SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup matches, involving South African players.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP
– Centre Jaco Taute, No 8 CJ Stander, lock Jean Kleyn and prop Thomas du Toit were in the Munster side that overcame Racing 22-10, with Stander scooping the official Man of the Match award. The result was enough to secure a home quarter-final for Munster.
– The Glasgow Warriors, with eighthman Josh Strauss in their lineup, stormed into the playoffs by thumping the Leicester Tigers 43-0 at Welford Road. It is the first time the Warriors have progressed beyond the pool stages of the competition. Replacement prop Pat Cilliers played for the hosts, who had never conceded six tries in a European game before Saturday.
– Wasps erased a 10-point deficit to beat Zebre 41-27 in an entertaining encounter. The bonus-point victory ensured they advanced to the quarter-finals as top seeds from this pool. With Wasps trailing, flank Ashley Johnson sparked a comeback with a 31st-minute try. From there on it was all Wasps, with Johnson grabbing his second score of the game after the break. Wing Lloyd Greeff, No 8 Derick Minnie and flank Johan Meyer started for Zebre, while Gideon Koegelenberg, Carlo Engelbrecht and Dries van Schalkwyk played off the bench.
– Toulouse advanced to the last the eight following a hard-fought 19-10 win over Connacht. It was a straight shoot-out between the teams for spots in the quarters. Connacht, with Quinn Roux and Danie Poolman in their ranks, needed only a losing bonus-point to go through, but they failed in their attempt to do so. Prop Maks van Dyk represented Toulouse.
– Saracens, featuring Schalk Burger, Michael Rhodes, Petrus du Plessis and Schalk Brits secured a home quarter-final after edging Toulon 10-3 in a brutal battle in London. Defeat notwithstanding, Toulon under the leadership of Duane Vermeulen, progressed to the quarters as one of the three best runners-up from the five pools thanks to the losing bonus-point they gained. Bryan Habana, flank Juan Smith and prop Marcel van der Merwe, were the other Boks to play alongside Vermeulen for the French club.
– Wing DTH van der Merwe scored a try, but it was in vain as Scarlets suffered a 25-23 defeat against the Sale Sharks at AJ Bell Stadium. Both sides were eliminated from the competition before the final round, but they played an exciting game on Sale's home ground. Prop Werner Kruger played alongside Van der Merwe for Scarlets.
– Prop Dan Kötze and hooker Jody Jenneker were part of the Castres team that held Leinster to a 24-24 draw. Hooker Richardt Strauss did service for Leinster, who won the pool to make the knock-out stage.
– Montpellier clinched a 26-17 bonus-point win over the Northampton Saints. Lock Jacques du Plessis scored one of Montpellier's four tries, with flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis slotting three conversions. Lock Paul Willemse, prop Jannie du Plessis and fullback Henry Immelman also starred for the winners.
– Scott Spedding and his Clermont teammates hammered Don Armand's Exeter Chiefs 48-26 at home. Clermont had already qualified for the next phase of the tournament before this round.
– Bordeaux outlasted Ulster 26-22 in another dead rubber at the Kingspan Stadium. Lock Berend Botha and prop Steven Kitshoff turned out for the winners. Ulster had locks Robbie Diack and Franco van der Merwe in their side, with the latter scoring a try.
Clermont vs Toulon
Leinster vs Wasps
Munster vs Toulouse
Saracens vs Glasgow Warriors
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP
– Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie's La Rochelle advanced to the quarter-finals as one of the best runners-up after inflicting a 31-8 bonus-point defeat on Treviso. Flank Braam Steyn started for the Italian team, who finished third in their pool behind their conquerors and top seeds Gloucester.
– Pool winners Ospreys claimed a 26-21 bonus-point over the Newcastle Falcons, to become the first team in European club rugby history to finish the pool stages on a maximum 30 log points. Wing Hanno Dirksen scored a try for the winners; while lock Mouritz Botha played for the Falcons, who finished third in the pool.
– Lyon lashed Grenoble 57-13 in their all-French affair, but the result was insignificant as both teams were knocked out. Loosehead prop Albertus Buckle crossed for one of Lyon's nine tries. Tighthead prop Rossouw de Klerk was on duty for Grenoble.
– Pool winners Brive brushed aside the Newport Gwent Dragons 36-19 to continue their good form in the competition. Captain Petrus Hauman, locks Jan Uys and Johan Snyman and prop Kevin Buys turned out for the winners. Fullback Carl Meyer, wing Pat Howard and lock Ligtoring Landman all played for the Dragons. However, it was replacement scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, who came on to bagged a brace to add some respectability to the Dragons' score.
– Wing Dean Hammond bagged a hattrick in the Worcester Warriors' 57-14 drubbing of Enisei-STM. The Russian side leaked nine tries, but it wasn't enough to help the Worcester Warriors qualify for the last eight.
– Francois Louw led Bath to a crushing 69-10 win over Pau at the Recreation Ground. The bonus-point win saw Bath top the pool by one log point more than the second-placed Cardiff Blues.
– Nick Koster and Nick Fenton-Wells were on duty for Bristol, who slumped to a 37-21 defeat at the hands of the Cardiff Blues. The result was enough to help the Blues sneak into the quarters as one of the best runners-ups.
– Prop Allan Dell and Cornell du Preez were named in Edinburgh's starting lineup that ousted Timisoara Saracens 49-3. Both players were recently named in Scotland's Six Nations squad. Du Preez scored one of Edinburgh's tries. Timisoara had flyhalf Jody Rose in their ranks.
– Stade Français completed the quarter-final lineup with a hard-fought 27-17 triumph over Harlequins. A win for either side would have sufficed for a place in the last eight, but it was Stade who came up top in the crucial battle. Centre Meyer Bosman and No 8 Willem Alberts started for the winners, and were later joined by compatriots Craig Burden and Jono Ross, with Burden scoring a second half try. Flyhalf Tim Swiel slotted one conversion for Quins, who fell just short of a place in the next round.
Bath vs Brive
Edinburgh vs La Rochelle
Gloucester vs Cardiff Blues
Ospreys vs Stade Français
Photo: Dino Panato/Getty Images