SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South African players who featured for their respective clubs in the French Top 14 this past weekend.
– La Rochelle ran in six tries to thump Bayonne 40-3, a result that kept them second on the log. Springbok duo Dillyn Leyds and Raymond Rhule were the starting wings for La Rochelle.
– A late penalty kick helped Bordeaux clinch a dramatic 33-32 upset win over Racing 92. Flank Bernard le Roux started for Racing, who dropped to fourth in the standings following the defeat.
– Clermont demolished Castres 59-19 at home. South African-born fullback Kotaro Matsushima started for Clermont as prop Dan Kotze and lock Ryno Pieterse turned out for 10th-placed Castres.
– Toulouse, featuring star wing Cheslin Kolbe, thrashed Agen 59-0 to consolidate their position at the top of the log standings. Kolbe didn’t get on the scoresheet, but the fleet-footed wing was influential in the lead-up to several of the team’s nine tries.
Cheslin Kolbe v Agen 📊
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) January 25, 2021
– Montpellier’s inexplicable struggles continued as they slumped to a 21-16 defeat at home by Lyon. Fullback Henry Immelman, centre Jan Serfontein, scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, flank Jacques du Plessis and locks Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and Paul Willemse were all part of the star-studded Montpellier lineup. Montpellier are now in second-last spot on the log.
– Brive, with flank Retief Marais in their ranks, recorded a thrilling 32-27 victory over hosts Pau, who had Lourens Adriaanse at tighthead prop. The result moved Brive up to ninth on the table, while Pau remained in 11th position.
– Toulon comfortably beat 14-man Stade Français 35-13. Stade had to play with a man down for entire second half after conceding a red card in the 40th minute. But the big talking point was Toulon’s selection of Eben Etzebeth at blindside flank. Etzebeth, who is a lock, starred in his new role, playing the full 80 minutes during which he won two lineouts, made one turnover, completed six tackles, made four passes and two offloads, carried the ball nine times, beat one defender and clocked 24 running metres. Flank Gerbrandt Grobler and scrumhalf James Hall turned out for Stade.
— Illtud W. Dafydd (@IlltudDafydd) January 24, 2021