• Darting DTH sinks Sharks

    SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup matches, involving South African players.

    CHAMPIONS CUP

    Pool 1

    – The opening match of the competition saw the Glasgow Warriors record a stunning 42-13 bonus-point win against the Leicester Tigers on Friday. Former Lions captain Josh Strauss started at the back of the scrum for the Warriors, who moved to the top of the log after the win.

    Pool 2

    – Wasps thumped Zebre 82-14 to set a new winning-margin record (68) in the Champions Cup. Ashley Johnson, who played flank for Wasps, scored one of his team's 12 tries, gained 39m from 16 carries, beat six defenders, made one clean break and offloaded twice. Fullback Kayle van Zyl, lock Gideon Koegelenberg and loose forwards Dries van Schalkwyk and Derick Minnie were on duty for the Italian club.

    Pool 3

    – Scarlets, with winger DTH van der Merwe, lock David Bulbring and prop Werner Kruger in their ranks, defeated the Sale Sharks 28-11. Van der Merwe starred for the winners with a brace of tries, 60 running metres and three clean breaks. Prop Brian Mujati was in Sale's starting lineup.

    – Saracens withstood a late onslaught, to inflict a first-ever Champions Cup home defeat on Toulon. The visitors, with Schalk Burger, Brad Barritt, Michael Rhodes, Schalk Brits and Petrus du Plessis in their team, won 31-21. Bok No 8 Duane Vermeulen led Toulon superbly and winger Bryan Habana scored a try, but their efforts were in vain as Saracens denied them.

    Pool 4

    – Castres, featuring centre Robert Ebersohn, scrumhalf Rory Kockott, prop Dan Kotzé and hooker Jody Jenneker, slumped to 33-15 loss at the hands of Leinster at the RDS Arena on Saturday. The hosts, who played Zane Kirchner on the right wing, outscored the Castres five tries to two.

    – Scrumhalf Nic Groom's Northampton Saints sealed a dramatic 16-14 win over Montpellier, courtesy of a last-minute penalty goal. Frans Steyn, Paul Willemse, Jacques du Plessis, Pierre Spies, Jannie du Plessis and Cameron Wright all turned out for Montpellier, but Steyn was the most influential. Playing inside centre, Steyn scored 11 of Montpellier's 14 points via a try and two penalties. He ran the most metres (62), made 13 carries, beat two defenders and popped two offloads.

    Pool 5

    – Having trailed for the majority of the game, Bordeaux scored three tries in the last 10 minutes to secure an unlikely 28-13 win over Ulster. Former Sharks lock Jandré Marais captained the winners, while ex-Boks Ruan Pienaar and Franco van der Merwe started for Ulster. Hooker Rob Herring was on the bench for the Irish team.

    – No 5 lock Flip van der Merwe formed part of the Clermont side that lashed the Exeter Chiefs 35-8 at Sandy Park. Their bonus point sees Clermont top this pool.

    CHALLENGE CUP

    Pool 1

    – Eighthman Braam Steyn and his Treviso teammates suffered a 41-10 defeat against La Rochelle. The visitors outscored Treviso five tries to one and top Pool 1.

    Pool 2

    – Lock Mouritz Botha and his Newcastle Falcons teammates suffered a humiliating 45-0 thrashing against tournament debutants Ospreys, who crossed for seven tries.

    – Ex-Stormers flank Deon Fourie captained the Lyon side that claimed a 39-13 bonus-point win over French rivals Grenoble. Flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter was named Man of the Match for his 19-point haul via five penalties and two conversions.

    Pool 3

    – Towering lock Ligtoring Landman powered over the tryline to score one of the Newport Gwent Dragons' five tries in their 37-16 victory against Brive. Landman played alongside compatriots Carl Meyer, Brok Harris and Sarel Pretorius. Brive had locks Wilhelm Steenkamp and Johan Snyman and No 8 Petrus Hauman in their run-on XV and lock Jan Uys on the bench.

    – Russian club Enisei caused the biggest upset across both European competitions this weekend, when they secured a famous 19-12 home win over the Worcester Warriors. Winger Dean Hammond earned a rare starting berth for the Warriors.

    Pool 4

    – Loose forwards Nick Fenton-Wells and Nick Koster did duty for Bristol, who lost 33-20 to the Cardiff Blues at home.

    – Bath ground out a 25-22 triumph against Pau on Saturday. Hooker Michael van Vuuren represented Bath from the start of the second half .

    Pool 5

    – Romanian outfit Timisoara, with Jody Rose at flyhalf, suffered a 59-17 loss at the hands of Scottish side Edinburgh.

    – Flyhalf Tim Swiel kicked three conversions in Harlequins' 43-21 bonus-point win against Stade Français. Inside centre Meyer Bosman and hooker Craig Burden turned out for Stade.

    Photo: Scarlets/Champions Cup

    Post by

    Mariette Adams