SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Pro14 and French Top 14 matches involving South African players.
– The Newcastle Falcons were too strong for Bath, securing a 29-12 win at Kingston Park. Ex-Sharks hooker Kyle Cooper started and scored a try for the Falcons, who are now fifth in the standings.
– A second-string Saracens lineup, featuring Schalk Burger and Brad Barritt, beat the Sale Sharks 13-3 at the AJ Bell Stadium. Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, No 8 Josh Strauss and flank Jono Ross were in Sale’s run-on XV, with De Klerk accounting for their only points via a penalty.
– Prop Pat Cilliers was in the Leicester Tigers’ match-day squad for their 33-18 victory over Harlequins. The Tigers are now seventh on the log.
– Heinrich Brüssow made a winning start to his career at the Northampton Saints, who beat London Irish 25-17. Scrumhalf Nic Groom started alongside Brüssow for the Saints, while Cobus Reinach, David Ribbans and Francois van Wyk were substitutes. Irish had Piet van Zyl at scrumhalf, Arno Botha at blindside flank and captain Franco van der Merwe at No 4 lock. Prop Petrus du Plessis and lock Sebastian de Chaves were on the bench.
– Wing Dean Hammond, eighthman Gerrit-Jan van Velze, tighthead prop Nick Schonert and hooker Kurt Haupt all featured for the Worcester Warriors in their 25-15 upset win against Gloucester. Ruan Ackermann started at No 8 for Gloucester.
– Wasps defeated the Exeter Chiefs 13-7 at Ricoh Arena to consolidate their position in third-place on the table. Wasps started with Willie le Roux at fullback and Ashley Johnson on the bench. The hooker was yellow-carded in the 59th minute and Wasps conceded a converted try in his absence.
– Former Cheetahs hooker Richardt Strauss came off the bench for Leinster in their 20-13 win against the Scarlets. Prop Werner Kruger and lock David Bulbring started for the Welsh region. The win takes Leinster to the top of Conference B.
– The Cardiff Blues provided the upset of the weekend by beating Munster 25-18. Lock George Earle started for Cardiff. Munster included flank Chris Cloete and lock Gerbrant Grobler in their starting XV, while Jean Kleyn came off the bench in the second half.
– Lock Irné Herbst started for Treviso as they beat the Dragons 18-15. Zane Kirchner started at flyhalf for the Dragons, who had Ligtoring Landman at lock and scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius on the bench.
– Edinburgh secured a dramatic last-minute win against Ulster. Wing Duhan van der Merwe, flyhalf Jaco van der Walt and No 8 Cornell du Preez all started for Edinburgh. Ulster included fullback Louis Ludik, No 8 Jean Deysel and tighthead prop Wiehahn Herbst in their starting XV.
– Former Stormers prop Oli Kebble and flyhalf Brandon Thomson were on the bench for Glasgow, who powered to a 37-23 win against the Cheetahs. The win extends Glasgow’s lead in Conference A to 16 points.
– Zebre shocked Connacht 19-11 in Ireland. Flank Johan Meyer started for the Italians, who had former Lions loose forward Derick Minnie on the bench. Quinn Roux was on the bench for Connacht, who fell further behind fourth-placed Cardiff in Conference A.
– The Ospreys came from behind to beat the Kings 26-12. Wing Hanno Dirksen was a substitute for the Ospreys, who kept themselves a place above last-placed Zebre in Conference A.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Captain Duane Vermeulen led Toulon to a commanding 43-5 victory over the struggling Stade Français. Prop Marcel van Merwe and wing JP Pietersen played alongside Vermeulen for Toulon. Flyhalf Morné Steyn, scrumhalf Charl McLeod and No 8 Willem Alberts were named in Stade’s starting XV.
– Agen centre Johann Sadie’s brace of tries was in vain as they slumped to a 52-25 defeat at the hands of Toulouse. Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie also started for Agen. Danie Mienie, Rynhardt Elstadt and Cheslin Kolbe were on Toulouse’s bench and used as impact players in the second half.
– Lourens Adriaanse and his Pau teammates beat Brive 21-16. Locks Peet Marais and Johan Snyman and flank Petrus Hauman were on duty for Brive.
– Montpellier dismantled Oyonnax 43-30 to consolidate their place at the top of the standings. Centre Jan Serfontein, flyhalf Frans Steyn, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, locks Paul Willemse and Nico Janse van Rensburg, prop Jannie du Plessis and hooker Bismarck du Plessis did service for Montpellier. Pienaar contributed 11 points via four conversions and a penalty, and Janse van Rensburg scored the bonus-point try.
– Lyon lashed the out-of-form Clermont 36-10 at home. Locks Hendrik Roodt and Etienne Oosthuizen and loosehead prop Albertus Buckle represented the winning team, who moved up to sixth on the log. Fullback Scott Spedding came on as a second-half replacement for Clermont.
– A converted try in the first half was enough to give Castres a 7-6 win over hosts Bordeaux. Robert Ebersohn played inside centre for the winners, while Dan Kötze and Jody Jenneker scrummed down in the front row. Lock Jandré Marais played for Bordeaux.
– Pat Lambie made a try-scoring return to action for Racing 92 in their 19-12 win over La Rochelle. Lambie started at inside centre in his first game back from an eye injury and scored what proved to be the winning try for Racing. Flank Bernard le Roux played alongside Lambie for the Parisian club. Paul Jordaan was at outside centre and scored a late try to secure a losing bonus-point for La Rochelle.
Compiled by Mariette Adams and Dylan Jack
Photo: Dave Winter/Getty Images