SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Pro14 and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.
– Ex-Western Province lock David Ribbans bagged a brace to guide the Northampton Saints to a 24-6 bonus-point win over Bath. Scrumhalf Nic Groom started for the Saints, with compatriot Cobus Reinach serving as his deputy.
– The Exeter Chiefs, with Don Armand at flank, beat the Worcester Warriors 41-10 to move to the top of the table. Gerrit-Jan van Velze played eighthman for the Warriors.
– In his first game as co-captain, Jono Ross and the Sale Sharks recorded a 36-7 victory against London Irish. Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and No 8 Josh Strauss featured alongside Ross for Sale. Locks Sebastian de Chaves and Franco van der Merwe started in tandem for London Irish while prop Petrus du Plessis was among the reserves.
– No 8 Ruan Ackermann and his Gloucester teammates slumped to a 24-10 defeat at the hands of the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road. It was Leicester’s first win of the season.
– Harlequins recorded a stunning 24-21 triumph over hosts Wasps in Coventry. Willie le Roux, Ashley Johnson and Juan de Jongh featured for Wasps, who were on a 20-match Premiership winning streak at home before this loss. Flyhalf Tim Swiel was on Quins’ bench.
– In only the second-ever Premiership match played outside of the United Kingdom, Saracens hammered the Newcastle Falcons 29-7 in Philadelphia. Loose forwards Schalk Burger and Michael Rhodes and centre Brad Barritt all started for Sarries, who are now third in the standings.
– Munster, with centre Jaco Taute and lock Jean Klein in their team, beat the Ospreys 21-16 at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. The Irish province are now top of the Conference A table. Kleyn continued his rich try-scoring form with another five-pointer and was again named Man of the Match.
– Flank Johan Meyer crossed for one of five tries for Zebre in their 54-39 loss against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. The result lifted the Cheetahs off the foot of the Conference A standings, which is now occupied by Zebre.
– Lock George Earle and the Cardiff Blues suffered an agonising 20-19 defeat against the Glasgow Warriors at the Arms Park. After their third straight loss, the Blues are in sixth position in Conference A.
– Treviso caused a big upset when they pipped hosts Edinburgh 20-17. Flank Braam Steyn was on duty for the winners. No 8 Cornell du Preez and lock Anton Bresler earned starting berths for Edinburgh, while prop WP Nel was benched.
– Fullback Louis Ludik, tighthead prop Wiehahn Herbst and hooker Rob Herring were in the the Ulster lineup for their 27-20 win over reigning champions, the Scarlets. Tight forwards Werner Kruger and David Bulbring were used as impact players by the Welsh club.
– Lock Quinn Roux’s try for Connacht was in vain as his side was handed a 21-8 defeat by the Dragons at Rodney Parade. Fullback Zane Kirchner, scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, lock Ligtoring Landman and loosehead prop Brok Harris were all part of the Dragons’ run-on XV.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Wing Cheslin Kolbe crossed for one of seven tries as Toulouse thumped Stade Français 57-17 at home. Front rowers Danie Minnie and Maks van Dyk were substitutes for Toulouse. Hooker Craig Burden and prop Gurthrö Steenkamp started for Stade with Morné Steyn playing off the bench.
– Lourens Adriaanse formed part of the Pau side that stunned Castres 28-13. Castres started with Dan Kötze and Jody Jenneker, while Rory Kockott and Robert Ebersohn were on the bench.
– La Rochelle, featuring outside centre Paul Jordaan, battled to a 20-15 win against hosts Agen, who played with Ricky Januarie at scrumhalf. La Rochelle are third on the log and Agen 12th.
– Lyon thrashed Bordeaux 49-14 at the Matmut Stadium. The bonus-point win moves them up to third on the log. Lock Hendrik Roodt, hooker Deon Fourie and loosehead prop Albertus Buckleall delivered industrious performances for the winners. Tian Schoeman was at flyhalf for Bordeaux and landed three penalties.
– Title-holders Clermont rediscovered their form and scored eight tries in their 62-6 demolition of Brive. Petrus Hauman and Johan Snyman represented Brive, who are rooted to the bottom of the log.
– Racing 92 climbed up to second on the table with a 25-13 victory over Oyonnax at home in Paris. Racing flank Bernard le Roux was the only Saffa in the contest.
– Montpellier crushed fierce rivals Toulon 43-20 courtesy of a supreme second-half performance. Henry Immelman and Frans Steyn were in Montpellier’s midfield, with Ruan Pienaar at scrumhalf, Paul Willemse and Jacques du Plessis as the lock pairing and Bismarck du Plessis at hooker. Willemse and Steyn scored a try apiece, while Pienaar slotted three conversions and a penalty. JP Pietersen started at outside centre for Toulon and Marcel van der Merwe was a second-half substitute.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Pascal Pavani/Getty Images