Claassen saves Racing’s blushes looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, which involved South African players.


– Ashley Johnson started for Wasps in their 40-13 demolition of London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium. Johnson, who played hooker on the day, scored one of six tries to complete the rout.

– Saracens, with centre Brad Barritt, lock Alistair Hargreaves and tighthead prop Petrus du Plessis in their ranks, erased a six-point deficit to beat the Leicester Tigers 22-6. Lock Sebastian de Chaves was on duty for the Tigers, while loose forward Ernst Joubert and scrumhalf Neil de Kock came off Sarries' bench in the 53rd minute.

– Francois Louw and his Bath teammates beat hosts the Newcastle Falcons 29-19 to keep their title hopes alive. The victory is Bath's 10th straight win over the Falcons at Kingston Park.


– Two late tries helped the Newport Gwent Dragons to a surprise 25-22 win over Leinster. Ex-Stormers prop Brok Harris represented the Dragons, while former Bulls fullback Zane Kirchner and hooker Richardt Strauss played for Leinster.

– Munster rose to second on the log, after a 34-3 bonus-point win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield. CJ Stander, who started alongside prop BJ Botha, scored a try for the winners. Inside centre Andries Strauss, lock Anton Bresler and prop WP Nel were on duty for Edinburgh, who dropped to eighth place.

– The Llanelli Scarlets beat Zebre 28-25 in dramatic fashion at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi. Lock Quintin Geldenhuys grabbed one of two tries as Zebre looked on course to claim a first ever win over the Scarlets, but replacement flyhalf Rhys Priestland slotted a last-minute touchline penalty goal to win the match for his side. Fullback Hennie Daniller and No 8 Dries van Schalkwyk were also in Zebre's run-on XV, while Scarlets benched prop Jacobie Adriaanse.

– Ulster were 27-20 victors against Connacht in Galway. Louis Ludik, Ruan Pienaar, Franco van der Merwe, Wiehahn Herbst, Rob Herring and Robbie Diack did service for Ulster, with Ludik scoring a first-half try and Pienaar slotting a conversion. Wing Danie Poolman and lock Quinn Roux turned out for Connact.

– Lock Corniel van Zyl's Benetton Treviso suffered a 33-13 home defeat against the Neath-Swansea Ospreys. The result sees the Ospreys retain fourth spot on the table.

– Wing DTH van der Merwe was in the Glasgow Warriors starting XV that toppled the Cardiff Blues 36-17. The Warriors used eighthman Josh Strauss from the 51st minute.


– Prop Heinke van der Merwe, flank Jono Ross and Morné Steyn, who played fullback, featured in the Stade Français side that drew 19-19 with La Rochelle. Utility back Meyer Bosman was named on Stade's bench.

– Three late penalties and a try earned Montpellier a 24-24 draw with hosts Racing Métro. No 8 Antonie Claassen, who touched down twice, and lock Francois van der Merwe made Racing's run-on lineup, while flyhalf Johan Goosen came off the bench in the 59th minute and missed a last-minute penalty. Montpellier's Wynand Olivier played from the 62nd minute and Pat Cilliers was an unused substitute.

– A last-gasp try saw hosts Toulouse edge Bayonne 20-17 at the Stade Ernest Wallon. Former Bok prop Gurthrö Steenkamp and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak did service for the winners before Steenkamp was replaced by Schalk Ferreira 10 minutes from full-time. Prop JC Janse van Rensburg and fullback Scott Spedding played for Bayonne from the 50th and 54th minutes.

– Flyhalf Riaan Swanepoel, flank Paul Hauman, lock Peet Marais and prop Kevin Buys featured for Brive in their 22-20 home win against Lyon. Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie, hooker Deon Fourie and flank Coenie Basson represented Lyon.

– Bryan Habana scored one of two tries to guide Toulon to a 35-24 away win against Grenoble. Wing Gio Aplon, scrumhalf Charl McLeod and locks Hendrik Roodt and Ross Skeate earned starting berths for the hosts, with Paul Willemse coming on for Roodt in the 63rd minute. But it was replacement prop Albertus Buckle who scored Grenoble's fourth effort in the 77th minute to hand them a bonus point. Ex-Sharks hooker Craig Burden played for Toulon from the 63rd minute.

– Jody Jenneker and Ruaan du Preez scrummed down for Oyonnax, who recorded a shock 11-10 victory over Clermont. Despite earning a losing bonus point, Clermont relinquished top spot to reigning champions Toulon.

– Castres, with flank Jannie Bornman in their ranks, defeated Bordeaux-Begles 22-20 at home to move out of the relegation zone. Fullback Ulrich Beyers, scrumhalf Heini Adams and locks Jandré Marais and Berend Botha played for Bordeaux.

Photo: Jean-Francois Monier/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams