Van Velze leads the way looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches that involved South African players.


– A brace of tries from No 8 Gerrit-Janse van Velze put the Northampton Saints on top of the Premiership log again, as they defeated the Worcester Warriors 30-14 at Franklin's Gardens. The result also means that the Warriors remain at the bottom of the log.

– Former Bok and Cheetahs flank Ashley Johnson started for London Wasps against their neighbours, London Irish. But it was the Exiles who, despite being a man down after their scrumhalf was red-carded, claimed bragging rights in the much anticipated London derby with a 23-20 victory. 

– Bok flank Francois Louw was in Bath's run-on team that beat the Exeter Chiefs 27-23 in a tightly contested match at Sandy Park. Lock Don Armand came off the Chiefs bench in the 57th minute.

– Saracens headed into their match with the Sale Sharks without any of their South African imports, apart from former Shark Brad Barritt, in their starting XV. But scrumhalf Neil de Kock and hooker Schalk Brits came on in the 50th minute, while No 8 Ernst Joubert and lock Mouritz Botha joined the action in the 60th and 69th minutes, helping Sarries to a narrow 15-10 victory.


– Leinster, thanks to two penalty tries, came from behind to beat the Dragons 31-19. The bonus-point victory temporarily moved Bok fullback Zane Kirchner's team to the top of the Pro12 table.

– Flyhalf Carl Bezuidenhout, eighthman Cornell du Preez, lock Izak van der Westhuizen and props WP Nel and Wicus Blaauw were all on the wrong side of the scoreboard when Connacht defeated Edinburgh 11-7. Bezuidenhout kicked the losing team's conversion and Du Preez was sin-binned.

– The Glasgow Warriors, under the leadership of ex-Lions No 8 Josh Strauss, recorded an unlikely 27-20 win against the Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park. Former WP flank Tyrone Holmes also started for the Welsh club.

– Ex-Stormers wing Gerhard van den Heever, eighthman CJ Stander and former Bok prop BJ Botha all made Munster's run-on XV. The Irish club recorded a 36-8 bonus-point win over Zebre, who featured flank Andries van Schalkwyk as captain and lock Michael van Vuren. Van Schalkwyk was sent to the sin-bin deep into the second half and Munster took full advantage to secure the bonus point which moved them to the top of the Pro12 standings.

– The Ospreys thrashed Benetton Treviso 75-7, scoring 11 tries in the process. Flank Meyer Swanepoel and lock Corniel van Zyl started for the Italians, while wing Hanno Dirksen came off the bench in the 64th minute and scored one of the Ospreys' tries.


– Log leaders Clermont stumbled to a 19-13 loss at the hands of Grenoble at the Stade des Alpes. Lock Hendrik Roodt, who was yellow-carded, and prop Albertus Buckle started for the winners. Flank Gerhard Vosloo began for Clermont, who fought valiantly till the end, only to have a try denied by the TMO in the dying minutes of the match.

– Ex-Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott kicked two penalties and a conversion, but it wasn't enough as the team he rejected, Toulon, upset the team he opted to stay with, Castres, 19-13. Bok flank Juan Smith and former Sharks hooker Craig Burden started for the European champions. Scrumhalf Michael Claassens came off the bench in the 57th minute and former Bulls and Bok loose forward Danie Rossouw in the 61st. Pedrie Wannenburg, an ex-Bulls loosie himself, came on for Castres with 20 minutes to play.

– Montpellier swept past Perpignan to a comfortable 50-19 win. Former Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn was on duty in for the winning side and ex-Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenhage for the losing team.

– Biarritz suffered yet another loss at home, this time going down 16-6 to Toulouse. Formers Bulls and Bok prop Gurthrö Steenkamp and hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle started for the visitors and was joined on the field by Bok scrumhalf Jano Vermaak in 72nd minute.

– Racing Métro beat Bayonne 18-8 at the Stade Yves du Manoir. Locks Francois van der Merwe and Juandré Kruger and No 8 Jaques Cronjé made Racing's starting team, while props JC Janse van Rensburg and Gert Muller and fullback Scott Spedding started for the losing team. Bayonne, meanwhile, have to get by without Sam Gerber, nephew of Springbok great Danie, who is out for the rest of the season with chronic back problems.

– Brive sent a few shock waves through the Top 14, as they outclassed Stade Français 28-12. Prop Kevin Buys played for Brive, while Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn, who kicked four penalties, prop Heinke van Merwe, lock Gerhard Mostert and ex-Sharks centre Meyer Bosman toiled away for Stade.

Compiled by Mariette Adams

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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