• Saffas Abroad: Coetzee continues fantastic PRO14 form

    SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South African players who featured for their respective clubs in the second round of the 2020-21 PRO14 season.

    –  Marcell Coetzee was at it again as Ulster continued their unbeaten start to the season, putting in a man-of-the-match performance to help them to a 24-12 away victory against the Ospreys. The Springbok loose forward scored one of Ulster’s three tries and was a relentless force across the park all evening, consistently making metres with ball in hand. In total, Coetzee made nine successful carries – gaining 34 metres – and two offloads, while on defence he completed all 12 his tackles and won two turnovers. Also playing for Ulster was hooker Rob Herring, while veteran back Louis Ludik came off the bench. The Ospreys, who were brought back down to earth after a fantastic win over Edinburgh last weekend, had tighthead prop Tom Botha in their starting lineup.

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    –  In the first match of the weekend on Friday, the Dragons claimed their first win of the season by beating Italian side Zebre 26-18 in Newport. Former Stormers centre and Wales veteran Jamie Roberts was among the scorers as the Dragons were able to claim a four-try bonus point. Another former Stormers player, loosehead prop Brok Harris, started for the Dragons. Meanwhile, loose forward Johan Meyer, who was recently called up to the Italy squad for their upcoming Tests, started for Zebre, who are winless after the new season’s first two rounds.

    –  A South African-filled Benetton pack put up a brave fight against Leinster, but the defending champions ultimately battled to a 37-25 victory in Treviso. Irne Herbst and former Vodacom Bulls lock Eli Snyman formed the second row for Benetton, while another Italy call-up, Braam Steyn, started in the No 7 jersey for the Italian side. Former Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage was once again in Benetton’s starting lineup.

    –  Munster were able to make it two wins out of two in the new season, but had to rely on the boot of 21-year-old flyhalf Ben Healy to help them beat Edinburgh 25-23. Healy kicked six penalties in total and crucially converted No 8 CJ Stander‘s 77th-minute try to help the Johann van Graan’s team stay unbeaten. Stander was the only South African involved for Munster, as they rested their regular midfield axis of Springbok Damian de Allende and Chris Farrell. Other than his try which sealed the match in Munster’s favour, Stander made 15 carries for 21m and beat two defenders. Scotland-capped tighthead prop WP Nel scored one of Edinburgh’s two tries, while flyhalf Jaco van der Walt kicked two conversions and two penalties as Edinburgh looked set to claim a surprise away victory. Also involved for Edinburgh was scrumhalf Nic Groom and star wing Duhan van der Merwe, who returned to the starting lineup after missing their loss to the Ospreys last weekend. Hooker Michael Willemse and loosehead prop Pierre Schoeman were among Edinburgh’s replacements.

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    –  The Cardiff Blues continued their excellent start to the season with a 29-7 bonus-point victory over Connacht. Ireland-capped lock Quinn Roux started for Connacht, who suffered their first loss of the season.

    –  Former Stormers prop Oli Kebble was among the try-scorers as the Glasgow Warriors held firm to claim a 20-7 win over a 14-man Scarlets side on Sunday. Kebble scored one of the Warriors’ two tries and the home side looked set to cruise to victory after the Scarlets lost lock Sam Lousi to a red card. However, the away side surprisingly finished the stronger of the two teams, getting on the scoreboard through a try from Wales prop Samson Lee.

    Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack