SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s European Champions Cup, European Challenge Cup and Japanese Top League matches involving South African players.
– Louis Ludik started at outside centre for Ulster in their 20-13 win against La Rochelle. Rob Herring was Ulster’s replacement hooker and Paul Jordaan came off the bench in the second half for La Rochelle but was yellow-carded for tackling an opponent in the air.
– Harlequins came from 28-12 down to beat Wasps 33-28. No. 8 Nizaam Carr and hooker Ashley Johnson both scored tries for Wasps, who also had Willie Le Roux at fullback.
– The Northampton Saints produced the upset of the round as they rallied to beat Clermont 34-21. Nic Groom started at scrumhalf for the Saints, who also had prop Francois van Wyk on the bench. Groom was replaced by Cobus Reinach, who sealed the victory with a late try, while former Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe started for Clermont, who named Scott Spedding on the bench.
– Centre Brad Barritt captained Saracens to a 15-15 draw against the Ospreys, a result which saw the Welsh region retain second place in Pool 2 behind first-placed Clermont. Tighthead prop Vincent Koch and flank Michael Rhodes started for Saracens, who had Schalk Burger on the bench.
– Flank Don Armand scored one of the Exeter Chiefs’ three tries in their 41-10 win against Montpellier. Frans Steyn and Jan Serfontein formed the centre partnership for Montpellier, who also had Bismarck du Plessis, prop Johannes Jonker and lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg in their starting XV.
– Racing 92 moved to second place in Pool 4 with a 34-30 victory over Munster. Lock Jean Kleyn scored a try for Munster, who had CJ Stander at No 8 and Chris Cloete starting at flank.
– The Leicester Tigers’ poor run of form continued as they lost 39-0 to Castres. Prop Pat Cilliers started for the Tigers. Castres named tighthead prop Daniel Kötze on the bench.
– The Scarlets moved four points clear at the top of Pool 5 with a 35-17 win against Bath. Lock David Bulbring started for the Scarlets, who had former Bulls prop Werner Kruger on the bench while hooker Michael van Vuuren was named on the bench for Bath.
– Toulon moved up to the top of Pool 5 with a 36-0 win against Treviso. Prop Marcel van der Merwe, lock Juandré Kruger and No 8 Duane Vermeulen started for Toulon while JP Pietersen came off the bench for the French side and Irne Herbst started at lock for Treviso.
– Scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius and lock Ligtoring Landman were included in the Dragons’ starting lineup in their 36-28 defeat to Bordeaux. Pretorius and his replacement Carl Meyer each scored a try, while Pat Howard was also used as a second-half substitute.
– The Cardiff Blues, with lock George Earle in their ranks, advanced to the quarter-finals following their 18-13 victory over Toulouse. Cheslin Kolbe, Rynhardt Elstadt and Maks van Dyk featured for Toulouse, with Kolbe scoring their only try of the match.
– The Sale Sharks pipped Lyon 15-13 to keep their slim chances of reaching the knockout stage alive. Centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg and eighthman Jono Ross started for Sale while Lyon had Etienne Oosthuizen, Deon Fourie and Francois van der Merwe in their team.
– Prop Lourens Adriaanse and his Pau teammates defeated Zebre 42-14 to book their place in the last eight of the competition. Derick Minnie, Luhandré Luus and Johan Meyer turned out for Zebre, who have lost all five of their matches in this competition.
– Flank Marco Kotze, lock Christie van der Merwe, scrumhalf Ricky Januarie and centre Johann Sadie were part of the Agen outfit which slumped to a 45-24 loss at the hands of Gloucester, who qualified for the quarter-finals.
– Flyhalf Jaco van der Walt crossed for a try and a kicked a crucial penalty as Edinburgh edged Stade Français 33-32 at home. Wing Duhan van der Merwe started alongside Van der Walt for the hosts, who are safely through to the next stage.
– Sebastian de Chaves’ London Irish hammered Russian side Krasny Yar 47-17. Both teams look set to miss out on a spot in the quarter-finals.
– Connacht, with lock Quinn Roux in their run-on XV, erased a 10-point deficit to snatch a 24-24 draw with the Worcester Warriors. Wing Dean Hammond, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard and No 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze were on duty for the Warriors. Connacht topped the pool and progressed to the knockout rounds.
– Brive beat French rivals Oyonnax 29-19, although both sides failed to reach the last eight. Fullback Bjorn Basson and scrumhalf James Hall did service for Oyonnax while locks Jan Uys and Peet Marais started in tandem for Brive.
JAPANESE TOP LEAGUE FINALS
– The Yamaha Jubilo defeated Toyota Verblitz 28-10 in the third-place playoff match. Prop Ruan Smith, lock Jason Jenkins, flyhalf Lionel Cronjé and fullback Gio Aplon represented Verblitz, who had to settle for fourth spot.
– Lock Andries Bekker formed part of the Kobe Kobelco Steelers side that thumped the Toshiba Brave Lupus 41-17 in the fifth-place match while Coenraad van Wyk played fullback for Toshiba.
– Flyhalf André Esterhuizen contributed 13 points, via two tries and a penalty, as the Munakata Sanix Blues crushed the Coca-Cola Red Sparks 32-5 in the 13th-spot playoff game. No 8 Nardus van der Walt and prop Hencus van Wyk played alongside Esterhuizen for the winners.
– Lock Franco Mostert’s Ricoh Black Rams cruised to a 44-20 victory over the NEC Green Rockets, who clinched seventh-place.
– The NTT Communications Shining Arcs – with lock Willie Britz and flyhalf Elton Jantjies in their ranks – beat the Canon Eagles 38-32 in the ninth-place match.
– Grant Hattingh, Lappies Labuschagne and Lionel Mapoe turned out for the Kubota Spears, who beat the Toyota Industries Shuttles 31-10 in the 11th-place playoff. Hattingh scored a try for the winners.
– Flyhalf Riaan Viljoen kicked 11 points – three penalties and a conversion – to help the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes to a 21-13 win over the Kintetsu Liners in the 15th-place playoff match, which doubled up as a straight shootout for immediate relegation from the competition. Lock Wimpie van der Walt and No 8 Warren Whiteley were selected in the Hurricanes’ XV alongside Viljoen.
Compiled by Mariette Adams and Dylan Jack
Photo: K Demura/JRFU/www.top-league.jp/gallery/