Wallabies abroad: Champions Cup, Top League finals take hold

by Sam Phillips

While Matt Giteau and Sean McMahon were claiming Top League glory for Suntory, there were plenty of Aussies also putting in the hard yards across Europe and Japan at the weekend.

The Top League sorted its final rankings for the year, with Champions Cup and Challenge Cup action taking centre stage in Europe.


Ben Tapuai started at inside centre for Bath but they were no match for Scarlets, who shot out to a 22-3 half time lead and cruised home with a 35-17 win.

Lachie Turner shifted to fullback and Nic White started at halfback for Exeter as they cruised to a big 41-10 win over Montpellier, who had Jesse Mogg on the pine.

There was no such positive result for Will Skelton's Saracens, who drew 15-all with Ospreys in a match where neither side managed to score a try.

Former Waratahs teammates Rob Horne and Peter Betham squared off when Northampton took on Clermont, the former getting the upper hand in a 34-21 win.Rob Horne got the better of Peter Betham at the weekend. Photo: AFPSemi Radradra shifted to inside centre for Toulon's 36-0 wipe of Benneton, though the match was marred by a homophobic slur caught on camera.

Tatafu Polota-Nau, Nick Malouf and Leicester were on the receiving end of a hiding at Castres, the Tigers kept scoreless in the 39 point rout.

Scott Fardy and Leinster kept their hot form going, cruising to a 34-7 half time lead en route to a 55-19 win.


Paul Alo-Emile and Stade Francais took on Junior Rasolea Edinburgh, the former Rebel and his side falling 34-33 to the former Force back.

Curtis Browning's Oyonnax fell 19-29 to Brive but Ben Meehan's London Irish were far too strong for Krasny Yar, claiming a 47-17 win.

Ben Mowen's Pau squared off with Cruze Ah-Nau and the struggling Zebre - Mowen and Pau continuing the Italian side's woes with a comfortable 42-14 win.

There was no James O'Connor for Sale and Lyon were without Liam Gill but Mike Harris started at inside centre for the French side, who fell 15-13 in a low scoring affair.

Luke Jones, Ben Volavola and Blair Connor were all in the starting XV for Bordeaux as they came from behind to claim a 36-28 over Dragons.


It was all smiles for Giteau, McMahon and Suntory as they claimed the Top League crown but there were injury concerns for the Aussies that featured for the Wild Knights in the final loss.

Ed Quirk scored a try for Canon in their shootout against the Shining Arcs, who claimed 9th place with a 38-32 win.

Toyota Shuttles had four Aussies in their 23 with Cadeyrn Neville, Sam Greene, Peter Kimlin and Harry Jones all featuring in their 11th place playoff with Kubota Spears, who emerged with a 31-10 win.

Nigel Ah Wong was the only Aussie that featured in the 15th place playoff, coming off the bench and getting hit with a yellow card in Kintetsu's 21-13 loss to the Red Hurricanes.