Here’s a wrap of all the action involving South African players in England and France, including a look at how embattled Worcester Warriors got their first win of the season.
– The highlight of the third round of the Premiership was undoubtedly Exeter’s 43-42 win over Harlequins, courtesy of a last-minute try. Tyrone Green started at fullback for Harlequins and scored in the second half. Springbok tighthead prop Wilco Louw and experienced lock Irne Herbst also started for Harlequins.
Former Sharks lock Ruben van Heerden ran out for Exeter, who are currently second and one of only two teams with a perfect start to the season.
– Wasps held off a spirited Bath Rugby fightback to claim their first win of the new Premiership season in a 31-39 thriller at The Rec. Francois Hougaard started on the wing for Wasps and was joined in the lineup by Burger Odendaal and flank Nizaam Carr.
Winless Bath had scrumhalf Louis Schreuder and flank Chris Cloete in their starting lineup, while loosehead prop Juan Schoeman, lock Quinn Roux and flank GJ van Velze were on the bench.
– Bristol Bears survived a late scare to see off London Irish in a 40-36 victory to continue their unbeaten start to the season. Benhard Janse van Rensburg had another outstanding game in midfield for London Irish and scored a 77th-minute try to give his side hope of a late comeback. Janse van Rensburg made 60 metres from 11 carries, missed just one of 17 tackle attempts and beat three defenders.
– Leicester Tigers rallied at half time to seal a 41-21 victory over Northampton Saints after trailing 14-10 at the break. Hanro Liebenberg put in a storming captain’s performance at No 8, making 16 carries, one clean break and beating four defenders, while he also completed nine tackles.
Juarno Augustus made 13 tackles at No 8 for Northampton, but was one of three Saints players to be yellow-carded eight minutes into the second half, which ultimately cost the hosts.
– Saracens came from 36-20 down to snatch a dramatic 41-39 victory over Gloucester. Springbok scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl started for Sarries and played 70 minutes.
– Duhan van der Merwe scored on his return to the Worcester Warriors first team as the hosts secured an emotional 39-5 victory over Newcastle Falcons. The Scotland wing was fantastic on the left, making 68m and beating five defenders. Scrumhalf Gareth Simpson also scored for Worcester, who were captained astutely by Francois Venter.
– Clermont climbed into fourth place with a 22-13 win against La Rochelle on Sunday evening. Dillyn Leyds started the match on the bench, but was called onto the field early in the first half to play at flyhalf. The Springbok slotted two penalties and a conversion for La Rochelle.
– Tristan Tedder inspired minnows Perpignan to a surprise 19-13 win over Toulon. Playing at scrumhalf, Tedder kicked four penalties and a conversion to help his team pick up their first win of the season. Scotland-capped Cornell du Preez was on the bench for Toulon.
– Montpellier marched into second place with a commanding 43-17 bonus-point win over Pau. Springbok lock Nico Janse van Rensburg started for Montpellier, who picked up their third straight victory.
– Lyon bounced back from two successive losses with a hard-fought 33-27 win over Stade Francais. Arno Botha started at No 8 for Lyon. Scrumhalf James Hall scored a try for sixth-placed Stade Francais, who also had lock JJ van der Mescht in their lineup.
– Bayonne picked up their second win of the season by beating struggling Bordeaux 20-15. Uzair Cassiem was at No 8 for Bayonne.
– Toulouse climbed to the top of the table with a 37-10 bonus-point victory over Racing 92. Springbok flank Rynhardt Elstadt started for Toulouse, who have won three of their opening four fixtures this season.
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