SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s European Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and Major Rugby League matches involving South African players.
– CJ Stander put in a strong performance for Munster as they fought to a 17-13 quarter-final win over Edinburgh. Stander made a total of 12 carries and 18 tackles, winning two turnovers and making three passes. Lock Jean Kleyn also started for Munster, while loose forward Arno Botha clocked impressive stats off the bench, making 22m and 16 tackles. South African props WP Nel and Pierre Schoeman continued their good form for Edinburgh, who also had flyhalf Jaco van der Walt and wing Duhan van der Merwe in their starting lineup. Allan Dell replaced Schoeman with four minutes remaining.
– Brad Barritt was among the try-scorers as Saracens put on a sensational display to hammer the Glasgow Warriors 56-27. Barritt went over in the first half for one of Saracens’ seven tries. Both tighthead prop Vincent Koch and veteran flank Schalk Burger made good impacts from the bench for the English team. Former Griqua Kyle Steyn, who made his European debut on the wing, and loosehead prop Oli Kebble did duty for Glasgow.
– Defending champions Leinster were made to work hard to beat Ulster 21-18 in an all-Irish quarter-final. No 8 Marcell Coetzee was in fine form despite the loss, making an impressive 27m from 11 carries as well as 16 tackles and two offloads. Ireland hooker Rob Herring came on as an early replacement and made 23 tackles in 65 minutes, while tighthead prop Wiehahn Herbst also came off the bench in the second half.
Leinster go marching on in the competition winning 21-18 ✨ pic.twitter.com/nweC9x4eCX
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) March 31, 2019
– Fourteen-man Toulouse produced a defensive masterclass as they held on to beat French rivals Racing 22-21 in Paris. Despite missing two of his 10 tackles and gifting Racing a try with an error near his own line, Cheslin Kolbe still managed to make 81m from seven carries, including a linebreak when attacking opportunities were limited after Toulouse received a red card in the 23rd minute. Flank Rynhardt Elstadt and replacement prop Maks van Dyk put in strong defensive performances for Toulouse, making 13 and 10 tackles respectively. The South African-born loose forward duo of Antonie Claassen and Bernard le Roux played for Racing.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) April 1, 2019
– The Sale Sharks, featuring flank Jono Ross, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg in their starting lineup, and No 8 Josh Strauss on the bench, beat Connacht 20-10 to advance to the semi-finals for the first time since 2008. Ross captained the side, De Klerk was named Man of the Match, Janse van Rensburg was forced off five minutes into the game due to an injury but returned on the 15-minute mark and Strauss came on in the 69th minute.
– La Rochelle thrashed the Bristol Bears 39-15 to set up a semi-final clash with Sale. Flank Wiaan Liebenberg started for La Rochelle and scored one of their four tries. Flank Nick Fenton-Wells was brought off the bench in the unfamiliar position of hooker.
– Demetri Catrakilis nailed a late penalty to give Harlequins a dramatic 18-16 victory over the Worcester Warriors. The all-English quarter-final was full of twists and turns. Worcester looked to have secured the win with a 74th-minute penalty, but Catrakilis put Quins back in the lead in the 76th minute. Catrakilis was a second-half replacement, while flank Renaldo Bothma started. The Warriors had flank Cornell du Preez, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard and centre Francois Venter in their side, while utility back Scott van Breda was an unused substitute.
— Harlequins ? (@Harlequins) March 30, 2019
– Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, flank Heinrich Brüssow and prop Francois van Wyk were in the Northampton Saints side that were thrashed 61-38 by Clermont. The French side outscored Northampton by eight tries to five, with two Clermont players completing hat-tricks. Clermont will host Harlequins in their semi-final.
MAJOR RUGBY LEAGUE
– Rugby United New York ground out a 19-11 victory against the Austin Elite in San Antonio. Prop Brendan Rams, hooker Tiaan Erasmus, lock Dylan Pieterse, and flanks Rikus Zwart and Kyle Breytenbach turned out for Austin. The team from New York are now second on the log, while the Elite are languishing at the foot of the standings.
– The New Orleans Gold suffered just their second loss of the season when they went down 34-33 to the Glendale Raptors. No 8 Hanco Germishuys, scrumhalf Shaun Davies and centre Robbie Petzer represented the Raptors. Petzer slotted a match-winning penalty in the 80th minute, but captain Davies scored a try and was named the official Man of the Match. Prop Hubert Buydens, centre Tristan Blewett and fullback JP Eloff stared for the Gold. Captain Eloff kicked four conversions.
— Major League Rugby (@usmlr) March 31, 2019
– The Toronto Arrows smashed hosts the Utah Warriors 64-31. Prop Franco van den Berg was on duty for Utah until the 68th minute. The Warriors are eighth on the log and their conquerors sixth.
– The San Diego Legion defeated the Seattle Seawolves 28-22. Hooker Dean Muir, flyhalf Joe Pietersen, centre JP du Plessis and fullback Kyle Rogers represented the Legion. Muir scored one of his side’s three tries, and Pietersen kicked three penalties and two conversions. Hooker Stephan Coetzee bagged a brace for the Seawolves and played alongside eighthman Riekert Hattingh and scrumhalf JP Smith. The win was not enough to take the fifth-ranked San Diego above the fourth-placed Seawolves, but closed the deficit between the sides to one log point.
#TryTime! Muir of the Legion with a forwards try off a driving maul.
— Major League Rugby (@usmlr) April 1, 2019
Compiled by Mariette Adams & Dylan Jack
Photo: Manuel Blondeau/Getty Images