SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.
– The Exeter Chiefs claimed a 39-26 bonus-point win against Harlequins at the Stoop. Flank Don Armand started for the winners, who remain second on the log. Tim Swiel was a replacement for Quins and added a conversion.
– The Worcester Warriors defeated Bath 25-19 at Sixways Stadium. Scrumhalf Francois Hougaard started for the Warriors, with Dewald Potgieter and Wynand Olivier were on the bench. When Olivier came on in the second half, he scored a crucial try. Flank Francois Louw co-captained Bath, who are still fifth in the standings.
– Wing JP Pietersen and his Leicester Tigers teammates cruised to a comfortable 30-3 bonus-point win over the Newcastle Falcons at Welford Road. Pietersen's former Sharks teammate Kyle Cooper started for the Falcons.
– Wasps, featuring Willie le Roux at fullback, ground out a 36-21 win against Bristol, whose relegation was confirmed after the loss. Flank Nick Fenton-Wells started on the side of the scrum for Bristol. The win sees Wasps maintain a five-point lead at the top of the table.
– Saracens, with Schalk Burger, Schalk Brits, Petrus du Plessis, Michael Rhodes and Vincent Koch in their ranks, fired late to beat the Northampton Saints 27-25. Trailing 25-12 with 12 minutes remaining, Saracens scored 15 points to overturn the deficit and stun Saints.
– Wing Bryan Habana scored one of two tries to help Toulon defeat Castres 23-14 at the Stade Mayol. Habana, Duane Vermeulen, Juan Smith, Juandré Kruger and Marcel van der Merwe turned out for the winners. Castres had Rory Kockott, Robert Ebersohn, Dan Kötze and Jody Jenneker in their side.
– Grenoble were relegated to the Pro D2 after slumping to a 59-18 defeat against Clermont. Scrumhalf Charl McLeod started for Grenoble.
– Prop Steven Kitshoff and locks Jandré Marais and Berend Botha formed part of the Bordeaux side that claimed a thrilling 22-19 win over hosts Brive. No 8 Petrus Hauman, locks Johan Snyman and Jan Uys and prop Kevin Buys did duty for Brive. With two rounds remaining, the winners are just a point adrift of a playoff spot.
– Stade Français continued to surge up the table with yet another commanding win. This time they thrashed Pau 51-16. Craig Burden and Morné Steyn were on Stade's bench, but played in the second half. The win takes Stade up to sixth in the standings.
– Lyon stunned trend-setters La Rochelle 29-25 in an pulsating encounter. The hosts scored scored two late tries to sink the log leaders. Front rowers Albertus Buckle and BJ Botha played for the winning team, while scrumhalf Ricky Januarie represented La Rochelle, who are still 10 points clear at the top of the table despite the loss.
– Montpellier were in devastating form as they trounced Bayonne 61-22 at the Altrad Stadium. Centre Frans Steyn, flyhalf Willie du Plessis, lock Jacques du Plessis and hooker Bismarck du Plessis started for Montpellier, who named Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and Jannie du Plessis among the reserves. Steyn played particularly well in midfield and scored two tries, while Willie du Plessis added 21 points via eight conversions and a try.
– Toulouse's playoff aspirations were effectively ended when they suffered a 10-8 defeat against Racing. Locks Bernard le Roux and Gerbrandt Grobler started for Racing and ex-Bok prop Gurthrö Steenkamp was seated on Toulouse's bench.
– The Cardiff Blues downed prop Brian Mujati's Ospreys 35-17 at the Millennium Stadium. The Blues, however remain in seventh position, while the Ospreys are fourth.
– Munster showed great resilience to overcome a spirited Ulster side 22-20 at Thomond Park. Flank Jean Deysel warmed Munster's bench. Ruan Pienaar and Wiehahn Herbst were in Ulster's starting lineup, while Rob Herring and Robbie Diack were used as second-half substitutes.
– In the other judgement day clash at the Millennium stadium, the Scarlets held off the Newport Gwent Dragons to seal a 21-16 win. Fullback Carl Meyer and prop Brok Harris did service for the Dragons, who are sitting pretty in sixth on the log. Werner Kruger, David Bulbring and DTH van der Merwe sat on the Scarlets' bench.
– Braam Steyn's Treviso recorded a stunning 21-6 win against Edinburgh, who had Cornell du Preez on the bench. The win lifts Treviso off the foot of the standings into 11th place.
– Win Danie Poolman scored a try in a losing cause as Connacht slumped to a 37-24 defeat against Leinster. Poolman and lock Quinn Roux started for Connacht. Zane Kirchner returned to his preferred fullback position for the winners, who are top of the log.
– Kayle van Zyl, Carlo Engelbrecht, Johan Meyer, Gideon Koegelenberg, Sidney Tobias and Derick Minnie were on duty for Zebre, who were on the wrong end of a 45-10 result against the Glasgow Warriors. Van Zyl crossed for one of Zebre's two tries.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Alexandre Dimou/Getty Images