if not ideal, after the playmaker was handed a yellow card in just the 13th minute for a reckless tackle on Glasgow flyhalf Finn Russell.

Toomua played 70 minutes of the match, with Leicester on the end of a 42-13 Glasgow thrashing.

Adam Ashley-Cooper’s Bordeaux nabbed their first win of the tournament, with a 79th minute try sealing a 28-13 victory.

Ashley-Cooper played 80 minutes in the match up, while usual second rower Luke Jones went the entire match playing at blindside flanker.

Adam Ashley-Cooper in action for Bordeaux. Photo: AFPSaracens ended Toulon’s formidable undefeated home record in the Champions Cup, with the defending champions taking a 31-23 win over the French.

Liam Gill didn’t make it on for Toulon in the clash, staying on the bench for the full 80, while former Waratah and Brumbies back matt Carraro played 53 minutes.

Clermont flogged Exeter 35-8 in their pool game, with Lachie Turner starting at fullback and Greg Holmes and Dave Dennis coming off the bench.

Munster’s match up with Racing 92 was postponed after the shock death of Irish legend and Munster coach Anthony Foley overnight.

Glasgow, Wasps, Scarlets, Leinster and Clermont currently sit on top of their Champions Cup pools.


Leroy Houston and former Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen went head-to-head at number eight when bath picked up a 25-22 win in the Challenge Cup.

Mowen had a tough evening, handed a yellow card in the 69th minute for repeated infringements as his side narrowly went down.

Houston was strong at the back of the scrum and finished with 11 tackles and seven carries in the win.

Mike Harris’s Lyon picked up a bonus-point win in a 39-13 Challenge Cup win against Peter Kimlin’s Grenoble, though neither featured in the match.

Cooper Vuna’s Worcester Warriors were beaten by Russian minnow, Enisei STM, 19-12, in the first fixture of their Challenge Cup tournament.

Enisei has made a habit of upsets in recent matches, with the Warriors their third high-profile casualty in  Moscow.

James Horwill captained Harlequins to a 43-21 defeat of Stade Francais in the opening match of the Challenge Cup on Friday morning (AEDT).

La Rochelle, Ospreys, Newport Gwent, Cardiff and Edinburgh currently sit at the top of their Challenge Cup pools.


Daniel heenan crossed for Panasonic. Photo: Getty ImagesFormer Wallaby Daniel Heenan scored a try in Panasonic’s 45-12 win over Coca-Cola Red Sparks, with the defending champions sitting fourth overall.

Scott Higginbotham played a full match as the NEC Green Rockets suffered a 33-14 defeat to Suntory Sungoliath, with his future Queensland teammate Hendrik Tui and former Red Nigel Ah Wong contributing to Suntory’s tally.

That win puts Suntory  second of the Japanese competition after seven matches.

Anthony Fainga’a played 80 minutes for Kintetsu, though the Liners went down to the Ricoh Black Rams 31-24.

Wycliff Palu played a full match at number eight for the Toyota Verblitz as they lost to the NTT Shining Arcs, 19-13.

Former Wallabies forward Hugh McMeniman played 80 minutes for Honda, while winger Digby Ioane didn’t come off the bench in the Heat’s 47-25 loss to Yamaha Jubilo.