SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Pro14, French Top 14 and Japanese Top League matches involving South African players.
– Saracens continued their excellent start to the season with a five-try 38-15 win against Gloucester. Brad Barritt led the defending champions, who welcomed Schalk Burger back to the fold from the bench. Michael Rhodes, an inclusion in the England squad, made two key turnovers for his side, while Vincent Koch also started for Sarries. Gloucester had Ruan Ackermann, Gerbrandt Grobler and Franco Marais in their starting XV.
– The Worcester Warriors needed a late try to steal their first win of the season, beating the Leicester Tigers 44-37. Gerrit-Jan van Velze led the Warriors from the front, making 16 tackles and a turnover. Francois Hougaard and Francois Venter both enjoyed solid outings in the Worcester backline, while Anton Bresler was at lock for the Warriors.
– Nizaam Carr scored a try to contribute to Wasps’ comfortable 31-13 victory over the Sale Sharks. Carr, who has quickly formed a solid back-row combination with Ashley Johnson, dovetailed brilliantly with the returning Willie le Roux for Wasps’ first try of the match. Jono Ross started for Sale, who brought Josh Strauss off the bench.
– The Bristol Bears beat Harlequins 20-13 for their second win of the season. Both hooker Nick Fenton-Wells and Zane Kirchner came off the bench for the Bears.
– A conversion allowed Bath to claim a narrow 17-15 win against the Northampton Saints. Cobus Reinach scored a try in a losing effort for Saints, who brought prop Francois van Wyk on in the second half. Bath had new signing Jacques van Rooyen on the bench.
– The Exeter Chiefs kept in touch with Saracens by beating the Newcastle Falcons 24-17. Don Armand started for the Chiefs.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Clermont, featuring Flip van der Merwe and Jaco van Tonder, slumped to a 23-19 defeat against Bordeaux. Van Tonder scored his team’s only try. Lock Jandré Marais started for the winners.
– Toulon are back on track after claiming a much-needed 33-3 win against Agen. Boks Jacques Potgieter, JP Pietersen, Juandré Kruger and Marcel van der Merwe were named on the winning side’s bench. Johann Sadie turned out for Agen.
– No 8 Antonie Claassen formed part of the Racing 92 side that easily beat Castres 27-11. Fullback Scott Spedding, centre Rob Ebersohn, scrumhalf Rory Kockott, prop Dan Kotze and hooker Jody Jenneker did service for Castres.
– Springbok quartet Morné Steyn, Piet van Zyl, Willem Alberts and Heinke van der Merwe were on duty for Stade Français, who beat Lourens Adriaanse’s Pau 25-13. Steyn contributed 10 points via two conversions and as many penalties.
– Wing Raymond Rhule scored Grenoble’s only try in their 31-22 win over Perpignan. Rhule started alongside his ex-Stormers teammate JC Janse van Rensburg. Centre Wandile Mjekevu and lock Berend Botha played for Perpignan.
– Lock Etienne Oosthuizen and Francois van der Merwe were in the Lyon side that suffered a 30-13 defeat against La Rochelle.
– Montpellier, with Frans Steyn and Jan Serfontein as their centre pairing, Johan Goosen and Ruan Pienaar as the halfbacks and Paul Willemse and Nico Janse van Rensburg in the second row, thrashed 14-man Toulouse 66-15. Pienaar scored one of Montpellier’s 10 tries and added five conversions, while Goosen kicked three conversions late in the game. Prop Maks van Dyk featured for Toulouse from the start of the second half.
JAPANESE TOP LEAGUE
– The Ricoh Black Rams edged the Canon Eagles 21-17. Fred Zeilinga played fullback for the Eagles and scored a try and added a penalty. No 8 Philip van der Walt and lock Jan de Klerk started alongside Zeilinga.
– Fullback Gerhard van den Heever contributed 16 points, with a try, four conversions and a penalty, to guide the Kubota Spears to a 31-19 triumph over the Honda Heat. Ruan Botha, Lappies Labuschagne, Burger Odendaal and Jean Droste were also in the winning side.
– Ex-Bulls prop John-Roy Jenkinson and his Munakata Sanix Blues teammates went down 32-15 against the Toyota Industries Shuttles.
– Outside centre Shane Gates scored two tries and was then given a straight red card in the NTT Communications Shining Arcs’ 45-28 win over the Hino Red Dolphins. Flyhalf Garth April, No 8 Willie Britz and lock Robert Kruger also played for the Shining Arcs. April had a disappointing match as he missed all of his conversions attempts.
– Fullback Coenraad van Wyk crashed over for one of the four tries that saw the Toshiba Brave Lupus upend the Coca-Cola Red Sparks 29-14.
– Flyhalf Lionel Cronjé slotted seven penalties to snatch a 26-26 draw for the Toyota Verblitz against the Kobe Kobelco Steelers. Locks Carl Wegner and Jason Jenkins, flank Reniel Hugo and fullback Gio Aplon were also on duty for Verblitz.
– Harold Vorster turned out for the Panasonic Wild Knights in their 15-0 win over Yamaha Jubilo, who had flank Kwagga Smith and wing Gerrie Labuschagne in their ranks.
– Compiled by Mariette Adams & Dylan Jack