SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-finals, which involved South African players.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP
– Bath, who had Bok flank Francois Louw in their starting lineup, suffered an 18-15 defeat to Leinster in Dublin. The English club scored two unanswered tries, but six penalty goals were enough to send Leinster, who used substitutes Zane Kirchner from the 41st minute and hooker Richardt Strauss from the 65th, into the semi-finals.
– Saracens booked their place in the last four with a dramatic 12-11 victory over Racing Métro in Paris. Racing, who had lock Francois van der Merwe and No 8 Antonie Claassen in their team, led by two points before conceding a late penalty, which Saracens slotted. Prop Petrus du Plessis earned a starting berth for Sarries and hooker Schalk Brits joined him in the 54th minute. Saracens scrumhalf Neil de Kock and Racing utility back Johan Goosen both played from the 65th minute, while Brian Mujati was an unused reserve for Racing. Saracens will travel to France for their semi-final, where they will face Clermont, who thrashed the Northampton Saints 37-5.
– Holders Toulon beat Wasps 32-18 at the Stade Mayol. Lock Bakkies Botha and scrumhalf Michael Claassens did service for the winners and flank Ashley Johnson was on duty for Wasps. Toulon will host Leinster in the second semi-final.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP
– Gloucester beat Connacht 14-7 in their quarter-final at Kingsholm Stadium, with outside centre Danie Poolman and lock Quinn Roux turning out for the Irish province. Gloucester will meet the Exeter Chiefs next.
– The Newport Gwent Dragons overturned a 14-3 deficit to record a 25-21 win over the Cardiff Blues at Rodney Parade to march into the semi-finals. Ex-Stormers prop Brok Harris represented the Dragons.
– Edinburgh progressed to the final four with a nervy 23-18 win against London Irish. Former EP Kings centre Andries Strauss and ex-Sharks lock Anton Bresler were in Edinburgh’s run-on XV, but it was prop WP Nel’s early try that gave his team a good start to the match. Edinburgh will host the Dragons in the semi-finals.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images