SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s European Champions Cup, European Challenge Cup and Japanese Top League matches, involving South African players.
– La Rochelle, with centre Paul Jordaan in their match-day squad, seized control of Pool 1 with a crushing 41-17 bonus-point win over Ulster. Front rowers Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst started for Ulster and flank Robbie Diack played off the bench in his 200th appearance for the Irish province.
– Fullback Willie le Roux, inside centre Juan de Jongh and hooker Ashley Johnson earned starting berths for Wasps in their 41-10 demolition of Harlequins. Johnson scored one of the winners’ five tries. Tim Swiel was Quins’ reserve flyhallf.
– Saracens overcame a gallant Ospreys side to win 36-34 at Allianz Park. It was Sarries’ second successive bonus-point win and keeps them at the top of the pool. Brad Barritt and Schalk Brits were starters for Saracens, while Schalk Burger and Vincent Koch were used as impact players.
– Flip van der Merwe and Scott Spedding were part of the Clermont team that hammered the Northampton Saints 24-7. Nic Groom was at scrumhalf for the Saints, with Cobus Reinach and Francois van Wyk on the bench.
– The Exeter Chiefs stunned hosts Montpellier 27-24. Flank Don Armand led Exeter’s charge with two tries, while inside centre Frans Steyn, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, flank Wiaan Liebenberg and locks Nicolaas van Rensburg and Jacques du Plessis played for Montpellier.
– The Leicester Tigers lashed Castres 54-29 to go top of their pool. Prop Pat Cilliers retained his place on Leicester’s bench. Scrumhalf Rory Kockott and hooker Jody Jenneker featured for Castres, with Kockott slotting three conversions and a penalty in their losing cause.
– No 8 CJ Stander and lock Jean Kleyn formed part of the Munster lineup that pipped Racing 14-7 in Limerick. Eighthman Antonie Claassen, lock Bernard le Roux and fullback Pat Lambie featured for Racing.
– Werner Kruger and David Bulbring were second-half replacements for the Scarlets, who slumped to a shock 18-13 home defeat at the hands of Bath. The Scarlets are now third on the log and Bath top.
– Toulon, with Marcel van der Merwe and Juandré Kruger in their ranks, beat Treviso 30-29. Braam Steyn started at blindside flank for the Italian club.
– The Newcastle Falcons pipped hosts Bordeaux 21-20. Lock Jandré Marais led Bordeaux, while compatriot Tian Schoeman came on as a substitute. The result sees the Falcons overtake Bordeaux at the summit of the standings.
– The Dragons claimed a hard-fought 28-21 bonus-point win against Enisei-STM in Russia. Pat Howard, Sarel Pretorius and Ligtoring Landman were on duty for the Dragons.
– Wandile Mjekevu, Maks van Dyk and Rynhardt Elsadt represented Toulouse, who lost 17-15 to the Cardiff Blues, who are now five points clear at the top of the table.
– Lyon, featuring Etienne Oosthuizen, Deon Fourie and Hendrik Roodt, overturned a 14-point deficit to defeat the Sale Sharks 27-24. Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk slotted three conversions and a penalty in his first match as stand-in captain for Sale.
– Pau continued their strong start to the Challenge Cup with a 38-33 victory over Zebre. The visitors, with Lourens Adriaanse at tighthead prop, trailed by 23 at half-time, but mounted a superb second-half comeback to win the game. Flanks Derick Minnie and Johan Meyer, and hooker Luhandré Luus were on duty for Zebre.
– Gloucester scored nine tries to smash Agen 61-16 at Kingsholm Stadium. Lock Christiaan van der Merwe started for Agen, who were relegated from second to third in the pool.
– Russian side Krasny Yar came crashing down to earth with a whopping 73-14 defeat against Edinburgh. Prop WP Nel, lock Anton Bresler and No 8 Cornell du Preez turned out for the winners and pool leaders.
– Stade Français went from one humiliating defeat (in round one) to another as they lost 44-7 to London Irish at home in Paris. Charl McLeod was included in Stade’s run-on XV and flyhalf Morné Steyn was benched.
– Connacht inflicted a 15-8 defeat on the Worcester Warriors at the Sportsground. Worcester had Wynand Olivier and eighthman Gerrit-Jan van Velze in their side, while Quinn Roux did service for Connacht.
– Captain and No 8 Petrus Hauman scored one of five tries as Brive humbled Oyonnax 38-13 in their all-French affair. Lock Jan Uys played alongside Hauman for the winning team. Prop Kevin Buys was in Oyonnax’s starting XV, with James Hall coming off the bench to score a consolation try.
JAPANESE TOP LEAGUE
– The Toshiba Brave Lupus downed the Munakata Sanix Blues 34-20 in Chichibu. Flyhalf Coenraad van Wyk scored 10 points for Toshiba via a self-converted try and a penalty before he had to be replaced in the first half due to an injury. Prop Hencus van Wyk, No 8 Jacques Potgieter and centre André Esterhuizen turned out for the Blues.
– The Kubota Spears, featuring ex-Bulls pair Louis Fouché and Grant Hattingh, slumped to a 35-8 loss against the Yamaha Jubilo.
– Lock Andries Bekker and his Kobe Kobelco Steelers teammates suffered a 15-10 defeat against the Riccoh Black Rams. Springbok and Lions lock Franco Mostert started for the winning Black Rams.
– Outside centre Shane Gates crossed for a brace of tries as the NTT Shining Arcs thrashed the Coco-Cola Red Sparks 76-7. Willie Britz started with Gates for the Shining Arcs.
– Springbok legend Juan Smith bowed out on a high in his last-ever competitive game as his Toyota Verblitz side defeated the Toyota Industries Shuttles 33-24. Smith had compatriots Gio Aplon and Jason Jenkins alongside him in his last match. Francois Brummer played flyhalf for the Shuttles.
– Ryan Kankowski, Wimpie van der Walt, Jürgen Visser and Riaan Viljoen led the NTT Domoco Red Hurricanes to a 36-14 bonus-point win against the Canon Eagles, who had Philip van der Walt at the back of the scrum. Viljoen kicked three conversions and a penalty, while Visser added a conversion for the winners.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Yoshie Shimizu/Aichi Rugby
Boks must stick to strengths
The Springboks should take cognisance of Western Province’s precise and powerful playoff performance in Saturday’s Currie Cup final, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
Five takeaways from past weekend
What we learned from the Currie Cup semi-finals and the Bledisloe Cup Test in Brisbane, according to CRAIG LEWIS.
Province scrum powers title triumph
Western Province's dominant scrum performance, as well as the sharp decision-making of flyhalf Rob du Preez, was the difference in the Currie Cup final, writes JON CARDINELLI.