SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.
ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP FINAL
– Saracens withstood a spirited fightback by the Exeter Chiefs to win the Premiership title 28-20 at Twickenham. Captain Brad Barritt started at inside centre for the winners and was joined by hooker Schalk Brits, prop Petrus du Plessis and flank Michael Rhodes in the run-on XV, with scrumhalf Neil de Kock on the bench. Exeter featured No 8 Don Armand in their starting lineup.
CELTIC PRO12 FINAL
– Connacht beat Leinster 20-10 at Murrayfield to win their first Pro12 title in the club's 131-year history. Hooker Richardt Strauss represented Leinster in the first half, while they used fullback Zane Kirchner from the 60th minute.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Montpellier produced a stunning performance at home to sink Toulon 36-21. The hosts outscored Toulon three tries to two, with flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis adding three conversions and two penalties, while centre Frans Steyn chipped in with three long-range penalties. Locks Paul Willemse and Jacques du Plessis, flank Wiaan Liebenberg and No 8 Pierre Spies were all in Montpellier's starting XV. Prop Jannie du Plessis and centre Robert Ebersohn were used as replacements, playing for 25 and eight minutes respectively. Toulon had Boks Duane Vermeulen and Bryan Habana in their ranks. The result takes Montpellier to second, while Toulon slip to third.
– Racing saw off La Rochelle 30-14 to move from fourth to third on the log. No 8 Antonie Claassen, flank Bernard le Roux and lock Juandré Kruger were included in Racing's lineup. Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie played for La Rochelle.
– Loosehead prop Gurthrö Steenkamp and his Toulouse teammates toppled log-leaders Clermont 22-11 to confirm their place in the knockout stage of the competition. Hooker Marthinus van der Westhuizen and lock Flip van der Merwe were on duty for Clermont, who despite the result remain top in the standings.
– Rory Kockott's 20-point haul, via six penalties and a conversion, guided Castres to a crucial 25-20 win against Oyonnax at the Stade Charles-Mathon. The win was just enough to keep them in the final playoff spot ahead of seventh-ranked Bordeaux.
– Scrumhalf Heini Adams played in his final home game for Bordeaux in their 34-7 thumping of Brive. Adams, who is set to retire at the end of the season, played alongside lock Jandré Marais for the winners, who are now level on points with Castres. Prop Kevin Buys, second rowers Johan Snyman and Wilhelm Steenkamp and flank Paul Hauman did service for Brive.
– Agen, featuring flank Marco Kotzé, flyhalf Burton Francis and centre Johann Sadie, suffered a last-minute 28-26 defeat to Stade Français in Paris. Agen led by a point, but conceded an 80th-minute penalty which Stade successfully kicked at goal. Kotzé scored one of Agen's four tries and Francis added two conversions. Front rowers Craig Burden and Heinke van der Merwe sat on Stade's bench.
– In an ill-disciplined affair that resulted in four yellow cards, Pau eased to a 29-12 bonus-point win over Grenoble. Gio Aplon was named on Grenoble's bench, but played from the 36th minute as an injury replacement.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Jean Paul Thomas/Getty Images