SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, which involved South African players.
– Ashley Johnson was in the Wasps run-on XV who beat the Exeter Chiefs 36-29 in Coventry, to keep their play-off hopes alive.
– Saracens, with scrumhalf Neil de Kock, flank Ernst Joubert and hooker Schalk Brits, slumped to a 25-20 defeat against the table-topping Northampton Saints. Sarries dropped from second to third on the log.
– The Leicester Tigers handed London Welsh another defeat, with the Exiles going down 38-17 at Welford Road. Flank Ben Pienaar played for the 14-man Welsh, whose No 8 was given a straight red card for foul play.
– Bath boosted their chances of a home semi-final with a convincing 43-18 victory over London Irish. Bok flank Francois Louw turned out for the winners and tighthead prop Richard Palframan started in the Irish front row.
– Prop Jacobie Adriaanse and his Llanelli Scarlets teammates recorded a hard-fought 29-10 win over their Welsh rivals the Newport Gwent Dragons. The Scarlets moved into the top six on the table, while the Dragons stay in eighth position.
– No 8 CJ Stander scored one of four tries to help Munster beat Benetton Treviso 30-19. Prop BJ Botha played alongside Stander for Munster, while locks Corniel van Zyl and Meyer Swanepoel did service for the Italian side.
– Wing Danie Poolman’s Connacht lost 31-13 to eighthman Josh Strauss’s Glasgow Warriors in Galway. The bonus-point win sees the Warriors maintain their two-point lead on top of the log.
– Former Sharks lock Anton Bresler was named Man of the Match for his sterling performance in Edinburgh’s 37-0 demolition of Zebre at Murrayfield. Centre Andries Strauss and prop WP Nel were also in Edinburgh’s starting team, while loose forward Cornell du Preez and fullback Carl Bezuidenhout were used off the bench. Ex-Cheetahs stalwart Hennie Daniller and flank Dries van Schalkwyk earned starting berths for Zebre, who sit at the foot of standings.
– Bok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar’s 16-point haul (four penalties and two conversions) guided Ulster to a 26-10 win against Leinster at the Kingspan Stadium. Pienaar, fullback Louis Ludik, lock Franco van der Merwe and prop Wiehahn Herbst started for the winners, with Rob Herring and Robbie Diack completing the match 23. Zane Kirchner, who played wing, and hooker Richardt Strauss were on duty for Leinster.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Toulouse beat hosts Stade Français 21-12 on Friday. Prop Gurthrö Steenkamp played for Toulouse but was replaced by Schalk Ferreira in the 53rd minute. Morné Steyn, Jono Ross, Gerhard Mostert and Heinke van der Merwe represented Stade, with Steyn kicking one of their four penalties.
– Hooker Craig Burden and flank Gerhard Vosloo started for Toulon in their 32-29 loss to La Rochelle. Bryan Habana failed to make an appearance off Toulon’s bench. Flyhalf Peter Grant kicked a penalty and conversion for La Rochelle after coming on in the 65th minute.
– Scott Spedding’s hat-trick lifted Bayonne to a 42-33 victory over Grenoble. Prop Gert Muller scrummed down for Bayonne from the 50th minute. Wing Gio Aplon, scrumhalf Charl McLeod and lock Hendrik Roodt turned out for Grenoble, with Aplon landing a conversion. Roodt’s replacement, Jono Ross, scored Grenoble’s third try.
– Prop Ruaan du Preez, hooker Jody Jenneker and No 8 Pedrie Wannenburg featured in Oyonnax’s 21-16 win against Racing Métro. Locks Juandré Kruger and Francois van der Merwe, No 8 Antonie Claassen, prop Brian Mujati and flyhalf Johan Goosen were all in Racing’s match-day squad.
– Brive, with centre Riaan Swanepoel, flank Paul Hauman, lock Peet Marais and prop Kevin Buys in their ranks, stunned Montpellier 15-10. Former Bulls centre Wynand Olivier played for Montpellier from the start of the second half.
– Scrumhalf Ricky Januarie scored a try in a losing cause as Lyon went down 37-22 to Bordeaux. Lock Coenie Basson also represented the struggling Lyon, while locks Jandré Marais and Berend Botha, scrumhalf Heini Adams and Ulrich Beyers turned out for the winners.
– Castres outscored Clermont five tries to one to record a surprising 31-10 triumph over the title contenders. Scrumhalf Rory Kockott nailed three of his five conversion attempts and was joined by flank Jannie Bornman in the 53rd minute. Castres moved out of the relegation zone with the win, while Clermont remain second despite the result.
Photo: Gaizka Iroz/AFP Photo