Stranded Ki­wis in line for Chee­tahs

Marlborough Express - - SPORT - RUGBY

Le­in­ster didn’t need Ki­wis Isa Nacewa and Jami­son Gib­sonPark - de­nied en­try to South Africa af­ter a visa wran­gle - to beat the South­ern Kings in the Pro14 rugby com­pe­ti­tion.

The Ir­ish prov­ince racked up five tries in a 31-10 win at Port El­iz­a­beth in the first Pro14 game on South African soil.

Nacewa and Gib­son-Park were sent back to Dublin when Le­in­ster ar­rived last week be­cause they did not have the visas now re­quired by New Zealan­ders vis­it­ing South Africa.

They have since com­pleted the pa­per­work and will re­turn to the Le­in­ster squad for next week­end’s game against the Chee­tahs in Bloem­fontein.

Le­in­ster coach Leo Cullen told re­porters the Kiwi pair would not have been in the start­ing lineup against the Kings in any case.

New Zealand-born full­back Joey Car­bery starred, scor­ing one of Le­in­ster’s try as the four­time Pro14 cham­pi­ons ran riot be­fore a pal­try 3011 South African spec­ta­tors.

Dave Ren­nie con­tin­ued his un­beaten start to his Euro­pean coach­ing ca­reer, guid­ing the Glas­gow War­riors to a 20-19 win over the Cardiff Blues in Cardiff af­ter 10 points from Scot­tish pivot Finn Rus­sell.

Rey Ley-lo and Wil­lis Hala­holo were in the Cardiff start­ing lineup.

Rob­bie Fruean and John Hardie could not in­spire lack­lus­tre Ed­in­burgh, who lost 20-17 at home to Ital­ian club Ben­net­ton Tre­viso, who cel­e­brated their first win of the sea­son.

Kieran Keane’s Connacht - who fielded Bundee Aki (mid­field) and Tom McCart­ney (hooker) - lost 21-8 to the Dragons at New­port’s Rodney Pa­rade.

Keane told BBC Sport that Connacht "had some good spells" but gifted the Dragons a cou­ple of tries.

"We had our backs against the wall but I re­ally liked the grit we showed [in the sec­ond half], so there were some good things to come out of it."

Former Cru­sader Tyler Bleyen­daal kicked 11 points and cap­tained Mun­ster to a 21-16 away vic­tory over Ospreys in Swansea.

The Chee­tahs had a crush­ing 54-39 win over Italy’s Ze­bre in Bloem­fontein, scor­ing eight tries to five.

Mean­while, Todd Black­ad­der’s bub­ble burst in the English Premier­ship when his Bath side a com­pre­hen­sive 24-6 loss to the Northamp­ton Saints.

Bath had beaten the Le­ices­ter Tigers and Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Sara­cens in the open­ing rounds, but were out­gunned by a Saints side skip­pered by Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions lock Court­ney Lawes, who scored the first try.

"Take noth­ing away from Northamp­ton, that was an out­stand­ing per­for­mance from them and it shows how tough the com­pe­ti­tion is go­ing to be," Black­ad­der, Bath’s di­rec­tor of rugby, told BBC Sport.

"I’m dis­ap­pointed when we don’t per­form but when you’re beaten by a bet­ter side you can ac­cept that, and we can ac­cept this."

It was the last game for Bath’s head coach Tabai Mat­son, who is re­turn­ing home to New Zealand for fam­ily rea­sons and has been tipped to join the Chiefs’ coach­ing staff.

Cham­pi­ons Ex­eter Chiefs crushed Worces­ter 41-10 .

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