Stranded Kiwis in line for Cheetahs
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 .