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Mariette Adams

Don’s perfect performance wins the day


Don Armand receives his Man of the Match award Don Armand receives his Man of the Match award

SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, French Top 14, Celtic Pro12 and European Champions Cup matches, involving South African players.

PREMIERSHIP FINAL

– Flank Don Armand emerged as the Man of the Match after the Exeter Chiefs beat Wasps 23-20 in an epic encounter to clinch the title. Armand and Exeter finished as runners-up in last year's final against Saracens, but on Saturday they kicked a late penalty to level the scores at 20-20 and take the game into extra time. The Chiefs dominated from there on and slotted the winning penalty two minutes from full-time. Fullback Willie le Roux and replacement hooker Ashley Johnson featured prominently for Wasps.

PRO12 FINAL

– Prop Werner Kruger, lock David Bulbring and wing DTH van der Merwe collected winners' medals after the Scarlets crushed Munster 46-22 to claim the title. Van der Merwe came off the bench to score one of the Scarlets' six tries. No 8 CJ Stander, flank Jean Deysel and centre Jaco Taute turned out for Munster, who were surprisingly far from their best. 

TOP 14 SEMI-FINALS

– Toulon, with Duane Vermeulen, Juan Smith, Juandré Kruger and Marcel van der Merwe in their starting lineup, needed a late drop goal to beat favourites La Rochelle 18-15 to advance to the final. Paul Jordaan played outside centre for La Rochelle and scrumhalf Ricky Januarie was used as an impact player off the bench.

– Clermont defeated Racing 37-31 in an action-packed match to book their place in the final alongside Toulon. After leading 19-6 at half-time, Clermont were dealt a massive blow immediately after the restart when lock Flip van der Merwe was red-carded for a dangerous tackle. But the hosts stuck to their guns to secure the victory. Flank Bernard le Roux and locks Gerbrandt Grobler and Francois van der Merwe turned out for Racing.

CHAMPIONS CUP QUALIFIER FINAL

– Scrumhalf Nic Groom formed part of the Northampton Saints side that edged Stade Français 23-22 to secure automatic qualification for next season's European Champions Cup. Jono Ross was at No 8 for Stade, while Willem Alberts started at lock. Hooker Craig Burden, flyhalf Morné Steyn and centre Meyer Bosman were used as impact players off the bench.

Compiled by Mariette Adams

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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