SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, French Top 14 and Celtic Pro12 matches, involving South African players.
– Ashley Johnson came off the bench as hooker for Wasps in the 59th minute of their 24-16 defeat to the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road. Wasps have not won at the ground since 2008.
– Saracens, with lock Alistair Hargreaves, No 8 Ernst Joubert and prop Petrus du Plessis in their ranks, ground out a 24-14 win over neighbours London Irish at Allianz Park. Hooker Schalk Brits and centre Brad Barritt came off the bench in the second half for the winners.
– Outside centre Wynand Olivier, tighthead prop Nic Schonert and No 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze earned starting berths for the Worcester Warriors, who lost 24-23 to Gloucester. The result didn't have any impact on the teams' log positions, as Gloucester remain fifth and the Warriors 10th.
– The Exeter Chiefs humbled the Newcastle Falcons 41-3 at Kingston Park, in part thanks to eighthman Don Armand who crossed for a brace of tries in the opening half. Ex-Sharks lock Mouritz Botha played for the Falcons. The result sees Newcastle drop to the foot of the standings.
– Prop Brian Mujati was part of the Sale Sharks' match 23, who shocked the Northampton Saints 20-13. The Saints are relegated to seventh place, while the Sharks move up to sixth.
French Top 14
– Antonie Claassen started at the back of the scrum and Francois van der Merwe in the second row for Racing, in their 17-14 victory against Brive in Paris. Prop Kevin Buys, lock Wilhelm Steenkamp and flank Paul Hauman did service for Brive. The win takes Racing up to second in the standings and within four log points of Clermont.
– Lock Jandré Marais and his Bordeaux teammates edged ex-Bok scrumhalf Ricky Januarie's La Rochelle 21-16 at the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas. The winners rose to fifth after seven rounds.
– Oyonnax ran in five tries to pummel Pau 42-23. Hooker Jody Jenneker and loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg turned out for Oyonnax, with Jenneker sin-binned in the first half for foul play. This was only the second Oyonnax win of the season.
– Defending champions Stade Français suffered yet another defeat, their fifth so far, when going down 28-23 to Agen in an ill-disciplined affair which produced three yellow cards. Flyhalf Burton Francis contributed 13 points via two conversions and three penalties for Agen, while outside centre Johann Sadie chipped in with a 60th-minute try. No 8 Jono Ross started for Stade, while prop Heinke van der Merwe was on the bench. Agen used prop Ruaan du Preez as an impact player in the final 30 minutes.
– Lock Paul Willemse as well as front rowers CJ van der Linde, Pat Cilliers and Craig Burden all featured for Montpellier in their 33-25 loss to Toulouse. Prop Gurthrö Steenkamp was on duty for the winners, who are now third on the log.
– Prop Dan Kotzé and hooker Marius van der Westhuizen played second-half cameos for the table-topping Clermont, who hammered Castres 42-13 at the Parc des Marcel Michelin.
– Grenoble withstood a late surge by Toulon to secure a thrilling 33-29 win over the European champions. Fullback Gio Aplon went over for a crucial try for Grenoble and was joined in the run-on XV by scrumhalf Charl McLeod and lock Hendrik Roodt, while prop Rossouw de Klerk completed the bench. Former Bok flank Juan Smith led Toulon from the side of the scrum and flyhalf Willie du Plessis added a late conversion.
– Leinster travelled to Italy where they defeated Treviso 27-3. No 8 Braam Steyn played from start to finish for Treviso, while hooker Richardt Strauss performed in the last 30 minutes for Leinster.
– Lock Quinn Roux's Connacht moved up to second on the log following a hard-fought 14-9 win over Edinburgh. Lock Anton Bresler and loose forward Cornell du Preez featured for Edinburgh.
– Zebre stunned the Cardiff Blues 26-15 to record their first ever bonus-point victory in the competition. A brace of tries from No 8 Dries van Schalkwyk and one each by flank Johan Meyer and wing Kayle van Zyl accounted for the Italians' four-try romp. Jean Cook completed the loose trio alongside Van Schalkwyk and Meyer, while Quintin Geldenhuys started at No 4 lock. With the win, Zebre overtook the Blues in the standings.
– The Llanelli Scarlets, with lock George Earle in the side, kept their perfect season intact with a 25-15 triumph over the Newport Gwent Dragons. Prop Brok Harris and lock Ligtoring Landman held down starting places for the Dragons, but it was replacement scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius who breached the Scarlets' defence to get the visitors into double figures to give the scoreboard some respectability.
– Ex-Stormers Gerhard van den Heever scored a brilliant solo try to help Munster overcome Irish rivals Ulster 32-28 at Thomond Park. The winger featured alongside prop BJ Botha and flank CJ Stander for the hosts, who ran in five tries. No 5 lock Franco van der Merwe, prop Wiehahn Herbst and hooker Rob Herring turned out for Ulster, who picked up two bonus points despite losing.
Compiled by Mariette Adams
Photo: Simon King/Camera Sport