Sinckler and Rees-Zammit shine on return to domestic action

Kyle Sinckler 13/2/2021
A busy weekend of domestic rugby saw Guinness Six Nations stars grab the headlines for their clubs across the continent as the action provided no shortage of drama.

A busy weekend of domestic rugby saw Guinness Six Nations stars grab the headlines for their clubs across the continent as the action provided no shortage of drama.

Kyle Sinckler and Louis Rees-Zammit both produced the goods in the Premiership for Bristol Bears and Gloucester Rugby while Hugo Keenan impressed for Leinster in the Rainbow Cup.

Meanwhile, Gaël Fickou and Teddy Thomas were both on the scoresheet for Racing 92 in France as they romped to a comprehensive victory over Clermont Auvergne.

And for those who missed the enthralling drama over the last few days, here’s a look at what went down and which players gave their national head coaches reason to smile.


England prop Kyle Sinckler was one of the most high-profile omissions from Warren Gatland’s Lions squad last week, having been a key man on the 2017 tour to New Zealand.

But the Bristol Bears man delivered the perfect riposte on Saturday, earning the Player of the Match award for his performance in his side’s 40-20 win over Bath Rugby.

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Anthony Watson and Rhys Priestland had put Bath two tries up after 13 minutes at The Rec, but Premiership leaders Bristol overcame a 15-point deficit to prevail.

Max Malins scored a brace while Ben Earl and Nathan Hughes also dotted down for the visitors, but it was the display of Sinckler that earned all the plaudits in the West Country derby.

And speaking after the game about missing out on this summer’s Lions tour to South Africa, Sinckler said: “I am not going to lie – I am emotional. I kind of understand the reasons why.

“What I wanted to do was to lead by example and show the kids. How easy would it have been for me to play the victim, to say sorry me or to throw my toys out of the pram.”

Elsewhere, Wales superstar Louis Rees-Zammit celebrated his Lions call-up by crossing the whitewash twice as Gloucester defeated Northampton Saints 31-7 at Franklin’s Gardens.

England internationals Henry Slade and Sam Simmonds were also among the tries as Exeter Chiefs overcame Worcester Warriors 41-10 to maintain the pressure on Bristol at the top.

There were also wins for Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons while Marcus Smith was the hero for Harlequins as they came from behind in a classic to beat Wasps 48-46 at The Stoop.


It was the Hugo Keenan show in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup as the Ireland international scored three tries to help Leinster recover from 16-0 down to beat Connacht.

The visitors found themselves trailing after Caolin Blade got an early try at The Sportsground, but Keenan grabbed two tries as Leinster stormed into a 33-16 lead at the break.

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The full-back completed his treble after the interval while fellow Ireland international Andrew Porter also got his name on the scoreboard as Leinster triumphed 50-21.

In Cardiff, Wales star Josh Adams crossed for his tenth try in 16 games for Cardiff Blues as they overcame Dragons 17-16 in a game which featured two red cards at the Arms Park.

Wales back Owen Lane and Dragons hooker Rhys Lawrence were both dismissed but 2021 Guinness Six Nations winner Adams’ try helped get his side over the line.

There were also plenty of Wales players on show as Scarlets got the better of Ospreys 22-6, with Jonathan Davies and Leigh Halfpenny both in superb form at Parc y Scarlets.

Over in France, Les Bleus were well represented in the Top 14 as Teddy Thomas, Gaël Fickou and Romain Taofifenua all scored tries in Racing 92’s 45-19 victory over Clermont.

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Cameron Woki was also among the scorers as Bordeaux Begles dispatched Bayonne 47-22 while Paul Willemse and Anthony Bouthier dotted down in Montpellier’s 32-22 win over La Rochelle.

And a brace from young fly-half Louis Carbonel, as well as tries from Baptiste Serin and Gabin Villière, ensured a comfortable 44-10 win for Toulon over Heineken Champions Cup finalists Toulouse.