SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, which involved SA players.
– Ashley Johnson scored a try as London Wasps withstood a late comeback by current champions the Northampton Saints, to claim a narrow 20-16 victory at Adams Park.
– Leicester came from behind to beat the Exeter Chiefs 24-20. Lock Sebastian de Chaves played as a substitute from the 68th minute at Sandy Park for the victors.
– In front of their home crowd, Harlequins suffered their biggest loss in four years, a 39-0 defeat at the hands of Saracens. Former Sharks lock Alistair Hargreaves and centre Brad Barritt started for Sarries, while prop Petrus du Plessis and lock Mouritz Botha took part from the 54th and 66th minutes respectively.
– Flank Robbie Diack scored one of five tries to lift Ulster to a convincing 33-13 win over Zebre. Prop Wiehan Herbst started alongside Diack for the Belfast outfit, while replacements Louis Ludik, Franco van der Merwe and Rob Herring joined the action in the 11th, 54th and 67th minutes. Three former Cheetahs, in fullback Hennie Daniller, No 8 Andries van Schalkwyk and lock Andries Ferreira were on duty for Zebre.
– Former Lions eighthman Josh Strauss’s Glasgow Warriors stunned the Cardiff Blues 33-12. Prop Rossouw de Klerk also formed part of Strauss’s charges who outscored their more illustrious hosts three tries to nil at the Arms Park.
– Leinster thrashed the Llanelli Scarlets 42-12 to register their first victory of the new season. Ex-Bok Zane Kirchner played wing for the winning team, while lock Johan Snyman found himself on the losing side despite scoring a try for his team.
– An opening try by ex-Bulls flank CJ Stander helped Munster return to winning ways with a scrappy 21-10 victory over Treviso. He was joined by compatriot and former Bok prop BJ Botha in the 57th minute. Flank Meyer Swanepoel was in the run-on XV of the Italian side, captained by Corniel van Zyl.
– Former Stormers wing Danie Poolman’s Connacht recorded a dramatic 14-13 win against Edinburgh at Murrayfield. No 8 Cornell du Pleez’s first-half touchdown gave Edinburgh a 13-6 lead at the break, but a last-minute try handed Connacht the victory. Ex-Kings captain, centre Andries Strauss, started alongside Du Preez for the losers, while WP Nel and ex-Sharks lock Anton Bresler were benched by Edinburgh.
– The Neath-Swansea Ospreys secured a narrow 17-15 away win over the Newport Gwent Dragons. Locks Rynard Landman and Reynier Bernardo earned starting berths for the Dragons and Ospreys respectively, while fullback Hanno Dirksen completed the Osprey's match-day squad.
FRENCH TOP 14
– It was a weekend of upsets, and the trend continued in the Top 14, with newly promoted La Rochelle lashing Castres 41-16. Castres scrumhalf Rory Kockott kicked three penalties and a conversion, while ex-Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant and lock Jacobus Grobler started for La Rochelle and hooker Erasmus van Vuuren came off the bench in the 53rd minute.
– Ex-Bok scrumhalf Jano Vermaak started for Toulouse, who slumped to their third successive defeat with a shock 13-9 loss to Clermont. Prop Daniel Kötze was listed among the Clermont replacements and joined the fray for a 15-minute cameo.
– Montpellier, with the in-form Robert Ebersohn in their starting lineup, suffered a 27-21 defeat to Bordeaux. Lock Jandré Marais scored a crucial try for the victors in the first half, before he was joined by countrymen Heini Adams in the 55th minute and lock Berend Botha in the 66th.
– Fullback Scott Spedding and former Lions prop Gert Muller were named in Bayonne’s XV that beat Brive 23-6. Brive’s ill-discipline cost them dearly, as they were down to 14-men on four different occasions. Props Johannes Coetzee and Kevin Buys, lock Peet Marais and eighthman Paul Hauman did service for the losers, with flyhalf Riaan Swanepoel coming off the wood in the 63rd. Prop JC Janse van Rensburg played from the 59th minute for the winning team.
– Prop Heinke van der Merwe scrummed down for Stade Français, who sent Toulon to their first home defeat since January, with a 28-24 win at the Stade Mayol. Bok flank Juan Smith and scrumhalf Michael Claassens started for the European champions. Ex-Sharks hooker Craig Burden was used as a substitute from the 67th minute by Toulon.
– Racing Métro beat Lyon 28-11 with scrumhalf Antonie Claassen, flank Bernard le Roux, and locks Francois van der Merwe and Juandré Kruger in their starting lineup, while prop Brian Mujati failed to make an appearance off the bench for the winners. Lyon had flank Frans Viljoen in their run-on team and called upon ex-Stormers hooker Deon Fourie in the 60th minute.
– Oyonnax clinched a 40-27 bonus-point victory over Grenoble. Front-rowers Ruaan du Preez and Jody Jenneker started for Oyonnax and were joined by former Bok Pedrie Wannenburg in the 56th minute. Locks Hendrik Roodt and Ross Skeate represented Grenoble and both scrumhalf Charl McLeod and prop Albertus Buckle made an appearance in the 53rd minute.
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images