Tuesday 12 December 2017 / 02:00 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.

League and union

Catalans Dragons will face a do-or-die match to remain in the Super League, with the dreaded ‘Million Pound Game’ coming up after they lost 12-10 to Widnes over the weekend.

Wests Tigers-bound wing Corey Thompson helped bury the Dragons with a try just before the hour mark, while Luke Walsh kicked a pair of penalties and a conversion for the French side, who will now face Leigh in the promotion/relegation match this weekend.

Catalans have former Kiwi internationals Louis Anderson, Sam Moa and Krisnan Inu in their squad, along with Brayden Williame, Justin Horo, Greg Bird and Walsh. The future for most of those players will be unclear should the Dragons lose.

In other action, Wakefield ended Wigan’s season with a resounding 32-0 shutout, with Sam Williams scoring a try, while Ben Pomeroy (two tries) and Peta Hiku helped Warrington to a big win over second-tier Hull KR.

Under-strength Castleford suffered a thrashing at the hands of Hull FC, with Fetuli Talanoa and Albert Kelly both grabbing a try each in the 48-16 win for FC, and across in Huddersfield one-time Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders utility Ryan Hinchcliffe scoring in a loss to Leeds.

Zeb Taia and Ben Barba both scored in the final 20 minutes as St Helens eased past Salford 30-4.

Meanwhile there were six Australasian players included in the Super League’s Dream Team, with Mahe Fonua, Albert Kelly, Grant Millington, Matt Parcell, Sebastine Ikahihifo and Ben Murdoch-Masila all making the cut.

It was the second year in a row Fonua was selected, while Parcell makes it in what is his first season in the UK competition.

Moving to union, where men from Down Under had a field day in the French Top 14 when La Rochelle crushed Union Sportive Oyonnax 57-12, with Aussies and Kiwis accounting for 19 of the points themselves.

Forwards Jason Eaton and Afa Amosa both started and scored tries, while Victor Vito did the same off the bench. Brock James contributed three conversions in the romp.

In the south of France, Bordeaux Begles hammered Montpellier, with New Zealanders Simon Hickey and Aaron Cruden opposing each other in the No.10 jerseys.

Hickey well and truly got the last laugh, kicking 22 points and scoring a try in his side’s victory, while Cruden had two conversions and a penalty for his club.

All Blacks Sevens product Toby Arnold was among the try-scorers for Lyon in a comfortable 31-12 win over Castres which also saw Lyon’s Australian flanker Liam Gill shown a yellow card, while Perth-born playmaker Zack Holmes scored a vital try for Stade Toulousain as they scraped past CA Brive 22-19.

Frank Halai scored a try and Colin Slade kicked a conversion Section Paloise when they beat Agen.

Across in the UK, experienced Australian lock Dave Dennis scored a try for defending champions Exeter as they got past Wasps 31-17, with Kiwi Jimmy Gopperth kicking seven points for the defeated Coventry-based side.

Last year’s Wallabies vice-captain, Rob Horne, powered through for his first Premiership try, and then quickly grabbed his second, in a convincing 40-25 victory for Northampton,

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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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