SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s European Champions Cup, European Challenge Cup and Japanese Top League matches involving South African players.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP
– Wasps, featuring Springbok quartet Willie le Roux, Juan de Jongh, Nizaam Carr and Ashley Johnson, slumped to a record 52-3 defeat against reigning champions Leinster, who scored eight tries in their runaway win.
– Bok flank Francois Louw and his Bath teammates suffered a heartbreaking 22-20 loss at home against Toulouse. Prop Maks van Dyk and flank Rynhardt Elstadt played for Toulouse, but it was their teammate Cheslin Kolbe who had a big influence. The wing didn’t score, but he shredded Bath’s defence a couple of times to set up tries for his team.
Dazzling footwork from Cheslin Kolbe to set up a Sofiane Guitoune try for Toulouse against Bath. pic.twitter.com/79d9qCk9cQ
— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) October 13, 2018
– Gerbrandt Grobler and Franco Marais formed part of the Gloucester team that claimed a hard-earned 19-14 win over Castres at Kingsholm Stadium. Centre Robert Ebersohn and hooker Jody Jenneker started for Castres, while Rory Kockott was used as a second-half substitute.
– CJ Stander scored a try in the 63rd minute of the match to help Munster snatch a 10-10 draw against the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park. Flank Chris Cloete and lock Jean Kleyn were also on duty for the visitors, while Don Armand was in the Chiefs lineup.
– Flank Michael Rhodes scored the only try of the match as Saracens ground out a 13-3 triumph against the Glasgow Warriors. Rhodes startled alongside centre Brad Barritt and tighthead prop Vincent Koch for Sarries. Wing DTH van der Merwe and props Oli Kebble and Petrus du Plessis represented the Warriors.
– The Cardiff Blues became the first Welsh side to win a Champions Cup game in France in five years when they defeated competition newcomers Lyon 30-21. Lyon lock Hendrik Roodt was the only Saffa in this match.
– Racing 92 fired late to claim a stunning 14-13 victory over the Scarlets in Llanelli. Lock David Bulbring and prop Werner Kruger did service for the Scarlets, while No 8 Antonie Claassen started for Racing.
– Ulster were too good for the Leicester Tigers as they clinched a 24-10 win in the opening game of the tournament. Marcell Coetzee was one of the standout performers for Ulster.
– Montpellier weren’t at their best, but still managed to beat Edinburgh 21-15 at home. Henry Immelman, Jan Serfontein, Wiaan Liebenberg, Paul Willemse, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Jannie du Plessis and Bismarck du Plessis earned starts for Montpellier. Immelman crossed for a crucial try and Bismarck du Plessis received a yellow card after a team warning. Former Lions utility back Jaco van der Walt sat on Edinburgh’s bench.
– The Newcastle Falcons caused one of the biggest upsets in Champions Cup history when they defeated Toulon 26-25 at the Stade Mayol. Before this result, Toulon had only ever lost once at home in this competition and that was against Saracens in 2016. JP Pietersen played outside centre for Toulon, with Marcel van der Merwe in the front row and Jacques Potgieter in the second row.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP
– The Dragons eased to a 54-17 victory over Romanian side Timisoara Saracens to go top of Pool 1. Zane Kirchner started at fullback on his return to the Dragons following a brief loan with the Bristol Bears. Centre Jarryd Sage and prop Brock Harris were also part of the Dragons’ starting XV.
– Top 14 leaders Clermont showed their class in their 41-20 win against the Northampton Saints. Bok hopeful Cobus Reinach played 52 minutes at scrumhalf for the Saints, making nine tackles and winning two turnovers. Clermont were forced to bring lock Flip van der Merwe off the bench as an early injury replacement. Francois van Wyk got 20 minutes as a substitute for Northampton.
– The Ospreys got their campaign off to a solid start by whitewashing Pau in a 27-0 victory. Prop Tom Botha came off the bench in the first half for the Ospreys.
– The Worcester Warriors pulled off an upset by becoming just the third team to beat Stade Français in Paris with a 38-27 win. Experienced centre Wynand Olivier played virtually the whole match for the Warriors after coming on in the second minute. Piet van Zyl scored a try for Stade after coming off the bench in the second half, while Morné Steyn kicked two conversions for Heyneke Meyer’s side.
– Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Faf de Klerk were both on the scoresheet in the Sale Sharks’ 41-24 win over 14-man Perpignan. Janse van Rensburg scored one of Sale’s three first-half tries, while De Klerk kicked three conversions and a penalty. Josh Strauss and captain Jono Ross also started for the Sharks. Pretoria-born Romanian lock Johannes van Heerden started for Perpignan, who had former Lions prop Gert Muller on the bench.
– Connacht continued their good form at home with a 22-10 win against Bordeaux. Quinn Roux played the full match for the Irish side.
– La Rochelle sent out an early warning to their Pool 4 rivals by thrashing Russian side Enisei 82-12. Paul Jordaan scored a try in both halves for the French Top 14 team, who will be hoping to go a couple of steps further than their semi-final finish in the 2016-17 season.
– The Bristol Bears made their return to European rugby after a one-year absence a good one by claiming a 43-22 victory against Zebre. In a losing effort, Francois Brummer had a solid outing for Zebre, kicking two conversions and a penalty along with running 45m and making two clean breaks. Hooker Luhandre Luus made a total of eight tackles from the bench for Zebre.
– Flyhalf Dimitri Catrakilis kicked two conversions as a substitute in Harlequins’ 54-22 win over Agen. Lock Christiaan van der Merwe came off the bench for the closing 20 minutes of the match for Agen.
– Treviso carried their fine form from the Pro14 into the Challenge Cup by beating Grenoble 40-14. Scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage started for Treviso, who had lock Irné Herbst on the bench. Francois Uys was at lock for Grenoble, who are second from bottom in Pool 5.
JAPANESE TOP LEAGUE
– Coach Allister Coetzee’s Canon Eagles slumped to a 52-17 defeat against Yamaha Jubilo. Flank Kwagga Smith scored one of Yamaha’s eight tries and was named Man of the Match. Lock Jan de Klerk, No 8 Philip van der Walt and flyhalf Fred Zeilinga represented Canon, with Van der Walt crossing for one of their three tries.
– Centre André Esterhuizen’s try was not enough for the ill-disciplined Munakata Sanix Blues, who were hammered 40-18 by Suntory Sungoliath. Prop Hencus van Wyk was one of three Blues players who received yellow cards.
– Honda Heat, with lock RG Snyman and flank Deon Stegmann in their ranks, ran in eight tries to thrash the Coca-Cola Red Sparks.
– Toyota Verblitz edged the NTT Communications Shining Arcs 38-36. Verblitz’s Lionel Cronjé scored eight points to come out on top in his flyhalf battle with Garth April, who added seven points to the Shining Arcs’ tally. Meanwhile, locks Reniel Hugo and Jason Jenkins and fullback Gio Aplon also started for Verblitz. Loose forwards Robert Kruger and Willie Britz turned out for the Shining Arcs.
– The Ricoh Black Rams outlasted the Panasonic Wild Knights to secure a 26-17 victory. Lions centre Harold Vorster started for the Wild Knights.
– Gerhard van den Heever contributed 16 points via a try, three penalties and a conversion, and teammate Duane Vermeulen also scored a try to help the Kubota Spears beat the Toshiba Brave Lupus 26-24. Lock Ruan Botha and flank Lappies Labuschagne played alongside the point-scorers for Kubota. Toshiba had lock Henco Venter and fullback Coenraad van Wyk in their run-on XV.
Compiled by Dylan Jack & Mariette Adams