SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches that involved South African players.
– The Northampton Saints thrashed London Wasps 74-13 at Franklin’s Gardens to secure a home semi-final. Ex-Cheetahs flank Ashley Johnson played for Wasps from the 70th minute.
– The Leicester Tigers secured third place on the log with a 31-27 win over a second-string Saracens side. Former Western Province No 8 Nick Fenton-Wells, flank Justin Melck and prop Petrus du Plessis were all in Saracens’ starting XV with Melck getting a red card for an alleged eye-gouge. Ex-Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock was an unused substitute.
– Bok fullback Zane Kirchner and hooker Richardt Strauss’s Leinster rose to the top of the standings with a 15-13 victory against Alan Solomon’s Edinburgh. Eighth-placed Edinburgh had fullback Carl Bezuidenhout, ex-EP Kings captain and centre Andries Strauss and prop WP Nel in their run-on team, while prop Wicus Blaauw was on the bench.
– Ulster, with hooker Rob Herring in their team, beat Munster 17-15 at Thomond Park. Former Stormers wing Gerhard van den Heever started for the losers. The result moved Ulster to fourth on the table and into play-off contention ahead of the Ospreys.
– Lock Johan Snyman was part of a Scarlets outfit that overcame the Cardiff Blues 27-15 in their Welsh derby. It was the season finale for both sides as they sit in sixth and seventh place respectively.
– The Glasgow Warriors secured their first ever home play-off match with a 54-0 drubbing of Zebre. The hosts, who scored eight tries, had flank Tyrone Holmes on the bench and used him from the 53rd minute. Andries van Schalkwyk started for Zebre in the same position.
– The Ospreys overpowered Connacht 45-20 with wing Hanno Dirksen in their starting XV. Ex-Western Province winger Danie Poolman played for Connacht. Dirksen recently extended his contract with the Ospreys, who have also announced the signing of EP Kings lock Rynier Bernardo.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Rory Kockott and his Castres team-mates ended Clermont’s 77-match unbeaten streak at home, with a 22-16 play-off victory. The ex-Sharks scrumhalf booted five penalties and a conversion for a personal tally of 17, to put Castres in the semi-finals of the Top 14. Eighthman Antonie Claassen also started for the winners, while flank Gerhard Vosloo was on duty for Clermont.
– Toulouse will miss the semi-finals for the first time in 21 years, after they lost their play-off 21-16 to Racing Métro at Stade Ernest Wallon. No 8 Jacques Cronjé and locks Juandré Kruger and Francois van der Merwe were in Racing’s run-on team, while former Bulls scrumhalf Jano Vermaak started for Toulouse.
– In transfer news, Oyonnax has announced the signing of Cheetahs flyhalf Riaan Smit, while they also secured the services of former Bok flank Pedrie Wannenburg, who is tied to Castres until the end of the season. French media reports that Sharks lock Peet Marais is set to move to France at the end of the season, where he will join Brive.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Thierry Zoccolan/AF Photo