The Du Preez twins shone for Sale while Makazole Mapimpi marked his return from Japan with a fantastic performance for the Sharks on a weekend that was marred by Duane Vermeulen’s injury.
– Jean-Luc du Preez was among the scorers as the Sale Sharks claimed a 45-12 victory over fellow semi-finalists Harlequins on Friday.
One of four Sale Sharks players who were called up to the Springbok squad for the upcoming British & Irish Lions series, Du Preez started at lock, while twin brother Daniel played at No 8, with Faf de Klerk and tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen also starting.
Other than his try, Jean-Luc du Preez made 11 carries for 25 metres, six passes, one offload, beat three defenders and made 11 tackles. Daniel du Preez made 14 carries for 30m.
Akker van der Merwe and Rohan Janse van Rensburg, who missed out on the Springbok squad, also scored a try each.
Harlequins captain Stephan Lewies, also not named in the Bok squad, started and had a good outing, beating four defenders and picking up a try assist.
– Jasper Wiese was a second-half substitute during the Leicester Tigers’ 23-26 loss to the Bristol Bears, who sealed their place in the Premiership playoffs.
The loose forward was brought on in the 49th minute and made 34m from seven carries and beat one defender.
– Halfback combination Cobus Reinach and Handre Pollard both got on the scoresheet as Montpellier were beaten 25-41 by Pau.
Reinach scored a second-half try for Montpellier, while Pollard kicked two penalties and two conversions. Along with his try, Reinach also made 38m and completed all 10 of his tackles, while Pollard played 64 minutes and made seven tackles.
Jan Serfontein played the full 80 minutes at outside centre for Montpellier and made 77m and eight passes.
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Pau flyhalf Elton Jantjies was an unused substitute.
– Cheslin Kolbe and Rynhardt Elstadt both started in Toulouse’s 21-10 victory over Bordeaux.
Kolbe, who had a groin injury scare last weekend, played the full 80 minutes, while Elstadt was totalled 67 minutes, during which he made 12 tackles.
Hooker Joseph Dweba started and played 41 minutes for Bordeaux and completed all five of his tackle attempts.
– Eben Etzebeth was a try-scorer in Toulon’s 46-24 loss to Castres.
The Springbok lock played 70 minutes, scored a first-half try and made 24m and 13 tackles.
–Raymond Rhule and Dillyn Leyds both started as La Rochelle were beaten 25-20 by Clermont.
The backline duo, who were both left out of the latest Springbok squad, combined effectively to have Leyds finish off a move that started from a lineout in La Rochelle’s half.
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– Marcell Coetzee was impressive as the Bulls claimed a thrilling 31-27 comeback win over the Stormers, but the result was overshadowed by an injury scare to Duane Vermeulen.
In his first game as a Bull, Coetzee delivered an impressive display, reminding the local audience in general and the Bok coaches in particular just what he is capable of and what he can offer in a national context. However, he was surprisingly left out of the Springboks’ 46-man squad.
There will now be a real nervy wait for the Springbok coaches and certainly Vermeulen, who picked up what looked to be a worrying ankle injury in the first half.
On the Stormers side, Pieter-Steph du Toit marked his return to the starting lineup with a good performance but, more importantly, got more game time under the belt and remained injury free.
– Makazole Mapimpi made an immediate impact in his first start since returning from Japan to steer the Sharks to a vital 33-21 victory over the Lions.
Mapimpi, who stole the show at Ellis Park, scored an excellent try in the first half, while also playing a role in Buthelezi’s first-half try.
Ox Nche was named on the bench, but had to make an early appearance after Nthutuko Mchunu had to be helped from the field due to a leg injury. The Springbok loosehead was very active on attack and defence, carrying strongly and putting in some big hits.
Wandisile Simelane started for the Lions and was their most threatening backline player, in a game where they had precious few opportunities.
𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐚𝐳𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐢 & 𝐉𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐇𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐤𝐬𝐞 🔥
The Sharks duo light up Emirates Airline Park as Phepsi Buthelezi scores a sensational try.
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) June 5, 2021
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images