SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches that involved South African players.
– By losing 44-20 to Saracens, the Worcester Warriors’ relegation to the Championship was confirmed. Former Sharks lock Alistair Hargreaves captained Saracens with ex-Sharks centre Brad Barritt, lock Mouritz Botha, prop Matt Stevens and ex-Stormers and Bok hooker Schalk Brits in his team, while former Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock was on the bench.
– Bok and former Cheetahs flank Ashley Johnson’s fantastic run of form continued when he scored one of London Wasps seven tries to help his team to a convincing 44-38 victory over the Newcastle Falcons at Adams Park. The win secures them seventh spot on the table and a chance to play in the European tournament next season.
– The Cardiff Blues came from behind to beat Connacht 22-15. Former Western Province wing Danie Poolman started for the losing team, who at one stage led 15-3, before two Cardiff tries in three minutes sunk them.
– Fyhalf Carl Bezuidenhout and prop WP Nel both burst over the tryline for Edinburgh, but their opponents Munster were just too good, romping to an emphatic 55-12 win. In addition to the try-scorers, Edinburgh also featured ex-Kings centre Andries Strauss and No 8 Cornell du Preez in their starting XV with Wicus Blaauw on the bench, while Munster had former Stormers wing Gerhard van den Heever and former Bulls flank CJ Stander in their run-on team.
– In an Irish derby, ex-Bull Zane Kirchner played wing for Leinster, who edged rivals Ulster, under the leadership of lock Johann Muller, 22-20 at Ravenhill. Hooker Rob Herring played alongside Muller in a match that saw two yellow cards and one red.
– Lock George Earle was in the Scarlets team that handed the Dragons a 34-23 drubbing. The result secured them a place in next season’s new European competition, the Champions Cup. Fellow lock Johan Snyman was a substitute.
– Former Lions No 8 Josh Strauss led the Glasgow Warriors to a 38-16 win over Treviso in Italy, taking another step towards a home semi-final. Flank Tyrone Holmes was on the side of the scrum for the Warriors, while compatriot Tobias Botes ran out for the lowly Treviso.
– The Ospreys’ play-off aspirations were dealt a major blow when Zebre stunned them 30-27 in Parma. Flank Andries van Schalkwyk did service for the surprising winners and wing Hanno Dirksen for the losers.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Toulon edged Stade Français 17-15 to book their place in the semi-finals of the Top 14. Boks Bryan Habana (wing) and Juan Smith (flank), scrumhalf Michael Claassens and ex-Sharks hooker Craig Burden play for Toulon. Prop Heinke van der Merwe and former Sharks centre Meyer Bosman started for Stade and while hooker Michael van Vuuren and Morné Steyn came on in 67th and 72nd minutes respectively, they had contrasting impacts on the game. Van Vuuren scored a try, but Steyn missed the conversion in the dying moments that could have secured the draw and a place in the play-offs.
– Former Bulls scrumhalf Heini Adams was part of the Bordeaux unit that thrashed Biarritz 54-20. Prop Eugene van Staden came on as substitute for the losing side in the 46th minute.
– Props Gert Muller and JC Janse van Rensburg and fullback Scott Spedding were in Bayonne's starting XV which overcame Castres 23-13. Ex-Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott converted two penalties for the visitors, but it wasn't enough as they fell short. No 8 Antonie Claassen also played for Castres.
– Toulouse easily disposed of Grenoble 38-8 at the Stade Ernest-Wallon, outscoring their opponents six tries to one. Prop Schalk Ferreira started the match for the hosts, but Bok scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, who took the field from the 26th minute, scored a brace. Prop Albertus Buckle was the only South African in Grenoble's run-on team, but was joined by scrumhalf Rudi Coetzee in the 21st minute and by flank Hendrik Roodt in the 58th.
– Wing Wandile Mjekevu scored Perpignan's only try of the match when they lost 25-22 to Clermont, but he was later yellow-carded. Former Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage came off the bench for Perpignan in the 62nd minute, while flank Gerhard Vosloo played the full 80 for Clermont.
– Montpellier destroyed Racing Métro 44-10 with former Bulls and Bok centre Wynand Olivier bagging a double for the winners. Locks Juandré Kruger and Francois van der Merwe and No 8 Jacques Cronjé started for Racing.
– Brive snuck past Oyonnax 19-17 in a match that saw four players sin-binned. Former Sharks hooker Jody Jenneker played for Oyonnax and prop Ruaan du Preez joined the fray from the 61st minute.
Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP Photo