• Ma’a Nonu Paying Dividends for Toulon in European Champions Cup

    Britannia may rule the waves, or at least, did at one time, but New Zealand rules the ground, so long as that ground is being used to play rugby.

    Kiwis are taking over the European Champions Cup (ECC) and one of the most prominent over takers is Ma’a Nonu.

    He put on a show is his role with Toulon, the French club best known for raiding the ranks of certain Southern Hemisphere rugby clubs and leagues, although the value of some of the players from the other place is at best, dubious.

    For all his ability, however, and the impact he has made in the ECC, he was unable to prevent Toulon from suffering at 26 – 21 defeat to Todd Blackadder’s Bath side in England.

    We checked, and this Blackadder is not the same one portrayed by Rowan Atkinson in the four comedy series named Blackadder something or other. There could be a familial connection, but if there is, we are unaware of it. We just liked writing Blackadder and even wish that it were our name, although if a descriptive surname were our desire, it would more accurately be Weakbladder.

    The last time the two clubs met, Toulon got the better of the encounter.

    The recent match saw Bath ahead 23 – 13 at the half, when Nonu broke out and threatened to take over the game.

    As a former All Black, Nonu’s credentials are beyond question and his surging run in the second half got his club on solid ground. He offloaded to Chris Ashton, which set up a try for lock Samu Manoa.

    Nonu might be close to calling time, as he will be 36 years of age in May of 2018, but he still plays with the determination and joie de vivre of a much younger player and it would not be surprising to us if All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen were to call him for more international play for the Kiwis.