SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.
– Saracens consolidated their place at the top of the standings with a 28-13 win over hosts Sale Sharks. Centre Brad Barritt, flank Schalk Burger, lock Michael Rhodes and hooker Schalk Brits were in Sarries' starting XV, while prop Petrus du Plessis was named on the bench. Former Bok prop Brian Mujati started for Sale.
– Prop Pat Cilliers and his Leicester Tigers teammates defeated Harlequins 25-6 at Welford Road. The win takes the Tigers up to fourth on the log. Flyhalf Tim Swiel was on Quins' bench, but failed to make an appearance.
– Flank Ashley Johnson came on as a replacement for Wasps in their shock 36-18 loss against Gloucester at Kingsholm. Wasps conceded five tries and only scored two.
– Nick Fenton-Wells was part of the Bristol side that narrowly lost 16-9 against arch-rivals Bath at the Rec. Bristol are rooted to the foot of the standings.
– Wing Dean Hammond, centre Wynand Olivier, flank Dewald Potgieter and tighthead prop Nic Schonert were all in the Worcester Warriors lineup that lost 18-17 against the Northampton Saints. Hammond scored one the Warriors' tries.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Castres, featuring centre Robert Ebersohn, scrumhalf Rory Kockott, prop Dan Kotzé and hooker Jody Jenneker, thumped Toulon 34-17 at home. The star-studded Toulon side had captain Duane Vermeulen at No 8, Marcel van der Merwe at tighthead prop and Juandré Kruger at lock. Ebersohn, though, was the star of the show with two tries either side of the break for Castres.
– Lock Francois van der Merwe scored one of four tries as Racing edged Grenoble 29-24. Van der Merwe played alongside Antonie Claassen and Gerbrandt Grobler for the winners. Fullback Gio Aplon, scrumhalf Charl McLeod and lock Hendrik Roodt represented Grenoble.
– Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie and centre Paul Jordaan were part of the La Rochelle side that slumped to a humiliating 26-0 defeat at the hands of hosts Bordeaux.
– Locks Jan Uys and Wilhelm Steenkamp played in tandem for Brive, who beat Pau 38-25. Uys played particularly well and was named in the Top 14 team of the week.
– Lyon, with Jacques-Louis Potgieter, BJ Botha and Albertus Buckle in their ranks, fought valiantly but came up just short in their 16-13 loss against log-leaders Clermont. Ex-Bok lock Flip van der Merwe started for Clermont. Potgieter succeeded with two penalties and a conversion.
– Stade Français claimed the prized scalp of Montpellier with a 21-17 win in Paris. Jono Ross started for the winners. Inside centre Frans Steyn, flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis, scrumhalf Cameron Wright, flank Wiaan Liebenberg, locks Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and Jacques du Plessis and veteran prop Jannie du Plessis all turned out for Montpellier. Catrakilis kicked two conversions and a penalty.
– Flyhalf Willie du Plessis helped Bayonne pull off the biggest upset in round 12 when they overcame Toulouse 16-13. Former Bok prop Gurthrö Steenkamp started for Toulouse. The result made it a clean sweep of home wins this weekend.
Photo: Remy Gabalda/Getty Images