SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Pro14 and French Top 14 matches involving South African players.
– Don Armand scored a crucial try in the Exeter Chiefs’ dramatic 31-30 victory over the Northampton Saints at Sandy Park. Scrumhalf Nic Groom, openside flank Heinrich Brüssow and lock David Ribbans started for the Saints, while Francois van Wyk and Cobus Reinach played off the bench. Exeter are now back at the top of the table.
– In a bottom-of-the-table clash, London Irish picked up a crucial 22-9 win over the Worcester Warriors. London Irish scrumhalf Piet van Zyl scored the only try of the match. He started alongside compatriots Arno Botha (flank) and Franco van der Merwe (lock), while prop Petrus du Plessis and Sebastian de Chaves sat on the bench. Wing Dean Hammond, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard, No 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, lock Anton Bresler, tighthead prop Nick Schonert and hooker Kurt Haupt were on duty for the Warriors.
– In another thrilling finale, Bath scored a converted try in the last minute of the match to beat the Sale Sharks 33-32 at the Rec. Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, No 8 Josh Strauss and flank Jono Ross were in Sale’s starting XV, with De Klerk kicking five penalties and a conversion for a personal tally of 17 points.
– Demetri Catrakilis made his return from injury via the bench in a losing cause as Harlequins slumped to a 28-10 defeat against the Newcastle Falcons. Hooker Kyle Cooper started for the Falcons.
– Brad Barritt, Schalk Burger and Schalk Brits were in the Saracens side that slumped to a 28-20 loss against the Leicester Tigers. Replacement prop Pat Cilliers represented the Tigers.
– Wasps, featuring fullback Willie le Roux, centre Juan de Jongh and flank Ashley Johnson, scored a converted try in stoppage-time to snatch a 25-25 draw with Gloucester. No 8 Ruan Ackermann started for Gloucester. Wasps remain third on the log.
– Munster, with flank Chris Cloete and lock Jean Kleyn in their starting XV, got a morale-boosting victory as the beat the Glasgow Warriors 21-10. Centre Brandon Thomson and prop Oli Kebble started for the Warriors. Lock Gerbrandt Grobler was on the bench for Munster.
– Edinburgh stretched the gap between themselves and Ulster with a 25-12 victory against the Dragons. Wing Duhan van der Merwe and flyhalf Jaco van der Walt started for Edinburgh, who had Scotland international Cornell du Preez on the bench. Lock Ligtoring Landman scored a brace for the Dragons, who had former Bulls fullback Zane Kirchner at outside centre, while scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius and centre Jarryd Sage came off the bench.
– Connacht kept themselves off the foot of the table with a tight 22-19 win against Treviso. Lock Irné Herbst started for Treviso, who are now fifth in Conference B.
– The Scarlets claimed a bonus-point 34-10 victory over Ulster, to keep themselves in touch with Conference B leaders Leinster. Lock David Bulbring and tighthead prop Werner Kruger started for the Scarlets. Former Sharks fullback Louis Ludik, No 8 Jean Deysel and prop Wiehahn Herbst started for Ulster.
– Zebre, with No 8 Derick Minnie and flank Johan Meyer in their starting XV, were edged out by a late penalty to lose 10-7 to the Cardiff Blues, who started with lock George Earle. Hooker Luhandré Luus came off the bench for Zebre.
– Wing Hanno Dirksen came off the bench for the Ospreys in their thrilling 27-26 comeback win against the Cheetahs. The win keeps the Ospreys eight points away from Zebre, who are at the bottom of Conference A.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Montpellier battled to an 11-10 triumph over Bordeaux at the Altrad Stadium, with centre Jan Serfontein scoring the winning try. Serfontein played alongside compatriots Henry Immelman, Ruan Pienaar, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and Jannie du Plessis, Frans Steyn and Paul Willemse. Lock Jandré Marais started for Bordeaux.
– Robert Ebersohn, Rory Kockott, Dan Kötze and Jody Jenneker formed part of the Castres side that beat Lyon 33-22 at home. Deon Fourie, Francois van der Merwe, Hendrik Roodt and Etienne Oosthuizen were on duty for Lyon.
– Stade Français, with Willem Alberts and Heinke van der Merwe in their ranks, suffered a 36-24 defeat at the hands of Agen in Paris. Centre Johann Sadie and scrumhalf Ricky Januarie earned starting berths for the winners, with Sadie scoring a vital try.
– Scrumhalf James Hall and his Oyonnax teammates stunned hosts Clermont 18-12. Fullback Scott Spedding was used as an impact player by Clermont. It was only the relegation-bound Oyonnax’s second win of the season.
– Wing Cheslin Kolbe scored one of six tries as Toulouse hammered Brive 45-28 to move up to third in the standings. Kolbe’s ex-Stormers teammate Rynhardt Elstadt also played for Toulouse. No 8 Petrus Hauman and lock Peet Marais played for Brive.
– In another upset, Pau defeated Racing 24-15. Prop Lourens Adriaanse did service for Pau. Pat Lambie started at inside centre for Racing and kicked a 67th-minute conversion. Loose forward Antonie Claassen was on Racing’s bench.
– Captain Duane Vermeulen led Toulon to an exciting 27-20 win over La Rochelle. JP Pietersen, who scored a try, Juandré Kruger and Marcel van der Merwe also turned out for Toulon. Centre Paul Jordan retained his place in La Rochelle’s run-on XV.
Compiled by Mariette Adams and Dylan Jack
Photo: Eddy Lemaistre/Icon Sport