SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's English Premiership, Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches that involved South African players.
– No 8 Ashley Johnson was part of the London Wasps outfit that denied Worcester their first win of the season, defeating them 13-11 at Sixways thanks to a last-minute try.
– London Irish were well beaten by Bok and former Stormers flank Francois Louw’s Bath, going down 44-23 before their fans at the Madejski Stadium.
– In front of a world record crowd of 83,889 at Wembley, Saracens, with ex-Sharks centre Brad Barritt, No 8 Ernst Joubert and hooker Schalk Brits in their starting XV, comfortably beat Harlequins 39-17, claiming a bonus point in the process. The victory propelled them to the top of the Premiership log. Former Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock came off the bench for London team in the 49th minute.
– In possibly one of the most unexpected results in this season, the Sale Sharks downed the Northampton Saints 19-6, only the Saints’ second defeat this season. No 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze put in an 80-minute shift for the losers.
– After claiming their first major trophy by winning the Anglo-Welsh Cup last week, the Exeter Chiefs were brought down to earth by play-off contenders Leicester Tigers with a 45-15 drubbing at Welford Road. Flank Don Armand made his appearance for the Chiefs from the 51st minute onwards, but they couldn’t prevent the Tigers from scoring six tries.
– In a low-scoring contest at Murrayfield, Ulster beat Edinburgh 9-3. Flyhalf Carl Bezuidehout converted a penalty for Edinburgh’s only points of the match. Alongside him on the pitch were former EP Kings and Cheetahs centre Andries Strauss, eighthman Cornell du Preez, lock Izak van der Westhuizen and prop WP Nel. For Ulster, ex-Sharks and Bok lock Johann Muller wore the captain’s armband and with hooker Rob Herring marshalling the scrums. Lock Robbie Diack did service of the bench from the 42nd minute.
– Bok fullback Zane Kirchner and hooker Richardt Strauss started for log leaders Leinster in the crucial 27-0 bonus-point victory over Italian side Zebre. Flank Andries van Schalkwyk started for the Italians and lock Michael van Vuuren took to the field in the 43rd minute.
– Wing Hanno Dirksen came on as a replacement in the 67th minute for Ospreys, who beat rivals the Cardiff Blues 34-9 in a one-sided match in Swansea. The bonus-point win gives the Ospreys a greater chance of qualifying for the play-offs.
– Munster saw off Treviso 14-3 to move to second on the Pro12 log. Former Bulls loose forward CJ Stander played for the winning side from the 67th, while flyhalf Tobias Botes and lock Corniel van Zyl joined their Treviso team-mates from the 53rd.
– Former Lions captain and No 8 Josh Strauss’ Glasgow secured a 14-6 win over the Scarlets in wet weather conditions at Scotstoun. Locks Johan Snyman and George Earle, both in their 51st appearance for the club, started for the Scarlets. The victory moves the Warriors within four points of fourth placed Ospreys.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Clermont ousted Toulon 22-16 at the Stade Marcel-Michelin with flank Gerhard Vosloo, who is set to join Toulon in the off-season, in their starting ranks. Prop Daniel Kotze joined the action in the 70th minute. For Toulon, former-Sharks hooker Craig Burden and Bok flank Juan Smith started the game with scrumhalf Michael Claassens taking the field in the 55th.
– Stade de France hosted a classic match between Stade Français and Toulouse which ended in a 27-27 draw. Bok scrumhalf Jano Vermaak and prop Schalk Ferreira began for visiting Toulouse and prop Gurthrö Steenkamp made his presence felt in the scrums from the 48th minute. Centre Meyer Bosman and prop Heinke van der Merwe were in the Stade Français starting team and lock Gerhard Mostert joined the fray in the 53rd minute and Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn in the 79th. But the only South African who had an impact on the scoreboard was Vermaak, scoring one of his team’s four tries in the 42nd minute.
– Ex-WP and Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen started for Biarritz in yet another losing effort, this time falling short 16-10 against Perpignan. His former team-mate at the Cape Town franchise, scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage, played for Perpignan from the 55th minute, while current team-mate Eugene van Staden (prop) joined him on the field from the 74th.
– Rory Kockott delivered a flawless kicking display for Castres who beat Brive 38-6. The scrumhalf contributed 16 points with his boot (four penalties and two conversions). Prop Johannes Coetzee and flyhalf Riaan Swanepoel started for Brive.
– Former Bulls and Bok centre Wynand Olivier was in Montpellier's run-on XV against Oyonnax, who fielded ex-Sharks hooker Jody Jenneker in their starting team, with Olivier's team easily winning 22-8.
– In a tightly contested match at the Stade Jean-Dauger, Bordeaux edged past Bayonne 23-22, with lock Juandré Marais and scrumhalf Heini Adams on duty for them, while fullback Scott Spedding and prop JC Janse van Rensburg played for the losing side.
– Prop Albertus Buckle scored Grenoble's only try in their 26-13 defeat at the hands of Racing Metro. With him on the field was lock Hendrik Roodt who was replaced by compatriot Naudé Beukes in the 62nd minute. Locks Juandré Kruger and Francois van der Merwe formed part of Racing's 1st XV.
Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images