• Saffas Abroad: Leyds’ La Rochelle stay top in France

    SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South African players who featured for their respective clubs in the rescheduled Top 14 matches this weekend.

    – Stade Francais climbed to fifth place on the Top 14 log after claiming a 26-16 victory in their rescheduled first-round clash with Bordeaux. The match was the first of three postponed to this past weekend after being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Stade had no South Africans in their starting lineup, but brought former Junior Springbok scrumhalf James Hall and lock Gerbrant Grobler off the bench in the second half. Bordeaux, who dropped down to ninth place, had former Sharks lock Jandre Marais as a second-half substitute.

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    – Eben Etzbeth‘s try for Toulon was in vain as they slipped to a 35-29 loss to Bayonne, who were able to narrow the gap on their sixth-placed opponents to just three points. Bayonne took a 29-10 lead into the break, but Etzbeth’s 49th-minute try sparked a comeback attempt by Toulon. It was an ill-tempered match delivering five yellow cards in total, with three of those being shown to Toulon players, including former All Blacks centre Ma’a Nonu, who was sent to the sin bin for a tackle off the ball.

    – La Rochelle continued their reign at the top of the standings after a hard-fought 9-6 win over fellow title-challengers Racing 92. Dillyn Leyds started on the wing for La Rochelle, while Wiaan Liebenberg fired at openside flank and Raymond Rhule was among the five unused La Rochelle substitutes. La Rochelle are now six points ahead of second-placed Toulouse.

    Photo: Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport via Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack