SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South African players who featured for their respective clubs in the second round of the English Premiership.
– The Newcastle Falcons continued their excellent start to the season with a 15- 13 victory over a South African-infused Sale Sharks team at Kingston Park on Friday evening. Centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, hooker Akker van der Merwe, tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen, lock Cobus Wiese and loose forwards Dan and Jean-Luc du Preez all started for Sale, who had flyhalf Robert du Preez on the bench. Wiese made the most tackles of any player in the match, completing all 18 of his attempts, while he also made 34 metres from five carries, including one clean break. The result moved Newcastle into second place on the table, joining the Exeter Chiefs as the only two unbeaten teams after the first two rounds of the new season.
– Harlequins got their campaign off the mark, with an excellent second-half performance giving them a 49-29 win against the Northampton Saints on Saturday. Springboks Andre Esterhuizen and Wilco Louw both started for Harlequins, who had two South African props on the bench in Jordan Els and Simon Kerrod. Esterhuizen had an excellent outing at inside centre, making the joint-most carries for his side (14), completing all nine of his tackles, beating five defenders and picking up a try assist. The Northampton Saints had lock and recent England call-up David Ribbans in their starting lineup, while loose forward Sean Adendorff made his return to the team on the bench.
– The Bristol Bears bounced back from their disappointing opening-round defeat by Wasps by claiming a 30-13 win over the Worcester Warriors. Centre Francois Venter, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard and lock Anton Bresler and tighthead prop Richard Palframan started for the Warriors.
– Ruan Ackermann started at No 8 for Gloucester, who got their first win of the season by beating Wasps 40-24. Ackermann played the full 80 minutes, making seven carries and missing just one of his 16 tackle attempts. Wasps had Juan de Jongh at outside centre.
– Defending champions the Exeter Chiefs picked up a second successive bonus-point win with their 40-3 thrashing of Bath. Don Armand started at lock for the Chiefs, while Jannes Kirsten was at openside flank. Bath are currently joined at the bottom of the table by the Northampton Saints, with both sides still looking for their first wins of the season.
– In Sunday’s only match, the London Irish powered to a 22-9 victory over the Leicester Tigers. Allan Dell started for London Irish, with the Scotland-capped loosehead prop playing 47 minutes and making all eight of his tackles. Wing Kobus van Wyk and outside centre Jaco Taute started for the Tigers, who had an all South African back row of Hanro Liebenberg, Cyle Brink and No 8 Jasper Wiese. Liebenberg made 52m from eight carries, missing two of his 16 attempted tackles, while he also won a turnover, beat four defenders, stole a lineout and made two clean breaks. Wiese, meanwhile, made a massive 15 carries for 65m and beat three defenders while making all 13 of his tackles.
Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images