SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s European Champions and Challenge Cup matches involving South African players.
– Toulouse continued their golden run in the competition with a fourth straight win, beating Wasps 42-27. Wing Cheslin Kolbe, flank Rynhardt Elstadt and prop Maks van Dyk played for Toulouse, who booked their place in the quarter-finals. Wasps, with their third defeat in four games, were eliminated. Fullback Willie le Roux, hooker Ashley Johnson and No 8 Nizaam Carr were on duty for Wasps, with Le Roux scoring one of their three tries.
– Francois Louw started at No 8 for Bath in their 42-15 loss to Leinster. While there is still a mathematical chance for Bath to qualify for the knockout phase, they look for all money to be heading out of the tournament.
– Castres edged Munster 13-12 to keep alive their slender hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals. Fullback Scott Spedding, centre Robert Ebersohn and scrumhalf Rory Kockott featured for Castres. Munster had loose forwards Chris Cloete and CJ Stander in their run-on XV. Arno Botha replaced Cloete in the 54th minute, while Jaco Taute was an unused substitute.
– Don Armand scored one of four tries as the Exeter Chiefs clinched a comfortable 29-17 triumph over Gloucester. Lock Wilhelm van der Sluys had a three-minute cameo for the Chiefs. Hooker Jaco Visagie and lock Franco Mostert represented Gloucester, as did Gerbrandt Grobler, who came on for Mostert in the 74th minute. The result means all four teams in this pool are still in with a shot to make the quarters.
– Schalk Burger, Michael Rhodes and Vincent Koch, along with their Saracens teammates, inflicted a 26-14 defeat on hosts the Cardiff Blues. The win keeps Sarries on track for yet another home quarter-final.
– Lyon, featuring Charl McLeod, Deon Fourie, Hendrik Roodt, Etienne Oosthuizen, Francois van der Merwe and Albertus Buckle, slumped to a 21-10 defeat at the hands of the Glasgow Warriors. Loosehead prop Oli Kebble and his replacement Petrus du Plessis did service for Glasgow, who are in second place on the log. Lyon are last after four consecutive losses.
– Racing 92 maintained their perfect run in the competition with an impressive 34-11 victory over the Leicester Tigers. Antonie Claassen and Bernard le Roux were in Racing’s starting line-up.
– Louis Ludik, Marcell Coetzee and Rob Herring formed part of the Ulster side that beat the Scarlets 30-15 in Belfast. Uzair Cassiem, David Bulbring and Werner Kruger were utilised by the Scarlets, who remain winless.
– Montpellier beat French rivals Toulon 34-13 at home. Montpellier had five Grey College alumni – Frans Steyn, Jan Serfontein, Henry Immelman, Johan Goosen and Ruan Pienaar – in their backline, while locks Jacques du Plessis and Paul Willemse were also in their line-up. Serfontein and Immelman scored a try each, but Pienaar was the star of the show with a try, three conversions and a penalty. Boks JP Pietersen, Marcel van der Merwe and Juandré Kruger turned out for Toulon, who look likely to miss out on a place in the quarters.
– Edinburgh claimed a crucial 21-8 away win against the Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park. Ex-Sharks hooker Kyle Cooper was in Newcastle’s run-on side. Wing Duhan van der Merwe, flyhalf Jaco van der Walt and props WP Nel and Allan Dell held down starting spots for Edinburgh. Van der Merwe crossed for a try and Van der Walt slotted a conversion and three penalties.
– Clermont stayed on top of Pool 1 by beating the Dragons 49-24. Zane Kirchner started at fullback, making one clean break and missing five tackles.
– Stade Français claimed their first win in Pool 2 with a 12-3 victory over the Ospreys. Scrumhalf Piet van Zyl and flank Hendre Stassen started for Heyneke Meyer’s side, who had Willem Alberts come on in the second half as a lock replacement. The Ospreys had wing Hanno Dirksen, centre Johnny Kotze and tighthead prop Tom Botha in their starting XV. Kotze was yellow-carded in the second half.
–The Worcester Warriors boosted their chances of qualifying from Pool 2 by beating Pau 23-7. Fullback Scott van Breda, centre Francois Venter, tighthead prop Nick Schonert and lock Anton Bresler all did duty for the Warriors. Tighthead prop Lourens Adriaanse started for Pau.
– Connacht scored five tries to beat Perpignan 36-21. Johan van Heerden was a replacement lock for Perpignan.
– The Sale Sharks slumped to a shock 17-14 defeat to Bordeaux-Begles at home. Robert du Preez formed his regular halfback partnership with scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and converted both of Sale’s tries. No 8 Josh Strauss and flank Jean-Luc du Preez were both in the Sharks’ pack, with Du Preez making a total of 15 tackles and winning two turnovers.
– Zebre hooker Luhandre Luus got on the scoresheet as the Italians hammered Enisei-STM 58-14. Luus, a second-half substitute, scored one of Zebre’s nine tries to help the Pro14 side to a bonus-point victory. Flank Johan Meyer and replacement flyhalf Francois Brummer both played for Zebre.
– A young Bristol Bears side put in a massive shift to come away from France with a 13-3 victory over La Rochelle. Wiaan Liebenberg came off the bench in the second half to slot into La Rochelle’s loose trio, while hooker Nick Fenton-Wells was a second-half replacement for the Bears.
– Agen picked up a crucial 13-10 win against fellow French side Grenoble. Christiaan van der Merwe was at lock for Agen, who had veteran scrumhalf Ricky Januarie as a replacement. Grenoble had lock Francois Uys in their starting XV and loosehead prop JC Janse van Rensburg on the bench.
– Harlequins fought to a 20-3 victory against Benetton Treviso, which re-ignited their hopes of qualifying from Pool 5. Braam Steyn was at No 8 for Treviso, while scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage came on to the field early in the second half.
Photo: Alexandre Dimou/Getty