SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, French Top 14 and Celtic Pro12 matches, involving South African players.
– Saracens, with Neil de Kock, Michael Rhodes, Petrus du Plessis and Alistair Hargreaves in their ranks, ground out a 17-15 victory over hosts Gloucester. The result keeps Sarries at the summit of the log.
– The Sale Sharks delivered a clinical performance to see off the Worcester Warriors 27-13 at the AJ Bell Stadium. Prop Brian Mujati was on the winners' bench, while outside centre Wynand Olivier and No 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze started for the Warriors.
– Lock Mouritz Botha represented the Newcastle Falcons in their 42-16 defeat to the Northampton Saints, who scored five tries to secure a bonus-point victory.
– Ashley Johnson's Wasps stunned Bath 16-9 at the Ricoh Arena. Wasps held a slender 6-3 lead the break, but pulled away in the second half to complete the upset.
– Ex-Stormers flanker Don Armand scored one of six tries as the Exeter Chiefs thumped London Irish 38-11.
– The Leicester Tigers, who named lock Sebastian de Chaves in their run-on XV, erased a half-time deficit to edge Harlequins 22-19 at Welford Road.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Fullback Johan Goosen kicked three long-range penalty goals to guide Racing to a 27-18 derby win over Parisian neighbours Stade Français. He featured in Racing's starting lineup alongside No 8 Antonie Claassen and lock Francois van der Merwe, while Juandré Kruger warmed the bench. Loosehead prop Heinke van der Merwe, eighthman Jono Ross and inside centre Meyer Bosman turned out for Stade in this feisty clash, which produced three yellow cards.
– Rory Kockott kicked a conversion and two penalties, but it wasn't enough to prevent Castres from losing 31-23 to Grenoble. Castres had to play with 14 men for 54 minutes following a red card to their blindside flanker for punching an opponent in the face. Gio Aplon, Charl McLeod and Hendrik Roodt featured for the winners.
– Eight-try Toulon thrashed Oyonnax 61-3 at the Stade Felix-Mayol. Willie du Plessis was at flyhalf for the European champions, but it was captain Juan Smith who got on Toulon's scoresheet with a 24th-minute try. Former Bok eighthman Pedrie Wannenburg was included on Oyonnax's bench and used from the 48th minute.
– Bordeaux, with locks Berend Botha and Jandré Marais in their side, held on for a narrow 12-10 win against prop Gurthrö Steenkamp's Toulouse on Saturday. Toulouse scored the only try of the match, but four penalties handed the victory to Bordeaux.
– Demetri Catrakilis scored his first points for Montpellier with two penalties in their 24-19 triumph over the table-topping Clermont. But the ex-Stormers flyhalf had to leave the field in the 23rd minute with an injury. Joining him in the starting team were flank Wiaan Liebenberg, lock Paul Willemse, prop Pat Cilliers and hooker Craig Burden, while prop Schalk van der Merwe was introduced in the 66th minute. Hooker Marius van der Westhuizen, prop Dan Kotzé and lock Flip van der Merwe were on duty for Clermont.
– Brive claimed a hard-fought 18-13 win over Pau in an ill-disciplined match, which produced four yellow cards and a penalty try. Locks Johan Snyman and Peet Marais, flanker Paul Hauman and prop Kevin Buys featured for Brive, with Snyman one of the yellow-card recipients.
– In a bottom-of-the-log clash, La Rochelle beat Agen 23-6 in another match where three yellow cards were handed out. Centre Johann Sadie played from start to finish for Agen, with Burton Francis, who added a penalty, and Ruaan du Preez coming off the bench in the second half.
– Fullback Kayle van Zyl, loose trio Dries van Schalkwyk, Jean Cook and Johan Meyer as well as lock Quintin Geldenhuys all started for Zebre, who shocked Edinburgh 19-11. Inside centre Andries Strauss, lock Anton Bresler and flank Cornell du Preez played for Edinburgh.
– In another upset, Quinn Roux and his Connacht teammates recorded a rare 21-16 away win over the Neath-Swansea Ospreys. The last time Connacht won at the Liberty Stadium was in 2004.
– Ulster extended their unbeaten streak at home to 14 matches with a 24-17 bonus-point win over the Cardiff Blues. Fullback Louis Ludik, lock Franco Mostert, prop Wiehahn Herbst and hooker Rob Herring earned starting berths for Ulster.
– The Newport-Gwent Dragons laboured to a 19-12 win over Benetton Treviso at Rodney Parade. Ex-Stormers prop Brok Harris and former Cheetahs stalwart Sarel Pretorius did service for the Dragons, while eighthman Braam Steyn was on duty for Treviso.
– The Llanelli Scarlets fought from 13-6 down to oust Munster 25-22 at Parc y Scarlets. Wing DTH van der Merwe scored a try which kept the Scarlets in touch, before two late penalty goals saw them claim the win. Lock George Earle also turned out for the Welsh franchise. Wing Gerhard van den Heever, No 8 CJ Stander and tighthead prop BJ Botha all starred for Munster in an exciting encounter.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP Photo