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Tough week for Kiwis in Europe

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    06 Jan 2019     Getty Images

In the English Premiership, Todd Blackadder's Bath side slipped back to seventh place after their game with Worcester ran to 99 minutes, the winning try being scored by former New Zealand Sevens representative Bryce Heem in the last minute at which point Bath were playing with only 11 men.

Bath led 19-3 at half time but lost replacement hooker Ross Batty in the 63rd minute when sent off for a head roll.

By the time 80 minutes were up, Bath were defending a 14-19 lead five metres from their line during a string of scrums. Two players were sin-binned for technical infringement and then when Aled Brew looked to have completed a match-winning tackle to deny Worcester a try, he was sin-binned for being offside.

Even with only seven men in their scrum, including Welsh international midfielder Jamie Roberts, they managed to avoid a penalty try but with only four men in the backline they were susceptible to long passing by Worcester and it was that avenue they took to give Heem his try. Duncan Weir added the conversion to give Worcester the win.

Meanwhile, Bristol coach Pat Lam said neither of the tries scored by Exeter in their 14-9 win should have been allowed. The first resulted from a lineout throw that wasn't straight while the second was ironic, coming after Lam had discussed Exeter's ploy where their backs joined a maul too early, with England's refereeing officials before the game. It was that tactic which saw them score their second try.

Lam said after the game, "If you look at the law, and what they do, as soon as the ball is thrown their backs come flying up. They are allowed to do that but must retreat 10 metres back, and not hang around two or three metres away, if the ball does not go more than 15 metres and is brought down, which happened at our ground.

"They have to go back 10 metres and they cannot join until the lineout is over.

"I am not saying I have an issue with Exeter, I am saying the referees have to know their lawbook and understand."

Meanwhile, former All Blacks prop Carl Hayman, now coaching the forwards at Pau, got into an altercation with some of his pack and was suspended by the club. He has been coaching at the club since 2016 and it is expected Hayman, 39, will leave the club.

Fellow New Zealanders, Simon Mannix, Conrad Smith and Paul Tito are part of the coaching set up at a club which hasn't had a win in the Top 14 since October 6.