SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup semi-finals, which involved South African players.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP
– Saracens, with centre Brad Barritt and tighthead prop Petrus du Plessis in their ranks, bowed out of the competition after a 13-9 semi-final loss to Clermont. The game was still in the balance at 10-9 with 10 minutes to go, but the hosts added a 72nd-minute penalty that forced Saracens to push for a try. Hooker Schalk Brits and scrumhalf Neil de Kock played for Sarries from the 50th and 68th minutes respectively.
– Toulon progressed to a third successive European final after beating Leinster 25-20 in Marseille. Leinster's chances were boosted when the defending champions were reduced to 14 men in the first half of extra-time for foul play, but Bryan Habana scored a 90th-minute intercept try to send the Irish team packing. Bakkies Botha and Juan Smith started alongside Habana, while Zane Kirchner and Richardt Strauss represented Leinster.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP
– Edinburgh lashed the Newport Gwent Dragons 45-16 at Murrayfield to book their place in the final of the Challenge Cup. Former Kings duo Andries Strauss and Cornell du Preez, ex-Sharks lock Anton Bresler and former Cheetahs tighthead prop WP Nel turned out for the Scottish team, while ex-Stormers prop Brok Harris represented the Dragons. Gloucester defeated the Exeter Chiefs 30-19 in the second semi-final.
Photo: Bertrand Langois/AFP