SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's French Top 14 semi-finals and Test matches involving South African players.
FRENCH TOP 14 SEMI-FINALS
– Centre Johan Goosen scored a try and kicked a long-range penalty as Racing claimed a remarkable 34-33 win over Clermont in extra time to book their place in the final. The sides were deadlocked at 27-27 at full time. Clermont hit the front with a long-range penalty and drop goal either side of the extra-time break, but Racing scored a last-gasp converted try to snatch the victory. Lock Bernard le Roux and No 8 Antonie Claassen also featured for the winners, but it was replacement lock Juandré Kruger who had a big impact on the outcome as he intercepted the ball that led to the match-winning try. Fullback Scott Spedding, who kicked a penalty, featured alongside lock Flip van der Merwe, prop Dan Kotzé and hooker Marthinus van der Westhuizen for Clermont.
– Toulon eliminated Montpellier with a comfortable 27-18 win in the second semi-final. Winger Bryan Habana had a good 80-minute game for Toulon. Hooker Bismarck du Plessis, tighthead Jannie du Plessis, lock Jacques du Plessis, No 8 Pierre Spies, flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis and inside centre Frans Steyn were all in Montpellier's run-on XV, with flank Wiaan Liebenberg on the bench. Catrakilis kicked two penalties and a conversion, but missed two attempts at goal, while Steyn also skewed a penalty and a drop goal.
– Former Stormers lock Quinn Roux made his international debut for Ireland against the Springboks at Ellis Park. Hooker Richardt Strauss, cousin of Bok captain Adriaan, came off Ireland's bench in the second half.
– Scotland, with tighthead prop WP Nel in their ranks, battled to a 26-13 win over Japan. Nel was instrumental in Scotland's dominating scrum and scored one of his team's two tries.
– Italy ground out a 24-20 win over John Mitchell's USA team in San Jose. Eighthman Andries van Schalkwyk and lock Quintin Geldenhuys were in the Azzurri's starting lineup.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP Photo