SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South African players who featured for their respective clubs in the eighth round of the 2020-21 French Top 14 season.
– Eben Etzebeth started for Toulon as they powered to a 35-19 victory over Brive. The Springbok lock put in a typically powerful performance as Toulon claimed a bonus-point win and climbed into sixth place on the Top 14 table. Brive had former Cheetahs back Nico Lee starting at outside centre.
– Castres scored a late penalty to snatch a 16-16 draw with Toulouse after trailing 13-3 at half time. Toulouse were without star wing Cheslin Kolbe, who has been ruled out until the end of November with a hip injury, but did have another Springbok in flank Rynhardt Elstadt in their starting lineup. Former Bulls lock Ryno Pieterse was on the bench for Castres, as was experienced scrumhalf Rory Kockott. Toulouse are currently fourth on the Top 14 table, trailing first-placed La Rochelle by six points, while Castres are down in 12th place.
– Joseph Dweba made his first Top 14 start as Bordeaux stormed to a 43-19 bonus-point win against Bayonne. Dweba marked his starting opportunity at hooker with a fantastic performance, scoring one of his team’s six tries, while also making five tackles, seven carries, 38 metres and a clean break in the 48 minutes that he was on the field. Lock Jandre Marais also started for Bordeaux, while another former Cheetahs player in Nambia hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld started for Bayonne.
– Racing 92 scored a 76th-minute converted try to snatch a 24-22 victory over Pau in a dramatic encounter on Saturday. Pau went into the break trailing 11-9, but a converted try and two penalties had them leading 22-17 in the closing stages. Lourens Adriaanse started at tighthead prop for Pau.
– Lyon held out against a second-half comeback to beat Agen 19-16 in one of two Top 14 matches on Sunday. The visitors went into the break 16-6 up, but after scoring a penalty early in the second half, found themselves under the pump as Agen scored a penalty of their own, before grabbing a converted try in the 76th minute. Former Pumas and Cheetahs lock Jeremy Jordaan started for Agen.
– La Rochelle continue to lead the Top 14 standings after claiming a 19-10 victory over Clermont in a game which pitted first against second. Dillyn Leyds started on the left wing for La Rochelle, while Wiaan Liebenberg was in the No 7 jersey. In a 67-minute outing, Leyds made 11 carries, beat two defenders, made one linebreak and four tackles. Clermont, meanwhile, had South African-born Japan wing Kotaro Matsushima on the right wing and Jaco van Tonder at No 8.
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