SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's European Cup, European Challenge Cup, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches that involved SA players.
– Saracens, with centre Brad Barritt, No 8 Ernst Joubert, lock Mouritz Botha and hooker Schalk Brits in their starting XV, held off a determined and brave Ulster outfit to win 17-15. Captain Johann Muller’s Ulster team were up against it from as early as the fourth minute when their fullback was red-carded for dangerous play. Bok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, who started alongside Muller, kicked three penalties for the losers, while hooker Rob Herring joined in the 13th minute and lock Robbie Diack in the 69th. Botha scored one of Sarries’ three tries and prop Matt Stevens came on in the 48th minute. Former Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock played in his 200th match for the Londoners from the 69th minute.
– Ex-Bok prop BJ Botha was in Munster’s run-on XV that beat Toulouse 47-23. Former Bulls flank CJ Stander came off the bench in the 18th minute to score one of the winning team’s six tries, with ex-Stormers and Bulls wing Gerhard van den Heever playing from the 67th minute onwards. Boks Jano Vermaak (scrumhalf) and Gurthrö Steenkamp (prop) started for struggling Toulouse.
– Defending champions Toulon, with Boks Juan Smith (flank), Danie Rossouw (lock) and ex-Sharks hooker Craig Burden in their starting ranks, showed great strength to overpower Leinster 29-14 at the Stade Félix Mayol. Scrumhalf Michael Claassens was introduced to the game in the 68th minute, while Bok wing Bryan Habana remained on the bench. Hooker Richardt Strauss started for Leinster and Bok fullback Zane Kirchner took to the field from the 19th minute.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP
– Eighthman Gerrit-Jan van Velze started for the Northampton Saints in their 28-14 quarter-final victory against the Sale Sharks.
– Despite two Morné Steyn penalties, Stade Français lost 26-6 to the Harlequins in Paris. Locks Carl Wegner and Gerhard Mostert were in Stade’s starting XV, while hooker Michael van Vuuren and lock Anton van Zyl sat on the bench.
– Prop Johannes Coetzee was part of the Brive team that was on the receiving end of a 39-7 hiding from a second-string Bath XV at the Recreation Ground in their quarter-final.
– The Glasgow Warriors moved into the top four of the Pro12 after convincingly beating Treviso 29-10 at Scotstoun. Flank Tyrone Holmes played the full 80 minutes for the Warriors. Scrumhalf Tobias Botes was on duty for the Italians and on hand to kick a conversion and a penalty, while his compatriot lock Corniel van Zyl looked on from the bench.
– Edinburgh beat the Dragons, 23-19, for the first time since 2006 and recorded their first away victory in the competition this season. Former Lions prop WP Nel scored for the winners and ex-Cheetahs and Kings centre Andries Strauss, flank Cornell du Preez and lock Izak van der Westhuizen also started for Edinburgh, with Van der Westhuizen yellow-carded for collapsing a maul. Wicus Blaauw (prop) and Carl Bezuidenhout (fullback) were named in the match 23.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Oyonnax’s 26-12 victory over Bordeaux lifted them out of the Top 14 relegation zone. Former Bulls scrumhalf Heini Adams and lock Juandré Marais represented the losing team from start to finish.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images