Overseas wrap: Burger on fire
Saracens' South African contingent helped the London side take a massive step towards securing a home semi-final in the Aviva Premiership this weekend as they secured a vital away win over Francois Louw's Bath.
South Africans Schalk Brits, Ernst Joubert and Brad Barritt and Namibian flank Jacques Burger all played crucial roles as Sarries kept pace with league leaders Northampton and opened up a 13-point gap on third-placed Bath in the process.
Former Sharks centre Barritt sent through a sensational grubber kick to fellow England international David Strettle, who raced over the line on his 100th appearance for Saracens to give his side a 17-3 half time lead.
Ex-Bulls flanker Burger was at his destructive best in the loose, until he was sin-binned for one illegal tackle too many, but his combination with Joubert was an important part of his side's winning effort as they did battle against Springbok openside Louw.
Formers Stormers hooker Brits has become a stalwart for Saracens and says he has no plans to follow prop Matt Stevens back to South Africa. (Stevens will join the Sharks after the European season, returning to his Durban birthplace.)
Brits admits that if he ever leaves Saracens it would never be for another English side.
“I won’t move to another English side. I’m very happy at Saracens and they look after my wife, my kid, my friends and my family. It’s just a great spot," Brits told London24.
“I can’t say that I won’t go back [to South Africa] but, at the moment, this is the best spot I can be in.”
Northampton extended their lead at the Premiership summit to seven points after beating Gloucester 39-13 at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.
In France, Toulon moved to the summit of the Top 14 standings - level at with Clermont - thanks to a 64-10 win at home to lowly Oyonnax on Saturday.
Five Rory Kockott penalties could not prevent Castres from going down 25-15 to a determined Racing outfit in Paris.
Toulouse ran out comfortable 30-9 victors at home to Perpignan, scoring five tries and earning a bonus point in the process with former Kings prop Schalk Ferreira helping the hosts sure up their shaky scrum.
But the drama came on Sunday, as Krugersdorp-born Bayonne full-back Scott Spedding landed a last-gasp drop-goal to ensure for Bayonne a sweet, hard-fought 11-8 derby victory over bitter rivals Biarritz, which all but seals the latter's relegation.