SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's European Cup and European Challenge Cup matches that involved South African players.
– Although Ulster couldn't score the bonus-point try which would have secured them a place in the quarter-finals, they still comprehensively beat Montpellier 27-16, with flank Robbie Diack scoring their first try, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar their second and then adding three conversions and two penalties in one of the best individual performances over the weekend. Lock Johann Muller led the winning side.
– The Scarlets stunned Racing Métro with a 19-13 win, keeping alive their hopes of qualifying for the last eight. No 8 Jacques Cronjé and prop Brian Mujati started for Racing and lock Johan Snyman for the Welsh outfit.
– The Glasgow Warriors wiped out a 10-point deficit to beat the Exeter Chiefs 15-10 with formers Lions captain Josh Strauss donning the No 8 jersey of the Scottish team and former Western Province flank Don Armand coming off the Chiefs' bench in the 58th minute.
– Toulon sent out a strong message to European Cup title hopefuls with a stunning 43-20 victory over the Cardiff Blues. Former Boks Joe van Niekerk and Juan Smith (flanks), Bakkies Botha (lock) and Craig Burden (hooker) all started for the champions.
– Flank Dries van Schalkwyk started for Zebre in their 20-3 loss to Connacht at the Sportsground. The 17-point victory keeps Connacht in the hunt for a possible quarter-final spot.
– With a 16-13 victory, Clermont kicked Harlequins out of the Cup, a win which sees them reach the last eight. Lock Gerhard Vosloo came on for the French team as early as the 23rd minute.
– Prop BJ Botha started for Munster against Gloucester, helping them to a 20-7 win. Flank CJ Stander entered the fray for the winning side in the 75th minute.
– Flank Cornell Du Preez scored one of Edinburgh's three tries against Perpignan in a 27-16 victory. Lock Izak van der Westhuizen and prop WP Nel started alongside Du Preez, with fullback Carl Bezuidenhout and prop Wicus Blaauw joining them in the 41st and 65th minutes respectively. Former Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenhage and wing Wandile Mjekevu started for the losing team.
– Toulouse defeated Saracens 21-11, booking their place in the quarter-finals, with ex-Bulls scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle and prop Schalk Ferreira in their run-on XV. Bok Gurthrö Steenkamp came on as a substitute in the 60th minute. Former Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock, ex-Sharks lock Alistair Hargreaves and hooker Schalk Brits started for the Londoners with No 8 Ernst Joubert entering the battle in the 55th minute.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP
– Brive narrowly defeated the Newcastle Falcons 9-7, with prop Johannes Coetzee starting for the French team.
– Lock Anton van Zyl scored one of Stade Français' three tries, as they romped past Cavalieri to a 31-3 victory, securing top spot in Pool 5. Hooker Michael van Vuuren and former Sharks centre Meyer Bosman were also in the Parisian outfit's run on XV.
– Bordeaux thrashed Mogliano 64-7 at Stade Andre Moga, with No 8 Meyer Swanepoel playing for the Italians.
– Lock Ruahan van Jaarsveld started for Viadana, who were held to a 19-19 draw by Grenoble.
– Bucuresi cruised past Calvisano 23-11. Lock Johan van Heerden scored for the Romanians while fullback Ben de Jager crossed the line for the Italians. No 8 Braam Steyn was also in the winners' starting XV.
– Ex-Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen scored for French side Biarritz, but it was in vain as Oyonnax pulled off a surprise 28-24 victory.
– London Wasps beat Bayonne 26-13, with former Bok No 8 Ashley Johnson starting for the English team and fullback Scott Spedding and prop Gert Muller for the French side.
Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet/AFP/Getty Images