Saffas abroad

Keo.co.za. looks at the South Africans performing in European club competitions this past weekend.

Butch James and Michael Claassens started in Bath’s 35-19 victory over Wasps, a win that propelled them to fourth place on the Premiership log. It was a James linebreak that sparked the first of Joe Maddock’s three tries. Bath will now play Leeds in their final league match. Marco Wentzel’s side beat Worcester 12-10 on Sunday.

In a top of the table clash, the South African-laden Saracens edged Northampton 28-27. Ernst Joubert scored for Sarries to put the Saints under pressure going into the final weekend of Premiership rugby. Saracens will play log-leaders Leicester while Northampton take on London Irish. At the other end of the spectrum, Gcobani Bobo’s Newcastle avoided relegation with a last-gasp 32-30 win over Sale.

Jean de Villiers’ Munster lie in fourth place in the Celtic League standings after losing 15-11 to Ospreys. Elsewhere in Europe, Ross Skeate started in Toulon’s narrow 26-23 win over Brive. Marius Joubert’s Clermont will play against Castres in the Top 14 play-offs while Shaun Sowerby and Toulouse tackle Frans Steyn’s Racing Metro, who finished sixth in the league.

Perpignan and Toulon finished first and second respectively and have already qualified for the Top 14 semi-finals, which will take place after the newly introduced first round of play-offs. Philip Burger came off the bench to score in Perpignan’s 44-0 win over Albi.