SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s European Champions Cup, European Challenge Cup and Japanese Top League matches involving South African players.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP
– Ex-Stormers duo Cheslin Kolbe and Rynhardt Elstadt were in the Toulouse lineup that stunned title-holders Leinster 28-27. Former Cheetahs prop Maks van Dyk was on the Toulouse bench. The winners are now top of the log in Pool 1 with Leinster in second position.
– Wasps fought from 21-7 down to snatch a 35-35 draw with Bath. Fullback Willie le Roux, outside centre Juan de Jongh and No 8 Nizaam Carr started for Wasps, but it was replacement Ashley Johnson who came off the bench and scored a crucial try. Bok flank Francois Louw started and scored for Bath, who brought prop Jacques van Rooyen on as a substitute.
– Castres, with their South African quartet of Robert Ebersohn, Rory Kockott, Daniel Kötze and Jody Jenneker, pulled off a stunning 29-25 triumph against the Exeter Chiefs. Forwards Don Armand and Wilhelm van der Sluys were on duty for the Chiefs.
– Lock Gerbrandt Grobler’s try for Gloucester was in vain as they slumped to a 36-22 defeat at the hands of Munster. Franco Marais played hooker for the 14-man Gloucester. CJ Stander, Jean Kleyn and Arno Botha featured for Munster, who lead the way in Pool 2.
– The Glasgow Warriors were just too good as they beat the Cardiff Blues 29-12 in Wales. Try-scorer DTH van der Merwe, Oli Kebble and Petrus du Plessis represented the Warriors. Lock George Earle was in the Blues’ lineup.
– Captain Brad Barritt scored one of four tries as Saracens clinched a commanding 29-10 bonus-point win over Lyon. Ex-Stormers trio Michael Rhodes, Schalk Burger and Vincent Koch played alongside Barritt for Sarries. Lyon had Deon Fourie, Etienne Oosthuizen and Francois van der Merwe in their ranks.
– Antonie Claassen, Bernard le Roux and their Racing teammates romped to a 44-12 win against an insipid Ulster side, featuring Bok flank Marcell Coetzee.
– The Leicester Tigers produced one of their best performances of the season to upset the high-flying Scarlets 45-27 at Welford Road. Lock David Bulbring retained his place in the Scarlets’ run-on XV, while Werner Kruger and Uzair Cassiem were used as impact players.
– Hooker Kyle Cooper had a strong game for the Newcastle Falcons, who withstood a second-half onslaught to pip Montpellier 23-20 at home. Centre Jan Serfontein, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, flank Wiaan Liebenberg and locks Paul Willemse and Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg turned out for Montpellier. Pienaar slotted five penalties and Willemse went over for their only try of the game.
– Edinburgh toyed with the out-of-sorts Toulon to claim a convincing 40-14 win at Murrayfield. Jaco van der Walt, WP Nel and Allan Dell were in Edinburgh’s starting team. Van der Walt top-scored with 18 points via three conversions and four penalties kicks. Juandré Kruger and Jacques Potgieter played for Toulon.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP
– Clermont secured a crushing 70-12 victory over Romanian side Timisoara Saracens. Jaco van Tonder put in a strong performance at lock for Clermont, who sit top of Pool 1. Timisoara had Jody Rose at flyhalf, with former Valke loosehead prop Herni Boshoff on the bench.
– Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach had a mixed day for the Northampton Saints in their 35-21 win against the Dragons. Reinach, who came off the bench in the second half, poached the ball and ran 60m to score in the 69th minute for the Saints but was then yellow-carded after giving away a penalty try after the hooter. Dragons centre Jarryd Sage scored their second try of the match. Zane Kirchner and prop Brok Harris both started for the Dragons, while loosehead Francois van Wyk was on the bench for Northampton.
– The Worcester Warriors held off an Ospreys resurgence to claim a 27-21 win and move above their opponents to top spot in Pool 2. Veteran centre Wynand Olivier scored one of the Warriors’ three first-half tries to carry them to a 21-0 lead at half-time. Dean Hammond was on the wing for the Warriors, replaced by former Kings back Scott van Breda. The Ospreys had wing Hanno Dirksen and tighthead prop Tom Botha in their starting XV.
– Pau got off the mark in Pool 2 by piling further pressure on Heyneke Meyer’s Stade Français with a 21-15 victory. Piet van Zyl came off the bench, along with halfback partner Morné Steyn, to score a try and give Stade hope of a comeback but it was not to be as they slumped to their second successive defeat to stay bottom of the pool.
– Faf de Klerk shrugged off an early yellow card for a deliberate knockdown to kick a total of 14 points in the Sale Sharks’ 34-13 victory over Connacht. De Klerk was sent to the sin bin in the first minute but kicked four conversions and two penalties when he returned to the field. Sharks centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg was forced off with an injury in the 23rd minute. The win carries the Jono Ross-led Sharks to first place in Pool 3.
– La Rochelle continued their dominant start in Pool 4 by once again hammering Russian side Enisei 64-26 in a reverse fixture to last weekend. Paul Jordaan, on the wing for La Rochelle, took just two minutes to open the scoring for his side, who scored a total of 10 tries against Enisei, who had a player red-carded in the first half.
– Zebre managed to cling on for a 20-17 win against the Bristol Bears, despite having hooker Luhandre Luus yellow-carded in the final five minutes of the match. The Italian side had Francois Brummer at fullback, while flank Johan Meyer put in a strong performance, making 11 tackles and two clean breaks. Hooker Nick Fenton-Wells was lively as a late replacement for the Bears, making 16m and breaking a tackle in the final eight minutes.
– Agen put up a strong second-half performance to beat Treviso 20-19 after trailing by two points at half-time. Johan Sadie was in the midfield for the French side, while Treviso included scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage, flank Braam Steyn and lock Irné Herbst in their starting lineup. Despite the victory, Agen are still at the bottom of Pool 5, level on four points with Grenoble.
– Grenoble continued their good fortune against English sides at home by narrowly beating Harlequins 19-13. Francois Uys started at lock for Grenoble, with the enforcer making 16 tackles and breaking a tackle. Flyhalves Burton Francis and Demitri Catrakilis came off the bench for Grenoble and the Harlequins respectively.
JAPANESE TOP LEAGUE
– The Communications Shining Arcs, with Robert Kruger and Willie Britz in their ranks, defeated the Munakata Sanix Blues 31-12. Inside centre André Esterhuizen and tighthead prop Hencus van Wyk, who was yellow-carded early in the second half, played for the Blues.
– Centre Burger Odendaal and flank Lappies Labuschagne scored a try apiece in the Kubota Spears’ 50-12 win over the Coca-Cola Red Sparks. Gerhard van den Heever knocked over five conversion attempts for the Spears, who also had Ruan Botha and Duane Vermeulen in their ranks.
– RG Snyman and Deon Stegmann’s Honda Heat team scored seven tries to thrash the Toshiba Brave Lupus 45-26. Coenraad van Wyk was at fullback for Toshiba.
– The Toyota Verblitz outlasted the Toyota Industries Shuttles 31-20. Locks Reniel Hugo and Carl Wegner, flank Jason Jenkins, flyhalf Lionel Cronjé, centre Clinton Swart and fullback Gio Aplon featured for the Verblitz with Cronjé contributing a try and three conversions.
– The Yamaha Jubilo edged the Ricoh Black Rams 40-36 in an 11-try thriller. Kwagga Smith and Niel Marais were on duty for Yamaha, but the latter was forced off the field early due to an injury.
– Lions pair Harold Vorster and Corné Fourie were in the Panasonic Wild Knights team that defeated the Canon Eagles 25-6. Locks Rynier Bernardo and Jan de Klerk, No 8 Philip van der Walt and flyhalf Fred Zeilinga turned out for coach Allister Coetzee’s Eagles.
Compiled by Dylan Jack & Mariette Adams
Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images