• Frans fires in French derby

    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

    – Jaco Taute starred as Munster hammered the Leicester Tigers 38-0 to secure their second successive bonus-point. Taute breached the insipid Leicester defence to run in two tries after the break, but it was compatriot CJ Stander who was named Man of the Match for his superb performance. Prop Thomas du Toit and lock Jean Kleyn played off Munster's bench, as did Pat Cilliers for Leicester.

    – The Glasgow Warriors, with Josh Strauss in their ranks, pulled off a major upset when they beat hosts Racing 23-24 in Paris. No 8 Antonie Claassen and lock Gerbrant Grobler were on duty for Racing. The Warriors are now second in the pool standings behind Munster. Racing are rooted to the bottom after two defeats in as many games.

    Pool 2

    – Ashley Johnson and his Wasps teammates took control of Pool 2 with a one-sided 32-17 bonus-point victory over Connacht at home. Lock Quinn Roux played for Connacht, who remain second on the log.

    – Toulouse walked away with all five points on offer after their match against Zebre was abandoned due to inclement weather. Toulouse, who had prop Gurthrö Steenkamp on their bench, led 36-6 after 63 minutes before the game was called off. Loose trio Johan Meyer, Quinton Geldenhuys and Derick Minnie started in tandem for Zebre, as did locks Gideon Koegelenberg and Quintin Geldenhuys. Scrumhalf Carlo Engelbrecht came on as a substitute for the Italian club.

    Pool 3

    – Defending champions Saracens – featuring Brad Barrit, Schalk Burger, Michael Rhodes, Petrus du Plessis, Vincent Koch and Schalk Brits – made it three from three in the competition with a 50-3 win against the Sale Sharks. Ex-Bok prop Brian Mujati earned a rare start for the struggling Sale Sharks, who are last in the pool standings.

    – Toulon recorded a hard-fought, but much-needed 31-20 bonus-point triumph over the Scarlets, to stay alive in the pool of death. Boks Bryan Habana, Marcel van der Merwe, Juandré Kruger and Duane Vermeulen were on duty for the winners. Wing DTH van der Merwe and prop Werner Kruger were in Scarlets' starting lineup.

    Pool 4

    – Scrumhalf Nic Groom was in the 14-man Northampton Saints side that slumped to a humiliating 37-10 defeat at the hands of Leinster at Franklin's Gardens.

    – Despite conceding a red-card, Montpellier cruised to a 32-14 win over Castres in the French derby. Frans Steyn, who played flyhalf for the winners, out-kicked Castres scrumhalf Rory Kockott. Steyn landed three conversions and two penalties for a 12-point haul, while Kockott added two penalties to Castres' tally. Nicolaas van Rensburg, Jannie du Plessis, Wiaan Liebenberg, Cameron Wright, and Demetri Catrakilis all turned out for Montpellier alongside Steyn. Prop Dan Kötze did service for Castres.

    Pool 5

    – Ulster caused a big upset when they edged Clermont 39-32. Wing Louis Ludik, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, lock Robbie Diack, prop Wiehahn Herbst and hooker Rob Herring represented the winners. Clermont handed starting spots to Scott Spedding and Flip van der Merwe.

    – Bérend Botha and Steven Kitshoff formed part of the Bordeaux lineup that claimed a surprise 13-7 triumph over hosts Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park. Former Western Province flank Don Armand was on duty for the Chiefs.

    CHALLENGE CUP

    Pool 1

    – Log leaders Gloucester beat La Rochelle 35-14 at Kingsholm Stadium. La Rochelle, who played with Ricky Januarie at No 9, are second in the standing behind their conquerors.

    – Treviso stunned Bayonne 28-15 in their basement battle at Stade Jean-Dauger. Flank Treviso flank Braam Steyn was the Saffa involved in the match.

    Pool 2

    – Captain Deon Fourie led Lyon to a superb 42-12 victory over the Newcastle Falcons. He played alongside prop BJ Botha and flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter. The struggling Falcons had lock Mouritz Botha in the ranks.

    Pool 3

    – Locks Jan Uys and Johan Snyman formed part of the Brive team that thrashed Enisei-STM 43-8 in Russia. Another second rower, Wilhelm Steenkamp, was on the winners' bench.

    – Dean Hammond crossed for one of five tries as the Worcester Warriors slated the Newport Gwent Dragons 33-20 at Sixways Stadium. The Dragons featured Sarel Pretorius, Ligtoring Landman and Brok Harris in their lineup.

    Pool 4

    – The Cardiff Blues, with George Earle at lock, handed a 28-3 defeat to visitors Bath at Arms Park. Hooker Michael van Vuuren was on Bath's bench, but failed to make an appearance.

    – Bristol secure their first competitive win of the season with a crushing 41-14 triumph over Pau. Back rowers Nick Koster and Nick Fenton-Wells started for the winners, who moved off the foot of the pool standings after the win.

    Pool 5

    – Edinburgh launched a magnificent comeback to overturn a 17-point deficit in their 28-23 win over Stade Français. Morné Steyn earned a rare start for Stade and contributed 13 of his side's points via a two conversions, two penalties and a drop goal. But his efforts were in vain. Fellow Boks Willem Alberts and Heinke van der Merwe started alongside Steyn. The winners had prop Allan Dell and flank Cornell du Preez on the bench.

    – Tim Swiel's Harlequins hammered flank Randall Morrison's Timisoara Saracens 42-3 in Romania. The bonus-point win, however, wasn't enough for Quins to overtake Edinburgh at the summit of the table.

    Photo: Pascal Guyot/Getty Images

    Post by

    Mariette Adams