Heyneke back to winning ways

Heyneke Meyer began his tenure in the English Premiership on a winning note with Leicester beating Gloucester 20-8 on Sunday.

The Tigers had been put through their paces in the pre-season, and the improved fitness levels were evident in Sunday’s big away victory. Meyer’s side only conceded one try despite a determined Gloucester attack, and the former Bulls mentor commended his charges for their dogged defence in the aftermath.

Butch James also inspired his English club to victory when Bath beat Bristol 33-20. The Springbok flyhalf kicked 18 points just eight days after the big Tri-Nations win over Australia at Ellis Park. This was also the first time Bath has beaten Bristol at the Memorial Stadium since 1998.

Bath coach Steve Meehan lauded James for his match-winning effort.

“He makes things look easy. He is one of those players who has time on the ball. He has a lot of confidence on the guys in front of him and he has this marvellous way of talking to everyone on the field to organise them.”

In other Premiership matches, a Nick Evans inspired Harlequins downed Saracens despite the try-scoring intentions of former Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock. Faan Rautenbach’s London Irish were more successful in their 26-14 win over rivals Wasps on Saturday.