Saffas Abroad: Green, Augustus taste winning start to Premiership season

Juarno Augustus had a successful start to life in the Premiership as the Northampton Saints kicked off their 2021-22 season with a commanding win over Gloucester.

– Augustus made his Premiership debut off the bench early in the second half for Northampton in their 34-20 victory over Gloucester this past Saturday.

The No 8 played a total of 31 minutes, making four carries for 29 metres, one pass, four tackles and he beat four defenders, the second most of any Saints player in the match.

Augustus’ performance left Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd impressed.

“He’s a great player, he just has to get his work rate up,” Boyd said after the match. “The way the Stormers used him, he had great carry metres because he ended up in the backfield and would run [kicks] back 30m before hitting the first tackle line.

“He needs to get his number of touches up. He came on and had three strong carries and an important turnover [near Northampton’s tryline]. Every ground has their favourite, their cult heroes, and that’s a pretty good start for him.

“If he keeps going, he will be popular here.”

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– Defending champions Harlequins also started their campaign with a win, as Tyrone Green and Andre Esterhuizen helped the team claim a hard-fought 26-20 victory away over the Newcastle Falcons.

Green played the full 80 minutes at fullback. He made 66m from seven carries, six passes, won two turnovers and beat four defenders.

Bok centre Esterhuizen was replaced by debutant Huw Jones in the 74th minute, but had a solid outing, missing just one of his nine tackle attempts, while also beating two defenders from his nine carries.

– Springbok hooker Akker van der Merwe put in a good shift for the Sale Sharks during their 20-19 win over Bath, in a match where another former Stormers loose forward, Jaco Coetzee, made his Premiership debut.

Van der Merwe played 52 minutes and made 34m from five carries, beating one defender. Also in action for Sale were locks Cobus Wiese and JP du Preez, captain Jono Ross, flyhalf Robert du Preez, tighthead prop Nic Schonert and substitute Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

Bath brought Coetzee off the bench in the second half and the flank made nine carries in 23 minutes, beating three defenders and making a linebreak. Hooker Jacques du Toit and props Juan Schoeman and Johannes Jonker also played for Bath.

– Leicester Tigers stunned Exeter Chiefs with an impressive 34-19 bonus-point win.

Leicester vice-captain Hanro Liebenberg had an excellent performance with six carries, 13 tackles, one turnover win, two defenders beaten and five lineout wins.

Prop Francois van Wyk and lock Eli Snyman made their debuts for the Tigers off the bench.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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Dylan Jack