Overseas wrap: SA stars fire in France

 Dec 23,2013
Written by: Editor

Juan Smith was on the scoresheet for Toulon and Bakkies Botha excelled as the European champions thrashed Montpellier in the Top 14. 

Michael Claassens was used off the bench for Toulon against a Montpellier outfit featuring Robert Ebersohn with Wynand Olivier involved.

Meyer Bosman, Morné Steyn, Heinke van der Merwe, Michael van Vuuren and Gerhard Mostert were all involved in Stade Français’ win over Grenoble.

South African lock duo Francois van der Merwe and Juandre Kruger were held to a 9-9 draw playing for Racing Métro against Brive.

Rory Kockott was left on the bench for Castres in their comfortable bonus-point win over Perpignan, with the hosts scoring five tries to win 37-13 against a USAP outfit who had Dewaldt Duvenage amongst their replacements.

Jody Jenneker’s good fortune at Oyonnax continued as the Top 14 newcomers battled to a 9-6 win over Bayonne to move themselves out of the relegation zone. The Basque visitors had Dewald Senekal, Gert Muller and JC Janse van Rensburg all involved in their pack.

Gurthrö Steenkamp made a start at loosehead prop ahead of Schalk Ferriera as Chilliboy Ralepelle and Jano Vermaak appeared off the bench in an 18-16 win over Bordeaux-Bègles. Heini Adams started for the visitors but was forced off after a heavy knock.

In the Pro12, Edinburgh's Cornell du Preez won the man-of-the-match award as his side downed Leinster 11-6 at Murrayfield in awful weather conditions.

Playing on the blindside flank, and continuing his fine early-season form for the Scottish side, the ex-Kings back-row was excellent at the breakdown and in defence. Indeed, du Preez is fast becoming a fan's-favourite in the Scots capital, and brought the crowd to its feet with several bullocking carries.

WP Nel was impressive in a solid Edinburgh scrum, while Wicus Blaauw was named among the substitutes.

On the opposing side, Springbok full-back Zane Kirchner endured something of a mixed bag for the Dubliners.

While he showed his class with some clever touches and a booming boot, several errors will have left him a tad frustrated with his own performance.

Ruan Pienaar kicked two penalties and a conversion as Ulster laboured to a narrow 13-6 home win over lowly Zebre, with Johann Muller retaining the captaincy at second-row.

Elsewhere, BJ Botha started at tighthead for Munster during a dramatic late victory over the Dragons at Musgrave Park. CJ Stander was typically energetic on the openside flank.

Meanwhile in the Premiership, Saracens picked up a rousing 49-10 win over title rivals Leicester Tigers as Ernst Joubert and Alistair Hargreaves started the game while Schalk Brits and Neil de Kock were on the bench.

The number eight and lock played 66 and 56 minutes respectively while De Kock was blooded for the final 27 minutes. Hooker Brits wasn't used in the victory as Jamie George was given a full game.

Former Cheetahs flank Ashley Johnson enjoyed 80 minutes for Wasps but unfortunately ended up on the losing side, falling 17-15 to Northampton. 

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