SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Pro14 and French Top 14 matches involving South African players.
– Francois Louw started for Bath in their 63-19 thrashing of London Irish. The already-relegated Irish had Sebastian de Chaves and captain Franco van der Merwe as their second row, with prop Petrus du Plessis and scrumhalf Piet van Zyl on the bench.
– Willie Le Roux had an excellent game for Wasps as they booked a playoff spot with their 39-22 win against the Newcastle Falcons. Le Roux scored one of six tries for Wasps, who brought centre Juan de Jongh off the bench.
– The Northampton Saints ended their season in style, beating the Worcester Warriors 32-24 to finish in ninth position on the table. Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach started for the Saints, while No 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze captained the Warriors, who finished just above London Irish. Lock Anton Bresler also started for the Warriors, who had former Cheetahs prop Nick Schonert in their lineup.
– The Sale Sharks slumped to a 35-13 loss against the Leicester Tigers, who narrowly missed out on a semi-final spot. Sale, captained by Jono Ross, had scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and No 8 Josh Strauss in their starting XV.
– Saracens, led by Brad Barritt, scored nine tries to demolish Gloucester 62-12. Despite going behind within the first minute, Saracens quickly recovered and produced a powerful second-half performance. Schalk Burger and Michael Rhodes formed two-thirds of the loose-forward combination for Saracens, with Schalk Brits – who led the team onto the field – at hooker and Vincent Koch making a good impact off the bench.
And this… pic.twitter.com/BKAMCvcOzl
— Paul Smith (@Smith_Paul_) May 6, 2018
– Munster booked their place in the semi-finals with a 20-16 victory over Edinburgh. Loose forward CJ Stander and lock Jean Kleyn both started for Munster, with lock Gerbrant Grobler on the bench. Jaco van der Walt, who converted Edinburgh’s only try, started at flyhalf for the Scottish side, who also had wing Duhan van der Merwe in their lineup. Prop WP Nel and flank Cornell du Preez were part of the substitutes for Edinburgh.
– The Scarlets thrashed the Cheetahs 43-8 in Llanelli to set up a semi-final against the Glasgow Warriors. Former Bulls prop Werner Kruger came off the bench for the Scarlets in the second half.
FRENCH TOP 14
– Racing 92, featuring eighthman Antonie Claassen, thumped Agen 42-13 to wrap up second position in the standings.
– Stade Français, with flyhalf Morné Steyn, loose forward Willem Alberts and prop Heinke van der Merwe in their lineup, slumped to a 31-7 defeat against La Rochelle. Stade still managed to finish the season in 12th position, one place above the relegation zone.
– Clermont beat Toulouse 36-26 to deny them a top-two finish and an automatic semi-final berth. Lock Flip van der Merwe scored a try for Clermont, while tighthead prop Maks van Dyk and centre Mandile Mjekevu were on duty for Toulouse.
– Prop Lourens Adriaanse was part of the Pau side that stunned an ill-disciplined Toulon 38-26. Pau ended the season in eighth place, while Toulon secured fourth.
– Scrumhalf Rory Kockott, prop Dan Kötze and hooker Jody Jenneker helped Castres to a convincing 54-3 victory over Oyonnax. Scrumhalf James Hall and lock Steven Sykes represented Oyonnax. Hall came off second best in his personal battle with Kockott, who kicked a penalty and a conversion.
– Locks Jan Uys and Peet Marais turned out for Brive in their 22-20 win against Bordeaux. Tian Schoeman was at flyhalf for Bordeaux, with Jandré Marais at No 4 lock, playing against brother Peet.
– Lyon defeated Montpellier 32-24. Locks Hendrik Roodt and Etienne Oosthuizen did service for Lyon. Fullback Henry Immelman, centre Jan Serfontein, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and prop Jannie du Plessis made Montpellier’s starting XV, with Pienaar slotting two conversions and a penalty. Frans Steyn was on the bench.
Compiled by Mariette Adams & Dylan Jack
Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images