In France the Top 14 ploughed on through the international break. Lucas Amorosino came on at half time but could do nothing as his depleted Montpellier side lost 27-9 to equally deprived but less affected Toulouse. A quirk of the fixture list meant that both Paris sides were at home on the same day as the Wallabies France test match, Christophe Lassucq’s Stade Francais dispatched Agen 20-13, Julian Dupuy played but kicking duties were Jermone Porical’s this week; across Paris Ephram Taukafa was shown a yellow card just 6 minutes after entering the fray as a 50th minute substitute but it mattered not as Mont-du-Marsan (Stade Montois for the connoisseurs of French rugby) snatched their first win of the campaign against Racing Metro after a 76th minute drop goal. Henry Tuilagi managed 54 minutes for Perpignan as they surrendered 15-3 away to Biarritz, at 36 Tuilagi is still managing to turn out regularly for Perpignan starting their last 4 games.
In the Anglo-Welsh Cup Adam Balding made his debut for his 5th top flight club as London Welsh were dispatched by Exeter, where Robin Cowling works as an assistant coach, 42-15 after a 5 try second half. Ian Humphreys slotted 4 conversions and 2 penalties as London Irish got a come from behind bonus point win against Sale, featuring Andy Powell, in Reading. George Skivington’s 50 minute try was the start of the Irish come back as they turned a 21-10 deficit into a 34-28 victory. Andy Goode was a half time substitute as Worcester turned on the power to cruise to a 34-18 victory against a Llanelli side that was leading 13-6 at half time, Richard De Carpentier made his Warriors debut on the blindside flank. Ian Nimmo saw yellow as Dan Hipkiss and his Bath chums claimed a 36-15 victory at the Rec. Cardiff Blues beat Wasps 22-17; Marco Wentzel played almost the whole match and Matt Everard came off the bench for the last 18 minutes.
In the Championship Dean Richards and John Wells’s Newcastle side march on undefeated after seeing off Nottingham 29-9; Nottingham featured 8 ex-Tigers with Finely Barnham coming off the bench to join fellow back Joe Cobden and forwards Matt Parr, Joe Duffy, Michael Holford, Dan Montague, Alex Shaw and captain Brent Wilson. A last minute try helped Bedford, with Greg Gillanders at 6, overcome a Doncaster side 21-22 at Castle Park; Dante Mama had earlier scored to put the Knights 21-10 up as he partnered Will Simpson in midfield. Tom Bowen scored an early try as Plymouth Albion continued their good early season form by beating London Scottish 24-20. Bristol bounced back from their humiliating reverse in Nottingham by claiming the bonus point in a 39-16 victory at home to Jersey; a crowd of 4,700 saw James Grindal and Dave Markham feature from the bench for the hosts and their visitors respectively. Diccon Edwards’s Leeds side secured their place in the Championship’s play off places as they thrashed Moseley 38-12; Calum Green and Dan Hemmingway were the locks for Leeds whilst Ben Pienaar wore 8 for the Brummie side. Green, Pienaar and Mama were this week named in a Championship squad to take on the New Zealand Maori in Doncaster this Saturday.
In National League One Ollie Smith’s Esher side won 27-10 at home to Coventry thanks to a good forward effort; Greg Sammonds bagged Coventry’s try as Ben Toft and Luke Myring also featured for the Midlanders. Scott Bemand’s Loughborough Students side roared out of the relegation places as they thrashed Sedgley Park 70-14 Joe Atkinson bagged a brace from blindside flanker. Rob Conquest and Michael Gillick were both part of a Cambridge side downed away to Wharedale, 51-23.
In National 2 North brothers Will and Rob Hurrell were to the fore as Stourbridge maintained their 100% bonus point win record as they dispatched Darlington 33-18. Richard Harris, Marc Howgate and Luke Veebel were all playing as Leicester Lions lost 27-13 up at Hull.