SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches that involved South African players.
– Saracens held on for a narrow 28-24 win against the Northampton Saints at Allianz Park. The log leaders had former Sharks centre Brad Barritt, ex-Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock, lock Mouritz Botha and former Stormers hooker Schalk Brits in their starting XV. Their influential No 8 Ernst Joubert missed the match, after he was ruled out for the remainder of the season following his injury in their European Cup victory over Ulster.
– Ex-Stormers lock Don Armand started for the Exeter Chiefs in their 38-33 victory over the relegation-battling Worcester Warriors.
– Scrumhalf Tobias Botes and lock Corniel van Zyl starred in Treviso’s triumphant 40-27 bonus-point win against the lowly Dragons at the Stadio Monigo. Meanwhile, the Dragons have announced the signing of Cheetahs lock Rynard ‘Ligtoring’ Landman on a three-year deal. The 27-year-old formerly played for the Lions and Griquas.
– Zebre couldn’t make it a double for Italian sides, suffering a 27-20 defeat against the Scarlets in Wales. Lock George Earle started for the home team and was replaced by his compatriot Johan Snyman in the 67th minute. Flank Andries van Schalkwyk came on for Zebre in the 54th.
– Former Stormers wing Gerhard van den Heever, the one-time Bulls loose forward CJ Stander and ex-Bok prop BJ Botha all started for Munster, who suffered a shock 22-5 loss against ex-Lions captain and No 8 Josh Strauss and his Glasgow Warriors team-mates. Stander scored for the Irish team, before a blitzkrieg of tries from the Scottish outfit, one of which was scored by Strauss.
– Ulster, under the leadership of ex-Sharks and Bok lock Johann Muller, trounced Connacht 58-12 in their Irish derby. Flank Robbie Diack and hooker Rob Herring featured in Ulster’s run-on XV.
– Edinburgh, with ex-Cheetahs and EP Kings centre Andries Strauss, flank Cornell du Preez, lock Izak van der Westhuizen and prop WP Nel in their midst, lost 29-22 against the Cardiff Blues. Du Preez scored one of the losing team’s three tries, while prop Wicus Blaauw and fullback Carl Bezuidenhout warmed the bench for them.
– Wing Hanno Dirksen was in the Ospreys’ match 23 that beat Leinster 25-19. Bok and ex-Bulls player Zane Kirchner started on the wing instead of his usual fullback position for Leinster.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Despite two penalty kicks from former Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott, Castres stumbled to a 23-11 loss against Clermont. No 8 Antonie Claassen also started for Castres, while flank Gerhard Vosloo entered the field in the 38th minute for Clermont.
– Decorated Bok wing Bryan Habana went from villain to hero in Toulon's match against Bordeaux. He was yellow-carded 24 minutes in the clash, but then scored their only try of the match in the 65th minute as they won 22-20. Fellow Boks Juan Smith and Danie Rossouw started alongside Habana for the European champions as did scrumhalf Michael Claassens. Lock Juandré Marais played for Bordeaux.
– Bok lock Juandré Kruger and No 8 Jacques Cronjé began for Racing Métro in their 37-7 pounding of Biarritz at the Stade Yves du Manoir. Cronjé scored one of their five tries in the 56th minute.
– Bayonne beat Stade Français 24-19 with fullback Scott Spedding and props Gert Muller and JC Janse van Rensburg in their starting ranks. Prop Heinke van der Merwe and ex-Sharks centre Meyer Bosman were on duty for Stade, while Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn, lock Gerhard Mostert and hooker Michael van Vuuren failed to make appearances off the bench for the team from Paris.
– Former Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn played an instrumental part in Montpellier’s 36-30 away win over Grenoble. Prop Albertus Buckle and lock Naudé Beukes started for Grenoble, but Hendrik Roodt replaced Beukes in the 41st minute.
– Ex-Sharks wing Wandile Mjekevu and former Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage started for Perpignan against Oyonnax who had former Sharks hooker Jody Jenneker in their run-on XV. Perpignan won 22-12.
– Toulouse claimed a 16-9 victory over Brive at the Stade Ernest-Wallon. Bok and ex-Bulls scrumhalf Jano Vermaak played for the winning team from the 57th minute onwards, while prop Schalk Ferreira was benched for the entire match.
Compiled by Mariette Adams