SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's French Top 14 matches, which involved SA players.
– Toulon’s title defence got off to a decent start with a 29-15 away win over Bayonne. Ex-Lions flank Gerhard Vosloo started for the champions, while scrumhalf Michael Claassens came off the bench in the 62nd minute. Fullback Scott Spedding and prop JC Janse van Rensburg were in Bayonne’s run-on team and Gert Muller joined them in the 43rd minute.
– Former Sharks scrumhalf Charl McLeod and ex-Stormers wing Gio Aplon made their Top 14 debut when they joined former Lions lock Hendrik Roodt in Grenoble’s starting XV against Clermont, who won 30-26. Prop Daniel Kotze came on as a replacement for Clermont in the 15th minute, while ex-Sharks lock Ross Skeate and Albertus Buckle completed Grenoble’s substitution list, but didn’t make it on to the field.
– With former EP Kings prop Kevin Buys and former SA U20 lock Peet Marais in their starting team, Brive claimed a 37-15 bonus-point win over the newly promoted La Rochelle. Peter Grant, who played fullback, was yellow-carded in the 32nd minute and converted a penalty in the 63rd for La Rochelle. Hooker Erasmus van Vuuren started alongside Grant.
– Stade Français recorded a 25-22 away win against Castres. Ex-Sharks prop Heinke van der Merwe and centre Meyer Bosman played for the Parisian side. Castres brought on former Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott in the 50th minute, while lock Gerhard Mostert joined his Stade Français teammates in the 70th.
– With ex-Bulls scrumhalf Heini Adams in their run-on XV, Bordeaux defeated newcomers Lyon 18-9. Lock Jandré Marais played for the winners from the 47th minute. Lyon started with prop Wian du Preez and ex-Springbok scrumhalf Enrico Januarie, but benched flank Frans Viljoen and hooker Deon Fourie.
– Toulouse, with former Bulls scrumhalf Jano Vermaak in their side, registered a narrow 20-19 victory over Oyonnax. Hooker Jody Jenneker, prop Ruaan du Preez and flank Pedrie Wannenburg started for the losing team.
– Former Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen came off the bench and kicked a 55m drop goal for Racing Métro in their 19-16 win against Montpellier, while his ex-Cheetahs teammate, centre Robert Ebersohn, starred for the losing side. Lock Francois van der Merwe and scrumhalf Antonie Claassen started for Racing.
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