Tuesday 24 October 2017 / 04:13 AM

DOWN UNDER REPORT: UNION & LEAGUE

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

Union and league 

The Super League’s Magic Weekend took place at St James’ Park in Newcastle last week, with plenty of exiles featuring heavily in the matches.

Former New Zealand Warriors Sam Rapira and Sebastine Ikahihifo helped Huddersfield to a grinding 18-10 win over Les Catalans, with Rapira scoring a try and Ikahihifo making 31 tackles for the Giants.

Back-rower Ben Murdoch-Masila grabbed a double for Salford, and Michael Dobson kicked three goals, as they got up for a 36-22 win over Leigh, while former Parramatta Eels and Melbourne Storm centre Ryan Morgan scored one of St Helens’ eight tries in their 45-0 rout of Hull FC.

The Saints are now being coached by former Sydney Roosters player and assistant coach Justin Holbrook.

Moving to union and in the UK Premiership New Zealand’s Jimmy Gopperth received the honour of being announced the competition’s Player of the Season.

It caps a hat-trick of individual awards for the former Hurricanes and Blues playmaker, who has also been named as the Rugby Players’ Association Player of the Season, and picked up the same gong for his club side Wasps.

The 33-year-old clocked 266 points in 21 appearances this year to help lead Wasps to a top-of-the-table finish in the regular season.

Wasps take on Exeter at Twickenham in the Premiership final on Saturday, with former Wallaby Kurtley Beale facing a race against the clock in order to be fit for the decider after limping off the field during his side’s dramatic 21-20 semi-final win over Leicester.

Earlier Beale scored the opening try of the match, while former Warratahs, Rebels and Brumbies back Peter Betham scored a try for the beaten Tigers.

In France the Top 14 quarter-finals took place, where Liam Gill, Drew Mitchell and Ma’a Nonu’s RC Toulonnais inched past Castres Olympique 26-22.

In the other match played Daniel Carter kicked two conversions and a penalty, while fellow former All Black Joe Rokocoko scored a try for Racing 92 as they beat Montpellier 22-13.

[YouTube – Salford Red Devils TV]

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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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