• Stander, Botha star in Munster romp

    SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches, which involved South African players.

    EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP

    Pool 1

    – Saracens put in a ruthless display to thump loosehead prop Gurthrö Steenkamp's Toulouse 32-7 in London. Ex-Sharks centre Brad Barritt skippered Sarries, who also had flank Michael Rhodes and prop Petrus du Plessis in their ranks. Boks Schalk Brits, Alistair Hargreaves and Neil de Kock were used as impact players off Saracens' bench in the second half. The victory puts Saracens at the summit of Pool 1, although this was the only encounter in the pool after the match between Oyonnax and Ulster was postponed.

    Pool 2

    – The Neath-Swansea Ospreys overturned a 10-6 deficit to beat the Exeter Chiefs 25-13 at the Liberty Stadium. Utility back Hanno Dirksen completed the Ospreys bench but didn't come on, while Don Armand started at the back of the scrum for the Chiefs.

    Pool 3

    – Wing DTH van der Merwe and his Scarlets teammates suffered a narrow 15-11 defeat at the hands of the Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens. Ill-discipline saw the Saints reduced to 14 men twice in the game, but they showed great resolve to see off the Scarlets. The winners top Pool 3, but the Glasgow Warriors and Racing 92 are yet to play their match.

    Pool 4

    – CJ Stander led Munster to a convincing 32-7 bonus-point win over Treviso at Thomond Park. Stander and tighthead prop BJ Botha scored the winners' first two tries, while eighthman Braam Steyn went over for Treviso's solitary effort in the first half. Steyn was joined in Treviso's lineup by lock Rudolph Naudé. Munster are at the top of Pool 5, with Treviso at the bottom.

    – The Leicester Tigers came from behind to defeat Stade Français 33-20 at Welford Road. Flyhalf Morné Steyn and centre Meyer Bosman started for Stade, with the former kicking a penalty and conversion in a losing cause. Flank Jono Ross was on Stade's bench. The Tigers picked up maximum points, but are below Munster on the log on points difference.

    Pool 5

    – Wasps shocked a star-studded Leinster 33-6 at RDS Arena. Wing Zane Kirchner and hooker Richardt Strauss played for Leinster, who were outscored three tries to none in front of their fans. Hooker Ashley Johnson came off Wasps' bench in the 68th minute.

    EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP

    Pool 1

    – Brive, with locks Wilhelm Steenkamp and Peet Marais in their team, ground out a 13-9 win against the Newcastle Falcons at home. Lock Mouritz Botha was an unused substitute on the Falcons bench.

    Pool 2

    – Under the leadership of lock Ligtoring Landman, the Newport Gwent Dragons, with Carl Meyer at fullback and Sarel Pretorius at scrumhalf, eased past the Sale Sharks 30-12 at Rodney Parade. Landman led from the front, scoring one of his team's four tries and was joined by compatriot prop Brok Harris in the 71st minute. Ex-Bok Brian Mujati scrummed down at tighthead for Sale.

    Pool 3

    – Harlequins hammered Montpellier 41-18 at the Twickenham Stoop. Former Sharks hooker Craig Burden and ex-Bulls duo Paul Willemse and Wiaan Liebenberg earned starting berths for Montpellier, who were outplayed and outscored by six tries to none. Props Pat Cilliers and CJ van der Linde, as well as centre Robert Ebersohn,​ were among Montpellier's reserves.

    – Wing Ben de Jager's Italian club Calvisano slumped to a 50-9 loss to the Cardiff Blues at the Peroni Stadium. The Blues ran six tries past Calvisano, who are now above Harlequins on the Pool 3 log.

    Pool 4

    – Gloucester were made to work hard for their 23-10 win over Zebre at Kingsholm Stadium. Flank Johan Meyer made Zebre's run-on XV, but neither he nor his teammates could stop Gloucester from racking up their 10th successive win in the tournament.

    – La Rochelle, with ex-Bok scrumhalf Ricky Januarie in their ranks, went down 19-3 to the Worcester Warriors at Sixways Stadium. In an ill-disciplined affair, the referee dished out a yellow card to both teams, but the Warriors were defensively strong enough to see off La Rochelle.

    Pool 5

    – Former Kings No 8 Cornell du Preez bagged a brace of tries in Edinburgh's 28-10 bonus-point triumph over Grenoble. Prop WP Nel and lock Anton Bresler featured alongside Du Preez for Edinburgh, who gained the ascendancy after Grenoble were reduced to 14 men following a straight red card for their right wing.

    Compiled by Mariette Adams

    Photo: Inpho Photography

    Post by

    Mariette Adams