SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the South African players who featured for their respective clubs in the French Top 14 this past weekend.
– Toulouse, featuring Springbok duo Cheslin Kolbe and Rynhardt Elstadt, produced a listless performance as they slumped to a shock 31-23 defeat by Lyon. The result had them relinquishing their place at the top of the league table.
– La Rochelle made full of the Toulouse loss, beating Stade Français 16-11 to rise to the summit of the log. Springbok Raymond Rhule continued his good form for La Rochelle with yet another solid display at outside centre. Stade had James Hall at scrumhalf for the full 80 minutes.
– Another team that climbed above Toulouse is Racing 92 following their narrow 23-20 win over Castres. No 8 Antonie Claassen started for Racing, while scrumhalf Rory Kockott – who was yellow-carded in the 19th minute – played for Castres.
– Cobus Reinach crossed for one of five tries as Montpellier cruised to a 39-19 win over bottom-feeders Agen. Lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, flank Jacques du Plessis and centre Jan Serfontein played alongside Reinach for Montpellier, who remain stuck in 11th position despite the result.
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) February 22, 2021
– Prop Lourens Adriaanse and his Pau side fought valiantly but ultimately suffered an agosining 33-29 loss against Toulon. Former Grey College star FC du Plessis made his debut for Toulon when he came off the bench as the replacement flyhalf early in the second half.
– Flank Jaco van Tonder and South African-born Japanese fullback Kotaro Matsushima featured in a dominant Clermont side that ran in 10 tries to clinch a 73-3 triumph over Bayonne. Clermont are now fourth on the log.
–Flank Retief Marais and his Brive teammates caused the biggest upset of the round when they edged Bordeaux 25-23. Hooker Joseph Dweba and lock Jandre Marais were in the Bordeaux lineup.