SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, French Top 14 and Celtic Pro12 matches, involving South African players.
– Harlequins came from behind to down the spirited Sale Sharks 16-14 at the Stoop. Former Bok prop Brian Mujati, on Sale's bench, was used from the 46th minute. The result lifts Harlequins to third on the log, while Sale slip to seventh.
– Tighthead prop Nic Schonert started for the Worcester Warriors, who secured their second win of the season with a 28-20 triumph over the winless Newcastle Falcons. The Warriors are now sixth in the standings while the Falcons remain rooted to the bottom of the log.
– Saracens, with inside centre Brad Barritt, lock Alistair Hargreaves, prop Petrus du Plessis and hooker Schalk Brits in their ranks, came out 12-6 victors against the Northampton Saints in a kicking duel. Lock Michael Rhodes played for the winners from the 50th minute. Sarries remain the only unbeaten in side the competition, while this was the Saints' third defeat in four games.
– No 8 Don Armand and his Exeter Chiefs teammates recorded a comfortable 19-6 victory against visitors the Leicester Tigers at Sandy Park. Lock Sebastian de Chaves featured for the Tigers, whose points came via a penalty goal either side of the break. With the win, the Chiefs replaced Leicester in second position on the table.
– Wasps continued their dominance over Gloucester with a 23-3 win at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The last time Gloucester defeated their hosts in the Premiership was three years ago. Ex-Bok Ashley Johnson came on as hooker in the 53rd minute for Wasps. The game produced two red cards, as first Gloucester were reduced to 14 men in the 46th minute, before Wasps were dealt a similar blow in the 67th.
French Top 14
– Under the leadership of former Springbok stalwart Juan Smith, Toulon hammered Jake White's Montpellier 52-8 at the Stade Felix-Mayol. Props Bees Roux and Pat Cilliers, flankers Wiaan Liebenberg and Jacques du Plessis, scrumhalf Cameron Wright and centre Robert Ebersohn all started for Montpellier. But two early yellow cards, including one for Roux, didn't help their cause as Toulon ran in eight tries, while only conceding one. Cilliers was replaced in the 64th minute by compatriot Jacobie Adriaanse. Toulon rose from eight to fourth on the log.
– Pau edged Agen 33-31 in their basement battle. Burton Francis kicked a conversion and two penalties for Agen and started alongside centre Johann Sadie, while lock Claude Dry sat on Pau's bench.
– La Rochelle scored four unanswered tries to claim a 38-3 bonus-point win over Oyonnax. Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie did service for the winners, while hooker Jody Jenneker and eighthman Pedrie Wannenburg featured for Oyonnax, who slid to 13th.
– Brive, with tighthead prop Kevin Buys, locks Peet Marais and Johan Snyman and flank Paul Hauman in their run-on XV, shocked Bordeaux 16-3. Marais faced off against his older brother Jandré, who alongside scrumhalf Heini Adams played for Bordeaux. Prop Steven Kitshoff came off Bordeaux's bench in the 53rd minute, while lock Wilhelm Steenkamp represented Brive from the 68th.
– Prop Rossouw de Klerk turned out for Grenoble, who were swept aside 52-12 by hosts Toulouse. Prop Gert Muller played for the winners from the second half, as did scrumhalf Charl McLeod and lock Hendrik Roodt for Grenoble.
– Rory Kockott added three conversions and a penalty as Castres upset Racing 34-8. Juandré Kruger, Johan Goosen and Antonie Claassen turned out for Racing, who were outplayed by their hosts. Goosen succeeded with just one penalty, while Francois van der Merwe came on for Kruger in the 54th minute.
– Former Bulls flank Jono Ross scored the only try as Stade Français ground out a hard-fought 14-9 win over log leaders Clermont. Loosehead prop Heinke van der Merwe joined Ross in Stade's run-on XV and Flip van der Merwe and Scott Spedding started for Clermont. Morné Steyn was given an eight-minute cameo by Stade. Front rowers Dan Kotzé and Marius van der Westhuizen completed Clermont's match-day squad.
– Ulster defeated the Newport Gwent Dragons 19-12 to end a seven-month drought away from home. Ulster handed starting berths to Rob Herring, Wiehahn Herbst, Franco van der Merwe and Robbie Diack, while bringing Springbok Ruan Pienaar on as an impact player in the 57th minute. Sarel Pretorius, Ligtoring Landman and Brok Harris were on duty for the Dragons, but Landman was yellow-carded 10 minutes from time.
– No 8 CJ Stander and wing Gerhard van den Heever turned out for Munster, who battled past Edinburgh 16-14 at Murrayfield. Stander won his personal duel with Cornell du Preez, who was at the back of the scrum for Edinburgh. Prop WP Nel, lock Anton Bresler and centre Andries Strauss also played for Edinburgh, who sunk to seventh in the standings.
– Despite poor discipline, which cost them two yellow cards, a penalty try and six penalty goals, the Glasgow Warriors pulled off a stunning 35-30 away win over the Cardiff Blues at Arms Park. Former Lions captain Josh Strauss started on the side of the scrum for the Warriors, who moved up to sixth on the log.
– Zebre were ousted 36-3 by the Neath-Swansea Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium. Wing Kayle van Zyl, loose forwards Johan Meyer and Dries van Schalkwyk and lock Quintin Geldenhuys were in Zebre's team, but failed to contribute any points for the Italian club.
– Bok fullback Zane Kirchner played from start to finish in Leinster's gritty 19-15 victory over the Llanelli Scarlets at RDS Arena. The loss was the Scarlets' first of the season and sees them drop to third on the table, just three points clear of their conquerors.
– Eighthman Braam Steyn's Benetton Treviso went down 33-19 to Connacht. Both sides crossed for three tries, but an extra conversion and four penalties proved to be the difference. Connacht are now at the summit of the log, while Treviso, with seven defeats in as many games, are rock bottom.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Nicolas Tucat/AFP Photo