SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup matches, involving South African players.
– The Leicester Tigers withstood a late onslaught to beat Racing 27-17 at Welford Road on Sunday. JP Pietersen started for the Tigers after a one-game absence, and the Bok winger made five carries and ran 36m upon his return to action. Johan Goosen played outside centre for the visitors, running 57m from five carries and two clean breaks.
– Munster, featuring inside centre Jaco Taute and eighthman CJ Stander, secured an emotional 38-17 bonus-point victory over the Glasgow Warriors. Stander started at the back of the scrum, but wore the No 28 on his back after Munster decided to retire the No 8 shirt for this game in honour of late coach Anthony Foley, who was buried on Friday. Taute starred for Munster and scored a try on his Champions Cup debut. Josh Strauss started for the Warriors.
– A late try saw flank Ashley Johnson and his Wasps teammates snatch a dramatic 20-20 draw with hosts Toulouse. Former Bok prop Gurthrö Steenkamp was on the Toulouse bench.
– Forwards Quintin Geldenhuys, Johan Meyer and Dries van Schalkwyk were in the Zebre team that lost 52-7 to Connacht. In the most one-sided game in round two, Connacht, with lock Quinn Roux and wing Danie Poolman in their ranks, ran riot against their hosts.
– Toulon battled to a 15-5 win over the 14-man Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium. Boks Bryan Habana and No 8 Duane Vermeulen started for Toulon, while compatriot Marcel van der Merwe was named on the bench. Prop Brian Mujati earned a starting berth for Sale.
– Saracens continued to set the tone in European rugby with a 44-26 triumph over the Scarlets in London. Hooker Schalk Brits and flanks Schalk Burger and Michael Rhodes were starters for Sarries and prop Petrus du Plessis was among the reserves. Rhodes burrowed over for a try in the 74th minute. Winger DTH van der Merwe, lock David Bulbring and prop Werner Kruger were on duty for Scarlets.
– Centre Robert Ebersohn, scurmhalf Rory Kockott, prop Dan Kotzé and hooker Jody Jenneker were part of the Castres side that smashed the Northampton Saints 41-7 at home. Former Stormers scrumhalf Nic Groom represented the Saints.
– Montpellier clinched an exciting 22-16 win against Leinster at the Altrad Stadium. Frans Steyn (inside centre), Pierre Spies (No 8), Paul Willemse (lock), Jacques du Plessis (lock) and Jannie du Plessis (prop) were in Montpellier's run-on XV, while Nicolaas van Rensburg and Wiaan Liebenberg were used as impact players. Steyn kicked two crucial conversions and a penalty for the winners. Ex-Bok Zane Kirchner was at fullback for Leinster.
– Ulster, with Ruan Pienaar, Franco van der Merwe and Rob Herring in their ranks, claimed an enthralling 19-18 win against the Exeter Chiefs thanks to a 77th-minute drop goal. The winners are still in third position in the pool standings.
– Ex-Stormers duo Kobus can Wyk and Steven Kitshoff were in the Bordeaux team that suffered a 49-33 defeat at the hands of Clermont. The Bordeaux players were ill-disciplined throughout the game and the team paid the price with two yellow cards, including one for Van Wyk.
– Treviso, with Braam Steyn at No 8, slumped to a 37-8 loss against Gloucester at Kingsholm Stadium. The result had no impact on the pool standings, as Gloucester remain second and Treviso fourth.
– Jacques-Louis Potgieter kicked one penalty but it was in vain as captain Deon Fourie and his Lyon charges lost 31-13 against Ospreys. Prop BJ Botha was on the bench for Lyon, but failed to make an appearance.
– Lock Mouritz Botha and his Newcastle Falcons teammates smashed beleaguered Grenoble 50-7 at Kingston Park. The result sees the two teams swap positions on the log, with the Falcons moving to third and Grenoble dropping to fourth.
– Enisei continued to defy the odds when they claimed another big scalp to make it two wins from as many games. The Russian qualifiers beat the Newport Gwent Dragons 38-18. Fullback Carl Meyer, wing Pat Howard and lock Ligtoring Landman turned out for the Dragons, who are now second in the standings. Enisei are top of the pool log. Howard scored the Dragons' opening try in the 19th minute.
– Locks Jan Uys and Johan Snyman and prop Kevin Buys did service for Brive, who clinched a 25-25 win over hosts the Worcester Warriors at Sixways Stadium.
– Bath ousted bitter rivals Bristol 22-6 at The Rec. Hooker Michael van Vuuren earned a rare spot in Bath's starting lineup.
– WP Nel's Edinburgh edged Tim Swiel's Harlequins 36-35 in an instant classic at Murrayfield on Saturday. Swiel came on as a replacement and kicked two conversions, but it was in vain. The result keeps Edinburgh top of the standings, three points clear of Quins.
– Morné Steyn, Jono Ross, Craig Burden, Willem Alberts and Meyer Bosman were part of the Stade Français outfit that battled to a 27-0 win against Timisoara Saracens in Paris. Steyn slotted two conversions and a penalty. Flyhalf Jody Rose and flank Randall Morrison started for the Romanian qualifiers.
Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Getty Images
Goosen’s top effort in France
Johan Goosen’s performances for Racing 92 this past season are worth shouting about, writes GAVIN MORTIMER.
Naholo’s confidence boost
Waisake Naholo has a point to prove with the All Blacks, writes MARC HINTON.
‘Boks’ luck finally ran out’
What former Bok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springboks' 26-24 defeat to Argentina in Salta.