Butch, Watson receive winning sending off

GARETH DUNCAN looks at the Saffas who impressed in Europe over the weekend.

Flanker Luke Watson and flyhalf Butch James ended their tenure with Bath with a 42-12 thrashing of Newcastle Falcons. James added 15 points with the boot via three conversions and three penalties while Watson came off the bench to contribute a strong finish. James will join the Lions next week Wednesday ahead of their Super Rugby tour to Australia and New Zealand while Watson will continue his career at the EP Kings.

In other results in England, tighthead prop Brian Mujati’s Northamption Saints cemented their semi-final place with a 31-24 win over flanker Hendre Fourie’s lowly Leeds Carnegie.

Hooker Schalk Brits, centre Brad Barritt, lock Mouritz Botha, scrumhalf Neil de Kock and skipper Ernst Joubert all contributed to Saracens’ 11th consecutive win as they pipped Harlequins 16-13.

In France, inside centre Frans Steyn crossed the chalk in Racing Metro’s 29-16 triumph against Stade Francais. Lock Francois van der Merwe and No 8 Jacques Cronje were also impressive in the win.

Joe Pietersen started on the wing and scored a try in Bayonne’s 30-17 win over La Rochelle. Flyhalf Greg Goosen kicked four penalties for the latter in an ill-disciplined affair that saw five yellow cards.

In the Magners League, No 8 Pedrie Wannenburg dotted down for a crucial try in Ulster’s 20-13 win over Newport-Gwent Dragons.

Treviso flyhalf Willem de Waal was instrumental in his team’s 31-6 win over Edinburgh as he kicked 16 points via four penalties and two conversions.

European play-offs:

English Premiership

14 May Leicester vs Northampton
15 May Saracens vs Gloucester

French Top 14

Semi-final play-offs:
13 May Castres vs Montpellier
14 May Clermont vs Biarritz

27 May Toulouse vs TBC
28 May Racing Metro vs TBC

Magners League

13 May Leinster vs Ulster
14 May Munster vs Ospreys