Ma’a Nonu and Dan Carter deadly as race to French playoffs heats up

first_imgPhoto: Getty Images (Ma’a Nonu scoring for Toulon who are in the thick of the race for the French Top 14 playoffs). Ma’a Nonu was at his vintage best as he helped Toulon to a thrilling and important win in the French Top 14.The former All Blacks midfielder scored the last of Toulon’s three tries with a brilliant solo 30m effort in their 33-23 win on Monday (NZ time).Tries haven’t been easy to come by for Nonu since he moved to France following the 2015 World Cup triumph.But he showed his mix of power and pace with this effort, side-stepping against the run of play and slicing through the Toulouse defenders to make his way to the line.​The win sees Toulon in fourth place as the playoffs edge closer.Meanwhile Dan Carter and his fellow Kiwis turned it on to keep Racing 92’s hope of making the playoffs alive.Defending champions Racing moved to fifth on the table with a pulsating 34-32 win against Pau on Monday (NZ time).Pau collected a bonus point to be sixth on the table on points-differential with Racing.The top six teams qualify for the playoffs.Carter kicked two penalties and converted all four tries for Racing.Joe Rokocoko scored the opening try for Racing in just the fifth minute and former Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna marked his return to action with a try.Pau came back from 34-13 to score three tries in the last 10 minutes in a desperate bid to catch their Paris opponents.Colin Slade was again missing from the Pau lineup with Tom Taylor playing at No 10 and kicking one penalty.Racing 92 coach Laurent Labit praised Tameifuna who has battled weight issues this season after suffering a  stomach ulcer.Labit revealed Tameifuna had returned overweight in the offseason. He had been rested since March 11 to try to get him into better shape and the coach felt Tameifuna had delivered a strong performance against Pau with his scrum work, tackling and clean outs.last_img

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