Sun, Dec 29, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Read leads all-conquering All Blacks

RUGBY GENIUS:New Zealand’s All Blacks won all their matches this year — a first in the professional era — led by the IRB’s player of the year, prolific No. 8 Kieran Read

AFP, PARIS

Away from the international calendar, former England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson showed trademark nerves of steel to kick Toulon to glory over Clermont in a tense European Cup final.

Storm clouds over the northern hemisphere’s premier club competition were brewing, however, with discontent among English and French clubs over its financing and structure, and a realigned tournament likely to be introduced next season.

It came as no great surprise that a Kiwi team won the Super 15 title, the Waikato Chiefs coming from behind to beat the ACT Brumbies 27-22 and retain the SANZAR crown, reinforcing their standing as the southern hemisphere rugby powerhouse.

Leicester defeated Northampton 37-17 to claim the English Premiership title, European Challenge Cup winners Leinster triumphed over Ulster to win the Celtic League, and Castres held on to win the Top 14’s Brennus Shield.

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