Saffas chip in across Europe looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.


– Flyhalf Tim Swiel led Harlequins' charge as they edged Saracens 17-10 at the Stoop. Sarries, featuring flank Michael Rhodes, prop Petrus du Plessis and hooker Schalk Brits, were favourites against their London rivals, but Quins made the better start and withstood a late charge to seal the victory.

– Sale Sharks erased a 16-point deficit to snatch a 34-34 draw against the Worcester Warriors in an enthralling clash at Sixways Stadium. Former Bok centre Wynand Olivier and tighthead prop Nic Schonert earned starting berths for the Warriors.

– Scrumhalf Nic Groom made his starting debut for the Northampton Saints, but that was as good as it got as they went down 20-15 to the unbeaten Wasps. Replacement hooker Ashley Johnson played for Wasps, who are now top of the table.

– The Leicester Tigers comfortably beat Bath 34-14 at Welford Road on Sunday. Bok winger JP Pietersen played excellently for the Tigers, who rose to fourth in the standings.


– Fullback Zane Kirchner and his Leinster teammates hammered the Ospreys 31-19 at RDS Arena. The result ended Ospreys' undefeated start to the season.

– Ulster continued their dream start to the campaign with a narrow 22-17 win against the Glasgow Warriors. Wing Louis Ludik, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, lock Franco van der Merwe and hooker Rob Herring were all named in Ulster's run-on XV.

– Braam Steyn played for Treviso, who stunned the Newport Gwent Dragons 27-11. Fullback Carl Meyer and lock Ligtoring Landman represented the out-of-sorts Dragons, with the latter scoring their only try.

– Munster, with flank CJ Stander and lock Jean Kleyn in their ranks, were too good for Edinburgh as they cruised to a 28-14 win at Thomond Park. No 8 Cornell du Preez was on duty for Edinburgh.

– Eighthman Derick Minnie, flank Johan Meyer, lock Quintin Geldenhuys, scrumhalf Carlo Engelbrecht and fullback Kayle van Zyl, all formed part of the Zebre team that suffered a heartbreaking 23-21 loss at the hands of the Cardiff Blues. Lock George Earle did service for the winners.

–  Former Bulls duo Werner Kruger and David Bulbring turned out for the Scarlets, who picked up their first win of the season with a 17-8 triumph over Connacht. Lock Quinn Roux started for the struggling defending champions.


– Castres, with Rory Kockott at scrumhalf, Robert Ebersohn at inside centre and Jody Jenneker at hooker, romped to a surprise 31-23 win over reigning champions Racing. Forwards Francois van der Merwe and Antonie Claassen were on duty for Racing, with flank Bernard le Roux on the bench. Prop Dan Kotzé was selected for Castres' bench.

– Financially drained club Grenoble suffered a heartbreaking 39-38 loss to Pau over the weekend. The hosts, with prop Rossouw de Klerk in their team, led by two with time up on the clock, but conceded a 82nd-minute penalty, which Pau's kicker converted.

– La Rochelle continued their flying start to the season with a 34-17 victory over Bayonne. Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie played for the winners from the 50th minute.

– Jacques-Louis Potgieter kicked a conversion and a penalty, but it wasn't enough as Lyon slumped to a 32-10 defeat at the hands of Bordeaux. Potgieter played alongside flank Deon Fourie for Lyon, while lock Jandre Marais represented the winners.

– Front rowers Gurthrö Steenkamp and Maks van Dyk were in the match 23 of the Toulouse side that ground out a 23-18 win over Stade Français. Meyer Bosman, Jono Ross, Gerhard Mostert and Heinke van der Merwe played for Stade, who conceded a red card in as early as the 37th minute.

– Montpellier smashed Brive 42-13 at the Altrad Stadium. Inside centre Frans Steyn, flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis and flank Wiaan Liebenberg started for Montpellier, with Arno van Wyk, Jannie du Plessis, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Cameron Wright and Henry Immelman all among the substitutes. Lock Wilhelm Steenkamp and prop Kevin Buys featured for Brive.

– Toulon, with Marcel van der Merwe and Juandré Kruger in their ranks, scored a late try to beat Clermont 23-21. Fullback Scott Spedding and lock Flip van der Merwe turned out for Clermont, who suffered their first loss of the season.

Photo: Andre Ferreira/Getty Images

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