SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership and Celtic Pro12 matches, which involved South African players.
– Flank Ben Pienaar started for London Welsh in their 50-12 derby loss to London Irish at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday. Irish scored eight tries in their romp and conceded just two. Welsh remain rooted to the foot of the table and are still in search of that elusive first win of the season.
– Saracens secured a nervy 22-17 win over the Newcastle Falcons at Allianz Park. Centre Brad Barritt, scrumhalf Neil de Kock, flank Nick de Jager, lock Alistair Hargreaves and prop Petrus du Plessis earned starting berths for Sarries, who rose to second in the Premiership standings, two points adrift of leaders the Northampton Saints.
– Lock Sebastian de Chaves played from the 54th minute in the Leicester Tigers' 28-8 win against the Sale Sharks. The results see the Tigers leapfrog Sale into sixth position on the log.
– With a 16-6 scoreline, the Exeter Chiefs clinched their first ever Premiership victory over Bath on Saturday. Flank Don Armand represented the Chiefs, while another ex-Stormer Francois Louw started in the same position for Bath. The Chiefs are now third on the log, with Bath slipping to fifth.
– Wasps' winning streak at the Ricoh Arena continued when they beat Gloucester 32-21 on Sunday. Former Bok flank Ashley Johnson turned out for Wasps, who secured the four-try bonus point to climb up to fourth in the standings.
– Leinster, with fullback Zane Kirchner and hooker Richardt Strauss in their side, kicked a late penalty to draw 9-9 with hosts the Neath-Swansea Ospreys. Wing Hanno Dirksen played for the Ospreys, who looked on course to secure a 10th successive victory at home, but ill-discipline in the dying minutes cost them the game.
– Ulster fought back from 13-6 down to beat the Llanelli Scarlets 25-20 in Belfast. Ruan Pienaar, who started alongside Louis Ludik, Franco van der Merwe, Wiehahn Herbst and Rob Herring, again played an instrumental role in Ulster's success with a try, two conversions and two penalties. Lock George Earle was included in the Scarlets run-on XV, while prop Jacobie Adriaanse warmed their bench.
– Munster defeated the Glasgow Warriors 22-10 to overtake them at the top of the Pro12 table. Munster's eighthman CJ Stander won his duel with compatriot Josh Strauss, the former scoring the all-important fourth try for his team. Tighthead prop BJ Botha did service for the winners, while Rossouw de Klerk, who played in the same position, got on the scorecard for the Warriors. Wing DTH van der Merwe started alongside Strauss and De Klerk for the Warriors, who are now second in the standings, a point behind their conquerers.
– Prop WP Nel, lock Anton Bresler and centre Andries Strauss all featured for Edinburgh in their 21-15 loss to the Cardiff Blues. Despite the defeat, Edinburgh stay in eighth place, while the Blues rise one spot from 10th to ninth.
– Benetton Treviso, with flank Meyer Swanepoel in their ranks, were thrashed 53-5 by Connacht in Galway. Lock Quinn Roux and outside centre Danie Poolman, who scored a try, were on duty for Connacht. Both sides remain sixth and 11th respectively.
– Fullback Hennie Daniller's Zebre stunned prop Brok Harris's Newport Gwent Dragons 23-17 at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi. Outscored three tries to two, Zebre kicked their penalties to secure their third win of the competition.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Conor Wyse/SportsPhotography