SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.
– Saracens, featuring centre Brad Barritt, flank Michael Rhodes, prop Petrus du Plessis and hooker Schalk Brits, humbled Bath 30-10 at the Rec. The hosts didn't make things easy on themselves, conceding a red and a yellow card in the second half. Bok flank Francois Louw started for Bath, while lock Alistair Hargreaves and scrumhalf Neil de Kock warmed Sarries' bench.
– The Worcester Warriors slumped to a humiliating 50-12 loss against the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park. Outside centre Wynand Olivier, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard and No 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze played for the Warriors, who conceded three yellow cards. The result didn't have any impact on the log, as the Chiefs remain second and the Warriors 10th.
– London Irish's poor run of form continued when they lost 30-15 against the Sale Sharks, who had prop Brian Mujati in their starting lineup. The Exiles did well to score two tries, but the penalty count against them was costly, as Sale punished their ill-discipline in the second half to come away with the win.
– The Leicester Tigers clinched an entertaining 35-30 bonus-point win over Gloucester at Welford Road. Lock Sebastian de Chaves was used as an impact player off the winners' bench. The victory took the Tigers up to fourth in the standings.
– Wasps cemented their place in the top three with a comfortable 28-6 win over the Northampton Saints at the Ricoh Arena. The hosts, with Ashley Johnson at hooker, were in fine form and outscored Saints three tries to none.
– The Glasgow Warriors romped to a 38-16 bonus-point win against Treviso at the Monigo Stadium. Back rowers Josh Strauss and Tyrone Holmes represented the winners, while No 8 Braam Steyn was on duty for bottom-of-the-table Treviso.
– Leinster beat Munster 16-13 at the Aviva Stadium, to move to the top of the standings. Fullback Zane Kirchner and hooker Richardt Strauss turned out for Leinster, while eighthman CJ Stander put in an 80-minute shift for Munster, who dropped to sixth position.
– The Cardiff Blues kept alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the playoffs by beating the Scarlets 28-22 away from home. Wing DTH van der Merwe and lock George Earle represented the third-placed Scarlets, who are now just two log points ahead of the Glasgow Warriors.
– Edinburgh hammered Zebre 29-0 at Murrayfield. Edinburgh No 8 Cornell du Preez, lock Anton Bresler and tighthead prop WP Nel faced off against compatriots Kayle van Zyl (fullback), Ulrich Beyers (wing), Johan Meyer (No 8), Jean Cook (flank), Quintin Geldenhuys and Gideon Koegelenberg (locks). The result, though, had to impact on the teams' log positions.
– Ulster, with scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, lock Franco van der Merwe, hooker Rob Herring and flank Robbie Diack in their ranks, stunned Connacht 18-10 at the Kingspan Stadium. Wing Danie Poolman was benched by Connacht, who came into this clash as table-toppers before being eclipsed by Leinster.
– Fullback Carl Meyer's 10-point haul for the Newport Gwent Dragons was in vain as they suffered a 26-20 defeat at the hands of the Ospreys. Meyer was joined in the Dragons run-on XV by scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, lock Ligtoring Landman and prop Brok Harris. The Ospreys included lock Rynier Bernardo in their side.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Montpellier ground out a 19-3 win against Brive to move to second in the table. Inside centre Frans Steyn, No 8 Pierre Spies, locks Paul Willemse and Jacques du Plessis and front rowers Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis started for the winning team, while centre Robert Ebersohn and scrumhalf Cameron Wright enjoyed cameos off the bench. Brive named prop Kevin Buys, lock Johan Snyman and eighthman Paul Hauman as starters, with lock Wilhelm Steenkamp among the substitutes.
– Scrumhalf Rory Kockott and his Castres teammates edged Toulouse 15-9, to advance their push for a spot in the playoffs. They are now just three log points adrift of their victims.
– Oyonnax suffered a 27-20 defeat at home against Grenoble, despite outscoring the visitors three tries to two. Scrumhalf Charl McLeod earned a starting berth for Grenoble and crossed for a crucial try in the first half. He was later joined by replacements Gio Aplon (fullback) and Rossouw de Klerk (prop).
– Flyhalf Burton Francis's 11-point tally (three penalties and a conversion) counted for little as Agen lost 33-26 to Pau. Francis, centre Johann Sadie and flank Marco Kotzé did service for Agen, who will be relegated to the Pro D2 at the end of the season.
– Ricky Januarie's La Rochelle held on to beat Stade Français 21-18. Centre Meyer Bosman started for the struggling Stade, with No 8 Jono Ross and lock Gerhard Mostert joining the fray in the final quarter of the match. Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn was an unused substitute.
– Johan Goosen earned a rare start for Racing and he made it count with a 23-point tally in their 28-20 victory over hosts Bordeaux. The fullback nailed three first-half penalty goals, before tormenting Bordeaux's defence to score a second-half brace. No 8 Antonie Claassen accounted for Racing's other try, while golden boy Goosen also booted two out of the three conversions. Wing Sean Robinson, flank Bernard le Roux and lock Francois van der Merwe featured alongside the point-scorers for Racing, who are now third on the log. Ex-Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff delivered an hour-long shift for fifth-placed Bordeaux.
– Wing Bryan Habana, No 8 Duane Vermeulen and flank Juan Smith were part of the Toulon team that suffered a 19-18 defeat against rivals Clermont. Toulon led 18-12 going into the final 10 minutes, but the visitors scored a late converted try to snatch a one-point win. Prop Dan Kotzé, lock Flip van der Merwe and fullback Scott Spedding turned out for Clermont, who extended their lead at the top of the table to six points.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Nicolas Tucat/AFP Photo