Monday 20 November 2017 / 08:21 PM

DOWN UNDER REPORT: UNION AND 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 new UK Premiership rugby season got underway over the weekend, with last year’s Player of the Year, Jimmy Gopperth, making an excellent start to the campaign, kicking 15 points for Wasps as they cast Sale Sharks aside 50-35.

Auckland-born England winger Denny Solomona scored a try for the Sharks.

Jeremy Thrush grabbed a double for Gloucester and was joined on the scoresheet by Kiwi fullback Jason Woodward, as they upset defending champions the Exeter Chiefs.

There a number of new faces from Down Under plying their trade in the UK Premiership this year, including Aussie halfback Nic White, who joins Exeter, former Wallaby James O’Connor, who arrives at Sale from Toulon and Will Skelton who is on deck at Saracens via time with the Waratahs in Super Rugby.

Shifting to league and led by former Newcastle Knights playmaker Luke Walsh, Catalans Dragons earned a pressure-relieving 24-0 shutout of second-tier Halifax.

Walsh accounted for 12 of the French outfit’s points by way of a try and four goals, while Brayden Williame also scored.

Widnes got past Leigh 24-8, with past Wests Tiger Rhys Hanbury and future Wests Tiger Corey Thompson both scoring for the Vikings

The stubborn London Broncos came within a whisker of pulling off a major upset in the Super 8s Qualifiers, losing 40-38 against Super League outfit the Warrington Wolves.

One-time Penrith Panther Jarrod Sammut was in line to be the Broncos’ hero, with his three tries and five goals doing much of the damage for the side from the capital, who also had former New Zealand Warriors products Mark Ioane and Api Pewhairangi take the field.

Peta Hiku scored one of Warrington’s seven tries and ran for 190 metres in the centres.

At the top there’s no change, with the Castleford Tigers racking up yet another win, this time against the Huddersfield Giants where former Kiwi internationals Jake Webster and Ben Roberts scored tries.

Adam Cuthbertson and Matt Parcell both scored for Leeds in a victory over Hull FC, while Jacob Miller had a double and drop goal in Wakefield’s 43-18 thrashing of Manu Vatuvei’s Salford Red Devils.

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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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