• Valuable Willie torments Racing

    SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's European Champions Cup, European Challenge Cup and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.

    EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP SEMI-FINALS

    – Saracens eliminated Munster with a 26-10 victory at the Aviva Stadium. Centre Jaco Taute and No 8 CJ Stander were in Munster's starting XV and loose forward Jean Deysel came off the bench. Sarries handed starting berths to Brad Barritt, Michael Rhodes and Vincent Koch, while Schalk Brits, Petrus du Plessis and Schalk Burger were used as impact players. Stander scored Munster's only try.

    WATCH: Highlights of Munster vs Saracens

    – Fullback Scott Spedding starred for Clermont in their 27-22 victory over Leinster at the Stade Marcel Michelin. Hooker Richardt Strauss started for Leinster, while fullback Zane Zirchner played off the bench for the Irish province.

    WATCH: Highlights of Clermont vs Leinster

    EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP SEMI-FINALS

    – La Rochelle, with centre Paul Jordaan and scrumhalf Ricky Januarie in their ranks, suffered their first defeat at home this season when they went down 16-14 in a pulsating encounter against Gloucester.

    – A late drop goal saw Stade Français beat Bath 28-25 to book their place in the final. Francois Louw led Bath in the riveting clash. Hooker Craig Burden, prop Heinke van der Merwe, eighthman Jono Ross and flyhalf Morné Steyn served as substitutes for Stade.

    FRENCH TOP 14

    – Montpellier, featuring Frans Steyn, Willie du Plessis, Paul Willemse, Jacques du Plessis, Pierre Spies, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis and Demetri Catrakilis, trounced Racing 54-3 in their rescheduled clash on Saturday. The round 21 match was postponed earlier this year after Racing and Stade Français players went on strike over the proposed merger of the two Paris clubs. Du Plessis scored two tries and kicked six conversions for a 22-point haul, while Bismarck and Spies both scored a try in the second half, and Catrakilis slotted a conversion. Racing had fullback Sean Robinson and lock Gerbrandt Grobler in their ranks. The bonus-point win takes Montpellier up to second on the log with only two rounds remaining.

    Compiled by Mariette Adams

    Photo: Alexandre Dimou/Getty Images

    Post by

    Mariette Adams