SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s Six Nations, Premiership and Major Rugby League matches involving South African players.
– Wales set up a grand finale against Ireland next weekend by beating Scotland 18-11 in Edinburgh. Both WP Nel and Allan Dell were part of the Scotland front row, with Dell making 12 tackles, 36 running metres and beating one defender. Josh Strauss played 64 minutes at No 8 for the Scots, who next face England at Twickenham.
– England also stayed in the hunt for the title by hammering Italy 54-14. Braam Steyn was at flank for the Italians and made 13m from 18 carries, as well as eight tackles as he played the full 80 minutes for the likely wooden spoonists.
– Ireland produced their most complete performance of the tournament so far to claim a 26-14 bonus-point win against France, who scored two late consolation tries. CJ Stander shone at No 8 for the Irish, making ground almost every time he touched the ball, while also beating three defenders in the match and setting up their fourth try in the second half. Paul Willemse had a quiet game off the bench for France.
– Bath handled wet and windy conditions better to claim an 18-9 win over Saracens. Vincent Koch, Schalk Burger and Michael Rhodes were all in the defending champions’ starting lineup. Rhodes made a total of 21 tackles, but could count himself fortunate to not have been penalised for a dangerous charge into a ruck.
Shocking by Michael Rhodes on Levi Douglas… pic.twitter.com/e1pEOHfocF
— RugbyInsideLine (@RugbyInsideLine) March 8, 2019
– The Sale Sharks revived their top-four hopes with a 32-5 victory against the Leicester Tigers, who were reduced to 14 men in the second half. Sharks scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, who was yellow-carded in the second half for taking a player out in the air, rounded off the scoring with a try five minutes before fulltime. Centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg and flank Jono Ross were also in action for the Sharks, who are now seven points off fourth place.
– The Newcastle Falcons continued their quest for Premiership survival by stunning Wasps 20-19 in Coventry. Juan de Jongh and Willie le Roux were in the Wasps’ backline, while Ashley Johnson and Nizaam Carr both formed part of their loose trio. Johnson made 57m from 19 carries, while Carr completed 21 tackles and won two turnovers. Hooker Kyle Cooper came off the bench in the second half for the Falcons.
–A 87th-minute conversion gave the Bristol Bears a 26-24 win over the Northampton Saints, who were remarkably reduced to 11 men in the final 10 minutes of the match. Cobus Reinach scored a second-half intercept try, but was among the four Saints players to see yellow for cynical infringements as the Bears completed a blistering comeback with a try well after the hooter. Loosehead prop Francois van Wyk played just over an hour for the Saints, making 10 tackles and winning a turnover.
If in doubt ➡️ don’t risk any pass when this man is sniffing 👃
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) March 10, 2019
– The Exeter Chiefs solidified their title credentials with a 33-30 victory against the Worcester Warriors, taking them eight points clear at the top of the table. Don Armand had a quiet match for the Chiefs by his standards, making just six carries and winning a single turnover before being replaced on the hour mark. The Worcester Warriors again had a strong South African contingent in their starting lineup, including Francois Venter, Francois Hougaard, Nic Schonert and Anton Bresler. Venter had to be replaced 14 minutes into the match after suffering a head injury.
– Ruan Ackermann celebrated his new contract with Gloucester by scoring a try to help them beat Harlequins 29-7. Ackermann was on hand to finish off a superbly-worked try for a victory that saw Gloucester close the gap on their third-placed opponents to two log points. Lock Franco Mostert and flank Jaco Kriel were also on duty for Gloucester, while hooker Franco Marais played 30 minutes as a substitute.
MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY
– Rugby United New York claimed a 47-21 victory over the Utah Warriors to keep up with the chasing pack and stay in the top four. Prop Franco van der Berg started for Utah, who are languishing in seventh place on the log.
– Centre pair Chad London and Robbie Petzer both got on the scoresheet to help the Glendale Raptors beat the Austin Elite 38-19. London scored a second-half try, while Petzer kicked five conversions and a penalty for the Raptors, who are third on the log. Scrumhalf Carlo de Nysschen also started for the Raptors.
— Luke Wyckoff (@LukeWyckoff) March 10, 2019
– Riekert Hattingh led the Seattle Seawolves to a 27-14 win over the Houston Sabercats. Seattle scrumhalf JP Smith helped set up two of their tries, while hooker Stephan Coetzee came off the bench in the second half. Ayron Schramm was a replacement for the Sabercats.
– The San Diego Legion had their four-match winning run snapped as they slumped to a 27-20 loss to the Toronto Arrows. San Diego captain Joe Pietersen kicked two conversions, a penalty and a drop goal to give them a 20-3 lead. Hooker Dean Muir and centre JP du Plessis were also in action for the Legion.
Compiled by Dyan Jack
Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile