Ludik on fire for Ulster looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, which involved South African players.


– Ashley Johnson and his Wasps teammates suffered a 52-30 defeat at the hands of the Northampton Saints, who scored six tries and conceded three at Franklin's Gardens.

– The Leicester Tigers snuck past the Exeter Chiefs 25-18 to boost their chances of finishing in the top four ahead of the Chiefs. Lock Sebastian de Chaves, who led the Tigers when they lost to the same opposition in the Ango-Welsh Cup two weeks ago, started in this match for the winners.

– Saracens, with scrumhalf Neil de Kock and lock Alistair Hargreaves in their ranks, hammered Harlequins 42-14 in front of a record 84,068-strong crowd at Wembley.


– The Newport Gwent Dragons claimed a 32-17 bonus-point victory over hosts Benetton Treviso. Prop Brok Harris was named in the Dragons' run-on side, while lock Corniel van Zyl and loose forward Meyer Swanepoel featured for Treviso.

– Wing Hanno Dirksen scored one of six tries as the Neath-Swansea Ospreys crushed Zebre 53-22 at the Liberty Stadium. Lock Quintin Geldenhuys was on duty for the Italians, who managed to score thrice.

– Eighthman CJ Stander and prop BJ Botha were part of the Munster side that lashed Connacht 42-20 at Thomond Park. Outside centre Danie Poolman and lock Quinn Roux represented Connacht, who remain sixth on the table.

– The Llanelli Scarlets' impressive home run came to an end with a 26-15 defeat against Edinburgh at the Parc Y Scarlets. The Welsh side have not lost a single Pro12 match at their home ground since December 2013, but failed to extend that record after they were reduced to 14 men in the 59th minute, when the replacement scrumhalf was given a straight red for headbutting Andries Strauss. Prop WP Nel and lock Anton Bresler joined Strauss in Edinburgh's starting lineup, while George Earle and Jacobie Adriaanse turned out for the Scarlets.

– Louis Ludik scored a brace to guide Ulster to a hard-fought 36-17 win over the Cardiff Blues at the Kingspan Stadium. Ruan Pienaar also contributed with four penalties and a conversion and Franco van der Merwe, Wiehahn Herbst and Rob Herring joined the pair in the starting XV. Robbie Diack played from the 65th minute for the winners.

– A last-gasp try earned hosts Leinster a dramatic 34-34 draw with the Glasgow Warriors at the RDS Arena. Zane Kirchner and Richardt Strauss won starting berths for Leinster, but it was the Warriors, with DTH van der Merwe and Josh Strauss in their lineup, who raced to 20-point lead, before Leinster started their comeback.


– Racing Métro edged Bayonne 12-6 in a tryless contest at the Stade Jean Dauger. Fullback Scott Spedding and props JC Janse van Rensburg and Gert Muller did service for Bayonne, who slipped from 10th to 11th in the standings. Locks Juandré Kruger and Francois van der Merwe, and No 8 Antonie Claassen started for Racing, while Brian Mujati and Johan Goosen featured from the 63rd and 72nd minutes respectively.

– Stade Français cut Toulon and Clermont's lead at the top of the table to two points, with a convincing 40-26 bonus-point win over Clermont in Paris. No 8 Jono Ross and prop Heinke van der Merwe turned out for Stade, and compatriot Morné Steyn joined from the 47th minute.

– Oyonnax, with hooker Jody Jenneker, prop Ruaan du Preez and loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg in their match-day squad, eased past Brive 24-3. Props Johan Coetzee and Kevin Buys, along with lock Peet Marais, flank Paul Hauman and flyhalf Riaan Swanepoel represented Brive, who are now 12th. Oyonnax moved up a place from seventh to sixth.

– Bordeaux slumped to a shock 22-21 defeat against La Rochelle at home, despite the winners playing with 14 men in the final minutes of the match. Lock Jandré Marais played for the hosts but was replaced by compatriot Berend Botha in the 24th minute.

– Centres Wynand Olivier and Robert Ebersohn scored a try apiece in Montpellier's 45-17 demolition of Lyon. Jake White, whose side rose to seventh following the result, used prop Pat Cilliers from the 53rd minute. Deon Fourie came off the bench at the beginning of the second half for Lyon, while teammate Ricky Januarie lasted all but two minutes on the field before he was red-carded in the 54th minute for stamping.

– Reserve scrumhalf Jano Vermaak came off the bench to score the bonus-point try for Toulouse, who stunned champions and log-leaders Toulon 34-24. Prop Gurthrö Steenkamp made the Toulouse run-on XV, before making way for Schalk Ferreira in the 77th minute. None of Toulon's South African players were included in the match-day squad.

– Rory Kockott kicked a conversion, a penalty and a drop goal to help Castres to a narrow 16-12 away win over Grenoble. Kockott, who was also sin-binned in the 67th minute, started alongside flank Jannie Bornman. Fullback Gio Aplon, scrumhalf Charl McLeod and lock Hendrik Roodt turned out for Grenoble, while Paul Willemse and Albertus Buckle warmed the bench.

Photo: UlsterRugby/

Post by

Mariette Adams