Willemse rocks for Montpellier

SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend's Celtic Pro12 and French Top 14 matches, involving South African players.


– Loose forward CJ Stander came off the bench and scored the match-winning try as Munster edged the Neath-Swansea Ospreys 20-18 at the death. The Ospreys, featuring wing Hanno Dirksen and lock De Kock Steenkamp, had held onto their half-time lead up until the final minute when Stander burrowed over the line from a metre out. Tighthead prop BJ Botha also turned out for the winners.

– Former SA U20 eighthman Braam Steyn was part of the Benetton Treviso side that suffered a 27-24 defeat against Edinburgh. Deadlocked at 24-24 going into the final 10 minutes, Edinburgh, with flank Cornell du Preez in their ranks, converted a late penalty to snatch victory in Italy.

– Ulster slumped to a 22-12 defeat against hosts the Llanelli Scarlets. Lock George Earle turned out for the winners, but was sin-binned in the second half after a series of infringements. Fullback Louis Ludik, lock Franco van der Merwe as well as front rowers Rob Herring and Wiehahn Herbst were in Ulster's starting lineup, while loose forward Robbie Diack was named on the bench. The Scarlets sit at the summit of the log after two rounds and Ulster are sixth.

– The Glasgow Warriors withstood a second-half comeback by Connacht to clinch a thrilling 33-32 win at Scotstoun Stadium. The Warriors, who benched flank Tyrone Holmes, held a 17-point lead at the break, but a resurgent Connacht team came close to overturning the deficit in the second stanza. Lock Quinn Roux and wing Danie Poolman played for Connacht, with the latter going over for one of their four tries.

– Scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, lock Ligtoring Landman and prop Brok Harris represented the Newport Gwent Dragons, who battled to a 13-0 win over Zebre. Ulrich Beyers started at flyhalf for the Italian side, alongside No 8 Dries van Schalkwyk.


– Hooker Jody Jenneker and No 8 Pedrie Wannenburg started for Oyonnax in their 35-26 loss to Castres. Trailing by just four at the break, the visitors did well to stay in the match, but were unable to erase the deficit. With two wins from four games, Castres are seventh on the table and Oyonnax 11th.

– Juan Smith led Toulon with aplomb in their 45-24 thrashing of La Rochelle. The former Bok flank, who started alongside Willie du Plessis and Gerhard Vosloo, scored one of his side's six tries. Ex-Bok and Stormers scrumhalf Ricky Januarie came off the bench for La Rochelle.

– Racing 92 secured a hard-fought 23-14 win against Grenoble in Paris. Fullback Sean Robinson and Francois van der Merwe started for the winners, but Robinson left the field early in the first half with an injury. Lock Hendrik Roodt, scrumhalf Charl McLeod and fullback Gio Aplon were on duty for Grenoble. Antonie Claassen and Juandré Kruger for the winners and Rossouw de Klerk for Grenoble, were substitutes.

– Montpellier claimed a convincing 44-20 bonus-point victory over champions Stade Français. Former Bulls lock Paul Willemse scored twice for Montpellier, while replacement centre Meyer Bosman crossed the line for Stade. Tighthead prop Pat Cilliers was in the winners' run-on XV and was replaced by Jacobie Adriaanse in the 72nd minute. Coach Jake White also introduced Schalk van der Mewe and Wiaan Liebenberg in the second half. Prop Heinke van der Merwe, No 8 Jono Ross and lock Gerhard Mostert featured alongside Bosman for Stade, who are languishing in 14th position on the log.

– Clermont, with Dan Kotzé and Marius van der Westhuizen in their front row, came from behind to snatch a 26-26 draw with Bordeaux. No 5 lock Berend Botha and scrumhalf Heini Adams did service for Bordeaux. Log-leaders Clermont are now the only unbeaten team in the competition.

– Lock Peet Marais and his Brive teammates saw off Agen 18-12. Flyhalf Burton Francis accounted for all Agen's points with four penalties, but is wasn't enough to upset the hosts. Tighthead prop Ruaan du Preez started with Francis for Agen.

– Pau stunned Toulouse 9-6 at the Stade du Hameau. The team was promoted from the Pro D2 this year and beat last season's semi-finalists thanks to three penalties and a drop goal. Prop Gurthrö Steenkamp played 25 minutes for Toulouse, who were undefeated before this round.

Compiled by Mariette Adams

Photo: Pascal Guyot/Getty Images

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