Sunday 24 September 2017 / 06:05 AM

DOWN UNDER REPORT: LEAGUE & UNION

Commentary Box Sports brings you a wrap of last week’s action involving Aussies and Kiwis playing over in Europe.

League and union

The real rugby league party in Hull this week went off on the east side, where Hull KR celebrated returning to the Super League for 2018, with a 12-6 victory over Widnes ensuring they will return to the top-flight a year after being relegated. Both Adam Quinlan and Mose Masoe took the field for KR in the win at Craven Park.

On the other side of the bridge Hull FC hosted the Wigan Warriors and suffered a third-straight defeat, going down 30-22, in a result which keeps Wigan’s Old Trafford dream alive.

Former Sydney Roosters lower-grader Anthony Gelling grabbed a brace for the Warriors, while Mahe Fonua did the same for FC, joining Sika Manu on the scoresheet.

Meanwhile Manu (Player of the Year) and livewire Aussie half Albert Kelly (Players’ Player of the Year) scooped the major gongs at Hull FC’s awards evening, being rewarded for stellar campaigns for the Yorkshire side.

Kurt Gidley and Peta Hiku both scored tries for Warrington as they squeezed past Leigh 32-30 to confirm their place in the Super League again next year, while former NRL players Krisnan Inu, Brayden Williame and Sam Moa all got over the line to help Catalans Dragons to a vital victory over Featherstone.

Manu Vatuvei looks to have well and truly found his try-scoring mojo again after linking up with Salford mid-season, and his two tries contributed to the Red Devils demolishing Huddersfield 52-14.

While his side lost in the end to a Castleford Tigers team who were helped along by a Ben Roberts double, one-time Melbourne and Brisbane prop Mitch Garbutt scored one of the individual tries of the season in the Leeds Rhinos’ 38-24 defeat.

Shifting to union and the second week of the UK Premiership took place, with Wasps top of the pile after a perfect start to the new season.

Last week they got up for a 24-10 road victory over the Worcester Warriors, with their sole Australasian rep, Jimmy Gopperth, kicking a conversion.

The defending champion Exeter Chiefs bounced back from an opening-round loss to down London Irish 37-7, with Aussie halfback Nic White a key contributor, while former Wallaby Lachie Turner was on the bench.

Canterbury product Tom Taylor kicked half of Section Paloise’s 30 points in a win against Lyon, while Simon Hickey helped Bordeaux Begles to an early lead in an eventual 30-10 win over Stade Francais Paris.

It was all literally all about Ben Botica as Top 14 newcomers Union Sportive Oyonnax edged Agen 12-10, with the one-time North Harbour man, and son of former league and union international Frano, kicking every one of their points.

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About the author

Corey Rosser

One of CBS’s newest contributors, Te Aroha product Corey is the New Zealand correspondent for NRL.com, the editor for the excellent new site Kiwi League Central, and a guru of the local Auckland rugby league scene.

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