SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Pro14, French Top 14 and Japanese Top League matches involving South African players.
– The Northampton Saints registered their first win of the season, beating Harlequins 25-18. Heinrich Brüssow played the full 80 minutes for Saints, making two turnovers and 16 tackles in a much-improved performance from the opensider. Cobus Reinach was at scrumhalf for Northampton, who had prop Francois van Wyk on the bench.
– Jono Ross won the battle of the South African flanks as he captained the Sale Sharks to a 21-15 win over Gerrit-Jan van Velze’s Worcester Warriors. Centre Francois Venter and prop Nick Schonert were in the Warriors starting XV, while Josh Strauss was a substitute for Sale.
– The Exeter Chiefs collected their second five-point log haul of the season with a 42-31 win against Wasps. Flank Don Armand put in another excellent performance, making 12 tackles and 44m, and rounded off the Chiefs’ scoring with a try. Wasps centre Juan de Jongh was brave on defence, making an impressive 17 tackles but it was not enough to prevent the Coventry-based side from losing. Ashley Johnson came off the bench for Wasps in the second half.
– Brad Barritt’s Saracens thrashed a 14-man Bristol Bears 44-23. Flank Michael Rhodes and prop Vincent Koch started for Sarries.
– Gloucester flank Ruan Ackermann’s brace was not enough as they drew 31-31 with rivals Bath. Ackermann went over twice in the first half to help the visitors to a 21-0 lead, which they let slip in the second half, needing a late try to salvage a draw. Ackermann also made two turnovers and 14 tackles. Bath prop Jacques van Rooyen came on for his debut in the second half, while hooker Franco Marais was again an impact sub for Gloucester.
– Glasgow produced a strong first half to see off Munster with a 25-10 victory. Wing DTH van der Merwe and prop Oli Kebble were on the winning side. Former Bulls No 8 Arno Botha and lock Jean Kleyn started for Munster, while Jaco Taute came off the bench for his first appearance since injuring his knee last year.
– Springbok flank Marcell Coetzee again started for Ulster as they turned a 16-6 deficit around to beat Edinburgh 30-29. Hooker Rob Herring captained the Irish side, who had former Sharks prop Wiehahn Herbst on the bench. Edinburgh had both Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel in their front row, with Allan Dell and Jaco van der Walt coming off the bench in the second half.
– The Dragons did enough to claim a 27-22 win against the Kings. Loosehead prop Brok Harris started for Dragons, who got their first win of the season.
– Connacht ran in five tries to beat Zebre 32-13 in Galway. Quinn Roux started in the Connacht second row, while flank Johan Meyer played for Zebre, who had two players yellow-carded in the second half. Flyhalf Francois Brummer came off the bench to kick a late conversion for Zebre.
– The Ospreys thrashed the Cheetahs 46-14 in Swansea. Former Cheetahs prop Tom Botha played against his former side, who return home still looking for a win.
– The Scarlets bounced back from an opening-round defeat by claiming a hard-fought 23-21 win against defending champions Leinster. Ex-Bulls prop Werner Kruger played off the bench for the Llanelli-based region.
– Italy flank Braam Steyn continued his excellent start to the season by scoring a try for the second weekend running in Treviso’s 27-25 win against the Cardiff Blues. Lock George Earle started for the Blues, while Treviso scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage made his debut for his new side after coming off the bench early in the second half. Lock Irné Herbst was also among the Treviso substitutes.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Flyhalf Johan Goosen kicked a 78th-minute penalty – his second of the game – to salvage a 9-9 draw for Montpellier against Bordeaux. Goosen featured alongside brothers Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis, lock Paul Willemse, flank Wiaan Liebenberg, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar (who kicked Montpellier’s first penalty), centre Frans Steyn and fullback Henry Immelman. Lock Jandré Marais played for Bordeaux.
– Ex-Stormers flank Rynhardt Elstardt was part of the Toulouse side that scored five tries in their 33-26 win over La Rochelle.
– Heyneke Meyer’s Stade Français slumped to a 42-20 defeat against Clermont, their first of the season. No 8 Willem Alberts and prop Heinke van der Merwe were in the starting lineup, with flyhalf Morné Steyn on the bench. Lock Flip van der Merwe was used as an impact player for log-leaders Clermont.
– Racing 92, with loose forwards Bernard le Roux and Antonie Claassen in their ranks, thrashed Agen 59-7 in Paris. The win takes Racing to second on the log.
– Locks Hendrik Roodt and Etienne Oosthuizen and their Lyon teammates snatched a 22-16 win against hosts Perpignan, despite their team conceding two yellow cards.
– Pau claimed a hard-fought 24-21 victory over hosts Grenoble. Pau replacement prop Lourens Adriaanse came on in the second half and surged over for a crucial try. Grenoble had the services of CJ Janse van Rensburg, Francois Uys and Raymond Rhule.
– Toulon grabbed a late try to pip Castres 28-27 in an ill-disciplined contest. Toulon conceded a red card, while Castres had two yellows issued against them. Scrumhalf Rory Kockott, who started alongside Rob Ebersohn and Jody Jenneker, scored a try for Castres. Ex-Bulls trio Juandré Kruger, Marcel van der Merwe and Jacques Potgieter turned out for Toulon.
JAPANESE TOP LEAGUE
– Flank Robert Kruger, No 8 Willie Britz, flyhalf Garth April and wing Shane Gates were in the NNT Communications Shining Arcs side that lost 20-18 to the Suntory Sungoliath.
– The Kubota Spears, featuring Ruan Botha, Lappies Labuschange, Duane Vermeulen, Burger Odendaal and Gerhard van den Heever, suffered a similar fate as they went down 20-18 to Yamaha Jubilo. Kwagga Smith and wing Gerrie Labuschange started for the winners.
– Fred Zeilinga came off the bench and slotted three penalties to snatch a 19-19 draw for the Canon Eagles against the Honda Heat. He played alongside lock Jan de Klerk and eighthman Philip van der Walt. Deon Stegmann was on the side of the scrum for Honda.
– Centre Harold Vorster crossed for one of 10 tries as the Panasonic Wild Knights thrashed the Coca-Cola Red Sparks 62-17 away from home.
– The Toyota Verblitz beat the NEC Green Rockets 29-5. Gio Aplon, Clinton Swart, Lionel Cronjé, Reniel Hugo and Carl Wegner turned out for the winners. Cronjé kicked a conversion, but relinquished the kicking duties to Swart, who added two conversions and a penalty.
– Coenraad van Wyk started at fullback for the Toshiba Brave Lupus, who beat the Ricoh Black Rams 20-17. Flank Henco Venter joined Van Wyk on the field in the second half.
Compiled by Dylan Jack & Mariette Adams
Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images