• Saffas Abroad: Wiese brothers shine

    SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South African players who featured for their respective clubs in the seventh round of the English Premiership.

    – The Bristol Bears kept their place at the top of the table after running in seven tries in a thrilling 48-3 demolition of rivals Bath on Friday evening. It was the first Premiership match after the two-week break in the season, but Bristol did not look impacted at all as they dominated from the first minute, with Fijian centre Semi Radrada making an incredible 162 metres in total. Loosehead prop Juan Schoeman started for Bath and played 42 minutes, while new signing Tian Schoeman was not included in Bath’s match-day 23.

    – Cobus Wiese got on the scoreboard as the Sale Sharks made the perfect start to life under new director of rugby Alex Sanderson with a 25-15 away win over the Leicester Tigers. Wiese was playing against his older brother, Jasper Wiese, who was at No 8 for the Leicester Tigers, but he got bragging rights after driving over the line in the 42nd minute for one of Sale’s three tries. Jasper Wiese also had a fantastic outing, making 57m from 23 carries, beating one defender and making seven tackles. Also in action for the Sale Sharks was Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, who played 55 minutes, lock JP du Preez and flank Jono Ross, who topped the tackle count with 18, while Coenie Oosthuizen and Robert du Preez were on the bench. Leicester had Kobus van Wyk on the wing and Hanro Liebenberg at flank, while Luan de Bruin started at loosehead prop and made 12 tackles. Former Lions flank Cyle Brink played 35 minutes off the bench for the Tigers.

    – Shaun Adendorff scored a brace of tries to help the Northampton Saints beat Gloucester away from home for the first time since 2017 with a hard-fought 31-26 victory on Saturday. Adendorff started at No 8 for the Saints and the former Vodacom Bulls loose forward went over for a quickfire brace with just four minutes between his first and second try in the second half. Lock David Ribbans, who was recently called up to England’s ‘shadow squad’ for the Six Nations, also started for Northampton and made 13 carries, five tackles and four passes. Northampton loosehead prop Frans van Wyk played from the bench. Ruan Ackermann put in a strong performance at No 8 for Gloucester after signing a contract extension with the club, making 12 carries, 12 tackles and winning two turnovers.

    – The Exeter Chiefs got back to winning ways by holding out to claim a 21-17 win away to the Worcester Warriors. Don Armand was named on the bench for the Chiefs and played 18 minutes at lock. Scrumhalf Francois Hougaard and tighthead prop Nic Schonert started for Worcester, while tighthead prop Richard Palframan, lock Anton Bresler and centre Francois Venter were all substitutes.

    – London Irish claimed their first Premiership win since November with a 31-22 victory over the Newcastle Falcons. Scotland-capped and South African-born prop Allan Dell was on the bench for the Irish. The Newcastle Falcons had three former Sharks players in their match-day squad, as scrumhalf Louis Schreuder and loose forward Philip van der Walt started, while Kyle Cooper came off the bench to play at prop.

    – Andre Esterhuizen made his return to the Harlequins team felt with a starring performance in their 49-17 thrashing of Wasps on Sunday. Esterhuizen was returning from a four-week suspension and started at inside centre. The Springbok made 40m from 10 carries, beating four defenders and nine tackles, while he also played a role in setting up two of Harlequins’ five tries. Tighthead prop Wilco Louw also started for Harlequins and made a massive defensive effort with 19 tackles in 66 minutes. On the bench for Harlequins, were props Jordan Els and Simon Kerrod as well as Tyrone Green, who assisted a try in the final 10 minutes.

    Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack