No break for Bok scrumhalf

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 16:56
Large ruan pienaar h s 630 Large ruan pienaar media 630 Large ruaan pienaar boks 630

There will be no rest for Ruan Pienaar after the Springbok scrumhalf was on Tuesday included in a 27-man Ulster squad ahead of the opening round of the Heineken Cup this weekend.

There will be no rest for Ruan Pienaar after the Springbok scrumhalf was on Tuesday included in a 27-man Ulster squad ahead of the opening round of the Heineken Cup this weekend.

Pienaar received a recall to the South African team at the start of the international season and cemented his place as starting scrumhalf in the latter stages of the Rugby Championship after impressive performances from the bench.

Pienaar’s experience as a 60-Test veteran and goal-kicking ability make him the favourite to wear the Springbok number nine jersey for South Africa’s end-of-year tour of Europe in November.

The Springboks will face Ireland (November 10), Scotland (November 17) and England (November 24) in consecutive weeks but before then, Pienaar is set to play an important role for his Irish club, who will have the honour of taking the only unbeaten record into this season's Heineken Cup when they open their campaign against Castres at Ravenhill on Friday.

Ulster's 25-0 home win over Connacht last weekend made it five from five for the Belfast-based side and kept them one point clear of the early leaders in the Pro12, the Scarlets, with a game in hand.

Top dogs in the Top 14 in France are Toulon, who had 21 points from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson in their 36-9 away win at Biarritz Olympique that moved them four points clear of reigning French champions Toulouse at the top of the table.

Toulon's only defeat this season was a 32-9 reverse at Toulouse, who have suffered two defeats on the road this season at Perpignan and Biarritz. Toulon kick-off at home against Montpellier, who they beat 32-25 away from home last month.

In England, London Irish dented the hitherto unblemished record of 2011 Heineken Cup finalists Northampton Saints with a morale boosting 39-17 win at the Madejski Stadium at the weekend to peg Saints' lead at the top of the Premiership back to two points over reigning champions Harlequins, Leicester Tigers and Saracens.

Top try-scorers in Europe to date this season are Toulouse with 26 in eight games. The Scarlets lead the way in the Pro12 with 19 in six outings and Harlequins have 20 from their six games in the Premiership.

European Leagues Current Standings

Pro12 P W D L Pts
1 Ulster 5 5 0 0 21
2 Scarlets 6 4 0 2 20
3 Glasgow Warriors 6 4 0 2 18
4 Leinster 6 4 0 2 17
5 Munster 6 3 0 3 14
6 Ospreys 6 3 0 3 14
7 Cardiff Blues 6 3 0 3 14
8 Benetton Treviso 6 3 0 3 13
9 Edinburgh 6 2 0 4 12
10 Connacht 6 2 0 4 10

11 Dragons 6 2 0 4 9
12 Zebre 5 0 0 5 1

Top 14 P W D L Pts
1 Toulon 8 7 0 1 32
2 Toulouse 8 6 0 2 28
3 ASM Clermont 8 6 0 2 28
4 Montpellier 8 5 0 3 23

5 Grenoble 8 5 0 3 22
6 Castres Olympique 8 4 1 3 20
7 Racing Metro 92 8 4 0 4 19
8 Biarritz Olympique 8 4 0 4 19

9 Perpignan 8 3 0 5 16
10 Bayonne 8 3 0 5 15
11 Stade Français 8 3 1 4 15
12 Agen 8 3 0 5 14
13 Bordeaux-Begles 8 2 0 6 11
14 Mont-de-Marsan 8 0 0 8 1

Premiership P W D L Pts
1 Northampton Saints 6 5 0 1 22
2 Harlequins 6 4 0 2 20
3 Leicester Tigers 6 4 1 1 20
4 Saracens 6 4 1 1 20

5 Gloucester 6 4 1 1 19
6 Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
7 Bath Rugby 6 3 0 3 15
8 London Wasps 6 2 0 4 13
9 Worcester Warriors 6 1 1 4 11
10 London Welsh 6 2 0 4 10
11 London Irish 6 2 0 4 9
12 Sale Sharks 6 0 0 6 1

* Heineken Cup teams in bold.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 March 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Sharks 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Gloucester 15h00 Ashton Gate
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 5 0 1 24
Glasgow Warriors 6 4 0 2 19
Leicester Tigers 6 2 0 4 8
Racing Metro 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 1 1 22
Toulouse 6 3 2 1 18
Connacht 6 4 0 2 18
Zebre 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 1 0 24
Toulon 6 3 0 3 16
Scarlets 6 2 1 3 11
Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 4
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 23
Montpellier 6 3 0 3 16
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 26
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 14
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 0 4 12
Ulster 6 2 0 4 10
RELATED ARTICLES