SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.
– Wing Danie Poolman scored a crucial try to help Connacht beat the Newport Gwent Dragons 29-23 in the opening round of the new Celtic Pro12 season. Poolman and lock Quinn Roux started for the winners. Ex-Cheetahs scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, who played alongside lock Ligtoring Landman and prop Brok Harris, scored a try in his first competitive game for the club.
– Ulster continued their dominance in the domestic competition with a comfortable 28-6 win at Kingspan Stadium over the Neath-Swansea Ospreys. Front rowers Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst both barged over for a try. Fullback Louis Ludik and lock Franco Mostert also turned out for Ulster, who last lost a Pro12 match at home in May 2014. Lock De Kock Steenkamp played for the Ospreys.
– Edinburgh, who featured ex-Sharks lock Anton Bresler and former EP Kings flank Cornell du Preez in their run-on XV, battled past Leinster 16-9 at home.
– The Glasgow Warriors suffered a 16-10 defeat at home against the Llanelli Scarlets. Former Lions captain Josh Strauss, who has been included in Scotland's World Cup squad, started on the side of the scrum for the Warriors and was joined in the back row by Tyrone Holmes in the 55th minute. Lock George Earle came off the bench for the Scarlets in the 51st minute.
– Captain CJ Stander scored two second-half tries to lift hosts Munster to a hard-fought 18-13 win against Benetton Treviso. Trailing the Italians 7-6 at the break Stander, who played alongside prop BJ Botha, led from the front in the second stanza to spare Munster's blushes. No 8 Braam Steyn was on duty for Treviso.
– Former Bulls centre Ulrich Beyers came off the bench to score Zebre's only try of the match, but it was a mere consolation as they went down 61-13 against the Cardiff Blues. Loose forwards Dries van Schalkwyk and Johan Meyer both represented Zebre, with the former sin-binned late in the second half.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Hooker Marius van der Westhuizen and tighthead prop Dan Kotzé formed part of the Clermont team that brushed Oyonnax aside 41-24. Ex-Boks and Bulls loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg was used by Oyonnax from the 58th minute. Clermont still top the table, while Oyonnax have dropped to ninth position.
– La Rochelle, with scrumhalf Ricky Januarie in their ranks, ground out a 21-18 win against Brive at the Stade Marcel-Deflandre. Lock Peet Marais and flank Paul Hauman turned out for Brive, with prop Kevin Buys completing the match 23.
– Fullback Gio Aplon was on target for Grenoble, who thrashed Pau 41-15. Aplon, scrumhalf Charl McLeod and lock Hendrik Roodt were named in Grenoble's starting lineup. They moved up to third on the log, while Pau are languishing at the bottom of the table.
– Newly-promoted Agen, with flyhalf Burton Francis and prop Ruaan du Preez in their side, floored Racing 30-18 at the Stade Armandie. Francis was in excellent form, scoring a try coupled with a conversion, five penalties and a drop goal. Racing had Sean Robinson, Antonie Claassen, Francois van der Merwe and Juandré Kruger in their team. The match was marred by ill-discipline and produced four yellow cards and one red, with fullback Robinson and lock Kruger both docked 10 minutes in the sin bin.
– Montpellier edged Bordeaux 24-22 to move into the top three in the standings. Prop Pat Cilliers and lock Paul Willemse started for Montpellier with Wiaan Liebenberg and Jacobie Adriaanse included among the reserves. Lock Berend Botha and scrumhalf Heini Adams did service for Bordeaux.
– Toulon claimed their first win of the season with a 20-13 away victory over champions Stade Français. Captain Juan Smith and Gerhard Vosloo played on the flanks for Toulon and Willie du Plessis at flyhalf. Stade had prop Heinke van der Merwe, No 8 Jono Ross, lock Gerhard Mostert and inside centre Meyer Bosman in their lineup. Toulon moved up to eighth and Stade dropped to 12th position.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Independent Sport/Inpho Photography