SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12, French Top 14 and Japanese Top League matches, which involved South African players.
– Harlequins ended a two-match losing streak in the league with an unconvincing 15-7 victory over the Newcastle Falcons. Tim Swiel starred for Quins, booting five penalties as the Londoners erased a four-point deficit to claim maximum points.
– Bok flank Francois Louw and his Bath teammates delivered a polished performance to beat Gloucester 39-16. The victors led by just six points at the break, but pulled away in the second stanza to keep the pressure on the table-topping Northampton Saints.
– London Wasps enjoyed a dream start in their first match at their new stadium, the Ricoh Arena, powering past neighbours London Irish with a 48-16 bonus-point win. Former Cheetahs flank Ashley Johnson started for Wasps, who conceded just one try.
– In the second London derby of round 10, Saracens hammered London Welsh 78-7 at Allianz Park. No 8 Ernst Joubert was appointed stand-in captain in the absence of Alistair Hargreaves and was joined in the Sarries run-on XV by ex-Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock. In his last match for the winners, Sharks-bound lock Mouritz Botha was named on the bench alongside prop Petrus du Plessis.
– A late try handed the Glasgow Warriors a thrilling 21-18 win over Munster at Scotstoun. Skipper Josh Strauss, wing DTH van der Merwe and flank Tyrone Holmes were all listed in the Warriors’ starting XV, but it was Van der Merwe who made the telling break in the buildup to the match-winning try. He was brought down metres short of the tryline, but his support players were on hand to record a famous win.
– Wing Hanno Dirksen scored a crucial try for the Neath-Swansea Ospreys as they edged Ulster 31-20. Lock Rynier Bernardo played alongside Dirksen for the winners. Fullback Louis Ludik, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, flank Robbie Diack and lock Francois van der Merwe were handed starts by Ulster, but it was substitute Rob Herring who scored Ulster’s opening try.
– Skipper Ligtoring Landman scored one of three touchdowns, as the Newport Gwent Dragons beat Zebre 25-11. Brok Harris turned out for the Dragons, who started the match in 11th position on the log, a point behind the Italians. Zebre, who relied on the services of fullback Hennie Daniller, eighthman Andries van Schalkwyk and lock Quintin Geldenhuys, have since traded places with their conquerors in 11th and 10th spot respectively.
– Edinburgh trounced Treviso 48-0. Prop WP Nel came off the bench to score a try for Edinburgh, while centre Andries Strauss and lock Anton Bresler made starts. Lock Corniel van Zyl led the shambolic Treviso.
– Zane Kirchner topped off a string of good performances with a try for Leinster, who battled past Connacht 21-11. Wing Danie Poolman and lock Quinn Roux represented Connacht, while ex-Cheetahs prop Maks van Dyk made his debut for Leinster off the bench.
– Locks George Earle and Johan Snyman turned out for the Llanelli Scarlets, who slumped to a 21-9 loss against the Cardiff Blues. The latter, was yellow-carded in the 42nd minute, while Earle was on the park for the duration of the match.
FRENCH TOP 14
– In a high-scoring affair, Stade Français outlasted Grenoble to claim a 43-30 win. Fullback Gio Aplon and lock Hendrik Roodt started for the hosts, while Morné Steyn, Jono Ross, Meyer Bosman and Gerhard Mostert benched for Stade. Steyn was the only South African to make an appearance for the winners, kicking a conversion in the 71st minute.
– Montpellier ended a horrid string of results in all competitions with a hard-fought 23-20 win over Toulouse. Former Bok centre Wynand Olivier started for the winners and made an immediate impact with a well-worked try. Boks Gurthrö Steenkamp and Jano Vermaak came off the wood for Toulouse in the 42nd and 72nd minutes respectively.
– Racing Métro outscored La Rochelle three tries to one for a comfortable 27-8 win. No 8 Antonie Claassen and Francois van der Merwe showed good form for Racing, while former Stormer Peter Grant was the only Saffa in action for La Rochelle.
– Toulon, with scrumhalf Michael Claassens and flank Gerhard Vosloo in their ranks, eased past Lyon 30-6. Vosloo received a yellow card in the 77th minute and flank-cum-hooker Deon Fourie started for Lyon. Former Bok teammates Juan Smith and Ricky Januarie were unused replacements by both Toulon and Lyon.
– Centre Riaan Swanepoel, flank Paul Hauman, lock Peet Marais and prop Kevin Buys featured in the Brive run-on XV that defeated Oyonnax 19-6, with Buys leaving the field in the 52nd minute. Front-rowers Jody Jenneker and Ruaan du Preez represented the visitors and were joined by compatriot Pedrie Wannenburg in the 64th minute.
– Bayonne struggled to a 15-12 victory over Bordeaux. Fullback Scott Spedding and prop Gert Muller started for the hosts and prop JC Janse van Rensburg entered the fray in the 63rd minute. Locks Jandré Marais and Berend Botha started in tandem for Bordeaux.
– A penalty and conversion each from the boot of Rory Kockott couldn't prevent Castres from going down 19-10 against 14-man Clermont, after flank Julien Bardy was shown a straight red card for headbutting an opponent late in the first half. Eighthman Jannie Bornman did service for Castres from the 42nd minute.
JAPANESE TOP LEAGUE
– Veteran Bok flank Schalk Burger's first-half brace guided Suntory Sungoliath to an impressive 47-28 victory over the Canon Eagles. He was replaced by compatriot Justin Downey in the 42nd minute.
– Both flank Heinrich Brüssow and flyhalf Riaan Viljoen starred for the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, who narrowly beat the Ricoh Black Rams 27-26.
– Bok JP Pietersen started at outside centre for the Panasonic Wild Knights, who thrashed the NTT Communications Shining Arcs 45-15. Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies came on for the Shining Arcs in the 60th minute and kicked a conversion.
– Ryan Kankowski's Toyota Industries Shuttles hammered the lowly Munakaua Sanix Blues 46-14. Super Rugby title-holder Jacques Potgieter played for the Blues from the beginning of the second half, while Kankowski was subbed in the 63rd minute.
– The Toshiba Brave Lupus proved too strong as they cruised to a 44-29 win against the Toyota Verblitz. Flank Jean Deysel started for Verblitz and his Sharks teammate Frans Steyn slotted two conversions after joining the action in the 62nd minute for Toshiba.
– The Kubota Spears, featuring Keegan Daniel, went down 22-20 to the NEC Green Rockets at home. Daniel started at the back of the scrum and was replaced at the interval.
– The Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 40-10 victory over Yamaha Jubilo. Ex-Stormers and Bok colleagues Andries Bekker and Jaque Fourie featured for the Steelers with the former being substituted in the 75th minute, while Fourie played until the final whistle.