Here’s a wrap of all the action involving South African players in England, France and Japan, including Cheslin Kolbe’s first tries for Toulon.
Premiership Rugby Cup
– The Premiership took a break this weekend to allow Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures to be played. In the first match of round four, Newcastle Falcons handed Leicester Tigers a 36-28 defeat.
Former Sharks scrumhalf Louis Schreuder was the only South African involved for Newcastle.
Jaco Taute returned from injury to captain Leicester, who also had Kobus van Wyk and prop Frans van Wyk in their starting lineup. Kobus van Wyk was yellow-carded in the second half.
– Hooker Michael Willemse scored to help London Irish claim a 34-19 win over a much-changed Harlequins side.
Willemse was joined in the London Irish front row by tighthead prop Marcel van der Merwe.
Young loosehead prop Jordan Els was on the bench for Harlequins.
– Bristol Bears scored nine tries in a massive 60-9 win over Bath.
Former Paul Roos 1st XV player Jordan Venter made his debut for Bath at outside centre, while hooker Jacques du Toit was on the bench.
– Nizaam Carr and Francois Hougaard both dotted down as Wasps beat Sale Sharks 41-26.
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Carr started at No 8, while Hougaard was on the left wing for Wasps.
Sale Sharks had only one South African-born player in their match-day 23: lock Alex Groves.
French Top 14
– In one of only two matches played this weekend, Toulon hammered La Rochelle 41-11.
Cheslin Kolbe started on the left wing and, in the second half of the match, scored his first two tries since joining Toulon from Toulouse. Kolbe dotted down for his first try in the 54th minute and completed his brace in the 73rd.
Kolbe’s Springbok teammate Eben Etzebeth also started for Toulon, as did flank Cornell du Preez, while Ireland-capped lock Quinn Roux was on the bench.
La Rochelle had fellow Springbok Dillyn Leyds opposing Kolbe, and Wiaan Liebenberg at flank. Raymond Rhule was on the bench.
– Defending champions Toulouse showed further signs of returning to form by claiming a 35-10 home win over league-leaders Montpellier.
Montpellier had three Springboks in their starting lineup: centre Jan Serfontein, scrumhalf Cobus Reinach and lock Nico Janse van Rensburg. Young loosehead prop Robert Rodgers came off the bench to score Montpellier’s only try of the match.
The result moved Toulouse up to fifth place on the log.
Japan League One
– SP Marais was on point off the kicking tee as Canon Eagles stunned Toyota Verblitz in a 20-9 victory.
Marais, who was joined in the Eagles lineup by centre Jesse Kriel and No 8 Kobus van Dyk, kicked two penalties and two conversions.
Verblitz flyhalf Lionel Cronje gave his side a 9-0 lead in the first half with three successive penalties. Pieter-Steph du Toit started at flank for Verblitz, who again had Willie le Roux on the bench.
– Gerhard van den Heever played a crucial role in helping Kubota Spears claim a 43-28 win over Toshiba Brave Lupus.
Van den Heever kicked five conversions and a penalty for a haul of 13 points. Ruan Botha also started for Verblitz, with fellow lock David Bulbring on the bench. Malcolm Marx missed the match due to injury.
– Tyler Paul scored a brace in a match-winning performance for Red Hurricanes, who beat Green Rockets 15-10.
Former Sharks flank Paul scored a try in each half as Johan Ackermann‘s Red Hurricanes ended their losing streak.
Hooker Franco Marais captained Hurricanes, who had former Lions player Ruan Vermaak at lock.
– Suntory Sungoliath continued their run at the top of the table by thrashing Shining Arcs 69-29.
Former Stormers flyhalf Josh Stander was on the bench for Sungoliath.
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