SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches that involved South African players.
– London Irish sent tremors through the league, upsetting the log-leaders Saracens 22-13 in the London derby. Scrumhalf Neil de Kock, No 8 Ernst Joubert and lock Mouritz Botha started for Sarries, but it was reserve hooker Schalk Brits, who came on in the 54th minute, who scored for the losing team. It wasn't enough, though, as the Exiles' three first-half tries were just too much to overcome.
– Bath outclassed the Newcastle Falcons 24-6 at the Rec, with Springbok flank Francois Louw getting his name penned in the scorers' column after he dotted down the third and final try.
– The top of the Premiership was decided by one point, as the Northampton Saints beat the Exeter Chiefs 17-16 to take the No 1 position off Saracens. Don Armand was on the Chiefs' bench, while Gerrit-Janse van Velze came off the Saints' bench in the 45th minute and was yellow-carded for preventing the opposition from taking a quick tap.
– Former Bok and Cheetahs loose forward Ashley Johnson started for London Wasps in their 11-10 defeat to Harlequins, who scored a late try for their unlikely victory.
– The Leicester Tigers secured a 23-22 victory over flank Mike Williams' Worcester Warriors, in an exciting clash.
– Former Lions No 8 and captain Josh Strauss and Stormers flank Tyrone Holmes were named in the Glasgow Warriors' run-on XV for the match-up against Connacht at Scotstoun, which ended in an 8-6 victory for the Warriors.
– Springbok fullback Zane Kirchner scored for Leinster in their 31-8 mauling of Zebre. Flank Andries van Schalkwyk scored for the Italians. Lock Michael van Vuren appeared in the 44th minute off the bench.
– Bok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar and his Ulster team-mates carried their fine European form into the local competition, as they ran out 10-7 victors against the Ospreys at Ravenhill. Former Sharks lock Johann Muller, who announced that he is to retire at the end of the European season, captained the side, while Pienaar slotted a conversion and a penalty. Flank Robbie Diack also started for Ulster.
– The Scarlets came out top against Treviso, securing a nail-biting 41-33 win in Italy. Lock Corniel van Zyl started for the home side with flyhalf Meyer Swanepoel coming off the bench in the 65th minute and scoring the hosts' second try. Prop Jacobie Adriaanse began for the visiting Scarlets and lock Johan Snyman came on in the 56th minute.
– Former Stormers wing Gerhard van den Heever and ex-Bulls flank CJ Stander scored a try apiece as Munster ran riot at Thomond Park against the Cardiff Blues. Despite the ongoing unrest between the Welsh Rugby Union and the regions, Welsh rugby fans were treated to an exhibition by Munster who raced to a 54-13 win to extend their lead at the top of the table.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Flank Gerhard Vosloo started for Clermont, whose Top 14 dominance was on show again as they beat Stade Français 25-13. Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn, locks Gerhard Mostert and Anton van Zyl and prop Heinke van der Merwe all started for the Paris team, with Steyn kicking two penalties and a conversion. Utility back Meyer Bosman joined them on the field in the 49th minute, and lock Carl Wegner and hooker Michael van Vuuren in the 72nd.
– Ex-Bulls scrumhalf Heini Adams, who scored two tries, and lock Juandré Marais played for Bordeaux from start to finish, beating Grenoble 38-17. Lock Hendrik Roodt started for the losing team and was sin-binned in the 31st minute, while prop Albertus Buckle made an appearance off the bench in the 42nd minute, going over the tryline in the 61st.
– Montpellier recorded a hard-fought 15-12 win over their hosts Toulouse, who had Boks Jano Vermaak (scrumhalf), Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker) and Gurthrö Steenkamp (prop) in their starting XV. Schalk Ferreira replaced Steenkamp in the 64th minute, while former Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn played 80 minutes for the visiting team.
– Bok flank Joe van Niekerk scored for Toulon. He, Juan Smith (flank) and ex-Sharks hooker Craig Burden were all named in Toulon's run-on team who defeated Biarritz 33-20 with former Bok lock Danie Rossouw coming on as a substitute in the 68th minute. Ex-Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen joined his Biarritz team-mates in the 68th.
– Former Sharks player Rory Kockott, who surprisingly played flyhalf, kicked four penalties for Castres as they edged Oyonnax 17-16. His countrymen Pedrie Wannenburg (No 8) and Michael Coetzee (flank) joined in the 44th and 61st minutes respectively.
– Fullback Scott Spedding played 80 minutes for Bayonne as they held on to beat rivals Brive 9-6. Prop Gert Muller did service for the winning team from the 76th minute, while prop Kevin Buys was also made to work the full 80 minutes for Brive.
– Perpignan and Racing Metro played to a 19-19 draw. Perpignan wing Wandile Mjekevu scored for the hosts before ex-Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenhage entered the playing field in the 58th minute. Loose trio Juandré Kruger, Francois van der Merwe and Jacques Cronje started for Racing.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images