Saffas Abroad: Boks to feature in French playoffs

Ivan van Zyl was crowned a Premiership winner, while there were mixed fortunes for the Springboks playing in the decisive final round of the French Top 14 on Sunday.


Ivan van Zyl dotted down as Saracens scored two tries inside the final quarter to beat the Sale Sharks in the English Premiership final in London on Saturday. Fellow Bok Akker van der Merwe barged over in the first half for a Sale outfit that boasted six South Africans in the match-day 23, including skipper Jono Ross.

MORE: Bok stars for Sarries in Premiership title victory

Top 14

– In the final round of Top 14 action, Toulouse secured top spot on the log and condemned Brive to relegation by steamrolling to a 54-10 victory. Springbok flank Rhynardt Elstadt was on the bench for Toulouse, who scored eight tries, including a brace from scrumhalf Antoine Dupont. Brive, who finished as the Top 14 wooden spoonists, had Marcel van der Merwe at tighthead prop.

– Newly crowned European champions La Rochelle missed out on first place by four points, but still managed to finish second as a heavily changed side beat Stade Francais 14-10. Kyle Hatherell started at flank for a La Rochelle side that rested Bok duo Dillyn Leyds and Raymond Rhule after the Champions Cup final. Stade Francais, featuring Vincent Koch at tighthead, finished fourth and will host a quarter-final. La Rochelle join Toulouse in progressing straight to a home semi-final.

– Defending champions Montpellier surrendered their domestic title after finishing in 11th place with a 35-10 loss to Pau. The 2021-22 champions were without Bok trio Cobus ReinachJan Serfontein and Nico Janse van Rensburg.

– Toulon, with Cheslin Kolbe on the wing, beat Bordeaux 35-19, but missed out on leapfrogging their opponents into the final playoff place by two log points. Former Vodacom Bulls wing Madosh Tambwe scored a try for Bordeaux, who finished sixth and will face Lyon in the first round of playoffs.

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– A powerful performance from Lyon saw the club finish third and secure a home quarter-final by demolishing Bayonne in a seven-try 53-19 win. Lyon were without Springbok No 8 Arno Botha, but Bayonne were able to field their Bok loose forward, Uzair Cassiem, and finished in eighth place in their first season back in the top division.

– Racing 92 progressed to the quarter-finals despite a 32-25 final-round loss to 10th-placed Clermont. Springboks Warrick Gelant and Trevor Nyakane started for Racing, who will take on local rivals Stade Francais in the first round of playoffs.

Photo: SYLVAIN THOMAS/AFP via Getty Images

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