SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s French Top 14 matches involving South African players.
– Bayonne, featuring wing Hansie Graaff in their side, slumped to an agonising 34-34 defeat by Clermont at home. Flank Jaco van Tonder and scrumhalf Rudy Paige turned out for Clermont, who moved up third in the standings.
– Racing claimed their maiden win of the season when they edged Castres 23-14 in a see-saw encounter in Paris. No 8 Antonie Claassen started for Racing, while centre Rob Ebersohn and scrumhalf Rory Kockott were on the bench for Castres.
– Montpellier, playing with 14 men from the 25th minute, recorded a 43-22 win against Pau to move into the top five on the table. Jacques du Plessis and Nico Janse van Rensburg were Montpellier’s lock pairing, but Du Plessis was replaced by compatriot Paul Willemse in the second half. Prop Lourens Adriaanse came on for Pau in the second half and was yellow-carded in the 65th minute.
– Bordeaux caused a big upset when they defeated the previously unbeaten Toulon, 34-12. Former Springbok prop Marcel van der Merwe was in Toulon’s starting lineup.
– Former Bok duo Willem Alberts and Lionel Mapoe were in the Stade Français side that slumped to a narrow 28-26 loss against La Rochelle on the road. With two try assists and a couple of linebreaks, Mapoe was Stade’s standout performer. Heyneke Meyer’s Stade are winless so far in the competition, but the losing bonus point they picked up was enough to lift them from the bottom of the log.
– Despite conceding a red card on the hour mark, Lyon held off Toulouse to claim a 22-12 win at home. Lock Etienne Oosthuizen made the winning side’s run-on XV. Front rowers Maks van Dyk an Jaco Visagie as well as centre Werner Kok sat on Toulouse’s bench and were used as subs in the second half.
– Centre Johann Sadie was influential in Agen’s 16-10 victory over 14-man Brive. Lock Peet Marais started for winless Brive, who are rooted to the foot of the standings.
Photo: Stade Français