Wallabies abroad: O'Connor scores on Sale debut

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

James O’Connor made his debut for Sale in the Premiership in a 57-10 win over Gloucester, scoring a try after coming off the bench at half-time in his return from ankle surgery.

O'Connor has not played since featuring in Toulon's team in the 2016-17 Top 14 final, which they lost, going under the knife in the off-season.

Matt Toomua helped Leicester to a win over reigning champions Exeter, the centre’s combination with England playmaker George Ford becoming an intimidating one.

Aussie Sevens Olympian Nick Malouf has been in strong finishing form. Photo: Getty ImagesThat combination was critical in setting up a try for Aussie Sevens Olympian Nick Malouf in the Tigers’ win.

Dave Dennis started at blindside flanker for the Chiefs in the defeat, with Lachie Turner playing the full game on the wing and halfback Nic White was rested.

James Horwill missed Harlequins’ loss to Rob Horne’s Northampton, in a match that generated plenty of controversy with eye gouging accusations against Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler.

Ben Tapuai played the final 21 minutes of Bath’s win over Wasps.

Saia Faingaa came off the bench in the 61st minute for newly-promoted side London Irish, whose haven't been able to add to their one win, after a loss to Newcastle.


Newcastle 29 - London Irish 17

Worcester 3 - Saracens 25

Sale Sharks 57 - Gloucester 10

Leicester 20 - Exeter 13

Northampton 30 - Harlequins 22

Wasps 9 - Bath 25

TOP 14

Jesse Mogg crossed in his Top 14 comeback. Photo: AFPThere were plenty of Aussie scorers in the Top 14 over the weekend, with some big scores racked up in France.

Fullback Jesse Mogg scored a try for Montpellier in his Top 14 return, and first clash of the season, while Joe Tomane missed with a knee injury.

Leroy Houston came off the bench to score for Bordeaux in a big win for Oyonnax.

Peter Betham’s five-pointer for Clermont wasn’t enough for them to get on top of Castres, going down 29-23.

Fellow capped Wallaby Sitaleki Timani played in the second row for the reigning champions.


Toulon 26 - La Rochelle 20

Pau 23 - Stade Francais 25

Toulouse 30 - Agen 10

Oyonnax 9 - Bordeaux 39

Racing 92 17 - Lyon 20

Montpellier 54 - Brive 10

Castres 29 - Clermont 23

Top League

George Smith's Suntory are making their Top League mark again. Photo: JRFUDigby Ioane had his best game for the season with a hat-trick for Panasonic as last season’s runner-up continued to dominate its pool in Japan.

The Wild Knights sit two games clear in the white group, after a 39-12 win over the NTT Communication Shining Arcs.

Flyhalf Berrick Barnes contributed 12 points off the boot, with two penalties and three conversions, while David Pocock stayed on the bench for the match.

George  Smith’s Suntory continued their clean sheet with a mammoth 69-7 win over the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

Smith crossed for a try in the 63rd minute, after coming off the bench, while Matt Giteau stayed on the pine as his team romped home.

Adam Ashley-Cooper in action for Kobe Steel. Photo: JRFUAdam Ashley-Cooper played a full game at fullback for Kobe Steel, with who had a big 38-19 win over Yamaha, keeping their perfect run intact and putting the heat on Suntory in the red group.


Ricoh Black Rams 29 - NEC Green Rockets 3

Toshiba Brave Lupus 19 - Toyota Industries Shuttles 17

Canon Eagles 33 - Coca-Cola Red Sparks 29

Yamaha Jubilo 19 - Kobelco Steelers 38

Kubota Spears 40 - Toyota Verblitz 50

Suntory Sungoliath 69 - NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes 7

NTT Communications 12 - Panasonic Wild Knights 39

Munakata Sanix Blues 18 - Kintetsu Liners 24


Scott Fardy returned to Leinster’s lineup, playing second row in the Irish side’s win over Edinburgh.

Lealiifano played another full match for Ulster at flyhalf, though his team couldn’t finish the job against Italian side Zebre.

In non-Aussie news, former Super Rugby side, the Cheetahs, are beginning to find form, with their second win in the Pro14, over Ospreys, while the Kings had another loss.


Cheetahs 44 - Ospreys 25

Glasgow Warriors 37 - Benetton 21

Leinster 21 - Edinburgh 13

Scarlets 36 - Connacht 27

Munster 39 - Cardiff 16

Zebre 27 - Ulster 23

Newport Gwent Dragons 29 - Kings 13