SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s Pro14, English Premiership and French Top 14 matches involving South African players.
– Replacement hooker Nick Fenton-Wells and his Bristol Bears teammates caused a big upset when they overturned a 10-point deficit to stun the Newcastle Falcons 35-28.
– No 8 Francois Louw and prop Jacques van Rooyen were in the Bath side that claimed a 23-16 win against the Leicester Tigers at home. The result took Bath up to fifth in the standings.
– Wasps, featuring Springbok trio Willie le Roux, Nizaam Carr and Juan de Jongh, slumped to a 20-13 defeat at the hands of Harlequins. Renaldo Bothma, the South African-born Namibian international loose forward, was on the bench for Quins.
– Francois Venter, Francois Hougaard, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Anton Bresler and Scott van Breda formed part of the Worcester Warriors side that lost 25-17 to Saracens. Hougaard played particularly well for the Warriors. Schalk Burger came off the bench for the second-ranked Sarries.
– Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk scored a try and flyhalf Rob du Preez kicked 10 points via two conversions and two penalties, to lift the Sale Sharks to an impressive 30-15 bonus point win against Gloucester. Loose forwards Jono Ross and Jean-Luc du Preez also started for Sale, who had Josh Strauss on the bench. Jaco Visagie, Franco Mostert, Jaco Kriel and Ruan Dreyer turned out for Gloucester, with Visagie crossing for one of their tries.
– Cobus Reinach continued his excellent form by scoring a try in the Northampton Saints’ thrilling 31-28 triumph over log leaders the Exeter Chiefs. Lock David Ribbans, prop Francois van Wyk and flank Heinrich Brussöw also turned out for the Saints. Exeter had flank Don Armand in their run-on XV.
Don’t take a chance when Cobus Reinach is around!
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) December 29, 2018
– Connacht shocked Ulster 21-12 to move up to third in the Conference A standings. Lock Quinn Roux was on duty for Connacht, while Louis Ludik, Rob Herring and Marcell Coetzee did service for Ulster.
– Benetton Treviso, with Dewalt Duvenhage, Braam Steyn and Irné Herbst in their ranks, recorded a 28-10 win over their Italian rivals Zebre. Hooker Luhandré Luus and fullback Francois Brummer represented Zebre.
– The performance of Jaco van der Walt was influential in Edinburgh’s 16-8 win against the Glasgow Warriors. The result saw Edinburgh complete the double over their arch-rivals and thus retain the 1872 Cup. It was also Edinburgh’s first away win of the tournament this season. Wing Duhan van der Merwe and props Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel were in Edinburgh’s starting XV, with Schoeman making way for Allan Dell in the 70th minute. The Warriors had Oli Kebble and DTH van der Merwe.
– Munster inflicted a 26-17 defeat on an ill-disciplined Leinster. It is the reigning Pro14 and European champions’ only loss so far this season. Lock Jean Kleyn, flank Chris Cloete and No 8 CJ Stander featured for Munster. Cloete crashed over for a crucial try early on, but had to be replaced by Arno Botha in the 29th minute due to an injury. Leinster conceded two yellow cards and a red card, all in the first half.
– David Bulbring and Werner Kruger and the rest of their Scarlets teammates suffered a shock 34-5 defeat against the Cardiff Blues. Lock George Earle played for the Blues, who remain in fifth position in Conference A, despite the positive result.
– And concluding the round of upsets, the Dragons snapped a four-year winless streak against the Ospreys with a 23-22 victory over their Welsh rivals. Backs Zane Kirchner and Jarryd Sage starred for the Dragons, while prop Tom Botha started for the Ospreys.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Lyon scored seven tries to thrash Agen 52-20. Scrumhalf Charl McLeod and locks Hendrik Roodt and Francois van der Merwe were part of the winning team. Agen started with Christie van der Merwe at No 4 lock and Ricky Januarie at scrumhalf.
– La Rochelle whacked Castres 53-27, with flank Wiaan Liebenberg barging over for one of their seven tries. On Castres’ side, centre Robert Ebersohn and hooker Jody Jenneker went over for a try apiece. The duo was joined by compatriot Dan Kötze in the starting XV. La Rochelle are now third on the log and Castres ninth.
– Stade Français ground out a 23-20 victory against Grenoble. Willem Alberts and loanee lock Hendré Stassen were on duty for Stade. Ex-Stormers duo JC Janse van Rensburg and Raymond Rhule started for Grenoble and lock Francois Uys was used as an impact player off the bench.
– Clermont consolidated their place at the summit of the table with a 37-16 bonus-point victory over Perpignan. Lock Bêrend Botha and prop Gert Muller were on duty for Perpignan, who are rooted to the foot of the standings.
– Montpellier returned to winning ways with a commanding 41-13 triumph against Pau. Fullback Frans Steyn, centre Jan Serfontein, flyhalf Johan Goosen, No 8 Jacques du Plessis and locks Paul Willemse and Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg were all starters for Montpellier. It was Du Plessis who emerged as the star player, with two tries, while Willemse also scored one. Steyn added his name to the scoresheet with a last-minute conversion. Prop Lourens Adriaanse represented Pau.
– Hosts Bordeaux hammered 14-man Racing 40-7. The visitors, who had Antonie Claassen at the back of the scrum, conceded a red card as early as the 11th minute, and from there failed to compete with Bordeaux. The winners are now fourth in the table and Racing sixth.
– Toulouse hammered Toulon 39-0 in the most one-sided game across the three premier European leagues. Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe continued his rich vein of form as he went over for Toulouse’s fifth and final try on the stroke of full time. He was joined in the side by his former Stormers teammate lock Rynhardt Elstadt. Springbok trio Marcel van der Merwe, Juandré Kruger and JP Pietersen completed Toulon’s run-on lineup. Toulouse are third and Toulon are languishing in 10th spot.
– Compiled by Mariette Adams