SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, which involved South African players.
– Flank Ashley Johnson featured in London Wasps' exciting 23-23 draw with the Newcastle Falcons. For Wasps, the result is a major setback in their quest for a top-four finish.
– The Sale Sharks recorded a 14-10 victory over Saracens, whose questionable away form in the Premiership continued. Lock and captain Alistair Hargreaves, prop Petrus du Plessis, eighthman Ernst Joubert, scrumhalf Neil de Kock and inside centre Brad Barritt all represented Saracens. The win lifted Sale to fifth on the table.
– Ben Pienaar started at the back of the scrum for London Welsh, who suffered a 48-10 defeat against Gloucester. Welsh are yet to win this season and sit on just one point in the Premiership.
– The Northampton Saints consolidated their place at the top of the standings with a 21-13 victory over second-placed Bath at the Rec. Bok flank Francois Louw started for Bath, who suffered a second consecutive defeat.
– Lock Sebastian de Chaves and his Leicester Tigers teammates narrowly beat London Irish 12-6. Leicester are level on points with both Sale and Wasps, but they are above the Tigers on the log because of greater points difference.
– Connacht had to play with 14 men for 65 minutes in their 30-25 loss to the Newport Gwent Dragons, after lock Ligtoring Landman was red-carded early in the match for hitting an opponent with his elbow. Prop Brok Harris started alongside Landman for Connacht, while wing Danie Poolman and lock Quinn Roux did duty for the Dragons.
– A late penalty handed the Glasgow Warriors a 19-16 win over fellow title-hopefuls the Neath-Swansea Ospreys. Wing DTH van der Merwe, No 8 Josh Strauss, flank Tyrone Holmes and prop Rossouw de Klerk turned out for the Warriors. Utility back Hanno Dirksen came on for the Ospreys in the 11th minute.
– Munster snatched a late 25-25 draw against the Llanelli Scarlets courtesy of a last-gasp converted try. Lock Johan Snyman did service for the Scarlets but was replaced in the ninth minute by George Earle. CJ Stander started for Munster. Props BJ Botha and Jacobie Adriaanse came on in the 48th and 66th minutes for Munster and the Scarlets respectively.
– Leinster dominated Zebre in a 29-8 victory at the RDS Arena. But while his side may have lost, Zebre fullback Hennie Daniller got the better of his opposite number Zane Kirchner, with the former scoring their only try. Daniller played the full 80 minutes, while Kirchner lasted just 67 for Leinster.
– Bok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar scored 15 points (a try, two conversions and two penalties) as Ulster ended Edinburgh's eight-match winning streak with a narrow 20-17 victory to complete the double over their rivals. Pienaar, Louis Ludik, Franco van der Merwe, Wiehahn Herbst and Rob Herring were on duty for the winners, while WP Nel, Anton Bresler and Andries Strauss did service for Edinburgh.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Peter Grant kicked a conversion and penalty to help La Rochelle edge past Brive 19-12 at home. La Rochelle also had hooker Rassie van Vuuren and lock Cobus Grobler in their ranks. Prop Kevin Buys, flank Paul Hauman and centre Riaan Swanepoel started for Brive.
– Locks Berend Botha and Jandré Marais starred in Bordeaux-Begles' 28-23 win over champions Toulon, while Boks Bakkies Botha and Juan Smith made Toulon's starting lineup. Bordeaux rose to sixth in the standings, while Toulon remain second.
– Bayonne, with fullback Scott Spedding and prop JC Janse van Rensburg in their side, hammered Stade Français 23-6. Prop Heinke van der Merwe, lock Gerhard Mostert, flank Jono Ross and centre Meyer Bosman earned starting berths for Stade, while Morné Steyn had to settle for yet another cameo off the bench.
– Gurthrö Steenkamp and his Toulouse teammates claimed a nervy 23-20 victory against Lyon at the Ernest-Wallon Stadium. Ex-Stormers duo Deon Fourie and Ricky Januarie played for Lyon.
– Hooker Jody Jenneker's yellow card in the fourth minute didn't derail Oyonnax, as they defeated Castres 23-13. Loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg and utility back Riaan Smit played off the bench for the winners. Flank Jannie Bornman was included in the Castres starting XV.
– In an ill-disciplined affair, which yielded four yellow cards, Grenoble edged Montpellier 20-18. Fullback Gio Aplon, scrumhalf Charl McLeod and lock Hendrik Roodt were on duty for Grenoble, with McLeod sin-binned in the 21st minute. Prop Pat Cilliers and centre Wynand Olivier were benched by Montpellier coach Jake White.
– Clermont staged a late comeback to draw 13-13 with Racing Métro in Paris. No 8 Antonie Claassen and lock Francois van der Merwe started for the Parisians, with Boks Johan Goosen, Juandré Kruger and Brian Mujati all used as impact players. With both Stade Français and Toulon losing, Clermont rose to the top of the table.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images