• Saffas Abroad: Lood, Green in top form in Premiership

    SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South African players who featured for their respective clubs in the 12th round of the English Premiership.

    – Leicester Tigers held off a fightback from 14-man London Irish to win a high-scoring Premiership clash 33-32 on Friday. Kobus van Wyk started on the wing and scored one of Leicester’s two second-half tries. Van Wyk beat three defenders, made one linebreak and five carries. Also in action for Leicester was loosehead prop Luan de Bruin, who made six tackles, and Cyle Brink, who started at No 8. Brink had an effective outing, making 48 metres from 16 carries and completing all nine of his tackles. Scotland-capped loosehead prop Allan Dell made an appearance off the bench for London Irish.

    – Lood de Jager continued his excellent comeback from injury, putting in another influential display as the Sale Sharks claimed a 31-16 win over the Newcastle Falcons on Friday. De Jager scored one of Sale’s three tries and was massive on defence, making 21 tackles, the joint most of any player in the match along with Cobus Wiese, who was in the back row. Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk started for Sale and picked up a try assist in the first half, while Dan du Preez started at No 8. Bok hooker Akker van der Merwe returned from injury via the bench, while JP du Preez and Robert du Preez were substitutes for Sale. Former Sharks captain Louis Schreuder played 49 minutes for Newcastle.

    – The Exeter Chiefs got their title defence back on track with a convincing six-try 38-16 win away to Bath. Jacques Vermeulen started at openside flank for the Chiefs and played the full 80 minutes, making 13 carries, beating two defenders and completing seven tackles. Vermeulen’s teammate Jannes Kirsten returned from injury, playing 30 minutes off the bench. Bath named Tian Schoeman as a substitute and he played just the final 10 minutes of the match.

    – 14-man Gloucester scored a late penalty to snatch a 20-19 victory away over Wasps in Coventry, despite being outscored three tries to two. Ruan Ackermann was at No 8 for Gloucester and had a strong hour on the field, making 11 carries and beating five defenders.

    – The Bristol Bears continued at the top of the Premiership table but were made to work hard to beat the Worcester Warriors 24-23. Francois Venter was among the South Africans starting for Worcester and scored a try in the second half, which was excellently set up by scrumhalf Francois Hougaard. Also in action for the Warriors was No 8 GJ van Velze, tighthead props Nic Schonert and Richard Palframan and loose forward Cornell du Preez.

    – Tyrone Green maintained his brilliant form as he scored his third try in two games to help Harlequins claim a 37-19 win over the Northampton Saints and climb into third place. Green showed his versatility by starting the game on the left wing and making 79m from five carries, four clean breaks and completing all 10 of his tackles. Also on the scoresheet for Harlequins was captain Stephan Lewies and replacement back Brett Heron. Meanwhile, Springboks Andre Esterhuizen and Wilco Louw were both heavily involved for Harlequins, with the former making 16 tackles and the latter making seven carries. Props Simon Kerrod and Jordan Els were on Harlequins’ bench.

    Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack