SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s Pro14, English Premiership and French Top 14 matches involving South African players.
– The Cardiff Blues were made to work hard to beat a 14-man Dragons’ side 19-16. George Earle was the lock replacement for the Blues. Dragons centre Jarryd Sage scored their only try of the match, while Zane Kirchner was at fullback for the visitors.
– Hooker Rob Herring scored one of Ulster’s three tries to help them to a 19-12 victory over Munster. Fullback Louis Ludick and No 8 Marcell Coetzee both enjoyed fine outings for Ulster, with Coetzee making a total of 15 tackles. Jaco Taute captained Munster, who also had lock Jean Kleyn and No 8 Arno Botha in their starting XV for the first time.
– The Ospreys brought the Scarlets’ 10-game winning streak over Welsh sides to an end by beating their rivals 19-12 in Swansea. Tighthead prop Tom Botha was in action for the Ospreys. The Scarlets had David Bulbring at lock and Werner Kruger as a prop replacement.
– Duhan van der Merwe was at his try-scoring best as his brace helped Edinburgh beat Glasgow 23-7. Along with scoring an intercept try in each half, Van der Merwe made a total of 151m with ball in hand. Edinburgh flyhalf Jaco van der Walt kicked two conversions and three penalties to add to their lead. Both loosehead Pierre Schoeman and tighthead WP Nel were in Edinburgh’s front row, with Allan Dell replacing Schoeman in the second half. DTH van der Merwe was on the wing for Glasgow, who had Oli Kebble at loosehead.
– Benetton Treviso earned the Italian bragging rights as they beat Zebre 10-8 for just their second win away from home this season. Dewaldt Duvenage was at scrumhalf for Treviso, who also had Braam Steyn at flank. Hooker Luhandre Luus, flank Johan Meyer and backline replacement Francois Brummer all did duty for Zebre.
– Cobus Reinach scored a blistering solo try to help the Northampton Saints beat the Worcester Warriors 32-6. Reinach intercepted a pass from opposite number and countryman Francois Hougaard to score the game’s first try. Loosehead prop Francois van Wyk and flank Heinrich Brussow were also in action for the Saints. The Warriors had Hougaard, centre Francois Venter, tighthead prop Nick Schonert, lock Anton Bresler and No 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze in their starting lineup.
– The Exeter Chiefs showed their title credentials by handing defending champions Saracens a 31-13 defeat. Flank Don Armand started for Exeter. Saracens had centre Brad Barritt, tighthead prop Vincent Koch and flank Michael Rhodes in their starting XV. Veteran Schalk Burger came off the bench for Saracens, but was yellow-carded for pulling down a Chiefs’ maul, resulting in a penalty try.
– Rob du Preez kicked the Sale Sharks to a 27-10 victory over the Bristol Bears. Du Preez, starting alongside Faf de Klerk, kicked five penalties and converted one of Sale’s tries for a personal haul of 17 points. Jean-Luc du Preez and captain Jono Ross were in the Sharks’ loose trio, with Du Preez making 35m from five carries and a turnover. Josh Strauss was an unused substitute for Sale.
– Gloucester strengthened their position in the Premiership top four by beating the Newcastle Falcons 20-17. Hooker Jaco Visagie started for Gloucester against Newcastle’s Kyle Cooper, while lock Franco Mostert also started for Johan Ackermann‘s side.
– Bath claimed an important 24-14 win against top-four rivals Wasps in a wet-weather match. Francois Louw started at No 8 for Bath, who had loosehead prop Jacques van Rooyen on the bench. Fullback Willie le Roux, hooker Ashley Johnson and No 8 Nizaam Carr all started for Wasps, who are now just one point ahead of their opponents on the table.
– Stade Français battled to a 19-6 victory over lowly Agen. Scrumhalf Piet van Zyl, as well as Hendre Stassen and Willem Alberts at flank and No 8 respectively, started for the Parisians. Veteran scrumhalf Ricky Januarie was a replacement for Agen.
– Toulon turned on the style to claim a six-try 40-7 win against Lyon. JP Pietersen, shifted to fullback for the match, as well as lock Juandre Kruger and tighthead prop Marcel van der Merwe, were in action for Toulon. Loosehead prop Albertus Buckle and lock Hendrik Roodt started for Lyon, who had scrumhalf Charl McLeod and lock Francois van der Merwe on the bench.
– La Rochelle continued their good form by beating Pau 28-23. Wiaan Liebenberg was at flank for La Rochelle, while Pau had tighthead prop Lourens Adriaanse in their starting XV.
– Flank Bernard le Roux was among the try-scorers as Racing 92 thrashed last-placed Perpignan 64-28 in Paris. Lock Berend Botha and replacement flank Johannes van Heerden played for Perpignan, who are now 13 points off 13th placed Agen on the table.
– Raymond Rhule scored a crucial try to help Grenoble stun Montpellier with a 17-16 victory. JC Janse van Rensburg was at tighthead prop for Grenoble. Montpellier had tighthead Jannie du Plessis, second-row pair Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and Paul Willemse, halfback duo Ruan Pienaar and Johan Goosen, as well as wing Henry Immelman, centre Jan Serfontein and fullback Frans Steyn in their starting XV. Du Plessis scored a rare try as Montpellier took a 13-11 half-time lead, which they let slip in the second half.
– Bordeaux claimed a 32-13 win over Castres despite playing with 14-men after receiving a red card in the 28th minute of the match. Fullback Scott Spedding, centre Robert Ebersohn, loosehead prop Daniel Kotze and hooker Jody Jenneker, who was yellow-carded in the second half, were all in action for Castres.
– League leaders Clermont played to a 20-20 draw in a top-of-the-table clash against Toulouse. Tighthead prop Maks van Dyk came off the bench for Toulouse in the second half.
Compiled by Dylan Jack