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Rugby | SA Rugby

Mixed results for SA players in Europe



Former Bulls and Springbok centre Wynand Olivier helped Montpellier to a 25-0 victory over Toulouse on Sunday as his side moved up to second in the Top 14 standings.

Olivier has slotted into the French side with ease and their record of three victories, one draw and a defeat is a good start to the 2013/14 campaign.

Playing against centre Olivier was former Kings front-row forward Schalk Ferreira, who made his debut starting at loosehead prop for Toulouse, playing for 52 minutes.

Unlike last weekend, Springboks such as Bryan Habana, Juandre Kruger, Morne Steyn, Jano Vermaak and Gurthrö Steenkamp were not involved in club action, as they returned to Springbok duty for round three of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

Habana's club Toulon performed just fine without their deadly winger though, winning 24-13 at Biarritz.

Stormers supporters will have recognised a blonde fullback playing for Biarritz as Joe Pietersen tackled the European champions but unfortunately lost.

Eugene van Staden was on the bench for the Biarrots while Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw played for Toulon, as did scrumhalf Michael Claassens.

Meanwhile, Brive won 17-10 at home to Bayonne with Riaan Swanepoel one of their try-scorers. Port Elizabeth-born Patrick Barnard was at tighthead prop.

Dewald Senekal, Scott Spedding, JC Janse van Rensburg and Gert Muller were also involved in the third-round fixture at Stade Amédée-Domenech on Sunday.

Grenoble were another team to win on Sunday as they overcame Bordeaux-Bègles 21-14, with Rudolf Coetzee helping them to their third victory of 2013/14.

Francois van der Merwe's Racing Metro edged Perpignan 19-16 to move up to sixth, getting one over former Shark and Lion Wandile Mjekevu.

It was however a bad day for champions Castres as they went down 19-9 to Top 14 new-boys Oyannax.

Rory Kockott, Pedrie Wannenburg and Michael Coetzee couldn't do enough to stop the home outfit, who have now added Castres to their other two sizeable scalps of Clermont and Biarritz so far this season.

Arguably the pick of the games in the Top 14 though came from Stade Jean Bouin as Stade Français beat Clermont 23-16, with loosehead prop Heinke van der Merwe, second-row Gerhard Mostert and centre Meyer Bosman on the winning side.

That win moves the Parisians up to fourth, which will improve their confidence.

There was, however, not just one round of French rugby played last week as Wednesday also saw a full list of matches.

It was subsequently not all doom and gloom for Clermont as they defeated Bayonne 55-0, with the result featuring a hat-trick of tries for hard-working South African flanker Gerhard Vosloo.

Dewaldt Duvenage and aforementioned wing Mjekevu scored for Perpignan in their win over Grenoble while powerful forward Danie Rossouw crossed for Toulon against Brive.

Former Sharks No 9 Rory Kockott was influential for Castres during their six-try success against Stade Français while former Griffon prop Martinus Jacobus van der Heever was in the Toulouse matchday squad that beat lock Van der Merwe's big-spending Racing Metro 30-6 at Stade Ernest Wallon.

Across the English Channel, the Aviva Premiership kicked off over the weekend.

There was a win for Alistair Hargreaves and Saracens, with Namibian openside flanker Jacques Burger also in the starting XV that beat London Irish with a bonus point at Twickenham in the annual London double-header.

The PRO12 also got under way, but in a losing fashion for lock Izak van der Westhuizen and tighthead prop WP Nel as Edinburgh went down 34-23 to Munster in Cork.

There was also not a good opening for Johann Muller as the Ulster captain and Robbie Diack, who could not prevent their side from losing at the Dragons.

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