• Saffas Abroad: De Allende stars in Munster comeback

    SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South African players who featured for their respective clubs in the second round of the European Champions Cup.

    *Note: The matches between the Scarlets and Toulon, the Glasgow Warriors and Lyon, Toulouse and the Exeter Chiefs and La Rochelle vs Bath were all called off due to Covid-19 protocols. As a result, Lyon, Toulouse, La Rochelle and the Scarlets were all awarded 28-0 wins and five log points.

    POOL A

    –  Wasps continued their unbeaten start in Europe by putting a 14-man Montpellier to the sword with a 33-14 victory in Coventry on Friday evening. Montpellier fullback Henry Immelman was shown a red card just six minutes into the match for a dangerous tackle.

    – Defending champions Leinster put in a dominant performance to claim a 35-19 bonus-point win over the Northampton Saints in Dublin on Saturday afternoon and stay top of Pool A. Shaun Adendorff started at No 8 for Northampton and made 10 tackles – missing two – while loosehead prop Francois van Wyk was brought off the bench for the English side early in the second half.

    – Jaco van der Walt scored 11 points to help Edinburgh come from 12-0 down to beat the Sale Sharks 16-15 in a tight match in Salford. Sale raced into a 12-0 led thanks to tries from wing Denny Solomona and centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, who made a massive 153 metres from 13 carries. However, Edinburgh were able to edge their way back into the contest and take the lead thanks to a trio of penalties from newly-capped Scotland flyhalf Van der Walt, who also converted their only try of the match.  Duhan van der Merwe also started for Edinburgh, while props Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel, lock Andries Ferreira and scrumhalf Nic Groom all came off the bench in the second half. Robert du Preez and Faf de Klerk formed the halfback combination for Sale, who also had hooker Akker van der Merwe, flank Cobus Wiese and No 8 Jean-Luc du Preez in their starting lineup and prop Coenie Oosthuizen on the bench. Former Cheetahs lock JP du Preez made a starting debut for the Sharks.

    – Argentina wing Santiago Cordero scored a hat-trick of tries as Bordeaux thrashed the Dragons 47-8 in Bordeaux. After missing their opening Champions Cup fixture, hooker Joseph Dweba was on the bench for the French side and came on in the 58th minute, making four tackles and two carries. Loosehead prop Brok Harris continued in the Dragons’ starting lineup.

    POOL B

    – Gloucester scored an 85th-minute try to snatch a dramatic 38-34 victory against Ulster. A classic nine-try encounter saw Gloucester take a 17-10 lead into the half-time break, but the English side then fell 36-24 behind in the second half. An eventful final 10 minutes saw Gloucester awarded their second penalty try of the match for a deliberate knock-down and Ulster lose a player to the sin bin as a result, before replacement centre George Barton scored the winning try five minutes after the fulltime hooter. Ruan Ackermann started at No 8 for Gloucester and played 57 minutes, making 11 carries, one clean break and nine tackles. Ulster were without prolific No 8 Marcell Coetzee after the Springbok took a head knock in their opening Champions Cup match last weekend, but did have hooker Rob Herring in their starting lineup.

    – CJ Stander scored the decisive try as Munster came from a 19-point deficit to beat Clermont 39-31 in France. Clermont raced into a 28-9 lead in the first 25 minutes of the match and took a 28-16 lead into half-time, before Munster produced a stirring comeback in the second half and went ahead for the first time in the match flyhalf JJ Hanrahan converted Stander’s try in the 71st minute. Aside from his try, Stander also made 10 carries for 27 metres, one linebreak, eight tackles and won two turnovers. Springbok centre Damian de Allende also started for Munster and had an outstanding performance at inside centre, making 43 metres from 10 carries, five tackles and one linebreak. Munster also had Jean Kleyn at lock. South African-born Japanese fullback Kotaro Matsushima had a quieter performance at fullback for Clermont, making just eight metres from two carries. The result saw Munster climb above Clermont into the top four of Pool B.

    – Racing 92 ran in seven tries as they proved much too good for Harlequins in a 49-7 victory in London. Wilco Louw was the only South African in Harlequins’ starting lineup as Andre Esterhuizen continues to serve his four-week ban. In 69 minutes, Louw made two carries but missed none of his eight tackle attempts. France-capped lock Bernard le Roux started for Racing and made seven passes and missed just two of his 14 tackle attempts. 23-year-old prop  Jordan Els played 22 minutes off the bench for Harlequins.

    – The Bristol Bears bounced back from their opening-round loss to Clermont by beating Irish side Connacht 27-18 in a bonus-point win.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack