SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.
– No 8 Ruan Ackermann started for Gloucester in their surprise 23-17 victory against Saracens at Kingsholm Stadium. Brad Barritt led Sarries, who also had No 8 Schalk Burger, hooker Schalk Brits and prop Vincent Koch in their side. Brits scored Saracens’ only try. The defeat sees Saracens relinquish their place at the top of the log.
– The Worcester Warriors, featuring scrumhalf Francois Hougaard, No 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, prop Nick Schonert and wing Dean Hammond, stunned the Northampton Saints 30-15 at Sixways Stadium. Cobus Reinach started for the Saints, while Francois van Wyk and Nic Groom were used as impact players in the second half.
– In his 150th appearance for the club, Ashley Johnson led Wasps to a superb 40-10 win against the Newcastle Falcons. Johnson played alongside fullback Willie le Roux, centre Juan de Jongh and flank Nizaam Carr. Le Roux was in fine form and scooped the Man of the Match award. Former Sharks hooker Kyle Cooper did duty for Newcastle.
– The Exeter Chiefs recorded a comfortable 31-17 triumph over Harlequins. Don Armand played openside flank for the Chiefs, who now occupy top spot on the log.
– The Sale Sharks suffered a 35-27 defeat at the hands of the Leicester Tigers. Captain Jono Ross, Josh Strauss and Faf de Klerk all started for Sale, with De Klerk kicking two conversions and a penalty.
– Hooker Michael van Vuuren and his Bath teammates were too strong for London Irish, claiming a 22-18 win away from home. Locks Sebastian de Chaves and Franco van der Merwe, as well as prop Petrus du Plessis, represented London Irish.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Clermont handed competition trendsetters Lyon a 39-18 defeat at Stade Marcel Michelin. Flip van der Merwe was at No 5 lock for Clermont and came up against his brother Francois van der Merwe, who played in the same position for Lyon. Lock Etienne Oosthuizen and hooker Deon Fourie also did service for Lyon.
– Fullback Tian Schoeman and lock Jandré Marais formed part of the Bordeaux side that beat Agen 33-23. Marais crossed for one of Bordeaux’s three tries. Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie earned a starting berth for Agen, while centre Johann Sadie was included on the bench.
– Pau, with prop Lourens Adriaanse in their team, lashed Brive 34-15. Second rowers Peet Marais and Jan Uys started in tandem for Brive, while fellow lock Johan Snyman came on in the second half. Pau are 10th in the standings and Brive 13th.
– Robert Ebersohn, Rory Kockott and Jody Jenneker all featured prominently for Castres in their 31-15 triumph over La Rochelle. Paul Jordaan played outside centre for La Rochelle.
– Jan Serfontein scored his first try of the competition, as the midfield partnership between him and Frans Steyn continued to flourish for Montpellier, who beat Toulouse 32-22. The centre pair, along with fullback Henry Immelman, flank Wiaan Liebenberg, locks Paul Willemse and Jacques du Plessis and props Johannes Jonker and Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg all turned out for the winners, who are now four points clear at the top of the log. Fullback Cheslin Kolbe, wing Wandile Mjekevu, flank Rynhardt Elstadt and prop Danie Mienie and Maks van Dyk were on duty for Toulouse. Van Dyk scored his team’s only try.
– Stade Français returned to winning ways with a thrilling 39-35 triumph over Oyonnax in Paris. Willem Alberts started at the back of the scrum for Stade and Gurthrö Steenkamp at loosehead prop. Craig Burden, Charl McLeod and Morné Steyn were on the bench. Lock Steven Sykes started for Oyonnax.
– Wing JP Pietersen’s two-try performance for Toulon was in vain, as they were handed a shock 40-29 defeat by Racing 92, whose flyhalf, Pat Lambie, landed four conversions and four penalties for a personal tally of 20 points. Juandré Kruger and Marcel van der Merwe played with Pietersen for Toulon, while Antonie Claassen was at No 8 for Racing.
Compiled by Mariette Adams