SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the past weekend’s English Premiership, Pro14, French Top 14 and Major League Rugby matches involving South African players.
– Brad Barritt, Michael Rhodes and Vincent Koch were part of the Saracens side that successfully defended their English Premiership title with a riveting 37-34 triumph over the Exeter Chiefs, who had to settle for runner-up status for a second consecutive season. Koch not only anchored Saracens’ scrum, but made 11 run metres, eight carries and 15 tackles. Flank Don Armand featured for the Chiefs.
FRENCH TOP 14
– La Rochelle, featuring flank Wiaan Liebenberg in their ranks, edged Racing 19-13 in their playoff match to advance to the semi-finals, where they will meet the top-ranked Toulouse. No 8 Antonie Claassen did service for Racing 92.
– In another closely contested playoff, Lyon pipped Montpellier 21-16. Ex-Stormers man Deon Fourie started at the back of the scrum for Lyon, while compatriots Hendrik Roodt and Etienne Oosthuizen played lock for the winners. Montpellier had hooker Bismarck du Plessis, locks Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and Paul Willemse, No 8 Jacques du Plessis, inside centre Jan Serfontein and fullback Henry Immelman in their run-on XV. Lyon will face Clermont in the semi-finals.
MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY
– The Houston SaberCats beat the Glendale Raptors 32-17 in their rescheduled fixture in midweek. Scrumhalf and captain Shaun Davies and centre pairing Robbie Petzer and Chad London started for Glendale. Carlo de Nysschen came on as Davies’ replacement. That was Glendale’s last match of the season.
– The Seattle Seawolves secured a thrilling 38-26 win over Austin Elite to build some confidence ahead of their semi-final playoff next weekend. Hooker Stephan Coetzee, No 8 Riekert Hattingh – who scored a try – and flyhalf JP Smith were on duty for the Seawolves. The result means Austin Elite finished their season winless.
– The Houston SaberCats took down the Utah Warriors 31-27 to end their season with a fourth straight win. Loosehead prop Franco van den Berg represented the Warriors, who finished second last in the standings.
– The table-topping San Diego Legion defeated the Nola Gold 22-10 to end the latter’s playoff dreams. Captain Joe Pietersen kicked two conversions and a penalty for San Diego, who also had JP du Plessis at inside centre. Nola had hooker Hubert Buydens, outside centre Tristan Blewett and fullback JP Eloff in their lineup. Eloff added a conversion and a penalty.
“To contribute so consistently after such a long injury shows what a diligent professional Mike is,” Hoadley says.
Read more on Te’o’s journey: https://t.co/CRyAPrXjqh
— Major League Rugby (@usmlr) May 31, 2019