SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s Anglo-Welsh Cup, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.
– Flank Tyrone Holmes started for the Newcastle Falcons in their campaign opener against the Northampton Saints. Unfortunately for Holmes and his teammates, they lost 24-16 in front of their home crowd.
– Saracens, with Vincent Koch at tighthead prop, fielded a second-string XV and lost 36-32 against Gloucester at Kingsholm Stadium.
– Brian Mujati played tighthead prop for the Sale Sharks in their 17-13 victory against a make-shift Wasps outfit. The game at AJ Bell Stadium was a closely fought encounter with Sale holding a slender 8-7 lead at the break.
– Bath with hooker Michael van Vuuren in their side narrowly lost 21-20 against the Leicester Tigers at the Rec. Prop Pat Cilliers was a Leicester replacement, but was sent off six minutes after running on.
– Loose forwards Nick Koster and Nick Fenton-Wells were in Bristol's starting lineup that suffered a 31-25 defeat to the Worcester Warriors at Sixways Stadium. Dewald Potgieter started at openside flank for the Warriors but lasted only 19 minutes before sustaining a match-ending injury.
– Wing Pat Howard, scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, lock Ligtoring Landman and tighthead prop Brok Harris all started for the Newport Gwent Dragons in their 21-16 triumph over reigning champions Connacht, who had lock Quinn Roux on duty.
– Munster, with outside centre Jaco Taute and scrumhalf Abrie Griesel in their ranks, thrashed Ospreys 33-0 to move to second in the standings. The humiliating result sees Ospreys drop to third behind their conquerors.
– Seven points from the boot of scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar was not enough for Ulster, who went down 28-17 to Edinburgh. Flank Cornell du Preez started for the winners. Pienaar played alongside locks Franco van der Merwe and Robbie Diack and front-rowers Wiehan Herbst and Rob Herring for the declining Ulster, who are now fifth on the log.
– Lock George Earle's Cardiff Blues ground out a 34-28 victory against No 8 Braam Steyn's Treviso. Despite his team's poor form, Steyn has been a standout performer this season and scored one of Treviso's four tries to make sure they come away with two losing bonus points.
– Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss made a winning return to action as they hammered Zebre 33-10 to consolidate their spot at the top of the standings. Back-rowers Andries van Schalkwyk, Johan Meyer and Derick Minnie and scrumhalf Carlo Engelbrecht played for the Italian club, with Van Schalkwyk burrowing over for their only try.
– The Scarlets cruised to a 27-3 win over the Glasgow Warriors. Wing DTH van der Merwe, lock David Bulbring and prop Werner Kruger represented the winners, who moved up to sixth on the log.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Stade Français' poor run in the Top 14 continued with a 37-19 loss at the hands of Bordeaux, who had Steven Kitshoff in their team. Prop Heinke van der Merwe, hooker Craig Burden and flank Willem Alberts turned out for Stade.
– Scrumhalf Rory Kockott's five penalty goals were not enough to get Castres over the line against Toulouse, who won their match 16-15 courtesy of a 78th-minute penalty. Front-rowers Dan Kotzé and Jody Jenneker played alongside Kockott for Castres, while Gurthrö Steenkamp started for Toulouse.
– Lock Flip van der Merwe and his Clermont teammates were made to work hard for their 21-20 triumph over an inspired Grenoble outfit. Gio Aplon, who scored a try, and Hendrik Roodt did service for Grenoble.
– Flyhalf Willie du Plessis's Bayonne slumped to a 26-9 defeat against hosts Brive. Flank Petrus Hauman, lock Wilhelm Steenkamp and prop Kevin Buys were part of the winning team.
– A late surge saw Racing edge Montpellier 21-9 in Paris. Fullback Johan Goosen and No 5 lock Francois van der Merwe earned starting berths for Racing, with Goosen contributing 11 of their points via the boot. No 8 Pierre Spies, flank Wiaan Liebenberg, lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and prop Jannie du Plessis completed Montepellier's pack, but there were no Saffas in the run-on backline. Frans Steyn was on the bench.
– La Rochelle, with Ricky Januarie at scrumhalf, hammered Pau 27-3. The bonus-point win keeps them second on the log behind Clermont.
– Captain Duane Vermeulen's Toulon continued their downward spiral with a surprise 27-13 loss against Lyon. Vermeulen and compatriots Bryan Habana, Andries Ferreira, Juandré Kruger and Marcel van Merwe turned out for declining giants, while prop Albertus Buckle, Jacques-Louis Potgieter and BJ Botha played for Lyon.
Photo: Dave Winter/Getty Images