SARugbymag.co.za looks at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Pro14 and French Top 14 matches involving South African players.
– Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, his replacement Nic Groom and prop Francois van Wyk featured for the Northampton Saints, who slumped to a 24-22 defeat at home to the Newcastle Falcons. Former Sharks hooker Kyle Cooper started for the Falcons, who moved above Northampton and the Sale Sharks on the log.
– The Sale Sharks fired late to beat the Worcester Warriors 18-14 at Sixways despite conceding a red card in the 66th minute. Scrumhalf Francois Hougaard, tighthead Nick Schonert and wing Dean Hammond represented the Warriors. Sale had Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Faf de Klerk, Josh Strauss and Jono Ross in their run-on lineup, with Janse van Rensburg crossing for the opening try of the match.
– The Exeter Chiefs lashed Bath 42-29 at Sandy Park to extend their lead at the top of the standings. Flank Don Armand started and scored a try for the defending champions. Bath used hooker Michael van Vuuren as an impact player in the second half.
– Gloucester, with Ruan Ackermann on duty at the back of the scrum, whacked London Irish 39-15 to move up to second on the Premiership table. Locks Franco van der Merwe and Sebastian de Chaves and prop Petrus du Plessis, did service for London Irish. This was Gloucester’s fifth consecutive win in the competition.
– Willie le Roux, Juan de Jongh, Nizaam Carr and captain Ashley Johnson all turned out for Wasps in their thrilling 32-25 victory against the Leicester Tigers. Carr scored a vital first-half try for Wasps and was named Man of the Match.
– Saracens, with captain Brad Barritt, Vincent Koch and Schalk Burger in their ranks, slumped to an agonising 20-19 defeat against fierce rivals Harlequins in the London derby. It was Saracens’ fifth straight defeat and they are now third on the log.
– David Bulbring and Werner Kruger were in the Scarlets’ starting XV in their 28-21 loss to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. Scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, on loan from Western Province, was used as an impact player off the bench in the second half.
– Munster won their seventh game this season, beating strugglers the Ospreys 36-10 at Irish Independent Park. Flank Chris Cloete scored the opening try for Munster, who had Jean Kleyn at lock. Hanno Dirksen started at wing for the Ospreys.
– Treviso, with Irné Herbst at lock, lost 36-10 to Leinster at the Stadio Comunale Di Monigo.
– Lock George Earle started for the Cardiff Blues in their 40-16 loss to the Glasgow Warriors, who stretched their winning streak to 10 games.
– Ulster, featuring former Sharks wing Louis Ludik and prop Schalk van der Merwe, scored a late try to snatch a 32-32 draw against the Dragons. Prop Brok Harris started for the Dragons, who had Ligtoring Landman and Pat Howard on the bench.
– Zebre moved off the bottom of Conference A with a 24-10 win over Connacht. Flank Johan Meyer scored a crucial try for Zebre, who had Luhandré Luus as their replacement hooker.
– Edinburgh, who included Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt and Cornell du Preez in their starting lineup, beat the Kings 48-21 in Port Elizabeth. Van der Walt kicked two conversions and a penalty for Edinburgh.
FRENCH TOP 14
– JP Pietersen came off the bench to score a try for Toulon in their 39-11 win over Lyon at the Stade Mayol. Duane Vermeulen, Juandré Kruger and Marcel van der Merwe all started for Toulon, while Lyon included locks Hendrick Roodt and Etienne Oosthuizen and prop Albertus Buckle in their starting XV.
– Pau moved within two points of Bordeaux with a 27-17 victory over the eighth-placed side. Tighthead Lourens Adriaanse started for Pau. Jandré Marais started for Bordeaux, who have won just one of their last five matches.
– Brive, with Peet Marais and replacement prop Johan Snyman, achieved a narrow 33-30 win over Oyonnax. The win lifts Brive off the bottom of the table into 12th position.
– Paul Jordaan scored a try for La Rochelle in their 26-14 win over Montpellier, allowing them to overtake Montpellier at the top of the table. Montpellier included Frans Steyn, Jan Serfontein and Nico Janse van Rensburg in their starting lineup while Wiaan Liebenberg came off the bench for the losing side.
– Clermont moved up to ninth place with a 35-26 win over Agen. Former Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe and France fullback Scott Spedding came off the bench for Clermont. Johann Sadie and Ricky Januarie started for Agen, who dropped closer to the bottom of the table.
– Hooker Jody Jenneker scored a crucial try for Castres. They made it five wins in a row with a 41-31 win against Toulouse, who started Cheslin Kolbe, at the Stade Ernest-Wallon. Rory Kockottstarted on the bench for Castres, while Danie Mienie and Rynhardt Elstadt came off the bench for Toulouse.
– Stade Français drew themselves away from the danger zone with a entertaining 27-17 victory over Paris rivals Racing 92. Willem Alberts started for Stade who included Craig Burden and Charl McCleod on the bench.