SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s European Champions and Challenge Cup matches involving South African players.
– Toulouse continued their hot streak in Europe with a 24-16 victory over hosts Wasps at the Ricoh Arena. Wing Cheslin Kolbe, flank Rynhardt Elstadt and prop Maks van Dyk were in the winning side’s lineup, with Kolbe going on a searing run to score a brilliant solo try. Willie le Roux was at fullback for Wasps, who had Juan de Jongh, Ashley Johnson and Nizaam Carr on the bench. Toulouse are top of the log and the winless Wasps bottom.
– Francois Louw started at No 8 and prop Jacques van Rooyen played off the bench for Bath in their 17-10 defeat to reigning champions Leinster. Bath are third on the table, five points behind the second-ranked Leinster.
– Munster moved to back to the summit of the log following their 30-5 victory over Castres. CJ Stander and Chris Cloete started in Munster’s back row, with the former scoring a second-half try. Arno Botha replaced Cloete in the 64th minute, while centre Jaco Taute joined the fray in the 75th minute. Scott Spedding, Dan Kötze and Jody Jenneker started for Castres and their teammate Rory Kockott was used off the bench from the 68th minute.
– Flank Don Armand and his Exeter Chiefs teammates slumped to a shock 27-19 loss against English rivals Gloucester. Lock Gerbrandt Grobler and hooker Jaco Visagie were on duty for Johan Ackermann’s Gloucester, with Visagie barging over for one of their three tries.
– Saracens thrashed the Cardiff Blues 51-25 to seize control of Pool 3. The English Premiership champions ran in seven tries and conceded just three. Flank Schalk Burger and Michael Rhodes and prop Vincent Koch were selected in Sarries’ run-on XV and all played until deep into the second half. The Blues had George Earle at No 4 lock.
– The Glasgow Warriors inflicted a 42-22 defeat on struggling Lyon, who are yet to win a game. Wing DTH van der Merwe and loosehead prop Oli Kebble started for Glasgow. Lyon had prop Albertus Buckle, lock Hendrik Roodt and scrumhalf Charl McLeod in their ranks.
– Racing 92 outlasted the Leicester Tigers to claim a 36-26 triumph in Paris. No 8 Antonie Claassen and lock Bernard le Roux did service for Racing.
– Ulster caused the biggest upset in round three when they pipped the Scarlets 25-24 thanks to a late try by Marcell Coetzee. Ulster also had Louis Ludik at fullback and hooker Rob Herring on the bench. Eighthman Uzair Cassiem, No 5 David Bulbring and prop Werner Kruger represented the Scarlets, who are now rooted to the bottom of the log.
– Jaco van der Walt starred with the boot for Edinburgh in their 31-13 bonus-point win over the Newcastle Falcons at Murrayfield. Van der Walt, who kicked nine points, wing Duhan van der Merwe, and props WP Nel and Pierre Schoeman started for Edinburgh, who leapfrogged their victims at the top of the table. Allan Dell replaced Schoeman in the 57th minute.
– Toulon claimed their best win of the season across all competitions when they beat French rivals Montpellier 38-28. JP Pietersen, Juandré Kruger and Marcel van der Merwe were on duty for Toulon. Fullback Frans Steyn, wing Henry Immelman, flyhalf Johan Goosen, lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and prop Jannie du Plessis turned out for Montpellier, as did substitutes Jacques du Plessis, Ruan Pienaar and Jan Serfontein. Steyn and Immelman scored a try each, and Pienaar, who came on for Goosen in the 31st minute, slotted four conversions.
– Clermont maintained their perfect start to the competition thanks to a 47-14 victory over Timisoara Saracens. Flyhalf Jody Rose and loosehead prop Henri Boshoff played for the Romanian club. Flip van der Merwe started at lock for Clermont and was replaced by Jaco van Tonder early in the second half.
– The Northampton Saints boosted their hopes of qualifying from Pool 1 by thrashing the Dragons 48-14. Zane Kirchner started on the wing for the Dragons, but made just 13m from three carries.
– Heyneke Meyer’s Stade Français were thrashed 51-20 by the Ospreys in Swansea. Morné Steyn converted both of Stade’s tries and kicked two penalties in a losing effort. Hendré Stassen was on the flank for the Parisians, while Willem Alberts came on as a lock replacement in the second half. Tighthead prop Tom Botha was a substitute for the Ospreys.
– Pau beat Pool 2 leaders the Worcester Warriors 21-6 in France. Fullback Scott van Breda, centre Wynand Olivier and wing Dean Hammond all started in the Warriors’ backline.
– Connacht were made to work hard as they ground out a 22-10 win over Perpignan. Lock Berend Botha and flank Johan van Heerden started for Perpignan.
– The Sale Sharks scored seven tries to beat Bordeaux-Begles 50-24 and stay unbeaten in Pool 3. Jean-Luc du Perez started for Sale and made a total of 18 carries. Josh Strauss captained Sale and also enjoyed a fine outing, running a total of 81m. Robert du Preez came on as a flyhalf replacement in the final quarter of the match, while Faf de Klerk was an unused substitute.
– Zebre notched their second win of the Challenge Cup by beating Enisei-STM 31-14 in Russia. Flank Johan Meyer, flyhalf Francois Brummer and hooker Luhandre Luus came off the bench for Zebre. Meyer scored a try just before full time to ensure the visitors picked up a bonus point.
– Grenoble claimed a crucial 22-15 win against fellow Top 14 side Agen. François Uys started in the second row for Grenoble, while Agen had inside centre Johann Sadie and lock Christiaan van der Merwe in their starting lineup and brought veteran scrumhalf Ricky Januarie off the bench.
– A last-minute try gave Benetton Treviso a surprise 26-21 win against Harlequins. Braam Steyn was in the loose trio for Treviso and made a total of 52m from 12 carries. Lock Irne Herbst was on Treviso’s bench.
Compiled by Dylan Jack & Mariette Adams
Photo: Martin Bennett/Gloucester Rugby