SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches that involved South African players.
– Former Western Province and Stormers lock Don Armand came on from the 56th minute and scored a try for Exeter in their narrow 14-13 loss to rivals Gloucester at Sandy Park.
– With a 32-20 bonus-point victory over their neighbours London Wasps, Saracens stretched their lead at the top of the Premiership table to seven points over Northampton. Ex-Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock and eighthman Ernst Joubert were on duty for the winners with former Stormers hooker Schalk Brits taking the field from the 53rd minute.
– Gerrit-Jan van Velze and his Northampton Saints team-mates suffered a demoralising 22-16 defeat at the hands of the Leicester Tigers, their third straight loss. The win moves the Tigers up to third on the log in place of Bath, who suffered a shock 12-11 defeat against the Sale Sharks.
– Former Lions captain and No 8 Josh Strauss started for the Glasgow Warriors in their clash with wing Hanno Dirksen and his Ospreys team-mates. The Warriors edged past them 11-9 at Scotstoun Stadium and moved to within point of a top-four finish.
– Scrumhalf Tobias Botes contributed 10 points for Treviso in their tight 20-16 win over a star-studded Edinburgh at the Stadio Monigo. Lock Corniel van Zyl also started for the Italian side. Edinburgh started with five South Africans in their run-on XV in fullback Carl Bezuidenhout, ex-Cheetahs and Kings centre and Edinburgh captain Andries Strauss, flank Cornell du Preez, lock Izak van der Westhuizen and prop WP Nel, with a sixth Saffa, Wicus Blaauw, joining from the bench in the 60th minute. Bezuidenhout (three penalties and a conversion) and Du Preez (try) accounted for all the losers’ points.
– The 10th-placed Cardiff Blues recorded a shock 28-22 victory over former Bok and Sharks lock Johann Muller and his Ulster men. Hooker Rob Herring started in the front row for Ulster with flank Robbie Diack on their substitution list.
– Leinster, with hooker Richardt Strauss in their starting team, secured their 10th consecutive victory, by beating rivals Munster 22-18 at the Aviva Stadium. Bok fullback Zane Kirchner came off Leinster’s bench in the 67th minute, while former Bok prop BJ Botha began for Munster and ex-Stormers and Bulls wing Gerhard van den Heever sat on their bench until the 65th.
– In a match that produced eight tries, the Scarlets sneaked past visitors Connacht 32-30. Lock Johan Snyman, playing for the Scarlets, was the only South African in the spectacle.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Former Lions prop Kevin Buys and flyhalf Riaan Swanepoel started for Brive in their 26-24 win over Clermont. Flank Gerhard Vosloo, who’s set to join Toulon at the end of the season, captained the losing side.
– Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn kicked three penalties and slotted a drop goal in the Parisan derby between his team Stade Français and Racing Métro, but his best efforts weren’t enough as they came up short, losing 32-22. Ex-Sharks centre Meyer Bosman and prop Heinke van der Merwe were also in Stade’s run-on team, and lock Gerhard Mostert joined from the 50th minute. Locks Juandré Kruger and Francois van der Merwe and No 8 Jacques Cronjé started for Racing, with Kruger scoring one of their three tries.
– Former Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott was in scintillating form off the kicking tee, nailing two conversions and five penalties for Castres in their 34-34 draw with Biarritz. Eighthman Antonie Claassen started alongside Kockott, and prop Eugene van Staden was on Biarritz’s bench.
– Prop Albertus Buckle was part of the Grenoble team which received a 40-13 trashing from Oyonnax at the Stade Charles-Mathon.
– Former Bulls scrumhalf Heini Adams played for Bordeaux, opposite Perpignan’s Dewaldt Duvenage – who filled that role for the Stormers – Bordeaux winning 23-5. Lock Juandré Marais played from the 45th minute off the bench.
– Montpellier comfortably overcame Bayonne 43-27 with ex-Bulls and Boks centre Wynand Olivier in their starting XV. Former Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn, came off the bench for the six-try winners in the 41st minute, while prop JC Janse van Rensburg and Gert Muller and fullback Scott Spedding all started for Bayonne.
– In the most hyped-up Top 14 match of this round, Toulon beat rivals Toulouse 32-28 in Marseille. Boks Juan Smith (flank) and Danie Rossouw (lock) and former Sharks hooker Craig Burden started for the European champions, while Bok wing Bryan Habana, who returned from injury, looked on from the bench. Scrumhalf Michael Claassens came on as a substitute in the 66th minute. Bok prop Gurthrö Steenkamp started for Toulouse, who now sit in sixth spot, while their tormentors occupy second spot, a point behind Montpellier.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Pierre Andrieu/Getty Images